Media Release

Date: June 17, 2019

Youth 20/20 Can launches across Vancouver Island and in Powell River

Volunteer Centres in Victoria, Cowichan, Nanaimo, Campbell River, and Powell River have partnered with the Wachiay Friendship Centre in Courtney to help 450+ youth gain confidence, self-esteem, and resiliency and build their leadership and employment skills.

The centres have launched a new year-long project called Youth 20/20 Can funded by the Government of Canada under the Canada Service Corps.

Canada’s Service Corps is “building a national movement to build a culture of volunteer service that empowers young Canadians to make an impact. Youth gain experience and build their skills, while giving back to your community with other young Canadians.”

Lisa Mort-Putland, Executive Director at Volunteer Victoria notes that partnership with the Volunteer Centres and the Wachiay Friendship Centre will have exponential returns and positive impacts for youth volunteers in each of our communities, thanks to the Government of Canada’s $418,000 investment in Vancouver Island’s youth.

“The Youth 20/20 Can project helps youth identify their skills and interests, build their volunteer plan with community in mind, and lead and manage local projects, events, or activities that have meaning to them and to community. Youth are given an opportunity to positively engage in community building over an extended period by giving 120 hours of volunteering time. Through participation youth will strengthen their skills, employability, and connections to community.”

It is so important to create opportunities for youth who have barriers to volunteer engagement. Here is a message from a high school student about her recent volunteering experience:

“When I came to your office with Mei and Rina for the first time, we were very nervous but you talked to us with your smile. You made us really relax and I would like to start volunteering in your team…When I came to Victoria, I didn’t have confidence. Now I really like to help somebody so I want to continue to volunteer. Thank you all so very much. Haruna.”

Providing leadership to the non- profit community since 1974, Volunteer Victoria is the primary recruitment and referral centre for the Greater Victoria Region. Guided by the principles of civil society, our mission is to inspire everyone to volunteer.


For more information, please contact:

Lisa Mort-Putland, Executive Director Volunteer Victoria
Phone: 250.386.2269 Ext 23

Jennifer Lazenby, Executive Director Volunteer Cowichan
200 Craig St, Duncan, BC V9L 5G3
Phone: (250) 748-2133

Marjorie Driscoll, Executive Director Volunteer Nanaimo
3148 Barons Rd e, Nanaimo, BC V9T 4B5
Phone: (250) 758-7121

Michael Gwusdzisaz Colclough, Executive Director, Wachiay Friendship Centre Society
1625 McPhee Avenue, Courtenay BC V9N3A6
Phone: 778-225-0304

Mary Catherine Williams, Executive Director, Volunteer Campbell River
900 Alder Street, Campbell River, B.C. V9W 6Y4
Phone: 250-287-8111

Dale Lawson, Executive Director, Volunteer Powell River
4750 Joyce Ave, Powell River, BC V8A 3B6
Phone: (604) 485-2132