DOT youth from Africa and Middle East visit Ottawa, encourage Canada to involve youth as innovators

OTTAWA, Dec. 04, 2017 — Six Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) youth from East Africa and the Middle East are visiting Ottawa from December 4-14 to discuss the powerful impact youth have when they put their minds to solving challenges in their communities and countries.

The group will meet with Canadian influencers – including government ministers, Shopify, and Indigenous Youth Voices – to discuss how Canada can invest in the skills, knowledge, and networks youth need to become daring innovators, leaders, and entrepreneurs in their own communities and on the global stage.

As members of DOT’s movement of daring young social innovators, the youth will speak about the power of youth-led social entrepreneurship to build an economy of social good, create jobs and systemic change, and transform communities.

The group includes youth representatives from Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, and Lebanon who are inspiring leaders in their own communities.

DOT, a Canadian-based non-profit that works in 25 countries, supports youth to become innovators and leaders, and to create and apply digital solutions that have positive impact in their communities.

DOT and its youth representatives are calling for Canada to purposefully engage youth – particularly young women and Indigenous youth – as decision-makers and key contributors to policy and innovation programs.

Millennials will be the largest generation voting in Canada’s 2019 election, and nearly half of Indigenous peoples in Canada are under the age of 24. Globally, youth number 1.8 billion. Research shows that youth today are more educated, connected, and socially responsible than ever before.

Equipped with skills, knowledge, and networks, young social entrepreneurs are successfully tackling systemic problems that governments, charities, and the private sector have spent decades trying to address.

Ng’walu Kidayi, 26, from Tanzania, is one of the visiting youth. She shares: “As a young woman, I see first-hand how important it is to provide skills training to vulnerable girls in my community, where opportunities are few. Because I have this personal insight, I can build a solution that works where others have tried and failed. Supporting youth to identify and solve challenges with business solutions is a way to make change and actually solve the big issues that impact their communities.”

Anne Patterson
1-613-667-5854 Ext. 107

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