Keeping people safe & well

United Way 2007 Community Builder Award for NCLB

 

EPIC Award 2007

 

Two Pronged Approach to Community Mobilization

A Renewed Focus on Youth Issues
March 24, 2006

 

It is indeed a positive sign to see parents, youth workers and police officers engaged in discussions, information sharing and planning activities until late in the evening. Thursday evenings usually bring Banff community to life with such encouraging signs. 

At the community dinner on March 23, 2006: 

  • Three new community members showed up for the dinner, taking the number of participants in a single evening to its maximum since the inception of this specific activity for community mobilization.

  • Youth workers also joined to explain the available opportunities for youth and share the activity schedule with parents. The parents’ interest was obvious from the way they were flocking around the youth workers after the meeting, asking more questions and requesting for more information.

  • Police officers also attended the meeting and, as usual, answered questions, shared concerns, provided relevant information and safety tips, reminded the community of some basic responsibilities and updated about the progress they have made so far.

A kind of integration and synthesis of youth and adult activities is now coming to fore in the community. Adults are now more aware of what is happening in the youth sector. They have a say in planning youth activities. At the same time, mutual discussion and feedback from the police and youth workers gives them confidence to allow their kids to attend local activities for youth without the fear their being bullied, harassed or influenced by negative role models.  

Some parents had this misconception that participation in any activity in the community will have negative effects on their kids. The solution to their understanding was either to keep kids locked at home or take them away from the community for different activities. Feedback from the police and youth workers is changing this perception and building trust of the parents. 

Abdirahman Hilowle, Student Councillor at Ridgemond High School, Saida Al Sharmani, MLO Ridgemond High School and Adirizak Warsame, MLO Charles Hulse are expected to participate in the community dinners with parents for sharing their concerns and providing them relevant information.  

Simultaneously, police officers will be joining youth for trust building, discussion on local issues of mutual concern and information sharing at the local Youth Drop In. For increasing youth participation with some additional activities of common interest, the Steering Committee, approved diverting some funds to Youth Drop In in its March 21st meeting.  The two pronged strategy of dealing with parents and youth at the same time is expected to bear fruit in achieving meaningful results in the near future.

 

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Centre de Sante Communautaire du Sud Est D'Ottawa

Contact: Abid Jan Tel./ Tél: (613) 737-5115 Ext. 2403  Fax/Télé: (613) 739-8199

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