Ottawa, Ontario, May 5th, 2023 – The Rideau Hall Foundation (RHF) and Volunteer Canada are delighted to announce their new joint program to engage youth across Canada in community and volunteerism, ultimately leading to an ambitious new national strategy for youth volunteer engagement.

The RHF and Volunteer Canada share many values, including a commitment to volunteerism across the country and developing equitable community engagement opportunities. The Empathy Engaged program will be a product of this partnership and will engage youth across Canada in community and volunteerism. Through this partnership, both organizations seek to deepen their understanding of youth volunteer trends and engagement, and to share that knowledge with the broader non-profit community.

The program will amplify the voices of Canada’s youth and bring them a sense of belonging through community and volunteer initiatives. One of the first of its kind, this program will involve working with youth from six communities across Canada to initiate a dialogue around the need for a more robust national commitment to youth volunteerism. “We are very excited about this partnership and are excited to listen to the energy and insights that youth share about the shifting landscapes of volunteering,” says Megan Conway, President and CEO of Volunteer Canada.

“In 2021, the RHF and Abacus Data conducted a survey to better understand young Canadians’ evolving perception of community. We know from that research that when youth feel a sense of belonging, volunteer rates go up. The RHF is thrilled to partner with Volunteer Canada to put this knowledge into action and create more opportunities for young people to engage with their communities and the world around them,” says Teresa Marques, President and CEO of the RHF.

The Empathy Engaged program is an important initiative that will foster youth engagement through volunteerism while creating a sense of community for Canada’s youth. This work will lay the foundation for a national belonging and engagement strategy to support diverse avenues of volunteerism and community participation.

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Volunteer Canada provides national leadership and expertise on volunteerism. Their programs, research, training, tools, resources, and national initiatives provide leadership on issues and trends in Canada’s volunteer landscape. Volunteer Canada aims to increase the participation, quality, and diversity of volunteer experiences in Canada to help build healthy and resilient communities.

The Rideau Hall Foundation (RHF) is a registered national charity that brings together ideas, people and resources to celebrate what is best about Canada while working with partners to meaningfully improve lives and foster the conditions for more Canadians to succeed and thrive.