A Year of Building Community: Christmas Greetings


ACCESS thanks supporters and recaps 2012 in annual year-end message

Throughout 2012, ACCESS has focused on building community. We have continued to update our structure and the skills of our team, build connections with local and international organizations, form partnerships, and design our programming to further benefit our local community.

The most significant announcement of 2012 was the news that ACCESS received funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation in an operations and programming grant to help the organization make a difference locally.

At the beginning of the calendar year, ACCESS recognized the second anniversary of Haitian Earthquake, reflecting our trip to Haiti and our work in the country.

Continuing to improve our local programming, ACCESS received a Youth in Action grant for our Arts for Change event, revamping the structure of the event to fully involve the community on multiple levels and successfully celebrating Community and Youth through the Arts. After several years, the Speak Up for Change website was re-designed and re-launched to better feature our growing collection of youth articles on positive change and various social issues.

In March, the community joined ACCESS in celebrating 6 years of positive change at Brampton's City Hall, with a speaker from the Ontario Trillium Foundation and great media coverage.

Our annual conference took on the theme Desire to Inspire: Youth Making a Difference for its fourth year, hosted during the ChangeTheWorld Ontario Youth Volunteer Challenge as part of National Volunteer Week 2012 and coinciding with Global Action Week, which this year focused on early childhood care and education.

After 6 years, ACCESS moved into its first official office, joining the Community Door. An exciting moment for ACCESS as a youth-run, non-profit organization, the office has helped us excel and grow so far, and ACCESS continues to be part of this passionate and positive network.

Extending our blog program from online to in-person, ACCESS launched a Speak Up for Change youth workshop series in the summer.

When the school year began in the fall, ACCESS celebrated Literacy and Peace on International Literacy Day, reminding the international community that literacy is a human right and the foundation of all learning. We also invited the community to attend ACCESS' Annual General Meeting in October, held at our new office. We had a special guest speaker from Haiti, Fr. Sauveur, who was visiting Canada at the time (a video of this event will be available online). A new year began for ACCESS U, our university chapters, and their website was re-launched at accessu.ca.

Taking us right to the end of 2012, ACCESS has planned Workshops on using Social Media for good, and is actively re-designing and planning our 5th Youth Making a Difference Conference with the theme, Community Challenge. Registration for schools, community groups, bloggers and more is open at YMAD.ca – we are excited to be hosting this at the University of Toronto Mississauga in February 20, 2013 on World Day of Social Justice.

Overall we have had an exciting year, with much more planned for 2013. We greatly appreciate your support! For all of our announcements this past year, visit accesscharity.ca/2012 as well as our Facebook Page and Twitter.

On behalf of the entire ACCESS team, best wishes to you this Holiday Season!

Daniel Francavilla, Founder & President ACCESS: Allowing Children a Chance at Education Educate. Empower. Inspire.