You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Canada’ tag.

Robin Way has recently joined the YCI team as the new Social Media & Communications Intern. Robin comes to YCI as a recent graduate of Queen’s University Global Development Studies MA program, where her research focused on migration and development, with additional focus on xenophobia, refugee rights, gender and development and youth education. Robin realized her strong interest in international development when she spent 4 months in 2009 interning in Lamu, Kenya, with an HIV/AIDS women’s peer-education organization. After spending a year working with the youth mentoring organization Big Brothers Big Sisters in her home town of Edmonton, Robin decided to return to school to complete her Master’s degree. Through Queen’s, she was able to return to Africa in 2011 to conduct fieldwork research with African refugees and intern with the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation in Cape Town, South Africa. Upon finishing school, Robin made the move to Toronto this past summer and is thrilled to now be working with YCI!

robin1

Robin doing the Lion’s Head hike in Cape Town, South Africa. After hiking through a bit of rain, that beautiful rainbow come out and the top of Lion’s Head made the perfect place to see it!

 As someone who is brand new to Youth Challenge International, I can say that I am very excited to be joining the YCI team! Two of the things I am most passionate about – international development and youth engagement – come together in an amazing way in the work that YCI does to promote Youth Development. Youth are so important in all facets to the future of all that is encompassed within “development”. This generation of youth is the largest in history and they are key players in the pursuit of social justice and development. I believe in educating and engaging youth so that they are interested in and aware of how this globalized world is connected. To see youth coming together from both local and international communities and engaging in civil society and demanding social justice is one the most amazing things!

I’ve only been at YCI for a month, but already I’ve learned so much about managing social media content (like this blog!) and strategies for contacting, consulting and communicating with our volunteers and supporters. The ability for social media to reach individuals and communities across the globe and to link them together in a common space is an amazing tool; I am so happy to be facilitating this bridging for YCI’s youth development mission!

When not at the office, I love travelling to different places; so far my only main trips have been to Kenya, London (England), India and South Africa.  I’m from Edmonton, Alberta, which just a short trip away from the Rockie Mountains (my favourite place it the world!), therefore, I love being outdoors camping and hiking in the mountains. While in South Africa I fell in love with surfing, though I’m not very good at it, and I also like practicing yoga, listening to music and running.

Oh, and I’m also a bit of a news junkie – I love keeping up to date on the latest Canadian and international political news!

Do Something That Matters!

What’s Your Issue? What Are You Going To Do About It?

We want to remind you of our Global Action Grant program for Canadian Youth aged 18-35 interested in creating innovative solutions to youth issues in development. Three $500 grants will be awarded to young people from across Canada to fund micro-projects implemented in their community to raise awareness about development issues.

Grant applicants are encouraged to create a unique way to engage their peers and the public around global development issues. Send in your grant applications by December 1st for project activities to be implemented between January 15th and March 30th 2013. Grant applications can take any form. Tell us in the most compelling way you can, ‘What’s Your Issue? And What Are You Gong To Do About It? You can use video, essays, photos, infographics or any other format you like.  We are looking for creativity and innovation in the applications and the projects. Include in your submission a breakdown of how you plan on spending the $500 for your mini project.

For complete grant information click here: http://bit.ly/GAGrant. To submit your application or if you have any questions, email sarah.vickery@yci.org or call (416) 504 3370, extension 312.

YCI recently launched a Global Action Grant program for Canadian Youth aged 18-35 and we want to take a moment and remind you about this opportunity!

What’s Your Issue? What Are You Going To Do About It?

The Global Action Grant is for youth interested in creating innovative solutions to youth issues in development. Three $500 grants will be awarded to young people from across Canada to fund micro-projects that raise awareness about development issues at here in Canada.

Grant applicants are encouraged to submit applications that engage their peers and the public around global development issues. Ideas for possible projects include:
• A collaborative or crowd-sourced film project with youth viewpoints from across Canada on environmental issues
• A facilitated program in a small community in Canada for local youth to learn tools for advocacy
• A ‘Feast or Famine’ dinner party series to shed light on issues of global youth hunger and food security
• A mini-conference/call to action for local youth to collaborate with community leaders to improve youth services in their municipality

We will be accepting applications until December 1st, 2012 for project activities to be implemented between January 15th and March 30th 2013. Grant applications can be submitted in any format (e.g., video, essay, infographic, photos, blog, etc.). Tell us in the most compelling way you can, ‘What’s Your Issue? And, What Are You Going To Do About It?’ We are looking for creativity and innovation in the applications and the projects. Include in your submission a breakdown of how you plan on spending the $500 for your micro-project.

Winners will be featured on the YCI website, blog and social media channels. Press releases will also be distributed in the winners’ local community. The grant recipients will be expected to report on the progress, successes and challenges of their micro-project prior to the March 30th, 2013 project completion deadline.

To submit your application or if you have any questions: sarah.vickery@yci.org

Throughout the coming months, we will be featuring blog posts from our Youth Writers, Alumni and staff featuring the issues they feel strongly about. Keep Reading!

Do Something That Matters!

YCI is launching a Global Action Grant program for Canadian Youth aged 18-35 interested in creating innovative solutions to youth issues in development. Three $500 grants will be awarded to young people from across Canada to fund micro-projects that raise awareness about development issues at here in Canada.

Grant applicants are encouraged to submit applications that engage their peers and the public around global development issues. Ideas for possible projects include:
• A collaborative or crowd-sourced film project with youth viewpoints from across Canada on environmental issues
• A facilitated program in a small community in Canada for local youth to learn tools for advocacy
• A ‘Feast or Famine’ dinner party series to shed light on issues of global youth hunger and food security
• A mini-conference/call to action for local youth to collaborate with community leaders to improve youth services in their municipality

Application and Grant Requirements

We will be accepting applications until December 1st, 2012 for project activities to be implemented between January 15th and March 30th 2013. Grant applications can be submitted in any format (e.g., video, essay, infographic, photos, blog, etc.). Tell us in the most compelling way you can, ‘What’s Your Issue? And, What Are You Going To Do About It?’ We are looking for creativity and innovation in the applications and the projects. Include in your submission a breakdown of how you plan on spending the $500 for your micro-project.

In December a panel of judges consisting of YCI Board Members, staff and an alumni representative will assess the relevancy, suitability and innovation of applications. The recipients of the grants will be notified during the first week of January.

Winners will be featured on the YCI website, blog and social media channels. Press releases will also be distributed in the winners’ local community. The grant recipients will be expected to report on the progress, successes and challenges of their micro-project prior to the March 30th, 2013 project completion deadline.

To submit your application or if you have any questions: sarah.vickery@yci.org

Throughout the coming month, we will be featuring blog posts from our Youth Writers, Alumni and staff featuring the issues they feel strongly about. Keep Reading!

Whether I’m in Canada or in Uganda, the youth are all talking about the same things: the worrying costs of post-secondary education, the impossibility of finding decent employment and a general unease about the future. The youth of today had the great misfortune of finishing school during one of the worst economic crises since the Great Depression. And it doesn’t look like it’ll get better until 2016, according to the ILO. So what are the youth of today to do?

That’s exactly what the Uganda Youth Network asked during its 10th anniversary conference. The conference had delegates from all five members of the East African Community (Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania). Take Kenya, for instance. 40% of the overall population is unemployed but 64% of those are youth- a highly disproportionate rate. Even in Canada, a country that remains relatively unscathed by the recession in comparison to many, the youth unemployment rate is twice that of the general population.

The Conference had speakers from each country who explored youth unemployment and strategies used both by the government and CSOs to address this. What struck me, however, was the universal agreement that nothing would change unless youth forced change; that unless youth demanded change, through political participation, through starting their own businesses, through perseverance, then nothing would change. The attitude was almost fatalistic in its lack of faith in the governments, the market and local businesses.

One conference speaker, Elisante Gabriel of Tanzania, spoke of the need for youth to change their mindset, to become more self-sufficient and entrepreneurial. This was a common refrain yet everyone acknowledged the difficulty of starting a business without a proper education or access to capital. The Youth Representative of Rwanda argued that the poorest youth, the one who most need the jobs and support, often face the most difficulty in accessing government-funded capital due to an inability to meet the stringent requirements. The representative from Kenya pointed out that the country cannot meet its Millennium Development Goals if the government continues to neglect the needs of the youth and unemployed; indeed, the biggest challenge for Kenyan youth is access to decent and honest living.

So much of the media narrative around youth unemployment criticizes youth for being ‘lazy’ or ‘entitled’; indeed, the term ‘Millennial’ has taken on a distinctly negative tone. But the youth I met at the conference were anything but lazy or entitled. From the lady with a university degree and working on her third or fourth internship to youth who have started their own NGOs, the youth were hard-working, determined and genuinely believe that they can change not only their own future, but the future of East Africa as a whole, for the better.

- Mariah Griffin-Angus, Governance Project Officer, CIDA International Youth Internship Program, Uganda 2012

In the fall of 2010 I volunteered with Youth Challenge International on a 10- week project in Ghana. Our project was focused on the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals and what Ghanaian youth can do in their communities to contribute to achieving these goals.

On Thursday June 30th 2011, I had the honour of representing Youth Challenge International at an official Youth Barbecue to welcome the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their royal tour of Canada. The theme of the 2011 Royal Tour is “Moving Forward Together: From Past Accomplishments to Current Service to Future Achievements.”

In honour of this theme 120 youth from across Canada coming from diverse volunteer experiences gathered at Rideau Hall in Ottawa Ontario. The event hosted by the Governor General and the Prime Minister, was to celebrate dedicated service at home and abroad and youth who, through their actions, are building a smarter and more caring nation and planet.

Throughout the evening the youth attendees were placed into similar to those identified in the Royal Wedding Charitable Gift Fund:

•       support for service personnel and their families,

•       conservation for future generations,

•       children fulfilling their potential,

•       changing lives through art and sport

•       help and care at home

The Royal Couple and distinguished guests took time in each group speaking with youth about their service to the local and global communities. I took part in the “Children Achieving their Potential” grouping and within this group we discussed our volunteer experiences and the services of our respective organizations.

It was truly an amazing experience to be able to speak with distinguished guests such as the Honourable James Moore Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages. I was honoured to discuss the work that Youth Challenge International has done in the past and is continuing to do. I even had the pleasure of speaking briefly with her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge about my experience with YCI in Ghana in the fall of 2011. I was also able to share with her the common thread that links YCI to the Royal Couple – the origin of Youth Challenge International. I was able to explain that Youth Challenge International evolved from Operation Raleigh (later named Raleigh International), a UK organization that was launched by Prince Charles, and with whom both William and Kate travelled to Chile with for 10 weeks in 2000.

In addition to the excitement of the royal couple and distinguished guests I left this event feeling truly inspired by the youth attendees I had the pleasure of meeting. I was able to connect with volunteers from across the country… from Nova Scotia to British Colombia to the Yukon, volunteers who have dedicated their young lives to service in their communities and abroad. As I spoke with attendees over the course of the evening I discovered that a common goal of empowering youth to create positive change united the diverse range of services represented at this event.

This gathering of youth left no doubt in my mind that youth are playing a critical role in creating positive change in their communities. The work of organizations like YCI enable Canadian youth and youth around the world to take an active role in their future and through partnership move forward together to create a more caring nation and planet.

Stephanie and the rest of her team (GH10-10A) in Ghana

- Stephanie Bray, YCI Alumni, Ghana 2010. Stephanie also wrote a blog post for YCI while on project, click here to read her post from the field. 

Want to learn what other YCI alumni are up to? Check out our blog’s Alumni Update category.

As an individual who just recently graduated from university, I had put little thought into what I wanted to do down the road – in 10 years time; 5 years time; or even what I wanted to do next month!  I had completed one of the toughest and most character-building chapters of my life, and all I wanted to do was live up the time I finally had to myself.

 

Only after a summer of light travelling, working, and relaxing did I started thinking about that eventuality known as the future.  It was then that I realized I didn’t have a game plan; no road lay before me.  I knew it was all up to me – I had long ago grown out of the age when other people planned my life for me, and I needed to do something about it.

 

I thought back on my interests that I focused on while in school, and realized that a pattern began to emerge in my last few semesters of my undergrad.  I, unlike many of my peers, did not know what I wanted to be “when I grew up” and so my undergraduate degree began to look like a mosaic; I took courses that I thought were interesting, thought-provoking, challenging, diverse, and fun.  I realized that I had developed a strong interest in international development, gender, human rights, and the issues that surround these when they become intertwined.  With that in mind, I began the process of asking myself what I wanted to do with this knowledge.

 

I decided on applying to graduate school and looking for meaningful work and volunteer experience.  The work experience I was lucky to attain: that is where Youth Challenge International comes in!  I am currently learning so much about what it takes to be a part of a development organization, and what kind of role I eventually want to take in this diverse field.  For school, I decided on graduate programs related to international development – specifically those that tie in many comprehensive courses and faculty so that I can continue to keep my education diverse and creative.  I realized after my time off from university (which was much needed!) that I enjoy the learning process, I enjoy the challenge that school provides, and I thrive on research and discovery.  Plus, with my love of travel and curiosity for people and places the world over, this path seems like a step toward being able to one day live and make a place for myself outside of Canada.

 

I am also looking for ways to make myself useful as a volunteer.  Anyone can tell you that a strong education is a great asset, but without meaningful experience, you haven’t got a leg to stand on.  As the only member of the YCI team who has yet to go on a volunteer trip, I am looking to try my hand at some volunteer experiences right here in Canada – after all, you need to know where you’ve been before you can know where you’re going!

 

- Sarah Tuckey, Administrative Assistant

 

If you’re interested in graduate programs in International Development, check out these select links:

http://internationaldevelopmentstudies.artsandsocialsciences.dal.ca/index.php

http://globalization.mcmaster.ca/

 

http://globalgovernance.uwaterloo.ca/index.html

 

http://www.carleton.ca/npsia/

 

http://www.queensu.ca/devs/

 

 

For more information on volunteer experiences in Canada and abroad, check out:

http://volunteer.ca/

 

http://www.globalcitizensforchange.com/en/index.php

 

http://www.otesha.ca

  

http://www.katimavik.org/section/index/id/1

 

http://www.habitat.ca/

Volunteer with YCI

Donate to YCI

Newsletter

Facebook

YouTube

YCI Tweets

Flickr Photos

More Photos
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,256 other followers

%d bloggers like this: