Many people ask us how we make connections and get to work with such diverse populations and in such interesting places. The answer is simple... we build partnerships. Everything we do in partnership with others. We chose not recreate the wheel. We aim to add another spoke to existing ones.
Two years ago we reached out to our community in hopes we'd find a partner in the Northwest Territories (NWT). It was important to us that we reach to all corners, especially in our own backyard. Thanks to our past partners at Reel Youth we made a connection to a small community in the NWT called Fort Liard. At the time the youth coordinator was a woman who was described to me as a community hero because of her endless devotion to support those in the community. Her time was limited and through several attempts to book dates to offer our programming there we were unsuccessful. As we moved along in our Global Sorority documentary we knew we could not complete the series without going up north. So we thought we try again.
I decided to use the handy Facebook platform, as I do often; asking my community for connections to a partner in the North. Within moments I had a lead to a teacher who'd be up there working for a couple years. By chance, it was the same community that we had connected with two years before. Incredible how things work! The youth coordinator had retired and the teacher was in contact with her and the new coordinator and the conversation began. Within a month we had dates and within three months we were in flight.
Andrea, our film maker, and I took the journey up north to offer the Elements of SUCCESS leadership program not only to the girls but also our first boys group. It was perhaps the most interesting and challenging of trips for more reasons that I can share in a blog. It truly saddens me to know the challenges that youth continue to face in our communities. We don't need to go half away around the world to see poverty, extreme violence and challenges with health and we do not need to go far to connect with youth have powerful ideas to create change regardless of their circumstances. 3Fort Liard thanks to the support Amy, our incredible sponsor teacher, the principal of the school and Sophie, the youth coordinator of the community. There is a lot of planning and resources that go in this these