40th Anniversary Commemorative Blog Series: Jessica Dubelaar

As our Annual AGM and Symposium draws near, we continue to look back at our 40 years of development cooperation in the Atlantic region. We have sought reflections on this 40-year history from individuals who have been involved in development cooperation in the Atlantic region. We spoke briefly with Jessica Dubelaar, ACIC's former acting-Executive Director, discussed her personal experiences and memories of ACIC. 

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Jessica Dubelaar is an experienced non-profit manager. She has been involved with NGO coalitions in both Atlantic Canada and Ontario. Jessica was the acting-Executive Director of ACIC as well as Associate Director from 2005 to 2009. During that time, she had the opportunity to work with numerous partners, members and engaged Canadians. Following that, Jessica worked as the Interim Executive Director for the Ontario Council for International cooperation (OCIC), and as well as the Public Engagement Officer for Cuso International. Currently, Jessica is working as the International Partnerships and Project Coordinator at Ryerson University. Jessica holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, specializing in peace and conflict studies, from the University of Waterloo. Through her own work overseas in Ghana and Nigeria, Jessica says she has “experienced first-hand how transformational international volunteerism can be.”

We only had the opportunity to ask Jessica a few questions, so please enjoy her brief interview below or download to listen later!

40th Anniversary Commemorative Blog Series: Shawnee Sheperd and Christi-Anna Durodola

As our Annual AGM and Symposium draws near, we continue to look back at our 40 years of development cooperation in the Atlantic region. We have sought reflections on this 40-year history from individuals who have been involved in development cooperation in the Atlantic region. We spoke with ACIC's most recent IYIP interns Shawnee Sheperd and Christi-Anna Durodola about their experience with ACIC in Canada and abroad.

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Christi-Anna is one of the 2015 International Youth Internship Program (IYIP) interns with ACIC. Originally from Nigeria, she is passionate about contributing to global development through areas of research and policy formation. Christi-Anna is grateful to have had the experience of living in a rural community and applying her expertise to improving socio-economic conditions of people in Northern Ghana. Through this experience with ACIC, she believes she has gained a more pragmatic view of global development work and more clarity on how she can contribute.

Shawnee was also a 2015 IYIP intern with ACIC and our partner in Northern Ghana. Born and raised in Nova Scotia, Shawnee attended Mount Saint Vincent University where she graduated with a Degree in Public Relations. Hoping to pair her education with her passion for travel and desire to work in the area of youth empowerment, Shawnee was thrilled to have the opportunity to travel to West Africa and work with NORSAAC to improve the socio-economic conditions of women and youth in Northern Ghana. This experience has given Shawnee clarity in her future career goals. She hopes to continue to work in and contribute to international development, and thanks ACIC for opening her eyes to this field.

Enjoy their video interview below!

40th Anniversary Commemorative Blog Series: Joan Campbell

As our Annual AGM and Symposium draws near, we continue to look back at our 40 years of development cooperation in the Atlantic region. We have sought reflections on this 40-year history from individuals who have been involved in development cooperation in the Atlantic region. Joan Campbell's lifelong contribution to the work of ACIC shines through in her discussion with board member Sonia Ho. Listen below.

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Since her childhood, Joan Campbell has been curious about other cultures, which eventually led her to international development work in the Atlantic region. She became actively involved in the 60’s when she did her first degree at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia. In this interview, she talks about her long time involvement in organizations such as ACIC and CUSO, as well as her experiences in Sierra Leone and Nicaragua. She stresses the importance of education, especially exchanges through face-to-face contact in international development work. While she recognizes social change can be a long process that takes a lot of hard work, she remains hopeful about the future.

Please enjoy the interview below, or download to listen later!

40th Anniversary Commemorative Blog Series: Shelagh Savage

Our Annual AGM and Symposium is fast approaching, and there is only a few days left to register! The deadline is Monday June 6th. Visit our AGM and Symposium website to register: www.acicsymposium.org. In continuing with our commemorative blog, we sought reflections on our 40-year history from individuals who have been involved in development cooperation in the Atlantic region. Most recently we spoke to Shelagh Savage, this year's keynote speaker! She talked about the capacity to work across differences in international cooperation and the value of youth. Listen below!

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Shelagh Savage is the Associate Director, StrategicPartnerships at Coady International Institute. She joined Coady International Institute in June 2009 - returning to the Atlantic after years of working internationally and in Ottawa. Shelagh is responsible for strategic support to partnerships, programming and educational design in order to enhance Coady’s development impact. This involves collaboration with key donors and educational/learning partners; management of youth and partner programs as well as research, design and facilitation of Coady courses and Certificates on “Re-thinking Partnership”  (in Canada and internationally).

With a strong belief that coalition building and collaboration is essential to influence positive change, Shelagh has worked with communities and civil society organizations in Atlantic Canada, South Asia, East Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean as well as with governments and UN organizations such as ILO, UNOCHA and UNICEF.

Finally, not only is Shelagh a former Board member of ACIC, but she is also this year's keynote speaker at our AGM and Symposium!

Reminder that Shelagh's the keynote address is free and open to the public! Join us for some interesting globalized reflections and an engaging discussions. 

What: Keynote address “Reflecting and Re-thinking for Global Change”, followed by a reception

Where: Scotiabank Theatre, Sobey Building, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax NS

When: Thursday June 9th at 7PM

Until then, be sure to listen to Shelagh's engaging interview below or download to listen later!

40th Anniversary Commemorative Blog Series: Jocelyn Leblanc

Le Conseil atlantique pour la coopération internationale (CACI) tiendra son Symposium annuel du 9 au 11 juin, à Halifax. Cette année, nous célébrons nos 40 ans avec le thème « Un regard sur le passé, un pas en avant : 40 ans de coopération internationale dans la région de l’Atlantique ». Nous avons cultivé de nombreuses histoires et réflexions au cours de nos 40 ans avec des personnes clés qui ont contribués à la coopération internationale et de développement durable dans la région. Ici, nous parlons avec Jocelyn Leblanc, un jeune leader qui a participé dans la Tournée internationale jeunesse récente du CACI, à propos de ses idées et son expérience avec le développement locale et mondiale.

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Jocelyn à 19 ans et est étudiant en études des femmes à l'Université d'Ottawa. L'année dernière, il a participé à la Tournée internationale des jeunes leadeurs au Honduras. Il a beaucoup appris au sujet du développement durable et de la solidarité internationale. S'inspirant des apprentissages qu'il a fait au Honduras, il veut contribuer à améliorer sa communauté.

Voici l'entrevue ci-dessous! Vous pouvez aussi la télécharger pour écouter plus tard.

40th Anniversary Commemorative Blog Series: Brian O'Neil

As our Annual AGM and Symposium draws near, we continue to look back at our 40 years of development cooperation in the Atlantic region. We have sought reflections on this 40-year history from individuals who have been involved in development cooperation in the Atlantic region. One of which is Brian O'Neil, who our board member Brian Tomlinson interviewed to discuss his leadership and acitivism in his local community over the years. 

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Photo credit: Dominique MarshallBrian O’Neil is a long time political and social activist in Atlantic Canada.  He began working with the St. John’s Oxfam Center in 1977, connecting issues of unemployment and resource development in Newfoundland with peoples’ struggles on similar issues in developing countries.

In the 1980s Brian moved to work with the regional office of Oxfam Canada in Halifax and worked in the region until his recent retirement a few years ago. 

While never directly involved in ACIC, he reflects on the orientation of many activists in the region at the time, some of whom were involved with the Council. Brian began this podcast with some thoughts on connecting the local with the global.

Please enjoy the interview below, or download to listen later! 

40th Anniversary Commemorative Blog Series: Marian White

As our Annual AGM and Symposium draws near, we continue to look back at our 40 years of development cooperation in the Atlantic region. We have sought reflections on this 40-year history from individuals who have been involved in development cooperation in the Atlantic region. Marian White, a long-time ACIC activist, member and volunteer, spoke with us about solidarity, activisim and the formation of ACIC.

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In the fall of 1989, Marian returned to PEI and was asked to coordinate activities of the Atlantic Regional Program Committee of CCIC. The priority of the committee’s work was to support local projects across the Atlantic Region with a focus on primary producers. Marian – a dedicated activist who has been directly involved in addressing social issues at both a local and international level – was the Coordinator for the Committee, and was responsible for collecting project proposals, communicating with Committee members, organizing Committee meetings, producing a newsletter and communicating with CCIC. Marian also attended training sessions with Provincial Councils and Board Meetings. In this context, ACIC holds a special place in Marian’s heart, as she was present for the “complicated foreplay, conception, birth and growth of the organization”, which culminated in November of 1993 when ACIC’s founding meeting was held.

After years of experience with NGOs, both locally and internationally, Marian White continues to “work cooperatively, promote youth involvement, expose white privilege and challenge patriarchy”. Marian’s personal motto "Not to act is to act" at times gets her into some trouble. Marian lives simply and remains active from her home in Tracadie, PEI.

 Have a listen to her interview below, or download to listen later!

40th Anniversary Commemorative Blog Series: Catherine Baillie Abidi

As our Annual AGM and Symposium draws near, we continue to look back at our 40 years of development cooperation in the Atlantic region. We have sought reflections on this 40-year history from individuals who have been involved in development cooperation in the Atlantic region. One individual with a unique perspective is Catherine Baillie Abidi, who has been involved with ACIC both as an organizational member and now as a individual member. Catherine spoke with Joan Campbell to discuss ACIC's history as well as what is to come.

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Catherine Baillie Abidi is a scholarly practitioner who bridges community and academia, with an interest in adult education, global education, peacebuilding education, and migration and settlement. She completed her PhD at St. Francis Xavier University (Antigonish, Nova Scotia) in Educational Studies with a focus on violence transformation, peacebuilding education, and participatory research with young adults. Catherine worked with the Canadian Red Cross for 18 years, where she garnered over fifteen years experience working in the humanitarian field where she facilitated hundreds of learning opportunities within diverse communities; developed curriculum and policy on multiple complex social issues; and supported secondary schools, academic institutions and community organizations seeking to enhance peaceful practices. She is also a mother of two and lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia. 

Please enjoy her podcast interview below, or download to listen later!

40th Anniversary Commemorative Blog Series: Francisca Anaan

As our Annual AGM and Symposium draws near, we continue to look back at our 40 years of development cooperation in the Atlantic region. We have sought reflections on this 40-year history from individuals who have been involved in development cooperation in the Atlantic region. Fran Anaan spoke with us about her involvement as a youth with ACIC and her interest in international issues. 

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Francisca Anaan is a 2016 Youth Ambassador with ACIC’s ACT 4 Global Change program. Originally from Ghana, she is passionate about global issues, particularly health and gender equality. Francisca told us the best part of participating in ACIC’s ACT 4 Global Change Ambassador program “is having access to the networks and resources.. to affect meaningful, positive change.”

Check out the video below!

40th Anniversary Commemorative Blog Series: Bill Chislett

As our Annual AGM and Symposium draws near, we continue to look back at our 40 years of development cooperation in the Atlantic region. We have sought reflections on this 40-year history from individuals who have been involved in development cooperation in the Atlantic region. Bill Chislett spoke with us about his long time committment to international affairs. See below for his reflections. 

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Bill Chislett has been interested and engaged in international affairs since his youth. He spent some time in Quebec and France prior and during his university years and eventually pursued his Masters’ degree in International Development in the UK. Bill has been the director of the Marine Institute (MI) International office for many years and was actively involved in the board of ACIC during the mid-2000s. In his interview, he speaks about the work of MI International as well as the challenges NGOs and CSOs face in international development work. He applauds the work of ACIC, and especially appreciates initiatives focussing on youth engagement and also the increasing use of technology in global development.

Please enjoy the interview below, or download to listen later!