Want better for your community?

You have the power to make an impact!

Join ELYCA and develop leadership skills to turn your ideas into reality!

Do you catch yourself wanting more opportunities for social connection, wishing there was more awareness of the history or common struggles in your community, or dreaming of impactful policy changes? 

Create the change your community deserves and turn your ideas into action today by building a Youth-Led Community Project with ELYCA!

Creating an initiative doesn't have to be confusing or intimidating!

ELYCA offers step-by-step guidance, mentorship, and resources to support you!

Real Groups with Real Impact!

What change will you want to make?

“I wanted to introduce myself to environment of my peers who are passionate about making the world a better place and seeing the problems in our communities and trying to make a tangible difference. I wanted to make the weights someone has to bare in their day-to-day life easier to manage.”


Henricka, ELYCA participant and Kyrgyz Youth Group Founder

Check out some Youth Community Initiative's in action!

Watch the ELYCA documentary film

How Can ELYCA Help You? Learn More!

ELYCA’s main goal is to help you bring your ideas to life and promote positive real-world change in a local community by supporting you as you create a Youth Community Initiative!

ELYCA is here to guide you every step of the way – from refining your ideas and strategizing a plan for action to clarifying team roles and outlining resources and funding.

In addition to mentorship, participants will receive support through: 

  • Opportunities to earn up to $4,000 for Youth Community Initiatives
  • Networking opportunities with other ambitious, like-minded young people
  • Leadership development workshops and resources
  • Showcasing of your project through AHC’s communication channels.

To join ELYCA, participants must:

  • Be a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Be 15 to 30 years old at the time of application  
  • Have a community project idea for positive social changes in local Canadian communities 
  • Can contribute 3-5 hours per week to ELYCA 
  • We encourage youth from the equity-deserving groups, which include, but are not limited to: BIPOC, newcomers, persons with a low-income household, persons with disabilities, women/girls, and 2SLGBTQIA+
  • Not have previously participated in ELYCA

ELYCA defines a community as any group of people who share a similar background, experience, or cause. Every community has diverse strengths, challenges, and cultures – there is no single approach to community empowerment, in fact, there are many pillars of community action, each essential and unique to the well-being of individuals and the collective community. Some include:

  • Social Connection and Support

Forging meaningful bonds and developing opportunities for individuals to be heard and understood increases mental, emotional, and social resilience within communities.

  • Cultural and Historical Preservation

Preserving the history, practices, ideas, or beliefs of a group of people allows us to celebrate diversity and uphold community identity.

  • Education, Practical Resource Development, and Improvement Projects

Creating opportunities for individuals to learn and more readily act on behalf of their own interests creates a foundation for informed, purposeful action at the individual and community level.

  • Community Engagement and Policy Reform

Engaging community members in decision-making processes like research and mobilization efforts for change and policy reform ensures that our collective voice influences decisions, fostering a community that actively shapes its future.

In total ELYCA worked with 12 amazing group, all of which developed an impactful initiative!


1. GROUP: Sobjar Youth Group INITIATIVE: Sobjar Youth Program

What did they do? Provided support and connections to the youth within their communities, building youth resilience through sports and community events.


2. GROUP: Kyrgyz Youth Group INITIATIVE: Cultural and Physical Well-being Development Project

What did they do? Enhanced the emotional and physical well-being of the community by encouraging their active participation in swimming, stretching, and arts classes.


3. GROUP: Eritrean Youth Group INITIATIVE: Improving the Careers, Cultures and Connectedness of Eritrean Youth

What did they do? Tackled the community’s issues of systemic discrimination, lack of cultural continuity, and decreasing social cohesion via different activities and events.


4. GROUP: C.A.N Initiative INITIATIVE: Creating Accessibility for Newcomers

What did they do? Expose newcomers to winter leisure activities and give access to post-secondary education supports/resources


5. GROUP: Cozy Crochet INITIATIVE: Cozy Crochet

What did they do? Created inclusive spaces for African youth through the art of crochet.


6. GROUP: Pearly Promise Drive INITIATIVE: Pearly Promise Drive

What did they do? Improved dental health care education in young children and youth.


7. GROUP: Nepali Youth Group INITIATIVE: Everest Allegiance

What did they do? Encouraged diversity and inclusivity within the wider Edmonton community through different types of dance.


8. GROUP: Meliori Project INITIATIVE: Meliori Project

What did they do? Hosted career and skill-building workshops for youth in their community. They also will be directing youth, especially Mulsim youth, on how to deal with Western financial systems.


9. GROUP: Edmonton Nepali Sport Group INITIATIVE: Soccer Project

What did they do? Supported Nepali newcomer youth ages 12 -25 through engaging them into the soccer program.


10. GROUP: Sinkunia Youth Group INITIATIVE: Youth Leadership Project

What did they do? Built leadership and youth resilience through cultural workshops centered around cooking.


11. GROUP: Step Up YEG INITIATIVE: P.O.C (Paralympians of Colour) Digital Museum

What did they do? Created a digital platform about the history and resources of BIPOC Olympians.


12. GROUP: Black Student Association INITIATIVE: Black History Month Gala

What did they do? Hosted a black history month gala to celebrate the importance of black history within Canada.

Can't wait to make a difference?

Want to learn more?or connect with other interested
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