The past year at the project has formed a solid foundation for our team at the Winnipeg Boldness Project. I would like to share two highlights of work that has been accomplished as we transition into the next phase of the project:
1) The child-centered model, and
2) A community vision of success and wellbeing within early childhood development.
Each of these contribute to our understanding of what is needed in order to achieve the Bold Goal: Children and families in Point Douglas experience dramatically improved wellbeing in all aspects of self: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.
One of the most significant products of year one is Ways of Knowing, Being, Feeling, and Doing: A Wholistic Early Childhood Development Model (pictured below). The Model is the result of collaboration with the Community Leadership Guide Group. This child-centered model identifies the practices and approaches that have long been understood and successfully implemented by community based organizations in Point Douglas, while helping to identify the gaps and barriers that limit the ability of these ways of working to realize their full potential. The model is rooted in principles such as wholism, interconnectedness, balance, equity, belonging, self-determination, peer-to-peer learning, trust, and respect.
Another key area from the last year is the culmination of the community action research. The following excerpt provides insight into the following questions: what does it mean to be successful, to be healthy, and to have improved early childhood development outcomes for kids in Point Douglas?
Wellbeing of children 0-6 years of age is supported through the healthy development of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual dimensions of self.
Children flourish within nurturing relationships and environments that provide safety and hope. Healthy development is supported by positive, interconnected, and interdependent relationships including: parents, grandparents, extended families, informal networks of care, formal systems such as daycare and education, and communities.
Success and healthy development for children is also linked to their family’s wellbeing, opportunities, and self-determination. A family’s access to basic needs such as nutritious food, safe, affordable and stable housing, as well as a consistent and appropriate level of income support healthy child development.
What we have heard from community so far is that the follow areas require attention to ensure that young children are provided opportunities for healthy development include:
- Equitable opportunities for all children to ensure that they are happy, healthy, and living a good life
- Ample resources for families to ensure that they are supported and have all of their basic needs met
- A renewed neighbourhood that is safe, clean, and has adequate spaces for children and families
- Systems that operate from a best practice model with policies that put families first
Many of the gaps and barriers that have been identified throughout the first year of work involve complex networks including large systems. To address these issues, The Winnipeg Boldness Project is engaging in Social Innovation and Collective Impact processes. These activities will build upon current partnerships to include a wider range of cross sector stakeholders, while maintaining current relationships and commitment to Community Engagement principles.