As the alumnus-in-residence at his alma mater Trent University in Ontario, Bruce Kennedy inspired Canadian students to see the world and volunteer. He shared his life experiences of travel, global awareness and voluntarism with students, encouraging them to ‘backpack as a form of tourism’, and to consider poverty as a threat to the environment.
His hope, he said, was “to encourage young people interested in a career in international development by sharing my experience and giving them some ideas as to how to get started.”
Starting his career with Statistics Canada, Bruce volunteered with Cuso International in 1974; his first posting was teaching English at a rural secondary school in Thailand. He travelled to Manilla, Haiti, Sudan, Zaire, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Fiji, New York, Madagascar, before retiring with his wife in the country where his first volunteer placement took him—Thailand.