Guest post by Victoria Carnaghan 
 
Just in time for national Bullying Awareness Week, the Ministry of Human Services of the Province of Alberta has named the Red Cross’s anti-bullying education program as one of the winners of the 2016 Inspiration Award in the category of Leadership in Prevention of Bullying.
 
“We are delighted to receive this award, which reinforces the role Canadian Red Cross has in preventing bullying in our communities,” says Daniela Rojas, Red Cross Alberta’s Manager of Education.
MLA Nicole Goehring, Red Cross – Alberta, Manager of Education, Daniela Rojas, Respect Education Coordinator, Krista Hauffe

Pictured here: MLA Nicole Goehring, Red Cross – Alberta, Manager of Education, Daniela Rojas, Respect Education Coordinator, Krista Hauffe. /Photo courtesy: Alberta Government


Respect Education aims to create safe environments free of violence – including bullying, abuse and exploitation – through prevention education and response.
 
“Our Respect Education team looks forward to continuing our work with schools and community groups to promote the creation of safe environments for children and youth,” Daniela says.
 
The team’s bullying and harassment prevention program, called Beyond the Hurt, was developed 15 years ago to help students and adults recognize bullying and respond in ways to prevent it.
 
Since its inception, the team has delivered the program to adults and youths across Alberta at schools and community events. They have also partnered with groups such as Edmonton Public Schools to host Respect Education workshops.
 
As Daniela explains, the program is research-based and informed by national standards. It aims to focus on the behavior and not the person. For example, instead of using terms such as “bullies” and “victims,” facilitators encourage participants to address the root of the problem that leads to the behaviours.
 
The workshops and seminars focus on a “train the trainer” model where youths are taught how to educate their younger peers on preventing bullying, taking a stand to help others, and accessing support.
 
The content also focuses on the importance of a bystander’s role – emphasizing that everyone in the community has an active role in speaking out and taking action against bullying, harassment and violence.
 
The Inspiration Awards were launched two years ago to celebrate groups and individuals across Alberta who work in the areas of the prevention of family violence, sexual assault, child abuse and bullying.