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[“Dreams of Hope flutter, sway, tickle your ears, Little One. Catch some and hold them dear, Little One.” Image from Dreams of Hope: a Bedtime Lullaby – Saffron Press.]

Before becoming completely enraptured by Summer’s gaze, can we talk about Little Ones and what Summer means to some of them?

Little Ones may be children we care for, or children in our neighbourhoods or Little Ones in our not-so-local communities.

School doors (which may also include meals) will soon close for Little Ones (and their older peers) in Canada. We’re often pushed into overdrive in June wondering about summer activities, vacations and camp opportunities. But let’s keep in mind that not all children have access to this abundance. Instead, many will face at least partial exclusion from participating in the communities in which they live.

1 in 7 people in Canada live in poverty.

23% of people with disabilities live in poverty.

1.3 million children in Canada are living in conditions of poverty.

1 in 2 are Status First Nations children.

More than 1/3 of food bank users across Canada were children in 2016.
[Statistics from Canada Without Poverty]

During the summer months, we need to continue our work as citizens of change. This is not the same as being charitable, it’s more about a sustainable consciousness. We cannot truly move ourselves ahead without holding up our communities in the process. Together, we have to strive for the prosperity of all – Sarbat da Bhalla – a more equitable community.

What can you do?

If you didn’t have a chance to create a Seva Bag for Vaisakhi, I hope you may consider making one now. (You can find the instructions in this post). It’s an activity that can scaffold conversations around what our commitment to social justice looks like in 2018 – how we can become citizens of change – while creating beautiful pieces of functional art and having fun! (Not to mention, taking a break from screen time).

I would love to see what your Little Ones (and cultivated helpers) create. Tag us @saffronpress on Instagram #sevabag #citizensofchange

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