A Life Plan project at MAP Montreal
Adopting a perspective of empowerment leads to a focus on projects and action. MAP's frame of reference postulates that the development of the power to act involves the formalization and the realization of one or more projects that can take various forms according to the needs of women and the paths of their life.
The professional, social and personal axes
On the professional axis, the project includes the process of acquiring skills (including improving the educational level) allowing access to employment. In its social component, the project encompasses multiple objectives related to broader integration into the community and society: development of social connections or experiences of involvement in the improvement for the common good. Finally, on the personal axis, the project includes the objectives of empowering women (self-esteem, identity development, ability to make choices).
Intervention to encourage action
In this context, the intervention aims to promote a shift to action in a project that makes sense for residents. Adopting an empowering approach also means adopting certain principles of action. The first principle is recognition of the strengths and skills of women: this means to consider them as the best placed to determine their needs, their projects, the actions to be taken to achieve them as well as the criteria of success compatible with their situation. A second principle is to establish equality between all the actors involved in the change process. The third principle is based on the idea that « the responsibility for change can not be attributed solely to the person concerned since the realization of a personal project is conditional on the availability of resources in the community. « (Le Bossé, 2000). 1 »
An ecosystem allowing the setting up of a Life Plan project
The aim is to equip women so that they can remain in their jobs or complete their studies and find a job in connection with their diplomas. In addition to subsidized housing and daycare facilities, MAP provides psychosocial support that will enable them to develop, discover and reinforce their attitudes and skills in the four (4) spheres of life (woman, mother, citizen, student). The steps are:
1 - Identify the main objective (employment or study) and secondary objectives at the end of the course;
2 - Define and implement an annual action plan identifying the needs of women and their children and specifying objectives in the four (4) spheres, which will be re-evaluated annually by a self-evaluation of the participants and the observations of their speaker;
3 - Pair each new participant to another family at their arrival;
4 - Provide a personalized monthly follow-up for each participant, which may sometimes take place at the participants home;
5- Provide follow-up for each child through communications with the Child Care centre (CPE);
6- Propose complementary training linked to all spheres of modern life;
7- Evaluate their journey at MAP.