Pilot Project Wrap-Up -- by Faiza

Having spent many years working in the field of youth engagement and community development, I was incredibly impressed that PPO and the ORCC had taken the initiative in meeting a critical need in the community - sexual reproductive health knowledge among minority cultural youth. This pilot project was intended to develop a public education program that would encompass the diversity and complexity of views in the greater community on sexual and reproductive health knowledge.

As a co-facilitator of the program, Courtney and I were invited into the girls groups in order to provide some level of expertise knowledge on the various topics; however, we were the ones who often left more informed by the lively discussions we had with the girls.

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 ORCC 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.

At this year’s Annual General Meeting for PPO, there will be a presentation by the M.S.W. students who evaluated this project, entitled “Evaluation of PPO's Community Education Sexual and Reproductive Health Program”. We hope that you will plan to attend to see what the results of the focus group had been!

--Faiza
(read more about Faiza here)