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  Community Action Projects

At the Opening Retreat participants become part of teams that will partner with existing community organizations to develop and deliver projects with a lasting benefit for the community.   Each team is assigned an experienced Coach to help ensure that projects are manageable, to assist in connections with community resources, and to intervene in team dynamics if required.

Community Action Projects give participants an opportunity to work collaboratively, practice group development, and engage in participatory decision-making.  In essence, the projects make community laboratories by providing unique opportunities to exercise skills and knowledge gained from Community Learning Days and to apply leadership skills in a tangible context that results in concrete outcomes.

Community agencies and their constituents benefit as participants develop their leadership capacity. In the course of their projects, participants gain practical insight into the workings of Greater Victoria communities.

Community Action Project teams showcase their projects at a Graduation Ceremony.




Enlighten - Is Your Number Up?

This team's objective was to increase public safety by raising awareness of address visibility for emergency services, with a focus on rural and suburban communities. Their research of over 500 houses in Saanich area learned that over 30% of home addresses were not visible during the day, and more than 50% were not visible at night. Awareness was addressed through two separately televised public service announcements broadcast on A&E, TLC and AMC during primetime TV. The team's partners included BC Emergency Health Services, Saanich Police and Saanich Fire. Their sponsor - Capital Region Emergency Service Telecommunications (CREST) donated the financing for the announcements.



Hope Collective - Listen Up Victoria!

The primary focus of this project was to generate awareness of the therapeutic benefits of music to connect individuals to their emotions, memories and a feeling of belonging. The team collaborated with music therapists and the Music Heals Foundation to promote these benefits and collected iPod devices through drop off sites throughout the Victoria community. These iPods were then distributed to various long term care facilities for the benefit of residents with various disabilities.


Go Big - Beyond the Box

This team developed an awareness campaign and event that provided the public with the means to drop off used clothing at various locations on Family Day. The result of these increased donations was to enable their community partner, Big Brothers Big Sisters, to fund additional resources to reduce the waiting period for "littles" to be matched to "bigs".


Orange United - Orange Your Workplace

Orange Day is a United Nations Campaign to raise awareness and show opposition to Violence Against Women with the colour orange, on the 25th day of each month. In early March, this team arranged a demonstration/rally at UVic and invited employers, police, and local suport agencies to learn about the impact of violence against women in the workplace. Along with their partner, the Cridge Centre for Families, they also provided resources for employers.



Bees' Knees - Boxes and Blossoms


Community Partner: Lifecycles Project Society


This team’s mission was focus on habitat creation by building Mason Bee Boxes, and on planting pollinator plants to feed bees. The Mason Bee is a native pollinator to Vancouver Island; it pollinates up to 65 times more blossoms than a honey bee and is non-aggressive. This project provided and protected habitat for Blue Orchard Mason bees in partnership with Lifecycles Project Society. The team procured and distributed 100 bee boxes, and planted 500 pollinator plants at the Welland Orchard and surrounding area. operated and maintained by Lifecycles. By providing habitat and food for bees, this project will help the community get m ore food from backyards and a bigger harvest to help feed people.

Project Donors and Sponsors: Community sponsors with greenhouses, gardening equipment, seeds, soil; Capital Region Beekeepers' Association; Master Gardeners Association of B.C.


Team Ensemble - Word of Mouth: Dental Awareness


Community Partner: Oral Care for Children and Adolescents (ORCCA)

This team's mission was to help address the gap in awareness of oral health care as an important part of youth health care, which includes increasing access to affordable dental care for children and adolescents. While working with volunteer students of the Dental Hygienist Program at Camosun College, the team endeavoured to deliver a presentation that focused on delivering knowledge and awareness of dental care to young families in the Saanich Peninsula. The team's partner, ORCCA, is building a new clinic in the annex of Sidney Elementary School, launched in May. Families with low incomes and no dental insurance will be able to access the services through their Health Child Card.



Project Partners: ORCCA, Camosun College Dental Hygiene Program

Team Fine Line - Destigmatizing Addiction


Community Partner: Reynolds Secondary School

This team learned that 47,000 Canadian deaths are linked to substance misuse annually and that for every $5 spent on drug rehabilitation, $95 is spent on incarcerating people who misuse drugs. 60% of people who misuse drugs are between the ages of 15 and 24. The team's project was to produce a video to tell their stories. The students and teacher at Reynolds Secondary School helped to conduct the interviews. The video will be shown to individual classes at Reynolds Secondary and possibly to the entire student body. They will also reach a broader audience by posting their video to YouTube and other social media outlets.


Team Squirrel! - Look Up!


Community Partner: Saanich Community Youth Team (COYOTE)

This team learned that 35% of youth in Greater Victoria feel lonely and disconnected, and identified feelings of low self-esteem, isolation and difficulty interacting with other members of their community, due to dependence on mobile devices. The team wanted to address the negative impacts to our lives through the use of these devices. Their project consisted of a challenge to the community to put down their mobile devices, look up at the community around them and express what they see by taking a picture with their smartphone and posting it to the team's social media accounts, including Twitter, Instagram and FaceBook. A video summarizing the entries was presented at a wrap-up event, at which a winning picture was selected and announced.

Project Donors and Sponsors: CHEK News, Peninsula Coop and Saanich Fire Foundation:



For a list of past Community Action Projects click here.



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