YRYO aims to create healthy communities where youth are fully engaged and are equal participants.
YRYO is an organization that is committed to creating healthy communities by increasing the life chances of youth. We will do this through the provision of empowering programs and services that are youth-driven, inclusive, and accessible.
It is our philosophy that youth facing exclusion, marginalization, and other forms of systemic oppression have the capacity and potential to best determine how to face their challenges and achieve their goals. We also believe that activities such as sports and recreation can serve as unique opportunities to connect further with new Canadians and that collaborating with nationally informed organizations is a best practice for improving services locally. Therefore, YRYO and our partners are committed to involving youth and new Canadians in meaningful ways.
This commitment goes beyond the provision of services to incorporate youth and families within the actual delivery of services and the organization’s ongoing development. Youth are endowed with the knowledge, tools, support, and transferable skills they need to actively participate in their schools and civic society; their families are enabled to become volunteers and local leaders; and together we foster healthier, welcoming communities where youth and new Canadians are fully engaged and equal participants.
Markham’s Immigrant population has recently grown by more than 100 percent; more than any other municipality in York Region. Added to this, more than 30 percent of those new immigrants live in low-income households. There has been enormous growth in the East Asian, Southeast Asian, and South Asian populations. In South Markham, visible minorities now make up more than 60 percent of the population. Many of these recent immigrants do not speak English; more than 10 percent, have no knowledge of either of Canada’s official languages. This is the highest percentage among all York Region municipalities.
Many of these families require help to overcome long-term barriers to participating both socially and economically in society. This makes it hard for these parents to be able to afford recreational, arts, community, or sports programming for children. York Region Youth Outreach Association recognized a need to provide youth and children in the largely immigrant populations of Markham the opportunity to participate in youth-friendly sports, arts, community, and recreational activities.