Global Citizens in Manitoba
Like a chain of paper dolls, we are all connected. We live in one world and our individual actions affect the whole.
When you think about all the people in the world, we really share the same basic needs. We all want to be well fed, to have a comfortable place to call home, to have access to health care when we need it, to live without fear, and to have what is best for our children–to be educated, healthy and happy. We also want an environment that is healthy and will sustain future generations.
Of course at another level people are more diverse, and this is good. We can learn from each other’s experiences, and we can find better ways of doing things.
If we are all connected then it is our responsibility to become active global citizens, working together for a better world for all.
As global citizens, we realize that we are connected to people throughout the world. We understand that our choices here in Manitoba will impact people elsewhere. We try to live our lives everyday choosing acts that will have more positive rather than negative impacts on our community and the world.
This collection is an attempt to showcase a selection of Manitobans who are demonstrating these values and doing what they can to build a better world. There are many more Manitobans with stories like these. Perhaps you are one, and if not, you could be–there is always room for more.
Derryl Reid is from Clandeboye, Manitoba and is the owner and operator of Green Bean Coffee Imports. He is working toward MDG 8: Develop a Global Partnership for Development.
Green Bean imports and roasts direct fair trade coffee beans through a direct trading partnerships with a Bolivian cooperative.
These partnerships benefit producers in the Global South, and in the past few years in which Derryl has been visiting the Bolivian cooperative, he has seen improvements in the members’ ability to purchase equipment and improve their standard of living.
Jo-Ellen Parry is from Winnipeg, Manitoba and works for the International institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). She is working toward MDG 7: Ensure Environmental Sustainability.
Jo-Ellen manages IISD’s Climate and Energy Program which works to support governments as they make plans to reduce greenhouse emissions and prepare for the impacts of climate change.
Jo-Ellen says that developing countries are the ones that are most affected by climate change, as it impacts agriculture, forests and water supplies.
Christine Penner is from Winnipeg, Manitoba and is the Assistant Superintendent at the Interlake School Division. She is working toward MDG 6: Combat HIV/AIDs, malaria and other diseases.
Christine founded Grannies Gone Global in Winnipeg’s North End, and that organization supports grandmothers in Uganda who are looking after grandchildren whose parents have died of AIDs. Christine is so pleased to see how the sustainable livelihoods that Grannies Gone Global helped to develop, are allowing so many Ugandan grandmothers to financially support themselves and their families.
Megan Wilton is originally from Carmen, Manitoba and is a practicing midwife in Winnipeg. She is working toward MDG 5: Improve Maternal Health.
As a student midwife, Megan travelled to Tanzania on an elective placement. Megan says that there are many similarities between maternal health care in Manitoba and Tanzania, but Tanzanian women may have less access to prenatal care. She says simple steps such as having a skilled attendant at the birth can mean the difference between life and death, and believes that every woman in the world has the right to access that care.
Pierre Plourde is from Winnipeg, Manitoba, and is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Manitoba. He is working toward MDG 4: Reduce Child Mortality.
Through EMAS Canada Pierre visits Haiti every year with a team of healthcare professionals and educators who work alongside Haitian physicians and nurses to improve their capacity.
Pierre believes that all the MDGs work in conjunction with each other, and that achieving MDGs 1 through 5 will help to significantly reduce child mortality. Pierre recorded video profiles in both English and French.
Tito Daodu is from Winnipeg, Manitoba and is a student of Medicine at the University of Manitoba. She is working toward MDG 3: Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women.
Tito recently travelled to Karatu, Tanzania on a service learning project with Canadian Physicians for Aid and Relief to develop curricula with high schools students, encouraging both boys and girls to create dialogue and focus on gender equality and the empowerment of girls.
Tito was profiled as a young global citizen by MCIC back in 2010 and since then, she has been able to transfer the skills she developed working on local issues to an international context.
Jan Stewart is from Winnipeg, Manitoba and is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Education at the University of Winnipeg. She is working toward MDG 2: Achieve Universal Primary Education.
Jan works with teachers to develop curricula, primarily in post-conflict situations, such as Uganda and South Sudan, to address the psycho-social and educational needs of children. Jan is passionate about achieving universal primary education, and knows that great strides have been made in some countries but recognizes that there are barriers, such as poverty and gender inequality, that may get in the way in certain situations.
Vurayayi Pugeni is originally from Zimbabwe, and now lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba and is now the Humanitarian Relief & Disaster Recovery Coordinator at Mennonite Central Committee Canada. He is working toward MDG 1: Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger.
Vurayayi worked at Christian Care Zimbabwe to provide food aid to those most in need, and to encourage sustainable agricultural methods to small-scale farmers. He believes that eradicating extreme poverty in our world is essential in order to give everyone in our world the dignity to feed themselves and their families.
Vera Goussaert from Winnipeg, Manitoba, is the Executive Director of the Manitoba Cooperative Association. She has worked with credit unions in Ghana, which encourage women to save money to start their own businesses and send their children to school. Vera is very pleased that the United Nations has declared 2012 the International Year of Cooperatives as she believes that cooperatives represent gender equality and allow women to support themselves and their families financially.
Corina Lepp from Rivers, Manitoba works with the Canadian Agricultural Rural Extension Society (CARES) who partners with organizations in Tanzania to promote micro-enterprise development, particularly for women. Through a recent project, CARES was able to improve the stoves that women used, and this resulted in less time collecting wood allowing girls to go to school, and increased the income of the whole family. Corina cannot even express what it feels like to make such a difference in the lives of these women, and encourages all Manitobans to get involved, in any way they can.