Behind the Scenes at ArtWorks

We are a few weeks into our new program ArtWorks and our program participants are making some pretty amazing hand crafted items. Check out some behind the scene photos from last week’s session to see our youth participants from Operation Come Home in action!

DSC_0194

DSC_0239

DSC_0215

DSC_0214

DSC_0205

DSC_0195

UWV Community Sports Program

United World Voices has teamed up with Confederation Court Community House and Canadian bobsledder and Olympian Cody Sorensen to deliver an evening sports program for local youth.

Through participation in sports the program strives to help youth build new friendships, connect and share their experiences, and learn valuable life lessons such as sportsmanship, teamwork, and self-confidence. The program launched March 30th 2016 at Hawthorn Public School and will continue every Wednesday from 6pm-8pm. We had a blast playing basketball with local youth and worked up a sweat with Cody who lead us through an Olympian style warm up.

Stay tuned for pictures and details from our next session!
A little about our Olympian team leader:
Cody has always had a passion for sport, business and giving back to the community. Cody was recruited to bobsleigh from the sport of track and field and competed as a member of Canada. A provincial high-school hurdle champion, Cody was also the captain of the University of Guelph Gryphons varsity track team for two years. During his stint running track, Cody captured three individual national medals in the 60-metre hurdles, and was captain of the team when the Gryphons won their first ever men’s and women’s national titles. A two-time all-Canadian, Cody graduated with a B.Comm degree in Economics and Finance and recently completed an MBA from Queen’s University. Cody competed in the 4-man event at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi and despite a strong start, his team had a heartbreaking crash on the second run. Cody is a second generation Olympian. His father Ole competed in the 1972 Munich Olympic Games as a greco-roman wrestler.

cody cody2
For more information on Cody please visit www.codysorensen.ca

Using spoken word for youth engagement

Check out Jamaal Rogers if you get the chance. He is an amazing Ottawa-based spoken word artist that does terrific work with youth, both in the schools and with other organizations, to build self-confidence and creative self-expression. We’re building plans to work with him on some innovative programs for youth in 2016!

Planning programs for vulnerable youth

We had a great meeting with Operation Come Home earlier this month. They are doing wonderful work with vulnerable youth in Ottawa. UWV is building up a program that we hope to operate in collaboration with Operation Come Home early in 2016, focused on income generating activities combined with employment and life skills training. We’re working with local artist and musician Claudia Salguero to build out an innovative program that combines artistic expression and specialty hand-crafted items that will engage youth and enhance community integration. This amazing program is the initial launch of a broader initiative that we will also conduct together with youth-oriented partners overseas.

Engaging local youth on the impact of climate change on children in Bangladesh

Upon my return to Canada from visiting the children’s homes run by CHI in India, Bangladesh, and Nepal I had the pleasure of working with Gaye Taylor who runs Cool It For The Kids (CIFTK). CIFTK is an Ottawa-based organization that provides climate change awareness for children. Together we visited local Ottawa schools to provide presentations to children on the issues and impact of climate change and social responsibility.

In my presentation and discussion, I was emphasizing how climate change has affected children in the developing world, particularly in Bangladesh, and our social responsibility on a personal level. The presentations were well received with a lot of interest and enthusiasm from the children. The kids were particularly interested in the daily lives and challenges of the children in Bangladesh. It was wonderful to see their positive engagement, and their very challenging questions and great ideas about how they could drive change in the world.

These presentations reinforced for me the importance of engaging youth locally to increase their awareness of their connection to other children around the world who are in a more vulnerable environment.