Tagged: Youth

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:

http://ssifoundation.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/SSIF-Vital-Signs-Report.pdf

 

Grant cheque presentation photo

2016-17 Membership & Fundraising Appeal

membership-drive-graphic

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!

Warmly,

skb-signature-for-membership-letter

 

 

Sarah Belknap
Chair of the Board, SWOVA

 

June 16th, 1976: Reflections on South African Youth Day

Hector Pieterson

photo by Sam Nzima

 

“They are a generation whose whole education has been under the diabolical design of the racists to poison the minds and brainwash our children into docile subjects of apartheid rule.”

-Nelson Mandela

 

Thirty-nine years ago and yesterday, South African youth led an uprising against the apartheid regime. The image of twelve-year-old Hector Pieterson dying in the arms of his fellow student after being hit by a police bullet came to symbolize the utter bankruptcy of a system that sought to make people of colour servants to the twisted logic of racism. Hector was one of 566 children and youth who died at the hands of the state in this wave of protests.

June 16th is a public holiday in South Africa and vigils and memorials are held at the monument to Hector in Orlando, Soweto, the Johannesburg township that remains a hotbed of youth culture, activism and still today, dissent and protest led by youth. The difference, now, is that South Africa has a progressive constitution, modelled on our own, and a parliament, much like ours, where the work of progressively realizing the rights of children and youth takes place, for the most part, in a peaceful fashion.

As a recent returnee to Canada, I am deeply impressed by the ways in which some communities and schools have created safe political spaces for young people, how these accommodate the diversity of views, encourage critical thinking and turn youth into stakeholders in, rather than just passive recipients of, their own education.

There is still work to be done on equity and inclusiveness in extending these privileges to all communities, but I am pretty excited by the vast potential for leveraging – for creating a contagious culture of peace that could be a powerful counterpart to those who have sought to employ young people in agendas of oppression, racism, dominance, violence and warfare.

So my question is always, “what are we really hearing, when we listen to young people – their own voices, emerging from confident, capable and fearless individuals?” We cannot afford to be complacent – their authentic voices tell us about ourselves, our culture and our democracy. We cannot allow our youth to become background music while we take our peace for granted.

Angela McIntyre, Executive Director
June 16, 2015

A Young People’s History of the United States – a book review by Megan Manning

 

 youngpeephistoryus

“Maybe our future can be found in the past’s moments of kindness and courage rather than its centuries of warfare.” – Howard Zinn

Most history books are written by the winners, but this book presents history from a different point of view.  The history of the United States from the perspective of the poor, slaves, women, Native Americans, and other oppressed populations is a sad story.   Regardless of whether you agree with Howard Zinn or not, it is good to hear a different perspective.

The most interesting parts of this book are the many quotes that Zinn uses to illustrate his points. Christopher Columbus who is usually portrayed as a hero and adventurer who ‘discovered’ America, says the following about his encounter with the native people:

“They (Arawak Indians) brought us parrots and balls of cotton and spears and many other things, which they exchanged for the glass beads and Hawks’ bells.  They willingly traded everything they owned … They were well built, with good bodies and handsome features … They do not bear arms, and do not know them … They would make fine servants …With 50 men we could subjugate them and make them do whatever we want.” 

It sounds pretty scary, but it only illustrates the prevailing attitude of a vast majority of Europeans at the time.

This quote from former slave, John Little, is a poignant description of what it was like to be a slave. “They say that slaves are happy, because they laugh, and are merry.  I myself and three or four others received 200 lashes in the day, and had our feet in fetters: yet, at night, we would sing and dance, and make others laugh at the rattling of our chains.  Happy men we must have been!  We did it to keep down trouble, and to keep our hearts from being completely broken: this is as true as the gospel!”

Zinn devotes a few chapters to industrialization and the unionist movement.  This could have been a recent quote off the internet, except that it’s from 1895!  “The issue is Socialism verses Capitalism.  I am for Socialism because I am for humanity.  We have been cursed with the reign of gold long enough.  Money constitutes no proper basis for civilization  The time has come to regenerate society. – we are on the eve of a universal Change.”  Eugene Debs, 1895.

In the chapters on recent history, Zinn focuses more on the positive. For instance, some of the families of the September 11, 2001 World Trade Centre victims traveled to Afghanistan to meet Afghan families who had lost loved ones in the American Bombing.  One of the Americans was Rita Lasar, whose brother had died in the attack.  Lasar said that she would devote the rest of her life to working for peace.

Another suggestion for how to change our  perception in the world:

“We are not hated because we practice democracy, value freedom, or uphold human rights.  We are hated because our government denies these things to people in third World countries whose resources are coveted by our multinational corporations.  That hatred we have sown has come back to haunt us in the form of terrorism. … Instead of sending our sons and daughters around the world to kill Arabs so we can have the oil under their sand, we should send them to rebuild their infrastructure, supply clean water, and feed starving children … In short, we should do good instead of evil.  Who would try to stop us? Who would hate us? Who would want to bomb us?  That is the truth the American people need to hear.” Robert Bowman, former US Air Force Officer, 1998.

A Young People’s History of the United States is written in a simple straightforward style that will appeal to the 12 – 18 age group, but I would also recommend it to anyone interested in reading a snapshot of history from a different perspective.

 

by Megan Manning – Librarian/Administrator, SWOVA

 

 

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