Founder & CEO
Kal Dosanjh is a veteran officer with a law enforcemen agency. With over 15 years as a patrol officer, he recently transferred to the Domestic Violence Section as a detective. He also served on the Firearms Interdiction Team, Drug Squad, as an Undercover Operator, Acting Sargent on the riot squad and has also assisted on large scale investigations in various capacities.
The types of calls included homicides, robberies, serious assaults, in addition to dealing with violent drug dealers, gang members and individuals suffering from mental health issues. On account of the various types of dangerous calls he responded too, and his community work, he recieved several commendations. Kal also sits on various boards, which includes and has included:
SOAR Philanthropic Society, BC Human Rights Coalition, Odd Squad Productions Society, Sahara Services Society, Junior Chamber of Commerce.
In addition to serving as a positive role model for youth, Kal also promotes a healthy and fit lifestyle. He has competed internationally in the 2009 World Police Fire games, where he placed in the top 5 in the world for powerlifting. Kal strongly believes that engaging our youth in sports, will play a significant role in diverting them away from a life in gangs and drugs. To this end, he conceived and implemented a large scale soccer program for Downtown Eastside inner city youth, called the Police Athletic League Youth Soccer Tournament. The program has grown exponentially over the years, and this year took place in BC Place Stadium with approximately 1000 youth participating.
Kal has taken this message of helping our youth to all channels of media, which includes, t.v., newspapers, magazines and radios, in his attempt to connect with youth. This also includes his own show on fitness, aptly named “Desi Beasts”. Kal has run various sports projects for youth, in addition to being engaged with the community through various speaking engagements and public appearances.
Founder & President
Kiran has her Education degree from Simon Fraser University. She is the President KidsPlay Foundation. This organization has been working towards the improvement of society by preventing children and youth from getting involved with drugs and gangs since 2015 and is an integral part of Kiran’s life. Over 75,000 youth have gone through numerous free programs provided by the organization.
Kiran and the team are hoping to keep a positive trend of motivation through sports for the youth of Lower Mainland. Kiran has spent thousands of hours volunteering to protect her community. Her work for her community has been recognized by various organizations and she has been represented as one of the top leaders in the Lower Mainland.
Rana Singh Sethi is a web developer and runs Design Science, a digital creative agency. He is passionate about technology and is an entrepreneur at heart. He launched his first web development company while studying computer science at SFU. He has launched a South Asian news aggregator called SporaPost.com and is currently working on developing mobile applications for the real estate and medical fields.
He has seen the effects of positive mentorship first hand. While in India on vacation, 7 years ago, he helped his grandmother setup a school for underprivileged children. This school provides any child with free primary and secondary education. Some of these children have been able to pursue higher education and have gotten jobs after graduating.
He also witnessed the positive impact right here at home while helping his brother with an after school sports program for the YMCA.
This program catered to at risk youth and provided them with a positive atmosphere in which they could participate in sports activities during the time their parents were not at home. The goal was to help these children build their self-esteem and keep them away from a potentially dangerous path.
Since then, Rana has wanted to make a greater impact in the community. He feels he can accomplish this through his entrepreneurship and his involvement with Kids Play.
Prabhvir is an undergraduate student at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. He is working towards a career in Law Enforcement. Prabhvir is a well involved member in the community and has been tirelessly working to build the community in the past few years. He aims to help the youth from falling victim to the harsh lifestyle of drug use and gangs. Prabhvir has been able to pursue this goal through Kids Play Youth Foundation, a registered nonprofit working towards keeping youth away from a lifestyle of drugs, gangs and violence.
He joined Kids Play when he witnessed the negative impact Drug use and gang violence has had on his community. After realizing the damaging effects such a lifestyle holds, he has chosen to combat this by aiming to help vulnerable youth in avoiding this reoccurring issue our society faces. Prabhvir has developed himself into a role model that children look up to. He has grown from a general volunteer to now an Executive of Kids Play.
Through Kids Play he has learned valuable skills and moral lessons which have shown him the harsh realities of the world but has also shown him what needs to be done to effectively make a change in our community. He has held multiple events in our community ranging from Educational forums to sports events. Prabhvir is a strong believer in the ideologies Kids Play was formed on. He believes that to help our youth from falling victim to the wrong path, education and sports must be implemented.
Gurjevan Dhaliwal is currently studying at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. He started volunteering at a young age with KIds Play Foundation in 2015 with a vision of keeping kids out of drugs and gang violence. Gurjevan has given back to the community by countless hours of volunteering, Gurjevan understands the importance of guidance needed growing up, he was guided by amazing mentors and wishes to guide upcoming youth by mentoring them as well.
Gurjevan is also a recipient of two awards in the community which include Top 25 under 25, which is an award Surrey Board of Trade presents that recognizes business and community-minded people under the age of 25, along with another award which was presented by The Now Leader which was Youth Volunteer of the Year. Gurjevan is beyond thankful for the opportunities he has received due to being involved in Kids Play Foundation.
Manraj joined KidsPlay in 2019, similar to why most of our team did; to enforce change in our communities. He began volunteering because he wants to help create a better future for the coming generations and give people opportunities when they don’t see any. Manraj graduated from the Justice Institute of British Columbia with a Diploma in Law Enforcement Studies. Manraj is currently a Correctional Officer with BC Corrections. He aims to join a police department very soon.
Manraj was born in Abbotsford and moved to Langley right before the gang violence began to escalate. As he grew older, he realized that every kid that chooses the wrong path does so for a reason. For every negative, it could have been a positive. Manraj has held an integral role in running the mentorship programs in Abbotsford and Langley. He also helped organize KidsPlay’s first ever Summer Camp during Covid. Through these programs, Manraj believes we can help the kids out there who truly need help, even if it is one kid at a time.
Amit Punni, currently volunteering with Kidsplay since 2015, He has graduated from North Delta Secondary in 2019 and is now studying Criminology at Douglas College, headed into BC Corrections. He has put countless hours of hard work with Kidsplay, doing the best he can to serve and give back to the community. He has dedicated his free time to helping Kidsplay reach their goals. Without the leadership, mentorship, and guidance from founder of Kidsplay foundation Kal Dosanjh, it wouldn’t be possible for Amit to reach his goals. It has made a huge positive impact on Amit’s life and has made him who he is today.
Amit has used Kal’s teachings and has applied them to an after school program where he mentored underprivileged children and showed them we are here for them. Amit has seen many children headed towards a very unsuccessful future and wants to turn that around and show them there are better ways to make it better in life. Amit has worked alongside other volunteers to organize sporting events representing Kidsplay foundation. Amit wants to be a symbol of hope and guidance some day just like Kal.
Maheep Nagra is a senior volunteer with KidsPlay foundation. He was born and raised up in Surrey. He has finished his Diploma in criminology from Kwantlen Polytechnic University, and is pursuing on to attain his degree. Maheep has been volunteering since 2018 and has been a vital part ever since. He realized the importance of mentoring and educating youth because they are the next generation.
Maheep noticed there was a lack of mentorship given to children, and was fast to act, he then became the leader of a middle school mentorship program in Langley, BC of 25 kids. His goal was to teach good values and ensure the kids had someone to look upto. Maheep has run numerous events, varying from sports to organizing big scale forums. Maheep sees the importance of being a role model within the community.
He truly believes getting involved within the community, will bring positive change. He gets very passionate seeing youth change for the better. Maheep, has intentions of becoming a police officer one day and making a difference within the youth and community shows the desire to make change for the better.
Manney is a senior volunteer with Kids Play, he joined our team in 2019. He joined because he wanted to help kids stay on the right path of life instead of being caught up with drugs and gangs. Manney is attending the University of the Fraser Valley to complete his Criminal Justice Diploma. He joined Kids Play because he saw the amount of violence that was continuing in his own community in Abbotsford.
He saw too many young kids getting into the gang lifestyle because they did not have proper guidance. Manney’s first event with Kids Play was “Labelled: Caught in the Crossfire” in Abbotsford. He saw the impact this event had on the community and he realized how Kids Play was helping initiate change. It was from there on that Manney became heavily involved. He has helped with numerous events throughout his time with Kids Play. Manney believes change starts from somewhere and Kids Play is that change.
Gagan Bhullar is currently a Kwantlen Polytechnic University student. He has been with Kidsplay for almost three years, and his favorite event was the two-week summer camp held for kids during the pandemic. It encouraged them to get out and socialize with others. He is proud to be a part of Kidsplay to present such activities to the youth. Rather than being trapped at home all day, many children attended our Surrey and Abbotsford camps.
Another thing he likes about kidsplay is organizing food drives, toy drives, and always helping anyone in need. He now works at the BC immigration holding center, soon to pursue a career in law enforcement. Kidsplay has helped him grow as a person and taught him to be grateful for what he has and to always give back. Gagan is also captain of the Kidsplay Bhangra team.
Jasraj Toor has been volunteering with KidsPlay Foundation since 2015, and has helped organize mentorship programs in Surrey along with being a part of sports tournaments and educational forums.
Haleena is a recently graduated student currently working as a Child and Youth Counsellor. She has been volunteering with KidsPlay Foundation since 2015, and has helped run many youth after school programs. With the help of the amazing team, she is so thankful to be in the position of giving, and believes that we have the power to help children to guide them onto the right path and give them tools to strive and be successful in this world
Harleen Toor is working on becoming a certified therapist. She has been volunteering with KidsPlay Foundation since 2015. Her role in the organization has been an important one. She builds key relationships with new members and helps them understand what the organization is about and how they can contribute to it. For her, it is important to welcome each new member with respect and gratitude – she feels everyone deserves a place to belong and KidsPlay is a safe place for all. She is responsible for running therapy focused programs for youth.
Jasmyne Bhatti is currently in her last year of highschool and will soon be attending BCIT for architecture. She has been volunteering with KidsPlay foundation since 2017. The first event she attended was the baseball tournament and has been providing an excellent service to her community since then. She is very passionate about nature and has led tree planting events alongside other volunteers. This event helped her create connections within her community and strengthen her leadership skills.
One of her favourite initiatives was the summer camp in 2020 during the global pandemic. She was able to connect with the youth in her community and provide a safe and powerful outlet for them to participate in. As much as she has taught the youth of the summer camp she learned just as much from them. Jasmyne is very thankful and blessed for all the opportunities Kids Play Foundation has given her.
Hanna Dhillon is currently enrolled at the University of the Fraser Valley studying Kinesiology. Hanna has been a volunteer with the Kids Play Youth Foundation since 2017 working alongside many others to give back to the community through a variety of different types of events. One of the first events she attended was the first annual Youth Kabaddi World Cup Tournament. Being an athlete who participates in combat sports, she was interested in participating in this tournament and many others held by Kids Play.
This event helped her meet many amazing people on the Kids Play team and in her community. The open and welcoming atmosphere of Kids Play Foundation drew her to attend more events. Without attending this event she believes she would not have received the opportunities that came with being apart of KidsPlay, being able to engage and give back to her community.
Charlie Dosanjh, a Deputy Sheriff with the British Columbia Sheriff Service, has been an integral part of Kidsplay Foundation since its inception in 2015. He graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice with a Certificate in Communications from the University of the Fraser Valley. Under the strong leadership, mentoring, and vision of Vancouver police officer and founder of Kidsplay Foundation, Kal Dosanjh, Charlie has realized that today’s youth need to feel a sense of community, belonging, and the ability to dream big with goals and aspirations in life.
Charlie’s greatest joy through putting on countless events, is seeing where the Kidsplay Foundation has started, where it is now, and to where it is going. Not only is he a volunteer, he is a product of Kidsplay. Charlie has recognized the importance of bringing positive change within today’s youth in the community for a better tomorrow.
Vivek Dullat is currently in his last year of high school at Tamanawis Secondary and will be attending Kwantlen polytechnic university for business. Vivek was born in Calgary and partially grew up there before moving to Surrey in his adolescence. One of the first events Vivek attended was the baseball tournament in 2017. He has been a member of Kidsplay for 4 years and has his fondest memory at the organization at the 2020 summer camp. It was one of his best memories because he got to bring joy to children in his community during a tough time.
He has grown massively as a person throughout the years and has developed stronger leadership and communication skills. Along with other volunteers, he has put together an environmental chapter in kidsplay foundation and plans to grow it. Vivek is thankful for the opportunity Kidsplay foundation has given him and is excited for what’s in store for the future.
Amandeep Gill has been a volunteer with the KidsPlay Foundation since 2017. While volunteering with KidsPlay, Amandeep has gotten the chance to work with many great individuals that also strive to give back to the community. Influential mentors like Kal Dosanjh have helped Amandeep push himself to greater heights. One of his most memorable times being a volunteer with KidsPlay came from helping in the 2020 summer camps.
Many children were not involved in activities for quite some time due to COVID-19 and the KidsPlay camps were many children’s first exposure to such activities in a long time. Helping with the camps was not only fun for the children involved but was fun for him as well. Being able to work with youth and putting them on the right track is something Amandeep finds important and satisfying. This is because he believes that the youth hold the key to bettering the future and we must help forge them into the best versions of themselves in order to assure a bright future.
Mia Gill leads within Abbotsford, and is a high school student attending Abbotsford Senior Secondary School. Pursuing a future in public affairs, Mia serves as an active liaise between youth and government. Her zeal for civic engagement led her to Kids Play Foundation where she’s been volunteering since the summer of 2020. Understanding the turbulence many kids face amid organized crime, Mia hopes to encourage and facilitate a better environment for youth as a volunteer. Enthusiastic for what lies ahead, Mia cannot wait to keep innovating and supporting her community.
Akanksha Gopal is currently enrolled at Panorama Ridge Secondary School studying in grade 12, planning to further pursue her studies in Business. Akanksha has been a part of Kids Plays Foundation since 2018. She is very passionate about the work that she puts in for Kids Play. One of her favourite events is the Summer Camp 2020. Through this camp she got to interact with many other youth and helped her build her own confidence and leadership skills. Akanksha is very grateful for the opportunities Kids Play Foundation has provided.
Gavan Grewal joined KidsPlay Foundation 2017 after a basketball event took place at his highschool. After learning about their goals and how they operate, Gavan decided to become a member of the Kidsplay Team and soon took on the role of becoming a senior volunteer with the Organization. Gavan started his journey with Kidsplay by becoming a mentor in one of the mentorship programs at one of the elementary schools in Surrey. It was during this program where he learned the importance of providing guidance and mentorship to younger kids in order for them to be successful in the future.
Throughout his time with Kidsplay, Gavan has assisted in multiple sports events, educational forms, and clothing/food drives. In the future, Gavan wishes to pursue a career in which he can help people on a daily basis and implement Kidsplay’s goals and ideologies. Hence why Gavan is working towards a career in Law Enforcement as a police officer. Currently, he is in his third year at the Justice Institute of British Columbia in the Bachelor’s of Law Enforcement Studies (BLES) program. Additionally, he has completed two police academies with the RCMP and New Westminster Police and continues to work towards completing his degree while serving his community and leading our youth in the right direction.
Mantej Jassal is currently enrolled at the Justice Institute of British Columbia where he obtained a diploma in Law Enforcement Studies and transitioned to the bachelor’s program. Mantej has been a volunteer with KidsPlay Foundation since 2018, where his first events were the BC place soccer tournament. The primary reason Mantej joined this foundation was due to his hobbies in partaking in various sports along with working with youths prior to Kidsplay. He genuinely believes mentoring the youth will help guide them to refrain making the wrong choices in life.
From his prior experience working with youth at his local community centre since 2015, Mantej noticed an escalation of kids nowadays wanting to fit into certain friend groups. Hence, they will go through certain extents to fulfill what their friends will demand regardless of the consequences. Therefore, he wants the kids to avoid those consequences in life and is willing to educate and guide them to the right path. Moreover, during his 3 years as a KidsPlay volunteer, one of Mantej’s memorable moments was the 2020 summer day camp. Currently, Mantej is employed by the Vancouver Police Department as a Special Municipal Constable and aspires to become a Police Constable down the road. Also, he has completed the Vancouver Police Student Challenge back in 2017.
Amisha Johal is a student at the University of British Columbia pursuing her studies in Environmental Engineering. Amisha began volunteering for KidsPlay during the summer of 2020. Even though her time at the organization has been short, she has learnt many important skills and stories. She has been an asset to the organization with her communication skills, she has been able to build a strong rapport with the kids who attended the summer camps. Amisha says she feels truly blessed to be able to work with the organization and she looks forward to more summer camps!
Gurjivan Johal is a student at Douglas College enrolled in the Nursing program. She began volunteering for KidsPlay during the summer of 2020. The summer camp was her most memorable KidsPlay event, even though it was held during the pandemic. Gurjivan has been blessed with great opportunities to give back to her community through this organization.
Manbir is a single mother of two children. She went through a difficult marriage with constant mental and other types of abuse. She had the opportunity of either going through this hell of a life or break the societal norms and stigmas of separation. Making the choice of leaving that life she went through numerous struggles. We say we live in a modern and new world but we yet have to make this society a safer place for many women like Manbir.
The constant labelling and negative comments only make a dreadful situation like this worse for the person. She refused to go through that torture and put her children through it and made the choice many fear. It was not easy for her then and it hasn’t been easy still but she is determined to make healthier choices for a healthier life. At the end of her dreadful divorce, Manbir was left with close to nothing financially. Everything had to be started from ground up again. She went to school and became a nurse.
She is also a make-up artist. To this day, she receives minimal support for her children from their father and raises them with two jobs. She resorted to fitness to handle the constant pressures and expectations. She used that as a positive outlet to relieve her stress. She is on her way to competing in fitness competitions. Manbir joined our team to not only create a safe space for young women and men, but to also instill in her children a passion that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. She is a believer in Karma and believes she has been able to achieve strength through all the good she has done for those around her.
Charan Lamba is a senior volunteer with Kidsplay Foundation. Charan was born and raised in India before he immigrated to Canada in 2014. He finished Law Enforcement Studies Diploma from the Justice Institute of British Columbia. Intending to become a Police officer one day, Charan has been serving the community as a Special Municipal Constable with The Vancouver Police Department since 2017. Charan has been an integral part of the Kidsplay Foundation since 2018, realizing the need for good leadership for our youth.
Charan believes that whenever a child interacts in the community, he/she tries to find his/her identity (where he/she belongs). So, it’s crucial for us as a community to introduce them to a good group and give them a positive identity. With the passion to serve the community and mentor the youth, Charan started his Kids Play journey by running a mentorship program at one of the elementary schools in Surrey.
Charan was responsible for teaching ethical and social values to a class of 30 kids while keeping the learning environment fun and interactive. Throughout his time in Kidsplay, Charan has coordinated various sporting events for kids and young adults. At these sporting events, Charan takes time to interact with the youth, bring them under his supervision, and mentor them to be a better version of themselves.
Charan truly believes that the strength to bring change in society lies in positive leadership. As a leader, Charan aspires to lead others in the same direction and introduce more positive leaders in the community to have a bigger impact.
Balnoor Nahal is currently attending the University of the Fraser Valley and is working on obtaining her degree in Criminology. One of her goals in life is to help those in need. Balnoor started volunteering with KidsPlay in the summer of 2020 to take the right steps in achieving this goal. It is important to her to give back to her community in any way she can. Balnoor is grateful to be a part of the KidsPlay team and is excited to partake in future events.
Jass Rai is a student at the University of Fraser Valley studying criminology. Jass was born and raised in Abbotsford, BC and has always wanted to help people in need which is why he strives to accomplish this goal through policing. Jass’s first time in KidsPlay was volunteering at Dasmesh Punjabi School where he help set up events with the youth and have them engage in meaningful conversations and activities. Kids Play’s diverse group of members and strong passionate team has allowed Jass to further grow mentally and have a sense of belonging.
Jass has also participated in many other events since then and also is an active volunteer at the Abbotsford Police Department. Jass currently works as security at the Abbotsford Regional Hospital and gives his all to help anyone in need. Jass aspires to one day become an outstanding police officer that can become an ideal role model and protect anyone in need.
Talvir Sahota is a police officer with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Growing up in this city has made him into who he is today. An older brother, a son, and a resident of this city, Talvir recognizes his responsibility to give back to his community that has given him so much. His endless love for his community has led him to becoming an RCMP officer at a young age of 21. While attending high school, he came across a presentation where Kal was a speaker. That was the moment of proliferation for him.
He had seen too much in his surroundings, the ongoing gangs, violence, and substance abuse. He came to a realization that it was now time to take action. He approached Kal and started volunteering on a regular basis. Talvir took on the role of a lead volunteer during the inception of KidsPlay Foundation. His dedication and commitment has helped us serve over 75 000 youth in the Lower Mainland. Talvir has become a role model for youth on the account of his commitment to his community and fitness. Getting into a law enforcement career is not an easy task. It takes a lot of an individual and for Talvir to be able to accomplish this at such a young age, it is commendable.
Sukhman Sidhu is currently enrolled in Bachelor’s of Criminology at Simon Fraser University. Sukhman has been volunteering with Kidsplay since the beginning of 2019 and has been working to distance our youth from the lifestyle of drugs, gangs, and violence. To protect our youth, Sukhman displayed his efforts by running a successful mentorship program at Dasmesh Punjabi School.
Along with offering the youth a brighter future, Sukhman believes that his most memorable experience is helping the unfortunate and putting a smile on their faces through their darkest times. Constantly involved in the community, Sukhman has chosen to pursue a career in law enforcement. In addition, Sukhman has completed the Junior Police Academy with the city of Abbotsford, and he continuously devotes his time and energy to help strengthen our community.
Jessica Sherman, a dedicated member of Kids Play Foundation. She is the living embodiment of turning pain into power. Following the loss of her 18-year-old brother to the youth gang violence epidemic in the City of Abbotsford, this grief struck young woman underwent a crucial metamorphosis. Torn by grief and a sense of helplessness at the exponential increase of the youth drug and gang violence in the Lower Mainland, lead her to life dedicated to public service. In October 2018, at her brother’s 4-year death anniversary, Jessica spearheaded and launched the Kids Play Youth Mentorship Program at a school in Mission, BC.
Through this free program, Jessica is educating, freeing, and giving an equal platform and empowering the next generation of girls and boys. Additionally, since 2015, Jessica has been sponsoring an annual memorial scholarship through the Abbotsford Community Foundation. This scholarship is awarded to a graduating student of W.J. Mouat Secondary School who demonstrates integrity and good sportsmanship. Jessica is an epitome of hope for a better world for the rising leaders. After the loss of her brother, she has overcome adversity and has used her personal journey in a way to inspire and motivate others to be positive despite challenges and setbacks.
Eknoor Kaur Toor is a currently a grade 12 student at École Panorama Ridge Secondary with an ambition to pursue a career in medicine. She has been volunteering with Kids Play since 2018 and is now a senior volunteer and youth event coordinator at Kids Play. Through her time with Kids Play, Eknoor has learned to hone her leadership skills and gotten several opportunities to get involved in the community!
One of the opportunities has been to co-coordinate the Environmental Portfolio of Kids Play. In the portfolio, she organized tree planting events and worked with several external organizations. Her fondest memory in this journey has been seeing youth and adults alike come together at our first tree planting event and work towards a common goal. Over time, Eknoor fostered a passion for environmentalism driving her to further delve into research on how we can better engage the community in consciously help the environment.
Eknoor strongly believes that every tree planted, every game played, and every program ran becomes a moment treasured by someone in the community. No matter the hiccups along the way, everything Kids Play does serves the bigger picture and Eknoor is grateful to be a part of the action!
Kinney Toor currently works as a guard for the RCMP. He studied Criminology at Kwantlen Polytechnic University as his aspiration is to become a police officer in the near future. Kinney has been a part of KidsPlay since 2016. He always had a passion for helping others out and with the help of Kal Dosanjh and the KidsPlay family he couldn’t have done it.
With countless amounts of events being done, his most memorable moment with KidsPlay is during the soccer tournament at BC Place. Seeing hundreds of children come out to compete inside of a stadium where professionals play was amazing. His goal is to be a great mentor to the people around him and continue to strive to help our community become better.
DRUG & GANG EDUCATION TEAM
Growing up on the streets taught him to do whatever it takes to survive. Shane went back and forth between social services and his grandmother. He became involved in the drug and gang scene, however Shane knew, deep inside, the criminal lifestyle wasn’t for him. He wanted to change. Gradually, over time, he expressed his interest to leave and pursue something legitimate, and become a productive citizen of society. While Kal patrolled the streets of Downtown East Side, as a member with his respective department, he had many encounters with Shane. They gradually built a positive rapport with one another. When Shane decided to leave this life of crime behind, he contacted Kal.
Shane’s struggles did not end there. His ex gave birth to their daughter. The ex passed away shortly thereafter, leaving Shane the option of becoming a single dad and managing work, or leaving his daughter in the hands of social services. Shane made the difficult decision to step up as a single parent, and keep custody of his daughter.
Shane has returned to his roots and now identifies with his culture. He also identifies with other youth, who have gone through similar upbringing to his. He said, “I want to leave a legacy my daughter would be proud of”. He is one of the newest members of the KidsPlay Foundation’s Drug and Gang Education Team. Shane now gives back to the community and comes out to present at Drug and Gang Education presentations to guide youth onto a better path.
DRUG & GANG EDUCATION TEAM
Stan grew up in a dysfunctional home. There was no one to guide him to achieve a higher education, to encourage him to participate in sports, or push him to pursue his dreams and ambitions. No child is born a criminal. Stan got involved with the wrong crowd, learning that violence was a powerful tool to gain attention, power and money. He found his identity in a gang, which he co-founded in the Downtown Eastside, known as the Red Alert. While working as a beat patrol officer, Stan and Kal would be constantly getting into arguments and fights, as Stan was running a drug operation and the police were trying to shut him down.
It took the particular circumstances of almost losing his son to the drug trade, that made Stan step back, reassess his life, and decide it was time for change. KidsPlay Foundation is proud to have Stan as a presenter on our Drug and Gang Education Team. He is an invaluable member of our KidsPlay family; as are all other volunteers, presenters, sponsors and community partners.
DRUG & GANG EDUCATION TEAM
Shenan Charania immigrated to this country when he was just a youth. His life prior to that point had been an ideal one and full of promises. He participated in sports, was a standout student, and was embraced by a loving family. He believed in working hard to achieve goals. All that changed upon arriving here. The life he knew back home, and the life he came to learn here were polar opposites.
He came into a school, where neither education nor sports or community service were looked upon with regard. Students around him cared more about partying, drinking, smoking drugs, rumours, gossip and drama. He stood out, and therefore was bullied. This led him down a dark path of being eventually expelled from school for depraved behaviour; involving fighting,
smoking drugs, selling drugs, and eventually turning into a full time lifestyle of drugs, gangs and crime. It was not until his house was shot up late into the game, and his parents were home; that he realized he needed to change.
Shenan went into legitimate business, and made lots of money, but it did not give him internal satisfaction. He transitioned away from his pursuit of money, and began to focus on helping others by becoming a life coach. Today, Shenan is a successful life coach, and a key member of the KidsPlay Foundation Drug and Gang Education Team.
DRUG & GANG EDUCATION TEAM
An organic chemist and an engineer. Rob grew up in a small town in Northern Alberta. He was once a high level engineer for an oil and gas company and lost his job to his cocaine addiction. He is in the top percentile for ADHD and dyslexia, and was undiagnosed until his early twenties. These unrecognized mental health issues led him to making choices that he wished he had never made. He has overcome his addiction and is on the path of helping others prevent the same mistakes he made at a young age.
His story has touched many young lives facing mental health issues and struggling in their homes and school settings. He provides hope and welcomes others going through similar challenges. His goal is to help individuals overcome their obstacles avoiding falling victim to drug abuse. Rob grew up in a well educated family where the expectation of succeeding was placed on him early on. Lack of education on mental health issues made it extremely difficult for him to communicate his challenges to his family.
His illness was rejected by his family and his teachers. It was not until he came across an educator who shed light on the difficulties Rob had in a classroom in correlation to his mental wellbeing. His story is very inspiring and has a lot of takeaways for educators and youth workers.
DRUG & GANG EDUCATION TEAM
Sumit Ahuja is a practicing lawyer in British Columbia and a recovering alcoholic and addict. After his addiction almost took his life in March of 2017, Sumit attended a residential treatment center and achieved sobriety. Sumit’s personal mission to assist anyone dealing with addiction to find help and understanding and break the culture of secrecy that surrounds addiction. He is a member of the KidsPlay Education team and speaks with the team at schools and community centres.
He is a member of the KidsPlay Education team and speaks with the team at schools and community centres. Sumit is the founder of live Big Society – an organization established to help those who cannot afford the means to access recovery centres. The road to recovery was challenging for many individuals Sumit came across during his days in
recovery, and that is what compelled him to take action and become a beacon of hope for others.
DRUG & GANG EDUCATION TEAM
Deep is an entrepreneur with a mission to change the world. In his own words, “I’m just a regular guy born and raised in Surrey”. Deep has encountered lots of success in his career and most importantly (in his own words) just as many failures. In 2015, while running a trucking company, Deep faced the downturn of the oil crisis in Alberta. Soon after, his business followed the same fate and the doors were closed. As a result of this ordeal, Deep turned to alcohol and drugs as a coping mechanism.
As someone that prided myself by his material possessions, he found himself lost and with no purpose. After struggling with depression and anxiety, no license, vehicle, or money; Deep finally learned that happiness is free. They say this is the greatest lesson life can teach one. During the early stages of COVID, with only $1,500 to his name, he quit his full time job and started a new business.
He found his new purpose: to change the world. He began creating jobs in his community and is in the process of starting his own Foundation. As Deep says, “My new found success could not have been possible without Kal and Kidsplay”. For Deep, Kidsplay filled a void in an otherwise empty life and provided him with a greater purpose going forward.
DRUG & GANG EDUCATION TEAM
Vijay’s educational background consists of a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of the Fraser Valley, a Bachelor of Education and Special Education Diploma from the University of British Columbia, and a master’s in counselling psychology from Adler University.
He is currently a school counsellor with the Burnaby School District. Prior to this, he was a teacher, a school administrator and a counsellor based in the community. Vijay has also worked with several counselling providers in the community and government funded projects.
In addition to his employment, Vijay spends his time writing, enjoying fitness, and basically learning about anything and everything. He has also been a featured writer at The Good Men Project and has his own writing blog, which promotes writing-based and art-based therapy.
Vijay’s view of therapy is to treat clients with empathy and dignity and help them shift toward lasting health. It is a journey based on care, trust, and self-discovery.