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Kinnections Program

The Kinnections Program connects Indigenous youth ages 16-19 years old to trained community volunteer mentors who can help youth to become confident and independent adults. Our goal is for mentors to become a youth's advocate, role model, and friend who will assist youth with goal setting and obtaining life skills necessary for adulthood. This unique relationship can form into long-term friendships to help support youth as they transition to living independently.

How Indigenous youth can benefit
- Youth can identify their own mentor, or we have mentors waiting for you. Your mentor can act as a friend and personal confidant, who will care for and respect you. You can do things together that will help you as you are becoming independent, such as apartment hunting, job, training or education search, help with budgeting, and referrals to other programs and services.

How social workers can benefit
- Our mentors are trustworthy reliable adults who can help youth to learn the lifeskills needed to successfully transition to independence. Mentors are trained in lifeskills, prevention of sexual exploitation, cultural awareness, substance abuse/misuse, and many other important areas that can impact youth. 

How volunteers can benefit – Volunteers will gain valuable experience for their resume, share their skills and knowledge, and receive ongoing training in areas such as cultural awareness, lifeskills coaching, conflict resolution, online safety, mental health, healthy boundaries, and making appropriate referrals. We work with many Indigenous youth who needs someone like you, volunteering just 6 hours a month makes a big difference.

Program Activities

  • Positive social, educational, cultural, sports, and recreation mentorship opportunities
  • Coordinator offers support, assistance, advocacy and guidance to Indigenous youth and volunteer mentors involved in the program 
  • Occasional group activities to encourage interaction between youth and mentors

How to get involved

We are continually seeking participation in the Kinnections Program from youth, Social Workers, and community volunteers.

Indigenous youth ages 16-19 years old can self-refer or be referred by someone else, as long as the youth is aware of and receptive to the referral, as this is a voluntary program. MCFD employees can access the referral form through MCFD. Self-referral forms can be made available by contacting the Kinnections Program directly.

Volunteer Opportunities

Community members are welcome to enquire about becoming a volunteer mentor. We are seeking Indigenous and non-Indigenous volunteers, ages 21 and up.  You can view our Kinnections volunteer mentor posting.

Donations Needed

We appreciate donations of bus tickets, Indigenous arts and craft supplies, and tickets to concerts or sporting events for youth and their mentors to attend. 

Depending on the type, size and value of the donation, UNYA may be able to provide a tax receipt. Please call the Program Manager at 604-254-7732 to discuss your possible donation.

Program Funders

BC Ministry of Children & Family Development

Kinnections Program Brochure (pdf)

Contact us today

1618 East Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC, V5L 1S6
Phone: 604-254-7732
Fax: 604-254-7811
Email: kinnections@unya.bc.ca

Training the Leaders of Tomorrow

1618 East Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC V5L 1S6 Call: (604) 254-7732 Email: info@unya.bc.ca