Hello to all volunteers, families, friends, and community members!

I am Alex the project supervisor for this exchange and I am excited to be working with you in some way or another in the coming months! The youth volunteers will be in Kingston from October 20 - December 21, 2014

We have a few events coming up in the community!
Nov 22 - Find us at various grocery stores in Kingston to donate to HIV/AIDS Regional Services
Nov 28 - Gender Safety Audit - Join us to survey a couple areas of Kingston and make recommendations on how we can better prevent gender based violence through environmental improvements

Dec 7 - Vietnam Day - Join us to celebrate our exchange, hear stories about what we have been up to, taste some Vietnamese cuisine and enjoy performances by the group members


Please contact me at aoneill@cwy-jcm.org
Info about Canada World Youth can be found at http://canadaworldyouth.org/

Sunday 7 December 2014



Come join us for some great performances and cuisine!


4-6pm at KCHC North Kingston.

Friday 21 November 2014

1 month left and a lot happening!

Well here we are with one month to go and many things to get done!!

Canada World Youth Keeps Busy in Kingston!

Check out our new Facebook page HERE

With the temperature dropping, Canada World Youth (CWY) exchange participants keep warm by keeping busy. The group of 18 volunteers (9 Canadian and 9 Vietnamese) arrived in Kingston October 20 and spend most of their days volunteering with community organizations and organizing educational and community outreach activities. The group is in Kingston until December 21.
Notable upcoming activities the team is organizing are a Gender Safety Audit on November 28 at 8pm, and Vietnam Day on December 7 at 4pm. We will also be collecting donations as part of the Red Ribbon Army campaign fundraising for HIV/AIDS Regional Services (HARS) in Kingston on Saturday November 22 from 10-4 at various grocery stores (No Frills on Division, Loblaws at Kingston Centre, John's Deli, Metro downtown and Fodo Basics on Barrack)

The Gender Safety Audit is based on a model developed by Canadian organization, METRAC, which involves walking through pre-identified areas in small groups to note particular features that contribute to lack of safety or security, particularly in relation to gender based violence. By looking at features such as lighting, signage, sight lines, maintenance, access to communication and transit, nearby houses and businesses, and circulation of people, to name a few, environmental factors affecting security will be assessed. From this, in collaboration with local stakeholders, recommendations will be produced on how to make our community, and these specific areas, safer. The group would like to invite any community members to participate. Check us out on Facebook to connect and for the locations!

Vietnam Day is an exposition of Vietnamese and Canadian culture and the group’s talents and experiences. The team will put on a variety of performances, talk about their experiences, and also present their recommendations from the gender safety audit. Following two months in Hoa Binh province, Vietnam from August to October the group has many stories to share! This event will take place December 7 at Kingston Community Health Center at 4pm.

With a program focus on gender equality and health the group brings to Kingston their experience of two months of community volunteer work, including planning and facilitating youth education campaigns on gender equality and reproductive health in Vietnam. In Kingston, the group has demonstrated their enthusiasm and interest in volunteer service by working on a weekly basis at Martha’s Table, Frontenac Public School, St Vincent de Paul, Salvation Army, Providence Manor, Ontario Public Interest Research Group, Ban Righ Centre, Levana Gender Advocacy Centre and Caring Campus, a project on mental health and substance use at Queen’s. Group members are also volunteering with the Lung Association for the Tree Festival, Memorial Centre Farmer’s Market to prepare for the season, HIV/AIDS Regional Services on their Red Ribbon Campaign, and the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

Canada World Youth is an exchange program with a focus on cross cultural exchange and experiential education. By running programs since 1972 in 69 countries, over 37,000 youth have lived the CWY experience. Following five years of exchanges with Bolivia in Kingston, this is the first year the organization has brought Vietnamese youth to town. The exchange is made possible with financial support from the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, and is made a reality by the amazing host families across Kingston who have opened their doors to share their lives with youth volunteers, and the community organizations that help the youth to develop new skills and engage in the Kingston community.

Friday 3 October 2014

Time flies!

Oh my! I haven't written in over a month!! Collectively we must have had thousands of mosquito bites in this time!

But in all seriousness, we have been super busy!!

Some of our teams projects/accomplishments include: helping to build a toilet at a local community center; teaching English to grades 5-9; planning and delivering workshops on gender equality and reproductive health for grade 8+9 and college students; performing interactive dramas on reproductive health (including a fantastic condom on cucumber demonstration), school violence and the environment; performing songs and dances at various cultural festivals; and running educational sessions within the group. This weekend we will be working to assist two local kindergartens, one with expanding their playground and freshening the look, and the second by adding a mural.

The village we live in is incredibly kind and welcoming, and absolutely gorgeous! There are hills all around, lots of greenery and fresh air, produce grown by our host families and local farmers, and an eagerness for the group to get to know the community and get involved.

In the picture below the buffalo graze in the recently harvested rice patches. The building on the right hand edge is our usual meeting space!

We will be arriving in Kingston in just about two weeks where a group of fantastic hosts await the arrival of their new and temporary adult-children :-)

In Kingston I am still searching for a *free* space we can meet for a full day once a week, as well as looking for donations of winter clothing, and a bed/mattress or two! Any help woul dbe greatly appreciated. You can get in touch at aoneill@cwy-jcm.org

Saturday 30 August 2014

Settling into village life

Hiya Folks,

Just a brief update from Yen Mong (our host community). We have been here for about a week now and things are going well for the group. We are surrounded by luscious hills, a river, buffalo and animals, and amazing people. The community (which has hosted CWY before) is happy to have us here and has many activities to keep us busy - though we are still working to finding a steady routine. We have been practising some drama performances and sensitization dances to perform at some upcoming community events (Independence Day and mid-Autumn Festival) which are both happening in the next week. We have also been making some star lanterns for the mid-Autumn festival and were invited to attend a wedding this past weekend for the daughter in one of the host families.
In the coming weeks we will be helping to extend a playground space at a nursery school, helping to build toilets for a local culture house (community center) and working with kids at a nearby school. We are also starting up educational activity days and looking to plan our sector project workshops.
The group members are all amazing and motivated youth with strong English skills and high motivation :-)

Sunday 17 August 2014

We have arrived!

Xin chao!

Our group has arrived in Hanoi, Vietnam! Everyone is safe and sound, in good spirits and making new friends!

After a long journey of 22 hours flying and a 7 hour layover in between we arrived yesterday (Sunday the 17th). While everyone was tired and in desperate need of a shower we quickly recovered, enjoyed a delicious feast of spring rolls, salad, chicken, beef, fish, rice, soup and watermelon!

Now after a much needed rest we are off to see a bit of Hanoi today and meet with the Canadian embassy. This afternoon we will move on to Hoa Binh city where we will do training for 3 days before heading to our villages :-)

Monday 11 August 2014

Hitting the road... err... tracks and air?

Hey folks!

That time has finally arrived! I have just departed Kingston (on the train) for Montreal, where tomorrow our Kingston-Vietnam team will become one!! We will do some pre-departure training for 3 days before embarking on an epic (and long) journey to Hanoi, Vietnam! We will spend a week in Hoa Binh for orientation training before heading to our host community in Hoa Binh province.

In my absence, my colleague Kelsey will be finalizing host families (yes still looking for a few and some back-ups), volunteer placements and our community orientation in Kingston.

Kelsey can be reached at the same number as previously posted or at quelsay [@] gmail.com or alternatively I will forward any communications regarding these things on to her!

Follow our adventures on here, or if there is another link I will also share it!

Chat soon!

Tuesday 5 August 2014

T Minus 7!

The countdown is officially on!

I will be heading out next Monday to Montreal to prepare for the (Canadian) group arrival! From the 12th-15th we will do a pre-departure training, and then be taking off after sunset on Friday!

Lots to do this week! I am still looking for host families and work placements, doing my educational and risk management planning amongst other things! Not to mention the bag sitting in my room saying "pack me, pack me!"

So get in touch if you are interested in being involved! Now is the time! There will also be a contact person in Kingston while our group is working through the Vietnam phase!