The KidSafe Project was awarded with the Crime Prevention and Community Safety Award for a Community Organization at a ceremony on October 31 as part of the BC Crime Annual Training and Symposium. The award recognizes KidSafe's 22 years of providing safe environments, nutrition and support to some of Vancouver's most vulnerable young children.
"Our programming is guided by research from UBC and the field experience of our community policing partners. KidSafe recognizes that some of the fundamental indicators of whether someone is likely to participate in criminal activity is their own perceived sense of safety and access to the necessities of life: food, education, nutrition, and health care," said Gerhard Maynard, an Executive Director of The KidSafe Project. "What our communities have learned is that when these key support elements are accessible and present in the lives of children and youth, crime rates drop."
Based in East Vancouver, KidSafe provides meals, essential care and support to at-risk youth in six inner-city elementary schools, including Queen Alexandra, Admiral Seymour, MacDonald, Grandview/¿uuqinak'uuh, Florence Nightingale, and Mount Pleasant.
"The Kidsafe Project Society is a prime example of how working with vulnerable youth can make a difference. By providing these youth with a safe and supportive environment, as well as opportunities for them to develop, Kidsafe is laying the groundwork for their success and is contributing to the overall safety of the community," said MLA Amrik Virk.
Over 450 referred at-risk children annually participate in the program, which include developmental and recreational activities, nutritious meals, and a positive and safe environment under the supervision of caring adults. School break is traditionally a fun-filled and relaxing time that most children look forward to, but for at-risk children, it can be a time of loneliness, boredom, hunger and neglect. Because of continuing community support, government funding, generous donors, and tireless efforts of its volunteers, KidSafe is able to provide vulnerable children with the safety, inspiration and support they deserve to become healthy, contributing citizens.