This winter, I had the privilege of traveling around British Columbia delivering workshops with rural girls and young women as part of Phase 2 of the Pass it On project. These workshops were originally written for youth here on Salt Spring Island and thanks to the support of Status of Women Canada, SWOVA was able to facilitate weekends with girls and young women in Ucluelet, Prince George, McBride and Kamloops. Over the course of two days we created safe spaces for participants to both share and learn around topics including Body Image and Self Esteem, Depression and Expression, Party Safety and Girl Friendships. The conversations were lively, vulnerable, wise and engaging.
The weekends confirmed two important pieces for me as a social justice activist. There is an essential need for workshops such as these to address and offer support for the challenges and difficulties that girls and young women face, specifically as it relates to living in geographically-isolated communities.
During my time with girls and young women around the province, I was inspired by both the social and emotional intelligence of those I sat with. Given many of the pressures they face in regards to self- esteem, body image, partying and friendship, these girls and young women showed immense courage and conviction as they worked together.
In all communities, girls and young women spoke authentically about wishing that workshops such as these would be offered to their peers around the province.
Christina Antonick – Pass it On/ R+R Facilitator