CWY host families sought

Canada World Youth exchange program coming once again to Sooke

Some changes made to program in 2012

Sharron Ho

Sooke News Mirror

Young adults from across Canada and South Africa will be coming to Sooke as part of the Canada World Youth, Youth Leadership in Action program on Dec. 6.

After spending six weeks in the Cape Flats’ community of Athlone, and subsequently six weeks in Bonnievale, the team of 17 youth will be heading to Sooke for the Canadian phase of their exchange program.

The group will be living with host families in the community and volunteering at local non-profits.

According to Heather Fisher, CWY fundraising support supervisor, who is currently acting as a communication bridge between the Sooke community and the Sooke-Bonnievale team, the youth are encouraged to find a deeper meaning in all activities they participate in.

Work placements in Sooke include Ecole Poirier, Ayer Manor, the Sooke Options for Community Living Association, Sooke Family Resource Society, Vital Vittles, Meals on Wheels, and Camp Barnard.

At a CWY meeting on Nov. 17, Sooke host families expressed excitement and enthusiasm for the arrival of the young adults who will share their homes for 11 weeks.

Some of the host families who have participated in the program in the past called  the experience “enriching,” with others adding they have kept in contact with their former homestays.

The team, along with support from their host families, will be responsible for fundraising for a project called Beyond Schools, which Fisher said will address youth violence and gansterism, and drugs and alcohol abuse.

“So 20 different disadvantaged schools in the Cape Flats area, where our programs run, will receive funding to initiate local youth groups after school and those youth groups will engage in community projects and volunteerism,” Fisher said.

She stated the Beyond Schools project will give youth an alternative to drugs, alcohol and violence, while building up their self-esteem and job skills.

The program will also be facilitated by CWY alumni. The fundraising goal is $4,300.

The original team that was intended to arrive was the Sooke-Kaylitsha team.

Fisher, the project supervisor for the Sooke-Kaylitsha team, said after six weeks in the overseas community, the program was cancelled due to safety and health concerns. The program’s Canadian youth were repatriated to Canada.

As a result, the second South African-Canada team, originally set for the Sunshine Coast and Athlone, was reformatted. The group of Canadian and South African youth in Athlone were moved over to Bonnievale due to civil unrest in the community, and will now come to Sooke instead of the Sunshine Coast.

“They’ve been moved to Sooke for the Canadian phase. Originally they were going to be on the Sunshine Coast, but the Sooke community was a little more prepared with host families than the Sunshine coast,” Fisher said.

There is still a need for one more host family to house two youth. It is required the host family have one room available, with one or two beds. It is also preferable the residence be close to public transportation.

To apply to be a host family, contact Fisher at: hfisher@cwy-jcm.org or 250-885-2776.

There will also be a welcoming event on Dec. 14 at the Sooke Legion to introduce program participants to the community. Guests are to arrive at 5 p.m. and the potluck dinner will begin at 6 p.m.

For any questions or to RSVP, contact Emily Percival Paterson at 250-642-5023 or 250-216-4321.

 

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