Moncton YWCA program aims to teach healthy relationships
Girlspace teaches violence prevention, healthy relationships to young girls through experiental learning
Moncton-area girls will once again be given the chance to take part in a violence prevention program focused on creating healthy relationships.
The Atlantic Wellness Community Centre and the YWCA Moncton will be offering Girlspace, a 10-week program where young women learn about topics such as self-esteem, bullying and violence against women.
"The girls pick topics that are close to them. Healthy relationships is number one with Girlspace, with not just a romantic partner, but with anyone," said Alicia Duffy, communications and resource manager for YWCA Moncton.
The program, which starts March 17, began in the city in 2010 and hasn't been offered since 2014.
It's aimed towards young women anywhere from 12 to 16 years old who take part in activity-based discussions.
That could mean making a group web out of yarn, creating self portraits or even human bingo, where participants try to learn as much as they can about several other people.
"I think at the beginning it can be intimidating, joining a group of young women. It shows them that there is that possibility creating relationships outside of our comfort zones," said Duffy.
Girlspace has been offered in schools and as an after school program and is an important part of the way the YWCA approaches not only young women, but youth work in general, she says.
Duffy said that in the past community members have requested Girlspace be offered to younger girls in Grades 3, 4 and 5.
"We've had that program 10 to 15 times in the last five years," she said.
She says Girlspace participants attended the YWCA's annual general meeting in 2015 and were asked what the program meant to them.
"For them it was a lot about community building, positive peer relationships and looking at themselves with positive regards."