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Dilico Anishinabek Family Care Releases Children’s Book for Step Up Campaign in Support of Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Friday, October 7, 2022, Thunder Bay, ON – Dilico Anishinabek Family Care is launching their 13th annual Step Up Campaign in Thunder Bay and District to raise awareness for Child Abuse Prevention Month. This year, the campaign’s theme is “Finding Your Voice”, which encourages children and youth to find the courage to speak up for themselves and others. The goal is to raise awareness and help keep children safe.

Darcia Borg, Executive Director says, “The goal of Step Up is to empower children and youth to find their voices, discover their confidence, and gain the courage to stand up for themselves and others.”

To support the campaign, the organization is releasing a self-published children’s book, written and illustrated by local creatives.

John Dixon, Director of Integrated Services says, “This year, we’re focusing on helping young people gain the confidence to “Find Their Voice.” Through connecting with family, friends, community, culture, traditions, they can find the courage to speak up for themselves and for others.”

How I Found My Voice highlights the journey of a young Indigenous child as they grow their confidence and find comfort in their community. The child meets new friends, and gains courage through relationships and traditions. The story was written by Meghan Gagliardi, Child Welfare Manager at Dilico.

“I’m so honoured to have been a part of creating this book,” says Meghan. “Through an easy to follow narrative and beautiful illustrations, this book is meant to remind all children that they have a voice and guide those who may not yet know their own strength. As Child Abuse Prevention Month approaches, it’s important for us to encourage youth to use their voices to speak up for themselves and their peers.”

The book is aimed at young children – approximately aged 4-6 years old – and features original illustrations from local artist, Lisa Westermann.

The book launched on October 7th at a book reading event. Additionally, over the course of the month, Dilico will be holding a number of in-person book readings at various locations across Thunder Bay, as well as virtual readings for those who are unable to attend in person. Copies of the book will also be provided to schools in the region.

Over the course of the month, Dilico will hold a number of other events to raise awareness around child abuse prevention, such as a scavenger hunt and colouring pages for students.

How I Found My Voice will also be available for purchase online with all proceeds from book sales being donated to Mazinaajim Children’s Foundation to help children achieve their dreams.

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