Refuge Youth Cafe is Open for Business

Word Cloud This Place For CafeUpdate since posting:  We are currently open two days per week (Tuesdays/Saturdays) and the sexual health clinic is on hold until the Health Department has staff available for a different day of the week to hold the clinic.

We have had a lot going on since our last update and we are sorry it has taken over a month to get you an update!!

The Refuge Youth Cafe is now open! We opened on November 2nd and are continuing with ‘soft-openings’ until Christmas. In January, our official 3-month trial begins and we will be open THREE DAYS A WEEK! On Tuesdays and Thursdays from 215-515pm and Saturdays from 215-? (we will be determining our closing time when we find out what our attendance is like).

In addition, we are partnering with the Portsmouth Health Dept to offer a teen sexual health clinic on Thursday afternoons at the Cafe. Teens will be able to access nurses and other health educators to get information, condoms, other forms of contraception, pregnancy tests and STI tests.

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Finally, we will be offering programs after the cafe hours from 6-8pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. More information about One Sound and Romance Academy will be coming in the new year.

The cafe menu is very basic right now although we will be offering fries in the new year which has been requested by teens already attending the Cafe.

We are excited about this partnership with Divine Dine N, the Health Department and the difference that having a space just for teens to be themselves will make in the City of Portsmouth where we are currently starting and trialing our programs.

GYA Participates In Community Takeover Day At Community College

IMG_20150922_111220Global Youth Action had the opportunity to attend a local community resource day at Tidewater Community College’s Portsmouth campus.

The Student Activities Center has introduced a community resource center to meet all the needs of the students that attend their college in a holistic way. To support its launch, they held a Community Takeover Day in which community services were on site for all students to access.

In the future, the resource center will also be open to community partners so that students can access their services on site. We were able to offer volunteering opportunities to the college students to enhance their educational experience.

At GYA we also believe that youth work doesn’t happen in a vacuum. There are a lot of factors that go into youth development and just to focus on one area such as physical fitness, spiritual development, emotional support or educational development misses the mark. We try not to ‘recreate the wheel’ in our programming but we also try not duplicate existing opportunities. Our goal is to offer global and innovative programs that haven’t been tried in a locality. We feel this enhances all the local services for youth in an area.

We offer diverse programs that appeal to different youth. We have One Sound (coming soon) to focus on Steel Pans and African Drum and Dance (as well as other globally inspired dances), Romance Academy (coming soon) about healthy relationships, Little Free Libraries which include artistic and basic construction skill development, GYA Works for job skills development and paid work experience and group and individual mentoring.

If you want to know more about our programs or how you can get involved – contact us!

If you’d like to support our programs – donate here.

GYA Empowers Teens To Build Little Free Libraries – Part 2

LFL Pics Blog 2At the beginning of August 2015, a group of teens and a few wonderful volunteers started to build three Little Free Libraries to be placed in the City of Portsmouth, VA.

Three sessions later, after a can of stain, many nails and screws, caulk, adhesive, saw dust, pizza, burgers and more soda and cookies than we care to count, the project is complete.

The teens ranged from ages 11-16 and came together from various areas across Portsmouth. Hosted by the HER Shelter and sponsored by the Friends Of The Portsmouth Public Library, the group met over the course of three evenings to complete the project.

The young people built the outside using plywood, screwed together roofs and hammered on the shingles. They stained the inside and outside of the libraries, caulked the seams and fastened on the plexiglass windows and front doors.

The libraries built are now available to three communities to help get books to areas without easy access to a library. The roofs have been left untouched so that youth from those communities can decorate their own library to reflect their neighborhood.

This project is only just getting started with plans in the works to partner with other local groups serving teens across Portsmouth to build more libraries and help residents access more books.

If you’re interested in the Little Free Library project in Portsmouth or your local area, please reach out.

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Partnership Provides Books For Under-Served Camp Participants

DSC_0484Through a partnership with Friends of the Portsmouth Public Library (FPPL), Global Youth Action (GYA) was able to provide over 250 books for Solid Foundations in June 2015.

Solid Foundations is a camp provided through Camp Rudolph in Yale, Virginia which makes camp available to under-served youth in Virginia and North Carolina through scholarships.

This year the Deans of the camp, Josh and Sarah Curry, created a literacy focus for the camp. Books were read in the morning that coincided with each day’s theme. At lunch, using the books and resources provided by FPPL, GYA opened a ‘library,’ or more appropriately, a little free book store. Campers were allowed to pick a new book each day, return it if they didn’t like it or finished it and keep any books they wanted at the end of the week. The average was 4 books per camper that were taken home.

Thank you to FPPL and the Currys for allowing GYA to bring reading to the children and teens at Solid Foundations 2015.