Project Manager Christine Colbert, with Niamh Connolly and Abi Ajibolade of The Redwood Shelter for Women and Children in Toronto and Debbie Delisle of Step by Step Child and Family Center in Kahnawake QC.
In the second year of the Blueprint project, funded by Status of Women Canada, nine mentors in locations across Canada have been working closely with family support practitioners and participants, to enable women to develop the knowledge, skills and experience they require to take on greater decision-making and leadership roles in community-based organizations.
Warm relationships have developed and the work being done is as varied as the individuals involved. The outcomes from the project will be presented at the FRP Canada national conference in April 2013 where several of the participants will share their stories and experiences.
The following are highlights as reported by some project participants:
For more information, please contact the Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- It would be easy to say over a dozen women are benefiting from our Mentee/Mentor relationship as it is so wonderful to learn from, and be inspired by, others who have already developed family resources and programming. We are at such a momentous time as our growth rate is steady and the women of our community are truly enjoying having an opportunity to come together with one strong voice to create changes and improvements in our area.
- Four groups per month [focusing on leadership, parenting, civic participation etc.] continue with new women joining as others transition back [from the women’s shelter] into the community. Upon completion of the four week group in the shelter, when they transition into the community, these women will be going into the community as the trainers to further train other women as part of our Outreach Program. We plan to link them up with community centres and Early Years Centres to be volunteer trainers. These women are from various cultural backgrounds and the workshops they offer will be in many different languages.
- Relationship building between [the mentor] and I, and then between and among community members, has been of prime importance. Mentorship has been a two way relationship where both mentor and mentee learn and develop. In order to develop, one has to feel noticed and valued for who they are and for the unique skills they have. It is important to be aware and respectful of the learning styles and communication styles of the mentor/mentee.
- [Working] with a group of women from a social housing community we did a focus group of food bank recipients to ask them about the process [of accessing a food bank] and what information they would like to share with the larger community (local government and community agencies). From that information a survey around food security was developed to be distributed to the community from which the women live.