I am sure readers of this blog are not unsympathetic to the case for a government supported program which, at a time of very high youth unemployment, annually enables some 1500 young people to volunteer to work in not for profit sponsored community development projects across the country. Participants- aged 17 to 21 – are usually engaged in two projects outside their home community over six months.
The government claims that the program is too costly. But Katimavik’s numbers show that their $16 Million annual budget generates some $14 Million per year in community benefits, and that is before taking any account of benefits for the participants themselves. They gain valuable work and civic engagement experience and a real sense of our very diverse country.Â The cost per participant is only $77 per day, and the administrative overhead is just 8%.
It turns out that the federal government is not only reneging on their multi year commitment, they are also pulling the rug from under the nearly 600 incoming volunteers who were expecting to begin their 6-month program in July 2012.Â Most will have great difficulty filling in a big gap in a planned break between high school and post secondary education.