YWCA Summer Space Camp for Girls Take 2

13 Août

It was a stormy day in August that two girls from My City, My Safety! went back to the Segal center to host a workshop for the YWCA’s Girls’ Summer Space camp!

Following a guessing game about each other’s favourite Montreal spots (or least favourites), we ventured out for a safety audit walk in the park situated between Van Horne and de la Peltrie, all the way to the Plamondon Metro Station.

It was a modified girls’ safety audit walk, of the scavenger hunt type: participants were split into two groups and had to cumulate as many observations on public space which could influence a girl’s feeling of safety or inclusion. Everyone participated so well though, we had to give a prize to all the girls 🙂

Dania and Anaïs, our two F.A.C.E mentors, leading the YWCA campers 
Exploring Plamondon metro station…
In search of all details, the girls even went about looking for unsightly garbage in the flowers decorating Van Horne Street. 
The sidewalk along Van Horne, too narrow to walk at the same time as the cleaning apparatus or the bicycles trying to escape intense street traffic. 
We even went into the park’s locker room, where the girls noted many problems: inaccessibility to wheelchairs, poor maintenance and the lack of emergency services if need be (no phones, windows, etc.)
We ended the walk with an activity to beautify public space, which was simple but effective all at once. All we needed was rainbow coloured chalk, a sad looking grey patch of concrete, and 15 artistically inclined girls 🙂

Temporary street art or play activities is a way for your, notably girls, to make their mark in a city, to send the message that public space is for everyone, and to discourage people from spoiling the space. Indeed, their temporary drawings are far form insignificant. For anyone who might see them, their presence says: Youth use this space! Children play here, and families are welcome. All of these things, for a young woman or girl, is a comforting thought.

Dania and her piece
Thank you girls, for your contagious enthusiasm! 
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