How long has Trinity been involved with rural communities?
Trinity began its involvement with rural communities within 3 years of its establishment. At one end, our programming was growing across cities like Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Halifax. On the other, we were spreading our reach in rural areas in Sault St. Marie, Bruce County, etc.
We partnered with Parks Canada to address issues related to environmental justice like water issues and wilderness protection. We were also engaged with First Nation communities as a part of our work. These projects took us to many new locations in rural areas and helped us understand their issues in a new light.
What has Trinity learnt with these interactions with rural communities?
With 38+ years of interacting with representatives of rural communities, we have our share of deep learnings. We realized that the social and civic issues in rural communities exist at a different scale. Not only this, but the ways of dealing with them are different as well.
The youth in these communities although well-informed about these issues, very few of them actually stay back. Most of them move on to urban centres for higher education and employment. Multiple generations have fewer interactions with each other thereby reducing chances of positive changes.
We thus realized the importance of addressing these issues at the root level with the community members already present.
How does Trinity involve themselves with rural communities?
Trinity has extensive experience in bringing together members across different age groups to work on community development projects. In rural communities, this expertise is used in two ways-
Youth Councils – These Youth Councils improve youth perspective and understanding of their community as well as the functioning of their local municipalities.
Local School Collaborations – Building long-lasting strong relationships with local schools helps in creating youth programs that are focused on personal development while simultaneously imparting essential peer leadership skills.
How do participants benefit from these programs designed specifically for rural communities?
The participants of these programs experience a better understanding of their selves and an increased engagement with their immediate communities. This comes along with the benefits of volunteering and developing projects that address key issues of the community.
The youth play an active role in the council along with the adult members. As peer leaders, they help other young members grow, volunteer, get involved in local community projects and find support for each other. On a personal level, they get an experience of knowing and developing their own identity in the space.
What are the examples of such Youth Councils currently operating in Canada?
Currently, we have two projects in Bruce County, Ontario. To have a glimpse of our work, check our Trinity in Rural Communities – Projects section.
How can you partner with us?
If you believe that your community can benefit from bringing together youth and seniors together on projects related to local community development, we would be more than happy to help you.
We can facilitate the creation and functioning of a Youth Council as well as contribute our know-how in developing peer-leadership and community-focused programs for local schools.
Please fill up this form to provide more details and we would love to get in touch with you.