Some great initiatives and programs began at Youth Ottawa (formerly Child and Youth Friendly Ottawa) by the need for them being identified by young people. Many of these needs have now been recognized by the community who has taken on aspects of programs that have grown beyond our organization.

Tools 4 Schools

A decade of learning with a future for giving… after over ten years of dedication, Child and Youth Friendly Ottawa will no longer be running its Tools4School program.
This program was not only about collecting donations, but about teaching the community that there is a great need for our youth and their families. This awareness has grown past our expectations and more organizations are stepping up to help. Now that these initiatives throughout the city are continuing what CAYFO started, we are able to retire our program with the confidence that Ottawa families’ needs will continue to be met.

If you are still interested in donating to the cause or requesting school supplies for your children please dial 2-1-1, the Community Information Centre of Ottawa. They will be happy to connect you with your local agencies and initiatives that can serve you best.

Skates 4 Kids

Skates 4 Kids distributed new and gently used skates that were donated by the public to underprivileged children and youth. Over the 10 years that this program was running CAYFO was able to supply over 15,000 pairs of skates to children and youth of Ottawa who could not afford them on their own.
Our national past time, skating, is an activity that can be taken for granted. Ottawa has the luxury of the largest skating rink in the world but many youth each year are unable to enjoy it. Please continue to support the initiatives around the city that continue to help this cause!

CLICK HERE to find information about the new “Equipment for Kids” Program from Canadian Tire and your Ottawa Senators!


“USAFE” is a youth to youth education program designed to stop bullying. USAFE youth educators went into Ottawa schools of all grades to talk about the critical problems of bullying and harassment, and create school environments that are safer, more respectful, and more conducive to learning for all students. The USAFE youth educators focused on accountability for one’s actions and self-awareness as important tools in reducing bullying.
Research finds that youth-to-youth programs, as compared to adult-to-youth programs, are more effective when covering these types of topics. Each session had a lesson plan tailored to the individual needs of the school, which usually included videos and other engaging activities.

Youth Ottawa continues to believe:
  • Fostering non-violence and healthy decision making is a crucial element in the education of youth
  • Promoting healthy relationships and decision making is the responsibility of the entire community
  • Youth are their own best resource when sharing information and influencing attitude and behaviour change”

For more information about anti-bullying programs in Ottawa, please check out The Ottawa Bullying Prevention Coalition.

Ottawa Youth For Change

Ottawa Youth For Change was a project designed to provide young people with the knowledge, skills and support to carry out international projects within their communities.
Ottawa Youth For Change consisted of an annual conference on issues relating to poverty and hunger and aims to inspire youth to undertake an initiative to help out and make a positive contribution on a global level. It is an empowering opportunity to turn creative ideas into action and meet other young people who want to do the same. It was geared toward Ottawa High School students and plans to inspire and engage them to create socially responsible and international development projects that make a difference.

Youth Ottawa Speaker Series

The Youth Ottawa Speakers Series is an exciting opportunity for young leaders in Ottawa to network and connect with a variety of community leaders from across the city. A monthly meeting will be held with guest speakers ranging from entrepreneurs, politicians, charitable executives, and others. The program aims to foster networking skills amongst youth and open up new opportunities for mentorship, professional development, and future partnerships.

Youth Ottawa


The aim of FYBY News was to inspire a generation of empowered, critical thinkers that would use media to make their voices heard. The program provided Ottawa’s youth the chance to acquire knowledge about issues, opportunities and resources relevant to them, and share this knowledge with other youth members through the production of videos. These videos were showcased live through a series of community events, online and were used by educators to enhance the classroom experience of a broader youth audience.

We invited groups of youth (from community centres, high schools, organizations) to choose topics they care about and initiate dialogue and discussion with other youth, educators, and the community through the creation and presentation of their media product. The program encouraged youth to engage in a collaborative process with their peers while creating their media product which helps all parties develop team building and communication skills.