Revitalizing Rural Nova Scotia Through Youth-led Innovations

TRURO – Rural Communities Foundation of Nova Scotia, in partnership with RBC Future Launch Community Challenge and Community Foundations of Canada (CFC) has given $90,000 to seven youth-led projects that will help sustain and enrich their communities in rural Nova Scotia.

The grants are being made to youth-led projects in 150 small and medium sized communities across Canada. The goal of the granting program is to shift the power to young leaders making positive social or environmental change in their communities, while gaining valuable skills and experience.

Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) has received $13,500 for the project, ‘Rural Community Wetland Health Assessment Through Citizen Science Data Collection’. DUC employs youth interns to assist in the delivery of Wetland Education Programs for students and visitors at several sites in Nova Scotia. The goal of the project is to assess the health and biodiversity of these sites, to produce resources for students to use on field trips to compile and analyze information, and to share data via citizen science databases.

Kings Volunteer Resource Centre (KVRC) was awarded $10,170 for their visual media project ‘Youth to Youth Videos on Volunteering’. In partnership with the Duke of Ed at Horton High youth group, KVRC will promote the value of volunteer work experience and encourage youth to become volunteers. The youth group will create videos to help young people learn how volunteering increases a sense of belonging and inclusion, and provides work experience. The videos will be a valuable resource and readily available for groups and organizations throughout the province to use on their websites and social media.

Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation has received $15,000 for their project ‘Nova Action’ which will give young leaders the skills, resources and support to identify and research environmental issues in their local communities. The participants will represent a diverse group of youth from across Nova Scotia. Their goal will be to create awareness of the environmental issues in their communities and propose solutions.

Tatamagouche Centre was awarded $15,000 for ‘Down To Earth’, a project that will connect Indigenous youth with meaningful land-based knowledge rooted in Mi’kmaw values. Workshops will focus on traditional knowledge of the land, youth wellness, land-based skills and practices, culture, respect for the environment, and food sovereignty. The program will be led by youth mentors, knowledge keepers and Elders.

Calvary Temple (Live Well Community Church) has received $15,000 for their project ‘CONNECTMusic’ which will offer free music lessons to youth in the Digby Neck and islands area of Nova Scotia. By playing music together and participating in music jams and weekly youth groups, the project leaders hope the participants will become more involved in their community and learn other skills as well. This is a safe and enjoyable recreation program in a rural area where some youth feel isolated because there are few community centres and no sports facilities or public internet.

Pictou County Roots for Youth Society was awarded $6,330 to run ‘The Happiness Project’, a 6-session intervention program aimed at helping youth practice behaviours that are documented to support well-being. The goal of the program is to encourage participants to stay focused on positive thinking strategies.

Br.78 RCL Dominion has received $15,000 for their project ‘Concerned Youth’ which will provide recreation programs and activities in partnership with Cape Breton Regional Municipality. They are hoping to have a youth advisory group develop an adventurous year-round recreation program that includes geocaching, gardening, outdoor games, hayrides, winter feasts and community cleanups.

The RBC Future Launch Community Challenge has allowed youth to apply for funding to support their bold ideas to address urgent community priorities. Young people will have the opportunity to lead, learn new skills, gain experience, and build relationships in their local communities — all things that they need now, and will help them prepare for the future of work. Later this year, youth and community members will be brought together for ‘Vital Conversations,’ community dialogue focused on creating a better future together.

“Young people are not future leaders — they are leading social and environmental change right now. We are honoured to play a role in the bold change that youth are leading across the country through this national initiative with RBC,” says Andrew Chunilall, CEO of Community Foundations of Canada.

Rural Communities Foundation of Nova Scotia Chair Jean Ward says it is rewarding to help young people create meaningful change in their rural communities as they learn the skills they need. “We are grateful for the support of Community Foundations of Canada and the RBC Foundation for helping us provide these opportunities for youth in rural areas of our province.”

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Rural Communities Foundation of Nova Scotia (RCF) has been making small grants to rural community organizations since 2004, in an accountable and transparent way. Its grant programs have supported local groups whose work is focused on youth, environment, leadership, seniors, and rural innovation in the province, including Mi’kmaq communities. Participating in the RBC Future Launch Community Challenge builds on RCF’s long-time support to local youth and youth leadership in rural Nova Scotia.

The RBC Future Launch Community Challenge is hosted by Community Foundations of Canada and participating community foundations and is made possible thanks to a $5M donation from RBC Foundation. It is part of RBC Future Launch, a commitment by RBC and the RBC Foundation to empower Canadian youth for the jobs of tomorrow. Over the next 10 years, RBC Future Launch is dedicating $500 million to help young people access meaningful employment through practical work experience, skills development opportunities, networking solutions and mental well-being supports and services.

For more information contact:
Jean Ward, Chair, Rural Communities Foundation of Nova Scotia (RCF)

[email protected]

The RBC Future Launch Community Challenge is supported by the RBC Foundation.