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Youth Engagement is evolving at Vancouver Foundation

Since 2011, Vancouver Foundation has invested significant time, energy, ideas and money in bringing together foster care youth and immigrant and refugee youth, listening to them, and empowering them to address issues that affect them.

Now that important progress has been made, including meaningful policy changes and improved political engagement, Vancouver Foundation is returning these initiatives to the communities that inspired them. The work will continue through the youth advisors that lead this work, and two key non-profit organizations with the tools, skills, and resources to continue making a difference on these issues.

Fresh Voices and Fostering Change initiatives continue in the hands of community

The Fresh Voices initiative will be supported by PeerNetBC – a charitable organization that provides professional advice and resources to peer-led groups made up of members who work together to make decisions.

The Fresh Voices youth advisory team members, facilitated by PeerNetBC, will continue the work of Fresh Voices from March 1, 2018 onwards.

Fostering Change will be supported by First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition – a non-partisan coalition of 101 provincial and regional organizations who have united their voices to put children and youth first in BC through public education, community mobilization, and public policy advocacy.

Youth advisors and First Call BC will continue the work of Fostering Change from April 1, 2018 onwards.

Addressing the disproportionate barriers to success faced by Indigenous, immigrant and refugee youth in new ways

Over the last few years, Vancouver Foundation has learned a great deal about the disproportionate barriers to success that Indigenous, immigrant, and refugee youth face, compared to many other young people. Through this work we have developed a very effective model of youth engagement, where youth inform and lead the work, as active and equal partners.

In 2018, our new youth engagement program will build on these learnings by investing in leadership skills among Indigenous, immigrant, and refugee youth, supporting their future work on issues that affect them.

There will be 3 new streams of youth engagement activities:

  1. A youth-focused public policy education program
  2. Ongoing support for youth-led civic engagement activities
  3. The promotion of greater youth leadership within the non-profit sector

In addition, Vancouver Foundation will provide strategic grants to charities and educational institutions with projects that bring together and empower Indigenous, immigrant, and refugee youth.

Our new youth engagement program will continue to be developed throughout the course of 2018, in partnership with Indigenous, immigrant, and refugee youth participants. This will include ongoing support for civic engagement activities, and youth leadership within non-profits.

Strategic grants to non-profits with relevant projects will be available by fall 2018. Our youth public policy education program will launch in spring 2019.

We look forward to sharing more information about this work as it develops throughout the year.

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