Seven community-led projects voted on by the public are getting a combined $50,000 from the City of Victoria, after the latest round of the participatory budgeting process.
Falling under the general theme of initiatives that benefit newcomers – immigrants and refugees who have settled in Victoria – the seven winning projects were chosen from a record 26 applicants. The projects brought forward for voting were vetted by a volunteer steering committee, then more than 2,500 residents made their choices online.
“A community-led participatory budgeting takes dedication and is the sign of a very healthy democracy and a community that cares about its newcomers,” said Victoria Coun. Sharmarke Dubow, a former Somalian refugee who has experience serving refugee and immigrant populations here.
“We can’t wait to see these seven projects come to life in 2021. I expect they will have meaningful impacts on many newcomers to our city.”
Earning $30,000 to develop a bystander intervention training program was the Inter-Cultural Association’s Tools for Equity. The program aims to combat racism and create safe, inclusive communities by teaching practical ways to support people of colour.
The Support Network for Indigenous Women and Women of Colour will receive $10,000 to develop an “anti-racist and culturally competent healthcare app.” The multi-language app aims to improve health outcomes for newcomers by offering a list of culturally sensitive providers and a reporting feature to share their healthcare experience.
Smaller grants went to Planting Home ($2,000) for offering 500 free, culturally appropriate plant starts to newcomers and refugees; Financial Literacy for YOU ($1,580) for youth financial literacy training; Being Together and Being Here: Newcomer Integration Through Indigenous Partnership and Education ($1,943), a youth program that promotes learning and builds relationships between newcomers and Indigenous community groups; Culturally Safe Intake for Rock Bay Landing Shelter ($1,930), to accommodate multicultural, non-English speaking clients, and Coming Home to the Garden: Sustainability Workshops and Resources for Newcomers ($1,566).
To find out more about the projects, visit victoria.ca and search for participatory budgeting. The next round will focus on neighbourhood spaces and kicks off in early 2021.