Comox Valley Transition Society is seeking interest from young women ages 16 to 21 to train as peer facilitators for Girls Group, an educational/support group for 12 to 16 year-old girls. The training is scheduled to start the first week of March at Comox Valley Transition Society. There are up to 10 training spots available.

The idea for the training evolved many years ago, from examining research which indicates effectiveness of peer education models, as well as from older girls who wanted to utilize what they had been learning in group to help other girls.

Coordinator Wendy Morin notes, “peer tutors have been used in schools for years to teach academic subjects, and peer counselors have been utilized on school grounds to mediate conflicts.” She continues, “ older teen girls often have valuable life experiences and lessons learned that they can pass on to other girls to help them make healthy life choices that mitigate against potentially harmful activities and experiences.”

The training will include theory on gender analysis, media literacy, and violence prevention as well as on group process and dynamics. Much of the first day is devoted to teaching “self care” to the participants, and emphasizing that in order to help others it is important to first take care of self. The training will culminate in teams of two planning and facilitating a “mini session” on a specific topic.

Delicious food has become a highlight of the training, and participants will receive a certificate of completion and training materials. There is no fee for the training, and high schools provide work experience credits for completion.

Feedback over the years has included, “the training really helped prepare me to go into teaching”, “my communication and leadership skills improved”, and “the training helped me become more confident”.

Participants who successfully complete the training will have the opportunity to co-facilitate future groups for 12/13 year-olds and 14-16 year-olds. An honorarium will be provided to these “junior facilitators”.

This year is Comox Valley Girls Group’s 21th anniversary and planning has started for some festivities in late Spring 2020. Hundreds of girls and young women have participated in the groups that provide a safe, non-judgemental venue to learn valuable life skills. The group encourages the development of strength, courage, and honesty, helping participants to maintain authentic relationships, enhance critical thinking and self-reflection, and empower them to lead healthy lives. The format is interactive and incorporates expressive arts and other fun activities.

For more information about the training and upcoming Girls Groups starting soon, call Wendy at 897-5568, leave a message at 897-0511, or email wjbmorin@gmail.com..

Wendy Morin

Comox Valley Girls Group Coordinator, Comox Valley Transition Society