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Wednesday, 03 August 2011 16:59

Katimavik volunteers back working again in Swift Current

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Submitted by Meaghan Baxter — This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A new group of Katimavik volunteers is excited to get to work in Swift Current.

They set out to their respective billets Aug. 5 and are enthusiastic about their time in the city.

The volunteers range in age from 17 to 21, hailing from British Columbia, Quebec and the Maritimes. They will devote more than 3,500 hours of service to the community as well as immerse themselves in Swift Current’s society.

During their time involved with the program, participants will visit one Anglophone and one Francophone community, spending three months in each.

Youth will dedicate their time to a variety of organizations, including the SPCA, the Canadian Mental Health Association, the Newcomer Welcome Centre, Palliser Regional Care Centre, and the Lyric Theatre to name a few.

They will also be responsible for assisting in activities programming at care facilities for seniors.

“Providing those programmings really enrich the lives of people in the community,” says project leader, Stephanie Shyluk. “They participate with people of all ages.”

Shyluk, adds this particular program provides youths a great opportunity for linguistic and cultural immersion.

“The program can be used in experiential learning that focuses on personal, social and professional development. The youth volunteering gain tremendous work and life experience and the community benefits from the much appreciated volunteering that is need to help deliver all the essential community services, so it’s a win-win situation for both parties involved,” says Shyluk.

One challenge the group faced this time around was finding billets, but Shyluk assures this was due to busy summer schedules rather than lack of interest.

“People have wonderful, busy, hectic lives in the summer and we’re just competing with time at the lake and taking holidays. For the most part, we’re very well received, and we’re finding people have too much on the go right now,” she says.

Katimavik has operated on and off in Swift Current for 15 years, having been a steady presence in the community for the last five years. Shyluk says they keep coming back because of the city’s welcoming nature.

“I think the whole group is unanimous in saying Swift Current is a beautiful city in the summer,” she says. “They’re enjoying some of the festivities they’ve gotten out to. We’ve spent a lot of time walking around the city, spending time on the walking trails around the creek.”

She adds the group has found Swift Current to exceed their expectations and they are happy to have the opportunity to see things not just as tourists, but become immersed in community life.

Skyluk encourages all youth to get involved in this program. There are still spaces available for January 2012.

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