In 2000, the Youth Services team began developing programs for girls and young women aged 8 to 35, given in partnership with our school and community partners.
The aims of these programs:
- Promote their well-being:
- Develop their leadership capacity to enable them to make enlightened choices, given their expectations and needs
- Prevent violence of which they could be witnesses or victims
To encourage boys aged 12 to 18 to become involved in violence prevention, since 2013, we have involved them in some of our projects.
Our challenging and dynamic activities, conceived with a gender-based analysis, draw on participants’ strengths and interests and are aimed at developing their self-esteem, social skills, and capacity for critical thinking.
Our programs are adapted to participants’ interests and specific needs and age group. If the program allows for it, we also encourage them to create a collective project of their own choosing.
The tools we develop are made available to schools and community groups through three modes of intervention:
- one-time awareness workshops
- series of 10 or more girl-only weekly workshops
- training sessions for professionals who work with youth
Every summer, YWCA Montreal Youth Services holds Camp Summer Space, a three-week day camp created especially for girls aged 10–13. The camp is an opportunity for girls to develop leadership skills, raise their self-esteem, and explore their creativity in a rich and diverse program that includes dance, circus, theatre, music, and much more.
Over a period of 8–10 weeks, participants in these workshops are encouraged to talk about issues that are important and of interest to them. Examples of topics addressed in the past: peer pressure, models to identify with, body image, diet, communication, respect for others, and gender stereotypes. more…
The aim of It’s My Decision is to reinforce protection factors for teenage girls at risk for sexual exploitation. To this end, two series of 1.5-hour workshops are offered over 10 weeks to interested girls. The project is organized in each participating school to raise youth awareness on the subject. Class presentations are also given, with the goal of reaching 300 students (girls and boys).
Materials: Films Histoire de rues: Filles, gangs et réalités and Être ou paraître (depending on participants’ age)more…
The aim of Working Together is to analyze institutional barriers that prevent girls aged 14–20 years from avoiding sexual exploitation and at-risk environments. The goal is also to mobilize partners to bring about institutional changes in schools and communities to combat the sexual exploitation of girls and young women.more…
The aim of My Health is My Business is to reach 300 participants and discuss ways to develop healthy habits and feel good. Topics that will be explored: healthy diet, physical activity, body image and health in all its dimensions. more…
Strong Girls, Strong World is one of 10 projects led by girls and young women across Canada to provide them with the means to become agents for change and make a difference in their communities. All 10 projects address the issues and barriers confronting young women. As a national initiative, Strong Girls Strong World intends to capture, address, and affirm both the diversity and similarity of obstacles and opportunities facing young women in Canada.
The aim of Take Action is to help teens build their social skills by means of weekly group meetings of girls and boys. The goal is to promote healthy relationships and reduce gender-based violence by discussing topics such as stereotypes and consent and creating a media project.
Take Your Lead is a program of creativity workshops given in the schools every week from September until June. The aim of the project is to help girls develop and strengthen their self-knowledge, social skills, and critical thinking, especially about the media. It also includes a mentorship component in which participants are paired with women to give the girls a chance to build a trusting relationship with a variety of positive role models and in so doing build a more positive self-image.