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/

Monday 23 June 2014

Work Placements

While CWY is an educational and cultural exchange program, we also fall into the category of a development organization with our support from DFATD. With this, we have specific objectives to developing skills, awareness, and contributing towards projects related to gender equity and sexual health.

In this light, our volunteers are to be working 35/hours a week towards our themes, which is a bit of a change from past CWY programs. I will be looking for relevant work placements for 3-4 days a week, and the remainder of the hours will come from group educational activities and skills development as well as community outreach. Youth are to be place in pairs (one Vietnamese and one Canadian). In work placements youth can contribute to ongoing projects, work on new or independent projects, or assist with any sort of ongoing operational duties. Additionally, a large expectation is that youth gain a greater understanding of these issues in the Kingston community, as well as the resources and support systems available, and gain relevant skills to delivery of services, advocacy, training, etc. We are very open to your suggestions! The youth are required to submit a criminal record check to CWY. We can work with specific needs you may have or skills you are looking for if possible.

The volunteers from Vietnam and Canada has a diverse set of skills, knowledge, and experience but will all have a background in gender equity, HIV/AIDS, sexual and reproductive health and gender based violence. This exchange starts in Vietnam (from Aug 16 - Oct 16) and our project overseas involves using theatre, facilitating a series of workshops for youth, and creating a facilitation guide on these topics. 

The project supervisors will work with partner organizations to establish appropriate work plans for the youth before the exchange begins, and we will work with partners throughout the two months to ensure youth are meeting the expectations of the program and their placements. 

As part of our project we will also be participating in a Women's Safety Audit, based on METRAC's model. For this we hope to work with a diversity of interested community members and relevant organizations (that are ideally some of our work placements too) to both orient our youth the Kingston and look at different barriers and opportunities to safety. Please get in touch if you area interested in being involved!

Canada World Youth Seeks Host Families for October | Life | UR | The Kingston Whig-Standard

Canada World Youth Seeks Host Families for October | Life | UR | The Kingston Whig-Standard

A self-published article on the Whig Standard website! Love this feature!

Sunday 22 June 2014

Community Involvement

So you want to be involved in ways other than hosting?

Yes please! There are many ways for community members and organizations to be involved with the program beyond work placements and host families.
Some examples are:

  • As a resource for the group - Do you have a skills or knowledge relevant to our focus on health, sexual health, gender or gender based violence? Or about personal/skill development, leadership, theatre, or innovation? Or related to the diversity of Canada, different cultures, lifestyles, Aboriginal and Indigenous Peoples? Or related to international development, community development, civil society and governance, sustainability?
    • We have weekly Educational Activity Days which are run by the youth volunteers for the group to engage in local issues that we are looking for local expertise to work with and learn from. While I will do outreach during this time of project development I may not find you, so please reach out!
  • Know of some relevant community events we could get involved in? Need a helping hand?
  • Got an extra coat, bed, bicycle, educational or language resources hanging around? Love offering rides? Love cooking? 
  • Got connections to meeting spaces we could access at no or a very low cost once a week?
  • Got connections to a camp or retreat centre we could use for our mid-project camp (2-3 days spent on reflection, group dynamics, skill development, planning)
  • Want to take us on a tour? Help us figure out the bus system? Tell us about cool spots, different services?

Saturday 14 June 2014

Host Families

So you are interested in hosting?

Host families are an integral part of the experience for our youth volunteers, allowing them the opportunity to see and experience the community from diverse perspectives, in a safe and comfortable environment.

We invite people of all ages, ethnicities, faiths, genders, sexual orientations, family types, and more to express their interest.  Since 1971, more than 36,000 youth from Canada and around the world have participated in Canada World Youth projects.

The program dates in Kingston are October 20 - December 21, 2014

What it entails

  • Hosting 2 youth volunteers (1 Canadian and 1 Vietnamese - "counterparts", both will be the same gender, between ages 17 and 24) 
  • 1 room is all that is needed (2 is ok too!), ideally participants have their own bed (I can help you arrange for this!)
  • You will include the volunteers as family members and provide 3 meals a day
  • You may also contribute to small amounts of transportation if possible, but the youth will have bus passes

Expectations for the youth
  • Just as we expect host families to welcome youth into their family, youth are expected to contribute to family life, chores, etc.
  • The youth are engaged in volunteer work placements and group activities Monday to Friday
  • Canada World Youth has established norms, rules and responsibilities for the youth, and there is a formal disciplinary process should this be necessary - I will share these with you!

What is in it for you?
  • A great way to bring the world to your home!
  • Learn more about Canada and Vietnam through cultural exchange
  • Gain new perspective, spice things up

What support do we offer?
  • As CWY has been doing this since 1971 there are numerous support systems in place
  • There will be 2 full time project supervisors living in Kingston for the entire program (a Canadian and a Vietnamese) available 24/7
  • We will have a intro meeting, as well as a mid-exchange check-in for the host families so you can get to know each other, answer questions, talk about scenarios, preparation, provide some resources on how to prepare, to set expectations, integrate the youth, feeding them, etc
  • We will generally manage any medical or behavioural issues
  • Host families are given a stipend of $180/week to cover the majority of the extra expenses you will incur
  • We will arrange for visits in the home weekly/bi-weekly to check-in with everyone

What is the process?

  • Call me, email me, tweet me, comment here! Get in contact! Contacting me does not mean a commitment, but the beginning of a discussion, and potentially a great experience!
  • I can respond to any questions, provide more info, discuss the program in person, on the phone, or by email, etc
  • When you want to take the next step we will go through an interview process at your home, this is so we can get to know each other, clarify expectations from all sides, discuss logistics, etc. I will also ask for a tour of your entire house.
  • Once we confirm your participation as a host family we will request criminal record checks (through an online platform - BackCheck) for all those living in the house over 18 years of age
  • Contract of host families
  • Then comes a prep meeting for all host families where i will provide some more resources
  • We arrive in Kingston October 20 - December 21 after spending 2 months in Vietnam as a group
  • Throughout this time the supervisors will come check-in with host families, we will have a mid-project meeting with host families, and at the end will ask you to complete an evaluation

Tuesday 10 June 2014


Well folks, I still have some work to do building up information on here about hosting, work placements and community involvement but if you are curious I urge you to send me an email!

I have been postering and reaching out broadly to Kingston this past week and am excited to make more contacts and continue on Canada World Youth's successes in Kingston.

I am out of town for the next week for trainings with CWY on everything from policies and procedures to working with youth and host communities (both here and in Vietnam), so I may be a bit quiet, but I am still happy to get calls and emails. As for when I am back I will be actively looking for host families and work placements and looking to meet with past and new contacts in the community. As the theme of the project is health, and more specifically sexual health, HIV/Aids and gender issues (as it has been for the past 5 years in Kingston) I will be looking to connect with relevant organizations, many of which have worked with CWY over the past few years for work placements.

We are also interested in meeting/connecting with people or organizations that could work with us to get involved in various community events/activities/volunteer opportunities; or people with passions/hobbies/expertise that could be useful and interesting for our group. The group will have weekly educational activity days on a range of topics and you could be one of our resources :-)

I will also be looking to arrange meeting space in the coming weeks so am curious to hear about a great space you could offer us!

I would also love to come network/speak at any events/meetings you may have coming up so please get in touch!

Wednesday 4 June 2014

Press Release for Host Families

News release

For immediate release



Global citizenship starts at home:
Canada World Youth seeks hosts for youth exchange volunteers

Kingston, June 4, 2014 – Kingstonians have an opportunity to bring the world to their home. Canada World Youth is looking for hosts for eighteen young men and women from Vietnam and Canada, as part of an international educational program called Youth Leaders in Action.

From October 20th, 2014 to December 21st, 2014, the youth, aged 17-24, will be living, learning, and volunteering in Kingston, and exploring issues related to gender and health in partnership with local non-profit organizations. They will also share their experiences from the first phase of the program in Hoa Binh, Vietnam happening from August to October. In total, they will contribute an estimated 4000 volunteer hours to the Kingston community.

Alexandria O’Neill, Project Supervisor, encourages community members to get involved by hosting volunteers: “We’re searching for families who would like to open their doors and share their lives with two volunteers, one Canadian and one Vietnamese. It’s a great opportunity for families to develop life-long relationships, enrich their cross-cultural understanding, share their lifestyle, and explore different perspectives from their own home. All that is needed is a spare room and an open mind.”

Canada World Youth invites people of all ages, ethnicities, faiths, genders, sexual orientations, family types, and more to express their interest. All host families receive a monthly allowance of $720 to assist with food, lodging and transportation costs. Two full time Project Supervisors, one Canadian and one Vietnamese, work in the community full time to support youth volunteers and host families.

Community members with ideas for workshops, educational activity days, volunteer placements, and other ways for the group to get involved in the Kingston community are also encouraged to contact Alexandria.

For more information, please contact Alexandria O’Neill at 613-328-6856 or aoneill@cwy-jcm.org

About Canada World Youth
Canada World Youth (www.canadaworldyouth.org) offers international educational programs to young people aged 15 to 29. Since 1971, more than 33,000 people from Canada and around the world have participated in CWY programs in 67 countries.

Canada World Youth
Alexandria O’Neill
Project Supervisor
Cell: 613-328-6856
Blog: http://cwykingstonvietnam.blogspot.ca/


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!

This page can be a resource of all sorts for the program, while of course confidentiality will be prioritized :-)

The key info pages are for:
Host Families
Community members
More program info

Volunteers - I will be sending out emails in the coming weeks to you about preparation, along with other members of the CWY team. In the coming weeks we will schedule a one-on-one phone/Skype chat to go over a few things.

Host families - I am currently recruiting host families in Kingston! By hosting two (2) youth (a Canadian and Vietnamese) you support these youth volunteers (age 17-24) through their experience by providing food, accommodation and a caring environment. There is a modest stipend to cover expenses. The volunteers are engaged in structured work placements, group, and community activities Monday to Friday.

Community members - We are always looking for neat opportunities for learning and exchange of all sorts. The theme of our project is Health and Gender.