The Prince Edward Island Military Family Resource Centre wants to hear from their military families. The goal of the MFRC is to meet the needs of over 300 reservists and 30 regular force families living and working on the Island.
Less than a year old, the PEI MFRC employs five staff, including an executive director. In order to meet the unique needs of military families satellite offices have been established across the Island and staff travel between them.
“Because of privacy laws we are not allowed to contact our military families without their permission. This makes letting them know what we can potentially offer them difficult. It’s important these families know we are here for them,” said Donna Earl, executive director, PEI Military Family Resource Centre.
MFRCs are committed to enriching the lives of individuals and families in CAF communities through positive action, education and support. They provide relevant programs and services that empower and encourage strong, independent individuals and families within the CAF.
“At the present time, because we are newly established, we are in a program and services needs assessment phase. We are talking to families to find out what they want us to offer, what will meet their needs. Then, we have to consider where we will offer these programs, according to the geographical location of the population we serve,” explained Earl.
According to Earl, the engagement and participation of families in activities and decisions that facilitate the well-being of a community lie at the centre of successful community development efforts. MFRCs encourage and facilitate the voluntary participation of CAF families, particularly spouses, in all facets of their operations, from program planning and delivery to organization governance and leadership.
The PEI MFRC is actively seeking board members and volunteers among the military family community. They are mandated by their funder, Military Family Services to secure 51 per cent military spouse membership on their board of directors.
“I encourage families to call us and make a connection. We are here to serve them and we want to hear what they have to say. This is an exciting time at the PEI MFRC,” said Earl.
In 2004 the Moncton MFRC established a satellite Military Family Service Centre in PEI to support military families residing on the Island. In April, 2012 the CAF announced a reduction of its military presence in Moncton. The reduction meant the Moncton MFRC would become a satellite service centre of Canadian Armed Forces Base Gagetown and would no longer provide support to the Military Family Service Centre in PEI.
By May 2013, the Military Family Service Centre was supporting over 300 military families of personnel working on the Island. Seizing the opportunity, the PEI military family community and the Military Family Service Centre approached Military Family Services in Ottawa to request the Military Family Service Centre become an independent organization rather than continue as a satellite operation. In April of 2013 the Prince Edward Island Military Family Resource Centre was established.
For more information about the PEI Military Family Resource Centre, contact executive director, Donna Earl, at 902-892-8999.
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