Project Reclaim is a social enterprise initiative that combines employment training, green initiatives and community development to improve the lives of at risk youth.
The program addresses unemployment through job training, education credit recovery and LICO through the creation of a social enterprise to reinvest funds generated from product sales back into the participating community.
"This project will offer our young people authentic work experience and the know-how to do urban farming", commented by the RAFT's Executive Director Michael Lethby.
"It will also create a real product that the RAFT can sell to produce reliable revenue to deliver our programs."
Walker Environmental Group's Atlas Landfill (WEG) in Welland Ontario is the site of a new social enterprise pilot project with the Niagara Resource Service for Youth. The pilot project includes teens manufacturing and installing new sediment logs to replace silt fencing found on construction sites, as well as growing corn on vacant industrial land donated by the City of Welland at Ross Street.
The urban farming provides material for sediment logs for the activity and provides education and training for young people, while remediating vacant industrial land. The RAFT came to WEG looking for a private partner to help them launch the new "Social Enterprise". The RAFT successfully tested compost, mulch and straw, donated by WEG, as additional media for the sediment logs.
The initial project received funding from the Niagara Prosperity Initiative and the Trillium Foundation. With the success of the pilot reclaim project, the RAFT partnered with Youth Resources Niagara (YRN) to continue Project Reclaim as part of an initiative to consolidate, expand, and implement social enterprise training for at risk youth. The project was made possible though support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Project Phoenix, and the RAFT.
There are many ways that you can help The Raft programs and services for youth.