Through our New Initiatives fund, Farmtown Canada’s Funny Farm Ministries in Aylmer, Ontario, received $6,000 to seed their new initiative Farm Girls Rule, an afterschool/evening program designed for girls 8 – 14 in at-risk and under-served rural communities. Many of the girls who will come to Farm Girls Rule will have been referred to the program by Family and Children’s Services agencies or by schools in Elgin. “We won’t charge for the program,” says Funny Farm co-founder and executive director Kelly Franklin. “We want to increase our accessibility.”

Farm Girls Rule extends the successful camps, peer-mentoring counselling programs and the year-round after school and weeknight programs already being offered by Funny Farm. When the program completes its first year, troubled girls from across Elgin will have learned Bible principles about respect, positive choice-making, handling peer pressure, self-confidence and more, all through their interactions with other girls, instructors, horses and other farm animals in a loving Christian environment.

When they’re part of Farm Girls Rule, the girls “take on social projects and animal projects to reinforce their ability to make a difference for God now,” says founder Kelly Franklin.

Farm Girls Rule continues the amazing community-building and bridging efforts of Farmtown Canada’s Funny Farm Ministries (Funny Farm). Funny Farm staff’s focus on working with the Alymer Ministerial, local churches, pastors, schools and community/civic leaders to fill service gaps and cut wait times to support has garnered wide community support from across Elgin. Because of that focus, Funny Farm has served more than 4,500 clients through relevant camps, programs, counselling supports, learning initiatives and job programs.

Read more about Farm Girls Rule in our March/April 2015 issue of live magazine. A feature profile on Kelly Franklin will be part of the May/June 2015 Anchor Causes issue.