The YMCA Youth Peace Network (YPN) is a unique international leadership program that provides learning and volunteer opportunities to international participants aged 19 to 30 years old and provides opportunities for Canadian born children and their families to learn about global issues in an experiential way.

The program provides training in critical subjects such conflict resolution, human rights, global awareness, social justice, community development, asset building, environmental stewardship and global education. Youth gain a variety of perspectives on many issues, and the friendships participants make while in the program helps foster the growth of local, national and international youth “peace building” networks.

While in Canada YPN participants have the opportunity to connect to Canadian culture and family through a homestay with a local family. To help build capacity in the youth and to enable them to continue their work when they return to their home countries, youth meet with not-for-profit mentors in their area of interest, which may include poverty alleviation, HIV/AIDS awareness, and non-profit capacity building. The youth also volunteer with YMCA camps, allowing them to both contribute and learn. By sharing traditions, arts and information about development challenges in their home communities and societies, participants help Canadian youth and families to better understand the world and become effective global citizens.

Every program participant develops a concrete action plan to apply their learning when they return home. The program reaches over 3500 children per year, international youth participants and their host families, and over 40 community organizations.

The YPN program has won prestigious awards for excellence, including the United Nations John Gibbard Youth Award.



To learn more about how you can donate to support the YMCA Youth Peace Network please contact us at