The R+R program is an award-winning violence prevention program for youth aged 12 to 18 years old, and is delivered by community-based adult facilitators in school classrooms in School District #64 (Southern Gulf Islands) and in other school districts in British Columbia. High school students are trained and mentored to co-facilitate the R+R workshops and to become leaders in youth violence prevention among their peers and younger students. Each year for the past twelve years, approximately 500 students have participated in R+R workshops in SD#64.
SWOVA provides facilitation training to deliver the Respectful Relationships (R+R) program and the skills learned can also be used in many areas of life and work. Participants can cover the material at his or her own pace (within a 6-week period of time), have individual coaching support and group calls, and practice facilitation skills within their own community. All from the comfort of one’s home computer.
In the Pass It On project, high school young women provide structured group and individual mentorship for grade 8 girls throughout the school year. The mentorship builds relationships that will support the girls at this critical age as they prepare to enter high school. They form relationships that assist them in their immediate lives and also make their transition to high school easier. The issues being addressed are health and safety for girls and young women, providing support for grade 8 girls, and encouraging youth leadership.
This project came about because of SWOVA’s belief in the leadership and well-being of boys and young men.
Boys and young men in rural communities face many barriers to full participation in family, school and community life as a result of gender stereotypes, social media pressures and experiences of family and peer relationship violence, racism, poverty and homophobia. Research indicates that the pressure boys and young men face can place them at risk for underperformance in school, truancy, substance abuse, unsafe sexual practices, unemployment and mental health issues including depression, anxiety and suicide.
In the initial phase of this project in 2016 (Pass It On: Engaging Boys and Men’s Project) we addressed health and wellness needs of boys and young men in our community. This was done through a series of roundtable discussions and input from boys and young men in the community to determine their needs for support as they navigate their way into adulthood.
The Pass It On Boys Program responds to the request for mentorship between boys and men. 15-30 adult men will offer mentorship from their own life experience and will explore subjects including self-esteem, healthy masculinity, sexism, health and wellness, leadership, academic success and violence prevention.
The Project Council (trans and non-binary inclusive) will be comprised of volunteer students, fathers, local business professionals, teachers, law enforcement and health practitioners. The project coordinator will also contribute as part of the health and wellness network of island professionals.
In 2011, we received funding from Justice Canada to revise our R+R curricula for Aboriginal Students, which resulted in creating the Aboriginal R+R program. We used our data to identify the specific needs and experiences of Aboriginal Youth and to revise our R+R curricula to best support that community. Working in partnership with the Musqueam Indian Band, we trained facilitators from their community who then delivered the R+R workshops to Aboriginal youth. Developing an on-line training course was also part of this project (See R+R Facilitator Training/ On-Line Training Page)
SWOVA is founded on a commitment to research and evaluation as essential tools in the development and continuing improvement of our violence prevention programs and initiatives. See evaluation reports on all our projects and programs by clicking on the title of this section.
Peace Kids is SWOVA’s project to take Respectful Relationships education into the elementary school and was piloted in 2013/14. The Peace Kids curricula, provides engaging skill building sessions that increase dialogue about peace and conflict at the personal and community level. Peace Kids addresses bullying and systemic violence occurring with younger students, and offers social emotional learning (SEL) skills to increase personal and collective community health, safety and well-being.
This project will conduct a review of community knowledge for prevention of and intervention in sexual assault for youth and adults living on the six Gulf Islands. During it’s three year mandate it will form an inter-agency outreach, response and collaboration resource network to help inform the expansion of services available for those who may experience sexual violence.
SWOVA maintains an extensive print resource library which is open to the public from 10am to 3pm, Monday to Thursday. Books are available for loan, free of charge to people in the Southern Gulf Islands. A catalogue of our resources has been distributed to each school in School District #64 as well as community service organizations. Our library focuses on education and information about abuse and violence prevention and is open to all – call for more information: 250-537-1336.
Thanks to a grant from B.C. Gaming, as well as receiving some donations, we have been able to keep our library updated. We have added many new books, some of which are listed below.
Since 2014, SWOVA marks International Women’s Day, March 8th, by hosting a celebration dinner to honour women in our community.