Revolution: Girl-Style

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Revolution: Girl-Style

Thunder Bay, Canada
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

The Regional Multicultural Youth Council (RMYC) started the Girl Power program in Thunder Bay to promote a youth-to-youth approach to empower young women to make a difference. The idea came out of a need to engage girls and young women in activities that raise awareness on feminism, social justice and equality. After working with all girls for a while, the Youth Council realized that Aboriginal young women faced more barriers and challenges that can be attributed to the intergenerational impacts of residential schools. And as life givers/child-bearers, problems women face or experience can be easily transmitted or passed on to their families through socialization, rearing, nurturing and other habits. Therefore, Revolution: Girl Style aims to empower young Aboriginal women who are especially vulnerable to abuse, violence, risk and negative lifestyles that can be easily perpetuated as a social cycle. We believe that training peer leaders and developing role models among young Aboriginal women who reach out to other girls and use positive peer influence to make a difference will help to break the negative cycles.
The Youth Council’s strategy is to develop team leaders who will organize meetings and special events for aboriginal girls to get together, share information and change ideas to enhance their status. Holding regular meetings, presentations and workshops will provide safe places for the young women to discuss their priorities and learn about social issues that affect them directly. The organizing team will consult with aboriginal girls on issues of concern and mutual interest. Together, they will plan activities that build self esteem, and challenge girls to learn about woman hood, and the special role they play in the development of their communities. The RMYC is a regional network serving youths in small isolated communities across Northwestern Ontario. Youth communicate well with other youths and, by providing them with relevant skills to connect with their peers, Revolution: Girl Style will engage more young people in the project and the activities organized. For experience and knowledge, the project leaders will invite resource people and Elders to train peer mentors and share teachings young women need to know as future mothers and life-givers, as well as the consequences of risky behaviour that makes them vulnerable to exploitation, abuse, violence, and bearing children affected by preventable diseases such as fetal alcohol syndrome/fetal alcohol effects, prescription drug abuse withdrawal symptoms etc. Learn about cultural identity, the value of a good education, personal safety, the importance of healthy lifestyles and so forth.

About You
About You
First Name

Marsha (team leader), and Kariann

Last Name

Kennedy (team leader), Goodman

Confirm a user name that will be displayed publicly to identify your entry

Regional Multicultural Youth Council

About You, Your Group, or Your Organization
Name

Regional Multicultural Youth Council (RMYC)

Country

, ON, Thunder Bay

Please confirm that this project could benefit First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples

Yes

Twitter URL
Facebook URL
Youtube URL
What categories best describe who your group or organization serves (check all that apply)

First Nations people, Métis people.

What best describes your group or organization

Community group or youth group, Non-profit organization.

How long have you, your group, or your organization been operating?

More than 5 years

Innovation
Define your idea / project in 1-2 short sentences

The focus is young Aboriginal women with emphasis on general well-being including healthy lifestyles and safety. We strive to take a youth-to-youth approach...

Select the stage that best applies to your solution

Growth (the project is up and running and is starting to move forward)

Social Impact
Please tell us about the social impact of your idea or proect

In the absence of strong families that were destroyed by residential schools, and traditional teachings to parenting skills, it is important to use any strategies available to help young women learn valuable social skills, adopt healthy lifestyles, and form strong peer groups for supports and health well-being. Young women with positive self-esteem, self confidence, and relevant information to make wise choices and responsible decisions will be better social beings and healthy parents. They will be more successful in seeking a good education and acquiring the resources and supports they need to make in today’s society. We believe that empowering young women to adopt healthy lifestyles will help to break negative cycles that continue to plague Aboriginal families and communities.

Your Future Goal(s): Tell us what you hope to achieve with your idea or project in the next year

Empowering young Aboriginal women through positive peer groups that inspire sharing, provide friendship, emotional support, and

In 5 years, what will be different as a result of your idea/project?

The numbers of young women focusing on education and graduating, and protecting themselves from pregnancy and negative lifestyles will represent success, since statistics reveal strong co-relations between school drop-outs, crime and addictions. More aboriginal women raising healthy babies, nurturing them and encouraging each other to stay in school will have a tremendous impact on poverty, metal health, homelessness, addictions, crime, gangs, racism and other social factors plaguing many Aboriginal youth and their communities. A reduction in the attrition rate at DFC High School, and the numbers of girls willing to be positive role models and ambassadors confident enough to use positive peer influence on other youths will be another measure of success.

Sustainability
Tell us about the people/ partnerships that are already involved and why they are important to your idea or project.

• Regional Multicultural Youth Council currently offers peer support, training and mentoring in the community.
• Nishnawbe Aski Nation generally has been reached out to as there are a number of resource people including Elders, cultural leaders and mentors in the community.
• The Friendship Centre currently facilitates Cultural Teachings and is a source for Professional and Social Workers.
• DFC currently provides meeting space and facilitates activities for the active program.

If there are other people/partners that you will reach out to tell us who they are and why they will be important to your idea or project.

Community support on sound projects and practical interventions is what we are counting on to sustain this youth-led initiative. This will come specifically from health centres and health professionals, cultural leaders, teachers and peers, and facilitators. There is currently a strong support network as developed by the Girl Power Summer Camp program. This network will be relied upon and expanded as Revolution: Girl Style and future programs grow and transform organically.

Describe the kinds of support you receive (other than money) or will need to support your idea or project (e.g.: donated, space, equipment and volunteers)

Youth are a group in transition with no financial capital of our own to invest in proactive programs. Revolution: Girl Style will depend on the generosity of established individuals with the resources to engage us, empower us and support us to be part of the solution to problems we face. Sound, prevention oriented projects need to be supported as an investment in our future. The RMYC and Revolution: Girl Style is convinced that with the current problems articulated under the need of this project, and the population we are targeting, it will be a worthwhile venture to support such an initiatives that aims to break negative cycles that are perpetuating problems of addictions, poverty, mental health, disease and costly treatments that are getting worse and have become epidemics in Aboriginal

Do you currently have funding for your idea or project?

No (skip next two questions)