Don’t miss out on this opportunity to empower Ottawa’s youth!

What do you think of when you remember your childhood? Those who are lucky reminisce on the blissful curiosity of youth which bears a variety of endless hobbies, dreams, opportunities and possibilities. However, for the 17 percent of youth in Ontario living below the poverty line, this is not the case. These individuals are burdened with financial insecurity and overwhelming responsibilities which inhibit their ability to pursue their interests and passions.

According to the government, although the marketplace offers new opportunities, many Canadians feel left behind due to the rapid increase in market complexity. These challenges are accentuated for those who lack the economic and educational resources to help navigate the financial and emotional obstacles of modern Canadian society.

ABOVE: Dancia Susilo, executive director of The Missing Link Project.

Dancia Susilo, the executive director of The Missing Link Project (TMLP), is no stranger to the weight of these challenges. According to Dancia, “I felt like I had no one. Kids shouldn’t feel the way I felt. They shouldn’t have to worry about the things I was worried about. Alas, sometimes life pushes us in that direction. I hope that by working for The Missing Link Project, I could help that little girl in me and the thousands of others in the same situation as I was.” Fueled by determination and compassion, TMLP bridges these gaps, ensuring Ottawa's children (ages 12-18) have the tools to succeed in the future and are able to embrace their youth.

TMLP employs a vast variety of literacy programs to uplift and nurture their community to excel physically, mentally and financially. The fitness programs offer after school-sports, group exercise classes, fitness fundamentals and muscular anatomy. These activities are necessary to reduce stress, improve nutrition, ensure a healthy life and navigate dangerous and stressful environments. Furthermore, business and financial literacy build skills such as balancing cheque books, finding savings, starting a for-profit business and completing taxes. TMLP also provides kids with the tools to acknowledge and process extreme emotions through yoga classes, mindfulness meditation and EMDR therapy. This equips children in high-risk or abusive situations to heal and thrive.

The future of Ottawa’s youth cannot be secured without the support of the city itself. Volunteers are needed to help fundraise, plan events, research and raise awareness. Funds are necessary to support the implementation of educational development and will cover administrative costs and marketing materials.

Whether these are areas of your strengths or an opportunity to gain important experiences, TMLP is happy to provide training, guidance, community hours and reference letters. If these goals are met, TMLP’s services can expand to transform the lives of individuals ages 18-25. TMLP’s array of support and tools gives people hope that being born into poverty does not define them or their future.

If you are interested in joining the formation of Ottawa’s youth by supporting TMLP, you can email or join the mailing list to keep in the loop by contacting (spam free). To donate, please click here.

For more information, visit TheMissingLinkProject.

Header photo: Pexel