A Life-Altering Experience in 900 Hours! - Leading Youth Service Program Kicks Off National Volunteer Week with A Call to Action for Young Canadians

    TORONTO, April 11 /CNW Telbec/ - Which Canadian youth contributes 900
hours and an equivalent of $12,972(1) each to Canadian communities every year?
Katimavik participants lead the way in the number of hours spent volunteering
and the economic return they represent. With national volunteer week in April,
Katimavik marks the importance of volunteer youth service in Canada by
officially inviting young Canadians aged 17 to 21 to experience an
unparalleled growth opportunity. As Canada's leading national youth service
program, Katimavik offers young Canadians a chance to embark on an exciting
nine-month journey of self-discovery and the opportunity to gain valuable life
and work skills through volunteering.
    A recent Ekos survey sponsored by Katimavik confirms that Canadians hold
largely favourable views on volunteerism. Over three quarters (76%) of
Canadians agree that increased use of the voluntary sector is a positive way
of expanding citizen involvement. "Throughout the 30 years of Katimavik, we
have seen that Canadians really do value the concept of giving back to the
community while learning from their experience. Volunteering should be a part
of everyone's life, including young Canadians, who are at a point in their
lives where they are learning about themselves while facing important life
decisions. Volunteering in different sectors of activity permits youth to
explore opportunities while leaving a positive footprint in communities across
the country," says Jean-Guy Bigeau, executive director of Katimavik.
    Canadian youths between the ages of 17 and 21 are invited to participate
in Canada's premier national youth service program that benefits their
personal, social and professional development, in addition to being involved
in community betterment projects. For nine months, participants experience
working and living as part of a group in three different communities across
the country with 10 other young people their age. The starting dates for the
2007-2008 program are in September 2007 (nine-month program) and January 2008
(eight-month program) and the deadline date for applications is May 31st for
the September intake and August 31st for the January intake.

    Katimavik Fast Facts:

    - Katimavik has provided over 27,000 young Canadians between the ages of
      17 and 21 with a positive and diversified volunteer work experience for
      30 years.

    - Each dollar spent by the Katimavik program generates a return of $2.20
      in every community that works with the participants. This represents a
      total economic return of $17,262,000(2).

    - During their 34 weeks of volunteer work in the program, the
      915 participants contribute the equivalent of 823,500 in volunteer work
      hours to communities across Canada.

    - The 823,500 volunteer work hours is valued at $11,870,000 according to
      the average wage in the volunteer sector.

    - A Katimavik project in a Canadian community will bring approximately
      $73,000 to the host community. In 2006-2007, Katimavik is present in
      87 communities.

    - Providing English-speaking participants with an experience in a
      francophone community gives them an outlook that they might never have
      had if it were not for the Katimavik program. This fosters an
      understanding and respect for both official languages, as well as the
      potential to learn French as a second language.

    - The Katimavik program integrates participants to three different
      communities. After completing the program, participants have a better
      understanding of the cultural and regional diversity of Canada.

    More about Katimavik

    Since 1977, more than 27,000 young Canadians have participated in the
Katimavik program, developing their sense of civic responsibility and gaining
self-confidence. Katimavik's goal is to form responsible citizens who will
contribute significantly to Canadian society.


    1. According to the average wage in the volunteer sector - Stats Canada.
    2. Malatest social and economic impact study, 2006.

    Note to Editors:

    - Katimavik spokespeople are available across Canada for interviews to
      speak about their Katimavik experiences.

    - Executive director Jean Guy Bigeau is also available for interviews to
      speak about Katimavik's position as Canada's leading youth service
      program and the importance of a national youth service policy.

For further information:

For further information: Ontario and Atlantic region: Nicole McKnight,
Cohn & Wolfe, Courtney Rainey Group, (416) 815-9100, ext. 231,
nicole_mcknight@ca.cohnwolfe.com; Western Canada: Laura Murray, Curve
Communications, (604) 684-3170, ext.112, lmurray@curvecommunications.com;
Québec: Serge Paradis, PKCOM, (514) 277-2670, serge@pkcom.ca

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