<<< back to article list

Katimavik


  • +1

Blog by Bettina Reid | February 15th, 2012


I read a disappointing article this morning regarding the possible fate of Katimavik.

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/02/15/katimavik-cuts-trudeau-program-budget-tories_n_1278399.html?ref=tw

Katimavik is a program that Pierre Trudeau pioneered back in 1977 for young Canadians between (17-21 yrs old) to volunteer in communities and experience what Canada has to offer. Brian Mulroney's government cut funding for this program back in 1986. It was later brought back by Jean Chretien's Liberal government in 1994. Now Stephen Harper's government is considering cutting funding for this phenomenal program once again.

I first learned about the program when our daughter's babysitter back in Brampton, Ontario graduated from highschool and was accepted into the program. My husband shared that he had always wanted to participate but by the time he reached 17 as I mentioned the program had been cut. So, we were pretty excited for her and her sister as they both (a couple years apart) not only participated in the program but truly enjoyed the experience. Our daughter's babysitter we will call her Rachel, was a quiet girl and had never really been away from her family and home before, let alone travel from one end of the country to the next. Katimavik set her up with a great group of teens aged 17-21 and they not only volunteered in the 3 different communities they visited over the 6 month period of time. But they also had to learn to work together and manage a household. Rachel gained some valuable skills that taught her how to be independant. So much so that this shy young girl had the courage to follow her dreams and move across the ocean to make a life in England all alone and away from her family. Katimavik helped to give her the skills she needed to be successful. Her family is veryb proud of her and so are we!

Her experience prompted us to participate in the program as billets to 6 young women over 2 years. It was a great experience for our daughter, not only were the participants grouped with people from across the country in each session but so were we. We had girls from Quebec, Ontario and the Manitoba and Saskatchewan, exposing our family to different cultures and experiences. Each one would live with us for a couple weeks and became a part of our family.

For more information on the program visit their website and let's hope that the Conservative government doesn't cut this program. Any program that helps our youth become productive members of society, is a program worth saving.

http://www.katimavik.org/