Young Canadians are integral to Canada’s present and future success, as they are the leaders of today and tomorrow. Youth organizations in Canada are undertaking important work, such as amplifying youth voices and advocating for gender equality.
Today, the Honourable Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, announced over $2 million in funding for programs aimed at supporting youth on International Youth Day:
- (CanWaCH) is receiving $692,879 to host two annual gender equality summits that will provide a platform for youth to address intersectional barriers to gender equality.
- BridgeNorth Women’s Mentorship & Advocacy Services is receiving $400,000 for a 36-month project that will develop and implement specialized, trauma-informed interventions as well as prevention training for teachers, parents, and high-risk students. This will advance knowledge and enhance empowerment support for children and youth who are victims and survivors of human trafficking in York Region.
- Wisdom2Action Consulting Limited is receiving $994,661 for a 36-month project that will address the capacity needs of 2SLGBTQ+ organizations and youth-serving organizations. This funding will build capacity to support 2SLGBTQ+ youth who are experiencing gender-based violence and support the creation of public education campaigns that raise awareness about violence faced by 2SLGBTQ+ youth.
The funding will support youth programs that prevent gender-based violence and raise awareness about gender equality. Funded projects will also take an intersectional approach to support Indigenous, racialized, and 2SLGBTQ+ youth who face unique barriers to equality.
This investment is in addition to ongoing funding made available through Canadian Heritage’s Exchanges Canada program, which is supporting Canadian not-for-profit organizations with $41.4 million over three years to deliver exchanges for over 21,000 youth in Canada between the ages of 12 and 17. These exchanges are helping youth learn about Canada, connect with one another, and better appreciate the diversity and shared aspects of the Canadian experience.
Minister Ien is pleased to announce the following three-year funding agreements under the Youth Exchanges Canada component of the program:
- Experiences Canada is receiving a total of $15.4 million over three years for its Connecting Young Canadians project to offer exchanges for about 12,300 youth, exploring themes such as immigration, human rights, Indigenous cultures, and official languages.
- The YMCA of Greater Toronto is receiving $15.2 million over three years for its Summer Work Student Exchange project to provide summer job opportunities for about 1,780 youth, who will live and work in their second official language in another community, deepening their cultural understanding and improving their language skills.
- The YMCA of Greater Toronto is receiving $8.7 million over three years for its Youth Exchanges Canada project to organize group exchanges for about 5,210 youth, who will learn about topics such as Indigenous cultures, diversity and inclusion, arts, Canadian culture and heritage, youth engagement, official languages, and volunteerism.
- Canada Sports Friendship Exchange Programs is receiving a total of $1.5 million over three years to support group cultural exchanges for 1,290 youth, with a focus on non-competitive sport.