Rethinking Relationships in the Lives of Girls & Boys

A Model for Education, Public Health and Community Sectors. 3-year grant, Ontario Women’s Directorate

The primary aim of this project is to develop a versatile and comprehensive framework for mentoring youth between the ages of 11-14 to address various forms of violence and promote healthy and equal relationships and social spaces in ways that are collaborative, creative, and youth-centred. The framework developed will provide adults working with youth in diverse institutional and community settings and sectors with promising practice guidelines and strategies for mentoring youth using an approach that is participatory and intersectional.

This main objective reflects our understanding that it is important to develop meaningful and empowering, yet flexible, mentoring strategies for engaging both male and female youth from diverse communities in the work of challenging violence and of fostering healthier, more equitable, patterns of social interrelationships. It is important to develop mentoring strategies that respond to the diversity and specificity of youth experiences, social contexts, and identities, and that inclusively engage the knowledge and direct participation of youth. The mentoring framework created with this initiative will be informed by a theoretical foundation of intersectionality and by a participatory action methodology. This mentoring model will provide best practices, strategies, and resources that enable youth and adults to work in partnership to design, implement, and evaluate initiatives that engage youth in the important work of examining and challenging the different forms of violence, inequalities, and exclusions in their everyday lives and promoting healthy more equal relationships and social spaces.

At the end of this initiative, in November 2009, we will host a conference where we will draw on local knowledge to identify approaches to mentoring youth between the ages of 11-14 that address various forms of violence and promote healthy and equal relationships. This exciting province wide event is designed to be collaborative, creative and youth-centred and will feature diverse voices, including Francophone and Aboriginal perspectives. The project will wrap up with the production of a manual that draws attention to new and innovative approaches, strategies and tools that can be adapted with youth locally.

Project Team

  • H. Berman
  • P. Jaffe
  • B. MacQuarrie
  • R. Hughes
  • Y. Hussain
  • M. Pajot
  • S. Abdelwahab