The primary objective of the project is to introduce young women in the community to healthy lifestyle habits and coping mechanisms to deal with mental health issues. This project will be organized by the local Red Cross. One of the primary goals of the Red Cross is to build safer, healthier communities. This project will provide tools to help improve both the physical and mental safety and health of the youth in the community, and potentially help to combat some of the stigma associated with seeking help for mental health issues. The target group of the project is female youth in the secondary school in the within municipality and surrounding towns and villages. A secondary outcome of the project is the increased capacity of youth in the community to develop healthy lifestyle habits to cope personally with stress and anxiety and to help their peers to do the same. The primary activity, a weekend retreat, will introduce the attendees to various tools and concepts to improving healthy habits and mental health. Following the camp, attendees will be facilitating a workshop in partnership with a local psychotherapist. This workshop will be held at the local Red Cross.
The community fully supports and trusts the work of the local Red Cross. The NGO has cultivated relationships with the municipality, local schools, local businesses, and other organizations in the community. This project was chosen through the collaboration of a local psychotherapist, the Secretary of the local Red Cross, and Red Cross youth volunteers. The local psychotherapist approached the Red Cross and the organization’s Peace Corps volunteer about collaborating to create a project that focuses on the mental health of youth.
The project is being implemented by the Secretary of the Red Cross, the local psychotherapist, and members of the Youth Volunteer Club. The Secretary is organizing the location of the event and helping to prepare the budget and reach out to local business owners and the municipality for in-kind donations. He has developed valuable relationships within the community and has experience working with youth and specifically with organizing and implementing youth camps. The members of the Youth Club and the local psychotherapist are working to organize activities for the camp and the information presented during sessions at the camp. Additionally, following each session at the camp attendees will be asked to provide feedback based on the relevance of information and how it was presented. Upon the completion of the camp, an anonymous post-camp survey will be given. The information collected from these evaluations will be used to prepare the following workshop and any subsequent camps focusing on similar topics. All parties are providing input into how the project should be organized, and what materials are required to make the project successful.
The benefits and outcomes of this project will be sustained primarily through the youth participants. Following the completion of the project, the youth participants will: gain strategies on how to help themselves and their peers learn and develop healthy habits and coping strategies, gain new skills and knowledge that will have a lasting impact on their personal development, and develop an understanding of strategies to improve healthy habits and lifestyles in their communities, thus having a sustainable impact on the community as a whole