The Northside Changemakers Program was developed as a way to celebrate and empower changemakers on the Northside. We wanted to develop a program which would not only grow skills and connections from people on the Northside but also foster hope and the idea that people can be the change that they wish to see. There are already so many people on the Northside doing amazing things, we simply want to provide a forum to showcase them.
The program itself is aimed to fund and support a pilot community project or initiative, while also delivering project management skills alongside a team of other changemakers. As well as designing and implementing community projects, participants also receive certification in community action skills such as Mental Health First Aid, Naloxone Training and Non-Violent Crisis Intervention.
This blog series showcases each participant’s journey. The changemaker we would like to introduce this week is Estelle Levangie
Estelle Levangie: Thyme For Circle: Estelle created a private Facebook group with the intention of bringing all women and gender expansive individuals together in a circle. The purpose of this circle is to connect to the community, and support each other in these hard times. The principles of coming to circle is to support, heal, transform and celebrate each other. Estelle believes it is time to bring the feminine back and to work together because this is how we change the world. Through her page, she hosted several online workshops around connection and support.
Tell me a little bit about yourself
My name is Estelle Levangie, I’m originally from France, but I have lived in Cape Breton for 10 years. I have three amazing little boys and my husband and I own Thyme for Ewe Farms, which specializes in: free range chicken, pasteurized beef and pork and organic herbs and vegetables. I was raised on a farm and I’m still farming and loving it! I believe both food and community are medicine.
What makes you jump out of bed in the morning
So many things, but the things that make me really excited are making a difference in my community, leading by example and watching little kids grow.
How did you hear about the Northside Changemakers program?
At first through word of mouth; friends encouraged me to apply so then I checked out the Northside Rising Facebook page.
Can you tell me a little bit about your project ?
My project (Thyme for Circle) was to create a women’s circle meeting on a monthly basis virtually (due to the pandemic). The hope of this meeting space was to create a sense of community, while decreasing the feelings of loneliness and isolation that became prevalent the last couple years.
How did this (your) project begin? What made you start thinking about it?
I was first part of a women’s circle that started a couple of years ago, it was a really special space and I made many connections. The facilitator relocated to Peru so nobody else took the leap to start another one. That’s why I felt like I should be doing it – I saw both the need and the gap.
When you think of the word Changemaker, does anyone you know come to mind? What is a Changemaker to you?
I’ve been admiring the work that Jody [Nelson] has been doing for many years. I believe a changemaker is someone who shows what can be done to make the world a better place. They are an example to follow, the mentor teaching others and the leader showing the way.
What do you love about the Northside?
So many things, I love the people, the place, the playgrounds for the kids. It’s a space for families, and a space of growth. I see a lot of potential here, and I want to be part of the upcoming change.
What are your hopes for the Northside?
To become an attractive place for newcomers and tourists where business booms and people are happy, we deserve it.
What is your best tip for making the world a better place?
Be the change you want to see in the world.