The impact of the Youth Project

The Youth Project was launched in April 2020 amid the COVID-19 school closures, which increased the risks related to the isolation and marginalization of young people, especially those at risk of dropping out.

 

Bridging the gap between advantaged and disadvantaged youths

The fund partners entrusted this project to Centraide of Greater Montreal out of a desire to reduce the widening gap between youths who are well-off and those in disadvantaged environments who don’t enjoy the same learning conditions (e.g., a workspace, computer equipment, supervision, encouragement).

Understanding needs

Thanks to its network of youth agencies and close ties with the school system and the Ministère de l’Éducation, Centraide of Greater Montreal was able to quickly determine needs and provide effective support to the agencies in its territory that help young people.


 

The Numbers

 

 

Psychosocial support: 56 activities

  • Educational and fun activities to break isolation (sports / art / music / science / cooking)

  • Individual support over the phone and online

  • Group support

  • Support to help outreach workers connect with young people (visits at parks / virtual contact over social media)

  • Mental health and self-esteem training

 

Educational support: 43 activities

  • Group support (educational videos / catch-up lessons / French classes / online courses and activities)

  • Personalized individual support (online tutoring / homework help)

  • Activities to prevent dropouts / support during the transition to primary or secondary school

 

Technical support: 20 activities

  • Loan of tablets and laptops

  • Set-up of computer rooms with social distancing

 

Community agencies played a key role in directing donations or material loans to youths and their families and providing support. A partnership with SynergiTIC helped agencies get technical support to implement online activities and connect with youth virtually.

 

Immediate impacts

 

> Youth feel safer and less isolated

> They are better able to manage their emotions and conflicts

> They find learning easier

> Families feel better equipped

 

 

Voices from the field

 

“Throughout the project, we took the time to talk with teens both online and face-to-face once our offices reopened. We reached out to ask youths how they were doing and feeling, how the lockdown was going for them, what things were like at home, and other questions about their well-being and offered support as needed. At the end of August, we focused on the back-to-school season. Young people needed to talk about their emotions and needs in this context, and we listened.”

Sylvain Rémillard, Executive Director, Maison des Jeunes St-Rémi

 

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“I loved talking to an adult, as adults don’t usually talk to me like that, or I don't trust them.”

Participant, The YMCAs of Québec

 

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“I took the online workshops with CAFLA during a time that was very complicated for me and my family because of the pandemic. The meetings really helped me keep up with my studies.”

Participant, Centre d'aide aux familles latino-américaines (CAFLA)

 

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“I feel listened to, and it's reassuring to know I can vent to someone.”

Participant, Benado

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“Diapason-Jeunesse stayed open during the lockdown, and that helped me a lot. I didn’t feel alone or just left to my own devices in my room.

Participant, Diapason-Jeunesse

 

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