Cheryl Wowk, Peacebuilders program co-ordinator, holds up a flyer for the Peacebuilders youth initiative. (Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff)

Cheryl Wowk, Peacebuilders program co-ordinator, holds up a flyer for the Peacebuilders youth initiative. (Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff)

Peacebuilder program to get Red Deer youths, young adults more involved

Sessions for the program begin in February

An initiative aimed at getting youths and young adults involved in the community is coming to central Alberta.

Peacebuilders, a leadership program run by Burman University in Lacombe and the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights in Edmonton, will launch in Red Deer in 2019.

The goal of the project is to make the community and world a better place, said program co-ordinator Cheryl Wowk.

“I believe some people sell kids short, and I think they sell themselves short,” Wowk said.

“This program isn’t giving these kids wings to fly, they already have wings. It just gives them an opportunity to soar and make a difference.”

The John Humphrey Centre has offered the program in Edmonton for two years.

Wowk, who has been a teacher/guidance counsellor in Red Deer for more than four decades, retired about eight years ago, but has been doing contract work ever since.

She said she wanted to officially retire to help take care of her two-year-old grandson Lennon, but then she was asked to get involved in the Peacebuilders program.

“I was hesitant at first because I’m trying to retire, but it was such a cool project that I jumped on board to get it up and running,” she said.

Wowk said the goal is to have 20 people apply for the program, which is intended for individuals aged 16 to 28.

Participants will take part in six weekly training seminars in a variety of venues in central Alberta, including a Catholic church, a mosque and a synagogue.

“We want inclusion and acceptance to be promoted, because that’s where peace stems from,” Wowk said.

After the training course is complete, participants will get into groups and conduct a needs assessment for the community. The groups will then focus on an issue, create an action plan and propose solutions to an agency or organization.

“In Edmonton, one group focused on youth crime – they did a needs assessment, came up with recommendations … and presented their ideas to the chief of police, who implemented all their suggestions in a few weeks,” she said.

Wowk said she has been visiting schools and youth groups in the city to promote the program – she has spoken with both Red Deer school division superintendents.

“People will learn a lot through the training,” she said. “I think the sky is the limit in terms of what we can do with Peacebuilders in our community.”

Wowk said she hopes other central Alberta communities introduce Peacebuilder programs in the future.

Sessions begin in February. To register, or for more information, visit www.jhcentre.org/peacebuilders-red-deer.



sean.mcintosh@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Red Deer South MLA Jason Stephan addressed the Rotary Club Red Deer East at Pidherney Curling Centre on Tuesday.
Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
Central Alberta MLAs comment on UCP members kicked out of caucus

A pair of central Alberta MLAs have commented on the two United… Continue reading

Contributed photo
Johanna Hannaford: Central Alberta designer offers inclusive clothing

By Stephanie Rhodes Local designer Johanna Hannaford’s inclusive clothing creations are smashing… Continue reading

Red life-ring with splash
Started from the bottom: How a family business started and grew in central Alberta

By Carina Moran We started our business in the basement of our… Continue reading

Shiree Appleman
Innisfail RCMP looking for missing woman

Innisfail RCMP is asking the public to help locate a woman who… Continue reading

Rotary Club of Red Deer logo.
Red Deer Rotary Club hosting tree planting event later this month

The Rotary Club of Red Deer will host a tree-planting event later… Continue reading

Bo’s Bar and Grill owner Brennen Wowk said the hospitality industry is looking for more clarity from the province around what conditions must be met to allow for restaurants reopening. (Advocate file photo)
Frustated restaurant owners want to know government’s reopening plan

Restaurant owners feel they are in lockdown limbo

Welcoming cowboy boots at the historic and colourful Last Chance Saloon in the ghost town of Wayne near Drumheller, Alta., on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019. The bar and hotel are up for sale. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘It was a going concern’: Remaining bar and hotel in Alberta coal ghost town for sale

WAYNE, Alta. — Built during the First World War, it survived the… Continue reading

A letter from a bottle that washed up in New Brunswick in 2017 is shown in an undated handout photo. A team of researchers from Université du Québec à Rimouski are trying to solve the mystery of whether a letter in a bottle that washed up in New Brunswick in 2017 was indeed from a young victim of Titanic shipwreck or simply a hoax. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, N. Beaudry, UQAR *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Real or hoax? Quebec scholars probe mystery letter allegedly from Titanic passenger

MONTREAL — Researchers from Université du Québec à Rimouski are trying to… Continue reading

Minister of Transport Marc Garneau takes part in a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. Advocates, experts and opposition MPs say correspondence showing close communication between the federal Transport Department and the Canadian Transportation Agency regarding passenger refunds throws into question the independence of the CTA, an arm’s-length body. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Emails reveal close communication between government, transport regulator on refunds

OTTAWA — Advocates, experts and opposition MPs say correspondence showing close communication… Continue reading

Pharmacist Barbara Violo shows off a vial of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Toronto on Friday, March 12, 2021. Several family doctors and physician associations across Canada say they welcome questions from anyone concerned about second doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca or any other COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Family doctors say they can answer vaccine questions, after Trudeau recommends them

Several family doctors and physician associations across Canada say they welcome questions… Continue reading

The Olympic rings float in the water at sunset in the Odaiba section of Tokyo, Wednesday, June 3, 2020. A new Leger poll suggests Canadians are divided over plans to send athletes from Canada to the upcoming Olympic games in Tokyo as Japan grapples with climbing COVID-19 cases. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Eugene Hoshiko
Canadians divided on sending Team Canada athletes to the Tokyo Olympic Games: poll

OTTAWA — A new poll by Leger and the Association of Canadian… Continue reading

Harley Hay
Harley Hay: Insert your name here

Back in the Paleolithic Era when a McDonald’s cheeseburger was 29 cents… Continue reading

Black Press file photo
Job search: Write a request that will get accepted

Last Thursday, when I logged into LinkedIn, I had nine connection requests… Continue reading

T-shirt with vaccine shot. (Contributed photo)
Letter: Hand out T-shirts with vaccine shots

I made myself a graphic T-shirt recently after getting my vaccine shot.… Continue reading

Most Read