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Canada World Youth North Bay – Kenya/ Tanzania Equator Youth Initiative
September – December, 2003

What is Canada World Youth?

Canada World Youth (CWY) is a national, non-profit organization that provides young people from Canada and around the world with the opportunity to live and work in different communities, to learn about local and international development, and to gain important job skills for the future.

CWY has been carrying out international exchanges since 1971. To date, more than 27,000 young people have participated in CWY programs in 60 countries throughout the world. Our programs promote solidarity and social awareness among youth of different cultures. For more information about CWY, please check out our website: http://www.cwy-jcm.org.

This year, CWY is partnering with four communities (two in Kenya and two in Tanzania) in an exciting new youth exchange to explore the issues of biodiversity and local community economic initiatives. These four communities have all won international awards through the Equator Initiative for their work in sustainable community economic development. Kenyan and Tanzanian youth from these four communities will participate in this 7-month cross-cultural education program with youth from across Canada. Due to its many attributes and community initiatives, North Bay has been selected to be the host community for the Canadian phase of the youth exchange program.

What is the Equator Initiative?
The Equator Initiative is a partnership that brings together the United Nations, civil society, business, governments and local groups to help build the capacity and raise the profile of grassroots efforts that promote sustainable communities in developing countries within the earth’s equatorial belt.

A simple fact lies at the heart of the Equator Initiative’s work: the world’s greatest concentration of biological wealth is found in the tropics, in countries often beset by acute poverty. The biological wealth is under threat as never before.

The good news is that local grassroots and indigenous communities are actively charting a path towards a more sustainable future, using their biological resources in creative and sustainable ways for food, medicine, shelter and improved livelihoods.

The Equator Initiative aims to champion and support community-level development projects that link economic improvement with the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. For more information about the Equator Initiative, check out http://www.undp.org/equatorinitiative.

What will the CWY youth exchange look like in North Bay?
North Bay will host 18 participants from the Canada World Youth program from September to December. The young people, aged 18 to 24, will work voluntarily on community-based projects while sharing the daily life of their host families.

The team will consist of 6 Canadians, 6 Kenyans, 6 Tanzanians and 2 Project Supervisors. Participants are paired together and billeted with a family. This means sharing your daily life with young people who become part of your household and activities. Families receive $140 per week to cover participants’ food and lodging.

Once a week, the group meets for an Educational Activity Day where participants facilitate their learning about the community and examine closely community issues around biodiversity and sustainable development. Members of the community are welcome and encouraged to attend these days.

In December, the group will leave North Bay and continue their exploration of biodiversity and community development in a community in Kenya for two months, and finishing in a Tanzanian community for two months.

What the Canada World Youth group can offer the community
  • 5000+ hours of community volunteer work
  • Cross-cultural experience for community members
  • Youthful insight and enthusiasm – a chance for youth from North Bay to get involved and apply to do the program
  • Chance to learn about interesting community-based initiatives in Kenya, Tanzania and other parts of Canada
  • Long lasting friendships
  • Focused interest in community issues, and forum for community members to network
  • Support of local economy

    What the group needs from the community
  • Host Families
  • Work placements involving biodiversity, community- based economic initiatives, environmental initiatives, eco-tourism, etc.
  • Meeting space for a group of 20 one day/ week
  • Community events to get involved with
  • Educational resources (people, access to library, local information)
  • Recreational activities
  • Health Contacts (a doctor and a dentist who would be willing to be our contacts for emergencies and health issues)
  • Key contact people in the community
  • Transportation assistance (locating used bicycles, occasional help with carpooling)

    *** For more information and ways you can be involved, please contact: ***
    Heather McPherson, Canadian Project Supervisor (705) 752-2359 (after July 18th) or e-mail her anytime at hmcpherson@cwy-jcm.org
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