Monday, April 18, 2011

BCHC Newsletter - April 2011


Sasa Logg
in is the Project Director of Skeena Diversity Society, an organization that has set out to make Terrace a more welcoming and inclusive community for all of its members. A dynamic community developer, Sasa wears several “hats” in her community, and in addition to her work supporting immigrants in adapting to their new community, she has also contributed to her community as the coordinator of Terrace’s Make Children First Network. The organization focuses on the development of children aged zero to six, recognizing the importance of early child development, and helping to create a community where children and families are supported and valued.

While Sasa ha
s been involved with Skeen Diversity throughout its ten years of existence, this year marked a milestone when they opened the Skeena Diversity Centre, a place for community members to meet, gather, share ideas and get to know each other. The centre is open 6 days per week, and among other things hosts activities such as community potlucks, movie nights, coffee houses, art shows and community dialogues. Sasa describes the Centre as a hub where Skeena Diversity Society supports and connects community members who have ideas for their community and want to develop new opportunities.

Sasa is an
incredible multi-tasker with seemingly boundless energy, a contagious positive attitude and an abundance of creative ideas. She and her team have carried out a wide array of community building activities, but one of the most exciting is the work they are doing to bring the community together to explore potential opportunities for an old abandoned Co-op property near Terrace’s downtown. Working with the mayor and Council they recently hosted a series of community dialogues to gather community feedback about the site which Sasa hopes could one day become a key community gathering place.

A collaborative leader at heart, and this year Sasa initiated a partnership with BC Healthy Communities and the Centre for Innovative Leadership to offer the Leading Communities program in Terrace. The program is a community leadership training program which works with emerging, potential and experienced leaders in rural communities to develop and enhance their leadership skills for collaborative community action. “If we are going to create a more welcoming and inclusive community” she says, “we need more diverse and inclusive leadership”.


Creating Community Owned Resources:
by Sarah Amyot

We recently launched a new website to support our Victoria-based youth engagement work. While a website re-launch may not seem to have much to do with effective practice for healthy community development, what I’ve been struck by is how important fostering genuine community ownership has been to the success of our work.

In a context of a highly globalized economy in which the jobs and food that feed our communities are moved further and further afield and many of the decisions that affect our daily lives seem to be made ‘somewhere else’, we find in many communities we work with, people express a sense frustration that locally controlled resources are being removed from the community. Creating and re-building a sense of community-ownership is a fundamental part of any community development process and something we try to model throughout all of our work at BC Healthy Communities and within our Youthcore program. is the online platform for much of our youth work, and it is much more than a website- it is the culmination and manifestation of years of partnership building and mutual support. The site is Greater Victoria's online youth portal- it is all about young pe
ople in the Greater Victoria area connecting, learning and enjoying our communities in safe and positive ways. The site is designed to provide up to date and locally relevant information for youth, service providers and parents. It's full of information - about programs, places, events and resources in Victoria. Since its inception, the site has been heavily used by the community and its usage continues to grow.

The real success of our work is shared by the youth and youth-serving community of Greater Victoria. Margaret Wheatley reminds us that "in organizations, real power and energy is generated through relationships. The patterns of relationships and the capacities to form them are more important than tasks, functions, roles, and positions"- this is true of as well. The site was originally developed with the active involvement of teams of local youth who used a process of community asset mapping to assess what r
esources were currently available in the community. The site was, then as now, supported by the local Youth Service Provider Network, a loose alliance of over 300 youth-serving organizations and professionals. Together local youth and youth service providers are responsible for maintaining, updating and expanding the site. Organizations and individual citizens can all log in to add new information, resources or events (currently there are over 600 local youth serving programs and places listed on the site). Unlike traditional resource directories that often go rapidly out of date, this sense of community ownership helps keep the site current and locally relevant. I think in many ways, the success of this website model exemplifies the real dedication and commitment of the youth serving community in the Greater Victoria area.

For more information about this or other emerging practices we’re using in our youth engagement work, please contact Sarah Amyot, Youth Engagement Projects Coordina
tor at


Open House! White Rock Arts and Culture Database
White Rock Community Centre
Launch of the Arts and Culture database!!
April 26, 2011, 7:30pm
For more information click here

Northern BC Citizens Series on Health
Northern Health’s Population Health team, in partnership with BC Healthy Communities, is hosting a series of web-based seminars to invite dialogue from a broad representation of Northern communities on specific topics that are critical to improving the health outcomes of northern people. We want grassroots community members, local government representatives, service providers, and others to engage and participate in shared learning
about some specific issues related to health determinants. We hope the discussion that follows will lead to increased civic participation and the emergence of creative partnerships which tackle these challenging issues collectively in ways that will move the North toward healthier outcomes for its communities and citizens.

Webinar! Healthy Schools: Learning Environments That Promote Lifelong Health
When: Thursday, April 28th, 2011.1:30pm-3:30pm PST.
Where: Online webinar
For more information click here

Forum! Healthy by Nature
A forum on the physical & mental health benefits of time spent in nature.
When: September 20 -23, 2011.
Where: Vancouver, BC
For more information click here


Recreating the World
by Michael Bopp and Judie Bopp

Recreating the World is a comprehensive field guide to sustainable community development. Rooted in more than 20 years of hands-on development work in North America and around the world, it is written to be used by people who are working to bring about change in their own communities, and by professionals working with communities to solve critical human problems.

Recreating the World is really two books woven together. The first is a basic discussion of what human systems transformation is, and what it takes to make it happen. The second is a collection of resources (games, stories, activities, tools) that can be used to teach the basic concepts of the book, either in the field or in a classroom setting.

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