Youth group campaigns for social awareness

January 11, 2024   ·   0 Comments


Young people are society’s future, and community groups like Youth Activists Inc. do much to support young people through various social campaigns.

To that end, Youth Activists Inc. (YAI) has produced five full-scale social campaigns that have reached 130,000 people in total. As many as 55,000 people across Canada have viewed videos produced by the group.

Dmytro Basmat, the group’s president, outlined some of the campaigns to Orangeville council on Jan. 8.

Founded in 2019, Youth Activists Inc. is a registered non-profit, non-partisan organization focused on advancing youth social advocacy campaigns in Dufferin-Caledon.

Through social awareness campaigns, YAI has always strived to advocate on behalf of issues that matter to young people.

“We have a young, vibrant team with various skill sets,” he said.

One of the organization’s board members, Julia Bertola, is the founder of Caledon Pride, which falls under YAI.

Since being established in 2019, YAI has been devoted to building up youth in our communities. Basmat said YAI took over operations of Che’s Place Youth Centre in Bolton in 2019. That was a community hub for people aged 12-15, aimed at providing more resources to young people.

That community youth organization was set up to honour the memory of a young person who was murdered in Caledon, Basmat said.

“Young people around him came together and created this youth centre in his honour,” he said. “We took it over and we welcomed in hundreds of young people into the centre by the time we ended our tenure.”

Their tenure ended with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“But another fantastic community group has come in and taken over the reins there,” he said.

YAI hosted candidate election debates during political campaigns, along with other endeavours such as community pumpkin walks to grow community spirit. Basically, they’ve created avenues by which youth issues and concerns could be elevated.

“In the midst of the COVID pandemic, we shifted our focus on running youth social advocacy campaigns and we continue to do this to this day,” Basmat said.

One of the biggest campaigns was to raise awareness of human trafficking. It was shared across Peel Region schools and municipal councils, he said. Other campaigns have been centred on solidarity with Ukraine during the war with Russia and a focus on the pandemic’s effects on mental health.

“We really started with smaller campaigns and then we grew into larger Peel Region and Dufferin campaigns, and we hope to expand on those in the coming days,” he said.

In fact, YAI works closely with the Celebrate Your Awesome group in Orangeville, which holds the annual Pride and Diversity Day in Dufferin County.

Ignorance Isn’t Bliss, a campaign to dispel misinformation about climate change and its denial, is set to launch in early 2024.

“We’re looking to dispel some myths about climate change,” Basmat said.

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