29th October, Toronto - Young people in Canada had the chance to make a real difference in the world at The Global Development Village (GDV), which ran last Thursday and Saturday in Toronto as part of Scouts Canada's Centenary celebrations. The free event, funded by Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and organised by Scouts Canada and George Brown College, teaches youth that their small actions can have a large impact.
Youth can discover an issue that ignites their passion to create a better world through the GDV's hands-on workshops, activities and displays. Experts and representatives from local and international organisations, such as the Red Cross, CIDA, the White Ribbon Campaign and Earth Day Canada, will share their knowledge and love for helping others. Topics will include Human Rights, Nature and the Environment, Human Health, and Peace.
"For youth wondering how they can help change the world, the Global Development Village is their chance to come out and explore the great challenges of our time - peace among all people, human rights and dignity and environmental sustainability, and meet with organisations that are making a difference," explains Adam Baden-Clay, Great-grandson of the Founder of Scouting, Lord Robert Baden-Powell. "In his last message to Scouts, my great-grandfather challenged us all to 'Leave this world a little better than you found it'. I know that he would have been thrilled had he realised that over 60 years after he uttered those words, young people are still rising to his challenge," said Adam.
"The coming together of children and families at this year's Global Development Village goes right to the heart of what Downsview Park is all about," says Tony Genco, President and CEO of Parc Downsview Park Inc. "As Canada's national urban park in the greater Toronto area, we serve the community and the world by creating a place of exploration, innovation and learning through our simultaneous pursuit of economic, social and environmental sustainability."
The GDV is a programme initiated by World Scouting, which helps to create a tide for positive change in communities addressing the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.
Over the course of the last 15 years, the Global Development activities have become one of the principal elements of World Scout Jamborees. Since a pilot project was launched at the World Scout Jamboree in Korea in 1991, Global Development activities have grown progressively in both quantitative and qualitative terms.
In this spirit, the Global Development activities are designed to contribute to sensitising young people to global issues facing our planet in domains such as health, environment, human rights and peace. It is also designed to develop their skills, to enable them to contribute to improving these situations and to motivate them to take appropriate action on their return to their communities.