Every year, the members of our network come up with innovative ideas to meet the pressing needs in our community. In order to support these ideas, Réseau Compassion Network awards Inspiration Grants to those who have a solid plan of action and are ready to get to work. They also award Exploration Grants to those who have the seed of an idea but need help getting the idea off the ground. This year three organizations were awarded Inspiration Grants and one received an Exploration Grant.
Many parents and caregivers find themselves parenting without a support network. Sometimes coming from difficult childhood experiences of their own, they may have limited resources and tools as they raise their families. The Inspiration Grant will help the Aulneau Renewal Centre create a Parent Café. Parent Cafés are safe spaces where parents and caregivers talk about the challenges and victories of raising a family, learn about community supports, and create strategies from their own wisdom and experiences to help strengthen their families.
Many Indigenous people supported by St.Amant have been separated from their family, culture and heritage. St.Amant will use the Inspiration Grant to support over 70 people to attend multiple sessions of the Reclaiming Cultural Connections: Reigniting Blood Memory series of teachings, by Anish Corporation. The organization offers impressive programming for survivors of Indian Residential Schools and their family members. This will compliment the existing Indigenous cultural activities at St.Amant, and help participants to nurture their sense of identity and belonging.
The pandemic has highlighted how important having access to the online world is. For many of us, it has been the primary way to stay connected with loved ones and engage in a world outside our homes. The digital literacy skills needed to get online safely have not been a focus of education for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities. The Inspiration Grant will allow St.Amant to develop a tool kit and training to help the people they support and their caregivers establish safe online practices, opening up a world of connection to a group often left behind.
The Exploration Grant will allow Marymound staff to explore the prospects of creating an enterprise to address access to healthy food options for residents of Winnipeg’s inner city food desert while also creating valuable work experience opportunities for the youth Marymound supports.
“I have watched in awe many creative and innovative ideas come to life thanks to the Inspiration and Exploration grants. The impact that Réseau Compassion Network has had has been far reaching and deep,” says Leanne Fenez, Director of Special Projects at St.Amant. “Réseau Compassion Network, you have made a difference in the lives of those served by the members of your network. Thank you for amplifying the power of community through the Inspiration and Exploration grants!”