Giving Voice to Youth in Foster Care

FemFest is just under three months away and our offices are buzzing with work to make FemFest 2013: Revelation & Revolution an amazing festival! Next month we will be starting an exciting process to develop our latest in a series of youth based plays and we will be showcasing the work in development at FemFest. Giving Voice is a new forum theatre piece that will be developed by youth with experience in foster care. As we have in the past with shows like Ripple Effect, No Offense… and Diss, we will begin with workshops in the community. The final product will be interactive, allowing the audience a chance to stop the action of the play and step in to try out more positive solutions to the problems addressed. The resulting work will explore the issues that youth in foster care have had to deal with, from the stigma of being in care to the transition to adulthood after care.

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logoVOICES, Manitoba’s Youth In Care Network , is part of the Boys and Girls Club of Winnipeg. Its mission is to empower and support youth in and from care. We are very excited to be partnering with this important organization. In fact the idea for Giving Voice actually came from youth in the VOICES program who saw our plays Empty and Diss and wanted to create a play to tell their stories. This will be a great opportunity to give them a voice and let them be heard. We will be participating in their M.A.S.S.I.V.E. conference from July 15-19 as the first step.

According to a recent article in the Winnipeg Free Press, Manitoba has the highest rate of youth in care in Canada. It also stated that a First Nations youth is four times more likely to enter into foster care due to abuse and neglect. We hope to begin a conversation about the state of Manitoba’s foster care system from the perspective of someone who has, or is currently experiencing it.

It has also been our tradition to tour a youth show every two years. This will be the first step towards a play that will hit schools for a full tour in the fall of 2014. Audiences will have a chance to get a sneak peek at FemFest!

We are just starting to approach youth agencies, organizations and possible collaborators. If you know an organization or individual who should be involved have them contact Marianne at development@sarasvati.ca .

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