“ Life is beautiful”…. We’ve all heard the expression. Yet for many , without hope or opportunity, without respect or encouragement, with prejudice from others and a community with more that “don’t have” than “have”…. life is dark and a far cry from being beautiful. It is said that we are what we believe ourselves capable of being, but for many of our youth today there is no positive reinforcement nor optimistic view of the future, only darkness and despair. When there is darkness and despair and lack of guidance, wrong decisions are made and the ramifications of this affects everyone in the community. If our youth crime rate continues to rise and our youth drug and alcohol crisis continues at the rate of increase as in the last decade, then our taxes will rise in order to pay for detention, rehabilitation and homeless centres. Our reputation as a safe and harmonious holiday destination will diminish and our economic issues will fall into greater chaos. It doesn’t have to be this way, if we take action NOW.
NOBODY ELSE IN THE WORLD IS GOING TO ASSIST WITH THE CHALLENGES WE FACE ON OUR BEAUTIFUL ISLAND! IT’S UP TP US WHO LOVE IT AND ENJOY IT, TO HELP IT!
In 2013 I met a young man, at 18 years old, coincidentally he was the same age as my son. Our paths crossed and a conversation ensued. I believe up until this point I had existed in a complete bubble, ignorant and unaware of the pain and suffering that was being endured right under my nose. An hour and a half later I left enlightened and that young man left with a membership to a Martial Arts Gym. A year later that same young man had changed his life completely, returned back to education, was fit, healthy and without darkness in his eyes. A year later with hope and opportunity, with belief and a lot of positive reinforcement, there was just a twinkle in his eyes, a fabulous big smile and a future.
Others soon followed; others with the same dark look in their eyes and similar stories. Supported by an incredible team who share the passion and the vision to bring what we know works and make a difference to the many that are in need, the Shambhala Foundation became an official registered charity.
I have been blessed with many things in my life but with all sincerity I will tell you that the greatest gift of all has been seeing this magic unfold. We are just one centre with extremely limited resources but there are hundreds of youths out there that need and want a chance. I have been motivated and inspired by these incredible Shambhala Youths that I now call the Shambhala Warriors, as I have never seen such power and strength, such want and commitment regardless of the adversities of their lives. We have a vision of creating a larger self-contained centre and to be able to offer a wider range of education courses: languages, computer and social skills and to be able to accept any youth that has that darkness in their eyes so that they don’t need to make the wrong decisions or step onto the wrong path. We recognize in the wise words of Lao Tzu “ The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” but we sincerely hope that you will share in this vision. Please recognize the gift of making a difference and support us to make the vision a reality.