Small Ideas: $10,000


===Who are we and what is our idea?===
Located in downtown Winnipeg, N.E.E.D.S. Inc. is a not for profit organization that provides accessible services and support to immigrants and refugee children, youth, and their families. Our goal is to enhance the integration of immigrant and refugee youth into Canadian society by providing education, employment, and social programs to develop life skills.

We believe expressive arts programming is an integral part to a youth's life, especially newcomer youth. Ninety per cent of our participants are refugees from war torn countries. Art, dance, and music allow them to express their emotions, their thoughts and feelings, when they might not otherwise have the words, or language to express them. This project would allow youth aged 12 - completion of high school to participate in a variety of after school arts programming including visual, expressive, and performing arts.

The project would encompass 3 areas:
- Music: music will come in the form of guitar and drums. Youths will have weekly sessions of music development.
- Visual arts: Art will be done in many mediums. Arts and crafts, drawing and painting, photography and other arts related activities, such as crafts.
- Dance: Dance will incorporate hip hop and traditional cultural dances where youth will be able to express themselves physically.

After every program, there will be an opportunity to debrief with the youths and have a discussion about why they chose to do what they did in program.

===Why do we need funding for the program? ===
After a consultation with the youths at the end of summer and asking for feedback, the top 3 programs youths wanted were more arts based programming, hip hop dance lessons, and music.

Due to limited funding and program supplies, our current basic arts and music program could no longer accommodate the needs of an increasing number of participants. For example, we are offering guitar lessons with minimal numbers of guitars and one instructor for the many youths that are interested.

With the funding, we would like to:
- Purchase new musical and visual arts equipment (Guitars, Congo drums, microphones, video camera)
- Expand our program to include the most in-demand hip hop class
- Enrich class content and offer more structured and consistent programming

===How will community benefit from the program? ===

All of NEEDS Programs are free.
Music, dance and art lessons can be expensive, which is a huge barrier to newcomer families. Even if they did have money, most families would not even know where to access these services.

Youth need a positive, welcoming and safe environment to attend after school. The research shows that between 3:30-5:30 p.m. youth are more likely to become involved in activity that is deemed illegal, due to the minimal supervision they get. Youth from war torn countries need consistency and structure. For all of the programs offered at NEEDS, we provide the supervision, structure, and skilled staff.

The Expressive Arts Program will allow newcomer youth to participate in a variety of arts based programming for up to 6 hours every week, and provide opportunities for youth to express their creativity in various mediums in a safe, positive, judgement-free, and welcoming environment.

This program will reduce the barriers youth face in regards to transportation, language ability, and costs associated with private programming. In the meantime, it will keep youth engaged, tap into their creative side and keep youth off the streets doing something positive in the inner city community of Winnipeg.

The program is also an amazing opportunity for skill development. Youths get to enhance their current skills and share what they know with others via rehearsal, performance and art shows etc. The experience will help them develop leadership skills, teamwork spirit and self esteem through peer to peer learning.

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Newcomers Employment and Education Development Services (N.E.E.D.S.) Inc.

Location: Winnipeg