Learning through non-government and charitable organizations

Homeschoolers, like all children, can gain knowledge and insight about certain issues through non-government organizations engaged in work for humanitarian, environmental and other such causes. Resources offered by organizations can include educational programs, kits, clubs and newsletters.

Aside from the information available to them through these resources, kids can also learn the value of engaging in a joint project with others who share the desire to make the world a better place.

Inclusion of any organization on this list does not constitute an endorsement by OFTP. We share information about charitable organizations that offer educational resources and projects so that you may find those that correspond to your own individual values. However, OFTP will not wittingly list any organization that promotes hatred, prejudice or violence.

Encounters with Canada / Rencontres du Canada


Encounters with Canada is Canada's largest youth forum. Every week of the school year, 120 to148 teens from across Canada (ages 14-17) come to Ottawa, where they discover their country through each other, learn about Canadian institutions, meet famous and accomplished Canadians, explore exciting career options, develop their civic leadership skills and live an extraordinary bilingual experience. Over 87,000 youth have lived the EWC experience, so far. There is a new theme every week. To ensure a "mini-Canada representation," only a certain number of males and females from each Canadian province can attend each week, and registration is on a first-come-first-served basis, so it's best to register early in the school year to have a better chance of being accepted for the week and theme you want.

Médecins Sans Frontières
Canada (MSF)

402-720 Spadina Avenue
Toronto ON M5S 2T9

MSF, also know as Doctors without Borders Canada, is a non-governmental organization providing emergency medical and logistical assistance to populations at risk. The Canadian office is headquartered in Toronto.

It is designed to foster better understanding amongst Canadian youth of the hardships experienced by millions of displaced people in the world every day. Through understanding of the realities of displaced people, we believe, we can mitigate racism and promote tolerance towards refugees in our own home society.

Suitable for studies in: English, history, geography, science, biology, chemistry, religion, politics, law, drama, visual arts, media studies, health, civics world issues and math.

Roots & Shoots

The Jane Goodall Institute
P.O. Box 477 Victoria Station
Westmount, Quebec H3Z 2Y6
Contact: Valerie Girard, Educational Outreach Coordinator
Phone: 514-369-3384
Fax: 514-489-8748
E-mail: valerie@janegoodall.ca
Web site: www.janegoodall.ca

Roots & Shoots is a program founded by Dr Jane Goodall to inspire and involve kids in care and concern for the environment, animals, and the human community. Its members plan and participate in activities and service projects such as building birdhouses, working with local animal shelters, planting trees, cleaning up parks, volunteering at soup kitchens, or anything else they can think of that will help make the world a better place. These local activities can be reported for inclusion in the Success Stories section of the website. There are currently 4 stories from groups in Ontario.

Members can also participate in Partnerships in Understanding, a network of youth from around the world who correspond with each other to share ideas, solve problems, and enhance cultural awareness. Partner groups exchange letters, e-mails, photos, games, video and audio tapes, cultural artifacts and Roots & Shoots project ideas.

Roots & Shoots Canada members receive its newsletter, Green Ideas, as well as the Roots & Shoots Network newsletter.

Earth Rangers

Earth Rangers and Earth Rangers Clubs – for elementary school age kids. The #1 environmental concern for kids across the country is protecting animals from extinction. Earth Rangers is a conservation organization for kids, dedicated to educating children and their families about biodiversity, inspiring them to adopt sustainable behaviours, and empowering them to become directly involved in protecting animals and their habitats. Earth Rangers programs are designed to be fun, educational, and confidence-building, not only teaching kids about the environmental issues our planet is facing, but also empowering them to take action. Programs provide children with an engaging online experience, real-life conservation projects, and tangible activities that positively impact the environment. This provides a sense of belonging, optimism and proof that when we all work together, we can make a difference.