Exploring Manitoba's Youth Engagement Sector: VM Youth Hub Report

  • January 28, 2021

    Posted by: Kamillah El-Giadaa

    Youth programs across our province work together to engage youth effectively. Volunteer Manitoba believes strongly in the power and importance of providing quality programming and services to our youth. If we continue to better our programs, we can encourage young people to play a vital role in building resilient communities.

    I love young people; I think they are passionate, brave, and revolutionary, I endeavour to help them embrace those qualities now, and maintain them as they get older and encounter more and more resistance to their ideas. - Youth Hub Report Participant

    Volunteer Manitoba realized there was a need to centralize and gather information on youth programs thus the creation of the VM Youth Hub. The goal was to bring youth-serving organizations and programs together to discuss the work being done to engage youth in communities across Manitoba. The VM Youth Hub took place in September 2019, and over 100 organizations participated. Those in attendance had opportunities to network with each other and joined in on table discussions centered around youth programming in Manitoba.

    The fact that the youth are our future. If we don't work with them to develop their potential and personalities to lead then we are setting our communities for continued problems that we see currently with racism, identity problems, hate and problems with integration. - Youth Hub Report Participant

    While working on a report from the event, the pandemic hit and everything shifted. Organizations changed overnight, and VM felt this needed to be represented in our report. In the summer of 2020, we surveyed over 90 organizations to learn more about how they have adapted. Program leaders were eager to share their challenges amidst a pandemic!

    We were delighted to hear about what drives people to work in the sector, what successes they experienced, and the direction they envision for youth programming and services. It has been our goal to present a thorough overview of sector wide challenges as a way to locate what steps must be taken to work towards a supported, accessible, and inclusive youth sector.

    "Almost 97 percent of all survey participants reported funding as their most pressing challenge. Considering the close link between funding, staffing, attendance, and volunteer engagement, we have found that unstable funding is a major cause of program and service uncertainty in the sector." - Youth Hub Report, page 7

    Our findings found that the five most common challenges among organizations was funding, engaging adults/guardians, consistent attendance, staff shortages and volunteer recruitment. Through the work of our table discussions and survey responses we were able to also include six recommendations that provide guidance for how the sector can improve based off those challenges!

    Lastly we were able to collect formative information on what types of services organizations provide, locations and demographics so that we can gain a better understanding of youth programming offered across the province.

    If you do have any questions about the report, please feel free to reach out to me for more info! I can be reached at kamillah.elgiadaa@volunteermanitoba.ca.

    Thank you to all who participated and to the Winnipeg Foundation for their support.

    Click here to read the Youth Hub Report - Surveying the Quality of Service Distribution in Manitoba's Youth Sector


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