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Friday December 28th, 2012

Posted at 1:00pm

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Dedicated to helping children feel confident in their own skin, social workers, Heather Chauvin and Amy Mullins have dedicated their life’s work to educating local girls on the importance of a high self esteem, despite external pressures from society and bullies at school.

Teaching young girls the tools they need to build their self-esteem and educating them on the messages that the media sends, are some of the reasons why Heather Chauvin and Amy Mullins chose to facilitate the Dove Self-Esteem Camp throughout the school year.

The 2013 camps will take place on January 4th, January 18th, February 8th and June 7th.

“Dove’s research suggests that the beauty pressures young girls face are mounting, and that there is still a great amount of work that we must do to help these girls
develop confidence – especially during such a critical age”, says Chauvin. “We have a responsibility to intervene and show them healthy ways to cope with their beauty anxieties, additionally, how to develop a positive relationship with their bodies. The goal is for each girl to recognize that they are beautiful – in every shape and form”, says Mullins.

The tragic story of B.C. teen suicide victim Amanda Todd alerted people to the issue of cyber bullying and its deadly consequences. “Although we understand that bullies have been around since the beginning of time, technology has given them that extra tool to torment their victims, says Chauvin”.  “In previous camps, Amy and I have educated girls in our program of the dangers of the online world; for these camps, we are committed to spending more time and focus on the issue”.

“We want girls to know how to handle themselves if they are being bullied online, but also, we want to discouraged those who taking part in the bullying. We want to make the bullies see the harm they are doing and the consequences of their actions”, says Mullins.

The Dove program was developed with the intent of challenging young girls to create their own identity when surrounded by images of ‘perfect’ beauty from the world’s fashion, film, music and media.  Dove believes it’s time to stop this waste of potential, and get young people to grow into confident and capable adults.

Heather and Amy’s camps provide the participants an opportunity to learn through various activities and presentations, with topics incluing self-esteem supports, what ‘true beauty’ actually is, how media plays a role in lowering self-esteem, exploring the effects some words have on us, cyber-bullying, and body myths.

The program will be open to the public with the next camp on Friday January 4th.  The camps will be held at the Puce Sports and Leisure Centre from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Parents will be given printed exercises and activities to do with their children to enhance their learning experience at home, following the camp.

“Parents are the first teachers in their child’s life. They should be given unconditional, non-judgemental support,” says Chauvin.

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