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Spring 2011 Newsletter Creating awareness by supporting internationalization and global learning opportunities for our students, staff and community

making a difference

DEPARTMENT Message from the Executive Director by Patricia Bowron


College of the Rockies Vision To be as spectacular as the mountains from which we take our name, inspiring and challenging learners to set and reach noble goals and become intellectually agile, socially engaged and empowered global citizens.

Department & Team Message from the Executive Director.............2

Test Your Knowledge........................................7 Statistics................................................16

Intern Mobility

Cover Collage....................................................3 Peru, Meghan Jones..........................................4 Tanzania, Sara Brown.......................................5 Ecuador, Catrina Ziesman................................6 Kenya, Kyle Holland..........................................7

COTR Staff Mobility

Tanzanian Consultancy, Brian Conrad...........8 Tanzanian Consultancy, Gina Bennett.......9

Student Mobility

Emerging Leaders in the Americas Blanca Rivera................................................12 Cesar Velez....................................................13

COTR Student Involvement

Hae Min (Mina) Kang......................................3 International Week .........................................16


Mineral Resources Institute Visit ....................9 European Union - Canada Transatlantic......14 UEES Forum and Program Launch...........15


Let’s Play.........................................................10 AfriGrand Caravan..........................................10 Muringato Primary School............................11 Spread the Net..................................................11

Photo Credits

Meghan Jones, 4; Kyle Holland, 7; Jeff Cooper, 11; Graham Knipfel, 9, 11; Shannon Parnall, 16; Monica Doyle, 16

Photos Courtesy of

Mina Kang,4; Meghan Jones, 5; Sarah Brown, 5; Catrina Zeisman, 6; Brian Conrad, 8; Polly Sutherland, 10; Blanca Rivera, 12, 13; Cesar Velez, 13; UEES, 15


Shannon Parnall

Spring 2011


n February 2011, Dr. Rubidge, President and CEO announced the completion and approval of College of the Rockies’ (COTR) new Vision and Mission Statements. The new vision statement acknowledges that COTR plays an integral role in supporting learners to become “socially engaged and empowered global citizens”. COTR International applauds the role that faculty, staff and management play in supporting global learning and social engagement, and so the theme for this newsletter is ‘Making a Difference’. As you will see by the articles, students and graduates, employees and community members are all, whether far away or closer to home, making a difference in our ever-shrinking world. Locally, the COTR Spread the Net Student Challenge team headed up by Suzy Prowse, a nursing student at COTR received an honourable mention for raising almost $5000, supporting the purchase of nearly 500 mosquito bed nets for Africa. And a team of students from Japan, with support from the Canadian Red Cross and COTR International, raised over $5000 in only 4 days for relief efforts in Japan after the earthquake and tsunami in March. Internationally, you will see articles about donated basketballs for Africa, about interns and employees volunteering in Africa and South America, and about international students volunteering in our community. College of the Rockies inspires and challenges learners by continuing to support involvement in international development, global mobility for our students and employees, and opportunities for students and partners to join us from around the world. We’re pleased to support you in your efforts to make a difference! Please enjoy our latest edition. DEPARTMENT DOINGS


We welcome Monica Doyle, covering Marifer Lam’s leave of absence Renovations have been completed and the Department is enjoying its bright new space 2

COTR hosted three visitors from Tanzania, five from India, one from Ecuador, and one from Victoria 14 interns will be travelling to Ecuador, Tanzania and Kenya in May 2011

COTR STUDENT INVOLVEMENT Volunteering Experience Hae Min (Mina) Kang


usy life... I am always busy because I not only study at the College, but I also work at the chemistry lab, Food Bank and Library. Sometimes I am tempted to sleep more or skip the volunteer, however, the feeling after volunteering makes me happy. Before I started to volunteer I was so depressed because I used to stay alone in my room. Volunteering changed my depression. I get confidence by volunteering now that I meet many various people who work with me. Moreover, I can understand social support for poor people in Canada by working at the Food Bank, and I make many Canadian friends who volunteer with me.

Mina at the Food Bank

STUDENT PROFILE Name: Hae Min (Mina) Kang Home Country: Korea Program: University Studies

I really enjoy volunteering because it helps

me be involved in Canadian society. I talk with other volunteers about culture differences between Canada and Korea, or other topics which are related with multiculturalism. By having this time, we get a much deeper and wider insight about the other culture. Volunteering involves me in the social community, it also lets us understand each other better. The Food Bank and Library also get a good worker. One day my friend told me that I was introduced as a good worker who works hard. When I heard that, I was so proud of myself. Consequently, volunteering makes everyone happy.

COTR INTERNSHIPS 2010/2011 •Since 2001, COTR has deployed over 130 interns and students overseas in career-related work opportunities (International Youth Internship Program) and more than 50 college personnel to organizations outside of North America for trade missions, professional development, exchanges, secondments, and consultancies. •In 2010, 14 interns travelled to Africa and South America (four in Kenya, two in Tanzania, six in Ecuador and two in Peru) as part of our three-year International Youth Internship Program funded by the Canadian International Development Agency. Their placements focused on private sector development (fair trade, community development, sustainable tourism, empowerment, international marketing, health), social development and environmental sustainability. COVER COLLAGE of Interns Top Row (L to R): Catrina Ziesman, with Dr. David Gehring in Luis Vernaza Hospital, Guayaquil, Ecuador; Meghan Jones, with the family she stayed with near Juliaca, from the community Alcopunka, Peru; Jeff Wilson, visiting the kids at Muringato Primary School, Nyeri, Kenya Second Row (L to R): Interns Krista Hewitt, Matt Carwana, Kyle Holland, and Jeff Wilson at Kimathi University College of Technology, Kenya; Matt Carwana, Nyanza province, Kenya at the local dispensary doing HIV testing; Krista Hewitt (far right), with Matt Carwana (far left) and the group that works at the Nyaribo Dispensary after planting a new kitchen garden, Kenya; Marianne Pemberton, at a monkey/animal rehabilitation centre called Paseo de los Monos in Puyo, Ecuador Third Row (L to R): Emma Wright, at Mitad del Mundo, the Equator in Ecuador; Sara Saffarian, dressed in traditional clothing of the area, Pisac, Ecuador; Sope Ogunrinde, with a Rotary intern, program supervisor Isabel and the President of Rotary, Aparicio Ochoa, at a medical brigade in a rural town called Salitre, Ecuador Fourth Row (L to R): Catherine Foster, at a spice farm in Zanzibar; Anthony Persaud, at Data de Villamil, Guayas, with a group of women organizing a Women’s Committee; Joya Sauder (centre) with CIDA interns Emma Wright from COTR (right) and Shazia Khan intern from Niagara College (left), participating in a CSR Workshop presented by Sonja Janousek, COTR International Project Specialist in Guayaquil, Ecuador; Sara Brown, at Askari Monument in the city centre of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania Spring 2011


INTERN MOBILITY From Lake Titicaca to Lima...A Canadian in Peru Meghan Jones INTERN PROFILE Name: Meghan Jones IYIP Position: Sustainable Tourism Officer; Minka Fair Trade, Peru Graduate Year: 2010


They have embraced tourism not only as a source of income, but as a way to preserve their culture and to share it with incoming visitors. The tranquility of the island of Taquile, on Lake Titicaca, is in sharp contrast to the noise and commotion of the metropolitan city of Lima where I have been living since August. Thanks to College of the Rockies (COTR), I was given the opportunity to participate in a CIDA (Canadian International Development Association) internship with Minka Fair Trade, the oldest fair trade non-government organization (NGO) in Peru. Minka provides a fair wage and stable source of income to almost 3,000 impoverished artisans living in Peru through the sale of their traditional Andean crafts as well as through tourism. Utilizing my background in tourism and education in International Studies from Simon Fraser University, I have been working as a sustainable tourism officer for Minka.

t’s 6 am and I wake up, warmly wrapped in the folds of four alpaca blankets. I listen to the soft baying of sheep as warm rays of sunshine rise across the cool surface of Lake Titicaca in southern Peru. The family I’m staying with has long since finished their daily 200 metre vertical trek to bring up fresh water from the lake. They have prepared a delicious meal of quinoa soup and takti bread which awaits me on the table in their two-room home built from local red clay and grass. Soon the families in the community will start work on their handicrafts, knitting and w e a v i n g traditional garments for tourists, as well as tending to their agricultural land which provides sustenance for their entire family. Despite living in conditions of extreme poverty, the Taquileños are full of energy The mothers pass on weaving and laughter, skills to their daughters, and focusing their fathers pass on knitting skills lives on both to their sons on Taquile island. work and family.

Spring 2011

While I am primarily based at Minka’s head office in Lima, I have also had the opportunity to travel to various communities in the south - near Cusco, Lake Titicaca, and Juliaca to meet directly with artisans who provide fair trade tourism experiences through Minka tours. Meeting with them allowed me the opportunity to share my knowledge and education with the communities, as well as giving them the chance to teach me about their lives, abilities and aspirations. During my community visits, 4

Meghan with her guide Valerio, dressed in the traditional garments of Taquilenos. To this day, almost all the men on the island dress this way. He is teaching some farming techniques.

I provided insight into North American tourists, consumer trends, and sustainable tourism practices which the artisans will be able to use to improve their services and thus enhance the tourist’s experience while there. This will enable the communities to increase their economic growth through tourism. The individuals I met in these communities were excited to be given the opportunity to voice their opinions and speak with an intern from Canada. They sincerely appreciated that I listened to their ideas, which I brought back to Minka and will incorporate into their marketing plans, website development, and future tourism endeavours. This year, COTR sent two interns to Peru with the common goal of

INTERN MOBILITY A Canadian in Peru (Continued) Meghan Jones Continued next page... ....Continued from previous page providing valuable servicesto these organizations as well as giving the interns the opportunity to gain international experience and career training. While the value to the interns themselves is immeasurable, COTR has also provided an incredible opportunity to the host country and organization to share knowledge, skills, language and culture between both Peruvians and Canadians. I am incredibly grateful to the College

and humbled by those I have met here in Peru. Whether on the shores of Lake Titicaca, at the base of the Pukara ruins near Cusco, or in the hustle and bustle of Lima, I am excited to continue working closely with the Minka artisans to help improve their living standards and increase economic growth through sustainable tourism and the sale of fair trade goods. This was the experience of a lifetime for me and I would recommend it to everyone as an excellent opportunity to round off their education. At Machu Picchu. A day trip while visiting the community of Cuyo Grande nearby.

Tanzania National College of Tourism Students Go Camping Sara Brown INTERN PROFILE Name: Sara Brown IYIP Position: Development Officer - International Marketing; Minka Fair Trade, Peru Graduate Year: 2009


n Friday, February 11th, 2011 the Tour Guiding Operations students at the National College of Tourism (NCT) in Dar es Salaam,Tanzania, experienced their first outdoor camping experience, which proved a memorable night for all who participated! Arriving at NCT in September of 2010 I was slightly nervous about how I was going to meet all of the objectives set out for my internship. Though my internship has provided many rewarding experiences including the creation of a studentled Eco-Club and assisting the staff of Spring 2011

NCT in hosting an open house for hospitality and tourism industry professionals, my most rewarding and challenging experience has been to create and teach a course on tour guiding skills. When the idea was initially proposed to Agnes Mziray (CEO of NCT) and Eunice Ulomi (Director of Studies) I was wondering how I would be able to research, design and implement a course that would keep student’s attention, but most of all I was unsure of my ability to build relationships with the students of the Tour Guiding Operations (TGO) class who have lived a life so very different from my own. Over the course of the six months the students participated in modules,learning and building skills relating to public speaking, risk management, customer care, as well as entrepreneurship and employability skills. After the arrival of new camping gear which NCT received as part of the SAFARI (Sustainable Activities For A Rising 5

Industry) project, a partnership with College of the Rockies and Niagara College, students were eager to begin building their field skills. So working with the NCT staff and administration, I was able to organize an overnight camping

Happy Campers class. About 23 TGO students were joined by myself and three other CIDA interns to start a wonderful night of camping experience.

Continued on page 8

INTERN MOBILITY Ecuador Catrina Ziesman INTERN PROFILE Name: Catrina Ziesman IYIP Position: Health Education Assistant; Club Rotario de Guayaquil, Ecuador Graduate Year: 2008


fter my six-month CIDA/ IYIP internship with COTR in Guayaquil Ecuador, I realized what a significant role that a Canadian intern’s presence has upon the community in which they are stationed. I spent my time working as a Health Education Assistant with the Rotary Club of Guayaquil. I was privileged to receive handson experience with economically marginalized populations in hospitals, orphanages and therapy centres. Central to my work experience was the importance of creating meaningful relationships with the people around me. Whether it was with my co-workers, taxi drivers, or the patients in the hospitals of which I worked, what created a unique experience for me were the connections that were strengthened by sincere and intentional relationship building. Being able to engage in meaningful conversations with patients in regards to their personal stories; how long they had been waiting to have a surgery; what a blessing it was to have met a Canadian; their relationships with God and faith in humanity. These were the moments where my heart was reminded of the impact that COTR’s intercultural programs have both on their host countries as well as on the personal growth of an intern through their time abroad. Spring 2011

Catrina with orphans at Asilo Manuel Galecio, Alausí, Ecuador

During my stay, where I taught English in the Manuel Galecio orphanage, I was once asked by one of the adolescent girls what it was like to fly on a plane. I attempted to describe the experience: turbulence, take off and landing, the views from the tiny oval window, the anxiety I get when I think about being thousands of feet in the air in a large chunk of metal. After my story, the young girl said to me that one day she hoped she could take a plane to Canada and experience each of those moments. I told her how important it was to study her English so that one day when she gets to Canada, she can communicate with the people the way I was communicating with her in Spanish. She promised to study her English every day until I returned to the orphanage so she would be able to speak with me in my language. I told her then that I will need to be taking another trip to Ecuador very soon! Upon reflection of this conversation I realized the significance of my visit at the orphanage. It was not to deliver outstanding ESL classes via colourful lectures and diligent homework activities. It was, rather, to act as a role model and a motivator for a young girl to establish future hopes and aspirations. 6

Through placing young Canadians in developing countries, COTR programs in partnership with CIDA are fostering intercultural dialogues and experiences that contribute to a significant change in the worldviews and opinions of the people that we are in contact with overseas. Perhaps the most important part of any work experience, besides the tangible skills that one can apply to their resume upon return to Canada, are the moments where we can engage in such conversations and put time into building genuine relationships with individuals from the communities we work with abroad. I have had the privilege of seeing first hand the impacts that COTR/CIDA programs have had throughout Guayaquil, Ecuador, and I feel blessed to have shared in the joys of great moments abroad.

INTERN MOBILITY Nyeri, Kenya Kyle Holland INTERN PROFILE Name: Kyle Holland IYIP Position: Technology and Education Assistant; Kimathi University of Technology, Kenya Graduate Year: 2009


s a former student of College of the Rockies (COTR) and someone who grew up in Cranbrook, it has been a reassuring experience seeing the impact of the International Youth Internship Program (IYIP). It is easy to be cynical of development projects and to be overly critical of the work they are trying to do. For my internship, I lived in Nyeri, a small town located in the central highlands of Kenya, which, on a clear day, has a wonderful view of Mount Kenya, the second tallest mountain in Africa. I worked at Kimathi University College of Technology, a small institution with about 2,100 students offering degrees in business, engineering and computer sciences, as a Technology Education Assistant. The benefits

of this work experience for myself and my fellow interns was obvious – we were able to have a very stimulating job, enjoy many new experiences and prepare for the day when we can say we have a ‘profession.’ Beyond the immediate benefit Muringato Primary School students show off a new window donated by the GO Africa Committee for myself and my fellow interns, the communities in which we lived and worked through improved infrastructure also benefited from the COTR internships (for example, new desks, windows and I want to share some of my observations. and supplies) and the creation of a kitchen garden. The school uses the On the campus of the university at which kitchen garden to support its feeding I worked, there is a primary school called program for the children. Muringato Muringato. The school has a long history has poor facilities and receives with COTR and the past interns who have little support from the government. lived in Nyeri. The school has around 185 Generally, schools in Kenya depend pupils who come from families in which upon donations from the parents of the average daily wage of the parents is pupils to fund improvements when between 110-120 Kenyan Shillings (about government funding is not available. CAD $1.45). The school has benefited from However, because of a lack of its relationship with the interns and COTR resources on the part of the


Which country has a 13 month calendar? a) Brazil b) Ethiopia


How many countries participated in FIFA 2010 World Cup? a) 32 b) 33 c) 34


What is the currency of Bangladesh? a) euro b) yen


Which variety of the Plasmodium virus causes the most deadly form of human malaria? a)



c) Siberia

b) ovale

c) taka


d) Finland

d) 30

c) malariae

How many PhD’s have been awarded through UNESCO? a) 76 b) 83 c) 42

Spring 2011

d) rupees d) falciparum

d) 100

answers on page 15

STAFF MOBILITY Sustainable Activities For A Rising Industry (SAFARI) - Tanzania Brian Conrad existent. Yet the people had hope and patience and the country has enormous potential.

Brian Conrad, COTR Regional Transition Coordinator (right) with Fadhili Diga, Tour Guiding Operations Graduate


uring my July, 2010 two-week consultancy in Tanzania, I was both shocked by the poverty and filled with optimism for the people. The latter was overtly manifest in the capital, Dar es Salaam, a teeming tropical port with somewhere between four and seven million people. (Nobody seemed able to agree on the population.) Many seemed to be homeless and the streets were jammed with open air markets and peddlers. Large stores and American companies and franchises were nearly non-

Home to hundreds of kilometers of gorgeous Indian Ocean beaches, 11 major National Parks including Serengeti and Mt. Kilimanjaro, the Olduvai Gorge and early hominid emergence, Tanzania should evolve into a major global tourist destination. In its favour is the relative peace and respect between the 100+ tribal societies as most feel national pride and demonstrate a distinct lack of racial and religious prejudice.

My consultancy work was with tour guide tutors ( instructors) at the National College of Tourism. The focus was an emphasis on competency-based education and training and hands-on teaching methodologies. Tour guiding is a two-year Diploma program. Students from around the country vie for admission. The students I met and interviewed were enthusiastic and bright. Although there were few material resources, the tutors I worked with were creative and empowering with the students. The most uplifting experience was a threehour series of presentations about Tanzanian wildlife, parks, sustainability concerns and indigenous culture that five students

delivered. Their communication skills, charisma and skills demonstrated the quality of the program. Some of the recommendations I shared with the tutors were related to improving the competency of the students and the relevance of the curriculum: • Increased partnering with local businesses • Expansion of the role of an Industry Advisory Committee • Course assessment based more on performance and demonstration than on written tests • Hands-on learning opportunities • More acceptance of prior learning experiences in the program These suggestions were met with enthusiasm by most of the tutors and many thanked me profusely for the perspectives I shared with them. As the nation’s infrastructure improves and more students develop worldclass hospitality and tour guiding skills, Tanzania seems destined to become a much more attractive and popular destination for global tourism.

NCT Camping (Continued) Continued from page 5

Working together we were able to set up our tents, make a fire pit, collect and chop our firewood and have some fun. After a hearty dinner of rice, cabbage and stewed beef we began our evening with some leadership games, after which we started our bonfire! Spring 2011

Students were able to roast marshmallows and eat s’mores for the first time. Along with enjoying our s’mores, students also shared traditional songs, stories and dances around the fire. Although I have spent the last six months with this amazing group of students, I had never seen them in this light; their warmth, spirit, and love shone brighter than the campfire. 8

Life in Dar es Salaam has been exciting, challenging and every day has provided a chance to learn something new about the country, culture, people and myself. Of all the memories I have made and all the experiences I have had over the last six months, none will compare to this final night.

STAFF MOBILITY Mining And Development Industry Needs Initiative (MADINI) - Tanzania Gina Bennett

COTR Educational Consultants Doug McLachlan and Gina Bennett beside the entrance sign for the Mineral Resources Institute in Dodoma, Tanzania


he focus of my consultancy: My main focus was facilitating professional development in the area of competency-based learning for tutors (instructors) at the Mineral Resources Institute in Dodoma. Doug McLachlan and I worked with MRI senior staff to develop a series of workshops related to labour market analysis and ways of tying student learning more closely to the expectations of the growing mining industry in Tanzania. What I learned that has impacted me on a professional level: I found this consultancy to be an intense learning experience. I don’t know anything about mining, really, so I had to think hard about competencybased learning in a more general way; to think about those skills and processes that support a competency-based approach. Finding and analyzing labour market information, conducting a needs analysis, using a variety of teaching approaches, revising assessment practices to match the expectations Spring 2011

of the workplace... these things go together to form an ‘ecology’ of instruction that I hadn’t really appreciated before. And all of this still has to fit within the education system architecture of the country or region. A consultancy experience like this opens my eyes to the connection between culture and education, and the incredible potential of education to catalyze change.

Is an institutional partnership an effective means of international development? Well, I’m biased, of course, but I do think that institutional partnerships can be an effective tool for international development. The key is to remember that the international development knife cuts both ways: our visit will inevitably change (perhaps only in small ways) the way our Tanzanian partners see things but their contact with us definitely stimulates our own international development. We get pretty comfortable in Canada, pretty secure in our own ‘developed world’ identity; it’s transformational for us to see that educational value depends on an awful lot more than just money. I think a key advantage to an institutional partnership is the way in which it creates and maintains relationships long enough for them to actually be productive on a number of levels. We get to know our Tanzanian partners and they get to know us on a level that moves this beyond a superficial transfer of knowledge and technology. A partnership encourages a lot more active listening on both sides; as the partnership matures we start to understand what’s genuinely useful to each other. Of course, some people question the value of any kind of educational exchange 9

as a vehicle for development and they remind us of the damage that ‘educational colonization’ can do. Certainly we have to be aware. But to paraphrase Winston Churchill a little… educational partnership may not be the fastest or cheapest form of international development but I sincerely believe it’s more effective than any other way available right now.

Mineral Resources Institute Visit

COTR President Dr. Rubidge with Principal Ndabazi


n November 2010, Principal Stephano Ndabazi from the Mineral Resources Institute in Dodoma, Tanzania visited COTR for a training program as part of the MADINI partnership project. His two weeks in Canada included leadership seminars and training with COTR, a mining tour and attendance at the Minerals South Conference in Nelson, BC. The MADINI partnership project is coordinated by COTR under the Association of Canadian Community Colleges’ Education for Employment Program with funding from the Canadian International Development Agency.



he College of the Rockies’ Avalanche volleyball team has had the opportunity to help a youth project in Zimbabwe. The Tambai Let’s Play! Outreach project in Harare, Zimbabwe runs activities open to children and adolescents from six to 18 years of age drawn from poor, disadvantaged communities, schools and orphanages in Harare’s townships. COTR Avalanche Head Coach Steve Kamps heard about the project in the early 2000s from Martin Dururu. At the time Dururu was a guest Assistant Coach for the Camosun College Chargers in the British Columbia Colleges Athletic Association. He returned to Zimbabwe and became the Executive Director and Founder of the Tambai Let’s Play! Outreach project. “I had a chance to meet Martin


“We’ve been trying to get one or two of our athletes to come to COTR but the Zimbabwe situation is making it very difficult for them to be granted a visa to leave the country,” Dururu wrote.

“Tambai Let’s Play! Outreach” athletes and ever since we have kept in touch,” said Kamps. “We’ve sent him used volleyballs and uniforms to support their volleyball programs.” Dururu recently wrote to Kamps saying: “Our program has grown by leaps and bounds. We have expanded into 12 different centres around the city of Harare and we now cover more age groups. We distributed the uniforms you sent us and have just

The goal of the Tambai, Zimbabwe’s Lets Play! Outreach is to positively engage children and adolescents, including girls, in regular volleyball activities leading to the attainment of top level performance standards while teaching the values of fair play, respect, tolerance, team work, healthy living and sportsmanship. “The Avalanche teams and the College are very pleased to be able to assist in this worthwhile cause,” Kamps said.

Cranbrook AfriGrand Caravan Gathering Polly Sutherland

he Afrigran Caravan, a Steven Lewis Foundation initiative, came to Cranbrook on October 29, 2010. The Caravan was travelling all across Canada and made its first B.C. stop at COTR. The Caravan consisted of grandmothers and granddaughters from Africa who were traveling to raise awareness in an attempt to turn the tide on AIDS in Africa and to share their personal stories of struggles and strength from these amazing women. The grandmother from Swaziland, Ssabile Victoria Simelane and granddaughter Thandeka Carol Motsa, were guesthosted by COTR. Spring 2011

finished giving away some of the equipment. The overall target for 2010 is 1,152 boys and girls in 96 volleyball teams.

This was the kick off that led up to an initiative called “Daring Communities”-engaging Canadians to raise funds for AIDS in Africa. The International Department, Student’s Association, the Culinary Arts program, Go Go Grannies and ANKORS, our local Aids service organization, partnered on this initiative. An evening event was held that dared the community to try some African cuisine and to learn more about AIDS in Africa and its direct impact on its people. With a great turnout of faculty, students and community members the event raised $650. Polly Sutherland, Coordinator for the Education and Prevention Program at ANKORS and Nichole Donaghy, a COTR 10

nursing student, who both organized the event, thank the Student’s Association and the International Department at COTR for their support.

Thandeka Carol Motsa (left) and her grandmother, Ssabile Victoria Simelane

COMMUNITY Muringato Primary School Joseph Mwaniki


uringato is an old school started in the late 1950s. It was once basking in glory, but that was the time Kenyan coffee was doing well in the world market. Today it has been reduced to small shanties which have a long story to tell.

lack of enough learning resources, failure to continue to secondary school and low performance.

Recently the school was shifted again to upper side of the coffee farm. We are still using the old structures as usual.

The school has improved greatly. The enrolment which stood at 76 pupils, today is 185. A thriving school farm and a dairy cow supplement the pupils’ meals. Girl child retention in school is 90% and the performance has improved greatly. This is all due to the contributions made by the COTR Community.

Thanks to KAGA and Go Africa groups for reviving the shattered dreams of the young Muringato children who have been suffering from high dropout rates, child labour, insecurity, frequent hunger,

A lifeline has been thrown to Muringato. Thanks to KAGA and GO Africa group for the contribution towards secondary school bursaries for the girls, purchase of learning resources, supporting farming projects and improving the security of the school.


Muringato will always be indebted to you. Keep up the good work. Joseph M. Mwaniki Head Teacher

Spread the Net - COTR Team takes up the Challenge Suzy Prowse

n Canada, mosquitoes are considered to be annoying insects that leave an itchy bump on the skin; however, in certain areas of the world, mosquitoes are considered to be life threatening because of their ability to transmit malaria. Malaria is an infectious disease caused by a parasite called plasmodium, which infects and destroys red blood cells. Malaria often causes fever, diarrhea, vomiting, headache and muscle weakness, however, when treatment is not available or affordable it can cause brain damage, coma, paralysis and even death. Malaria accounts for over one million deaths every year. It is present in many areas of the world but is particularly prominent in sub-Saharan Africa, which bears Spring 2011

Joseph Mwaniki, Head Teacher at Muringato Primary School, in front of one of the old structures

90% of all malaria-caused fatalities. Unfortunately, children are particularly susceptible to the most life threatening effects because of their immature immune systems. Reports indicate that malaria is the single biggest killer of African children under the age of five and English Language Training Students Yuka accounts for one in five of all Hashimoto and Yu Fan Wu childhood deaths in Africa ( In fact, every 30 seconds a child dies of malaria. To help in the battle against malaria, Canadian comedian Rick Malaria-carrying mosquitoes typically bite Mercer, from CBC’s The Mercer between dusk and dawn. Sleeping under Report, has partnered with the an insecticide-treated bed net can decrease Belinda Stronach Foundation to malaria transmission by at least 50% and create a grassroots organization mortality of children under five up to 25% called Spread the Net, which raises (

Continued page 12


STUDENT MOBILITY Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program Scholarship Blanca Rivera STUDENT PROFILE Name: Blanca Rivera Home Country: Ecuador Program: Tourism & Recreation Management


was fortunate to have the opportunity to study abroad, and I highly encourage this type of experience because it opens our eyes, hearts and minds to different perspectives outside of our comfort zone. It doesn’t matter if you study medicine, marketing, finance, management or, like in my case, tourism; the act of contrasting different cultures within our professional field will enhance our experiences and knowledge, giving

us more tools to succeed in our future projects. During my semester at COTR I’ve learned to focus every single project that I’ve ever dreamed of with a sustainable viewpoint. I’ve been working in the tourism field for almost eight years and in every position that I’ve worked in I’ve been taught that I have to be productive in order to be successful. A big question came to my mind while I was going through the last semester “Am I ready to start Blanca in Ecuador great educational opportunity this new challenging business decade where I will be responsible for everything I’ve learned that being productive from beginning to end?” Well, maybe when doesn’t always have to do with I first thought about this question I would money it won’t be enough just to ...Continued next page have answered “Not really”, but after this

Spread the Net (Continued) Continued from page 11

awareness and funds for the purchase and distribution of insecticide-treated bed nets to vulnerable families in Africa. So far, 500,000 nets have been distributed. At $10 per net, it is an easy, effective, and inexpensive way to prevent malaria. In the last four years Spread the Net has established the Spread the Net Student Challenge, where colleges, universities, and high schools across Canada compete to raise the most money: the winning institution receives a visit from Rick Mercer and The Rick Mercer Report. This year, College of the Rockies competed against 22 other universities and colleges and 43 Spring 2011

high schools. Captained by Suzy Prowse (a second-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing student), and spearheaded by the second year BSN class, COTR and the community raised $4,806! This will buy 480 insecticide-treated bed nets.

This challenge has not only contributed to the purchase of insecticide-treated bed nets, it has raised awareness about one of the biggest global health issues of our time.

There were several fundraising events as well as ongoing in-person and online donations that contributed to the fundraising challenge. On December 3rd, COTR students challenged faculty members in a malariathemed Spelling Bee contest to launch the Spread the Net Student Challenge. On December 9th, staff and board members at the Board of Governors’ dinner generously donated to the Challenge and pushed COTR over their original fundraising goal of $2,000. Over Christmas, the Golden Medical Clinic fundraised over $200. The last and final fundraising event was an evening of great combo jazz with local groups littlejazz Orchestra and Quintessential Jazz on February 12th at Kimberley’s Centre 64.

Thanks to COTR staff, faculty, board members, students, and East Kootenay community members for your generous contributions to this worthy cause.


Per capita COTR was the most successful college or university in Canada. In the end, the University of Northern British Columbia claimed first place by raising over $18,700! COTR received an honourable mention from Rick Mercer and the Belinda Stronach Foundation. Overall, the 2010/2011 Spread the Net Student Challenge raised $103,000.

STUDENT MOBILITY Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program Scholarship (Continued)

Continued from previous page get the work done, or fulfill the customer’s needs, or generate great profits. In the near future we will also be responsible for the supplies that we use, where they come from, if our product contributes to a better life for our employees and how socially and environmentally sustainable our business is from beginning to end.

of the leading Airlines in Latin America more people to join, first getting and the Caribbean, in a customer service enough educational tools to be ready position. Even though my company is very and make a change. Thanks UEES environmentally and socially responsible and COTR for that great opportunity. in our everyday activities, there are many ways to enhance our sustainable practices. I also have worked part time for a tour operator Mosaico Ecuatoriano as a tour guide. After this educational experience; when I travel around Ecuador I see my own country from a different perspective. We are considered a developing country At the moment I’m waiting to because of our economic and educational start any new projects as I have challenges, but we are environmentally to finish my education first, but I rich enough to take that challenge and believe that it is not necessary to transform it to an opportunity. be in a managerial position to apply the knowledge that I’ve gained I’m getting ready to take that challenge in the past months. I’m currently and I hope in the near future not only to working at COPA Airlines, one accomplish this mission but also encourage Blanca enjoying a visit to Kimberley

Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program Scholarship Cesar Velez ESL Teachers and the COTR atmosphere has made my stay warmer than I thought.

STUDENT PROFILE Name: Cesar Velez Home Country: Ecuador Program: English Language Training


came to Cranbrook on January 3rd, 2011 and my first impression of the city was its extremely cold weather compared with my city, Guayaquil. Nevertheless, the staff of the International Department, the Spring 2011

If I have to choose one word to describe the International Department I would choose without doubts: AWESOME. Omar, Cheryl, Shannon and Marifer are nice, wonderful and helpful people. They are always concerned about your classes, your health, your homestay family and you as a person. Believe me or not, they have become part of my family. Moreover, the perfect word to describe the ESL Teachers is: FRIENDS. Gayle Smith and Erin Aasland Hall are so far the best English teachers that I have ever had in my life. Their teaching method is creative, useful and interactive. I just have to say: “Thanks Gayle and Erin for your patience and dedication.”

different activities, the staff and the college facilities help you to adjust quickly to your new life. The International Department, the ESL Teachers and COTR have earned a place in my heart. Thank you very much for the experience and the knowledge gained. We will meet again!

Cesar proudly displays Ecuador’s flag at the Kimberley Alpine Ski Resort

Finally, I can refer to the COTR atmosphere as a FAMILY ENVIRONMENT. The 13

PARTNERSHIPS European Union - Canada Transatlantic Partnership


n January 2011, College of the Rockies (COTR) continued its involvement with the EUCanada Sustainable Tourism Exchange Program, funded from the Canadian side by the Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. This program/partnership started in 2008 and it continues to offer, to this date, great international study opportunities for Canadian students.

the Catholic University San Antonio of Murcia in Spain (Daniella and Katharine) and at Hyria Education in Finland (Ryan).

With the departure of Daniella Naumovski and Katharine Berrisch to Spain during January 2011, and Ryan Diotte to Finland in March 2011, COTR has sent a total of six students thus far. The three Tourism and Recreation Management Program students will spend this Winter 2011 semester at

Partner Institutions

In addition, and as part of this partnership, the International Education and Development Department, in close collaboration with the Tourism and Recreation Management Program here at COTR, have successfully welcomed, since 2008, nine European students into our programs.

• • •

Above: View of Spain Left: Daniella Naumovski (on left) and Katharine Berrisch

Scotland Agricultural College (SAC), Scotland UK Universidad Católica San Antonio de Murcia (UCAM), Spain HYRIA Education, Finland

Kyle Holland (Continued) always been a large amount of money, but the impact is noticeable and greatly appreciated.

Muringato Primary School garden. The maize is sold to support school programs. ...Continued on page 14 Continued from page 7

children’s parents, Muringato has benefited greatly from the contributions that have been made by past interns and members of COTR. The contributions haven’t Spring 2011

In addition to Muringato Primary School, another community that has traditionally been marginalized but has benefited from COTR internships is Nyaribo. Nyaribo is a rural community that is difficult to access, faces many challenges and has very few services. Interns have been based in the community twice at the local dispensary. Through their work, they have supported the development of community health days, the training of community health workers and the planting of community gardens. The interns have helped raise the profile of the community and addressed the challenges it faces (such as low education levels and lack of access to clean water) through conducting surveys and acting as its advocates.

come out of the COTR internships is positive. Development is a messy process, tied up with image making, the negotiation of relationships between government, NGOs and local communities, and never -ending bureaucratic hurdles that often ignore the human dimension of the disaster that needs addressing. But both sides learn and hopefully have a better understanding of how their world is constructed and the processes that are shaping it. The IYIP program does not solve problems of global inequality, but it is providing real help to individuals and the communities to whom they belong through its work with Muringato and Nyaribo.

I don’t want to suggest that everything that has 14

PARTNERSHIPS UEES Forum and Program Launch


s part of our threeyear “Environmental Entrepreneurism” project, College of the Rockies (COTR) and our partner University of Espiritu Santo (UEES) held a forum on Sustainable Economic Development on February 9, 2011 in Guayaquil, Ecuador. COTR President and CEO Dr. Nick Rubidge and COTR International Project Coordinator Jeff Cooper joined 135 other participants

including representatives of local governments, NGOs, community leaders, academics and students. The forum sought to create a space to share and learn from the experiences of different organizations, businesses and individuals in the coastal region of Ecuador while aligning efforts to improve coordination of activities and achieve greater impact in the region. A new training program in Sustainable Community Entrepreneurship, jointly developed by UEES and COTR and to be delivered by UEES in Ecuador, was also announced as part of the forum.

The Environmental Entrepreneurism partnership project is managed by the Association of Canadian Community Colleges and funded in part by the Canadian International Development Agency. As part of this project, COTR intern Anthony Persaud worked with an UEES communications student to design and launch an English language website for the community of Dos Mangas. Visit

A diverse array of speakers delivered speeches and gave presentations at the Sustainable Economic Development Forum including staff from COTR and UEES, government and municipal representatives, Non-governmental organization representatives, and community leaders from coastal Ecuador. d) 100. On the 24th of February Mr Sarfraz Munir from Pakistan received his PhD Public Defence. He was the 100th PhD graduate of UNESCO-IHE since the first PhD degree was awarded in 1994.


d) Plasmodium falciparum is the cause of fatal malaria, while Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium ovale and Plasmodium malariae cause more benign types of malaria, less likely to prove fatal.


c) Taka (Euro is the currency for European Union, Yen is for Japan and Rupees is for India.)


a) In the year 2010, 32 countries took part in the world cup in South Africa


b) The only country in the world with 13 months is Ethiopia in east Africa. Every month has exactly 30 days there is no 28, 31 or 32 so the 13th month only contains six or seven days.




EVENTS International Week at COTR International Students Countries of Origin 2010 Other: Australia, Belgium, Cambodia, Ecuador, Finland, France, HK, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Phillipines, S. Africa, Switzerland, Tanzania, Turkey, Uganda, UK, Vietnam, Zambia 13%

China 26%

India Germany 2% 2% Chile USA 2% 3% Taiwan 4% Libya 4% Kenya 4% Saudi Arabia 4%

Japan 21% Korea 15%

COTR International Contact Information Visit our website: for electronic versions of newsletters Questions or Comments? Contact us: College of the Rockies, International Education & Development Box 8500, Cranbrook, BC Canada V1C 5L7 Telephone: 250-489-8248 Fax: 250-489-8254 email:

Spring 2011


COTR International News - Spring 2011  

Creating awareness by supporting internationalization and global learning opportunities for our students, staff and community. Learn about C...