Canadian youth spend more of their money on foreign aid than the government, according to Ipsos Reid/World Vision poll



    MISSISSAUGA, ON, March 27 /CNW/ - When it comes to tackling global
poverty, Canadian youth are putting their money where their leaders' mouths
are.
    In a newly released poll conducted by Ipsos Reid on behalf of World
Vision, Canadians age 14 to 18 reported donating, on average, about
five per cent of their money to international charitable organizations. When
asked how much of their total budget they think they could or should
contribute toward international development, those polled said, on average,
6.5 per cent.
    By contrast, Canada's federal government spends approximately two
per cent of its budget on foreign aid. World Vision, with other organizations
in the Make Poverty History coalition, recommends staged increases to aid
allotments over the next 10 years, effectively more than doubling the
percentage of budget spent on aid by 2018. In this way Canada can meet its
international commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of the Gross National Income on
foreign aid.
    "Clearly, there's a disconnect between the eagerness of young Canadians
to help eradicate poverty and what Canada is actually doing as a country,"
says Michael Messenger, vice-president of public affairs for World Vision.
    "Poverty eradication is an investment in a better global future - the
future that these youth represent. The fact they're giving considerably to
international development efforts is tremendously significant," Messenger
notes.
    In addition to giving money, Canadian youth are also giving of their
time. Sixty-eight per cent of those surveyed said they had either volunteered,
fundraised, organized an event, attended a workshop or conference, donated to
a cause or campaigned, signed a petition or otherwise voiced their opinion on
a global issue in the past year.
    The poll findings confirm what World Vision has long known: that Canadian
youth care about their peers in developing countries - and are acting on that
concern. On April 11 and 12, more than 100,000 Canadian youth are expected to
participate in the 37th annual World Vision 30 Hour Famine. They will fast for
30 hours to raise money for community development projects benefiting children
in developing countries. Last year, Canadian youth raised $4.5 million through
the 30 Hour Famine.
    "The 30 Hour Famine is proof that Canadian youth want to make a
difference," says Esther Park, event coordinator for World Vision. As she
points out, it was the global consciousness of Canadian youth that gave rise
to the World Vision 30 Hour Famine in the first place. A group of Calgary
teens held the original fast in 1971, moved to action by TV images of a famine
in Africa. The event now involves youth in 15 countries annually.
    This year, says Park, World Vision hopes the 30 Hour Famine will raise
$5 million across Canada. The funds generated by the event will support
projects to combat hunger, improve access to clean water, address HIV and
AIDS, and help reintegrate former child soldiers into society.
    "According to our poll, Canadian youth are already doing more than many
people realize to help people living in poverty," Park says. "They're also
saying they want to do even more. The Famine is a way for them to do that -
and maybe inspire some adults to do more, too."
    To participate in the World Vision 30 Hour Famine, visit Famine.ca.

    These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted on behalf of World
Vision Canada from Feb. 15-21, 2008. The online survey of 1,000 Canadian youth
aged 14 to 18 was conducted via the Ipsos I-Say Online Panel, Ipsos Reid's
national online panel. The results are based on a sample where quota sampling
and weighting are employed to balance demographics and ensure that the
sample's composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according
to Census data. Quota samples with weighting from the Ipsos online panel
provide results that are intended to approximate a probability sample. An
unweighted probability sample of this size, with a 100 per cent response rate,
would have an estimated margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points, 19 times
out of 20.

    About World Vision:

    World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization
whose purpose is to create lasting change in the lives of children, families
and communities by overcoming poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all
people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more
information, please visit WorldVision.ca.

    About Ipsos Reid:

    Ipsos Reid is Canada's market intelligence leader and the country's
leading provider of public opinion research. Ipsos Reid is an Ipsos company, a
leading global survey-based market research group. To learn more, visit
Ipsos.ca.





For further information:

For further information: or to arrange interviews, please contact: Karen
Flores, (905) 565-6200 ext. 3497, (416) 277-5563 (cell),
karen_flores@worldvision.ca; Jessica Parker, (905) 565-6200 ext. 2152, (416)
881-0732 (cell), jessica_parker@worldvision.ca


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