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On May 31, 2014, our small youth group held the fifth Engaging Neighbourhoods Initiative (ENI) event — Spring into Summer — at Sir James Douglas Elementary School after months of planning. ENI as a project was started in 2010, as a master thesis project aimed at engaging community members in their neighbourhood through youth involvement.
The event included fun-filled games and activities, prizes, entertainment, and multicultural food that everybody could enjoy. We received many compliments about our games – how creative, and engaging, they were. Parents, kids, and high school volunteers all alike played with each other! This year, we concentrated on organizing games that required teamwork or multiple players. To provide just a few examples, we featured Twister, a pudding eating contest, and a soccer relay game.
Our team of youth, outside of meetings, has also written grant applications, obtained community sponsorships and donations, and promoted our event through flyers and social media. Our flyers were posted in schools, libraries, and other public places; our Facebook posts about community events, blog posts, and fundraisers furthered our visibility. Moreover, we invited previous guests to our event who had left us their e-mail address on guest lists. We promoted our event through word of mouth with friends, families, and participants in community and after-school programs through South Vancouver Neighbourhood House and our partners.
Having more than 250 attendees from youths to adults for this event, the ENI youths will continue to plan community connection projects for the future. Follow our adventures at: https://southvancommunityproject.wordpress.com/, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/southvancommunityproject.