IofC Canada working with Community Partners
IofC Canada is one of the community partners at the Centre for Global and Community Engagement at the University of Ottawa For the winter term 2 placements were available as archival assistants working under the direction of Elaine Gordon in the IofC Ottawa office.
One of the students who responded to one of the a placements, under extra-curricular volunteering is Sara-Ève Valiquette-Tessier.
Sara-Ève is in her second year at the University of Ottawa taking International Development and Globalization. Previously she had studied Human Sciences at Collège Saint-Alexandre de la Gatineau in Quebec.
She says, "I have a passion for the history of civilisations, ecology, philosophy and, of course, the international development. I think that is what brought me to volunteer for Initiatives of Change. I love how they push away any type of ethnocentrism and try to understand and respect the differences. Volunteering is the best way to see the world differently and acknowledge great experiences with remarkable professionals."
Gifts of Time/Skills
The work of IofC is greatly enhanced by the gifts of time and the skills of many people across Canada. Some step forward for a specific initiative others take on a longer term commitment.
Ute Gerbrandt volunteers weekly in the IofC national office in Ottawa. She brings 32 years experience in international development overseas and in Canada.
Her archival documentation and data review has significantly assisted IofC Canada's archives development project.
Ute's other volunteering commitments include:
• Co-chair Ottawa Committee of Jamaican Self Help - (2006 to present)
• Member of a local NGO Canadians for Human Rights in Congo - 2008 to present)
For her part, Ute says she has appreciated the opportunity of getting the historical perspective on Initiatives of Change. Furthermore, that her work on the large collection of press-cuttings (1932-2012) helped her to discover the interest and impact which MRA / IofC has sparked.
I was drawn to Initiatives of Change when I was enduring a personal transformation in my life! The support and love I felt within the community drew me to get more involved. Apart from interacting with the Toronto team, I was privileged to be part of the Initiatives of Change delegation to Cancun, where I met with some of the international members of IofC. There, I was grateful to learn in greater depth about pressing issues in the world.
More locally, I have been involved in the communications committee providing support to our online marketing and outreach through Facebook. I have worked at launching a Creators of Peace Circle alongside Shaneeza Naszeer which was facilitated by Janyce Konkin from Calgary. This workshop provided women with some great tools to be better peacekeepers in their community through
effective listening, communication, forgiveness. I was also humbled to have been chosen to be the Canadian contact for the Community of the Americas group, where I am looking forward to share ideas, stories, and be of greater service to the international IofC community.
Being a volunteer with IofC has been a great experience to meet people who share a passion for living with love, honesty, respect, and integrity. I found that throughout my journey with IofC I have become a better person. I hope to be connected with this organization for the years to come and to meet many new friends and perhaps go international one day!
Five high school students volunteered in the national IofC office in Ottawa. They were required to fulfill Community Involvement volunteering requirements with charities and chose Initiatives of Change.
"I enjoy being part of a group of people who bring forth their individual convictions to work for the Creator in making this world a better place for all people. This is done through the power of silence and seeking God's guidance and sharing their thought provoking wisdom with all around them. The beauty is it may emerge in a Christian way or a Muslim way or in a First Nations Indigenous way. IofC embodies this sharing in a spirit of fellowship."
Alvin Manitopyes, is volunteering his time by currently serving on the IofC Council of Management
We are fortunate to have two skilled web masters maintaining the IofC Canada sites in French and English.
Jasmin Desmarais has been the web master for the French language site for the past two years. He gradually got to know about Initiatives of Change and met several of its volunteers and workers. He works alongside Laurent Gagnon, a Field worker in Montreal in updating the web. His professional experience is in industrial engineering, plus an MBA in Operations & Production management, and previous long employment with Environment Canada in New Brunswick.
Several of these skills, as well as Jasmin’s computer proficiency are very often appreciated by IofC. He is an avid all-year cyclist (even winter!) and can’t wait to escape into the vast woodlands. For Jasmin, volunteering with IofC is a way to help the organization grow. As web master his objectives are to maintain, upgrade and dynamize the web site.
Alessandro Anifowose took on the role of web master for the English language site in June 2009, working alongside Anne Hartnell, a Fieldworker in BC, to update the web with current news, articles, photos, and upcoming events.
As a student at the University of Calgary, Alessandro met Alex Ramirez and Monica Lopez as they developed the IofC Club on the university campus. He became a member of the club and went with others from Calgary to Caux, spending part of a summer as a Caux Intern on the IT, Technical and Sound team. Alessandro is based in Calgary and works at Canadian Pacific Railway as a Business Improvement Specialist.
Alessandro volunteers as web master because he enjoys helping IofC to reach more people with its message of hope.