JustUs equips youth to explore and engage with poverty & justice
Nearly half of the world’s population — more than 3 billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day. According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty. Eight hundred, five million people worldwide do not have enough food to eat. More than 750 million people lack adequate access to clean drinking water.
In Canada, 4.9 million people live in poverty. Indigenous Peoples (including First Nations, Métis, and Inuit) are overrepresented among the homeless population in virtually all urban centres in Canada. And more than one-third of food bank users across Canada were children in 2016.
In a time when people are inundated with more images and information about these types of injustices than ever before, there remains a lack of understanding as to why these issues matter and what the Christian response should be.
The JustUs video series was inspired after Andy Harrington and Laura Solberg led a team of Canadian and Rwandan youth working together on a service trip in Rwanda. Although there were challenges, after just a few weeks, they began to see young people from vastly different cultures come together, sometimes in confusion and frustration, but always in love and friendship.
JustUs co-founder, Laura Solberg (also Director of The Elevation Project at Vancouver Youth Unlimited), summarizes the opportunity, noting that “Whether it’s poverty and conflict in foreign countries or injustice against indigenous and other marginalized groups here in Canada, young people see these issues and want to engage.”
Andy Harrington, CEO of Wellspring Foundation for Education and co-founder of JustUs, has explained their vision in this way: “If we are made in the image of God and God is a God of justice, it is innate in us to search this out and in that…there are no others, there is ‘just us’…all with something to teach each other…” The JustUs video series exists to unpack that truth and embed it into the hearts of participants.
The five-part video series addresses topics such as worldview, the role of the media, and who the poor really are, as well as exploring God’s heart for justice.
Using humour and illustrations from their own settings, the videos are hosted by Solberg and Harrington.
Suitable for many settings – including youth groups, Church small groups, and missions teams – the JustUs videos walk viewers through all the content of the original JustUs workshop, while also providing interactive opportunities, and practical next steps. To view the trailer and download the video series, visit www.justusvideoseries.com.