Volume 7 Issue 1 August/Août 2007
ACIC Update/Mise à jour
ATLANTIC COUNCIL FOR INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION CONSEIL ATLANTIQUE POUR LA COOPÉRATION INTERNATIONALE
by: Jennifer Sloot
Summer is finally here! While we usually look forward to a bit of a break here at the office, this summer with increased staff and lots going on, there will be continued activity. We are getting ready to launch the second phase of the First Voices Project, doing the background research for our new Books Beyond Borders Project, and getting ready for our many planned activities for the fall. For details on these activities, and others, please see below. ACIC Staff ACIC would like to welcome three new staff to our organization. Danita Daye joined us recently as our summer student. Danita will be working on planning for World AIDS Day and also assisting with planning for a youth conference that will take place in October. Laura Keresztesi is working with ACIC as our Public Engagement Liaison Intern. Laura has responsibility for recruiting for our First Voices Project and is also doing some communications work. In addition, she is doing the background research for our Books Beyond Borders project. Alejandro Gomez joined ACIC at the end of June as our Video Challenge Project Coordinator. Alejandro is working with the Inter-Council Network, comprised of the councils from across Canada, to organize our upcoming video challenge project (see details later in this report). Welcome to Danita, Laura and Alejandro! Internship Program ACIC received funding for 8 internship positions this year. ACIC will be partnering with the Nova Scotia Environmental Network,
L’été est enfin arrivé ! Bien que nous anticipons habituellement une période moins effrénée ici au bureau, avec le personnel plus abondant cet été et les nombreux projets en cours, l’activité continue à fond de train. Nous nous préparons au lancement de la 2e phase du projet Premières Voix, en plus de faire de la recherche de base sur notre nouveau projet « Books Beyond Borders » - (BBB - Livres sans frontières) et la préparation pour les nombreuses activités prévues pour l’automne prochain. Les détails de ces activités seront élaborés dans les paragraphes qui suivent. Personnel du CACI Le CACI souhaite la bienvenue à trois nouveaux membres de notre personnel. Danita Daye s’est jointe à nous récemment comme étudiante d’été. Danita va travailler sur la planification de la Journée mondiale du SIDA, en plus d’aider à la planification d’une conférence des jeunes qui aura lieu en octobre. Laura Karesztesi travaille avec le CACI comme stagiaire de liaison sur l’Engagement du public. Laura est responsable du recrutement pour notre projet Premières Voix et elle travaille aussi en communications. De plus, elle fait de la recherche de base pour notre projet BBB. Alejandro Gomez s’est joint au CACI à la fin de juin en tant que Coordinateur de notre projet DéfiVidéo. Alejandro travaille avec le réseau « Inter-Council Network », qui est composé des conseils à travers tout le Canada, pour organiser notre projet imminent de Défi-Vidéo (détails disponibles plus loin dans le présent rapport). Bienvenue à Danita, Laura et Alejandro !
Inside this issue/A L’Interieur: Collaborative Fund works: “A Cross Cultural . . . Day”
NSEN Reports: “Nova Scotia is Taking Action”
Past Interns Report Back in “Where are they Now?”
Canadian Red Cross Expands Campaign
Emerging Sustainable Forestry Practices in NS
Book Review: Enrique’s Journey
Bracelets from the D.R. Congo
First Voices Participant Reflects: “Guatemala’s Gift” Oxfam’s Summer Campaign
Speaking Notes on Atlantica
MSVU Summer Institute: Trip to China
Meet the Board
Read on . . .
Rescue Mission Canada , the Nova Scotia Gambia Association, GPI Atlantic, the Ecology Action Centre and the Institute of Island Studies. Interns will be travelling to Honduras, India, Bhutan, the Gambia/Sierra Leone, Chile, Ecuador and Botswana. We are almost finished the recruiting process, and most interns will be overseas in the early fall. 2007 Annual General Meeting This year’s highly successful AGM took place in Newfoundland from May 10-12. More than 40 participants enjoyed workshops, panel discussions, and networking opportunities presented by ACIC. We’d like to thank everyone who attended, and look forward to seeing more of you at the next meeting in 2008, which will be held in Nova Scotia. Board of Directors ACIC would like to welcome Myriam Hammami and Susan Hawkins as our newest board members. We’d also like to thank Ruth Mathiang and Ed Rawlinson for their work over the past year. Ruth has relocated to Toronto to work on her Master’s degree, and Ed completed his term with ACIC. We would like to thank Ruth for her work on the Membership Committee over the past year. Ed served as the Co-Chair of the board for the past two years, and we thank him for his dedication and hard work. First Voices – Aboriginal Youth Video Project The First Voices Project has drawn to a close. The documentary has been completed and we will begin screening it in Atlantic Canada in August. If you would like to host a screening in your area, please contact Jennifer Sloot at email@example.com. The three Atlantic Canadian participants had the opportunity to participate in the Tatamagouche Centre’s Youth Delegation to Guatemala. This experience proved to be valuable to the women in their understanding of the context and the history of indigenous people in Guatemala. Please see Eliza’s article later in this edition of Rendez-Vous for an account of their travels. A second phase of the project is currently underway. In this part of the project, we will look at youth and arts - including video as before, but opening it up to music, visual art, spoken/written word, photography etc. We will continue to work with indigenous groups in Central and South America and in Atlantic Canada, building on the relationships we created in the fist phase of the project. Up to eight participants will be engaged in this project. They will be asked to use some form of art to portray the positive stories that exist in their communities. The youth will come together in Canada this winter - to speak about their experiences, learn about each other’s cultures and work together to put the work into an exhibit that will travel throughout Atlantic Canada to build awareness in the general public. We anticipate that some of the youth involved in the project last year will take on leadership roles.
Programme de stagiaires Le CACI a reçu du financement pour 8 stagiaires cette année. Le CACI sera partenaire avec les organismes suivants : Nova Scotia Environmental Network, Rescue Mission Canada, Nova Scotia Gambia Association, GPI Atlantic, Ecology Action Centre et Institute of Island Studies. Les stagiaires vont se rendre aux Honduras, en Inde, au Bhoutan, au Gambia/Sierra Leone, au Chili, en Équateur et au Botswana. Nous avons presque fini le processus de recrutement et la plupart des stagiaires se rendront à l’étranger au début de l’automne. Assemblée générale annuelle 2007 L’AGA très fructueuse de cette année eu lieu à Terre-Neuve du 11 au 13 mai. Plus de 40 participants ont profité des ateliers, des discussions de groupe et des opportunités de réseautage qu’offrait le CACI. Nous voulons remercier tous ceux et celles qui y ont participé et nous avons hâte de vous revoir lors de la prochaine AGA en 2008 qui aura lieu en Nouvelle-Écosse. Conseil d’administration Le CACI souhaite la bienvenue à Myriam Hammimmi et à Susan Hawkins en tant que nouvelles membres du CA. Nous voulons également remercier Ruth Mathiang et Ed Rawlinson pour leur travail au cours de la dernière année. Ruth a déménagé à Toronto pour continuer sa maîtrise et Ed complétait son mandat avec le CACI. Nous remercions Ruth pour son travail sur le Comité des membres durant la dernière année. Ed a siégé comme coprésident du CA durant les deux dernières années et nous le remercions pour son dévouement et son travail acharné. Premières Voix – Project de vidéo pour les jeunes autochtones Le Projet des Premières Voix est maintenant terminé. Le documentaire a été complété et nous allons commencer à le présenter au Canada Atlantique au mois d’août. Si vous aimeriez organiser un visionnement dans votre région, veuillez communiquer avec Jennifer Sloot au firstname.lastname@example.org. Les trois participants du Canada Atlantique eurent l’occasion de participer à la délégation des jeunes du Centre de Tatamagouche au Guatemala. Cette expérience s’est avérée fructueuse pour les femmes quant à leur compréhension du contexte et de l’histoire des peuples indigènes au Guatemala. Veuillez consulter l’article d’Eliza dans le présent numéro de Rendez-Vous pour un compte rendu de leur voyage. Une deuxième phase du projet est présentement en cours. Dans cette partie du projet, nous allons aborder les jeunes et les arts, y compris la vidéo comme auparavant, mais aussi en ouvrant la porte à la musique, aux arts visuels, à la parole écrite/verbale, à la photographie, etc. Nous allons continuer à travailler avec les groupes autochtones de l’Amérique centrale et de l’Amérique du Sud en bâtissant sur les relations créées durant la première phase du projet. Jusqu’à huits participants seront engagés dans ce projet. On leur demandera d’utiliser un art pour faire connaître des histoires positives qui existent dans leurs communautés. Les jeunes vont se rassembler au Canada cet hiver pour parler de leurs expériences, pour en savoir plus sur la culture des autres et R E N D E Z - V O US
CIDA Voluntary Sector Fund Capacity Building Training CIDA has partnered with the Provincial and Regional Councils across Canada to deliver a series of trainings on working with CIDA as part of the recently announced Voluntary Sector Fund. There will be a series of focus groups happening throughout the summer/fall to determine areas of interest for NGOs across the country to determine the best course of action for CIDA in developing an advanced level training course with more specific topic areas (e.g. RBM training, gender, environment). Stay tuned for more details. ACIC’s Member Collaboration Fund This year, ACIC also introduced a small-grant fund open to members that would encourage collaboration. Six thousand dollars was made available to members through a competitive process that based acceptance on the quality of the project and the degree of collaboration. Projects funded were: “This is Important to Me – a Kenyan/Prince Edward Island School Photography Exhibit” – Farmers Helping Farmers and WUSC “Dalhousie Incorporated” - Nova Scotia Public Interest Research Group and the Society for Corporate Environmental and Social Responsibility "Panzós: 25 years later" - Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network, Tatamagouche Centre and The Maritime Conference of the United Church of Canada, World Outreach Committee, Mining the Connections Task Group “Viewing the world with a different lens: Gender-Based Analysis and Public Engagement” – Canadian Crossroads International, Lester Pearson International, Atlantic Centre of Excellence in Women’s Health, and CUSO Atlantic “ARC-A Cross-Cultural Learnings Day” - Tatamagouche Centre and Mennonite Central Committee Maritimes “South-North Sharing and Conservation of Indigenous Ecological Knowledge” - Institute of Island Studies, CUSO, and Mi’kmaq Confederacy of PEI REEL World Video Challenge This fall, ACIC, in collaboration with the provincial councils, is implementing the REEL WORLD VIDEO CHALLENGE, a Canada-wide online video contest for and about young Canadians’ point of view about what are the most important global issues, and how they relate to them in their daily lives. A toolkit will be produced and distributed to the seven regional councils throughout Canada and its networks. It will provide the tools to sensitize and engage young Canadians to global development issues; provide ideas about concrete initiatives and specific actions to make a change; offer basic video production resources and provide detailed contest guidelines. Canadian youth will be invited to submit a 2-5 minute video clip stating their point of view. Finalists will be selected from each province or region and will include an on-line voting process. The seven finalists from each age category will be entered in the national competition and a panel of well-known judges will select winners. Please contact Alejandro Gomez at email@example.com for more details.
pour travailler ensemble à la préparation d’une exposition qui va voyager à travers le Canada Atlantique pour sensibiliser le grand public. Nous prévoyons que certains des jeunes impliqués dans le projet de l’an passé vont jouer un rôle de leadership. Formation en renforcement des capacités avec le Fonds du secteur bénévole de l’ACDI L’ACDI se fait partenaire les conseils provinciaux et régionaux à travers le Canada afin de présenter une série de sessions de formation sur le travail avec l’ACDI dans le cadre du Fonds du secteur bénévole de l’ACDI. Il y aura une série de groupes de discussions durant l’été et l’automne afin de déterminer les secteurs d’intérêt pour les ONG à travers le pays et ainsi suggérer les meilleurs moyens d’action à l’ACDI dans la formulation d’un cours de formation avancé portant sur des sujets plus précis (par ex., formation en GBR, égalité des sexes, environnement). Restez à l’écoute pour plus de détails. Fonds de collaboration des membres du CACI Cette année, le CACI a également introduit un fonds pour de petites subventions disponibles aux membres pour encourager la collaboration. Six milles dollars était accessible aux membres via un processus de compétition où l’acceptation était basée sur la qualité du projet et le degré de collaboration. Les projets financés : « Ceci est important pour moi - Exposition de photos – Kenya/École de l’Île-du-Prince-Édouard » – Farmers Helpi ng Farmers & WUSC « Dalhousie Incorporée » - Nova Scotia Public Interest Research Group & Society for Corporate Environmental and Social Responsibility « Panzós : 25 ans plus tard » - Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network, Tatamagouche Centre, The Maritime Conference of the United Church of Canada, World Outreach Committee, Mining the Connections Task Group « Le monde à travers une lentille différente : Analyse comparative entre les sexes & engagement du public » Canadian Crossroads International, Lester Pearson International, Atlantic Centre of Excellence in Women’s Health & CUSO Atlantique « ARC – Journée d’apprentissage interculturel » - Tatamagouche Centre & Mennonite Central Committee Maritimes « Partage Nord-Sud et conservation des connaissances écologiques autochtones » - Institute of Island Studies, CUSO & Mi’kmaq Confederacy of PEI Défi mondial de la vidéo Cet automne, en collaboration avec les conseils provinciaux, le CACI organise le DÉFI MONDIAL DE LA VIDÉO, un concours vidéo en direct à l’échelle du pays pour et à propos des jeunes Canadiens et de leurs perspectives sur ce que sont les enjeux mondiaux les plus importants et sur comment ils se situent par rapport à ces enjeux dans leurs vies quotidiennes. Une trousse à outils sera produite et distribuée aux sept conseils régionaux et leurs réseaux à travers le Canada. Cela va : fournir des outils pour sensibiliser et engager les jeunes Canadiens vis à vis les enjeux du développement à l’échelle mondiale ; fournir des idées sur des initiatives concrètes et des actions spécifiques pour changer les choses ; et, offrir des ressources
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Move Your World Youth Conference The Second Atlantic Global Issues Youth Symposium “Move Your World” is taking place from Friday October 5th - Monday October 8th 2007. The purpose of the symposium is to enable youth from across the Atlantic Provinces to meet and interact with each other (ages 14 – 18); to learn more about global issues such as Peace & Conflict, Poverty and Food Security, our Environment, and HIV/AIDS; to develop skills and methods of activism on issues that matter to youth; and to share in an authentic global-learning experience. The Symposium will be held at Camp Mockingee (Falmouth) Windsor, Nova Scotia. If you know any youth that may be interested in applying to attend this symposium or would like further details, please contact Jessica Dubelaar or Danita Daye @ (902) 431 – 2311 or by Email @ firstname.lastname@example.org. This conference is sponsored by GPI Atlantic, UNICEF Canada, the Canadian Red Cross, ACIC and CIDA. Books Beyond Borders Books Beyond Borders is a project currently underway at ACIC. Book clubs will be established at various locations across Atlantic Canada where past interns and volunteers who have been abroad now live. It is hoped that the book club will not only be an enjoyable social experience and stimulating learning experience, but also a means through which past volunteers and interns can stay connected to the broader international cooperation community. The aim of Books without Borders is to create an opportunity for returned volunteers and interns to stay connected with each other and with the broader community dedicated to international cooperation, social justice and sustainability. For more information please contact Laura Keresztesi at email@example.com. If you would like more information on any of these events or activities, Rendez-vous Vol. 7/ No. 1 July/juillet 2007 Le bulletin Rendez-vous est publié par le Conseil atlantique pour la coopération internationale et financé par l’Agence canadienne de développement international. La politique en matière du bilinguisme du CACI consiste à utiliser les deux langues officielles sans traduction dans le bulletin d’information. Your comments on this formula are welcome. Editing and Layout: Laura Keresztesi Atlantic Council for International Cooperation / Conseil Atlantique pour la Coopération Internationale. 210-2099 Gottingen Street Halifax, N.-E./NS B3K 3B2 Ph/Tél: (902)-431-2311 Fax/Téléc: (902)-431-3216 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.acic-caci.org
de base en production vidéo, ainsi que les directives détaillées du concours. Les jeunes canadiens seront invités à soumettre un vidéoclip de 2 à 5 minutes faisant état de leur point de vue. Des finalistes seront choisis de chaque province ou région et il y aura un processus de vote en direct. Les septs finalistes de chaque catégorie d’âge feront partie du concours à l’échelle national et un jury composé de gens bien connus va choisir les gagnants. Veuillez communiquer avec Alejandro Gomez au email@example.com pour de plus amples renseignements. Conférence des jeunes - « Move Your World » Le deuxième Symposium des jeunes de l’Atlantique sur les enjeux planétaires, intitulé « Move Your World » (Fais bouger ton monde), aura lieu du vendredi, 5 octobre, au lundi, 8 octobre 2007. Le but du symposium est de : permettre aux jeunes des Provinces Atlantiques de se rencontrer et d’interagir entre-eux (14 à 18 ans) ; d’en savoir plus sur les questions mondiales, telles que Paix & Conflits, Pauvreté & Sécurité alimentaire, notre Environnement, ainsi que le VIH/SIDA ; développer des capacités et des méthodes d’activisme sur les enjeux importants pour les jeunes ; et, partager dans le cadre d’une authentique expérience d’apprentissage ouverte sur le monde. Le Symposium aura lieu au Camp Mockingee (Falmouth), Windsor, Nouvelle-Écosse. Si vous connaissez des jeunes qui seraient peut-être intéressés à participer au symposium, ou qui aimeraient recevoir plus de détails, veuillez communiquer avec Jessica Dubelaar ou Danita Daye au 902.431.2311 ou par courriel à firstname.lastname@example.org. Cette conférence est parrainée par GPI Atlantic, UNICEF Canada, la Société canadienne de la Croix-Rouge, le CACI et l’ACDI. Books Beyond Borders « Books Beyond Borders » (Livres sans frontières) est un projet en cours au CACI. Des clubs de lecture seront mis sur pied à différents endroits au Canada Atlantique, là où demeurent des anciens stagiaires et des volontaires ayant déjà vécu à l’étranger. On espère que le club de lecture sera non seulement une expérience sociale enrichissante et un apprentissage stimulant, mais aussi un moyen par lequel les anciens bénévoles et stagiaires peuvent maintenir une relation continuelle avec l’ensemble de la communauté de coopération internationale. Le but du projet BBB est d’offrir une opportunité pour les bénévoles et les stagiaires qui reviennent de l’étranger de rester en contact entre eux et avec l’ensemble de la communauté qui se dévoue à la coopération internationale, à la justice sociale et à la durabilité. Pour de plus amples renseignements, veuillez communiquer avec Laura Keresztesi à email@example.com. Si vous désirez plus d’information sur ces événements ou activités, n’hésitez-pas à communiquer avec nous.
Printed on 100% post-consumer, recycled paper
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A Cross Cultural Learnings Day by Margaret Tusz-King, Program Director Tatamagouche Centre
On May 5th, inspired and supported by ACIC Member Collaboration Funding, the Aboriginal Rights Coalition Atlantic hosted a Cross-Cultural Learnings Day at Tatamagouche Centre. This gathering brought together two groups: people who work crossculturally here in the Maritimes, with Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people; and people with such experiences from outside of Canada. People were invited to share, Ron Tremblay and Jeremias Tecu from their own experiences, what they were learning about working cross-culturally, to clarify best practices. The gathering was facilitated by Dr. Debbie Castle, an adult educator who has worked for more than a decade in interna-
tional development and intercultural education. The gathered circle included more than 2 dozen people from First Nation communities, Maritime communities, communities in other countries, churches, universities and schools. Some came with great experience; others came with great curiosity. All were interested in learning more about how to work more effectively and justly across cultures. Aboriginal spiritual leaders, gkisedtanamoogk and Ron Tremblay, opened the gathering with ceremony. This set the tone for the day, and all of the deliberations held unusual depth and grace. Building on experiences and shared stories, the day allowed participants to consider what they were learning from various perspectives or 'directions', as depicted by Medicine Wheel teachings. It would be impossible to briefly summarize all the learnings - they were challenging, surprising yet unsurprising, poignant, passionate, wise, critical, inspiring and thoughtful. Great connections were made among many participants, and it is expected that work and relationships will be transformed as a result of this gathering. Closing ceremony affirmed the value of this important gathering. Evaluations revealed great support for the re-offering of this sort of gathering, since we have so few opportunities to share and learn together, amidst the intensity and busy-ness of work. Special thanks to the ACIC, without whose funding, this gathering would not have been conceived.
ACIC Member Collaboration Fund ACIC is now accepting applications to its Member Collaboration Fund. Up to $1000 is available for public engagement projects jointly managed by at least two ACIC members. Application instructions can be found at www.acic-caci.org. The application deadline is September 15, 2007.
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Where They Are Now Former Interns Offer Reflection
Intern: 2005-2006 Canadian Partner: ACIC Southern Partner: NGO Coalition for Environment
Since 2003 ACIC has sent 16 incredible young people to work with our members in Atlantic Canada and partners overseas through CIDA's International Youth Internship Program. This program aims to develop the skills of recent graduates through providing them with invaluable international work experience. In the next few issues of Rendez Vous, we'll be profiling past interns to let you know where they are now. Presented in this issue are Alysha Shore and Angel Vats
1. Who or what was it that got you interested in international development? I have been interested in social justices issues from the time I was a little kid. I think my mother had a big influence on me and encouraged me to empathize with others and see the world beyond my own reality. As a family we had the fortune of traveling a lot, so I was exposed to different cultures and ways of life very early on. As a family, we participated in various types of community work. For example we volunteered at a homeless shelter). It wasnâ€™t until after my first year at university that I heard about International Development. After the Foundation Year Program at Kingâ€™s I did not know what to major in; a classmate told me about international development and it just made sense. 2. Why did you decide to take an internship position? As I was wrapping up my degree in international development studies at Dalhouise, I was naturally trying to figure out what was next. I had really enjoyed learning a lot of theory about development but felt that I could not really understand it nor know if it was something I wanted to continue studying without some practical overseas experience. I had heard of the CIDA internships and felt they would be a great way to gain the experience I was looking for. 3. What was the best thing about your internship? The best thing about my internship was the fact that I was so busy the whole time and was able to take ownership of my Page 6
work and address issues and concepts that are of great importance to me. It was a positive experience which provided me with a wonderful opportunity to learn and grow in so many different ways. 4. What was the most valuable thing that you learned? I learned that there is a lot of potential out there. During my time studying development at university I found that people got really negative about development and only focused on it's "ugly" side. I really wanted to do the internship to see if there was some good in the concept. I found that there is. There are so many good people who have amazing ideas about how to improve their communities and just need some resources to help them achieve it. While there are many obstacles, I think that there is a lot of potential to make change. 5. What is a story that you tell to people about your internship? During my time in Calabar Nigeria I volunteered with one of NGOCEs member organization, CAIV. Calabar offers free anti-retroviral drugs to people living with HIV and AIDS. Many people travel into the city from their villages for this treatment every month. The cost of transport is high and once they arrive in Calabar, they wait up to 12 hours for their drugs at the hospital. Often, they are too weak to travel back to their villages and do not have money to spend the night some where or buy food. CAIV has set up a ward at a hospital where they can spend the night, be fed, counselled and treated for free. It is called the Transit Bay. I made good friends with one of the clients there. I met her on the first night that I volunteered. She was so sick, she could hardly talk. She was on an IV, was hardly eating and could not sit up in bed. Over my time in Calabar, I saw her regain her strength and health and by the time I left she was a strong, beautiful, healthy young woman. It was a miracle and I still keep in touch with her today. 6. What was your most important accomplishment during your internship? While the funding at my organization was practically nonexistent, I was able to convince my colleagues to travel into village communities with me and educate community members about HIV and AIDS. We began discussions that had never taken place, and we were able to bring some people into the city to get care and treatment. (Continued on page 7)
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such as TB, Hepatitis, and HIV. It is very fascinating work.
7. If you were to do your internship over again, what would you do differently? I would have worked harder to make sure that the work I had done was carried on after I left. The person that I worked closely with and trained to take over, left the organization shortly after I left Nigeria. This was disappointing as I felt that my efforts to work with him were lost. I would have made sure that there were a number of people at the organization who were trained to take over.
9. Do you feel that the experience has helped you get where you are now? Why or why not? At first I was very discouraged. It took me a long time to find a job in my field. I had anticipated that my internship would have made it easier for me to find a job. In hindsight I think it did. While it took awhile to get a job, when it came it was worth the wait. And I do think my overseas experience contributed to my employer's interest in me. As well my experiences at ACIC with organizing workshops and conferences added significantly to my resume.
8. What are you doing now? What have you been doing since the internship? I returned home to Toronto and began looking for a job. I am now working for the Canadian Program on Genomics and Global Health: a global health research think-tank out of the University of Toronto. I love my job! I am working as a research assistant. My project is looking at the role of the private sector in developing countries in terms of addressing local health needs to improve health equity, specifically for diseases
10. What are your future plans? I will be attending Law School at York University in the fall. 11. What advice would you give to an intern just starting with ACIC? Keep an open mind, enjoy every second and appreciate how lucky you are to have this opportunity!
man communities is necessary for creating realistic positive ethical change. This could be thought of as environmental social work. I think that these interests lead me to pursue issues of international development. 2. Why did you decide to take an internship position? I wanted a non academic setting in which to apply my changing views from working exclusively in the wilderness to working within a community of people on similar environmental issues. My internship provided the opportunity understand the relationships between various levels of government, CIDA and the local grassroots NGO, Arbolando in environment related themes. It also enabled me to learn from my counterparts on how to apply and adapt the basics of ecological study to various members of the community like children, campensinos, women, and foreign international organizations. Intern: 2004-2005 Canadian Partner: Clean Nova Scotia, Dartmouth. Southern Partner: Arbolando, Tarija Bolivia
1. Who or what was it that got you interested in international development? My work and academic background are in tropical forest conservation and primate conservation. This has opened my eyes to the relationships people have with their environments. I came to realize that including human communities in ecological models and management plans is very complex. However, including hu-
3. What was the best thing about your internship? There are a number of highlights. One was having the opportunity to live, work and travel in Bolivia. Another was making life long friends with whom I shared common goals and interested. I learned so much from them. I was able to develop my professional skills and had the opportunity to learn Spanish. 4. What was the most valuable thing that you learned? One key lesson that I learned from the internship was that an internship is the vehicle for personal development and not making a significant contribution to international development or your partner organization. Another key lesson was that sustainable change is a long term (Continued on page 8)
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process and understanding cultural aspects and making positive relationships is much more important than just meeting work objectives. 5. What is a story that you tell to people about your internship? For six months I got to live in a beautiful, peaceful and bustling city in Southern Bolivia. I got to spend my days working with a small but dedicated group of individuals on helping communities decide for themselves how to improve their natural surroundings, protect their water supply and restore degraded habitats. We spent most of our time in the countryside where life was more difficult but also more beautiful. Imagine clear blue skies, condors, crossing riverbeds, and spiny forests dotted with agave and cactus. Imagine a cooking fire and soup pot where a smile between strangers comes easily and by the time you leave in the late afternoon of a very long day, you are called "Sister". Imagine a small apartment with a stunning 360 degree view of the Andes and a patio which was a perfect dance floor. Imagine making friends who have since become like family, and the opportunity to travel to some of the world's most unique and isolated landscapes where people have managed to maintain their identities, cultures and traditions in the face of extreme poverty and globalization pressures. Imagine hope for the future without leaving behind all that is precious of the old ways. Imagine refusing to give in to the homogenization that comes with globalization. Imagine the blessing of learning about yourself in this backdrop and working toward the kind of world you believe is possible. 6. What was your most important accomplishment during your internship? Perhaps my most important accomplishment was to, in a relatively short amount of time, make a contribution to ongoing work through provided resource materials and ideas that were not available prior to my arrival. However, also highly important were making lasting friendships and sharing and teaching others about Canadian and South Asian culture. 7. If you were to do your internship over again, what would you do differently? I would try spend as much time as possible in Bolivia working with Arbolando rather than spend as many months as I did in Dartmouth working with Clean Nova Scotia. While both experiences were valuable to me, the link between the two organizations was not as strong as it should or could have been made prior to the internship. I am thankful to have gotten to learn about waste manage-
ment and environmental education in the HRM but, it didn't really prepare me in any way to be able to do the same type of work in Bolivia. Furthermore, given the amount of time dealing with adaptation in a new country more time spent during my internship in Bolivia would have increased the potential to make a positive contribution. 8. What are you doing now? What have you been doing since the internship? Right now I am seven months into a two year CUSO placement working in Juticalpa, Olancho, Honduras as a Natural Resource Management and Environmental Education Advisor to the Environmental Unit of the Municipality of Juticalpa. Since the internship, I did a number of small contract jobs related to conservation biology research, I got active with a Adsum House and the Anti Poverty campaigns in Halifax, I travelled throughout Canada to explore potential employment opportunities and pursued my artistic pursuits of visual arts and creative writing. 9. Do you feel that the experience has helped you get where you are now? Why or why not? Yes, I do feel my internship experience helped me get my current position with CUSO. I developed skills needed to work with various government and non-government organizations, learned to read, write and speak Spanish, deepened my understanding of Latin American culture in general and increased my commitment to fighting poverty and inequality through an environmental ethic. My current position is allowing me to build upon all of these skills while having the opportunity to network and explore further interests. 10. What are your future plans? I would like to continue my work as an environmental social worker both in Canada and internationally until this area of research and practice becomes more widely accepted as a necessary tool for sustainable and just societies. I would like to publish some of my fiction and non-fiction. I would like to make an effort to be near friends and family long enough to organize a wedding celebration and I would like to adopt a dog and expand my garden. 11. What advice would you give to an intern just starting with ACIC? Try to learn as much as you can about your international partner and the host country before you leave Canada. Balance your work and social life. Travel as much as possible. Have as much fun as possible. Be considerate of the impact you have on others coming into their lives and leaving after what is often an intense but short amount of time.
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by: Eliza Knockwood
Eliza Knockwood is one of the participants of ACIC’s First Voices video documentary project. In May, Eliza and the three other participants from Atlantic Canada travelled to Guatemala with the Tatamagouche Youth Delegation to join their Guatemalan colleagues on a tour to screen the video, visit indigenous communities and share stories, experiences and ceremonies. Before we travelled to Guatemala, our Guatemalan (Hilda and Lucio) and Chilean (Soledad) colleagues came to Halifax for the final stages of the documentary production process, editing. As I had not yet been to Guatemala, I had no conception of how vastly different the living conditions experienced by our Guatemalan counterparts were from the living conditions I am accustomed to. I was not able to fully appreciated all of what Hilda, Lucio and Soledad must have been experiencing while they were here in Canada. Not once did I take into consideration the challenges they are faced with everyday in their countries, the simplicity of their way of life, the great appreciation for all they have and so much more. On the flight to Guatemala from the States everything started to take hold in my heart. I heard people speaking Spanish and I marvelled at the similarities in our appearances; our brown eyes and dark hair. My heart was pounding and overflowing with emotions as we flew over the capital of Guatemala. I couldn’t take my eyes from the plane window. I felt like a little girl again. When the plane touched the earth and the beautiful people cheered in thanks for a safe landing, I could not help but smile with amazement because that was the very first time I had ever witnessed this cheer on a plane. I thought to myself, “this should happen on every plane trip, I wonder why it doesn’t?” As we were waiting to leave the plane I looked at Krystal Francis and said, “It feels like we just landed on one big reserve”. We laughed at the commonalities we felt with Guatemalans and our Aboriginal communities back home in Canada. We even found that the boys unloading the luggage from the plane reminded us of the boys back home. They were VOLUME 7 ISSUE 1
horsing around with each other and laughing. I was overwhelmed with an emotion which flooded my body with warmth. A huge part of me felt as though I was finally home – home in a sea of indigenous people wearing the most colourful regalia and sharing the most welcoming smiles. I felt love and a connection to Creator the moment my feet connected with Mother Earth. There were so many stories shared with us while we were on the delegation. The experience for me was life changing, as it was emotionally challenging for my spirit. Being in Guatemala brought my own mother’s stories to life. Being in Guatemala made me recall the tears that flowed from my mother’s eyes as she reminisced about the richness of our culture; made me recall the tears as she spoke of the trials and tribulations her and our ancestors endured through the colonization of our aboriginal people in Canada. Being in Guatemala also brought my very own childhood in front of me as I watched the women and children surviving from what Mother Earth has provided them. Being raised by a single mother in a society that has been conditioned according to colonization and assimilation, has been difficult for me, but it has been all the more so for my mother. Yet she was able to teach us our history, instilling the important attributes of staying close to Mother Earth, holding our traditions close to our hearts, respecting and understanding our environment as well as what a gift it is to
be "woman" and "man" in this world as a Mi'kmaq and as a person. I received the greatest gift in Guatemala; a true appreciation for my mother and her strengths. I could not help thinking to myself as I watched the women and children in the villages preparing the food, tending to the babies, washing the clothes, singing and humming, smiling and laughing "this is the peace and strength that comes when you respect and trust Mother Earth and Creator, when you appreciate and understand one another's roles in surviving. Wow what a blessing it is to be me at this very moment, what a blessing!"......
Promoting Public Access to Essential Services: OXFAM’s Summer Campaign by: Jenny Gammon It is mid summer now and we are as busy as ever here at Oxfam Halifax. In addition to our regular projects and focus groups, we are also working hard on our dynamic outreach and public engagement summer program. You’ll see Oxfam volunteers out and about all over Nova Scotia, from the Stan Roger’s Folk Festival to the downtown Halifax waterfront, getting the word out about Oxfam Canada’s latest area of focus: Public Services.
countries over 200 years. However, more often than not governments have adopted market-led solutions that undermine the genuine provision of essential public services and have had a
Clinics with doctors, classrooms with teachers, working taps and toilets: these are all key aspects to fostering healthy and educated populations and often taken for granted in western society. However, these ideals, currently unattained throughout most of the developing world are at the very heart of making poverty history.
negative impact on the poorest and most vulnerable communities. Example: private sector involvement in health care or privatization of water resources.
In some countries the right to education, health and water have been promoted through free provision of public services and thus governments in Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Kerala state in India have made advances in only one generation that took industrialized
Access to public services relates very specifically to the rights and empowerment of women because their reproductive responsibilities put them in the position of greatest need for essential public services more consistently throughout their lives. Additionally,
their familial roles and responsibilities fundamentally place women as a key access point to extend these services throughout households and other societal structures. However, despite these important connections between gender and essential services, globally women are much more vulnerable to poverty and often last in line for any available health or educational resources. Women also bear the greatest burden of the additional work associated with inadequate water and sanitation. Oxfam believes that significant differences in public access to essential services can be made to improve the living conditions of women, children and men around the world. World leaders have already agreed to an international set of targets known as the Millennium Development Goals. This summer’s campaign seeks to educate Canadians about the issues of gender justice and public access to essential services as well as engage the public with opportunities to make a difference through awareness, advocacy, projects and petitions.
Pondering Atlantica by Brendan Haley At noon, on Friday June 15th, about 500 people gathered at Victoria Park to voice their concern over Atlantica: what is being proposed through the Atlantica trade agreement and both how the Atlantica meetings are being conducted and who are invited to participate in them. There were a number of speeches and performances at the rally. Following is a speech given by Brendan Haley of the EAC. It was received with resounding cheers and applause.
Hello my name is Brendan Haley, and I work for the Ecology Action Centre (EAC). The EAC has been a leading voice in Nova Scotia on environmental issues for 35 years. Over the past weeks, I’ve been asking myself what this Atlantica thing is really about? Though proponents of Atlantica claim that a main objective would be to improve cooperation within the region, it has become clearer and clearer that, really, it isn’t about that at all. Rather, it seems to be more about how a few business interests can try and get the scraps from the US and Asian economies - economies who are engaged in an environmentally, socially, and economically unsustainable trading relationship. Page 10
The vision presented by a couple of our business leaders seems to be to bring to Halifax goods produced halfway across the world to then ship them to another country (the US). In short: Nova Scotia becomes a super-highway for the Wal-Marts of the world. Is our highest endeavour to be a middle man? If we, as a region, are going to take any meaningful action against climate change (the challenge of this century) the Atlantica concept will quickly become risky and out of date. If Atlantica is about having this region become a conduit for goods produced in unhealthy labour conditions in Asia to be shipped to a consumer market in the US, we should be asking ourselves if this is environmentally sustainable and if this is intelligent. (Continued on page 11) R E N D E Z - V O US
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Does it really make sense for Nova Scotia tax dollars to be subsidizing the trading relationships of two super-power economies by building more and more roads?
Now, there is certainly a role for regional collaboration – but as I think I’ve already said, Atlantica doesn’t really seem to be about that.
Perhaps we could ask ourselves if all of these containers need to be carried across the ocean in the first place? Instead of shipping two different types of cookies back and forth across the globe perhaps we should just be exchanging recipes.
For instance, Nova Scotia has recently legislated a greenhouse gas reduction goal that is more stringent than the federal governments. Now, because the federal government has introduced deceptive and phoney industrial regulations, it will be next to impossible for Nova Scotia to meet its own target.
The Ecology Action Centre feels we have a duty to resist this irrational economic model. We know that the future of economic development of this region is not to carry more stuff, but to: a) make better quality products; b) to create jobs in new and emerging green industries; c) and to help our rural communities become more selfsufficient.
But all of the Atlantic Provinces as well as the New England States have the same target as Nova Scotia and every province except Alberta is promising to reduce emissions. So shouldn’t a top priority be to collaborate regionally to introduce real industrial regulations to fight global warming, and propel innovation in green sectors of our economy? But, instead we see a proposal from the Atlantica crowd and speeches from our Premier more focused on increasing emissions than reducing them.
We also recognize the social unsustainability of Atlantica, because we need safe and secure employment and active democratic participation in all aspects of the workplace. We need to transition towards a green economy, and when we do that, it has to be a just transition. And for that to happen we need more unions instead of less. We need to ensure unions have a role, so workers can support a green economy.
So it seems to be up to those here today, environmentalists, labour movement representative and anti-poverty activists to articulate a truly regional agenda that deals with the real issues of this century. It is up to us to consider how we can fight the climate crisis in a way that enhances equality and fairness in our province, in our region, and in the world.
We recognize the economic unsustainability of Atlantica, because the US is not going to go on being the debt-based consumers for the world forever.
by Jennifer Ferguson
May 30, 2007, Halifax – On May 3rd, a group of seven staff and students from Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU) boarded a jet en route to China to participate in a two-week Summer Institute at Ginling College, MSVU’s partner university. The Institute marked MSVU’s first, of what is hoped to be many, summer programs in China. “Studying abroad is often described as life changing for students,” explains Professor Michael Whalen at MSVU. “Students participating in the program return with increased selfconfidence, enhanced academic commitment, new career oriented skill sets and a better understanding of not only the host culture, but their own cultural values and biases.” The Canadian group began their journey with two days of sightseeing in Shanghai before settling into classes on May 7th. They received a warm welcome to the beautiful city of Nanjing by the
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faculty, staff and students of Ginling College, who had prepared an excellent, yet intense, two-week study program. The daily schedule ran from 9 am to 5:30 pm, focusing on Chinese History and Geography, Basic Mandarin and Tai Chi. The Institute concluded on May 19th with a graduation ceremony hosted by Professor Jun Chen, Ginling College Chancellor. Finally, the excursion to the Orient ended with a fourday trip to Beijing. The trip gave the students’ an opportunity to further explore Chinese culture by touring the Great Wall and Forbidden City, while giving the group a taste of bartering in a Chinese market! Aside from providing MSVU students with an enriching educational experience, the three-week trip was an unforgettable introduction to Chinese culture and cuisine. “This was my first time traveling. The Institute was so much fun!” said Jake Yorke, third-year chemistry student at MSVU. “I’m now hoping to return to China to learn more.” In September 2007, MSVU’s International Office will be hosting an information session on the 2008 Summer Institute. Please contact Jennifer Ferguson at 457-6467 for more details.
New Member: TakingITGlobal is an international organization - led by youth and empowered by technology. TakingITGlobal connects youth around the world to find inspiration, information and get involved in improving their local and global communities. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, with a growing worldwide presence, the organization's flagship program’ TakingITGlobal.org, serves as the most popular online community for young people interested in connecting across cultures and making a difference, with hundreds of thousands of visitors each month. TakingITGlobal is staffed by 20 employees and interns along with hundreds of volunteers and works with global partners – from UN agencies, to major companies, and especially youth organizations – to build capacity in youth in the areas of community development and artistic and media expression. TakingITGlobal also aims to make education more engaging, and involve young people in global decision-making processes. TakingITGlobal is uniquely positioned at the intersection of key global trends with the aim of: • Strengthening the capacity of young people as leaders and stakeholders • Fostering cross-cultural dialogue and understanding • Increasing awareness and involvement in global issues TakingITGlobal focuses on encouraging and facilitating various forms of engagement including local, organizational, educational, thematic and community engagement. Available in French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, English and Portuguese, the website offers a platform for young people from around the world to share their ideas, experiences and aspirations through the Global Gallery, Panorama publication, discussion boards and blogs. It connects youth to resources and opportunities that relate to their interests through a range of databases listing of organizations and events as well as financial and professional opportunities. We explore and create meaningful classroom implementations of technology with an international flavour and realworld application. By engaging educators as advisors, creating and archiving classroom activities, and providing online tools for students and teachers, we are enabling teachers to enhance their students’ learning using TakingITGlobal.org TakingITGlobal’s supporters have included: RBC Financial Group, Microsoft, the Canadian International Development Agency, Google, SalesForce.com Foundation, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Gordon Foundation, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the Canadian Dept of Foreign Affairs, Hewlett Packard, UNDP, and the Lifebridge Foundation. In 2002, TakingITGlobal was a finalist in the Stockholm Challenge, and a focus project of the World Economic Forum’s Technology Empowerment Network. TIG has been featured in press from TIME Magazine, USA Today, Red Herring Magazine, Fast Company, and Stern, to the South China Morning Post.
New Member: UNICEF Canada proudly celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2005. It all began in 1955 when the Canadian UNICEF Committee was formed to organize the first Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF campaign. This campaign, which now raises over $3 million a year, has become a time-honoured tradition – so much so that October 31 is National UNICEF Day by declaration of the Government of Canada. Through the decades, UNICEF Canada has grown into a recognized national symbol for the world’s children and the most visible United Nations presence across the country. UNICEF Canada’s mandate is to raise funds in support of UNICEF’s work for children in 156 countries and territories and build awareness among Canadians about the issues facing the world’s children. One of UNICEF Canada’s cornerstones is its Education for Development programme, which works through schools, special projects and the Internet to engage children and youth in international development issues such as HIV/AIDS, girls’ education, children and war, child labour and children’s rights. For more information on UNICEF programs please contact the Regional office at 1-877-786-4233 or (902)422-6000 Page 12
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New Member: Sarah Mills (Individual Member) A fortuitous encounter with an Ultimate (frisbee) player in my hometown of St. John’s, NL, led me to accept a placement as a CUSO cooperant in 1999. I worked in the area of child rights and protection with UNICEF Pacific, based out of Fiji. Seeing the difference UNICEF was making, I continued on, first as a UN Volunteer and then as a consultant, for a total of 5 years – both in the South Pacific and in South-East Asia. To prepare myself for more senior roles within international development, I completed a multicultural MBA program at the Australian National University. Due to family circumstances, my spouse and I then moved back to St. John’s, where I have been operating a consulting business. Chiefly, I contribute to projects that assist groups that have traditionally been disadvantaged – for example, laying the groundwork for an Office of Human Rights, Equity & Diversity at a local university, offering employment-skills training for persons with disabilities, and delivering public legal education. Meeting like-minded folk at the recent ACIC conference was energizing and I look forward to future ACIC activities. I am eager to deepen my involvement with development work, and am hoping to tap into some short-term overseas opportunities. Sarah Mills: Saraswati Consulting (.com) (709) 722-2668
CUSO MAY BE LOOKING FOR YOU
Founded in 1961, CUSO is one of Canada’s largest international development agencies. The non-governmental organization has sent 11,000 committed Canadians overseas to volunteer on poverty reduction, human rights, health, inequality, cultural loss and environmental degradation Today, skilled CUSO volunteers from Canada and abroad work with local partner groups to make change happen in over 24 countries in Africa, Asia, the Pacific, the Americas and the Caribbean. Current openings are listed at www.cuso.org
CUSO is pleased to announce the hiring of Chris Reid, a summer student whose job it will be to reconnect with past CUSO Cooperants who have volunteered their time and skills over the 46 years since the organization was founded. Former CWY participant, Chris Reid will work out of the CUSO Atlantic office based in Charlottetown. "Atlantic Canada has placed over a thousand CUSO volunteers overseas - they are teachers, farmers, fishers, government workers, doctors, retired civil servants and NGO workers.... The one thing they have in common is their life was changed through volunteering with CUSO. This summer I will contact volunteers to hear about their CUSO experiences as we prepare for our 50th Anniversary celebrations." said Mr. Reid.
If you are a CUSO Alumni OR someone in your family worked as a CUSO volunteer then please call or email Chris at 1 800 676-8411 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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Nova Scotia is Taking Action Report from NSEN by Tamara Lorincz Polls show that the environment has become a top priority for Atlantic Canadians. Environmental groups must be given credit because of the years of hard work they have done raising awareness about sustainability and the importance of clean air, water, and soil. Since 1991, the Nova Scotia Environmental Network (NSEN) has supported these dedicated environmental groups. NSEN is an umbrella organization of approximately 40 nongovernmental environmental groups. Our groups operate in all corners of the province: Yarmouth, Chester, Halifax, Pictou and Cape Breton.
This year, the Network celebrated our 15th anniversary and launched our inaugural Eco-Hero Awards to recognize the commitment of Nova Scotians to protect the environment. Mil Nickerson of the Tusket River Environmental Protection Association was given the Lifetime Environmental Achievement Award. Sheila Cole of the Environmental Health Association of Nova Scotia received the award for Excellence in Environment and Health and Allister Marshall of Chapel Island First Nation was given the Aboriginal Environmental Leadership Award.
NSEN brings these groups and individuals together to collaborate on environmental campaigns, to coordinate actions and to share resources. We have caucuses and working groups on climate change, health, water, environmental education, and law & policy. Our common mission is to create a sustainable future for Nova Scotia. Recently, our Environmental Education Caucus established an Education for Sustainable Development Working Group in the province. This working group helped launch the Atlantic Canada Sustainability Initiative, the Eco-Footprint Project in schools, and created an online public directory of sustainability resources in Nova Scotia.
Participants at the NSEN Summer Gathering holding up the principles of the Earth Charter, Yarmouth 2006
Last month, NSEN unveiled our new interactive web site, www.nsen.ca, with a calendar, job and volunteer listing, action alerts, links and resources. We also send out a weekly email bulletin called Eco-Connections with current events and news. Our web site and e-bulletin are great ways to learn about the upcoming events and activities of our members.
In August, the Network will host our annual provincial gathering with workshops to learn more about and enjoy our natural environment. The general public is invited to attend our gathering entitled Landscapes of the Future: A Sustainable Vision for Nova Scotia, which will focus on water and mining and will be held in the beautiful rural town of Avondale from August 10th to 12th. Our intern and Community Sustainability Officer, Sophia Horowitz, is the gathering organizer. She is the 4th intern that NSEN has had through the ACIC-CIDA Youth International Internship program. Sophia will spend 3 months with NSEN and 5 months with COHAPAZ in Honduras on a community gardens project. NSEN greatly appreciates the valuable contribution of our interns.
We know that the best stewards of our beautiful natural environment are Nova Scotians themselves. From caring for a watershed or wilderness area to volunteering for or donating to an environmental group, the people of Nova Scotia are taking action. Yet we need more help to overcome our environmental challenges and to realize a hopeful, sustainable future for our children. Nova Scotia has a new plan to become the cleanest, greenest economy by 2020 as stated in the new Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act. To achieve this ambitious goal, the government and the environmental groups will require the help of all Nova Scotians. The Nova Scotia Environmental Network can help you get connected and get involved. For more information, please contact NSEN at 902.454.6846, email@example.com or visit our web site at www.nsen.ca
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Canadian Red Cross Expands Campaign by Catherine Baillie Abidi
Canadian Red Cross Expands Campaign Against Malaria in Africa With Support from CIDA
nets in six African countries. These activities have been made possible through the generous support of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). It was recently announced that CIDA is committing $20 million to the Canadian Red Cross malaria program aimed at saving lives in Africa. The Canadian Red Cross estimates that the bednet program alone will save up to 88,000 people in Africa, mostly children.
Canadian Red Cross is pleased to announce the expansion of its successful malaria prevention program, which has distributed nearly 2.6 million mosquito
More than two million long-lasting insecticide-treated nets will be distributed free of charge by thousands of Red Cross volunteers as part of an integrated child health strategy in Africa.
Sleeping under a mosquito net is one of the most proven and cost-effective ways to prevent malaria. The mosquito net component of the program will complement other community-based interventions such as vitamin A supplements, measles vaccinations, and de-worming treatments. This new funding builds upon CIDA's previous contribution of $26 million to the Canadian Red Cross to support similar malaria programming in Africa, while developing new approaches to front-line malaria treatment. New developments include the training and deployment of volunteers to diagnose and deliver effective medications to remote areas.
Emerging Sustainable Forestry Practices by Hana Hermanek
There is a strong synergy between the East Coast and West Coast due to the generations upon generations who have made their livelihoods from harvesting renewable resources like trees. Moving from my home on Vancouver Island to Halifax to complete part of my ACIC internship, is lending me a true coastal forestry perspective. Although a city, Halifax feels like a condensed Canadian neighbourhood, where CBC radio hosts shop in the same grocery store as you, the ethnicities are diverse, people love the outdoors and the networks are tighter than a sailor’s knot. I’m wondering however, if East Coasters are as dedicated to preserving their forests, as West Coasters are? And how are Canada’s positive forestry changes being globally echoed? I hope to gain more insight into these questions over the next few months through my internship with the Ecology Action Centre (EAC). I’ve now been working for the EAC for a little over a month, and the biggest difference I’ve recognized between BC and NS is that forests here are overwhelmingly owned by private landowners, where as in BC much of the forested land is Crown Land. In some ways this plays to Nova Scotia’s advantage. EAC is promoting many of those landowners in their sensible decision to become Forest Stewardship Certified-meaning they use more ecologically sound methods of forestry. These small woodlot owners are truly dedicated to working with the forest and in the short and long term it has economic and ecological benefits. Encouraging large companies to obtain Forest Certification requirements is a little more complicated. Although many West Coast logging companies have already embraced Page 15
this concept, the ones on the East Coast have yet to come to terms with it. Surprisingly however, the largest pulp and paper corporation in Nova Scotia, Stora Enso, is attempting to get FSC certified. I began my internship at the EAC when my supervisors were in the midst of intense meetings with this giant logging corporation over its logging practices. This corporation has listened to some of the Ecology Action Centre’s recommendations on how to log better to achieve this certification. I applaud these communications and hope that they will lead to constructive outcomes. Of course, EAC still has concerns about some of Stora’s practices. Nonetheless, if Stora’s forestry is judged to meet the FSC standard, it will be a clear message to all the forest businesses in the province that sound forest management is feasible. I am encouraged by the convergence on forestry issues from the side of industry and environment on the East Coast. The brave souls at the EAC, who seem be constantly sticking their necks out to prevent more Old Growth Trees from being chopped by the axe may actually see some rewards. But on the (Continued on page 16) R E N D E Z - V O US
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other hand, I find the process demoralizing and frustrating. So many hours of peopleâ€™s lives are dedicated to stopping the same ruthless tree harvesting scenario from happening over and over again across the planet. While on the first half of my internship in Ecuador, I witnessed beautiful primary forest being converted to cow pastures at an unprecedented rate. Even on Vancouver Island, at the current rate of logging, all the Old Growth trees outside of parks will be gone in the next 10 years. In Nova Scotia forests we see a similar trend where less than 1% of trees left are over 100 years old. These are startling statistics but my questions are; why does clearcutting continue despite scientists ascertaining how devastating it is? Is it not common sense that tree-farms are not forests? Despite my recurring queries, I am fortunate to have the opportunity through this internship, to play a small part in promoting the conservation of East Coast forests. They are an essential ingredient to Canadaâ€™s natural heritage and the way we care for them should be creating more positive syn-
Hana Hermanek at First Lake ergies between the East and West Coast. And by improving our logging practices we can also set a precedent for logging being done the world over.
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Enrique’s Journey by Sonia Nazario (Random House, 2006) Reviewed by Laura Keresztesi In September I will be going to Tegucigalpa, Honduras to work with Madre Tierra as part of my internship with ACIC. I searched the libraries for novels with some Hunduran content and though there were a few that grabbed my attention, Enrique’s Journey was the easiest to access. I am certainly glad it was. The author, Sonia Nazario is a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, focusing her writing on social issues. She has won dozens of national awards. Enrique’s Journey is based on a Los Angeles Times series that won Nazario two Pulitzer Prizes—one for writing, the other for photography. Thankfully, Enrique’s Journey is a national bestseller, for the story it tells must be heard. This is a horror story of such mythic proportions that one would hope it was fictional, a mere figment of the authors troubled imagination. Unfortunately, it is not. In fact, the author is an award wining journalist and the story is a true account of a boy’s harrowing journey from Honduras to the USA to find his mother. It is a story of poverty and despair, love and hope; beatings, murder, robbery and rape, kindness, determination, family and humanity. It is the story of 48,000 children/year who make the dangerous journey from Central America to El Norte (the US) to find their mothers who they have not seen, often, for a decade or more. This journey is made via bus and atop violent gang ridden freight trains, in the blazing heat of the tropics and in the frigid cold of the mountains at night. In a seemingly non-partial journalistic tone, Sonia Nazario’s Enrique’s Journey sheds light on the complexity of emigration, illegal immigration and the concept of nationality in such a way where the stark truths need no embellishment to relate the urgency of the situation. Without explicitly stating a political point of view, Enrique’s Journey makes a strong case for better immigration policy in the United States. Nazario lives in Los Angeles. After discovering that her Guatemalan house cleaner left two children in Guatemala to come to the US, Nazario felt compelled to learn more about the stories of the women who, making up 82% of live-in nannies and 25% of house cleaners in LA, leave their children in Central America to come to the US to try to pull themselves and their sons and daughters out of grinding poverty. Because Central American society is experiencing a rise in divorce rates more and more women are left as single mothers living in situations of extreme poverty. Many of these mothers make the decision to leave their children with family members while they go to work in the United States. This enables the mothers to send home remittances for food, clothes and school supplies for their children and money for their parents and other family members. The mothers leave believing that they will only have to be absent for a short time. “The reality, however, is that it takes years and years until the children and mothers are together again. By the time that happens, if it happens, the children are usually very angry with their mothers. They feel abandoned.”
Enrique’s Journey retells the life of the 5 year old boy whose mother left him to work in the US. He is shuffled from one family member’s house to the next, at each finding loneliness and frustration. While family bonds are like steel in Central America and Enrique is always cared for, the hardships poverty stricken families must endure means care does not always include love, support, kindness and understanding. Enrique finds the effects of sniffing glue a welcome relief from (Continued on page 18)
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the troubles at home. After 11 years without his mother and only a dozen phone calls between them, Enrique decides to make the trek North. Equipped only with his mother’s phone number and leaving behind a potentially pregnant girlfriend, Enrique heads off to find his mother who is, by now, a figure of perfection in his imagination; a mother, he believes, who will love him and solve all his problems. For thousands upon thousands of Central American children, “finding them [the mothers] becomes the quest for the Holy Grail”. One third of the book is dedicated to describing the details of Enrique’s journey. While artfully configured, at times the level of detail (the town names and the names of people he meets) borders on excessive as such accounts are not softened by commentary. That being said, for the most part, Nazario laces Enrique’s personal struggles and triumphs with shocking statistics gained from various US based studies in such a way that no matter how depressing, one is driven to read on. It is as much a resource book as it is a true and powerful story that challenges society to confront the terrifying casualties that haunt issues of illegal immigration. Yet, somehow, Enrique’s Journey falls short of moving. It is perhaps the stick-to-the facts journalistic style Nazario employs that prevents the
reader from becoming too attached to the characters. Or, it might be that our lives here differ so vastly from the lives of Enrique, his mother and all the individuals presented in Enrique’s Journey that it is difficult to empathize. Either way, the book is not the tear jerker one might expect, but rather an impressive and much needed call to action. Nazario’s passion for the subject is clear. Her research is thorough and presented in a highly accessible way. She has put her life on the line to report to the world one incredible and dreadful side effect of trade policies and US immigration law. As one reviewer states: “This portrait of poverty and family ties has the potential to reshape American conversations about immigration”. Any reader will agree that such conversations must be re-assessed. To further the cause, there is website for Enrique’s Journey where one can view the award wining photographs of Nazario’s travels on train top while retracing Enrique’s path; pictures of the people she meets and the beauty she sees (find them at: http:// www.enriquesjourney.com/). Also on the website are the addresses of churches that help migrants. These churches accept aid from individuals and organizations. Currently, HBO is in the process of making Enrique’s Journey into a six part
This summer, think about these global issues and get ready for the
REEL WORLD VIDEO CHALLENGE an online video contest about what you think. Coming this fall! Page 18
Have you heard about the Millennium Development Goals?
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REGULAR MEMBERS Atlantic Centre of Excellence for Women's Health Canada World Youth/ Jeunesse Canada Monde Canadian Co-operative Association Canadian Crossroads International Canadian Executive Service Organization Canadian Red Cross CAUSE Canada Coady International Institute College of the North Atlantic Cooper Institute Council of Canadians CUSO Development and Peace (CCODP) Earth Action Extension Community Development Cooperative Falls Brook Centre GPI Atlantic International Family Farm Exchange International Health Office, Dalhousie University Lester Pearson International MI International, Marine Institute
Mikinduri Children of Hope Mount Allison University Mount Saint Vincent University New Brunswick Community College Nova Scotia Agricultural College Nova Scotia Community College Nova Scotia Environmental Network Nova Scotia Gambia Association Nova Scotia Public Interest Research Group OXFAM Canada Peaceful Schools International Rescue Mission/Mission Terre Canada Rising Tide Cooperative Ltd. Tatamagouche Centre UNICEF United Church of Canadaâ€“Maritime Conference University of New Brunswick - Fredericton University of New Brunswick - Saint John WUSC YMCA ASSOCIATE MEMBERS Clean Nova Scotia Council of Canadians Ecology Action Centre Institute of Island Studies, UPEI Katimavik Mennonite Central Committee
Newfoundland-Labrador Federation of Co-operatives PEI Eco-Net Sierra Club NL Forest Campaign Taking IT Global The Society for Corporate Environmental and Social Responsibility (CESR) Students Coalition Against War (SCAW) Students Taking Action in Chiapas (STAC) INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS Karen Bains Kate Darling Donald Fraser Lan Gien Tracy Hache Michael Kaozi Angelah Senkeiyan Kusero Florence Larkin Donna Malone Sarah Mills Karen Mills Jacqui Reeves Mary Rigby Eleanor Rose Roger Russell Njeri Thurubi Cristian Suteanu Caroline Vavro
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Social Justice Youth Camp Aug. 29 – Sept. 2, Wed. 10am – Sun. 4pm
You want to know more about what’s going on in the world. - You want to learn how to do something about it. - This is the camp for you. This is a dynamic and inspiring camp for youth (ages 15-19) who want to know how they can make a difference in the world. Lots of games and activities mixed with politics and action. Join youth from all over Atlantic Canada for workshops, games and music; discuss strategies against racism, design zines, build alliances and have a whole lot of fun! A diverse team of young adults from the region who actively live their lives working for social change will facilitate the camp. Coordinators include: Tionda Cain (social worker, with a special interest in working with Black youth; gender violence issues; youth programming in low-income communities), Paula Gallant (facilitator, with special interest in leadership skills for a just and peaceful world), Jackie McVicar (in-country coordinator for Breaking the Silence Network internships program in Guatemala). Cost: $200 (bursaries are available, no one will be turned away.) For information or registration, contact Tatamagouche Centre 1-800-218-2220 or www.tatacentre.ca
ACIC Board of Directors/Conseil d’Administration du CACI •
Chair, New Brunswick Representative, United Church of Canada – Maritime Conference Secretary, Member-at-Large, GPI Atlantic PEI Representative, PEI Eco-Net Treasurer, Nova Scotia Representative, Canadian Crossroads International Newfoundland/Labrador Representative, MI International, marine Institute Member-at-Large, Individual Member
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Grass Roots Initiative in the D. R. Congo Please note: In the last issue of Rendez-Vous a portion of Michel Kaozi’s article was obscured by the picture. Please accept our apologies. Here is the article in full.
FERCOMEX-Tcn was founded in 1997 as a nongovernmental group based in the Democratic Republic of Congo. FERCOMEX-Tcn stands for Ferme Communautaire et Expérimentale la Terre de chez-nous, legalized by the government Congo. Originally started as an experimental farm working with small farmers, today teachers, students, and artisans join the organization in efforts to make some money to feed themselves or send their children to school. Many parents cannot afford to pay the monthly fees associated with a child’s education. The country faces many obstacles: few jobs are available for the population and those who are employed often go unpaid for several months, sometimes even years. Founder Michel Kaozi, an individual member of the ACIC, says he strongly believes that the only way to build a better life for the Congolese and African people, is to allow them to become self-sufficient by creating small jobs.
ing what he could do to help his fellow Congolese. As a part of these efforts he has decided to open a workshop for producing copper bracelets to be sold to raise funds. These bracelets do not have a set price, and some of the money will help the artisans involved buy their daily bread while the rest of the money will be used to help the NGO launch other sustainable projects. If you are interested in purchasing a copper bracelet from this project, or if you have any ideas that could help his NGO bring sustainable development and reduce poverty permanently in the Congo, please contact Michel Kaozi at firstname.lastname@example.org
Michel reports that he has been going back to Africa since 1997 with what little money he had arranged to save, explor-
From the E-Bulletin: Atlantic Youth Leadership Camp ACIC sends out a bi-weekly news bulletin The Shire, Carleton, Yarmouth County. August 21st-28th to update its members on events taking Social Justice Youth Camp place throughout the region, as well as upTatamagouche, NS dates on jobs and funding opportunities. If Aug. 29 – Sept. 2, Wed. 10am – Sun. 4pm you would like to receive this e-bulletin Leading and Managing Non-Profit Organizations please write to Rena at Four Seasons Hotel Halifax, NS September 17, October 15, November 5 and December 3, 2007 email@example.com to be put on the list. CUSO Launches Global Partnership Fund The CUSO Global Partnership Fund will give volunteers overseas access to seed money to assist with their work. CUSO currently covers the costs of the Canadian volunteer and relies on other sources of funding. See cuso.org for details
Reflect and Learn the interactive Organizational Assessment (OA) website!
www.reflectlearn.org The purpose of this website is to improve learning by using organizational assessment (OA) frameworks, models, and tools for self-reflection. This website is designed for organizations interested in learning about the role OA plays in assessing organizational performance and diagnosing areas for improvement. Examples of organizations that have used an OA approach to learning and change include research institutes, civil society organizations, development agencies, government ministries, intergovernmental organizations and educational institutions among othPage 21
ers. The OA website presents a variety of approaches to selfevaluation and self-reflection and also offers guidance on how to select the appropriate framework and model for engaging in a wide variety of organizational reviews. The interactive nature of the website allows you to provide feedback as well as share your experience with other users based on your application and use of frameworks, models and tools. R E N D E Z - V O US
Meet the Board/Rencontrer le Conseil Myriam Hammami, joined board at the AGM in May 2007. Currently, she works with GPI Atlantic. We are very pleased that she has agreed to sit on the board and we hope that you will enjoy reading a bit about her in the following profile. Where were you born and where do you currently live? I was born in Montreal to a multicultural family and now live in the salty city of Halifax. I grew up in Nelson BC and also lived in Tunisia where my family is from. I moved to Nova Scotia 7 years ago.
How did you get involved with ACIC? Honestly, the first time I got involved with this great organization was through the AGM held in St John's NL. I have been aware of them for over a year by meeting many interns who have gone to Central America.
What are some of your current Projects? Currently I am responsible for the youth programs run through GPI Atlantic. One of the projects is organizing a youth delegation for a trip to Thailand to attend the 3rd conference on Gross National Happiness, an economic alternative founded in Bhutan.
If you could visit any country in the world, where would you go and why?
Myriam Hammami in Newfoundland.
That's a tough question but if I had the opportunity and there were no obstacles to get there, I would like to go to Palestine. The conflict in the Middle East has been a concern of mine since I was a little girl. My father is Muslim and very political thus Palestine was the topic of discussion around the dinner table often. Any work to help with the protection of women and children would be incredibly rewarding. It would probably be much more than a "visit".
Tell us about somebody who really influenced your life? My mother. She has taught me so much in my life on how to care for others, animals and the Earth. I cannot deny the importance of her influencing me to get into service work for those who are marginalized and for the environment.
What to you feel you bring to the Board of Directors? I was surprised when I was asked to join the Board since it already appears to be full of people with lots of wisdom and experience. Perhaps what I can offer is the voice for the Youth and for the environment since I have been in the field of environmental youth work for nearly a decade. Though my background is not rooted in International Development work I can bring forth a different perspective from the many local environmental and arts-based initiatives I have been involved with. I am also multilingual and can help speak for the Francophone communities in Atlantic Canada. (Version franรงaise sur page 23.)
ACIC is still looking for members to sit on some of our committees. If you have an interest in getting further engaged with ACIC, please consider joining one of our committees. We still have spots available on our Programs Committee, Finance Committee, and Fund Diversification Committee. Committees consist of one ACIC board member along with at least two representatives from an ACIC Member organization (or individual). The time commitment is different for the different committees, depending on what is happening in the current year. Generally speaking, we try to have at least 2 telephone meetings for each committee per year, with some email interchange in between. The committees make recommendations to the board, who make the decisions on strategic directions for the organization. Please contact Jennifer Sloot at firstname.lastname@example.org or 431-2311 if you would like more information. Page 22
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Oú est-ce vous êtes né et oú est-ce vous vivez présentement? Je suis née à Montréal dans une famille multiculturelle et je demeure maintenant dans la ville salée d’Halifax. J’ai grandi à Nelson, en C.-B., et j’ai également vécu en Tunisie, d’où vient ma famille. J’ai déménagé en Nouvelle-Écosse 7 ans passés.
Comment êtes-vous impliqué dans le CACI? Honnêtement, la première fois que je me suis impliquée avec cette merveilleuse organisation, ce fut lors de l’AGA à St John’s, T.N. J’étais au courant depuis plus d’un an grâce à des renontres avec plusieurs stagiaires qui étaient allés en Amérique Centrale.
Quels sont certains de vos projets courants? Présentement, je suis responsable des programmes pour les jeunes et gérés par l’entremise de GPI Atlantic. L’un des projets est l’organisation d’une délégation de jeunes lors d’un voyage en Thaïlande pour participer à la 3e conférence sur le Bonheur national brut, une alternative économique fondée au Bhoutan.
Si vous pouviez visiter n’importe-quel pays au monde, oú et pourquoi? C’est une question difficile, mais si j’en avais l’occasion et qu’il n’y avait aucun obstacle pour s’y rendre, j’aimerais visiter la Palestine. Le conflit au Moyen-Orient me préoccupe depuis que j’étais une petite fille. Mon père est Musulman et très « politique » ; la Palestine était donc souvent un sujet de discussion autour de la table. Tout effort pour aider à protéger les femmes et les enfants seraient très encourageants. Ce serait probablement beaucoup plus qu’une simple « visite ».
Dites-nous au sujet de quelqu’un qui a vraiment influence votre vie. Ma mère. Elle m’a enseigné tellement de choses dans ma vie sur comment prendre soins des autres, des animaux et de la Terre. Je ne peux pas ignorer l’importance de son influence quant à mon travail de services pour ceux qui sont marginalisés et pour l’environnement.
Qu’est-ce que vous contribuez au Bureau de direction? Je fus surprise quand on m’a demandé de siéger au CA, puisqu’il semble déjà être comblé de gens pleins d’expériences et de sagesse. Peut-être que je peux servir comme porte-parole pour les jeunes et l’environnement, étant donné que je travaille dans le domaine des jeunes écologistes depuis près d’une décennie. Bien que mes antécédents ne soient pas ancrés dans le travail en développement international, je peux contribuer une perspective différente grâce aux nombreuses initiatives environnementales et artistiques avec lesquelles je suis impliquée. Je suis également plurilingue et je peux aider à parler pour les communautés francophones du Canada Atlantique.
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Published on Nov 16, 2011