PPO Wins 2011 Bentley Award!

We are very proud to announce that we are the recipients of the 2011 Bentley Award for Excellence in Achievement for our project, Visiting ‘Girls Chat’: A Sexual Health Education Pilot Project with Muslim Youth. The project was implemented in three phases, starting with a needs assessment, then the adaptation and delivery of PPO’s existing community education programming (including hiring Faiza, youth co-facilitator), followed by an evaluation of those adapted workshops.

The participants characterized the presentations as both informative and useful, and described the environment as comfortable, safe and confidential. Participants also commented on being surprised by some of the information conveyed (e.g., on sexualized body images in the media, and fertile and infertile periods of the menstrual cycle). They stated that they felt that the message of diversity and of every individual being unique was very helpful for themselves as young women, especially around the topic of body individuality. Finally, they shared that they felt that they would recommend these workshops to friends/peers, and that they could be sources of information for their peers.

When we shared the news about winning the 2011 Bentley Award with Faiza, she was tremendously happy to hear about this success. Faiza and Courtney had worked so well together as co-facilitators, and Courtney shares in Faiza’s excitement about the project.

Faiza shares some thoughts about the program:
“The success of this program would not have been possible without the supportive and welcoming environment that was created by the program partners at the Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre and the youth themselves. We immediately felt like members of the group! The girls were excited to have us there as we were always keen and enthusiastic to attend each session.

For too long, many young people from minority cultural communities have been kept at the fringe of attaining sexual and reproductive health due to the many barriers they face in engaging with these programs.  The issues facing young individuals from these communities can sometimes be unique to their cultural experiences and not adequately addressed in the general public education programs provided by service providers. However, this project has illustrated that not only is the community ready for a program such as this, the long-term implementation of a program such as this will result in positive development in the community.”