Cafe lets teenagers guide the way

The inaugural Youth Cafe will be held at the Country Coffee House in Enderby Friday at 5:30 p.m.

An investment is being made in Enderby youth.

The inaugural Youth Cafe will be held at the Country Coffee House Friday at 5:30 p.m.

“It’s a way for them to get together,” said Chief Wayne Christian, with the Splatsin First Nation.

Youth Cafe is an initiative of the City of Enderby, the Splatsin First Nation, Area F, the North Okanagan-Shuswap School District and the Okanagan Boys and Girls Club.

The project is directed towards teens between the ages of 13 and 16.

“We want this to be a safe place for youth to go and visit,” said Mayor Howie Cyr.

“We want to provide a place to hang out instead of a street corner.”

The concept of a regular gathering place arose out of a teen summit last year.

“Those involved talked about the issues that affect youth in the Enderby area,” said Cyr.

While the jurisdictions are providing the venue and covering the cost, how Youth Cafe proceeds will depend on the participants.

“We want this to be largely driven by the youth,” said Cyr.

Teens will determine what activities they want to  pursue, such as a movie night or pizza party.

There will be an opportunities for counsellors to discuss issues of importance and the RCMP may also visit.

“It will be an opportunity to interact with them at a different level,” said Cyr of the police.

Christian insists that his band and the other jurisdictions are dedicated to meeting the needs of local youth.

“We want to provide them with the social skills they will need as they become adults,” he said.

Youth Cafe will be held every second Friday at the Country Coffee House, which is at the corner of Mill Avenue and Belvedere Street.