Communities speaking out

The Focus Three Project

The core idea of the Focus Three project was to work with three communities where passionate individuals had been moved by a crisis in their communities and had started to try to do something about it. This is the story of how they were supported, how they responded and what they have done!
The Students Commission, as lead of The Centre of Excellence for Youth Engagement, provided support, resources (including funding, staff, tools and research) to help them take the action they felt was important to their communities.
The criteria for selecting the communities included passionate individuals personally moved by a crisis, an interest and an invitation to us as an outside organization to partner, and an indication that there were others in the community who could be rallied to get involved. Our goal was to foster engagement at the individual, social and systemic level in each community.
One of the communities we selected was the Blood Reserve in Alberta where Kainai youth wanted to create Reclaiming Hope, a project to address youth suicide, in honour of Myron Wolfchild, who helped found the Kainai Youth Council prior to his death.
The second community we selected was Kugluktuk in Nunavut where we had met a young man who wanted to address the rampant abuse of alcohol by adults in the community and its devastating impact on the young people of that community.
The third community was Victoria Park / O’Connor (Parma Court) in Toronto where a mother who had lost a son to violence wanted to encourage the community to take action to prevent any other young men in the community from being killed.