Saint Lucian youth will soon be able to access a safe space support network designed to aid the physical and mental health, and wellbeing for emerging youth facing a range of challenges.
The new project will specifically target underserved youth and those in the LGBTQI+ community in Saint Lucia as part of continued collaborative efforts between the Government of Canada, through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI), and local non-profit charity the Sacred Sports Foundation (SSF).
As part of youth and gender identity awareness activities, the “This is ME and YOU” initiative will create spaces where young people can feel comfortable in their social identities, especially women who feel isolated and struggle with a sense of self.
The project will seek to provide a network of safe spaces for those facing social exclusion as a result of identifying as part of the LGBTQI+ community.
SSF is a regional leader in gender awareness and identity training, in a sport for development context in Saint Lucia by training and working closely with community youth, stakeholders and fellow community groups to help generate interest, deliver network sessions, build skills and capacity to strengthen leadership on and off the field of play.
“This is ME and YOU”, will also create a new podcast series encouraging youth to use their voice by sharing ideas and stories, tackling events or situations that impact lives as well as the most frequently asked questions, whilst seeking to navigate the challenging cultural waters with compassion and clarity.
“The absence of a social support network has led to repeated requests for assistance from the LGBTQI+ community”, says Nova Alexander, Executive Director of SSF.
“It is vital we expand our initial work. These efforts will help create a less vulnerable, safe space environment in which everyone can stay informed, and ideally find opportunities to develop their full potential”.
The CFLI programme supports a wide range of small-scale, high-impact projects, in developing countries, which align with Canada’s thematic priority areas for engagement.
Canada previously supported Sacred Sports Foundation’s “This is ME” initiative in 2021, and is proud to continue its partnership with SSF to create a more inclusive global community.
SOURCE: Sacred Sports Foundation. Headline photo courtesy Jackson David (Unsplash.com)