how it began
The 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 through a soccer-based event. 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 Equipment and Facilities Head Manager) and wife Deana Gill-Georgica on how best to realize the goals of the initiative within the context of a community-based event. Initially named “KL Cares and Kicks”, the program was piloted in the summer of 2011 through an inaugural event in Nanaimo, BC in partnership with Kw’umut Lelum and the Whitecaps FC.
The tremendous level of community engagement and high impact outcomes encouraged the founders to sustain and expand engaging other partners throughout Vancouver Island. Through this expansion, the initiative was rebranded “Hope & Health” to reflect the mission and core outcomes.
More than an annual community event, Hope and Health reflects a movement. By finding opportunities to promote and keep the momentum going on a continuous basis, the children and youth who are the heart and center of this movement experience hope and health, inspiration and mentorship through soccer.
What We've Achieved
- To date, over 3000 Aboriginal children and youth have attended Hope and Health Skills and Drills community camps.
- Three “Evening of Champions” events involving 1000 in general attendance, featuring a variety of popular and dynamic Whitecaps FC players, Carl Valentine, Kimberly Caldwell, Theo Fleury and other special guests.
- 350+ seaplane/Helijet trips across the Coast Salish sea for Whitecaps FC Players and special guests (many first time flyers).
- 5 Boot Drives, in partnership with Vancouver Whitecaps and Soccer Express have collected over 800 boots that have been distributed to the Hope and Health children and youth.
- 75+ INCREDIBLE Volunteers come out for each community camp, including VIU Mariners and UBC Thunderbirds players to coach.
- Generous in-kind donations and partnerships- it's about a long term vision and relationship!
second generation Hope and health Logo
Our second generation Hope and Health logo is an original design by Coast Salish artist Maynard Johnny Jr. created to reflect the positive and uplifting impact for the Aboriginal children and youth involved inz
Hope and Health. The eagle represents strength love and harmony, using these qualities to lift our children in a positive and healthy manner.
The picture of the child’s face reflects the joy they experience with
being at the centre of our community and feeling loved and inspired.
The open wings and top represent each and every child’s potential to achieve greatness in his/her life and to utilize adversity to learn and develop strength and resiliency.
The intent behind this second generation logo is that it will better fit Hope and Health's strategic direction in utilizing multiple platforms - beyond soccer - to build resiliency and leadership with Indigenous children and youth. Stay tuned.
first generation hope and health logo
Our original Hope and Health logo was designed by Coast Salish artist Maynard Johnny Jr. created to reflect the positive impact of soccer for the Aboriginal children and youth involved in Hope and Health. The eagles represent strength, courage and personal leadership that comes from being active on the pitch and in being open to the mentorship offered through the Hope and Health experiences. The picture of the child’s face reflects the joy they experience with being at the centre of our community and feeling loved and inspired.