There is no doubt that the past 20 months have challenged each of us in ways we never imagined. I’m sure you have faced constant interruptions and adjustments to many aspects of your life. As time has passed, I see the need for some normalcy and a return to a sense of community has become so important. Do you feel it too?
The demand for our work has increased, and the need for our programs remains crucial. We are asking for your financial support today, so we have flexible resources as we continue to move through the pandemic.
As 2022 approaches, I am feeling hopeful that we will be able to return to in-person activities and programs. And I am very excited as next year is a major birthday for us!
The Centre for Sexuality turns 50 next year! We are so proud of the impact of the organization in half a century of service to this community. We began as the Calgary Birth Control Association with a focus on supporting women’s reproductive rights and educating about birth control. But from the very beginning there was a longer-term vision focused on prevention and public health. I hope you will join us in our celebrations next year, as we reflect on our past and look to our future. In 1973, CBCA received a teaching grant from the Family Planning Division of the Department of Health and Welfare and developed an educative curriculum in collaboration with the Calgary Board of Education to teach about sexuality and birth control. This was the beginning of a program that continues to positively impact youth today.
Today, our Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) program, offered to junior and senior high school students in communities beyond Calgary, is evidence-informed and delivered by highly trained educators. Through engaging discussions and activities, youth build the knowledge, skills, and motivation to make informed, healthy choices about their bodies, relationships, and sexuality. RSE emphasizes emotional and interpersonal skills as fundamental elements of sexual health education.
► See our RSE Program info sheet for more details about this program!
Despite the challenges this program has faced due to COVID, so far in 2021 educators have provided four RSE sessions online to over 3800 students at 39 junior and senior high schools.
What was quite remarkable is that the impact of the program continued to be substantial in an online format. For example, evaluations at the end of the program showed:
- 82% of youth reported an increase in their comfort level with sexual health and sexuality
- 80% of youth reported developing healthy communication and relationship skills.
I am so proud that the individuals who started the organization had a vision borne from the feminist and 2SLGBTQ+ movements, and they had fundamental belief in the importance of education and the role of prevention. These are our roots and they have only deepened and grown since our inception. And the education and support we provide is as relevant and essential today as it was in 1972.
Over the years the work of the Centre has sometimes been seen as controversial and there have certainly been challenges along the way, but our organization has accomplished so much, and it is only because of people like you, the Centre’s community. From the day CBCA opened its doors, donors have been an integral part of our success.
Through your support, for almost 50 years we have not just survived, we have thrived. You’ve made it possible for us to unapologetically tackle the issues that stand in the way of the health and well-being of the individuals and communities we serve. While a lot of progress has been made, there is still so much work to do.
We invite you to donate today and help us continue to respond to important social issues by engaging with communities and building solutions that are prevention focused and evidence informed.
I recognize that you have many choices for your charitable support. I want you to know that every dollar we receive is used thoughtfully and with a focus on creating a more inclusive society. Thank you for supporting our work through your gift to us today.