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Craig Frayne, Community Outreach Coordinator

This week, Horizons of Friendship visited students at Kingston Frontenac Secondary School. These bright students had some ideas for new directions in Canadian International Development policy. 

Over 50 students in both the Interact Club and the Grade 12 World Issues class learned about different approaches to human development and Horizons' projects in Central America and Mexico. 

We discussed initiatives focused on youth identity and expression, the importance of youth 

Students noted how much is in common between their own hopes, aspirations, and worries and those of youth in other parts of the world. Finding employment, career choices, relationships: they could identify with many issues raised. We also discussed some important differences and what students here can be grateful for: the ability to go to school, prospects for getting paid employment, even the ability to play sports or music is not available to many others their age. involvement in the development process, and case studies of Horizons' projects with youth in Nicaragua and El Salvador.

youth programs

The World Issues class was presented with a Case Study to develop a new International Cooperation Policy. Their ideas were both timely and well informed, and included:

  • Exchange Opportunities for students of diverse backgrounds to travel and learn about other parts of the world. To save money and time Skype calls could be used, for example, between students in Canada and those in other countries.
  • Job Training and investment in skills that create opportunity for young people in Canada and those in places where Canada invests abroad. It was mentioned that companies could play a greater role in this. 
  • Fair Wages: increased trade and investment will not translate into growth if wages are low and workers do not receive a living wage.
  • Inequality: trade and investment policies that address inequality within and between countries, as opposed to policies that aggravate inequality.
  • Environment: greater consideration for the environmental impact of trade and development policies, particularly with respect to the resource sector.
  • Youth Inclusion: young people, who form the majority in most countries today, should be included in formation of policies that will most affect them. 

(They plan to draft these points into a letter to send to their local M.P.) 

Thanks to students and staff at Frontenac Secondary School. Your questions and ideas were great and the future of International Cooperation is in good hands!