The P.E.A.C.E Project (Peer Education and Connection through Empowerment)

View Project Fact Sheet (PDF)

Project at a glance:

PROJECT GOAL:

To develop trauma-informed curriculum and facilitate group activities that enhance resiliency and promote overall health of female-identifying youth who have experienced any form of gender-based violence.

PROJECT OBJECTIVES:

  • Empowerment through Education: Acquisition of critical thinking skills through exposure to social, cultural, political, historical and economic information using gender analysis
  • Action-Based: Ability to create new knowledge, intervention tools, find resources, engage in positive risk-taking through experiential learning
  • Trauma-Informed Practice: Creation of a safe environment to facilitate healthy coping skills, self-esteem building, healthy relationships, witness stories, acknowledge emotions, handle disclosure
  • Participatory Research: Evaluate stages of the project to identify barriers and potential solutions to early implementation of psychosocial programs via qualitative interviews with participants and stakeholders regarding their experiences

PROJECT ACTIVITY HIGHLIGHTS:

Initial Program Development and Engagement with Community Partners

  • Development of program materials including curriculum, information sheets and promotion
  • Volunteer and Peer Mentor Recruitment and Training
  • Recruitment of Participants and Introduction to Program

Development of Group Process

  • Psychoeducation regarding trauma-informed care
  • Qualitative interviews and observations

Development and Implementation of Activities

  • Develop and implement desired activities that focus on primary health promotion
  • Ensure all activities are trauma-informed

Project Summary

  • Suggest promising practices
  • Outline successes and challenges

WEBSITE:

http://www.covenanthousetoronto.ca/homeless-youth/Home.aspx

PROJECT LEADS:

Covenant House Toronto: Canada’s largest shelter for homeless youth offering a wide range of services under one roof.
Centre for Addictions and Mental Health: Canada’s largest mental illness and addiction hospital.

PARTNERING AGENCIES:

East Metro Youth Services, BOOST Child and Youth Advocacy Centre, Turning Point Youth Services, All Saints Church-Community Centre, Native Women’s Resource Centre of Toronto, Pape Adolescent Resource Centre, Native Family and Child Services

PROJECT UPDATES:

Fall 2017

  • Participants are currently discussing the effectiveness of the intervention, including suggestions and ideas for future implementation. The project’s team members are pleased to share some of the feedback they have been receiving from the peer mentors:

“Amazing experience, thank you for this opportunity and for creating a space that is truly inclusive and fosters a sense of connectivity and real safety. Today set the tone in an empowering way, where through each other’s inputs we really were able to ask and answer some questions. Very healing, and instructive. Thank you.”

“Mind to Heart was a good, calm, relaxing, comfortable, safe way of learning meditation, mindfulness, tones of energy and space, and just being “present” in the moment. Learned a lot about being a Space Holder and safe techniques.”

“I learned and felt more comfortable with the structure of how the group run and the meaning behind trauma-informed practice, grass-roots approach and vicarious resiliency.”

“I liked the way that we were able to practice the mindfulness activities and leading them. I think that I’ll definitively practice doing these at home to prepare for the groups.”

Spring 2017

  • The project launched its first group in late January 2017 with 17 participants. A third group recently began in April, 2017.

Winter 2016