By Mai Ogushi, Toronto
Toronto East, Ontario East and Chinese Area Joint Youth Meeting.
Photographed by Mamoru Anzai
To commemorate the Youth Division founding - July 11 for the Young Men’s Group and July 19 for the Young Women’s Group, as well as the 70th anniversary of our mentor, Daisaku Ikeda’s joining on August 24, SGI Canada held youth general meetings across the country in the month of July. In total, over 800 youth attended these meetings and keeping with our goals 84 new youth have joined SGI Canada this year.
Our theme for the meeting was “Emerge!” Our wish was for many capable youth to emerge in each region of Canada, just like our mentor, at the age of 19, emerged when he met second Soka Gakkai president Josei Toda on August 14, 1947. He recited the following poem at that time:
From whence do you come?
And where do you go?
The moon has set,
But the sun has not risen.
In the chaos of darkness before the dawn
Seeking the light,
To dispel the dark clouds from my mind
To find a great tree unbowed by the tempest
I emerge from the earth.
(The Human Revolution, Vol.2., p. 233)
Youth Meeting in Winnipeg
Photographed by Maxine Stewart
With such determination, the youth of SGI Canada too, challenged themselves to invite friends, co-workers and family members to the meeting, wishing to connect them to this wonderful practice that provides so much hope for the future.
Youth Meeting in Montreal
Inspiring experiences were shared during these meetings where we could not help ourselves but to feel and believe in our own true potential. Just as we had determined, so many youth stood up and emerged in each region. Many new youth members and younger youth members were given key responsibilities, asked to be part of the presentation, performance and to support in behind-the-scenes groups such as Soka, Gajokai and Maple Leaf.
We believe this year’s youth general meetings were so successful because we were united and each of us emerged out of our own weaknesses to become more confident.
Left: Taiko Drum performance at Vancouver Areas 2, 5 and 7 youth meeting. Right: Friends at the Vancouver Areas 1, 3, 4 and 6 youth meeting. Photographed by Po-wah Ng and Gent Ng
Many thanks go out to the men’s and women’s group members for their continuous support of the youth as we could not have succeeded without them.
The youth of SGI Canada is determined to lead the way towards November 18, 2018 when we reach our membership of 10,000!