Almost 40 young people from across Canada and Indonesia between the ages of 17 and 25 gathered at the Cowichan Lake Outdoor Education and Conference Centre (CLEC) on Oct. 9. Participants in the Canada World Youth program were engaged in a pre-program orientation weekend where they met others in their group and discussed the program.
“The Vancouver Island Canada World Youth program unites youth from across Canada and Indonesia,” said Simon Schachner, a project supervisor with CWY. “The youth (one Canadian and one Indonesian) are going to integrate into their host communities of Duncan and Nanaimo through living with host families. They’re getting involved in the community, mostly through volunteer work placements in the non-profit sector.”
CWY is a six-month program in total, three months in Canada and three months in Indonesia. The program is open to any youth in the age range.
The youth at CLEC were energetic and excited about the days and months ahead.
Audrey Paquet from Quebec, a passionate young woman, shared that she looks forward to volunteering with underprivileged people in the coming months.
“The thing I’d like to learn is caring about others,” said Paquet. “We’re going to see difficult situations for others. We need to know how to care for them and how to help them.”
Zakia Syifa from Indonesia feels she can learn a lot by being in new places.
“I want to learn from the practical experience of being in the communities,” said Syifa. “Of having new families, new friendships in other countries, and living in other cities.”
The youth stayed at the centre for the initial orientation weekend until Oct. 12, at which point they travelled to their host families in Duncan and Nanaimo.
For more information on the program, visit canadaworldyouth.org. For more information on CLEC, visit cowichanlakecentre.ca.