Two local nonprofits work with young people to fight violence

The Camel Project announced its partnership with the Youth Volunteer Corps of Reading to address violence in the Berks County area through the new Human & Kind youth initiative.

Seeing a need to better understand what young people in the community are going through, The Camel Project approached the YVC to organize a group of young people from across Berks to meet monthly and share their ideas on what adults should do and what they need adults to stop doing, to solve the problem of violence and aggressive behavior in the area. This group of young people chose the new name of the program, Human & Kind.

For its first project, the Human & Kind group assembled motivational machines this week at the Youth Volunteer Corps of Reading office in the Goggle Works.

Like chewing gum dispensers, these mobile devices will broadcast positive affirmations available to anyone in need of support, young and old alike.

In addition to the interactive Motivation Machines display, a message board will allow youth and adults to leave a positive note for someone who needs to hear something positive.

The locations of the motivational machines will be rotated among area schools and service agencies. The project is youth-led; Human & Kind members will create the affirmations and logos and monitor the displays in their school.

“Our two organizations are stronger together and both need to understand what young people want from adults for their emotional well-being. We wanted to do something to improve what is already happening in our schools and youth organizations with a focus on emotional support,” says Pam Gockley, executive director of The Camel Project.

“We need to help young people and adults balance their emotions and mental well-being with positive thoughts, experiential activities and social support,” she added.

The Camel Project’s mission is to help communities, including schools, organizations and individuals, change the culture of violent and unacceptable behaviors that lead to trauma and abuse.

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