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ACT YES: Advocacy Culture Towards Youth Engagement Success – ACT YES August 13, 2014

Posted by KDA in art, Canadian Diversity, community engagement.

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ACT YES – Advocacy Culture Towards Youth Engagement Success – is a program initiative of DreBu that extends support and mentoring of any youth-led initiatives or groups that work towards social justice and development of youth communities in Toronto (Canada) and in Tibetan Diaspora world-wide.

HISTORY: How it all began?

It all started one late spring day (May 2013), when a youth (Merve Younussi) from Parkdale, Toronto approached Kalsang (DreBu’s Founder and Chair) to assist her with an idea for a fund raiser to help her with “Me to We ” trip she was undertaking over the summer to help build a school in India with a group of other Canadian youth.

Some of her peers and good friends, many of whom were Tibetan Canadians  were willing to help her, which all led to the idea of starting our first youth-led initiative where they engaged in the culture of sports and the art of designing T-shirts.  As a result, a girls basketball team was formed, T-shirts were hand-painted for the team by the youth members as part of a small project facilitated and directed by Kalsang. Kalsang personally produced 26 hand-pained T-shirts for the fundraiser sale, conducted at the 2013 Lungta Basketball Tournament held in Parkdale.

About 15 youth participated in learning the craft of T-Shirt designing; playing in the Basketball Tournament (Lungta Event)  as the only girls “exhibit team”, to help promote our project and support the tournament. 15 youth worked hard for one month contributing over 100 hours in making this small project a great success. Their  advocacy in support of their peer through engagement in the community arts and youth sports culture resulted in the outcomes of gaining new life/employability skill sets and contributing funds ($150) for Merve’s trip.

This first event of ACT YES initiative (May to June 2013) became our modest official launch! Enjoy the photo album here.

ACT YES Projects

Since its’ inception in 2013, the program has focused on youth engagement  and youth leadership’s role in our society. DreBu supports and mentors youth-led groups and projects using an experiential learning model that ensures successful community engagement. Youth advocate for positive outcomes through a diverse range of need-based relevant projects that provide skills development opportunities and positive socio-economic outcomes for youth 13 to 30.

The program has engaged directly with over 500 youth with outcomes that included, youth resiliency and leadership to civic engagement and tobacco prevention.

ACT YES Youth-focused & Youth-led Projects:

  1. Youth Action Team Against Violence (YATAV) – July 2014 to Current

YATAV is a youths’ collective voice and action for violence prevention and vibrant communities. All youth 15 to 30 members who participates in DreBu’s programs are invited as members of the group to support or join the projects of ACT YES program.

  1. Youth Engagement in Politics (YEP) – 2014 to 2015

YEP focuses on youth civic engagement and advocacy works in raising awareness around the importance of our participatory democracy to bring about creative solutions to tackle the important issues. Two events – a civic educational event on Canadian political system and Ward 14 MP Debate (live broadcasted)  –  were organized by YEP project in the wake of two elections (2014 Toronto Municipal Elections and 2015 Federal Elections) supported by Laidlaw Foundation’s pop-up grants

  1. Youth BRIC Project – December 2014 to May 2015

The Youth BRIC (Building Resilience from Immigrant Challenges) Project is an immigrant- and youth-focused digital storytelling project supported by Canadian Council for Refugees – Youth Network Speak Up program

  1. CB STOPT – Nov 2015 to June 2016

A community-arts based tobacco prevention health advocacy project supported by Toronto Public Health’s IYE program

  1. TYPS Network – Toronto Youth Peer Support Network Program – Lauched in June 2016

TYPS Network program addresses the need for building a sustainable youth ­led and youth­ focused support group. The first project, TYPS Himalayan Network Project – June 2016 to July 2017 – is supported by Laidlaw Foundation’s youth -led community change grant.


To sign up for updates and become a member, join our mailing list by emailing “Add me for Updates – Membership” to drebu.org@gmail.com

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @DreBuMedia

© Copyrights 2013 – 2016 DreBu – All rights reserved.



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