About Hope For Community Development
Hope for Community Development is a youth-focused non-profit organization registered with the Canadian government. We are governed by a volunteer board of directors and supported by incredible full time staff members and a dedicated part-time staff and volunteers. Our programming meets the needs of hundreds of Black and newcomer youth in the Kitchener-Waterloo area.
We work with marginalized youth and families to impact transformational change through education, programming, and workshops. Through empowering Black and newcomer families and youth with programming and support, Hope for Community Development works to break the cycle of poverty that Black and newcomer families face in Waterloo region. We take direct action to empower Black, newcomer, and refugee children, youth, women and single-parent families by providing a spectrum of services and supports that create positive pathways to development and community integration.
Our aim is to unearth opportunities for marginalized people irrespective of their past experiences, family’s financial situation, or barriers faced - such as institutionalized racism. By creating learning activities, leadership opportunities, courses, community events and fundraisers to support individuals in need, Hope for Community Development sets marginalized youth and families up for success in school, our community and society.
At Hope for Community Development, we are working together to build a strong and united community for all. Hope for Community Development was founded in 2018 to create a space where everyone is empowered with the means to be successful and give back to society, across Canada and West Africa.
Since incorporated in 2020, the organization has grown its scope of impact and activities every year. Hope for Community Development has been governed by a powerful and committed staff and a dedicated Board of Directors to further engage community leaders for the advancement of the organization’s mission.
Highlights of Hope for Community Development’s journey over the years includes supporting over 500 children, youth, women, seniors, newcomers, and families to recognize their abilities and fulfill their dreams, turning the entrepreneurship program from an idea into a leading program for change in Kitchener, assisting other developing nonprofits organization to grow, expanding programs into diverse activities such as mental health and professional skills, leveraging the support of exceptional partners, and bringing wisdom from global leaders to our community leaders.
Our Youth Entrepreneurship Program provides different types of tailored professional skills development and entrepreneurship programming streams to assist aspiring and established professionals enhance their capabilities, supporting their families, growing their businesses and professional initiatives, and further contributing to society. This program is specifically designed for youth who will start, grow or drive new ventures whether in a startup or inside a corporation.
The After School Homework Program helps newcomer black youth from grades 6 to 12 and their families in building self-confidence and school readiness for positive engagement in the education system. Our staff and volunteers work with program participants to put them on pathways to access post-secondary education. On the two days (Tues and Thurs) the program is running, participants must come prepared with their homework and assignments. Hope for Community Development intends to prepare participants for post secondary education and/or employment therefore, regular, punctual attendance for participants is required.
Our Sports and Recreation Programs are created to support healthy lifestyles, skill building, and social-emotional competencies for black youth in grades 6-12 and into early adulthood. Through participation in meaningful physical activity and creative arts, youth learn strategies to overcome challenges, build relationships and make healthy choices. All programs are free and we support accessibility concerns through supplying bus tickets or coordinating car pooling to on-site programs. The Youth Basketball Program and
Youth Soccer Programs are co-ed programs led by committed facilitators and volunteers promoting the qualities needed to live a healthy lifestyle while supporting skill building for newcomer and marginalized black youth from the ages of 10-29. The programs help attendees develop basketball and soccer skills in a non-competitive environment through use of scrimmages, skill based training, and team building activities aimed at encouraging healthy self-esteem & positive social interaction. We also host an Online Youth Health and Fitness Program which is designed to promote the qualities needed to live a healthy lifestyle, including skill building and social-emotional competencies for black children and youth in grades 3-12. The program gives attendees the opportunity to participate in meaningful physical activity and mindfulness exercises from the comfort of their home. In this program, participants learn strategies to overcome challenges, build relationships and social confidence, as well as make healthy choices. The Youth Art Program is an exploration of art through creative self reflection using different art mediums such as photography, pottery and painting for youth from the ages of 5-29. The program is built to help attendees develop and apply creative process to produce a variety of two and three-dimensional art works, using elements, principles, and techniques of visual arts to communicate feelings, ideas, and understandings.
Pathways to Employment provides marginalized newcomer youth ages 14- 29 with guidance geared at those facing uncertainty about career and job-related decisions. This program also supports individuals in the work force looking to pivot into different professions. Activities support youth job seekers from newcomers and members of Black and marginalized communities with a broad set of employment readiness activities, delivered as both individual coaching and support, and through group seminars. Topics include but are not limited to resume and portfolio building, interview skills and mock interviews, job search guidance, and preparation for success in the workplace.
The Summer Literacy Program is designed to assist participants from the age of 10 to 18 with strengthening their learning skills, working habits and increasing their language skills. We provide opportunities for children from grade 5 through grade 12 to develop reading and research strategies as well as targeted interactive writing exercises through games. Mentors in our program work with participants to identify literacy goals and bridge academic gaps to help struggling students. Many youth from newcomer, marginalized, immigrant and refugee communities are disadvantaged in developing literacy strategies due to their parents struggling with literacy in their native language, as well as English, and do not have the means to help their children with basic literacy skills. Most newcomer youth are placed in grades higher than their academic abilities and as a result, they struggle in school. This program aims to intervene and help youth fill literacy gaps while removing barriers to positive community engagement.
Student and Family Advocacy Supports provide culturally relevant, community-based advocacy and system navigation for Black and newcomer students ages 12-29 and families in Kitchener-Waterloo, including educational advocacy and mediation, and assistance in engaging with government agencies and the Canadian systems. We provide program participants with advocacy support through educational advocacy and mediation information, website navigation assistance, and assistance with government application forms like OSAP, City Housing, and Immigration documents.
Through Women's Empowerment Programming we empower women to build and leverage their personal brands and unique value. We encourage women in leadership and promote the professional growth, financial, and emotional wellbeing of women. This includes strengthening the capacity of single mothers in self-reliance and self-help and in creating opportunities for development and growth for herself and her children.
Our Food Hamper Program is specifically designed to assist people living in the region of Kitchener-Waterloo who struggle to feed themselves and their families daily. We are here to make food accessible to those who struggle with food insecurity. Food hampers contains 4-7 days’ worth of food and may be accessed once every calendar month, e.g., if you receive a hamper in August, you are next eligible for a hamper in September, if there are seven days between visits. Hampers include a mix of fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, and dry and canned goods. Cultural and dietary needs are considered. Baby food, diapers and personal hygiene items are also distributed when available.