Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavik May 05, 2014 - 1:02 pm

Nunavik’s Esuma launches call for projects

School perseverance project hopes to grow educational success of youth

SARAH ROGERS
From left, Olivia Ikey Duncan, Elias Moukannas, Mary Aitchison, Julie-Ann Berthe and Solange Loiselle introduce the Esuma school perseverance project to the KRG council in November 2013. (FILE PHOTO)
From left, Olivia Ikey Duncan, Elias Moukannas, Mary Aitchison, Julie-Ann Berthe and Solange Loiselle introduce the Esuma school perseverance project to the KRG council in November 2013. (FILE PHOTO)

Do you have time to volunteer with community activities, or to share your professional expertise?

Or maybe you know how you could help support a parent to help their own children with school homework?

These are some of the ways Nunavik organizations and community members can get involved with Esuma, Nunavik`s multi-partner stay-in-school project, which officially launched May 5.

In an effort to tackle Nunavik’s school drop-out rates, the Kativik Regional Government and its partner organizations are looking to a Quebec model that brings public and private organizations, along with the community, together to work towards keeping youth in school and graduating.

Esuma, roughly translated as “thinking” in Inuktitut, recognizes drop-out rates as a social problem, rather than an educational one.

“Think about what difference you can make,” said Mary Aitchison, one of Esuma’s architects, in a May 5 press release. “It doesn’t have to be big, but it has to be positive. Help your children understand that you are there for them, no matter what happens.”

“It is in every parent’s power to help their child persevere by providing every day support.”

Esuma is funded through Quebec’s department of employment and social solidarity, which is paying out $1.5 million between 2012 and 2015 to the KRG to manage the project.

First announced in 2013, the Nunavik Table on School Perseverance also includes the major organizations that serve the region: Makivik Corporation, the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services and the Kativik School Board.

But Esuma also counts on the support of the Fédération des coopératives du Nouveau-Québec, regional broadcaster Taqramiut Nipingat Inc., as well as mining companies Glencore Raglan and Canadian Royalties Inc.

They’ve all helped grow a fund from that community and regional projects can draw from.

A call for projects went out past April, looking for ideas that can engage parents and respond to community-identified needs.

Seven project ideas spanning 11 communities have already applied for funding of up to $25,000 that is now available to organizations with plans to boost educational success in Nunavik.

Groups can apply for a maximum of $100,000 for projects that involve three or more Nunavik communities, while projects can run up to 52 weeks, starting from May 2014 to August 31, 2015.

Funding applications are available here.

You can find more information on Esuma’s new website.

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