Tag Archives: YWCA

First Annual International Day of the Girl, THANK YOU!!!

26 Nov

Thank you to the YWCA, and all the young and less young ladies who made this possible 🙂



Happy First Ever International Day of the Girl

15 Oct

October 11th 2012 was the first ever International Day of the Girl, thanks to the joint efforts of the United Nations, Plan International, and Status of Women Canada.

It was the occasion for everyone everywhere to remember how we must continue to encourage girls to actively take part in their communities, while guaranteeing them access to education and care, for them to be able to develop and blossom in a world free of violence against women and girls.

Sadly, this first International day of the girl will also be remembered due to the attempted murder of courageous young Pakistani activist, Malala Yousufzai. Let’s take this moment to salute her courage, her resilience, and continue to hope that she recovers fully, as quickly as possible…

The exhibit « Through her eyes » organized by the Women’s Y in Montreal highlighted the reality of girls throughout the world, through the showcasing of various projects girls have led everywhere to make their communities more welcoming, healthier, inclusive and safe for all.

The F.A.C.E girls’ Nomad box made a memorable appearance .. 🙂

« Through her eyes »: a multimedia exhibit organized by the YWCA. The Nomad box was showcased here


The exhibit was organized around seven themes, from girls’ education to body image.

The Nomad box was part of the « borders » section. A few of the My City, My Safety! Drawings were also included in the « activism » theme…

Multimedia products done by girls from all around the world were showcased


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! 

Camp Splash d’été! du YWCA, prise II

13 Août

Par une journée orageuse du mois d’août, deux filles du projet Bien dans ma ville! ont refait une incursion au Centre Segal pour animer un atelier auprès du Camp splash d’été! pour filles du YWCA.

Après un jeu de devinettes sur nos endroits préférés (ou moins…) de Montréal, nous sommes sorties pour une marche exploratoire au parc se situant entre Van Horne et de la Peltrie, jusqu’à la station de métro Plamondon.

C’était une marche exploratoire pour la sécurité des filles un peu spéciale, en mode « chasse au trésor »: les participantes se sont séparées en deux équipes et devaient cumuler un maximum d’observations de l’espace public pouvant influencer le sentiment de d’insécurité ou d’inclusion d’une jeune fille.

Le groupe du YWCA, mené par Dania et Anaïs, nos deux animatrices de F.A.C.E.

À l’affut du détails, les filles vont jusqu’à repérer les déchets au milieu des bacs à fleurs décoratifs sur la rue Van Horne

Nous sommes allées jusque dans les vestiaires du parc, où les filles ont noté plusieurs problèmes, notamment l’inaccessibilité du lieu aux personnes handicapées, un entretien plutôt douteux, et une absence de services d’urgences en cas de besoin.

Nous avons terminé la marche par une activité d’embellissement de l’espace public, toute simple mais efficace! Tout ce qu’il fallait: de la craie multicolore, du goudron gris et maussade, et 15 filles adeptes du dessin 🙂

À l’oeuvre

L’art éphémère ou le jeux est une manière pour les jeunes, et les filles notamment, de faire leur marque dans la ville, de signaler que l’espace en question est accueillant pour tout le monde, et pour décourager la dégradation du lieu. Oui, ces dessins temporaires ne sont pas insignifiant. Pour tout le monde qui les verraient, leur présence veut dire que des jeunes utilisent le lieu. Que des enfants jouent ici, et que les familles sont les bienvenues. Pour une jeune femme, c’est un signal sécurisant.

Dania et son oeuvre

Couleurs …

Merci les filles, pour votre enthousiasme contagieux!!

YWCA Summer Space Camp and My City, My Safety! Team Up for a Day

17 Juil

On July 9th, My City, My Safety! Youth mentors put into practice what they have learned to date by animating a whole day of activities for the YWCA’s Summer Space Camp for girls.

The camp which takes place at the Segal Center for performing arts targets girls aged 10 to 14 years old. The activities are all focused on developing their leadership skills and self-confidence. The camp offers artistic activities, danse and sports, as well as video making and musical workshops.

This day camp is part of the YWCA Montreal’s youth leadership program, it fosters their self-esteem, critical thinking, and leadership skills. Part of its objective is to prevent all forms of violence which affects the life of girls.


The girls’ code of honor which they have developed for the duration of the camp

One of the themes broached during activities is that of girls’ safety. It’s in this context that F.A.C.E Youth mentors prepared a day’s worth of activities, to introduce the 12 girls present to different urban safety issues. We started with some ice-breakers and then discussed what made the girls feel safe and included by drawing a flower and writing their favourite things about the city in its petals.

Drawings made by the girls

Following this, the girls learned to put words on what makes them feel insecure or out of place in public space. To our surprise, they had a LOT to share about their own neighbourhoods … Keeping all of this in mind, we went out for a safety audit walk in the   Mackenzie-King, across from the Segal Center.

Safety audit walk
Poorly maintained area of the park
old and rusty bleachers
no need for an explanation… 
football field. 

Back inside, we handed out some of the pictures taken during the walk. My City, My Safety mentors instructed the girls to « draw what you would change in this picture, if you had a magic wand… »

If I had a magic wand, this is how I would change this park… 

The drawings would have made even Alice in Wonderland jealous…

Ugly apartment bloc transformed, with swimming pool, musical entertainment, rainbow colours, practical, flying car parking, nearby shopping, etc. 
Park with a kid friendly playground, well marked paths, chairs, with lots of people and well maintained. 
Deserted park area transformed with fruit trees, swings, boom box benches, well marked paths and giant umbrellas. 
Recycling and composting, high tech bleachers, ice cream man, etc. 

Even though flying  cars and skittles rain may not happen tomorrow, the message to take back from this is that a bit more cleanliness, animation, music, opportunities for a greater mixity of people,  respect for the environment and places to shop nearby are pretty realistic things to ask for… Here is a hint for decision makers and developers!