In November 2016, the pilot phase of Sanajiit launched, with workshops being provided to five students by our carpentry mentor. The youth participate in two workshops every week which are conducted at the facilities of the Inuksuk High School, with the support of our two hard-working student managers. Students began by learning basic carpentry skills and how to operate shop machinery safely. Since then, students have begun working on their own individual projects during workshop sessions with the help and support of the carpentry mentor. Students were also able to participate in business-focused workshops, including marketing, finance, and entrepreneurship, providing them with valuable skills they can apply when they sell their products.
After a very successful pilot phase, the Sanajiit project hopes to build on this momentum in the coming year. One of our primary goals is to further establish the social enterprise and guide the youth in marketing and selling their products to the community. Beyond that, we would like to maintain the program we currently have in place at Inuksuk High School, while expanding it to include more students and get more youth involved. We also hope to be able to develop a similar program that reaches at-risk youth in Iqaluit outside of the school system to answer a greater need in the community. Finally, we would like to have a better established recycling program in place to provide the community with a collection point for unwanted wood and ensure that the youth have ample materials for their projects.