Protest through volunteerism / Protestation par le bénévolat
The Newmarket Katimavik is leavingn for home today and unless we can turn this cut around, will sadly be the last Katimavik group in Newmarket. At their farewell party held last week in Fairy Lake, after receiving an official commendation from Lois Brown MP (CPC) for their service to the community, the group presented a moving speech to the assembled group of partners, billet families, supporters and clients who benefited from their service. The following is the text of that speech which truly demonstrates Katimavik values:
Thank you all for coming to our farewell party. As the evening comes to an end, we would like to offer you these last words.
Katimavik has been part of this community for the past 3 years. Our group has spent a great 3 months here in what we can now call our community. The program has been part of this country since 1977. In these 35 years, not much has changed and the basic concept has stayed the same, this basic concept being throw 11 youth form across Canada and a PL in a house, add some rules (x10) and hope something can come out of it.
This is a program designed to inspire and encourage youth to get up and go. Volunteers are put outside of their comfort zone to Get a life, as the slogan says, or in French, degage. They’re more than 50 groups working across Canada, demonstrating how getting involved can make a difference, one community at a time.
We want to tell you how grateful we are for receiving our group and the many other groups before us in your organisations and families. It’s very generous and not always easy to accept a total
stranger –that sometimes speaks with a funny French accent- at your work or in your house. We know that it can imply more responsibilities for you and take some of your time. By doing this, you open a horizon of learning opportunities for us. You allow us to experience new things and to grow. We definitely get to try different work placements, from schools to the Alzheimer’s Society and from the Town of Newmarket to Community Living. We never would’ve tried these otherwise. Thanks to you, we can learn precious work and life skills that we will carry with us all of our lives. It is without mentioning the awesome people that we have met, that we’ve got to know and that we’ve come to appreciate. Want it or not, you all made a difference in our lives.
We want to thank you for all the laughter, the good moments shared, the sometimes ackwards but funny moments, your help, your support and your involvement with us. We will never say thank you enough for being part of our experience and making all of this possible. Although it’s unfortunate that the program is closing, we have to look to the journey ahead of us and be proud of what we’ve accomplished. We hope we have made a difference for you. Thank you.