Navigating the circumstances of the Covid-19 Pandemic, quarantine and practicing safe social distancing measures has affected the interaction, engagement, connection and support we have with others. The needs of the girls and parents we serve is clear. A space is needed, virtual and physical, for girls in our community to gather, connect and interact with one another. Lack of these needs met, in addition to the anxiety and uncertainty surrounding Covid-19, has the potential to greatly influence one’s mental health and well-being. Living through a pandemic is not easy. Life has changed, forcing people to adapt. Young people, especially, have felt the impacts. With COVID-19 causing uncertainty and changes to our routines, mental health is more important than ever. Fortunately, there is a growing recognition of the importance of helping young people build mental resilience, from the earliest ages, in order to cope with the challenges of today’s world. Evidence is growing that promoting and protecting adolescent health brings benefits
not just to adolescents’ health, both in the short- and the long-term, but also to economies and society, with healthy young adults able to make greater contributions to the workforce, their families and communities and society as a whole.
This pandemic’s impact on girls’ mental health and well-being deepens, girls’ programs face many challenges to give them what they need. Making sure girls and young women aren’t left behind in the pandemic. Girls Inc. has implemented a blended model to support our girls. Virtually facilitating our programs to those girls who do not feel comfortable or are not able to come to our in person program. We will continue to host our girls remotely through video group chat, send out activities for the girls to do while at home, and stay as connected with them as much as possible. They need their support system of Girls Inc. peers and mentors.
At times it feels like an overwhelming task on our own, but we can come together to give exceptional service providers like our Girls Inc. crew by giving them a hand. Delivering craft kits, hosting online and outdoor activities, grappling with the “digital divide”, working not only with girls but also with families and communities … they’re certainly in a “learn by doing” situation in our programming.
Our amazing program staff; Tracey McCannell, Heather Buckner, Brianna Capone, Vanessa DeRyck , Shannon Comire and Bronwyn Wagg are our grassroots leaders who work hard every day behind the scenes with our amazing volunteers to bring services to the most vulnerable in our community.
With the help of our Champions and supporters, like 100 Men Who Care we are able to boost girls’ sense of belonging and help build their skills, confidence, and leadership. We are working hard to cultivate brighter futures in this sea of uncertainty.
Girls Inc changes lives. I’ve seen it happen and they will always have my support. The work they do with girls is vital; the skills they teach, the confidence they instill, the fun they create, the friendships they foster – it’s incredible. I love working with this team and I especially love watching Girls Inc girls SOAR. – Meredith Shaw, Bell Media radio & television personality www.meredithshaw.com www.chumfm.com