Vervegirls With A Cause

Name: Kaitlynn Anderson
Age: 15
Province: Ontario
Charity: Watercan

Kaitlynn is passionately committed to her work with Canadian charity WaterCan. “They teach the people, not just provide supplies to them. It’s like giving a hand up, not a handout,” says Kaitlynn. With all the work that WaterCan is doing with local schools, Kaitlynn believes their efforts could help break the cycle of poverty.

Kaitlynn’s passion goes beyond just her volunteer efforts with the organization. She is also doing her part by organizing annual fundraisers in her community and educating the media on the topic of poverty. “It’s not necessarily about the money raised as much as it is about raising the awareness,” says Kaitlynn.

“One person can make a difference. One person can encourage another to make a difference who can then encourage another,” says Kaitlynn. “Don’t get discouraged. Follow your heart and do what you think is right.”

Outside of her charity work, Kaitlynn has a strong interest in pursing a career in either oncology or architecture. She would also like to see the Millennium Development Goal, to halve the number of people without access to safe drinking water, accomplished by 2015.

Profile image courtesy of DAVID PATTENAUDE / The Petrolia Topic

Name: Cedar McMechan
Age: 18
Province: British Columbia
Charity: War Child

When it came to choosing an organization she felt passionate about, Cedar chose War Child Canada, not only for what they do but how they do it. “Their dedication to providing long-term, sustainable solutions through each of their initiatives is what makes them stand out amongst many other organizations,” says Cedar. “I also have great respect for their commitment to partner with the local organizations of each area they enter and similarly, their efforts in reducing unemployment by hiring locals to implement their programs.”

It wasn’t hard to get involved once she discovered what it was she wanted to do. “I’d say the first step is finding what issues you’re passionate about, educating yourself and then looking to see what work is already being done to implement change,” says Cedar. “Use the resources within your school, community and social network to find a group or cause you care about.”

Cedar is contributing on both a local and international level by volunteering within her community as well as with international organizations such as War Child. In the future, Cedar would love to take the interest she has in global issues and turn it into a full-time career. 

Name: Gabrielle Steeves
Age: 15
Province: New Brunswick
Charity: Free The Children

Gabrielle is active in the community and dedicates much of her personal time to two causes that are close to her heart and stand for everything she believes in – Free the Children and Me to We. “These groups of youths are working together to make change. They make it so easy to do what you want to do,” says Gabrielle.

Gabrielle is deeply inspired by the founder of Free the Children, who started the organization at 12 years old. “His determination has inspired so many people, which shows that one person can make a difference. With the help of others you’ve inspired, you can make an even bigger impact,” shares Gabrielle.

As the head of the humanitarian committee at her school, Gabrielle organizes a variety of awareness and fundraising events with the help of Free the Children and her team. If she could offer some advice to young women, Gabrielle would say, “Only you can stand in your way. If you tell yourself you can’t do it, you will never reach your goals.” Gabrielle is considering a career in the non-profit sector and would love to work for organizations like Free the Children or the UN.

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Get Involved

At Plan Canada, we know the power of girls. It’s proven that in developing countries, investing in girls is key to eliminating poverty. And it starts with girls and women here in Canada who care about the world. That’s why we want to enlist one million girls – and everyone who matters to them – in our Because I am a Girl campaign. Go to www.becauseiamagirl.ca and join the movement.
The viral global campaign to solicit grassroots ideas on how to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that most affect/impact on women and girls will culminate in the inaugural G(irls)20 Summit.  The Summit will bring together one girl from each of the G20 countries to Toronto this summer, ten days before the official G20 Summit. Their goal is to bring the economic prowess of girls and women to the attention of G20 leaders and ensure that the role of girls and women claims a place on future G20 agendas. Share your ideas and/or apply to attend. www.girlsandwomen.com
Leave Out Violence (LOVE) is one of the leading national youth violence prevention charities in Canada.  Through educational programs, LOVE helps youth who have been challenged by violence  to break the cycle in their lives, and then become community leaders of violence prevention.  Since LOVE began in 1993, these young leaders have reached hundreds of thousands of children, youth and adults reducing violence in schools, homes and neighbourhoods.  Their educational programs in Photography, Video, Broadcasting and Journalism teach youth how to document the violence in their lives and create realistic solutions to end violence.
Visit www.leaveoutviolence.com for more information.
TakingITGlobal (TIG) is the world’s leading online community for young global citizens committed to changing their world. TIG inspires young people to become informed and involved by providing capacity-building opportunities and a unique youth-driven platform which is  available in twelve languages. Since launching in 2000, 20 million people have accessed tigweb.org to learn, grow and realize their potential.
Visit www.tigweb.org for more information.