Partner With A Team

Great Exposure For Your NGO!

Calling all “philanthropists, volunteers, passionate and compassionate world changers, advocates for humanity, trail blazers in social justice, do-gooders, and seriously committed lovers of our planet and the people in it!”

Every year in September, we invite high school teams from the Okanagan to take the Sustainable Development Challenge. They choose a cause they are passionate about and work with a team of their peers to create an innovative, sustainable project that will tackle one of the 17 UN’s Global Goals. The top projects will be presented in front of a community audience in February at the Sustainable Development Challenge and our panel of expert judges will choose the winning team project to receive $5000 to make it a reality. BUT… there is a catch! The student teams have to be partnered with a locally based organization that has a registered charitable designation. Teams work alongside the organization- (that’s YOU!) and gain knowledge and expertise and an understanding of your aligned goals. They find a “Gap in your Group” and fill it with their amazing, youthful, unbridled passionate plan! If their project wins the challenge, YOUR organization receives the $5000 prize money to make the project happen! If you are interested in investing in the ideas of our young people and partnering and supporting them through this process please contact us!

Why would I want my NGO to be involved in the SDC?

The SDC provides an incredible opportunity to bring public awareness to your NGO and potential funding to the specific project highlighted as part of the SDC.

Although the funding brought to your NGO (if your team wins) is very helpful, perhaps the even larger benefit is the potential for ongoing involvement.

Students as well as future volunteers and funders will be recruited as a result of the public presentation and media promotion. Students will provide volunteer research and assist in creating a promotional package and budget data to enable an excellent presentation.

With your assistance and support, the student team will catch a long-term vision for the goals of your NGO and the SDGs you are seeking to reach. When you encourage students to explore their passions through the opportunities offered by your NGO, they will become ambassadors extending beyond the scope of the SDC.

Be present for them and they will bring your (now their) project to success and future involvement can be cultivated.

NGOs are responsible to confirm their status as a registered Canadian charity with eligibility to receive/receipt charitable donations for the proposed project.

NGOs which are the fortunate recipients of the awarded funding must be accountable to ensure that the funds are used to pay for the project as it was presented during the SDC.

How Can I Interest Students In My NGO?

An excellent way to introduce students to your NGO is to contact us and be listed as a potential partner on our website. We also encourage you to reach out to young people you know in your own circles and encourage them to learn more about the work you do and invite them to form a team and partner with you. You can also attend our scheduled events highlighting NGOs.

For details see Calender. Or Contact Us

Support From NGOs

When the students are choosing an NGO and creating a project proposal for them, it is important that the NGO is aware that there is an expectation to provide some guidance to the students.

The NGO is potentially a recipient of a generous donation and as such, should be prepared to spend some time with the students, providing input and guiding them as required.

They will assist their student team in selecting a project that is in need, sustainable and able to be accomplished with the amount of the first place prize donation. The chosen project must fit into one of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The chosen NGO will be expected to:

  • Attend information events where possible to describe the organization and its goals. See calendar

  • Assist students with determining a project that would fit into the budget of the first place prize money.

  • Provide ongoing support and guidance to the students as required. Encourage student involvement with other community mentors as well.

  • Follow-up with students after the prize money has been awarded to let them know the status of the project.

  • Communicate the outcome of the prize money and how the awarded funds impacted the SDGs.

Here’s What a Past NGO Has To Say About The Challenge!

“I was honoured to be able to partner with two teams in 2018-19 as part of the Sustainable Development Challenge. At the beginning my goal was to hopefully bring awareness and funding to our work. I greatly underestimated the positive outcomes that came about as a result of being part of this challenge. I really enjoyed working with the student teams. They were incredible, passionate, hard-working and inspirational young people who were determined to solve the problems and to find the best and most sustainable solutions for the people in need. I greatly admired their determination. Some of the best outcomes from taking part in the SDC were the fresh perspective the teams brought, their creative expertise, greater awareness and support for our organization, enthusiasm, and new interest in our work. In addition to this, they absolutely transformed lives and communities! Taking part in this challenge as an NGO does involve some time and work. It is totally worth it, as the more you put in the more you get back, and the more successful your solution is. I found that meeting regularly with the team really helped. You do need to be committed to helping the teams. I would also suggest, for NGO’s with projects abroad, that you ensure that the communication with the project abroad is good, otherwise it makes it really challenging for the team to provide the best solution. I highly recommend taking part in this challenge. You will not regret it.”

- Gill Drakeford-Lewis | Community Outreach Coordinator | Hope For The Nations

NGOs who want to work with youth on Sustainability. See their great work here!


St. Vincent de Paul Society is a lay Catholic organization who is active in Social Justice works in Kelowna working with Ozanam Recovery House: a home for men struggling with addictions and mental health issues and Invincible Housing: a rent subsidy program. They sit on the board of the Journey Home taskforce. They are excited to work with youth on their initiatives. Contact: Mike Wilson and see the work of the society here


ISEE Solutions is a Kelowna based NGO that seeks to empower youth, especially girls with sexual health education primarily in Uganda. They provide safe and sustainable sanitary kits that bring dignity and health to girls during their menstrual cycle. This keeps them in school and helps them take control of their fertility. This organization believes that youth teams could bring new enthusiasm and a fresh perspective to their work and they are happy to work with an SDC team to find more solutions! Goals #5 and #3 Contact: Erika Van Oyan and see their work


Mamas for Mamas, founded in 2015 in Kelowna, is a grassroots organization that wants to change the landscape of poverty by creating innovative strategies to remove financial barriers faced by struggling families. A huge and enthusiastic team of volunteers have impacted thousands of families in our city through their volunteer run farm, at risk services program and their Karma Market to name a few. They would love to welcome a passionate team on board who care about Goal #1- No Poverty, Goal #3, Good Health and well being and #11 Sustainable Cities and Communities. Contact Megan Gullen and check out their work


Hope for the Nations is involved in 45 projects around the world and here in the Okanagan. With the Sustainable Development Goals as their guide they work with various organizations to bring global solutions and peace and prosperity for all people and the planet. They have worked with youth teams in the past and appreciate the enthusiasm and fresh ideas they bring. Currently focusing on projects ranging from Goal #2 Zero Hunger, #3, #4, #6 and Goals #7 Clean Energy, using solar panels in Mexico and Malawi. Contact Gill Drakeford-Lewis and see their work


Haiti in My Heart strives to relieve poverty in Haiti primarily by providing access to free education to enable children to pursue opportunities for higher learning. Focusing on Goals #1 and #4 they are looking forward to finding a youth to help them support the communities they care about. Ready to go with some great project needs ie: a chicken coop for sustainable food source and a school garden- they would like to partner with an SDC team to work together to find sustainable solutions. Contact: Louise Elliott See their work here

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Green Okanagan is the home for Okanagan sustainability. Focusing on Goals #11, #12 and #13, they use a social media platform to share ideas and solutions for those seeking to make changes in their own lives by living the zero waste model. They have a following of like minded citizens who are interested in learning about how to change mindsets on what it means to live sustainably. Their passion is infectious and they are ready to collaborate with a youth team to find creative solutions. Contact: Olivia Nowek Check them out here


Metro Central is the daytime “home” for some of Kelowna’s most vulnerable people. Metro believes in the value of every person and encourages dignity, safety, respect and acceptance by promoting a sense of relationship and community. With Goal #3 Health and Well Being as their focus, they are committed to finding creative and sustainable solutions to ease the issues their clients face on a daily basis. Youth teams will find a variety of opportunities to come alongside this passionate organization to make real change in their own city. Contact: Joyce Brinkerhoff and see their work

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Food for Thought is all about Goal #2 and #3. Feeding over 1600 school-aged children in 29 schools in the Okanagan through breakfast programs, backpack programs, living salads and fruit preservation, they are committed to eliminate hunger one child at a time. An umbrella group of Hope for the Nations, Food for Thought relies on its amazing volunteers to build a strong sense of community by supporting and empowering students to live to their full potential with a full belly and happy heart! They welcome an SDC team to work alongside them in ending hunger in our city. Contact: Jaden Cormack Learn more


B.C. Sustainable Energy Association, has an Okanagan chapter that brings together committed volunteers to support the sustainable production, distribution and consumption of energy in BC and beyond. They collaborate with various groups and think tanks to engage the public in their goals of accelerating our province’s transition to a lower-carbon economy. If Goals #7, 11 and #12 are your jam, then they would love to work with you! Contact: Erik Hrabovsky and check out what they are doing


The Ki Low Na Friendship Society provides for the health and well being (Goal #3) of all peoples through the development of community based services while encouraging the community to preserve, share and promote Aboriginal cultural distinctiveness. Health and wellness, family services, child development, homeless and housing support, central green housing and English language services are some of the areas their work focuses on targeting Goals #1, #2, #4, #8, #10 #15-#17!. They are happy to work with youth who have a desire to better their own community with creative and sustainable solutions. Contact: Kody Woodmass Learn more


With a strong focus on Global Goals #5 and #4, Her International empowers women and girls in Nepal and Canada through education. By providing educational opportunities for people living in poverty in Canada and abroad they are able to promote a better life for the females they help and in turn develop the entire family and community. Through various innovative programs, they are fighting for gender equality for the female heroes they work with. They are wanting to hear what youth teams would do to enhance their work. Contact Karen Velazquez See their work here

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By building affordable homes for families in the Okanagan for over 25 years, Habitat for Humanity Okanagan is creating strong and sustainable communities (Goal #11) They believe in human dignity, partnership, diversity and inclusivity and they model this in their collaborative approach to home building. They believe every family should have safe, decent and affordable housing. Their ReStore program models Goal #12 by keeping household items out of the landfill and selling them at their volunteer run store. Their NEW UP Project maximizes the ReStore donations by creating one of a kind furnishings by up-stying and repurposing donated items. Their work is local and impactful for families. If you care about Goal #10, Reduced Inequalities and have new ideas for them, they would be happy to work with a Challenge team to grow their non profit housing organization with your sustainable project. Contact: Lorraine Richmond See their work and

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The United Way is targeting several Global Goals right here in the Okanagan. They are improving lives locally by moving people from poverty to possibility, helping kids be all they can be and building strong and healthy communities- (Goals #1, #3, #10, #11 and #17) By using creative and diverse approaches to tackling issues like poverty, mental illness and social isolation, this organization is able to affect change. Their NEW campaign #unignorable is a cutting edge program that highlights the need to identify, talk about and act on those things in our society we often ignore. If you have creative ideas that are aligned with their mission and programs, then they want to meet you! Contact: Jude Brunt See their impact here and their new campaign #unignorable


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