Do you want to help at-risk kids to better themselves and get gainful employment? Our Rotary club does, by supporting the PACT Urban Peace Program here in Etobicoke. Help for kids in need was the message of David Lockett, a founder of the program who spoke to us on May 26, at a joint meeting of our club and Parkdale-High Park Rotary.
Dave is a Charter member of the Parkdale club, and said that PACT grew out of Rotary’s “service above self” philosophy when he founded PACT’s predecessor organization many years ago. Dave described the PACT Build program, where kids, some in conflict with the law are taught job skills in painting and wallfinishing. The program runs on Saturdays in south Etobicoke. Students who finish a 6 week course as beginners can then get into an advanced class and ultimately have a chance to work alongside professionals in 2 companies associated with PACT. Many kids in trouble with the law have been diverted to meaningful employment and a peaceful and productive life this way. The program uses nurturing and confidence-building techniques to give teens a feeling of self-reliance.
PACT will soon be expanding its programs to Belleville, with the assistance of other Rotary clubs. At least 32 Rotary clubs now support PACT. Dave thanked John Hastings of our club in particular as a great supporter of PACT and its drive to establish connections with the Toronto school system. PACT’s mandate is consistent with our club’s vision to “ignite potential in youth”.
In support of PACT’s valuable work, Dave was presented with a financial contribution from our club and our thanks for the work being done.
Please, watch this short promo video below and also view more interesting videos at PACT’s YouTube page/