May 13, 2019

Five youth delegates represent Habitat Canada at the federal government’s first-ever Canada Youth Summit

We were thrilled to be invited by the federal government to nominate five youth delegates to represent Habitat for Humanity in Canada at the Government of Canada's first-ever Canada Youth Summit in Ottawa on May 2 to 3, 2019.

The five youth who represented Habitat Canada and their local Habitats at the Canada Youth Summit are all deeply involved with Habitat for Humanity two of whom are the children of Habitat homeowners.

Pictured above: Fanoos Nafez, Anna Orisko, Elizabeth Gaudet, Natasha Inq, Jarrett Earl

  • Anna Orisko, Habitat for Humanity Manitoba
  • Elizabeth Gaudet, Habitat for Humanity Kingston Limestone Region
  • Fanoos Nafez, Habitat for Humanity Greater Ottawa
  • Jarrett Earl, Habitat for Humanity Hamilton
  • Natasha Ing, Habitat for Humanity Waterloo Region
Anna Orisko
Elizabeth Gaudet
Jarrett Earl (r)
Natasha Ing

They joined 300 other youth leaders, representing service organizations from across the country, to discuss issues that matter to them, from protecting our environment and fighting climate change, to supporting good jobs and service opportunities, to building more equal and inclusive communities.

Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau opened the Summit on Thursday, May 2. His speech was livestreamed and is available to watch here. The Summit featured a variety of speakers and events ranging from a community service activity with a local service organization to a concert.

“I am honoured to have listened to the inspiring speeches of Tessa Virtue, Justin Trudeau, Meredith Adler, Kendal Netmaker, Maryam Monsef, and many more,” said Elizabeth. “I also had the opportunity to voice my opinion in many group discussions related to topics of gender equality, environment and climate change and employment.”

Youth Summit delegate Jarrett meeting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Youth Summit delegates Natasha, Elizabeth and Anna meet Canadian Olympian Tessa Virtue (second from right)

After each plenary presentation, youth were split up into six groups of approximately 50 delegates to discuss social issues and youth policy relating to the presentations, and respond to questions presented by the discussion facilitators. “It was a great way to see what everyone’s take on different issues were,” explained Natasha.

At the end of the Summit, the Habitat delegates walked away feeling inspired, empowered and hopeful for the future.

“It is an amazing experience to be in a room full of 300 youth that are all striving for one objective: to make our Canada better,” said Elizabeth. ”There was an overwhelming feeling of hope and confidence. Canada will continue to thrive because of its caring and passionate youth. People who are not simply FUTURE leaders, but leaders of TODAY.”

“Connecting with youth across the country at the Canada Youth Summit reminded me that there is power in numbers,” added Natasha. “We are the leaders of TODAY who can, and will, bring meaningful change to diverse areas. I am extremely fortunate to have been given this opportunity and I am excited to bring forth my newfound understanding to help Habitat for Humanity tackle the affordable housing crisis.”

Thank you to all five Habitat for Humanity youth delegates for participating in the Summit!