The community celebration of Teesha Sharma's life will be held at Burnett Fellowship on March 10, Sunday, starting at 2:00 pm. The Burnett Fellowship have graciously offered to serve tea and coffee. We will also be grateful to those of you that would like to bring a small food item to share with the attendees, such as a snack or dessert item. If you would like more information, contact Christian at 604-463-2229.
20639 - 123 Ave., Maple Ridge, V2X 4B1
Bus route 743
Sunday, March 10
2:00 pm to 4:30 pm
Bonding and Bridging the Key to improving Social Ills
George Monbiot is one of the rare journalists that delve into the heart of matters and do their research before setting words to the page. As such, he is continually reflecting modern society back to itself and pointing toward the underlying causes of its woes and the sometimes obvious and sometimes obscure solutions that some of our brighter lights have devised. Monbiot writes for the Guardian, a United Kingdom based newspaper. While many of his columns are written in the context of the UK, they are often applicable to other Western nations and even global audiences at times. In books and articles, he often addresses the topics of climate change, rewilding and government malaise.
On January 24, 2019, the Guardian published his article entitled Mutually Assured Salvation (https://www.monbiot.com/2019/01/28/mutually-assured-salvation/), which tells how one of London's poorest and socially challenged boroughs (municipality in local BC terms) in just one year has engaged more than 2,000 of its citizens to improve the circumstances of themselves and their town. Being Monbiot, he also shows how other places can employ their methods and principles. Places like Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows and other BC municipalities should take note.
He reports that the state took over many parts of social welfare in the mid-part of the last century, often to good effect. He characterizes this as top-down protection. But when austerity measures inevitably resulted in the withdrawal of those services at the end of the century, not only did the citizenry loose the services, they also lost their bottom-up resiliency, the ways in which society traditionally took care of itself.
"The best antidote to the rising tide of demagoguery and reaction is a politics of belonging, based on strong and confident local communities" suggests Monbiot. "Those who study community life talk about two kinds of social network: bonding and bridging. Bonding networks are those created within homogeneous groups. While they can overcome social isolation, they can also foster suspicion and prejudice, while limiting opportunities for change. Bridging networks bring people from different groups together. Research suggests that they can reduce crime and unemployment and, by enhancing community voice, improve the quality of government."
Monbiot writes how the Participatory City Foundation researched a set of common principles for successful community
projects and set up a five-year experiment called Every One, Every Day, to explore how to create bridging networks. It involved simple projects with high visibility in physical locations, such as two storefronts that serve as meeting spaces for discussions and projects. They are run on principles of inclusiveness and seek to "attract talent rather than meet particular needs. They are also opening maker spaces furnished with laser cutters, tools, sewing machines and kitchens. The citizens that gathered there immediately sectioned off a childcare area and overcame a major barrier to female participation in new businesses, the lack of affordable daycare. Consequently, they have spontaneously created numerous businesses and projects, many of them inspired and led by women.
"There are welcoming committees for new arrivals to the street, community potluck meals, cooking sessions and street lunches. There’s a programme to turn boring patches of grass into community gardens, play corners and outdoor learning centres. There’s a bee school and a chicken school (teaching urban animal husbandry), sewing and knitting sessions, places for freelance workers to meet and collaborate, computing and coding workshops, storytelling for children, singing sessions, a games cafe. A local football coach has started training people in the streets. There’s a film studio and a DIY film festival, tuition for spoken word poets and a scheme for shutting streets so that children can play after school. Local people have leapt on the opportunities the new system has created."
In just one short year, people that were previously alienated by their neighbourhoods and seeking opportunities to leave have started to express the desire to stay and are increasingly comfortable with diversity that makes up their neighbourhood because they have opportunities to meet each other.
Here in Canada, our own area of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows is no stranger to the strains posed by the collapse of top-down social protection and the loss of the traditional village rally around a cause, due to the well documented shift in social conventions, reduced family cohesion and the new economic paradigms of the digital age. It can be directly observed by the hate speech toward homeless people and people suffering from mental health challenges and addiction emanating from people themselves one pay cheque away from the street. If we were to create a local version of the Every one, Every Day program, we would likely start to heal these rifts and re-learn the community resilience that once characterized many communities, or communities within communities.
What we now need is a champion to serve as the catalyst. Are you that champion?
We are pleased to announce the upcoming launch of Get Curious in January 2019. The parent support group will provide a space to network with other people supporting youth with mental health challenges and learn about new approaches. The monthly gathering will feature a round table check-in and then delve into specific topics. The group will be facilitated by Teesha Sharma and Christian Cowley, who offer a similar support group for youth experiencing anxiety, depression and other mental health issues.
The Get Curious group will meet on the second Wednesday of the month from 7-9 pm at the CEED Centre Neighbourhood House. Contact us at 604-463-2229 or firstname.lastname@example.org for your free registration.
We are so pleased to celebrate the recognition of our very own Teesha Sharma as the first Maple Ridge Citizen of the Year Under 40 for her tireless volunteer efforts to aid homeless youth in our community. At the annual fundraiser, the Maple Ridge Community Foundation (MRCF) also recognized Dr. Biju Mathew as the 2018 Citizen of the Year for Lifetime Achievements from among amazing finalists Julie Koehn and Kim Dumore. This year marks the first that the MRCF has drawn attention to a younger set of outstanding citizens, including youth under 19. Eight-year-old marvel Ryder Moore was singled out for his Ryder Rainboots campaigns and other work, which he initiated with the help of his family at age six. The two finalists alongside him were Gurleen Goraya and Marlowe Evans, who have also already racked up impressive records as teenagers.
Teesha was nominated because she assists youth in our community every single day and night. While she uses her work day to improve the mental health of youth from all walks of life, she dedicates her free time after work to supporting homeless youth that lack any other form of support. Many are subject to human trafficking and exploitation.
Teesha is profiled in a video commissioned by the MRCF. Some of her motivation for helping youth day and night was revealed when she said "to be the worker that I always wanted myself, and create services that are barrier-free, the ones that a youth doesn't need anything to access."
The CEED Centre Society is proud to have the volunteer efforts of Teesha more broadly recognized in the community. She was a nominated finalist previously for the YMCA's Power of Peace award. She is one of the founding youth supporters of the Youth Wellness Centre and is playing key roles in the creation of Foundry, a one-stop, wrap-around service hub for youth. Despite having a diagnosis of PTSD from years of abuse as a youth, which makes it challenging to appear in large groups of people, Teesha is a regular contributor to provincial and even international mental health conferences, sharing her knowledge of youth-friendly approaches for service providers, including sensitive issues such as self-harm and suicide.
Teesha is currently spearheading the campaign to create a youth safe house system for B.C. While a limited number of youth shelters are in place, there are no safe houses in undisclosed locations in which a youth under 18 or younger can remain in safety 24/7. And Maple Ridge youth do not have access to a shelter anywhere closer than 35 km away. Together, we can change this.
That organic apple you seek from a local farm can be costly for the producer to grow because organic standards are very strict and the inputs to make the soil healthy can start to add up using conventional approaches. About 30 years ago, Han Kyu Cho in Korea became alarmed at the methods that conventional farms were adopting and concerned that organic methods were out of the reach of too many farmers and consumers.
So he set about researching and developing low-cost methods of organic farming, creating the Korean Natural Farming system in the process. His son, Youngsang Cho, carried on with the mission and eventually developed the JADAM Organic Farming system, which is employed widely in Korea. After debating the merits of keeping the secret within their own nation to provide a competitive edge, they decided to share with the world their research, systems and methods for making "indigenous" inputs.
Here in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada, we are fortunate to have their compatriot, Rei Yoon, as a fully qualified instructor of the JADAM philosophy and methodology. When he is not jetting around the world to introduce JADAM methods to solve agricultural issues in places as far flung as Hawaii, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Australia, he teaches JADAM essentials in a two-day workshop series at our CEED Centre Neighbourhood House. This Spring, he will offer the series on April 28 and May 5, two successive Saturdays, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Register here. The cost is only $60 for 14 hours of instruction. The location is subject to change if the class size exceeds 15 people. Register early to ensure your seat.
The CEED Centre Society has a purpose for engaging in all three of what are commonly referred to
as the pillars of society-- environmental preservation, social development and economic development.
While we salute the many organizations that have a more selective and focused approach, such as the stewardship environmental organizations and the economic development agencies, we believe it beneficial for society to have some organizations that work on the community as a whole.
That is why we try to engage in programs and services that integrate more than one aspect of life. Our newest set of programs, for example, will help the environment by providing a low carbon footprint means of dealing with organic waste while creating new jobs for youth that have experienced homelessness or mental health issues, thereby benefiting economic and social development. These programs will involve the youth transporting compost from offices and restaurants on an electric cargo tricycle, which we hope to model in our community as an environmentally friendly means of transporting goods and performing services.
We hope you will stay tuned to this space to see how we roll out these programs over the next few months.
Our mission is to connect people to their community and to spread knowledge of how we can live so that all beings can thrive. We are grateful to the volunteers and funding organizations that make this possible.
As the year comes to a close, we would like to thank all of the generous people who support our programs and services by participating in them or by donating time, money and thought to them. Our youth outreach programs, in particular, have received outstanding support from so many private citizens and businesses. The youth appreciate the kind thoughts behind the expressions of support.
The members of the CEED Centre Society met on October 25th at our 33rd Annual General Meeting to elect their directors for the 2017-18 term. We are pleased to announce the addition of Martin Dmitrieff to the Board for a full term after serving since May as an interim appointee. Martin works as an educator in Maple Ridge. Together, the seven directors represent a diverse set of skills, experience and knowledge that will greatly contribute to the Society's accomplishments over the next year. The directors will decide upon the officer roles at the first Board meeting in November.
This year, the Board is privileged to benefit from an advisory panel comprised of local funders who have agreed to attend the monthly Board meetings. We feel fortunate to have such a personal commitment from busy members of the corporate community.
2017-2018 Board of Directors
Tweets from Executive Director Christian Cowley