The Existence Project began on the assertion that personal narratives have the power to connect entire communities – across socioeconomic boundaries – and that the rich creative ability of our community is the most effective tool we can wield against the stigma that prevents necessary social change. By bringing together individuals with different abilities, histories and experiences around storytelling, this ancient form of human record that we connect with so deeply, participants will be empowered to challenge the notions that separate us.
Our project is based on a participatory research methodology that incorporated finding from multiple community focus groups out of Anawim house and evaluation forms in order to ensure we meeting a need, reaching our communal objectives and maximizing our impact.
Impact.. For people relegated to the edges of society, opportunities to share one’s voice and be respectfully heard are sorely lacking, but this sharing is absolutely necessary. To sit alongside professionals, students, artists, peers, allied community stakeholders and hear our own stories of trauma and triumph is to experience what whole community feels like. We believe that sharing this experience will allow participants to inspire action in each other, and inspire our community to deliver the opportunities that marginalized people are more than worthy of.
We envision The Existence Project as a model for the meaningful engagement of marginalized communities that can be replicated across The Greater Victoria area, B.C, and eventually, Canada as a whole. We see our programming strengthening connection between the general public, service organizations and marginalized peoples in Victoria – ultimately supporting the implementation of policy and community driven solutions.