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From Canada to Kenya

Exchange program looking for host families for 18 youth

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Participants in last year’s Winnipeg/Kenya exchange spent six months volunteering in Winnipeg and in Kenya to get a better sense of social issues at home and abroad.

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Participants in last year’s Winnipeg/Kenya exchange spent six months volunteering in Winnipeg and in Kenya to get a better sense of social issues at home and abroad. Photo Store

An international exchange program is looking for Winnipeg families to host a group of 18 youth volunteers from across Canada and Kenya.

Youth involved in the Winnipeg/Kenya exchange as part of Canada World Youth’s Youth Leaders in Action program will be arriving in the city Sun., Sept. 8., project supervisor Muna Salah said.

Families will host volunteers in pairs until December 2013, and receive a weekly $180 stipend for costs. Only one spare room is required.

"We really encourage families that apply to be inclusive with the volunteers," Salah said.
"Rather than treating them as tenants or guests, treating them as family and including them in their everyday lives."

The full exchange runs until March, with volunteers spending three months in Kenya’s Kimende region after they wrap up Winnipeg.

In Winnipeg, they’ll be split up, and will split their week spending three days volunteering across downtown and the inner city, including Winnipeg Harvest, the Office of Campus Sustainability at the University of Winnipeg, IRCOM, the NEEDS Centre, and Oyate Tipi in the North End.

They’ll spend their other two days volunteering as a group with other local agencies and participating in educational activities, Salah said.

Since joining the exchange in 2011 as a volunteer, Salah said her involvement gave her a chance to see how active other youth were in their communities and gain a better sense of social issues in Canada and overseas.

"It allowed me to see the world beyond my family, my community, my city, and more importantly, my country," said Salah, 27, who lives in Fort Richmond.

Though Manitobans can’t get involved in the Winnipeg/Kenya exchange, Salah said, they can hop on exchanges to other parts of the country.

Volunteer spots are open at other exchanges across the country, including Halifax/Indonesia, Quebec/Ghana, Saskatchewan/Nicaragua, B.C./Mozambique, and Nunavut/Peru, she said.

Since 1971, 32,000 youth from Canada and around the world have participated in exchanges across 67 countries.

To become a host family, contact Salah at msalah@cwy-jcm.org or 204-881-3343.

For more, visit www.canadaworldyouth.org

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