The Canadian chapter was established in 2020 and is currently run by its second executive board. Despite the challenges of initiating and executing in the midst of the COVID 19 global pandemic the first executive board members made tremendous efforts in inaugurating the Canadian chapter of the WLCUY, and did so with great success. Some initiatives that have shaped the Canadian chapter in its first years include the Lebanese Social Buzz – a platform to connect Lebanese youths across Canada discussing their experiences and accomplishments, Beanies for Beirut – where beanies were sold to raise money for victims of the August 4 explosion, sharing weekly “Did You Know” facts about Lebanon, and a reconsolidation therapy fundraiser – partnering with a doctor from mcgill who provided therapy services to people in Beirut after the August 4 explosion.
In the early months of 2022, the current executive board members were elected. This board comprises Canadian-Lebanese youths in three of Canada’s major cities. The board members are as follows: Chloe Aboud as president situated in Montreal, Rebecca Janna as Secretary General and Pamela El-Feghaly as Vice President External, both in Ottawa, Joey Kalouche as Vice president Social in Toronto and Zena Chahrour as Vice President Marketing in Montreal.
The board has collectively decided on a strategy to continue the efforts started by past members. The main pillars at the heart of this year’s efforts and initiatives include the continued growth of the chapter especially regarding its reach to the youth across Canada. This will help in continuing to establish ties between youth members and their connection to Lebanon ultimately strengthening and empowering the diaspora community.
We hope to keep our initiatives impactful, educational and relevant to the youth, incorporating initiatives such as a mentorship program with professionals across various fields, a consistent social media strategy to engage members with each other and provide a source of information regarding Lebanese history, culture, social issues and more; and growing WLCUY Canada’s network by partnering with already established organisations such as student groups and community organisations, for in person or virtual events, charity drives, and opportunities for social connection.
By Chloe Aboud (WLCUY Canada President)