Hope and Health for Life Society
Associations & Organizations
HOW IT BEGAN
The desire to come together in a positive and inspirational way with the children at the center was named by the Indigenous community through a feedback process conducted by Kw’umut Lelum in 2010. Too often the community was being brought together through tragedy, loss and injustice and this pattern of connecting in pain and despair needed to change.
With this feedback in mind, Executive Director of Kw’umut Lelum Family and Child Services Agency, William Yoachim, instigated the Hope and Health initiative to bring the community together in a positive way and engage and inspire the children and youth in care in an active, playful way. As an Aboriginal youth who overcame significant adversity, Bill himself credits his own involvement in sports as a kid with helping him develop both flexibility and resiliency that serves him well in life.
In honoring the Coast Salish love for soccer and for the Whitecaps FC team, Bill strategized with Ed Georgica (Whitecaps FC Head of Soccer Operations) and his wife Deana Gill-Georgica (a strategy/management consultant servicing KL at the time), on how best to realize the goals of the initiative within the context of a community-based event. After recruiting the soccer “SME” and head coach Jamie Merriman to the team, the concept was piloted in the summer of 2011 through an inaugural event in Nanaimo, BC in partnership with Kw’umut Lelum and the Whitecaps FC.