Project title: 2eat2share2care

 Participatory Budgeting funding request: $3600

 Organization/Individual: Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria

 Location: Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria

What is your project?

Food connects us all – it supports our cultures, our health, our relationships, and our work! Food also encourages us to learn and to share. The newcomer youth from the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria’s Meet-Up Program wanted to use their love of food to care and share with their community, while planting seeds for their futures.

Our project proposal is twofold: First, our group of youth (aged 16-24) wants to provide Food Safe and First Aid training for 18 youth through the ICA and Quadra Village Community Centre. Secondly, they would like to nurture these skills by hosting a community dinner for up to 50 people to bring folks from different backgrounds together at one long table. The meals will be developed and made by our youth to share their new-found skills with their community. At the community dinner, we want to host a drumming workshop for participants with Drum Victoria’s instructor, Jordan Hanson. Jordan has worked with the ICA before and have been blown away at his drumming skills from around the globe.

Why do we need the money, you might ask? Well, like many youth, our program attendees wanted to use the Participatory Budgeting funds to learn valuable skills to share their knowledge and skills with their community. When working on the proposal, they were very clear that they wanted to improve their job prospects in the future.

How does your project benefit the lives of youth in Victoria?

We strongly believe that opportunities for youth to form leadership skills are integral to the sustainability of healthy communities. Investing in youth through education and cross-community programming creates empowered leaders for the future. In setting their goals in motion, many youth recognize that education through workshops and certifications can ensure employment and self-sufficiency, not to mention helping them perform their work safely. However, the costs to enroll in these programs are often too much for them to pay for on their own. Our project wants to lower the barriers to access these important skills so they can have fun, stay safe and provide for themselves and their communities.

Beyond the skills learned in training, putting together a community event like this empowers youth through the experience of developing and executing multi-stage and multi-dimensional community events. In the past, we have seen great impact on the confidence of our youth in their abilities to network across communities and see the fruits of their labours come to life. Particularly for newcomer youth, finding ways to contribute back to their community through service learning and skill development can improve their feelings of security within their new community

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