Saturday, December 18, 2010

Volunteer Appreciation/Holiday Party

We would like to say thank you for all those who came to the Holiday Party last Saturday! We had a great time with you all.  For those who couldn't make it, we missed you!

We would like give a special thanks to Mateen Khalid for arranging with York to provide the funding for the Global Youth Network event.

Also, we would like to recognize all of the hard work that our Regional Coordinators, Communications Coordinator and all of our other wonderful volunteers are doing this year with Global Youth Network.

Happy Holidays everyone!
The Global Youth Network Team
Some of the party guests!

Dawna, Gilad, Aggrey and Dave

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Message From Team Kenya 2011

In early December, Team Kenya from Guelph met with Aggrey Omondi from the Ugunja Community Resource Centre (URCRC) in Kenya and Noel Belcourt from Friends of Ugunja in Waterloo. It was an honour to host Aggrey and Noel! Team Kenya enjoyed learning about UCRC and Friends of Ugunja as well as discussing ways to connect in the future. Team Kenya is excited to continue strengthening Global's relationship with both organizations and of course, to visit Aggrey in Ugunja, Kenya in May!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Global Youth Network Greeting Cards!

Global@Guelph is selling greeting cards as a fundraiser for Global Youth Network! All cards are created with pictures from past trips. The cost is by donation, with a general price being 3/$5. If you are interested in purchasing some, contact to see how you can get a hold of them.

Friday, December 3, 2010

CHRISSY FAIR has entered a contest to win $5000 for Global Youth Network! It’s easy to help her win! Just follow the link, ‘Like’ Pepsi, vote for Chrissy once a day until December 8th! Thanks!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Spread the word about the Global Team Program!

A few regions are still recruiting team members, and need your help to get the word out!

What is the Global Team Program?

It is an opportunity for young adults to experience life in different countries through building cross-cultural relationships and being exposed to social injustices throughout the world. The communities visited by Global Teams are established by Global staff and experienced volunteers, and team members are prepared for their trips through an intensive orientation weekend and team meetings twice a month. The trip takes place during the month of May 2011, and costs between $3050-3550. This cost includes flight, travel insurance, meals and accommodation for the whole month and can be completely fundraised. Those interested in applying can email their region to set up an interview!

Here are the regions looking for people interested in joining the program:

Toronto -
Guatemala – Trip Cost: $3050
Philippines – Trip Cost: $3550

Guelph -
British Columbia (heavily focused on Canadian Indigenous rights) – Trip cost: $3050

Mizoram, India – Trip Cost: $3550

Please follow this link for more information:

Feel free to email with any questions!

Take a few minutes to watch this interview with Kenya 2010 team co-leader, Mateen. “Why Be a Part of the Global Youth Network”

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Hey! You! You’re invited to… Modesto, California!

Hey! You!

You’re invited to… Modesto, California!

Why? For Leadership Training!
When? February 18-27, 2010
With Whom? Global Youth Network and Youth With a Mission Modesto
How Much? $950.00 (Fundraisable)
Who’s eligible? Anyone on a leadership team.
Who’s it mandatory for? Individuals who went from being a member one year to a leader or co-leader the next.

If interested, please RSVP with Gilad or Dawna at See below for more info!

What is Youth With A Mission Modesto all about?
Friendship! They make friends, do what friendship requests and go where friendship leads. They partner with the poor, churches, community organizations, youth groups and a couple of international organizations to work together to make the city and world a better place.

You can read more about YWAM Modesto at:

How will training take place?
From Chris at YWAM Modesto:
Classically, our Global intern week has really been a lot of just hanging out together. We work together to create safe places for our friends on the street to hang out, get some food and have a listening ear. We provide activities for participants to engage with the homeless, build friendship and go where that takes us in the week. We spend positive time with some kids we have worked with for years now. We do not focus on task, we focus on relationships and go where they naturally lead. In short, the Global team is WITH us for a week! We also usually go to San Francisco and the ocean for a day of fun.

How will this training will help in future roles?
Global Youth Network is all about relationships; the change they can make in us and the people we are serving. Global's vision is not about the world of privilege bending down to help the poor. Global is about building friendship and letting that be the catalyst that changes all of us. This is what we are about. In the Global Modesto week, we work to find our way in relationship together. It's a great crash course in team building and extending the fellowship of the team to reach out to others.

Here's a link to some pics from the last Global team:


Friday, November 19, 2010

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Global Youth Network is happy to announce that the Canadian government finally endorsed the United Nations Declaration on Indigenous rights.It only took three years!

Below are some statements from various leaders such as the Government of Canada, First Nations leaders, Union of BC Indian Chiefs, Metis Nations Council, and Global Youth Network!

This is from the Government of Canada’s web site:

“On November 12, 2010, Canada issued a Statement of Support endorsing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This endorsement offers an opportunity to strengthen relations with Aboriginal peoples in Canada, and to support our ongoing work on Indigenous issues internationally.
The Declaration describes the individual and collective rights of Indigenous peoples, taking into account their specific cultural, social and economic circumstances. The Declaration also encourages harmonious, cooperative relationships between States and Indigenous peoples, based on the principles of equality, partnership, good faith and mutual respect. Canada strongly supports these principles and believes that they are consistent with the government's approach to working with Aboriginal peoples.” (
Here are few of the responses from First Nations leaders.
Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn A‐in‐chut Atleo (who is from Ahousaht a community that Global has been involved with for a number of years) states,

“Today marks an important shift in our relationship and now the real work begins,” National Chief Atleo said. “Now is our time to work together towards a new era of fairness and justice for First Nations and a stronger Canada for all Canadians, guided by the Declaration’s core principles of respect, partnership and reconciliation. First Nations have worked long and hard to set out constructive and effective approaches and to abandon the colonial relationship embodied in the Indian Act that has held back our people and this country. We are ready to move now – today – on our key priorities including education.”

“Today is important, not as the culmination of our efforts, but as the beginning of a new approach and a new agenda,” the National Chief stated. “Canada’s apology for the residential schools in 2008 was a critical moment to acknowledge the pain of the past. Endorsing the Declaration is the opportunity to look forward and re‐set the relationship between First Nations and the Crown so it is consistent with the Treaties and other agreements with First Nations upon which this country was founded. In endorsing the UN Declaration, Canada is committing to work with us as a true partner to achieve reconciliation as instructed by the courts in Canada.”

Ontario Regional Chief Angus Toulouse stated, “Although the public endorsement of the UNDRIP by the Canadian government is a positive step forward it is clear that the reasons that Canada failed to endorse the Declaration three years ago still remain a primary focus of the Canadian government, illustrated by their assertion that the Declaration does not reflect international customary law. Chief Toulouse stated that the federal government offers the proper rhetoric about reconciliation and respect for Indigenous rights but has struggled to move beyond words to action to make reconciliation real and to build a relationship with First Nations based on mutual respect. Chief Toulouse indicated that it is imperative that government be willing to move beyond their entrenched and often unproductive positions to actually realize progress in the First Nation-Government relationship.”

Here is a statement from The Union of BC Indian Chiefs:

“We remain concerned that Canada’s actions, both domestically and abroad, are not reflecting the standards that the government now professes to support,” says Grand Chief Edward John, First Nations Summit, “Actions are more important than words. We will be carefully looking for concrete evidence that the government’s endorsement of the Declaration reflects a genuine willingness to uphold its provisions.”

From the Metis Nation Council:

President Chartier, “This decision helps to clear the way for a positive, constructive path forward for the Métis Nation and all Canadians in addressing many of the challenges facing our people across the homeland.”
The Métis National Council and its governing members are ready to work closely with the Government of Canada in adopting the UNDRIP’s core principles of mutual respect, equality, partnership and good faith.”

Global Youth Network's Statement:

There is still a lot of work to be done in the relationship between the Canadian Government and Aboriginal Peoples. The Government of Canada is a reflection of the priorities of the Canadian People, therefore there is still a lot of work to do at a grass roots level to restore a right relationship between Non Aboriginal Canadians and Aboriginal Peoples. Global Youth Network remains committed to exploring our role in creating places where reconciliation can take place. Our hope is that the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples will be another resource and tool to bring about justice for Aboriginal Peoples in Canada and Indigenous Peoples around the world.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

An Update From Uganda

The following was written by Melissa Nettleton, our second intern through the Global Volunteer Engagement Program. She has been in Uganda since August and will be returning at the end of November.

Dear friends,

My time here in Uganda has gone by so quickly. I have been so blessed to be able to come to Soroti and learn about the culture of Uganda and about the different tribes here. I have made very good friends gone on some interesting adventures and am so grateful for everything I have

While in Uganda I am spending the majority of my time at Amachet still tending to the babies. There have been many different babies coming and going. We have two babies that were abandoned by their mothers within a week of each other. One was born in the bush and left for dead. Luckily a neighbouring woman heard the child’s cries and came to rescue him. He had scrapes on his body from the twigs he was laying on and was almost starving when he was brought to Amachet. He was checked over, bathed and fed and I am happy to report is doing quite well now.
The second boy that was abandoned by his mother was left in a pig latrine a neighbour also heard the cries of the baby so was rescued from the pit. One of the only reasons he survived is because the placenta was still rapped around him and kept him safe until help came. In both cases there was a wide spread search for the mothers that abandoned their new born babies. Local women in the community partnered together and sought out the mothers. There were radio adds as well asking if anyone knew of a women who was recently pregnant but didn’t have a baby. In both cases the mother was found and sent to jail for attempted murder. Both the babies are healthy and doing well. The families of the babies are deciding now where it is best for the
baby to live. Usually the child will go home with an aunt or a grandmother.

I also was able to see one of the toddlers that was at Amachet who had left a month or so ago with her grandmother come back for a check up. She was one of the many toddlers I had played and cared for when I first arrived. It is always very sad to see a child go home but it is
touching to see the child come back with their family. Lucy the toddler was so happy and had grown and her grandmother was so proud to be caring for her granddaughter. This is a great example of the amazing success stories that Amachet facilitates every day.

I am also happy to report that I feel much more at home in Amachet. I have made friends with a lot of the Ateso girls that work there. I have even learnt from Susan one of the girls that has been working there for a few years, how to make matokee which is a local banana dish and have plans to learn how to make abo which is peanut sauce and greens. (So when I get back and you want to eat something from Uganda just ask and I would love to cook for you!)

Another ministry that the YWAM base in Soroti provides is a nursery and primary school both called Harmony. I was able to help in Harmony nursery with Teacher Lawrence and his ‘top class’ students of 4-6 years old. Learning in Uganda is quite different than in Canada. For one thing resources such as pens, papers, markers, crayons, poster paper, learning tools, etc are not as widely available. All of the children, on top of their school fees, are required to provide two
pencils, four activity books and two rolls of toilet paper. As well, all the children are expected to wear a uniform that their family must provide. Most of the learning in class happens through songs and viewing lessons on the board. Another difference is the size of the
class. In top class there are 22 students and only one teacher. To demand the attention of 22 young children and to also get them to learn is no easy task. For me it was a challenge especially since I did not know all of the children’s names. I found myself saying things like, “Hey you, with the brown hair stop pinching your neighbour and sit down!” which unfortunately usually didn’t work. Teacher Lawrence however, had an amazing presents with the children. He would stand in front of the class and like magic the children would all fall quite! It takes a very talented person to be a teacher that’s for sure!

While on the base Steven Orem the base leader had mentioned that there was a community about an hour away into the village that was in desperate need of a new school house and asked me and a few others from Tonga to go visit a community in Serere. While we were there we saw the horrible conditions that learning was meant to take place in. There were five mud huts that were barely staying up. Most of the straw that had once formed a top of the hut now created an
unintentional sun roof into the class rooms. The student’s crammed into very small huts with no workbooks, text books or pencils. One of the oldest classes that were preparing for exams were forced to take their classes under a tree because their hut had collapsed completely due to the harsh storms created during the rainy season. Our group handed out some pencils, papers, workbooks, candy and a soccer ball. We created a partnership with the school and the teachers to support them and assist in any way possible. The dream is to come back with a
bunch of Canadians in May through Global Youth Network and construct a school house if that is what the school feels it needs the most. They will also use local materials so that the community is involved and takes pride and ownership in the newly constructed school house.

These are just some of the things I have been able to experience but there have been so much more! I have been so blessed to be able to come and experience life here in Uganda and it is all thanks to the support from my friends like you. Thank you so much for contributing!

Take care,
Melissa Nettleton

A Global Youth Network Declaration

To All: Global Regional Leaders
Global Club Executives
Global Cafe Leaders

As you know Global has a special interest in Indigenous issues through the years. Consistently in regions where there are Indigenous peoples, they are the ones who suffer under the most extreme cases of injustice. As an organization with a mandate toward justice we cannot ignore what is happening with Indigenous peoples in the countries in which we partner and especially within our own country.

As a response to the injustice faced by Indigenous peoples Global is asking you to participate in a number of initiatives. These initiatives are of an advocacy and educational nature, therefore will not take a great deal of your time.

The first initiative is a petition to the government of Canada asking them to sign on to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. On Sept. 13, 2007 the United Nations adopted the Declaration on the rights of Indigenous Peoples by a vote of 144 to 4 with 11 abstentions. Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand were the four nations that voted against. Australia and New Zealand have changed their decision and both have now signed on to the Declaration.

According to the UN, the Declaration:

• establish a universal framework of minimum standards for the survival, dignity, well-being and rights of the world’ s indigenous peoples; addresses individual and collective rights; identifies rights to education, health, employment and language; outlaws discrimination against indigenous peoples; ensures their right to remain distinct and to pursue their own priorities in economic, social and cultural development;
• encourages harmonious and cooperative relations between States and indigenous peoples.

Canada’ s reason for not signing on to the declaration is that it is incompatible with Canada’ s Constitution and the Canadian charter of Rights and Freedom. They state that the Declaration affirms only the collective rights of Indigenous peoples and fails to balance individual and collective rights or the rights of Indigenous and non-indigenous peoples.

A group of Lawyers and Law professors who have researched and worked in the fields of Indigenous rights and/or constitutional law in Canada, say that the governments claims are misleading and that,” no credible legal rationale has been provided to substantiate these extraordinary and erroneous claims.”

The Assembly of First Nations and other Aboriginal groups in Canada offered to work with the government on a joint Statement of Understanding of the text to address the governments concerns. However, the government declined this offer. The government has sought support for its endorsement strategy from provincial and territorial governments, with no consultation with Canadian Indigenous Peoples. Ontario has responded to the Federal Government with this statement, “ As part of Ontario's continued efforts to enhance cooperation, and to build strong relationships with Aboriginal people based on mutual respect, Premier Dalton McGuinty has asked the Government of Canada to reconsider its position on the United Nations' Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Ontario supports a review of Canada's position on the Declaration as a means to demonstrate its commitment to improving the lives of Aboriginal people throughout Canada. Reconsideration of the Declaration would demonstrate Canada's willingness to foster an open dialogue to improve the lives of Aboriginal peoples.”

The Declaration is a living instrument that is broadly supported and has universal application. It provides a crucial context and framework towards ensuring justice, as well as the dignity, security and well-being of Indigenous Peoples worldwide.

Global Youth Network would like to encourage the government of Canada to work with Canadian Indigenous Peoples (First nations, Metis and Inuit) on a respectful process for the endorsement and implementation of the Declaration.

Take Action

Educate yourself

Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Send a short, polite letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

• Note that the UN Declaration is intended to address the discrimination that has denied Indigenous peoples around the world the full enjoyment of their human rights.

• Welcome the federal government's commitment to endorsing the UN Declaration.

• Call on the government to fully endorse the Declaration, without conditions or limitations.

Example Letter:

Dear Prime Minister

I/We are writing to urge the Government of Canada to endorse the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples without qualifications. Such an approach would respect the House of Commons’ Motion on April 8 2008, calling for a full implementation of the Declaration.

The Declaration includes provisions that explicitly state that any interpretation is to be balanced with other human rights protections and principles of justice and equality. Therefore, there is no need to assert conditions or qualifications on support for the Declaration.

I/We encourage the Canadian Government to work with Indigenous Peoples (First Nations, Metis, Inuit) on a respectful process for the endorsement and implementation of the declaration.

The letter should be written in such away as it reflects your specific group, like, University of Guelph Global Youth Network club. or York University Justice club, or Global Youth Network Hamilton region etc.

If you use this letter as a petition you will need to have each person sign their name, address, postal code and phone #.

You can also send this through e mail by going to type=Internal and cutting and pasting the letter to the Amnesty on line petition. It is important to note a mailed letter or petition has more wait then an e mailed one.

Write To:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa ON K1A 0A2
Fax: (613) 941-6900

Make sure you send the letter or e mail copy of letter to the opposition party’s Email Address

Mailing Address - Parliament Hill Office
Gilles Duceppe, M.P.
Chef du Bloc Québécois
Chambre des communes
Ottawa (Ontario)
K1A 0A6

Email Address

Email Address

Mailing Address - Parliament Hill Office
Jack Layton, M.P.
Leader of the NDP
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0A6

Email Address

Michael Ignatieff

In Ottawa:
Centre Block, 409-S
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
Telephone: (613) 995-9364

Elizabeth May

Leader, Green Party of Canada

As you take a action with this letter and petition I hope you will keep me informed.

Dave Skene

We are presently researching a Global Youth Network response on Aboriginal rights and the oil
sands in Alberta. We are hoping to have an action plan to submit to you in Nov.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Welcome to our brand new blog! We hope you come back often!

If you want to view our old blog, please visit, but please note that all future bloggings will be done here.