Youth Leaders in Action
Please click on one of the markers above to learn more about our projects.
Are you between 17 and 25? Seeking fun? Adventure? Travel? All while making a positive difference in the world?
The Youth Leaders in Action program is a unique international volunteer program that allows you to directly participate in community-driven development projects in the areas of environment, health and gender equity in one of our 13 partner countries. You will be part of a team of young people from Canada and from a partner country who will volunteer for 6 weeks (short program) or 4-6 months (standard program) on community-driven development projects.
What are your options?
6-week Summer Projects
TANZANIA Summer 2013 - seeking 12 Aboriginal youth
PERU summer 2013– seeking 12 diverse youth
BENIN summer 2013– seeking 18 diverse French speaking youth
Deadline to Apply: May 10, 2013
Benin project: Deadline to apply extended to June 4, 2013
What does the Youth Leaders in Action program include?
The 4- to 6-month Youth Leaders in Action program includes one phase in Canada and a second phase in a partner county. The 6-week, short Youth Leaders in Action program takes place in the partner country only.
The 4- to 6-month Youth Leaders in Action program includes:
Half of your program is spent in a Canadian community and the other half in one of our 13 international partner countries. In addition to discovering a new part of the world, you’ll also have a chance to learn more about the diversity of Canada!
Each Canadian volunteer is paired with a volunteer from the exchange country for the duration of the program. The reciprocity of this program is what sets it apart!
The 6-week, short Youth Leaders in Action program includes:
One phase, which takes place in the overseas partner country, with orientation and debriefing sessions taking place in Canada prior to and after the program.
Both the 6-week and the 4- to 6-month Youth Leaders in Action programs include:
Discover the culture and daily life of a community in Canada, Africa, Latin America, Eastern Europe or Asia! Host family living and volunteer work are some of the direct ways in which you will engage with the local community. Your program will also include opportunities for educational activities and visits to complement your learning.
While overseas, you will contribute to community-driven development projects run by our partner organizations. These projects focus on health, the environment or gender equity and have a direct, concrete and positive impact on the host communities. More information on the projects can be found by clicking on our partner countries on the map above or by consulting our International Partnerships section.
While in Canada (4-6 month program only), you will volunteer for local community service organizations such as homeless shelters, food banks, youth clubs, environmental conservation centres, meals-on-wheels services, schools, assisted living centres, or divisions of local government.
Host family living
You will be housed in host families, amazing people from the area who provide a great opportunity to get to know another culture, community, life-style, language and food!
Pre-departure training, volunteer orientation camps, community orientation camps and educational activity days are all trainings that take place throughout the program. For more information on these trainings, see A Youth Leaders in Action Program at a Glance.
Health and safety
Each group is accompanied by experienced CWY project supervisors, who work with your group, providing clear safety guidelines and informing programming decisions made by both CWY and the partner organization. Host communities in Canada and overseas have been carefully selected by CWY based on clearly established health and safety criteria.
Who can participate?
The Youth Leaders in Action program is open to youth from across Canada who are between the ages of 17 and 25, Canadian citizens or landed immigrants, in good health, open-minded and interested in learning from and working with diverse communities and cultures.
Guideline regarding double participation in a CWY project
At CWY, youth can only apply or participate in one CIDA funded project and also to only one project funded by the Ministère des relations internationales (MRI) in Québec. This allows for as many youth as possible to live the CWY experience. For any exception to this rule, a request will have to be submitted to the Volunteer Support Unit of CWY where a committee will make a decision. In the case that a project had to be cancelled, the youth participating on that project could be offered placements on another project.
How much does it cost?
CWY asks each youth volunteer to fundraise $3,200 for the 6 month program and $2,000 for the 6 week program as a contribution to total program costs.
(Non-refundable registration fee of CAN$250)
CWY will cover the majority of your program costs including:
- Domestic and international travel and transportation
- Life and liability insurance in Canada and health insurance while overseas
- Housing, food and accommodation costs for the duration of the program
- Education and program resources
- Weekly volunteer allowance
Need help with fundraising ideas? Contact us! We will help provide you with the tools and personal support needed to ensure that you meet your fundraising requirement. CWY works to ensure equal opportunity and access to our programs. If you have any concerns regarding this fundraising amount, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are here to help.
How do I apply?
Application Form: Complete the Youth Leaders in Action Application Form. You will then be provided with your own unique webpage called “My File” to help you track your progress throughout the selection process. This will also be a resource you will use to help you fundraise if selected to participate in the program.
Medical Check & Approval: We have a responsibility to make sure we place you in a program where you will be safe and are able to succeed. We therefore ask you to complete the two medical forms that will be emailed to you once you have completed the application process. You will have to fill out one of them yourself, and the other will need to be completed by a doctor.
Selection: Once you have been medically approved, we will be in touch with you to set up a meeting, either in person or by phone/Skype. This meeting is intended to provide you with more information about our program. We also use this opportunity to get to know you better and identify the team you should join based on your personal objectives. After your interview, you may be offered a place on one of our teams or, if spaces are limited, you may be placed on a waiting list for a spot in current or future programs.
You’ve been selected!!! Let’s go!
Once you are officially offered a place on a team, you will need to start preparing for your program. A detailed list of things that you will need to obtain prior to the beginning of your program (passport, vaccines, etc.) will be sent to you at that time. Don’t worry, you will receive support from CWY staff throughout this whole process!
Can I obtain academic credits for this program?
In certain circumstances, you can obtain academic credits for your participation in CWY’s Youth Leaders in Action program. There are two ways to go about it:
Ask your institution about receiving credits for a CWY program
Please refer to the educational institution that you are attending for the requirements and documentation needed to apply for academic credits, as every institution has a different process. CWY has produced a guide called “The CWY Experience: Worth its Weight in Gold!” that can help you build a case in asking for academic credits for your CWY program.
Register for a program with our existing academic partner
CWY collaborates with three academic institutions who offer academic credits to young people who complete our Youth Leaders in Action program:
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