Montreal, QC – Rita S Karakas, President & CEO of Canada World Youth and Leoncio B Evascco Jr., Cabinet Secretary of the Republic of the Philippines, agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between The Philippines National Youth Commission and Canada World Youth to resume Youth Exchange programmes. The goal is to launch the exchange program in 2017.
The administration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is committed to youth development and has just appointed renowned singer-actress Aiza (Cariza) Seguerra as Chair of the National Youth Commission, reporting to the Office of the Cabinet Secretary. In welcoming the revival of the Canada World Youth Exchange Program, Secretary Leoncio Evasco underlined that youth will play a very strategic role in all facets of governance. Undersecretary Gloria Jumamil-Mercado, President of the Canada World Youth Philippines Alumni Association, has led the revival of the program which was last active in 1983. Both officials believe that the Canadian World Youth Program will allow youth from both the Philippines and Canada to learn first-hand how the people of each country live and work together.
Before departing the Philippines upon the conclusion of his assignment, Neil Reeder, the former Canadian Ambassador of Canada to the Philippines welcomed the announcement of the MOU, saying “This new MOU will open up new avenues for people-people exchanges, shared experiences and enhanced dialogue between young people from both countries. This will further strengthen our bilateral ties and give Canadian and Filipino youth the unique opportunity to live and work in another country, experience another culture, and make an important contribution through assisting in small-scale community projects. I am sure this will be a rich and rewarding experience for all participants.”
Ms. Karakas described how alumni have told her their participation in Canada World Youth was a life-changing experience. “Nowhere is this truer than in the Philippines where our alumni have been the driving force behind the setting up of the first CWY Global Alliance, our new model for youth exchanges. Our business model is changing but our focus on experiential learning is not. Canada World Youth is one of the few organizations in the world that offers a two-part reciprocal program with one program phase occurring in Canada and the second taking place in one or more exchange countries.”
The new CWY Global Alliance creates bilateral partnerships around the world with like-minded organizations, which in many cases will be run by CWY alumni. Partner organizations are responsible for paying the costs of participation of each young person from their country, while CWY will pay for all other expenditures. CWY provides program infrastructure such as IT systems, financial reporting policies and procedures, recruitment tools, corporate structure guidance and security and evaluation protocols.
Canada World Youth is dedicated to enriching the lives of youth with ages up to 35 who want to become informed and active global citizens. CWY offers international transformative learning experiences focused on building knowledge, leadership and skills through participation in sustainable community-driven projects as well as, innovative, capacity building programs in sustainable livelihoods. For more than 40 years, 38,000 youth and 12,000 host families have participated in CWY programs, in Canada and abroad. The organization receives funding support from participants, Global Affairs Canada, corporations and other sources.