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/

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!