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If you know or work with a group of kids who would benefit from a cultural exchange with another youth group elsewhere in Canada, the YMCA has a program for you. Exchanges Canada, in partnership with the YMCA, offers youth between 12 and 17 years of age the opportunity to share understanding, knowledge, experience and culture with others.
The YMCA Youth Exchanges Canada Program encourages exchanges that promote understanding and appreciation of the diversity of Canada. One of the key objectives of the program is to provide an exchange opportunity to youth who may not otherwise be able participate in an exchange experience. For this reason, the following youth targets are given priority consideration:
· Youth from low-income households.
· Aboriginal youth.
· Youth with disabilities.
· Youth from rural or isolated areas.
· Visible minority youth.
Each exchange lasts at least five days, excluding travel time. Transportation costs between the two host communities are covered through funding from Heritage Canada for all eligible participants and organizers. Groups are responsible for funds to cover local transportation costs and other expenses incurred when hosting their twin exchange group. However, certain measures have been adopted to encourage all Canadian youth to participate in this program. Where local resources are not available, additional support may be requested to ensure accessibility. The YMCA evaluates the needs and resources of each group on a case-by-case basis.
The YMCA offers leaders Group Leader Training and support throughout the exchange process. For more information, please check the following links: Heritage Canada, YMCA Youth Exchanges Canada Program.
For more information, contact:
Robert Lee YMCA – Community Programs
Mulalo Lawrence Sadike at 604-673-6151
955 Burrard Street
Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y2
E-Mail: exchangescanada at vanymca.org