Wake Up Surrey tackling gang violence with three summer programs

Group also plans unveil ‘one year action plan’ at City Hall today

A Surrey grassroots movement aiming to find long-term solutions to stop gang violence on the city’s streets is planning to unveil a “one-year action plan” as well as launch three summer program intended to steer youth away from crime.

“Wake Up Surrey is a working group of parents and concerned citizens who are venturing on a new path,” said organizer Harjit Singh Gill.

Gill said the volunteers have agreed to dedicate their “time and energy for one year, $1, with no direct or indirect conflict of interest and no political ambition in an effort to help save our youth.”

Fellow organizer Gurpreet Sahota said three pilot summer programs, supported by the Surrey School District, City of Surrey, Surrey RCMP and Surrey Crime Prevention Society, will be up and running in a few weeks.

“At the end of the day, we as parents understand the need to step forward, be a part of the solution and we hope these proactive announcements will demonstrate our commitment to join hands with existing stakeholders to reduce gang violence.”

READ ALSO OUR VIEW: To make Surrey safer from gang violence, we all must play our part

READ ALSO: Rally aims to get Surrey’s leaders ‘off their behinds’ to make city safer from gangs

Project Seva, defined as “selfless service,” will see three local gurdwaras collaborate with the Surrey School District Wrap program provide free lunch to the homeless three days a week.

The Youth Empowerment Mentoring Program, again in collaboration with the Wrap program, will see post-secondary school students “foster shared understanding and respect with at-risk youth while providing positive role models in building self-esteem and trust.

And a Community Safety and Student Mentorship Program will run until 2018, thanks to fundraising efforts from Wake Up Surrey.

Mayor Linda Hepner said she commends Wake Up Surrey’s efforts.

“Their suggestions and initiatives not only complement and align with the work of the Mayor’s Task Force on Gang Violence, but they have also helped to galvanize the community into action.”



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

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