Our History

    • 1971
    • Canada World Youth (CWY) is founded by Jacques Hébert. A writer, editor, politician, and tireless globetrotter who travelled to more than 130 countries around the world, Jacques Hébert was inspired by a deep commitment to young people and a desire to bring cultures closer together. Click here for his complete biography.

      CWY is founded by Jacques Hébert

    • 1972- 1973
    • The first groups of young Canadians are sent to Cameroon, Malaysia, Mexico, Tunisia, and the former Yugoslavia.

      The first groups of young Canadians

    • 1981
    • Ten years after its creation, CWY is running educational programs between Canada and more than twenty-five countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

      Educational programs

    • 1989
    • The Netherlands creates a program inspired by the CWY model. Sweden and Great Britain follow suit in 1993 and 1999, respectively.

      Inspired by the CWY model

    • 1991
    • CWY runs its first programs with schools and youth groups. Since then, hundreds of high school and college students have had the chance to learn about international cooperation and solidarity through the CWY Global Learner program.

      Global Learner

    • 1994
    • CWY runs its first programs with partners in Central and Eastern Europe.

      Partners in Central and Eastern Europe

    • 1997
    • CWY participants become eligible for a college-level certificate through Cégep Marie-Victorin. Afterwards, several other colleges and universities begin to offer equivalencies and academic credit to CWY participants, confirming the educational value and practical application of CWY programs.

      College-level certificate

    • 1999
    • Prime Minister Jean Chrétien meets with CWY participants during an official visit to Poland.CWY becomes the lead agency of the NetCorps Canada International coalition, an innovative program focusing on information and communication technologies funded by Industry Canada.The first world conference of CWY past participants is held in Jakarta, Indonesia.

      Prime Minister Jean Chrétien meets with CWY participants

    • 2001
    • CWY celebrates 30 years of history. At this point, 20,000 youth had participated in CWY programs in over 60 countries around the world.

      CWY celebrates 30 years of history

    • 2003
    • With support from the Canada Fund for Africa administered by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), CWY creates fifty new trilateral programs with African partners.

      fFfty new trilateral programs with African partners

    • 2009
    • Jamie Rooney, a former CWY volunteer, returns from his program and crosses Canada on his bike to raise funds for CWY.

      Jamie Rooney, a former CWY volunteer

    • 2011
    • CWY celebrates its 40th anniversary through 40 events in 40 cities around the world during CWY Week, October 17-23, 2011. An official proclamation of CWY Week is announced in 150 municipalities across Canada.CWY increases its collaboration with Indigenous communities across Canada and begins to offer programs specifically designed for Indigenous youth.

      40th anniversary

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