Katimavik: 1977-2012?

I'm a Katimavik alumnus. Initially one of the many opportunities I took advantage of to improve my second language, it had a profound impact on my personal life; the young adult that I was in 1984 didn't know much about the world outside the family cocoon. It was also my first close encounter with Canadians who spoke only one of the two official languages... an eye-opening experience.

If you're familiar with the program, you're probably aware that in the 2012 federal budget, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that the program will be eliminated. The reason?... the comparatively high per-person cost of the program when compared to other government initiatives targeted at youth.

Here are some facts the organization has been sharing in response to the announcement:
  • The yearly budget for Katimavik to have 1462 youth complete the program in 64 communities helping more than 500 community partners is $15,935,470. This amounts to a total cost per day of $77 per volunteer.
  • The volunteer work performed by the volunteers is valued at $10,749,518.
  • The direct investments by Katimavik groups in each of the 64 communities where the program takes place, is valued at $218,000 per community, for a total of $13,952,000.
  • In 2010-2011, 90% of Katimavik community partners indicated that the Katimavik volunteers' involvement improved their capacity to accomplish their daily tasks.
  • Last year, 91% of volunteers said that they would recommend the program to their friends and 88% said Katimavik was one of the best experiences of their lives.
It certainly was for me...

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