Virtual Speaker Series Fundraiser

As part of our 50th anniversary celebrations, we have put together a series of virtual panels featuring experts in international development and non-profit work. Speakers will come from our extensive alumni network as well as our inter-related network of young thought leaders. 

Join us for insightful discussions about Canada’s role in a post-COVID rebuild worldwide and what role CWY-JCM and other youth organizations need to play in that process.

To join the conversation, we request that you make a one-time donation of any amount to supporting Canada World Youth’s work in our home country and abroad.

Donate Here

Panel 2: The Future’s in our Hands

November 25th at 7 pm EST

The second event in our virtual speaker series, moderated by alumnus Alexandre Gosselin, consists of three young Canadian leaders from very different avenues of expertise. Together they will discuss their work in community-building and social entrepreneurship, while sharing their ideas on how to solve the issues facing youth today. 

Moderator: Alexandre Gosselin

Alexandre Gosselin has worked the last 3+ years in international development, living and working in China, Malaysia, Switzerland, Indonesia, and now, Thailand. Alexandre traveled to China in 2017 with CWY-JCM’s Young Canadian Leaders program and to Indonesia as a Youth Employment Officer with EQWIP hubs. He co-founded Envisage, a non-profit project dedicated to solving issues around ageism against women. Now, Alexandre works in innovation, human development, and sustainability at the professional training and coaching organization Insight Pact, in Bangkok.

Océane Yao

Océane Yao is a program manager at the Conseil Jeunesse Provincial (Provincial Youth Council) in Manitoba. She is currently in her third year of studies in sociology and Spanish at Saint-Boniface University. “I am passionate about encouraging young people in francophone minority communities to explore their French culture and about supporting our community in flourishing,” said Océane. 


Laurence LeBlanc

Laurence LeBlanc has an international development background, having worked in Ecuador and Kenya doing fieldwork about corporate accountability, gender disparities, and Indigenous empowerment. She holds an MA in political science and is currently pursuing her BCL/JD law degree at McGill University. As a researcher for the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, she is working on two projects, namely Colombia’s recognition of Indigenous legal traditions, and child labour rights as per the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


Claudia Larosilière

Claudia Larosilière is the co-founder of business and blog Découverte Lokal, formed in 2020 by Claudia and Jessica-Rose Almatas. The intial idea was to travel throughout Québec to meet local artisans and represent the province through their eyes, as a community that is open, creative, inclusive and filled with history. Soon, the women decided that the best way to support and share the talents of local artisans was to create a seasonal subscription box service. 

“At Découverte Lokal we are a bridge between local small businesses and their customers. A connected community helps everyone rise up,” said Claudia. 


Panel 1: Return of the Alumni

October 28th at 7 pm EDT

Our first panel, moderated by President and CEO Susan Handrigan, consists of four CWY-JCM alumni who have gone on to make significant contributions to the international development sector. 

Moderator: Susan Handrigan – Costa Rica, 1997

President and CEO of CWY-JCM

She is the founder of the advisory firm Handrigan and Associates and co-founder of the Head2Core Foundation: a non-profit focused on improving mental health through sport. Susan sits on the boards of several non-profit organizations and has worked extensively in community and corporate development.


Caroline Whitby – Sri Lanka, 1984

Manager of Income Security and Social Development at Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) 

Caroline is heavily involved in social support work for underprivileged communities and is passionate about environmental sustainability. Earlier in her career, she was the Executive Director of Fairtrade Canada, and she was the director of Enviro Centre, an environmental sustainability organization based in Ottawa. 

Chris Eaton – Sri Lanka, 1982

Executive Director of World University Service of Canada

Chris is involved in gender equality work around the world including, as a member of the Criterion Institute’s Power of Policy Advisory Committee, which was formed to guide and influence government actions on financial policies that promote gender equality. He also sits on the board at the Equality Fund, a non-profit which helps provide resources to women’s movements all over the world. 


Elly Vandenberg – Ecuador, 1982

Director of the United Nations World Food Programme Global Office in Canada

Elly Vandenberg is a champion for global sustainable development. Elly has played leadership roles in national, international, and multilateral global development organizations. She is the former VP of World Vision Canada, and she has served as Professor of Global Practice at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs.

Paul Davidson – Ecuador, 1982 & Kenya, 1986

CEO of Universities Canada

In addition to increases in research funding, Paul has achieved increased resources for campus internationalization and increased attention to issues of access and success for Indigenous students. Prior to his current position, Paul was the Executive Director of World University Service Canada and of the Association of Canadian Publishers.