28 projects receive support from the Trust’s Social Grants
Twenty-eight projects that support social well-being have been approved to receive over $1.3 million in funding through Columbia Basin Trust’s Social Grants.
“These projects clearly illustrate the strength we have in our communities, with organizations of various sizes working on many levels to improve the lives of residents,” said Liz Gillis, Columbia Basin Trust Acting Manager, Social Initiatives. “We’re pleased to be able to support their efforts, which in turn helps us deliver on our goals of addressing systemic social issues, being responsive to community priorities and solutions, and strengthening social sector capacity.”
One of the successful recipients is the Nakusp chapter of Options for Sexual Health. Its project involves renovating an existing building so it can house multiple community non-profits, including the local youth society, arts council, mental health and addictions counsellor, and other preventative health organizations.
“The Kinship Connection Centre creates sustainability amongst non-profit and preventative health groups,” said Teresa Weatherhead, Certified Sexual Health Educator. “We will be able to share resources and amenities under one roof, enabling funds to be directed toward the socially impactful services they provide, while enhancing visibility and accessibility to all ages and genders of our community, with specific inclusion of our youth in Nakusp and region.”
One of the successful recipients is the Blue Lake Forest Education Society. Its project involves piloting a four-day summer camp for Basin youth with special needs, which includes funding additional staff, providing additional training and developing a peer mentorship program.
“Blue Lake was approached by a number of concerned parents looking for specialized camping experiences for their children,” said Todd Hebert, Executive Director. “With few, if any, special needs outdoor camping facilities in the Basin, Blue Lake decided to pursue the opportunity to assist these families with a locally organized program.”
One of the successful recipients is the Circle of Indigenous Nations Society (COINS). Its project involves bringing together 15 West Kootenay elders for four days of cultural sharing and learning, plus hosting 16 additional gatherings to share teachings and ceremonies with Aboriginal families in their communities.
“COINS is very excited to host the Strengthening Our Elders gathering in the West Kootenay region,” said Kris Taks, Executive Director. “This project will support the preservation of culture and traditional ways, as well as offer Aboriginal children, youth and families opportunities for traditional healing and cultural connection.”
Another successful recipient is Freedom Quest Regional Youth Services, a program of the Doukhobour Heritage Retreat Society. With the funds, it will produce a PhotoVoice video focused on marginalized and at-risk youth from the West Kootenay, which will be showcased at the Creating Caring Communities conference in May 2015 in Castlegar. The project will build awareness about youth and their experiences with substance use and mental health.
“I came here to share my story about the real repercussions that drug use can cause and the serious consequences it can have in one’s life,” said participant Cloe Henri. “My ultimate goal is to help others see the lifelong consequences.”
“I feel like my experiences and stories will give perspective on what goes on in our country and our province and our streets—a lot of the times it is really hard stuff,” said participant Kenneth Rougeau. “I feel I can shed some light.”
Since the program was launched in 2012, the Trust has been able to distribute over $3 million to improving social well-being in our communities. Granting decisions are made by the Social Grants Program Selection Committee, a volunteer group of Basin residents that includes individuals who have experience and expertise in the social sector and individuals who have broader community development experience.
For more information about the program, click here.
The Trust also has a new Social Strategic Plan, which will guide all its social initiatives through to 2019. View it here.