Hands, Heart, and Hope, also known as H3, is a social justice group from R.D. Parker Collegiate working towards positive local and global change. The students involved in this group are champions of human rights, mental health education and women empowerment.
This year our students have been involved in many local and global initiatives. Working with Free the Children, H3 chose to focus on the water pillar for their global action this year and donate funds to build a well in Haiti. Free the Children created an international development model that addresses the five primary causes of poverty with holistic and sustainable solutions that work in tandem to transform communities. This program is called WE villages. WE Villages’ five pillars are: education, water, health, food and opportunity. Each pillar is a critical component in breaking the cycle of poverty. Clean water isn’t a luxury, it’s a basic human right. But millions of people around the world don’t live near a reliable, clean water source or have access to sanitary washing facilities, leaving them at risk of illness and deadly disease. Improving access to clean water is one of the most crucial and quickest ways to lift a community out of poverty. It reduces illness, allows girls to go to school (girls are generally tasked with retrieving the family’s water) and leads to better agriculture and access to food (https://www.we.org/we-villages/water/).
For the 2016-17 school year, H3 also focused on several local initiatives. H3 collected over 2,000 lbs of food for the Thompson food bank and continued to collect food until the end of the school year. They also collected over 80 toys for the Salvation Army local toy drive. During the Christmas holidays, H3 delivered hot chocolate and food to the homeless. H3 also spent time making blankets for the Thompson Crisis Centre. Other action campaigns included We Are Love and We Are Silent. The We Are Love campaign posted messages of love and encouragement around the school for over 1,000 students. The We Are Silent campaign focused on issues like child labour, child soldiers and access to water and education, which drown out the voices of youth across the world. Our students took a vow of silence for a day to better understand what it’s like to have your voice go unheard. They fundraised over $500 for this campaign.