Katimavik is so much more than a volunteer program!
After changing the lives of over 35,000 young Canadians, the government announced on March 30th that they will be cutting all funding, killing the incredible Katimavik program. Since it was founded in 1977, Katimavik has changed the lives of youth right across the country: leaving their homes to volunteer for 6 months, for thousands of nonprofit organizations in thousands of communities across Canada.
Thousands of Katimavik alumni, like us, have had experiences that changed their lives:
When I graduated from high school I didn’t expect much from my future. I wasn't a great student, I thought University was a load of crock, and I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. When my mom heard about Katimavik on the radio, it sounded interesting.
While volunteering with youth in Shawingan Qc, Alfred On & Stephenville Nfld. I learned about the diversity of our country; I learned French; I learned about myself; I developed confidence, leadership skills; and most importantly I learned that I love sharing ideas and that I want to be a teacher.
When I got home and started applying for university I was told to go back to highschool, until I called the University of Toronto. The University of Toronto told me that my Katimavik experience made me exactly what they wanted in a student. I was accepted into their bridging program and will be graduating this year! I would never have gone to university if it wasn’t for Katimavik.
My experiences during Katimavik led me to realize what I felt the need to do with my life in order to help my community: open a youth homeless shelter in Yellowknife.
In June 2011, I started my first work placement in Brantford, Ontario, at an incredible place called St. Leonard's Community Services, Youth Resource Centre - a temporary and semi-permanent homeless shelter for youth aged 15-19. I was able to help tons of incredible young people who were there for a variety of reasons, but who all had amazing potential to get out of the shelter and do great things. I looked forward to every morning where I'd be able to go into work and help each youth develop work skills, life skills, look for permanent housing, write resumes, find jobs, study, and just build the confidence to be themselves.
I've been back in Yellowknife for a while, and finally, all thanks to Katimavik, I've gone back to school to become a social worker so I can build a youth homeless shelter for youth in my city.
Katimavik is about: youth helping youth, youth helping a community, and youth finding the motivation to truly make a difference for Canadians. We are running this campaign because young Canadians need Katimavik, but more importantly, Canada needs Katimavik!
Thanks for signing our petition!
Shannon and Jacq