MAP is our entry-level program, where youth learn to communicate creatively and constructively through facilitated group discussion, writing activities, workshops with guest speakers, team-building games, and photography and media arts projects. A combination of one-on-one and group support provides youth with a solid network and strong sense of community. MAP takes place twice a week at the University of King’s College.
LOVE youth who show exceptional leadership potential are invited to join our Leadership Programs, which have components in Halifax, Sipekne’katik, and Membertou. The goal of all of our Leadership Programs is to produce a group of young people who employ leadership skills and put forth non-violent ideologies in their day-to-day lives.
Youth Leaders gain the skills, knowledge, and confidence to educate their peers and communities about violence prevention, and have opportunities to conduct and design community outreach activities. Our Leaders have shown an interest in sharing their perspectives with current and future youth-serving professionals, so most recently we have done a series of outreaches to classes in the Dalhousie School of Social Work. LOVE youth have also spoken at local conferences and events, at Parliament, and at United Nations 61st Congress on the Status of Women.
LOVE has been running satellite programs in the Mi’kmaq communities of Sipekne’katik and Membertou for over 10 years. Having Mi’kmaq staff from these communities has positioned us to do our work, and to amend a program with non-Indigenous roots to suit the needs and realities of the communities we are serving. LOVE in both Sipekne’katik and Membertou has Media Arts and Leadership components, which are tailored to each community. These programs incorporate many Mi’kmaq cultural practices and teachings, including smudge ceremony, sacred fire, pipe ceremonies, talking circles, and healing prayer.
We currently run two in-school, lunch hour programs: one is at Dartmouth High School, and the other is a boys’ program at John Martin Junior High. These programs, made possible by strong partnerships with the schools, aim to promote a more positive and inclusive school environment, while fostering bonds between youth who wouldn’t otherwise interact.
LOVE Leaders have opportunities to participate in our annual regional Leadership Retreat, which brings together youth from Halifax, Sipekne’katik, and Membertou at Camp Kadimah in Lunenburg, NS, as well as the national LOVE camp with youth from across Canada.