Topic: SWOVA News

Lobstick Foundation supports Pass it On Girls!

We are delighted to announce that #Lobstick Foundation has contributed $6,000 towards the Pass it On Girls Program!

Our sincere gratitude to Lobstick for their generous support of the Pass It On Girls #MentorshipProgram.  In this program, high school young women provide structured group and individual mentorship for grade 8 girls. Throughout the school year adult women from our community are asked to attend bi-weekly meetings as presenters and to share activities and expertise.  This creates a venue to ‘pass on’ their wisdom, skills, and inspirations to the girls and young women and to serve as role models. Here’s to everyone at the Lobstick Foundation for helping to make this happen!

Learn more about Lobstick here:

Coast Capital supports Pass It On Girls!

Pssst! We’ve received $5,000 in funding from @Coast_Capital …Pass It On Girls!

Our sincere gratitude to #CoastCapitalSavings for their generous support of the Pass It On Girls #MentorshipProgram.  In this program, high school young women provide structured group and individual mentorship for grade 8 girls. Throughout the school year adult women from our community are asked to attend bi-weekly meetings as presenters and to share activities and expertise.  This creates a venue to ‘pass on’ their wisdom, skills, and inspirations to the girls and young women and to serve as role models. Here’s to @Coast_Capital for helping to make this happen!


Respectful Relationships Re-design!

We are delighted to share news of recent funding from #SaltSpringIslandFoundation in the amount of $26,250!  Funds will be used to update and re-redesign the award-winning #RespectfulRelationshipsProgram which has served more than 10,000 youth across the Southern Gulf Islands over 17 years. The Program teaches youth to choose nonviolent behaviors; foster safe, stable, nurturing relationships between young people and caring adults in their community; develop and implement school-wide activities and policies to foster social connectedness and a positive social environment; and change societal norms about the acceptability of violence and willingness to intervene.  Our deep gratitude to SSI Foundation for their support of this vital community program!

Each year SSI Foundation measures community needs to identify areas requiring attention. Read this year’s helpful and informative report here:


Grant cheque presentation photo

Help us win $50,000!

Island Savings #simplegenerosity

Help us receive $50,000!

Inspiring Change – Help us win $50,000!

Island Savings, a division of First West Credit Union is aiming to enhance our communities for children and families by giving away a $50,000 grant towards a community-focused project, program or initiative. This grant is one of three that First West is distributing to support organizations in the regions it serves—$150,000 distributed in support of Canada 150.

SWOVA’s Respectful Relationships Program is exhilarated to be entering its next evolution!  With 20 years of successful program delivery to over 15,000 youth, it’s time to innovate and update our design to incorporate some of the changes that time and technology have brought.  We want to be certain we can deliver THE BEST version of this program to as many youth as possible. In 2007, SWOVA’s Respectful Relationships Program was cited by the United Nations Habitat as a Good Practice in youth violence prevention, as part of world-wide Best Practices to Improve the Living Environment.

We’ve submitted a grant application and would LOVE your support to help us get to the top 10! Winning $50,000 will help us achieve our goal to inspire and empower as many youth as possible!

Here’s how to vote;

  1. Find our story on the Island Savings Community Grant Volinspire page (scroll down and look for kids sitting in a circle) and vote by choosing any of the emojis (smile, heart, Canadian Maple Leaf). Each emoji counts as one vote and you can only vote for each post one time. 
  2. PLEASE PLEASE share the link with your family and friends and on social media!!
  3. Anyone and everyone can vote, so help us spread the word! Only votes placed on Volinspire will count. Voting will take place May 29-June 23.

Thank you for helping us spread some #SimpleGenerosity in our communities!

Spring brings Simple Generosity

We are delighted and honoured to have been chosen as the first beneficiary of a new charitable program called Simple Generosity!  Initiated by Island Savings/First West Credit Union, the program celebrates Canada’s upcoming 150th birthday celebration by applauding community volunteerism and supporting local charities and non-profits.

Weekly awards of $1500 will be given throughout 2017 to an individual or team who demonstrates exceptional community contribution in the regions where First West operates.  Those winners then choose a charity or non-profit organization to which they donate the prize money.

Local volunteer Cherie Geauvreau was the first Gulf Islands recipient of the Simple Generosity award and very kindly chose to donate her prize money to SWOVA.  Cherie, together with Jewel Eldstrom, formed Copper Kettle Community Partnership in 2002, to help those struggling with meeting life’s basic needs.  Cherie did her first community work on Salt Spring in conjunction with SWOVA and says that the experience was life changing. It was from a place of gratitude that she chose to pay it forward 15 years later!

SWOVA’s Executive Director Kiran Dhingra was on hand to receive the award from Cherie, alongside Janine Fernandes-Hayden of Volunteer and Community Resources and Island Savings staff Jeff Knutson and Travis Dorchak.

SWOVA would like to express our sincere gratitude to Cherie Geauvreau for her thoughtful generosity and her contributions to SWOVA from its early origins up to the present!  We also wish to thank Island Savings/First West Credit Union and Volunteer Community Resources for this initiative and helping to highlight the remarkable contributions of volunteerism on Salt Spring and throughout the Gulf Islands.

To learn more about #SimpleGenerosity and how to nominate a recipient, see the full article in the Driftwood, on page 19 of the May 10/17 edition.

We’re hiring a summer student!

We would like to thank all candidates for
putting their resumes forward, the position has now been filled.


SWOVA Programs Assistant/Curricula WriterNeed a Job this summer?

ELIGIBILITY: The position is open to all qualified applicants. The HRDC Summer Student program requires that candidates MUST be a student registered at a post-secondary or secondary institution in the year before and after Summer 2017 and be able to start work the week of June 26th, 2017. Preference will be given to post-secondary candidates. SWOVA is an inclusive and equitable agency encouraging applications from qualified candidates, including Aboriginal Peoples, members of visible ethnic groups and persons with disabilities.

$14/hr, 30 hours per week for 8 weeks.  If you are an off-island resident, please note that this position is considered full-time and the successful candidate will be expected to work on-site four days/week. The fifth day may be at the office or from home/outside the office.

We are looking for a student to assist us with curricula updates for youth violence prevention programs and overall administration of our office and programs. The successful candidate must be able to work efficiently and confidently as an individual and as part of a staff team.

Applied skills in Social Media platforms and Photoshop/Adobe Creative Suite are necessary to develop, edit and improve our instructional tools and to create engaging content. You have great language skills and empathy/understanding of teacher and student needs (elementary through secondary school). The ability to present and respond to information effectively both verbally and in writing is essential.

Job Description:

  • Research, review and update agency violence prevention materials
  • Coordinate and implement the new graphic designs of the Grade 7/8 Respectful Relationships Handbooks
  • Enhance social media presence for the agency and publicize programs for Pass it On: Boys and Pass it On: Girls
  • Provide administrative support to Office Administrator and Program Staff in the day to day running of the SWOVA office
  • Take direction for updating library materials and resources
  • Create the Pass it On Coordinator Manual
  • Cover front desk duties as needed
  • Write blog posts relevant to agency work

Please apply if:

  • You’re incredibly organized and tech savvy
  • You have a passion and prowess for language and youth-focused resource material
  • You approach problems creatively, always keeping students and teachers in mind
  • You want to make a difference in education, you bring passion and an awesome work ethic to your workplace


Please email your resume to:  or drop it off during our office hours 9am – 4 pm Monday through Thursday at: 344 Lower Ganges Rd.

Deadline for receiving applications: June 5th, 2017

We thank all who take the time and effort to apply; only short-listed interview candidates will be contacted.

International Women’s Day Event!

March 8 is International Women’s Day (IWD)

and SWOVA’s opportunity to celebrate!

Together we will honour exceptional women who volunteer their time and talent, energy and enthusiasm in our community. This year SWOVA is partnering with Volunteer and Community Resources (VCR) to help us identify women volunteers of all ages, cis and trans, who make – and have made – a significant difference to the well-being of Salt Spring’s diverse community.

We have sought and received nominations from non-profit societies, organizations, groups and individuals to recognize women for their exceptional work in the arts, education, social and health fields or in the environmental, agricultural, sport communities including everyone from youth to seniors!

This year SWOVA will honour Women Volunteers as Changemakers

at our “Tapas and Treats” event

at ArtSpring 7:00 to 9:00pm on Wednesday, March 8th, 2017.


Please join us for an evening of celebration, inspiration and fundraising!

Tickets are $25, available at ArtSpring Box Office.

Tapas, Treats, Cash Bar!  Entertainment, Awards, Silent Auction


Survey: Boys & Young Men


SWOVA’s ‘Pass It On – Engaging Boys and Young Men Council’ is soliciting input from boys and young men 13-19 years (cis- trans- & non-binary inclusive) in our 5- minute online survey (link provided here). This is a project coordinated by David Norget and generously funded through grants from the Salt Spring Foundation and the Ministry of Justice (BC Civil Forfeiture) with additional sponsorship from Country Grocer.

The survey will be active until Friday, Dec 2nd with results shared in Jan 2017.
Feel free to direct any questions to: Thank you for your support!


Pass It On: Boys logo

2016-17 Membership & Fundraising Appeal


November 2016

Dear Friends of SWOVA,


SWOVA engages this Fall season with all the excitement and creativity that new staff and new programs bring.  Our new Executive Director, Kiran Dhingra and her staff, share the passion that has inspired SWOVA’s work for the last twenty years – a passion for violence-prevention programming and the mentorship of tomorrow’s leaders.

Those young leaders are the best spokespeople for SWOVA’s programs:

Maja Nordine, Respectful Relationships & Youth Team participant 6+ years; 2016 grad:

“I truly believe this program works. It’s all the stuff you’re expected to know entering teenage and adulthood but aren’t taught. Things that are considered common sense like how to manage stress and anxiety, how to talk to your peers and people of authority confidently and respectfully, how to be assertive, consent, empathy, and most importantly how to prevent violence towards other people and yourself…”

High School Mentor of Grade 8 girl through Pass It On, Girls’ Program, Spring, 2016:

“It’s empowering and inspiring and talks about legit (not sugar-coated) stuff.  So vital!” 

High School member, Council of new Pass It On, Boys’ Program, September, 2016:

“I have only attended two Councils and already I notice a difference in the ways I am acting.”

Empowered young people may be the island’s greatest export.  Wherever they go, we know they will use the communication and conflict resolution skills they’ve developed through SWOVA.

Please consider supporting SWOVA and investing in tomorrow’s leaders. Then take the next step–become a member of SWOVA today. Members stay connected to our work through quarterly newsletters and receive news of our events such as our International Women’s Day Gala.

We know empowerment goes both ways: those who enable our programs get to belong to a vibrant, equitable and healthy community.  Thank you for your support of SWOVA.

Please join/renew your membership on or before Thursday, December 1, 2016 to have voting rights at our Annual General Meeting.  Time and place to be announced, watch our website and Facebook page and the “What’s On” calendar in the Driftwood.  

Click HERE to renew/purchase your membership or make a donation.

Click HERE to read about the most recent additions to our our programs!





Sarah Belknap
Chair of the Board, SWOVA


We’re hiring! Male Facilitator – Contract

Position Title:  Male Facilitator, Respectful Relationships Program (“RR”)rr-logo

Contract: November 1, 2016 – May 30, 2017


The successful candidate will have education, job skills and training in the areas of youth violence prevention, social justice, community organizing and classroom facilitation.

The Male Facilitator will report to SWOVA’s Program Director and act in a co-facilitation capacity for delivery of the Respectful Relationships Program during both classroom and afterschool sessions in Grades 7-12 in School District #64. Your primary role will be to create a supportive space for youth while actively engaging students in social and emotional learning, youth violence prevention education, unique games and activity and modeling positive attitudes. Delivery of high quality programming is fundamental in this role.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Encourage and assist youth to further develop life and living skills
  • Implement routines and activities to provide a safe and secure space for youth
  • Lead healthy discussions with youth
  • Assist youth in developing and practicing problem solving, conflict resolution and communication skills
  • Train RR youth team members in Leadership and Facilitation
  • Act as a liaison between the program and various stakeholders in the community
  • Familiarity with the social, emotional, cultural, physical and environmental barriers facing youth
  • Contribution to a creative and positive work environment dedicated to social justice, community health and safety

Approximately 20-25 hours per week average over the course of this contract. Flexibility will be required with some weeks being full time hours and other weeks less than 20. A clean criminal record check will be a requirement of this position.

Please forward your resume to

Posting Ends: Oct 20, 2016 at 4pm