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Child Witness Centre symposium shares message with students

Centre’s 2024 event reaches more than 3,000 local Grade 8 students and their teachers

The Child Witness Centre (CWC) held its 17th Annual Youth Symposium in Waterloo last week, its first since 2019.

The 2024 edition of this exciting and unique program was run over three days – from Tuesday, April 16 to Thursday, April 18 and welcomed more than 3,000 Grade 8 students and teachers from almost 50 schools in the area to Galaxy Cineplex Cinemas in Guelph (Day 1) and Waterloo (Days 2 and 3).

Students and teachers heard messages on a variety of important life topics, all in the spirit of spurring these youth onto great success in high school and beyond.

Presentation themes for the symposium included dreaming big, goal setting, working hard, anti-bullying, healthy dating, abstaining from drugs, resiliency, inclusion, personal accountability, and more. There was a significant focus on the physical, emotional, and mental health of students, as they prepare to begin high school. Students also learned how CWC can support them through the criminal justice system if they are ever a victim or witness of abuse or crime.

CWC recently began a “Child Victims Can’t Wait” large fundraising campaign to overcome their first ever waitlist in over 40 years of service.

The organization supports local young survivors of abuse and crime, and their families, from the time of investigation through to a court resolution.

Their goal is to reduce their clients’ trauma.

Last year alone, this organization supported over 1,000 child and youth victims in Waterloo Region, Guelph, and Wellington County – and that number doesn’t include those added to their waitlist.

"Anything that can be done to avoid harmful incidents from taking place in the first place, and thereby the need for CWC’s services, holds tremendous value."