Several creative, innovative projects to prevent sexual violence in the Annapolis Valley and South Shore areas are receiving grants through the province’s Sexual Violence Strategy.
Keith Irving, MLA Kings South, on behalf of Community Services Minister Joanne Bernard, today, April 12, announced more than $70,000 in Prevention Innovation Grants for six organizations that work with diverse groups of young people.
“We know that public education and awareness are key tools in the work to decrease sexual violence,” said Mr. Irving. “From the Annapolis Valley to the South Shore, community organizations are important partners in preventing sexual violence, and they are making a difference.”
The Prevention Innovation Grants are a commitment under government’s Sexual Violence Strategy. There is an additional $600,000 yet to come for a total investment of $1.2 million. Applications for these one-time grants will be made available again in the fall.
The grants support community groups and organizations, including youth and underserved populations such as African Nova Scotians, First Nations, and the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) community, to reach out to their peers and help put creative prevention initiatives into practice.
The Valley African Nova Scotia Development Agency in Kentville is receiving almost $30,000 to engage with young African Nova Scotian men to help them become advocates and leaders in preventing sexual violence.
“Sexual violence isn’t typically a topic that is spoken about openly in the African Nova Scotian community,” said Robert Ffrench, executive director, Valley African Nova Scotian Development Association. “With this grant, we want to build a group of community leaders and mentors, and bring this subject matter into the open.”
Acadia University is receiving almost $27,000 to develop and implement a campus-wide prevention strategy focused on consent and coercion.
“The Acadia Students’ Union will continue to collaborate with Acadia University to create a community that celebrates and values sexual health and challenges sexual violence in all forms,” said Suzanne Gray, president of Acadia Students’ Union. “Student leaders will assume roles of responsibility in developing the activities of this project.”
Other grants were:
–- $4,500 to the YMCA of South West N.S. to develop media literacy and digital citizenship training to help youth between the ages of 12 and 18 become more aware of sexual violence and learn how to prevent it online
–- $5,000 to the Sexual Health Centre of Lunenburg County to create a video series for parents on how to talk with their children about healthy relationships, consent and media literacy
–- $4,000 to the South Shore Youth Advisory Committee so youth can write and record a song about taking care of yourself and others
–- $2,300 to the Middleton Regional High School Gender and Sexuality Alliance for a student-led research project to address sexualized violence against LGBTQ youth in schools
Nearly 100 applications were received from across the province. The names of other communities and organizations receiving grants will be announced soon.