Making Waves (Vague par Vague)

Database Filters


An initiative developed to educate young people about dating and violence prevention, through a weekend retreat.

Type of intervention

Classroom setting, group work, theatrical

Target groups, level of prevention and subgroups

  • (Potential) Offenders | Primary prevention | Young People (12-17 years), Adults (18-20 years) | Male and female | Classroom setting, group work, theatrical | English

Target population

Young people in high school grades 10 and 11.

Delivery organisation

Partners for Youth Inc.: a non-profit organization based in Canada. The organisation primarily focuses on adventure based programmes for young people.

Mode and context of delivery

Making Waves (Vague par Vague) is a weekend retreat followed by school and community action. It is co-delivered by female and male teams of community facilitators, trained youth and trained volunteers (mainly teachers). Weekend retreat is delivered outside school time to four selected students per school plus teaching and/or counselling support staff from the school and local community agencies. Following the retreat, teams of teachers and students develop a school action plan. Participating youth are invited to join a Student Action Committee.

A Community Action Committee is formed to support and complement the work of a Student Action Committee, which organises the retreats, facilitates workshops and maintains a presence on Facebook to sustain its work between retreats

Level/nature of staff expertise required

The weekend retreats are planned and delivered by young people and adults who have participated in previous events. The programme encourages student engagement both in the workshop and in the planning and implementation of the community action plan, with support from community experts and teachers.

Intensity/extent of engagement with target group(s)

Two weekend retreats followed by school and community action throughout the year; intensity of which varies.

Description of intervention

The approach of Making Waves is based on an understanding that young people often turn to their peers for help when in trouble. Making Waves is a primary prevention programme which trains peer educators to prevent dating violence through weekend retreats, followed by school and community action plans. Every school in New Brunswick, Canada, is invited to select four young people and teachers to participate in a Weekend Intensive Retreat consisting of workshops and facilitated discussions. At a further retreat, an action plan is developed by teams of students and teachers who are supported in the course of the following year to implement the plan.

Programme includes healthy relationships, recognising abuse, gender stereotypes, media awareness, helping others, prevention of sexual assault and effective communication. Action plans include awareness raising activities, inviting community experts to speak in school, writing articles in school newspaper. The programme encourages a very high level of student engagement and responsibility for the action plan. Student Action Committees represent students from different schools and these prepare the retreats and facilitate training sessions. This group has set up a Facebook page and uses this to maintain awareness and sustain its work between retreats.

Community members from various agencies also take part in the weekend retreats and from this pool a Community Action Committee is created to support and complement the work of the Student Action Committee. Community champions have been identified in various regions.


An independent evaluation has found positive outcomes in relation to knowledge gain, attitude and behavior change (see Cameron et al below).


Cameron, C. al. (2007) Dating Violence Prevention in New Brunswick.

Tutty, L.M. (2011) Healthy Relationships. Preventing Teen Dating Violence. An Evaluation of Teen Violence Prevention Programmes. Canadian Women’s Foundation. Available at:

Healthy Relationships 101: An Overview

of School-based Healthy Relationship Programs. Canadian Women’s Foundation.

Contact details

Partners For Youth Inc.
535 Beaverbrook Ct., Suite B-10 Fredericton, NB, E3B 1X6
Phone: 506 462 0323
Fax: 462 0328

Image result for partners for youth ca


RATING: Promising