Katimavik @ uOttawa

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Students at the University of Ottawa may have noticed four teenagers scurrying around their campus lately, hauling bags full of sawdust or balancing cans of compost, keeping tabs on the environmentally friendly recycling bins or replacing old recycling signs with updated ones. Who are these mysterious people and why are they darting every which way around the campus?

Katimavik has brought together eleven youth from across Canada to live and work in the city of Ottawa. It is a six to nine month youth volunteer program that lets youth from across the country experience diverse work placements and cultural differences, as well as being able to dapple in their program of choice, ranging from eco-citizenship to improving their second language to civic engagement. Working for the uOttawa’s Sustainability Department, four Katimavik participants are helping to implement environmental plans and spread the word that the entire uOttawa campus needs to make a difference to, well, save the world.

What’s the average day like for a Katimavictim at uOttawa? Trick question. No two days are the same for the volunteers, but they’re always busy. Participants might be deconstructing retro furniture at 200 Lees to recycle the separate parts, sorting through student’s donations to organize for the campus Free Store, or preparing old uOttawa coats to donate to protect homeless from the harsh Ottawa winters. The Sustainability Department is definitely helping put the old “reduce, reuse and recycle” that everyone knows into effect.

Jonathan Rausseo and Brigette Morin at the Sustainability Department lead the Katimavik participants into a two-month long environmental excursion throughout the mazes and tunnels of uOttawa. Geared and ready with science, knowledge, and plenty of recycling bins, the team is prepared to tackle any eco-dilemma that presents itself to them on campus and beyond.
- Kayla Doucette

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