‘Pakistani in Vancouver Meet and Greet Team’ is a group of talented and devoted ladies. Our mission is to empower and inspire new immigrant families and individuals, help them build connections to make informed and valuable choices.
We have organized three events since April 2017, to reach out to the immigrants and help them solve their problems and concerns. This time the intent was to address one of the biggest menaces faced by the society of today i.e. Substance Abuse in the youth .This vice is on the rise thus making it important to bring awareness of its causes and signs and how to seek advice and treatment.
The program was held on October 28 at Strawberry Hill Library in Surrey “Drug addiction and prevention among teenagers” was the topic offered.
We had three amazing speakers. The first speaker was Dr Mah-i-Laqa Rafiq, she is also part of our team of volunteers, she presented the current statistics about substance abuse within Lower Mainland.The most astonishing facts stated by her was the high percentages of youth who try marijuana at ages as young as nine.
The next speaker was Ms. Kiran Toor who is the Vice President of Kids Play Foundation, a nonprofit organization working towards keeping kids away from the lifestyle of drugs, gangs, and violence. She described the various activities organized by KidsPlay to keep kids away from drugs, gangs and violence. She encouraged the youth to get involved with the organization and reap the benefits.
The last speaker of the day was Kabir Qurban who shared his personal perspective about mental health challenges faced by immigrant youth. He made it possible for all to relate to this very serious topic often treated as a taboo, the kids got very much involved. Afterwards, a question and answer session was held. Dr. Babra Rana, a psychiatrist and Ms. Sonia Andhi, a youth counselor also participated and shared their insight on the topic. A short quiz with prizes was also held to test the knowledge of the kids. The event was a huge success as a high number of youth were in attendance and were fully engaged in all the talks. The event was made possible with the generous support of the neighborhood small grant by Vancouver Foundation and Solo Pizza for which the organizers are extremely thankful.

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