A Mission woman is hoping to bring more than just her tireless energy to at-risk youth in Colombia when she visits on a volunteering trip in June.
Upon completing her kinesiology degree at the University of the Fraser Valley this spring, Kaitlyn Singh plans to head to South America to tour Peru and then volunteer at a sports program in Cartagena, Colombia.
But beyond participating in a sports development program for youth in the coastal Colombian city, the Mission secondary grad of 2010 wants to make a lasting contribution to the charities she’s working with. To do so, Singh is raising money, and has set a target of $1,500, which she hopes to use to purchase athletic equipment for the organizations.
“I love travel and I love to help out,” Singh said.
Working through International Volunteer Headquarters, Singh has arranged to volunteer with a program that aims to help children and youth in foster homes or who are dealing with addictions.
The program run by Emerging Voices tries to use sports – primarily soccer – to give the children a safe outlet beyond the world of gangs and drugs.
“It’s teaching health promotion and the benefits of health.
“That is completely in my alley. I love sport and I love fitness and health and I also like working with kids so it was my calling,” said Singh, who played volleyball and basketball in high school. She even joined a competitive jump rope team.
The program mainly has just soccer balls, but Singh wants to raise funds to purchase more equipment – including footballs, basketballs and uniforms – in Colombia, in collaboration with the program’s co-ordinators.
Her efforts already netted $200 in donations.
“They would love to introduce basketball and football down there, because they have the soccer balls already,” Singh said. “As limited as their equipment is, it would be fun and good for them to have other games.”
In Cartagena, Singh will be conducting classes as well as setting up and running games for the youth involved.
The aim, she said, is to get the kids “outside of the negative realm they’re in.”
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