This past month, Vancouver had its first university THINKfast at St. Patrick’s Parish. The event was organized in collaboration with Catholic Christian Outreach (CCO), a pan-Canadian university student movement dedicated to evangelization. The event was planned with the help of CCO students from the University of British Columbia (UBC) and Simon Fraser University (SFU).
THINKfast is a 25-hour educational and fundraising fast that is a fun and engaging way for youth and young adults to participate in an interactive learning experience. It helps participants better understand the challenges of poverty and injustice, in a concrete way, all while fundraising for Development and Peace partners in the Global South.
During the THINKfast, CCO students learned about Development and Peace, they studied Catholic Social Teaching, and they participated in KAIROS’ blanket exercise to build their awareness of the history lived by Canada’s Indigenous Peoples.
Jeremy Joseph, a young professional in Vancouver, and participant at this event shared that, “THINKfast provided a great insight into Catholic Social Teaching and raised awareness on the needs of the most vulnerable in the Global South, as well as those here in Canada.”
This Vancouver event is just one of many THINKfasts that are currently being held across the country in support of Development and Peace’s Share Lent Campaign.
Youth Ambassadors, the student staff team employed by Development and Peace, are supporting youth members, schools, students and teachers in their regions to promote and carry out THINKfasts.
When these Youth Ambassadors reflect on what they find to be the most engaging components of this fundraising program, they often comment on how the ice breakers, games and activities are based on social justice and involve audience participation, which makes THINKfasters active participants in their own learning.
“The part that really stands out is when you do an activity and the youth feel the emotions that are related to their sense of loss of power, loss of control and real unfairness. They react passionately. This can be a realization that what they are experiencing in the game is an actual reality for others in our world,” said Tashia Toupin, a Youth Ambassador in Regina.
THINKfast has become the one of the most well-known programs for youth and young adults at Development and Peace. Often, many years later, we will hear long-time active members tell us that it was THINKfast which brought them to Development and Peace!