The Art and Science of Living Well, Together

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Charity Spotlight: This post was provided by Rachel Davey, Executive Director at The Haven, as part of our ongoing charity spotlight series.


The Haven, on beautiful Gabriola Island, has been a centre for transformative learning for over 30 years, bringing people together to explore concepts such as curiosity, compassion, self-responsibility, inclusion, empathy, embodiment and communication. We became a charitable foundation in 2004 so we could make our life-changing programs more broadly accessible.

Financial Aid

Financial Aid provides bursaries and interest free loans so people can come to programs who otherwise could not afford to. We believe that the diversity this brings benefits the whole organization. We come to see ways in which we are similar, the humanness that we share no matter what our life circumstances are. By doing so, we build empathy and compassion. It is infinitely valuable for all of us to understand the perspective of another person even if we do not agree with them. By doing so, we create curiosity and communication

 “If I hadn’t been given the opportunities to take the Haven programs, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I was in a very difficult place when I first came … What I have learned at The Haven has been so beneficial for me in terms of my acceptance of myself … I love the caring, truthful and honest way of the people who have been to The Haven. I love being around likeminded people who want to go forth in their life. I appreciate so much those people who have the finances to donate. I think they understand that someone else who doesn’t have the money can really benefit. I just want to say thank you so, so much for giving me the opportunity.” -Financial Aid recipient

Youth Leadership Program

2014 Youth Leadership Training
2014 Youth Leadership Training

The Haven Foundation’s Youth Leadership Program is an innovative way to teach hands on leadership skills to 50 teens each summer. Teens learn how to model self-responsibility, curiosity, inclusion, compassion and communication skills to younger children while helping to lead a children’s theatre workshop. They also take part in a teen program that helps them expand their awareness and communication skills. Every year there is a grand exploration of curiosity and self-awareness, self-responsibility and compassion all embedded in lots of fun and laughter.

Youth leaders are provided with ongoing training and leadership experience and operate in the wider world with a strong humanistic and relational foundation, which continues to ripple through society as they take their place as adults. There is also immeasurable benefit for the younger children who have the opportunity to be with older peers who are modelling a healthy form of relating.

“Thank you for creating the opportunity for teens to grow more into themselves, and for bringing my son into your team. I know it was worthwhile, that he learned, that he made new friends, that he has developed skills he did not have before. It takes a village to raise a child, and the Youth Leadership program at Haven has been an important part of my son’s village … Thank goodness for his village which has helped him to grow into a responsible, sensitive, compassionate, communicative and courageous young man.” -Parent of a Youth Leadership Program graduate

Accessibility and Sustainability


Haven Foundation is a residential education centre. We are doing ongoing upgrades to our property to improve accessibility and sustainability and to ensure that the property matches the high standards of the programs we offer.

Recent projects include:

  • A Natural Garden that will become Certified Organic in two more years.
  • A state of the art Forest Dispersal septic system that meant no trees were cut down during installation.
  • A new set of dorm rooms to become more financially accessible for youth and low income participants.
  • Better ramping and pathways for wheelchair and walker access.

To learn more about the Haven, please visit their Charity Profile Page » 


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