February 18, 2014

The Six Month Exchange that Changed their World and Inspired a Cross-Canada Fundraising Bike Tour.

CWY programs are created to give youth the opportunity to experience the world on their own while discovering new cultures, new communities, and developing leadership and communications skills. Jamie Rooney is a great example of the leadership that these experiences inspire.

As a youth volunteer on our Youth Leaders in Action program  in 2009-2010 between Sooke, BC and Inhambane,  Mozambique, Jamie spent 3 months in Mozambique, along with the 18 other Canadian and Mozambican youth, where he volunteered with a community orphanage.


Jamie was so touched by his time in Mozambique, especially by all the people that he met, that he decided he would have to find a way to give back. Once returned to Canada, Jamie decided to find a way to continue his relationship with the orphanage in Inhambane. He called up his long-time friend, Ben Morrison, to propose a plan to collect funds for this worthy cause. Together, they decided to combine their love of cycling and an interest to discover Canada into a cross-Canada bike tour to raise funds for the orphanage.


Later that year, Jamie and Ben set off on their cross Canada cycling tour, supported by the members of the CWY community along the way. They stayed with many of the host families that support our programs, as well as connected with CWY Alumni and friends. Where there were no CWY host families to take them in, Jamie and Ben would set up their tent to camp out under the stars. They ran into all kinds of weather from blizzards on the East Coast to floods in the prairies. As they crossed through the Rockies a few bears would also cross their path. At the beginning of August, the duo reached their final destination on their cross-Canada tour, arriving in Sooke, BC. All together, Jamie and Ben covered 8,126 kilometers by bike, visiting 10 Canadian provinces. Along with this incredible accomplishment, this epic journey resulted in $17,500 in funds raised for the orphanage in Inhambane, Mozambique.


An agreement between CWY, Jamie Rooney, Ben Morrison and AJUDE, CWY’s partner organization in Mozambique, was reached to ensure that the funds raised via the bike tour would directly contribute to several local initiatives in Inhambane over a 3 year period. The Canadian Project Supervisor for the Youth Leaders in Action Program, in partnership with AJUDE and the orphanage staff, oversaw the distribution of funds according to the 3 year project plan. The following groups of CWY Canadian and Mozambican youth volunteers contributed to the preparation, planning and implementation of the local projects in their host community.


After completion of this 3 year funding period, the results of the CWY Mozambique orphanage project are quite remarkable. The volunteers working with the allocated funds were able to implement amazing local initiatives, ones that have significantly improved the quality of life for the children in the orphanage.

You can learn more about Jamie’s CWY experience and the changes his leadership and engagement brought to the community of Inhambane by clicking here.

A big thank you to Jamie Rooney for being the catalyst to these amazing initiatives, as well as a shining example of the leadership CWY youth volunteers and alumni demonstrate by continuing to contribute to initiatives that seek to better communities in Canada and around the world.

Cet article est également disponible en FR.

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About Canada World Youth

Canada World Youth is dedicated to enriching the lives of youth aged up to 35 who want to become informed and active global citizens. CWY offers international transformative learning experiences focused on building knowledge, leadership and skills through participation in sustainable community-driven projects. For more than 40 years, 38,000 youth and 12,000 host families have participated in CWY programs, in Canada and abroad.

CWY is registered with the Canada Revenue Agency as a charitable organization (#118973999RR0001).

Source : Mary McGee, Communications Officer, Canada World Youth, 514 931-3526 # 336,

Interviews and information (photos available):

Mary McGee
1 800 605-3526 #336
514 931-3526 # 336