EGADZ Relaunches support sexually exploited youth with game changer App
EGADZ has relaunched its I Am Not 4 Sale app which it anticipates will be a game-changer to connect with and support sexually exploited youth. With the touch of a button, youth can simply, discretely and anonymously have immediate emergency services sent to their location, wherever they live. They can also connect 24/7 with EGADZ counsellors and see the real-time location of the EGADZ Street Outreach vans.
Today, Saskatoon Riversdale MLA Marv Friesen on behalf of Social Services Minister Lori Carr, joined EGADZ for a live demonstration of the app that was redeveloped with close to $50,000 in funding from the Ministry of Social Services, and with input from the EGADZ youth committee based on their lived experiences with sexual exploitation.
“EGADZ has always placed a focus on listening to the young people who they work for, developing programs and services based on their ideas, experiences and wisdom,” Friesen said. “The I Am Not 4 Sale app is a perfect example of this, and I am proud government has once again provided financial support to this project that will mean more safety and security for young people here in Saskatoon and across Saskatchewan.”
“This app is going to be a game-changer in how we support young people who are being sexually exploited – and not just here in Saskatoon, but in any community in Saskatchewan,” EGADZ Executive Director Don Meikle said. “The ability for a young person being sexually trafficked to immediately and discretely have emergency services called right to their exact location is going to save lives. Being able to engage with our counsellors no matter what time it is through the chat feature and being able to see help coming is going to save futures.”
The Ministry of Social Services provided close to $50,000 to support the redevelopment of the I Am Not 4 Sale app and website and provides annualized funding for EGADZ residential, Street Outreach and Operation Help programs that provide support to sexually exploited children and youth.
EGADZ is a nationally and internationally recognized social innovator and won Saskatchewan’s first Governor General’s Award for Innovation in 2019. They offer several programs and services to Saskatoon’s children, youth and their families to improve their quality of life, including street outreach, housing, education and employment support and parenting programming.