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The Rainbow Klub

Rainbow Klub

Where It All Began

The Rainbow Klub youth group began after Koach Katrina attended Rainbow Camp (a one week camp for LGBTQ and Allied youth) as a fitness facilitator. Seeing the impact the councilors had on the campers and how upset everyone was to leave, inspired her to open up a safe space so local campers in Sault Ste. Marie, ON could still see each other throughout the year.

The first “Rainbow Klub” was held in Katrina’s Community Centre called The KLUB on September 7th, 2018, and had eight participants. From there the group grew to provide free programming for anywhere from 12 – 40+ youth at each event. Each social gathering differs but often they have guest speakers and mentors who discuss Queer*and Transgender* topics, sexual education, gender orientation, healthy relationships, substance awareness, mental health, etc. Special events with karaoke, theatre workshops, drag, and talent shows, paint nights, movie nights, and holiday dinners are among the favoured activities of this group.

If one doesn’t want to participate or socialize, they are not forced too, and they simply use the space for a hub to do homework or their hobbies. The KLUB is home to a variety of free materials such as craft/painting supplies, nail polish/face masks, beads, board games, video games, Queer literature, karaoke, a dress-up trunk, and outdoor toys – for all youth to utilize when they’d like. In addition, The KLUB has couches and a dining room table that allows Rainbow Klub to eat, hang out, and attend the center comfortably. The KLUB mimics a “home” atmosphere as many of the youth come from difficult home lives, lower-income households, and sometimes abuse and neglect. With positive affirmations and bright colours everywhere, The KLUB is a safe space they know they will receive support, friendship, entertainment, and a hot meal.

“The impact a social safe space can have for these marginalized yourth is huge”

 

Katrina appreciates all efforts to help these young people heal, survive, and thrive. These youth and youth allies deserve a space they feel safe to be themselves and to meet others within the community who are like them too. Rainbow Klub’s expenses are covered personally by Katrina and by the community and business donations she receives. She is working on obtaining a non-profit status to further guarantee sustainability for the group. Until then, community donations keep this program running. COVID made a tough financial situation tougher and now more than ever Rainbow Klub needs financial support.

If you are interested in making a one-time monetary donation or becoming a monthly sponsor please contact.

 

Katrina Francella – Koach Katrina