The federal government has given a boost to a Surrey program that aims to empower young women – and to prevent violence against them.
YWCA Metro Vancouver recently received $259,550 from the federal Status of Women ministry for its leadership program for girls in Surrey, entitled That’s Just Me.
The program will develop leadership skills among Grade 7 girls and address their concerns about entering high school, examine issues of gender and violence against women, and help the girls to define attitudes and behaviours that are fundamental to healthy relationships.
It will empower girls to be “resilient, confident and socially responsible young women” who know what healthy relationships look like – “an integral step in the prevention of violence against women.”
“Our government is pleased to support projects that call on all Canadians – women and men, girls and boys – to work collaboratively to end all forms of violence against women,” said Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women.
Developed in partnership with the Surrey School District as a seven-week after-school program, the program uses university/college students, a high school mentor and an adult volunteer to serve as a mentor.
The first session is slated to start in the spring (2012).