Courtenay’s Marika De Haitre participating in Canada World Youth exchange

A young lady from Courtenay is one of two youths from Vancouver Island recently selected to participate in one of Canada World Youth’s international educational programs. Marika De Haitre's exchange will run for six months.

MARIKA DE HAITRE will spend three months in Nicaragua and three months in Saskatoon.

MARIKA DE HAITRE will spend three months in Nicaragua and three months in Saskatoon.

A young lady from Courtenay is one of two youths from Vancouver Island recently selected to participate in one of Canada World Youth’s international educational programs.

Canada World Youth (CWY) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization. Since its creation 40 years ago, 34,000 young people between the ages of 17 and 24 have had the opportunity to live and work as volunteers in communities in Canada and overseas. Youth from all regions of Canada and more than 67 countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and Eastern Europe have participated in CWY programs in more than 600 Canadian communities.

Marika De Haitre’s exchange will run for six months. Together with other Canadian and Nicaraguan youth, she will spend the first three months in Nicaragua living with a host family and working with Funarte in community-based projects. During the remaining three months, De Haitre will be in Saskatoon, where she will live with a local family and be involved as a volunteer in a community-oriented workproject.

De Haitre believes that participating in a program like CWY is the experience of a lifetime.

She feels privileged to have the opportunity to live in another region of Canada and another part of the world. She looks forward to acquiring various skills that she knows are valued by employers, and to discovering new interests.

De Haitre recently graduated (with honours) from Mark R. Isfeld  Secondary School, receiving a Double Dogwood Diploma, Big Bear Award and a District Scholarship in Physical Activity.

Beyond the classroom, De Haitre has been involved with numerous community activities. She plays lacrosse, field hockey and soccer,and has volunteered with Parktime, KidsFest, MusicFest, Relay for Life, Firefighter Youth Camp and Girls Group Peer Facilitation, amongst other things.

The young volunteers in Canada World Youth programs gain skills that will be useful for their futures, strengthen their awareness of local and global issues and reinforce their sense of responsibility. The majority of the program costs are provided by Canada World Youth, but participants are required to contribute $2,800 raised through personal efforts in their home communities.

De Haitre is in the process of contacting a number of organizations and individuals in the community, informing them of her participation in the Canada World Youth program and asking for their support in her endeavors.

Supporters are welcome to follow her on her journey to Nicaragua and Saskatoon, which will begin Sept. 17. With the help of friends, family and local supporters who have already got on board, De Haitre is hosting several fundraising activities this month.