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How youth are handling the COVID-19 pandemic: Sven's story

Written by: Suki Chhoeun (Program Manager at Red Fox Healthy Living Society) and Captain Scott Legacy Society

Date: February 21, 2022

Meet #EverydayHero Sven:

Sven Chen, a youth in the tenth grade, decided to volunteer to lessen the burden of the pandemic on his life. Sven, who is passionate about recreation and land stewardship, shared that the Red Fox Healthy Living Society’s Seed Generation program really helped him through a very dark time during the height of the pandemic back in September 2020.

Sven thought that the future wasn’t bright for him, and felt low and unmotivated. He lacked confidence and direction. Then, he found the Seed Generation program. The program engages youth to volunteer, build connections with the land through land stewardship, learn about native plants (i.e. identification, ecology, food as medicine, and restoring wildlife habitat). Introduced by his friends, Sven was most intrigued by the program because it provided traditional teachings from Indigenous elders and included recreational adventures.

With the Seed Generation program, he had an opportunity to give back to his own community. This inherently brought back light into his life. He was making a difference, encouraging and leading children to be healthy and active. In addition, his work in the garden was allowing others in the community to benefit from the foods that were grown, and teas and salves that were made.

He recalls, “Volunteering made a big difference in my life because during the pandemic I had no clue what to do and didn’t want to play games all day. Volunteering guided me through the pandemic and it also allowed me to still socialize and make new friends.”

On the ways in which volunteering has changed him, Sven says, “I’m proud to say that I learned many skills because it changed me for the better. Now, I can say that I know how to better interact with youth and how to adapt to [their individual] needs.” In Sven’s case, synergy was created through his volunteering: Saving the planet was a way for him to care for the ecosystem of his own wellbeing.


Meet Red Fox Healthy Living Society:

Red Fox’s role as an organization is to support youth in gaining employment training

opportunities. At after school programs throughout Metro Vancouver, youth help

deliver free cultural and recreation activities to children and families. Youth have

additional opportunities to grow their leadership abilities; they can attend different

leadership workshops to help them gain knowledge and skills that enable them to be positive leaders and role models in their communities.

Find out more about them here:

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