Each year, the Organization of Latin American Students (OLAS) at the University of Toronto (U of T) holds an annual fundraising event to support initiatives with strong ties to the Latin American community in Canada. For this year's Viviendo Pasiones, OLAS partnered with the U of T chapter of Students Against Migrant Exploitation (SAME) for an entertaining 2012 fundraiser to support and raise awareness about the plight of the thousands of migrant agriculture workers who come to Canada each season.
More than 120 community activists, students, and OLAS and SAME members enjoyed an evening of Latin-style food, music and a talent competition including dancers, several bands, an improvisational comedy show, as well as spoken word poetry. In all over 12 acts performed vying for a grand prize of $500.00. The Sagaram’s Family Band won the prize, but the real winners were the audience members who were entertained and informed.
The evening raised over $1,000, to support the purchase of bicycles and health and safety equipment for migrant agricultural workers. The items will be distributed by OLAS and SAME members on May 27, at the AWA support centre in Leamington, Ontario as part of the festivities celebrating the centre's tenth anniversary.
SAME and OLAS members will also be working closely this summer, as members of the two groups will be visiting AWA support centres across Ontario, as well helping with casework, ESL classes, and community outreach programs at the Leamington centre.