Youth violence prevention
LOVE was started in 1993 by a woman named Twinkle, whose husband was murdered by a 14 year-old boy. After dealing with her feelings of anger and sadness, she learned that the boy who killed her husband was also a victim of violence. In order to break the cycle of violence, Twinkle decided to spend her life helping youth learn to help themselves, and eventually how to help other youth as well.
Media Arts Program
In this entry-level program, youth (ages 13 through 18) who have been affected by violence learn journalistic reporting techniques and are encouraged to report on youth culture from their own unique perspectives. Through project-based workshops in writing and photography, LOVE youth develop the confidence and skills to constructively and creatively voice their views on causes, impact, and prevention of youth violence. Skills learned include writing, photography and critical thinking. These programs are offered in partnership with local resources such as colleges or universities and are led by media professionals. This is often a cathartic process that enables those who have experienced violence to recover or discover their inner voice.
The writing and photographic pieces that the youth create are published in the yearly national newspaper ONE LOVE, giving them a concrete outlet and assuring the sharing of their stories with a larger audience. The newspaper is used as an outreach tool in schools and community centers.
Youth between the ages of 13 and 18 who have completed LOVE’s Photojournalism intake program are invited to participate in Leadership Training. The Leadership Training Program is the most important piece of LOVE’s program because it is where our youth learn the skills they need to be able to effectively communicate a message of non-violence to their peers and the wider community. LOVE has determined that the most powerful means of communicating the negative aspects of violence to youth is by youth that have been affected by violence in their own lives.
Youth Leaders are then uniquely situated to use their own experience, credibility and skills to educate others on violence prevention strategies. To complement this program, each year a 5-day intensive leadership training session is held at a summer camp in Haliburton Ontario. Youth Leaders from across the country unite with the goal of learning how to reduce youth violence in their schools, neighborhoods and homes.
1. Youth violence is preventable
2. Communication is the key element in conflict-resolution and violence reduction.
3. LOVE brings together young witnesses, perpetrators and victims of violence for a common goal: To break the cycle of violence in their lives.