Andrew Wong

Andrew Wong

Andrew Wong
Andrew Wong Video
Click on the video above to hear Andrew’s story!

A two-week trip to the Arctic in 2010 fueled Andrew Wong’s commitment to environmental advocacy when he witnessed the direct impact of climate change on people living in the Canadian north. Andrew felt it himself at Nunavut’s Auyuittuq National Park as he waded through knee-deep glacial water on a trip organized by Students On Ice (SOI), a non-profit educational organization that encourages youth to cultivate respect for the planet.

Speaking to Inuit elders and youth, Andrew learned how melting sea ice threatens food security. As ice thaws, hunters are forced to shorten the hunting season and adapt to this new reality.

After this brief expedition Andrew says he “came back very changed… and thought for a long time about what he could do to help the Arctic”.

In 2011 he formed an alumni group for SOI as a political vehicle for those who have seen firsthand the destructive impacts of climate change. The SOI Alumni Delegation has already taken a seat at the table of major environmental conferences, including Rio+20, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development held in Brazil in 2012.

Talking to heads of state directly about climate change has been a powerful experience for Andrew – but this move from local fundraising to international advocacy didn’t happen overnight. Andrew explains this progression happened over time as he educated himself further, became more engaged, and committed himself to being an environmental advocate.

“I care so much about climate change because of my deep passion for the environment,” says the 21-year old Burlington native.

Andrew credits his father for cultivating this passion in him as a child by encouraging him to be outdoors – whether it was fishing, biking or simply enjoying nature. As he learned more about the state of the environment as a teen he became the head of his high school’s environmental club and took on small projects, including growing plants and selling them to fundraise for local environmental NGOs.

The St. Paul’s University College student believes that having a community of interest is vital to staying engaged and cultivating new ideas. Andrew is always brainstorming new ways to achieve his singular goal: “To do as much as I can during my lifetime to improve the state of the planet for future generations.”

Learn more about St.Paul’s University College here.

Learn about the other 2014 Global Changemakers here.

What does “making a difference” mean to you?

Ten Thousand Villages
For OCIC, “making a difference” means working collaboratively for global social justice, human dignity and participation for all.

We’d like to know what “making a difference” means to you? Tell us here, and you’ll be entered into a draw to win a $500 gift card to Ten Thousand Villages!

This $500 gift card was generously donated by Ten Thousand Villages, a fair trade, not-for-profit retailer working to improve the livelihood of artisans in developing countries by bringing their handmade goods to the North American market.

About International Development Week 2014

International Development Week (IDW) is a celebration of the many achievements of Canadians in promoting international development both in Canada and globally. IDW 2014 marks the 24th year of the week led by Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD).

This year, IDW will take place from February 2-8, 2014 and you are invited to be part of the celebration! Throughout the week you are encouraged to learn more about international development, become engaged, and share your experiences with friends, family, colleagues and your community. You can learn more about IDW 2014 here.

OCIC International Development Week Activities can be found here.
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Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

This initiative is undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada provided through Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD)