August 12 is a day to celebrate and recognize our youth on International Youth Day. I believe that youth are not only the leaders of tomorrow instead they are the leaders of TODAY! During this years’ Mississauga Marathon with World Vision Canada, I had an opportunity to meet World Vision’s Youth Ambassador, Harnoor Gill in Mississauga. I was quite surprised by his accomplishments at the age of 17 years. Harnoor not only helped fundraise World Vision Team, he has also promoted the ChangeTheWorld campaign during this marathon by talking to young participants and empowering and motivating them to volunteer. What is truly remarkable about Harnoor’s achievement is the extent to which everything has been carried out by children, for children.
As his message is clear, “age is not a barrier to volunteering’, so, from 8 to 18 years old he helped out in India and China, and from all over the world through Facebook. He has mobilized millions of young people in his quest to help those in need, and is proving that children can be change makers, taking a stand for what they believe in, and making things happen.
Change The World is an Ontario Youth Volunteer Challenge. It is a six-week campaign with a goal to get high school students to volunteer in their community. The 2016 campaign will kick off during National Volunteer Week in April. This campaign has successfully completed seven years!
Youth can get the volunteer hours you need for graduation, build their resume and expand job opportunities. They can learn or develop new skills and meet new people. While learning about your community, you can identify your abilities and interests—what can you do, what do you enjoy doing? As per the Government of Ontario, more than 140,200 students have participated volunteering over 643,740 hours in their communities since 2008. Great news is that in 2014, a total of 39,500 high school youth volunteering over 209,650 hours in their communities!
Harnoor’s work for Ontario’s Change The World campaign is a pathway to many youth. His volunteering journey started for this campaign before he actually needed it. He was in grade 7 when he learned about this campaign and took no time to rethink and just started to volunteer and engage other youth to promote and support youth through his articles and appearance on Rogers TV. Children and young people in the Ontario have all been inspired by his example, supported and guided by his expertise. Now just 17, Change The World, volunteer champion for the past six years, Harnoor has achieved all this as a schoolboy.
Let’s celebrate our local volunteer virtuoso, Harnoor Gill who is an inspiration to many on this International Youth Day on August 12th!