Katimavik helps community groups and future leaders "Get a Life"

    Dynamic campaign timed to inspire community action

    MONTREAL, April 2 /CNW/ - Katimavik, Canada's most prominent national
volunteer organization, announced today the launch of its new campaign "Get a
Life" encouraging youth to consider participation in an institution that has
changed thousands of local communities and millions of lives. "Get a Life" is
reaching out to Canadian youth to inspire them to help community-based
organizations and improve their country while developing themselves through
    "There has never been a more important time to invest in national youth
service," said Jean-Guy Bigeau, Katimavik's Executive Director. "Capitalizing
on the benefits of civic engagement through volunteerism by young and
dedicated Canadians will help build our communities and country as we move
past this difficult recession. 'Get a Life' is the most significant campaign
to bolster new applicants in the 32 year history of our organization. If young
Canadians want to see their country and change it for the better, Katimavik is
right for them."
    "Get a Life" will entail a broad-based social media campaign including a
newly branded website at www.gokatimavik.com. Every high school guidance
counsellor in the country will receive a promotional kit highlighting the
organization and providing tips on how they can help students "get a life".
Television public service announcements will also air across Canada.
    "The impact of the Katimavik volunteers on our community cannot be
understated. Together they have helped weave a strong social fabric from St.
John's, to Victoria, to Iqaluit," said Katimavik work partner Roger Verville
of Drummondville, Quebec. "In a changing society facing many challenges,
Katimavik volunteers provide essential services in the areas of health,
education, the environment and poverty reduction. The benefit for volunteers
is immeasurable. The program helps them expand their social and cultural
horizons, as well as harbour lifelong friendships with people from across the
country. Katimavik volunteers help bind Canada together."
    "It was amazing to see how my actions had an impact. With Katimavik I was
empowered to make a significant contribution while developing personally and
professionally," said alumni Gregory Rooke of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. "I was
sent across the country to Huntsville, Ontario at a very important time in my
life and able to try something new, gain work experience, and find a path that
has led to personal growth and professional success. Through Katimavik I 'got
a life' by stepping into the real world and experiencing life away from home."
    Katimavik is a national volunteer service organization that aims to
empower youth to make a significant contribution to local communities and
participate in nation-building while fostering their personal and professional
development through a challenging youth-volunteer, leadership and
service-oriented program. In 2008 alone the participants contributed 743,997
hours of volunteer work valued at $11,630,000. The ongoing work of the
organization is made possible through generous corporate partners and the
government of Canada.

    About Katimavik

    Since 1977, Katimavik has enabled nearly 28,000 Canadians to be involved
in more than 2,000 communities throughout the country. During their volunteer
service experience, which now ranges from the classic nine-month program to
the new six-month programs, participants aged 17 to 21, live in two or three
Canadian communities, where they volunteer 35 hours a week for a variety of
non-profit host organizations. Everyday life consists of living with ten other
young people from across the country, along with a project leader. The staff
member provides supervision and facilitates the implementation of structured
learning programs through a series of workshops and activities pertaining to
leadership skills development, learning our official languages, environmental
stewardship, experiencing cultural diversity and integration first-hand, as
well as adopting a healthier lifestyle. The intent of the program is to shape
responsible citizens while contributing significantly to the social and
economic development of Canadian communities.

For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Victoria Salvador, Marketing and
communications director, Telephone: (514) 868-0898 (2361), Cellular: (514)
707-1273, Email: vsalvador@katimavik.org, www.katimavik.org; or Sarah Daly,
Veritas Communications, Telephone: (416) 955-4583, Cellular: (416) 704-2166,
Email: daly@veritascanada.com

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