International Development Week 2014: I am making a difference

OCIC Global Changemaker Youth Ambassador Awards                                                                                                                                                                OCIC’s Global Changemaker Youth Ambassador Awards were presented during International Development Week as a way to honour outstanding youth who have demonstrated active engagement with communities and civil society organizations in the promotion of international cooperation and social justice. To learn more about the OCIC 2014 Global Changemakers, click here.

OCIC Participatory Theatre Workshop Series – London, Peterborough & Toronto – February 3-6                                                                                          OCIC and Simon Malbogatl engaged youth and youth-serving audiences across Ontario through two-hour participatory theatre workshops organized in partnership with Save a Family Plan, the Kawartha World Issues Centre, Jamaican Self-Help and Humber College. The series was intended to promote dialogue, and to demonstrate the integral link between creative thought and critical reflection – skills necessary for global citizenship development and education. With the use of theatre facilitation, participants explored alternatives and critically evaluated topics such as human rights, poverty, apathy and equality.

Simon Malbogat, Artistic Director of the Mixed Company Theatre and a key player in Canada’s popular theatre scene for over 25 years, studied with the greatest contemporary popular theatre practitioners (Augusto Boal, Jerzy Grotowski, Eugenio Barba) and blended Forum Theatre with the Sweet Medicine Teachings (SMT) of the Deer Tribe Metis Medicine Society for an innovative theatre and teaching approach.

OCIC & Humber College ‘Pathways to International Cooperation Careers ‘Panel – February 4                                                                                     Pathways to careers in international cooperation are many and diverse. In this IDW Career Panel OCIC invited development sector professionals to share highlights of their professional journey, and to offer tips on how to secure meaningful employment. 

Panelists included: Jessica Dubelaar, Public Engagement Officer, Cuso International; Faisal Islam, Manager, Monitoring & Evaluation, Canadian Feed The Children; Esteban Lasso, Executive Director, Transforming Faces Worldwide; and Jane Orion Smith, General Secretary, Canadian Friends Service Committee.

OCIC & Humber College ‘Disability Inclusion in Project Design and Implementation’ Panel – February 5                                                                              One billion people today live with a disability and 80% of them live in developing countries, yet most international development programs still do not implement explicit disability inclusion. This workshop introduced current understandings of disability, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), the World Report on Disability, the Right to Read campaign, and ways disability inclusion can be implemented in international development and global health programs. 

Moderated by Kimberly Gibbons, OCIC Executive Director, panelists included: Caroline Abbotts, Program Officer, Christian Blind Mission (CBM) Canada; Yin Brown, Disability Advocate; Marianne McQuillan, Manager, Fund Development & Communications, World Blind Union; Penny Parnes, International Centre for Disability and Rehabilitation, University of Toronto; and Vangelis Nikias, CRPD Project Manager, Council of Canadians with Disabilities.

Inspiring New Ideas of Manhood – February 6, 2014                                                                                                                                                                      White Ribbon, OCIC and the Inter-Council Network (ICN) hosted a webinar focused on raising awareness on the reasons for involving men and boys in efforts to prevent and reduce violence against women and girls, and introduce effective ways in which to engage men and boys from diverse backgrounds in violence prevention. Violence by men and boys against women and children is one of the most serious human rights violations in the world. The World Health Organization calls violence against women a pandemic. Research has demonstrated that amongst young boys, ideas of masculinity become the most compelling force for risk-taking behaviour, violence, unsafe sexual practices and misogyny. In fact, this has larger implications not only for women and girls but also for their own health and relationships with other men and boys.

While most men and boys may never use violence against women and girls, their silence both perpetuates and tolerates it. And while all men and boys may not be part of the problem, all men and boys can be part of the solution. White Ribbon is the world’s largest movement of men and boys working to end violence against women and girls, promote gender equity, healthy relationships and a new vision of masculinity. The webinar with Jeff Perera explored concepts of masculinity and leadership roles that young men can play in promoting gender equality in their communities and countries and how international organizations can promote and support young men in this role.

IDW 2014 Wrap-Up Party – February 7                                                                                                                                                                                              OCIC, in collaboration with Canada World Youth, CESO, Cuso International and Youth Challenge International, invited participants to wrap-up IDW with an evening of speed networking, learning more about the evenings’ hosts, and celebrating the efforts of OCIC’s six young Global Changemaker 2014 award recipients.