Volunteer Ottawa is taking the lead in engaging youth in Ottawa to increase their volunteer involvement by emphasizing the benefits of volunteerism and the importance of civic engagement. This initiative received a huge boost last week when the Hon. Madeleine Meilleur, MPP for Ottawa-Vanier, and Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) representative Chikwa Zahinda announced that Volunteer Ottawa would be receiving a $115,700 OTF grant.
“Active and engaged youth are the foundation for strong communities,” said the Hon. Madeleine Meilleur. “Volunteer Ottawa’s youth initiative will encourage young people to get involved in volunteerism through the most effective tool — their peers. By investing in a generation of engaged young people, we are highlighting the best of what Ottawa has to offer and all of us will benefit from that.”
The two-year grant is being used to carry out an innovative youth volunteer initiative that will actively engage young people of all abilities and cultures in promoting volunteer activity among their peer groups. Funding will foster stimulating volunteer opportunities for Ottawa youth between the ages of 16 and 24. New creative communication tools will be developed by youth and used to reach out to young people who traditionally would not be involved in their community.
“We believe that youth engagement is like financial investments, you will only reap the benefits tomorrow if you invest today,” said Will Coukell, Executive Director of Volunteer Ottawa. “Youth continue to be under-represented in the volunteer sector, so we are delighted that this grant will help us develop new engagement and retention strategies to curve this alarming trend.”
Stay tuned for exciting details in the upcoming months!