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Foundation's Youth Challenge still seeking proposals

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The Dauphin and District Community Foundation ( DDCF) has $15,000 available through the RBC Future Launch Community Challenge for youth-led projects addressing diverse and urgent local priorities and the deadline is coming soon.
“This is the final push, because we have touched base with different organizations with the community, because individuals need to be partnered with an organization, before they come to this RBC Future Launch Challenge committee,” DDCF youth representative Graeme Unrau explained.
“We contacted organizations earlier in the summer, but summer is a tough time to get people moving. And so we’re hoping that with fall coming, people will be starting to gear down and start thinking about the fall and the next season.”
The RBC Future Launch Community Challenge enables youth to apply for funding to support ideas to address community priorities in the areas of cultural awareness and appreciation.
DDCF has been interested in some of the social justice issues in the community, board member Larry Budzinski said, noting it is in different territory for the foundation, but takes advantage of a national campaign.
“The dollars actually flow through the foundation and there’s some rigour to that whole process, so that’s why we’re involved,” he added.
“The message at this point is twofold, if you have a youth organization, or youth group that has a good idea about how to make Dauphin more inclusive, more aware of diversity as a strength, by all means throw in a project and we’ll help you develop that.”
There are a variety of different areas people may be applying for with this grant, DDCF youth philanthropy chair Erin Stoesz, said, including ethnicity, spirituality, sexual orientation, social needs and gender equality.
“So we could have a large array of grant requests. There’s so many different areas people can apply for. We were thinking arts, art within the community. Something permanent that could be somewhere,” she said, adding the focus is cultural change and growth, to help foster an inclusive, safe environment.
Budzinski agreed, noting DDCF does not want one-off events, preferring something that is ongoing and encourages people to get involved in the topic of how to use diversity as a strength in the community.
Committees applying do not have to be made up of youth only, Unrau said, but the ideas must be developed by youth, from ages 15 to 29.
“So that’s a key part of the whole thing, to get younger people in smaller communities, helping them identify ways that they can contribute and then empowering them with this money to develop their ideas,” he added.
Another part of the RBC Future Launch Community Challenge is a commitment to have a vital conversation with youth, Budzinski said, which is a discussion focused on creating a better future together.
Stoesz hopes to get the word out and stimulate a few more applications from the community.
Unrau pointed out any group unsure how to proceed may contact DDCF for assistance.
Grant applications will be accepted until Sept. 18, and the project must be finished by August 2020.
For more information, contact DDCF at 204-638-4598, or visit its website at dauphincommunityfoundation.ca.

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M. A. Nyquist
REPORTER
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