Tag Archives: culture

Celebrate Diversity and Good Health!

The Genesis Centre of Community Wellness will be hosting a huge event called CultureFest!

The event will happen over 3 days, September 27 – 29, 2013.  It is a celebration of culture, food, art, diversity, and there will be all sorts of entertainment and festivities.

We hope you can come out and join the fun – all are encouraged and welcomed!


Ukraine trip update

Hello from beautiful Lutsk!

After ten fantastic days at camp on Lake Svityaz, Analu and I are enjoying some R&R time at Ivanna’s house. Although we were tired from working long days at camp, it was sad to say farewell to kids that we had become quite close to. In the end, I can honestly say that the language ‘barrier’ didn’t prove problematic in these circumstances. Somehow, we were able to build strong relationships and communicate with the kids in many other ways.

Throughout the last few days of camp, I think that everyone would agree that the ‘family’ dynamic grew even stronger. Judging some very entertaining evening competitions, leading s’mores-making workshops, and playing some Canadian style camp games were a few of many highlights for Analu and I. We also managed to pick up on some local traditions, and learned a bit about how to become proper Ukrainian ladies. Between making vareneki (perogies), getting my hair done in a typical plisteeh (braid), and learning some Ukrainian dance moves, I felt happy to be very immersed in the culture.

After saying a few emotional goodbyes to camp participants, and having a peaceful evening at Ivanna’s, we met Volyn leaders at the Lutsk YMCA to debrief camp. I have really enjoyed exchanging ideas with these dedicated leaders and developing a deeper understanding of how their association works. They are very open and eager to get feedback from us, and I feel like as a team we are able to come up with some very strong ideas. The Volyn leaders and us Canadians exchanged very positive feedback with each other, which was a nice way to wrap things up. Their kindness truly made our experience unforgettable. On one hand it was sad to say goodbye, however I have a feeling that through the YMCA we will manage to stay in touch, which makes the goodbyes a bit easier.

Today we spent the day exploring Lutsk with the help of a few local tour guides/YMCA leaders. In addition to seeing a few sights, we had the opportunity to cheer on a fellow YMCA leader at his university graduation ceremony. Igor from Lutsk was getting his Masters in Physics, and we decided it would be fun to experience a graduation, Ukrainian style. Despite incorporating a few more cultural traditions, it was actually quite similar to a Canadian ceremony. This experience, as well as exploring the quaint city of Lutsk, made for a truly great day.

Tomorrow we will travel to L’viv with a few of the Lutsk leaders. We found out that L’viv’s local association will be holding a special event – a concert in a hospital that specializes in treating kids with cancer. We will also visit several other YMCA programs there, and of course make a bit of time for exploring what is meant to be one of the most beautiful places in Ukraine.

I hope all is well in Calgary, we will write again soon! Dopo bochnia/see you later!

Carla


5 Tips for Teaching Kids Philanthropy

There are many enjoyments to be found in giving. It is about a sense of community and caring. Teaching children to contribute to society and become interested in other people is especially important as communities grow and we expand outward as a collective – by giving, we remain in touch and feel a part of something important.

Check out this article about teaching Philanthropy to Children on the On Parenting website:

“The key to encouraging your child to become a life-long giver is a simple equation: Your Talent + Your Passion = Your Superpower! You don’t have to be bitten by a spider to be a superhero. By encouraging each child to combine their individual talents and passions, you can make giving an integral part of their lives.”


Youth Travel Opportunity

YMCA Europe Festival

Two YMCA Calgary youth aged 17-25 will have the opportunity this summer to fly to Europe and participate in the YMCA Europe Festival, August 4-10 in Prague, Czech Republic. 

What is the Festival?

YMCA Europe Festival 2013 in Prague is a week-long international event that will bring together thousands of young people from YMCAs across Europe and all around the world.  For more information about YMCA Europe Festival 2013, visit www.yefestival.com  

Specific mandates for delegates include…

  • Represent YMCA Calgary as a courteous and professional guest;
  • Help with pre- and post-trip tasks for the delegation (meetings, team-building, fundraisers, trip preparations, training, and awareness-building presentations).
  • Expanding your perspective of the global YMCA movement and be willing to share with YMCA Calgary upon your return. 

To apply, you must…

  • Be an active YMCA Calgary member, program participant, staff, or volunteer aged 17-25
  • Make a firm commitment to plan and attend fundraising activities, attend regular team meetings, travel to Europe for 12-14 days this summer, and share your experiences with YMCA Calgary afterwards;
  • Have (or be willing to immediately obtain) a current, valid passport;
  • Purchase Emergency Travel insurance (included with YMCA Calgary benefits for full-time staff).  

Criteria that will be used in selecting participants are:

  • Understanding and demonstrated practice of the YMCA core values.  You will act as an ambassador for YMCA Calgary in Europe
  • Strong Interpersonal skills.  You will be expected to build lasting relationships with other festival delegates
  • Proven interest in global issues and/or the International YMCA movement
  • Additional skills, certifications, or talents.  For example, language skills, cross-cultural experience, etc.
  • Team dynamics. The selection process will consider not simply individual strengths, but also diversity and balance within the delegation team (including age, experience, gender, etc.) 

Financial considerations:

  • Festival registration, basic meals, and lodging will be paid by YMCA Calgary.
  • Flights to Europe, including all taxes & insurance, are expected to total around $2400.  The delegation will have the opportunity to fundraise as a group towards these costs; however, these costs are not covered by YMCA Calgary and are therefore the responsibility of the participants.
  • Spending money and costs associated with passports & immunizations are the responsibility of each participant.
  • Delegates are responsible for ensuring they have enough time off for the Festival. Staff are expected to use vacation time if they are chosen to go.  
  • 

To Apply, please submit the following 4 documents by November 15, 2012:

  1. Cover letter (1-2 pages) expressing…
    °  Why you feel you are a suitable candidate (please address the criteria listed above, providing specific examples where relevant).
    °  How others in your YMCA and your community may benefit if you are chosen.
  2. Resume which includes work, volunteer, leadership, school and/or travel experience, as well as address and phone number
  3. An email or letter of support from your direct supervisor at YMCA Calgary (if applicable)
  4. References – contact information for two additional people who can speak about your qualifications 

Short-listed candidates will be contacted for an interview.  Part of the interview process will include confirmation that you are within the age requirements as outlined above.  Selections will be completed with the assistance of a selection committee. Candidates will be informed by November 30th

For more information or to apply contact: 

Jason Lidberg
Assistant General Manager Community Branch
(403) 537-1716  |  jlidberg@calgary.ymca.ca


Europe Festival Opportunity

YMCA Europe Festival

Two YMCA Calgary youth aged 17-25 will have the opportunity this summer to fly to Europe and participate in the YMCA Europe Festival, August 4-10 in Prague, Czech Republic. 

What is the Festival?

YMCA Europe Festival 2013 in Prague is a week-long international event that will bring together thousands of young people from YMCAs across Europe and all around the world.  For more information about YMCA Europe Festival 2013, visit www.yefestival.com  

Specific mandates for delegates include…

  • Represent YMCA Calgary as a courteous and professional guest;
  • Help with pre- and post-trip tasks for the delegation (meetings, team-building, fundraisers, trip preparations, training, and awareness-building presentations).
  • Expanding your perspective of the global YMCA movement and be willing to share with YMCA Calgary upon your return. 

To apply, you must…

  • Be an active YMCA Calgary member, program participant, staff, or volunteer aged 17-25
  • Make a firm commitment to plan and attend fundraising activities, attend regular team meetings, travel to Europe for 12-14 days this summer, and share your experiences with YMCA Calgary afterwards;
  • Have (or be willing to immediately obtain) a current, valid passport;
  • Purchase Emergency Travel insurance (included with YMCA Calgary benefits for full-time staff).  

Criteria that will be used in selecting participants are:

  • Understanding and demonstrated practice of the YMCA core values.  You will act as an ambassador for YMCA Calgary in Europe
  • Strong Interpersonal skills.  You will be expected to build lasting relationships with other festival delegates
  • Proven interest in global issues and/or the International YMCA movement
  • Additional skills, certifications, or talents.  For example, language skills, cross-cultural experience, etc.
  • Team dynamics. The selection process will consider not simply individual strengths, but also diversity and balance within the delegation team (including age, experience, gender, etc.) 

Financial considerations:

  • Festival registration, basic meals, and lodging will be paid by YMCA Calgary.
  • Flights to Europe, including all taxes & insurance, are expected to total around $2400.  The delegation will have the opportunity to fundraise as a group towards these costs; however, these costs are not covered by YMCA Calgary and are therefore the responsibility of the participants.
  • Spending money and costs associated with passports & immunizations are the responsibility of each participant.
  • Delegates are responsible for ensuring they have enough time off for the Festival. Staff are expected to use vacation time if they are chosen to go.  
  • 

To Apply, please submit the following 4 documents by November 15, 2012:

  1. Cover letter (1-2 pages) expressing…
    °  Why you feel you are a suitable candidate (please address the criteria listed above, providing specific examples where relevant).
    °  How others in your YMCA and your community may benefit if you are chosen.
  2. Resume which includes work, volunteer, leadership, school and/or travel experience, as well as address and phone number
  3. An email or letter of support from your direct supervisor at YMCA Calgary (if applicable)
  4. References – contact information for two additional people who can speak about your qualifications 

Short-listed candidates will be contacted for an interview.  Part of the interview process will include confirmation that you are within the age requirements as outlined above.  Selections will be completed with the assistance of a selection committee. Candidates will be informed by November 30th

For more information or to apply contact: 

Jason Lidberg
Assistant General Manager Community Branch
(403) 537-1716  |  jlidberg@calgary.ymca.ca


Exciting Europe for Youth

YMCA Europe Festival

Two YMCA Calgary youth aged 17-25 will have the opportunity this summer to fly to Europe and participate in the YMCA Europe Festival, August 4-10 in Prague, Czech Republic. 

What is the Festival?

YMCA Europe Festival 2013 in Prague is a week-long international event that will bring together thousands of young people from YMCAs across Europe and all around the world.  For more information about YMCA Europe Festival 2013, visit www.yefestival.com  

Specific mandates for delegates include…

  • Represent YMCA Calgary as a courteous and professional guest;
  • Help with pre- and post-trip tasks for the delegation (meetings, team-building, fundraisers, trip preparations, training, and awareness-building presentations).
  • Expanding your perspective of the global YMCA movement and be willing to share with YMCA Calgary upon your return. 

To apply, you must…

  • Be an active YMCA Calgary member, program participant, staff, or volunteer aged 17-25
  • Make a firm commitment to plan and attend fundraising activities, attend regular team meetings, travel to Europe for 12-14 days this summer, and share your experiences with YMCA Calgary afterwards;
  • Have (or be willing to immediately obtain) a current, valid passport;
  • Purchase Emergency Travel insurance (included with YMCA Calgary benefits for full-time staff).  

Criteria that will be used in selecting participants are:

  • Understanding and demonstrated practice of the YMCA core values.  You will act as an ambassador for YMCA Calgary in Europe
  • Strong Interpersonal skills.  You will be expected to build lasting relationships with other festival delegates
  • Proven interest in global issues and/or the International YMCA movement
  • Additional skills, certifications, or talents.  For example, language skills, cross-cultural experience, etc.
  • Team dynamics. The selection process will consider not simply individual strengths, but also diversity and balance within the delegation team (including age, experience, gender, etc.) 

Financial considerations:

  • Festival registration, basic meals, and lodging will be paid by YMCA Calgary.
  • Flights to Europe, including all taxes & insurance, are expected to total around $2400.  The delegation will have the opportunity to fundraise as a group towards these costs; however, these costs are not covered by YMCA Calgary and are therefore the responsibility of the participants.
  • Spending money and costs associated with passports & immunizations are the responsibility of each participant.
  • Delegates are responsible for ensuring they have enough time off for the Festival. Staff are expected to use vacation time if they are chosen to go.  
  • 

To Apply, please submit the following 4 documents by November 15, 2012:

  1. Cover letter (1-2 pages) expressing…
    °  Why you feel you are a suitable candidate (please address the criteria listed above, providing specific examples where relevant).
    °  How others in your YMCA and your community may benefit if you are chosen.
  2. Resume which includes work, volunteer, leadership, school and/or travel experience, as well as address and phone number
  3. An email or letter of support from your direct supervisor at YMCA Calgary (if applicable)
  4. References – contact information for two additional people who can speak about your qualifications 

Short-listed candidates will be contacted for an interview.  Part of the interview process will include confirmation that you are within the age requirements as outlined above.  Selections will be completed with the assistance of a selection committee. Candidates will be informed by November 30th

For more information or to apply contact: 

Jason Lidberg
Assistant General Manager Community Branch
(403) 537-1716  |  jlidberg@calgary.ymca.ca


YMCA Helps Children Grow

Yesterday at the YMCA Aboriginal Buddies program, kids learned about totem poles and worked diligently to create their own beautiful totem poles.

In the Aboriginal Buddies cultural discovery program, Aboriginal elementary school students meet twice a week to learn about Aboriginal culture and traditions, experience support and friendship and get help with school work. There is no fee to participate in this program. For more information contact 403-537-1724 or sprovost@calgary.ymca.ca.

 

After working so hard, the group headed outside for some fun time together in the playground. Here are some photos of the day:

 

 

YMCA Calgary offers all sorts of Aboriginal programs & services. There are activities for people of all ages–come take part in the community!

YMCA Aboriginal Buddies and other similar community programs are funded by donors. Would you like to help children and youth belong, grow, thrive and lead? Click here to find out more about getting involved and helping build healthy communities.


Youth Vital Signs

Youth Central, in partnership with The Calgary Foundation are asking youth, ages 12–20, to take part in Youth Vital Signs 2012, an opportunity for youth to grade Calgary in ten key issue areas such as arts and culture, environment, health & safety, and youth spaces.  The feedback will benefit us all, as we hear what youth think of their city and can then take steps to create a better Calgary for us all.  Grading will be open until April 30 and can be done online at: http://surveys.praxis.ca/youth_vitalsigns_2012

Youth Vital Signs is a quick snapshot of what youth in Calgary think so we want to encourage honest and real feedback.  It’s quick and takes only about 10 minutes.  Please encourage young people to take part and have their say!


The Impact of Volunteering to Our Society

Written by Social Media Youth Volunteer: Yvonne Dutallas

Today, Canada as a country is comparable to a beautiful rainbow with a variety of colors which was blended into a masterpiece. Canada has a very rich and diverse cultural heritage that contributed so much to its nation building and economic development. This unique culture was attributed from the best individual skills, experiences, beliefs and tradition brought along by different immigrants coming from different parts of the world.

However, as gold is subjected to extreme heat to extract the purest of gold, so are the different immigrants being uprooted from their comfort zone, their homeland. Coming to an unfamiliar territory, volunteering is one of the best ways for new immigrants to integrate into society. This is one of the proven channels to harness an individual’s potential that can contribute to a collective action for the betterment of the society.

To volunteer is to give back to the community without expecting anything in return. An example of this is extending help to YMCA, Food Banks, Red Cross, Drop-in Centers and other Non-profit Immigrant Serving Organization. This noble act of getting involved and helping one another has a domino effect to the community at large. It impacted the life of new immigrants as well who tried their best to understand and integrate to the community they live in which was also equally benefited by their services.

Being an immigrant myself, I had a personal experience to relate as a newcomer here in Canada. I tried my best to fit in by mingling with other people with different cultural backgrounds. Luckily, I was so blessed and thankful to have friends who helped me face all the challenges and hardships that a newcomer could ever possibly face. Their guidance and inspiration supported me immensely. I am so proud to say that I do have great mentors in my life right now. Strong-willed, dedicated, great men and women who supported and believe in me keep me up and on my feet and motivate me to pursue my dreams. Today, my mentors are my greatest inspiration to head-on all challenges in my life. Given this privilege that I enjoyed today, I promised myself to pay it forward to other incoming immigrants in the future, thus it would be a domino effect. The act of paying the goodness forward could create a tremendous impact to society.


Categories

Archives