SaultOnline stopped by the Royal Canadian Legion on Sunday evening where Canada World Youth were hosting a East African Cultural Night as part of our Sault Ste. Marie-Tanzania-Kenya 2014 youth exchange. Volunteers from across Kenya, Tanzania and Canada hosted an evening of cultural food, music and presentations.
Participants were there to learn about the impact Canada World Youth and its partner’s programs have had in the host communities of UVIKIUTA Tanzania and KENVO Kenya. One brick at a time, Canada World Youth are making a difference.
CWY has been in existence since 1971 providing opportunities for young people to come together and learn about various issues in host communities, such as the current program which is focused on environmental issues. To date over 37,000 youth from Canada and around the world have participated in CWY projects in 69 countries.
During the past 3 months, the Sault has been host to a number of youth who spent their time learning about environmental and other issues here. In about 2 weeks they will leave to spend an additional 3 months in East Africa where they will learn about the similar issues and possible solutions there.
“It’s an opportunity to learn from the community, but also share with the community at the same time.” – Carrie McElroy – Program Manager of CWY explained. SaultOnline had met a number of youth from the exchange program earlier this month when they participated in the Soup Kitchen’s Great Box Sleep-over fundraiser. They had constructed a massive 18 person condo out of cardboard boxes.
When we mentioned the event, Carrie went on to say, “Such as Canadians have images or stereo types about Africans, Africans also have ideas about what Canada is like. The thought that there is homeless people in Canada is not one that was expected. They have come to understand that there are also developmental issues and community challenges, regardless of where you live in the world.”
If you are a youth in Sault Ste. Marie and interested in applying for one of the CWY exchange programs, simply visit their website at http://canadaworldyouth.org/why-cwy/i-am-a-youth/ for more information and to apply. There are two programs available. One which runs for 6 months, 3 months in Canada and 3 months over seas. A shorter program is also available over the Winter months where youth volunteer on projects with Canadians and local youth in countries such as Peru and Nicaragua. Carrie informed us that there is one such program currently being recruited for scheduled this January through March.
CWY is currently seeking an additional 3 host families for an upcoming group scheduled to arrive in the Sault from December 16th through to February 27th. Youth will stay with their hosts in pairs and should be included as family members, not guests or tenants. One spare room is all that is required.
Youth volunteers are supported by two experienced project supervisors and provided with bus passes. They volunteer 4 days a week at various local organizations and meet on a 5th for an educational day. Host families receive a weekly allowance to help cover costs.
You can help our youth make a difference too!
Be a resource person
Can you help the group discover the unique learning opportunities that the Sault has to offer? Do you have particular skills or interests you would like to share? Contact CWY and they will be happy to involve you in their activities.
Let them work with you
Being involved in and contributing to the community is a key factor in the participants’ learning. Call CWY if you have a project in need of energetic volunteers!
Open your home as a host family
CWY invites people of all ages, ethnicities, faiths genders, sexual orientations, family types, and more to share their daily live with our young volunteers. Sault Ste. Marie will be welcoming a group of 18 youth, aged 17 to 25 for three months and they are in need of 3 more host families.
For more information and to learn more about the differences youth are making in our community and around the world, visit http://canadaworldyouth.org
Canada World Youth
Sault Ste. Marie/Tanzania
647-893-6647 or [email protected]