High school students from Montreal have been helping to renovate Home Base YK’s youth dorms over the past two weeks.
Tammy Roberts, Home Base YK’s executive director, said the students – who are creating a documentary about the project as a school assignment – worked on three of the facility’s rooms, including a relaxing room and game room.
Tasks completed included painting, installing lights, and adding new furniture. Home Base’s youth dorms give people aged 12 to 24 their own space with various supports.
“The contribution this group has made has been phenomenal,” said Roberts. “It’s made the space and their home much more comfortable.”
Roberts said the group originally planned to travel from Montreal’s Collège Sainte-Anne to establish a greenhouse in Yellowknife, only to discover that was not possible in the city’s March climate.
The Grade 11 students, accompanied by a teacher, are working on a school assignment in which students must plan and complete a community-based project.
Student Élodie Roncière said this school group is called Auradis, for the positive aura people have and the French word “radis,” or radish, symbolizing long roots the group intends to establish through its work.
“The goal was to have a very sustainable project,” she said. “The youth [from Home Base] all gave ideas of stuff that we could buy or things that we could change about the rooms, so it’s their project too, because we couldn’t have made it without them.”
Cathryne Turac, another student, said: “We wanted to make [the spaces] inviting so that they could be more utilized and Home Base could take advantage of all their spaces.
“I think the biggest impact this will have for me, personally, is the connection we were able to make with the youth here.”
Nathan Thomas, a third student, said group members – who leave on Friday – had enjoyed their time in Yellowknife and will apply skills learned to other areas of their lives.