BCSF announces 2019 YK & Northwest Arctic Health Fund Grantees

by Bethel Community Services Foundation Staff

In its first year of grant making, Bethel Community Services Foundation’s YK & Northwest Arctic Health Fund supported two health-related projects, one in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta and one in the Northwest Arctic region of Alaska.

The 2019 grant recipients are the Native Village of Selawik ($12,916) and Teens Acting Against Violence ($15,304). Both groups submitted proposals for initiatives that will promote health in their respective communities.

The Native Village of Selawik received funding for the Selawik Wellness Coalition to provide two Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training opportunities for community members, including school staff, VPSOs, health aids, wellness staff, and teens.

These trainings will provide the skills and tools needed to help someone experiencing a mental health crisis or developing a mental health problem. As part of a larger effort to share their successful program with other communities, Selawik will also reserve space in each training for people from other villages.

The MHFA trainings will build on the services currently offered through the Selawik Wellness Coalition, which has been the primary coordinator of wellness, cultural, and recreational activities in the village since its inception in 2014.

Bethel’s Tundra Women’s Coalition (TWC) received funding to support the Teens Acting Against Violence (TAAV) program. TAAV is TWC’s premiere violence prevention program and is recognized as one of the first youth-based violence-prevention programs in the state.

TAAV inspires and promotes positive behavioral and emotional health in the local community and region through initiatives and activities, including outreach presentations in surrounding villages, Bethel’s Pride Parade, the Teens Lead Ahead summer camp, and a member excursion to the Outward Bound leadership camp.

The YK & Northwest Arctic Health Fund received eight grant applications from groups in the Northwest Arctic and YK Delta regions.

“We received many inspiring proposals from groups that are doing excellent work to promote health in both the Yukon-Kuskokwim and Northwest regions. It was a tough decision choosing just two grantees among the pool of applicants, but we’re eager to see the Selawik Wellness Coalition and TWC’s Teens Acting Against Violence carry out their proposals to influence lasting change in their communities and those surrounding,” says grant committee member, Matthew Bergen of Kotzebue.

The fund will continue to award grants annually for health-related projects in both regions. The 2020 grant application cycle will begin in early summer. To learn more about the fund, visit bcsfoundation.org/arctic-health-fund.

You can create a fund for a project or purpose you feel passionate about with our Foundation. BCSF staff will work with you to develop a fund agreement that details the purpose and intention of your fund. A sample fund agreement can be found at bcsfoundation.org under the Resources tab. To learn more about how to open a fund, or include a BCSF fund in your legacy plans, contact Michelle at [email protected]