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A little while ago, CNPEA was contacted by Sayna, a grade 12 student who wanted to start an elder abuse awareness school club  and share our materials with peers. We asked Sayna to write a short blog post to tell us more about it.

My name is Sayna Mottei, I am a grade 12 student at Sentinel Secondary School, in West Vancouver, British Columbia. Every week, I look forward to my Saturday morning volunteer shift at the West Vancouver Seniors Activity Centre. I chose this volunteer job due to the calm and peaceful atmosphere and thought it suited me best as I love talking with seniors.  My responsibilities as a volunteer include handling cash transactions, helping with food preparation, and acting as a customer representative. At the Seniors' Centre, I learned the importance of positivity and patience through interactions with older adults. I was even fortunate enough to have one senior bring in his high school yearbook and go through it with me during my break. However, in addition to my positive experiences, I also became aware of the mistreatment and disrespect that occurred towards some older adults on a regular basis in the outside world. After some mentioned their experiences to me, I  started noticing instances myself, while driving, walking, and even in a lineup to pay for a drink! The reality was that outside of the Seniors Activity Centre many older adults had their rights infringed by nurses, care-workers or family members.

As a result of these experiences, my volunteer work led me to the Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse. I was doing some research one day and I I stumbled across the CNPEA's website. I instantly knew it was the perfect organization to bring awareness to. As my senior year came around, I was really looking forward to starting my own school club. Seniors, other volunteers, and managers of the Seniors Centre loved the idea and thought that putting up CNPEA's posters was a great idea to promote awareness of elder mistreatment.  

My school club is named after CNPEA, we hold bi-weekly meetings to discuss matters regarding poster set-up and any new club members interested in joining our club. Starting off with only 5 members, we have grown into a club consisting off an amazing 12 members! Each one is more passionate than the other. Hearing about elder abuse from our club members was really an eye opener for my fellow classmates who now take notice of this very real issue. Along with my fellow classmates and teachers, I hope to bring as much awareness as possible to CNPEA and elder abuse by posting posters around my school and retruiting as many club members as possible. 



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