Project P.E.A.C.E. hopes to leave lasting legacy: Coombs

Cory
Cory Hurley
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Kaitlyn Coombs, community development coordinator, speaks at the Glynmill Inn Thursday.

The spreading of “peace” continues throughout the Corner Brook and surrounding areas.

Project P.E.A.C.E. (Promoting Equality and Accountability through Community Engagement) is a two-year project funded by the Status of Women Canada. A needs assessment was established, leading to a strategy to address gender-based violence through intervention and community response.

Kaitlyn Coombs, the community development coordinator, said it is important for this project to have a lasting impact throughout the community.

“That is what it is all about,” she said. “We didn’t want to start this project, have it done in April, and that’s it.”

P.E.A.C.E. has already led to the Clothesline Project. There were 175 T-shirts made with anti-violence messages and hung at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland by women who had experienced violence in their lives.

There was also a Girls Circle held in Cox’s Cove. It was a nine-week program for junior and high school students focusing on healthy relationships, self-esteem, respect, recognizing good relationships and body image.

A Boys Council — a similar program for males — is expected to be held in Cox’s Cove, along with another in Corner Brook.

The first support group for violence against women in Corner Brook began Jan. 14. “Women empowering women” has nine female participants talking about violence and being educated on related topics such as healthy relationships. The goal is for two of the women to continue to lead the support group.

There will be a landlords forum held at the Pepsi Centre in Corner Brook March 19. It is designed to address affordable housing issues and stigmas and misinformation about single women and mothers or about women escaping from violent relationships.

A legal information session is expected to be held in April. The project is also expected to result in a proposal for a community youth centre in Deer Lake. Coombs said it would be difficult to establish a centre in its two-year mandate, but that a proposal is a good start for youth in that town.

The community development coordinator said it is a shame this is just a two-year project.

“This is funding that should be in place all the time,” she said.

Organizations: Community Engagement, Status of Women Canada, Memorial University of Newfoundland Boys Council Pepsi Centre

Geographic location: CORNER BROOK, Cox, Deer Lake

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