The Agriculture Union’s Social Justice Fund (AUSJF) has supported two worthy initiatives that are helping address the needs of different groups of disadvantaged youth.

Winnipeg’s Villa Rosa residence provides support to mothers, babies and their families during and after pregnancy. Virtually all its clients are young, single, at-risk mothers.

A one-time donation from the AUSJF has allowed Villa Rosa to launch a new First Years Last Forever Project.  This initiative aims at increasing the number of new mothers choosing to breastfeed, expanding the knowledge of volunteers, and building and strengthening relationships between young women who might otherwise lack support.

The Project will also see Villa Rosa’s Coordinator of Volunteers work with an early childhood educator and a lactation consultation to introduce six new themes to improve overall mothering skills.

The Natural Wonders Early Learning Centre, located in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, is a second recipient of a donation from the AUSJF. As the Centre is currently the only wheelchair-accessible facility for young children in the community, many of the 61 children enrolled have a disability.

The Centre’s existing undeveloped yard will be equipped with play structures and a multi-layered learning garden. All children, particularly those with disabilities, will benefit from an accessible play area that also provides direct experience with growing plants that can be harvested for food.

The Swift Current Centre has always been popular with local Agriculture Union members – 10 of our members’ children currently attend.