AN inspiration to many people, Gill has a lot to share. A grade 10 student at the Christ the King Catholic Secondary School in Georgetown, Ontario, that wants to convey his message that age is not a barrier to volunteering. He achieves this by sharing his own volunteer initiatives and projects to inspire youth worldwide.
Recently awarded with the International Diana Award at the age of just 15, Harnoor will be speaking during the celebrations of National Child Day that is celebrated in Canada on November 20 to share his experiences and commitment. This allows him to influence others around him to make this world a better place and to make a difference in their community. He is so excited at the opportunity to join We Day and speak on stage at We Day Waterloo on November 20 at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium.
We Day (http://www.weday.com) is an annual youth empowerment event, organized by Free The Children. Since 2007, We Day has motivated youth to take action on local and global issues. We Day features speeches and performances from global leaders, social activists, artists, and public figures. Best of all, Gill is all set to join their line up this coming Wednesday!
“It was a like a dream, when I received an invitation to speak about the We Day in Waterloo! At the moment I was stunned and at first I couldn’t believe that I would be meeting incredible individuals and having a lifelong positive experience to give back to my community,” said Harnoor.
“Volunteering is an instinct to me,” he added with a big smile.
Many people want to change the world but they don’t get the chance to do it, so he utilizes his time and talent towards this opportunity to help people in need. After realizing the poverty issues facing people, he decided to help them through all the means around him. He took every single step to reach out for others in need throughout his initiative. Peace Welcome Club is his initiative which he founded at the age of 14 in February of 2012 and it’s now become a much larger community campaign.
As an immigrant to Canada, Harnoor has faced the challenges to settle down in Canadian culture as everyone else does. But as a youth, he didn’t see a lot around him that could inspire him to do something for the community.
“There were many adult-led volunteer projects but none of these were youth-led,” he noted.
So he came up with an idea to assist not only newcomer youth to Canada but the youth worldwide to help others and make positive changes in their communities.
“All of our projects including Book Drive, Jean Green Drive, Shoreline Clean Up, Go Zero waste, and NO Hungry Children are run by youth for youth,” said Harnoor.
He has successfully raised a tremendous amount of awareness of social issues such as poverty, youth, environment, literacy and biodiversity through his projects. On this upcoming Family Day, his club plans to promote family volunteering amongst families to appreciate the fun of volunteering together as a family.
“I’m willing to engage others in volunteering throughout the global community, mentoring my fellow peers to get involved in their neighbourhoods” is one of the top priorities on his things to do list.
Harnoor who started volunteering at a very young age, has through his early awareness and love for the humanity turned simple ideas into opportunities for the entire community.
“I shared my experiences through my writings, speaking engagements, public appearances and take every single moment to help someone in need. My message is simple and clear – if I can do it then you can do it too,” he said.
While living in Hong Kong, Harnoor’s family created a weekly hobby to volunteer at the community events when he was so young. The spark was ignited when he realized that giving back to the community is important.
“WE day is all about to inspire to help others and to those in need, and I would love to be a part of it,” said Harnoor.
During the first year of Peace Welcome Club, Gill donated more than 1,000 jeans in India. Since then, he has also led workshops in his community, demonstrating how to make a difference doing simple actions. He has also partnered with Willow Park Ecology Centre in his local area to arrange park clean-ups. His peers along with a number of community partners in Canada followed his idea by bringing youth ideas upfront and provided them with a platform to have their say in local volunteer projects.
In 2011, Harnoor was selected to attend the World Religion Day conference in Dunnville, Ontario, and he was one of the youngest speakers. Harnoor was able to demonstrate his commitment for peace building through ongoing creative and unique projects. He has also represented the Peace Welcome Club at a number of conferences both in Canada and abroad.
Harnoor participated in a number of campaigns, including the ‘Go Zero Waste’ campaign organized by the University of Oregon, to produce less waste in the U.S. and worldwide.
Supported throughout by his family and the community worldwide, this teenager is an inspiring example to all.
To learn more about Peace Welcome Club, visit this facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/PeaceWelcomeClub