Kids Play Foundation and Wake Up Surrey: Annual Drug and Gang Forum

GANG activity, drugs and violence continue to be of great concern to the residents of Surrey. With over 200 shootings in the last three years, the community has seen an exponential increase in the drugs and gang violence epidemic since 2015. Furthermore, amidst a fentanyl crisis attributing to overdose deaths, a B.C. Coroners Service report states that Surrey is one of the three townships experiencing the highest number of illicit drug overdoses in 2018. The need for prevention and intervention programs remains incredibly high, say Kids Play Foundation and Wake Up Surrey.
In an effort to break the cycle, the two organizations are holding a Drugs and Gang Forum on Sunday, November 25, 12:30-3 p.m. at The Royal King Palace and Convention Centre in Surrey.
Jevan Dhaliwal is a youth volunteer with Kids Play who understands firsthand the importance of not going down the wrong path. “It is easy to get mixed up in the wrong crowd”, he says. “Kids want to fit in and I am determined to give them a safe place to belong to at Kids Play Foundation with Kal Dosanjh and the rest of our team. We just want to them to come out and see for themselves on the 25th.”
Following the opening remarks by Kal Dosanjh, Founder and CEO of Kids Play Foundation, and Gurpreet Sahota, member of Wake-up Surrey, four resilient speakers will share their own struggles and personal experiences as they battled drug and gang abuse.
The speakers are: Rob – a recovering drug addict, an engineer by profession; Shenan – ex-gangster and now life coach; Bilal – Muslim Association of BC and a former acquaintance of suspected gangsters; and Gurkirat- a recovered drug addict who now runs a recovery centre. Student participants of the Kids Play mentorship program at Green Timbers Elementary school will also speak about why drugs are a danger to them and their generation. The four speakers will form a panel at the end of the forum. Attendees will engage with each other on a number of topics, including on how to create and take part in change, how to identify behaviours attributed to a dangerous lifestyle in youth, and how to curtail these types of behaviours in our community.
A Stray music video by Abbotsford hip hop artist, Amrit Saggu that follows a young man as he’s seduced into the gang life, and a film by Paul Dhillon, “Targets,” on the ongoing violence will follow.
Lastly, a presentation by Steve Purewal from Indus media Foundation addressing Courage with Character – Heroes of the Past! What we can learn from Punjab’s WW1 Martial heritage.
Scholarships worth $1,000 will be awarded to students present on that day. No registration is required.