Eighteen Canada World Youth (CWY) members have arrived on the Coast and have dived into a three-month stint of volunteering with local organizations.
"Three days a week they volunteer for local organizations, so that could be anything from the Food Bank to Shorncliffe [Care Facility] to the salmon hatchery," Canadian project supervisor Kelly Hazlett said, explaining that the program focuses on health and gender projects, and does work with a few environmental groups as well. "And every Friday we volunteer within the community. So we've already worked with the [Sunshine Coast] Hospice Society and we're planning on working with the Town of Gibsons, working on an event for climate change, and we're working on an event with the Grandmothers to Grandmothers group with the Stephen Lewis Foundation."
The volunteer group, she said, consists of nine volunteers from across Canada, eight South Africans and one Kenyan. Volunteers sign up by filling in applications at www.canadaworldyouth.org.
They are required to fundraise $2,500 each, with the Canadian International Development Agency providing the majority of supplementary funding.
"It's an international opportunity for youth to collaborate across borders and learn about other cultures while learning about volunteerism and the importance of community," Hazlett said. "That's why we integrate volunteers into our placements in the community of the Sunshine Coast so they really understand what it means to be part of a bigger whole and to contribute."
The youth are on the Coast until Dec.1, at which point they'll head to South Africa to volunteer for a further three months. And while the group's schedule is rapidly filling up, Hazlett said they're still looking for volunteer opportunities in November.
"If anyone has events going on and they need 18 volunteers in November, we definitely would like to hear from them," she said. Hazlett can be reached at 604-740-2583 or firstname.lastname@example.org.