Presentation on theme: "BEYOND ELECTIONS: Youth Involvement in Municipal Governance Presentation to the Union of BC Municipalities Conference Vancouver, British Columbia September."— Presentation transcript:
BEYOND ELECTIONS: Youth Involvement in Municipal Governance Presentation to the Union of BC Municipalities Conference Vancouver, British Columbia September 25 th, 2003
Presentation Overview The Family Wellness Project - Geoff Nelson Better Beginnings, Better Futures - Mark Pancer Youth-Driven Community Involvement - Doug Ragan and Nadim Kara Commentary - Laura Nelson
Key Areas and Questions in Family Wellness Project Objective: Promote family wellness and prevent child maltreatment Populations of Study Canadian Society in General Aboriginal Communities in Particular
Are Communities Friendly to Children and Youth? According to a recent survey of over 1 million young people by the Search Institute in Minneapolis only 45% of youth could name an adult other than family members who have influenced them positively less than 30% considered schools as a caring environment only 25% said they live in a community that values youth
Are Communities Friendly to Children and Youth? According to a study released last week, the number of children and youth who were victims of child maltreatment and seen in child protection services in Ontario nearly doubled over a 5 year period (from 12,300 in 1993 to 24, 400 in 1998) According to a survey of nearly 10,000 adults in Ontario in 1990, 33% of men and 27% of women reported being physically or sexually abused when they were children
Envision a Child and Youth Friendly Community What Does It Look Like?
Youth Driven Community Involvement Doug Ragan Environmental Youth Alliance Nadim Kara Self Help Resource Association
Background The Environmental Youth Alliance in partnership with the Self Help Resource Association has facilitated a coalition of youth run agencies called Youth Driven for the past 6 years
Challenges Facing Youth 13% of students in Vancouver/ Richmond area have considered suicide 40% have experienced discrimination almost 40% have experienced sexual harassment
Challenges Facing Youth half of all young men have been involved in a fight isolation and lack of social support pressure to succeed alienation from work, school, and family
Impacts of These Challenges on Youth negative health and mental health poor decision-making and risk-taking behaviours substance use, misuse and abuse violence and risk of sexual exploitation
Some common responses YOUTH ARE… Problems needing to be managed Passive and grateful recipients of service Clients to be fixed
Asset Based Approaches Youth can bring: passion multiple skill sets life experience talent knowledge sincerity
The Million $ Question How do you build on the assets youth have in order to enable them to address personal challenges and societal injustices?
Traditional Approaches Working through significant adults: youth workers teachers community health nurses
Traditional Approaches Working through significant adults, who: catalyze discussions access resources support or direct youth action
Alternative Approaches What does it take for youth to self organize for social change?
Youth Driven Survey 1997 As an ‘old timer’ youth agency, EYA conducts a research project on youth run groups and organizations in the City of Vancouver
Youth Driven Survey Goals of the Survey: document existing youth run entities begin to define what “youth driven” means explore how youth agencies function articulate common barriers to sustaining the work
Youth Driven Survey Process surveyed 25 youth groups received 17 responses Criteria self-identified as youth-driven vs. youth serving some level of autonomy / structure active for longer than one project
Youth Driven Survey TYPE OF WORK DONE BY GROUPS THAT PARTICIPATED: sexual health education peer support first nations advocacy and activism environmental programming and much, much more...
Youth Driven Survey A FOCUS ON THE CAPACITY FOR SUSTAINABILITY - WE ASKED: “What barriers prevent youth run organizations from doing their work, regardless of the type of work that they do?”
Youth Driven Survey MOST COMMON BARRIERS: FUNDING YOUTH REPRESENTATION IN DECISION MAKING AND ACCOUNTABILITY TRAINING POLICY DEVELOPMENT MEDIA RELATIONS
Kicking it up a notch... YOUTH DRIVEN YOUTH ACTION COALITION (YDYA) A coalition of youth run groups, organizations and agencies working together to strengthen the capacity of youth, youth organizations, and the youth community to continue working towards social justice.
Goals of Youth Driven increase the capacity of the partner agencies in order to strengthen their ability to sustain the work increase awareness of the community about the work youth run agencies do identify the ‘determinants of self- organizing’ and enable youth to come together spontaneously for social change
Kicking it up a notch... YOUTH IN THE CITY 1999 A high profile campaign to raise awareness (in the community at large) around the excellent work being done by youth driven groups, in conjunction with Vancouver’ civic elections.
Youth Driven Organizations Have an impact on the community, but lack: capacity for sustainability recognition and profile support from the community at large
A SENSE OF COMMUNITY Youth Driven Organizations are usually more... open welcoming accepting of diverse life experiences accessible to youth with different abilities
Characteristics of Youth Friendly Environments youth are respected youth are valued the environment is fun youth feel appreciated youth feel safe youth feel comfortable there is an honest process
Youth Involvement feels meaningful, useful, important, relevant youth are active, interested, inspired, and want to be there “Their smile extends from their mouth to their eyes.”
Youth in Charge youth in control with support youth taking ownership with accountability youth making decisions with skill building youth taking action in collaboration
For more information... CONTACT: Doug Ragan, Environmental Youth Alliance firstname.lastname@example.org Nadim Kara, KINEX Youth Team (SHRA) email@example.com