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.
Nick (17) from Clandeboye, Manitoba, works for his father company Green Bean Coffee Imports which is a certified Fair Trade coffee roaster. Nick is Making a Difference by using the company as a platform to promote Fair Trade to Manitobans as a equitable system of production and trade, whereby producers are paid a fair price. He travels throughout the province to spread the word and believes that many more young Manitobans are creating change than we would think. Nick was one of six students who came together to write the song ‘Get Up!’, which encourages all young people to Get Inspired to make a difference, in any way they can.
Roberta (30) from Winnipeg, Manitoba, has worked for the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace, a member agency of MCIC. She is Making a Difference by helping volunteers in Canada implement educational campaigns in their communities on international issues and works in both English and French. Roberta had the opportunity to travel to Guatemala to visit some development projects and learned that big progress is being made in the lives of many women who are now able to read and write and thus improve their lives. Such experiences served only to reconfirm Roberta’s conviction in her work, and she has seen first hand that young and old people working together can Make a Difference.
Othello (29) from Winnipeg, Manitoba, helped to develop the African Market in the Central Park area of Winnipeg. Born in Liberia, he saw first hand the injustice that young people had to bear in the refugee camps of the Ivory Coast. When he immigrated to Canada, Othello was determined to Make a Difference by encouraging fellow African immigrants to produce their traditional goods and sell them in an African Market which he set up with the help of other volunteers. This brightened up the area of Winnipeg in which is situated and continues to be a space where people from all backgrounds can share their culture.
Zoë (25) from Beresford, Manitoba, is studying Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Winnipeg. Zoë is Making a Difference by putting what she has learned into practice in developing countries. She worked for six months in Nairobi, Kenya for a national women’s organization, and discovered that many of the concerns that Kenyan women had were similar to those of Canadian women. Zoë believes that these shared problems reflect how our world today is interconnected in so many different ways, a state that, she believes, justifies the importance of everyone’s participation in international development.
Sané Dube (24), originally from Zimbabwe, has a passion for HIV/AIDS issues. Currently an employee of Nine Circles Community Health Centre, she works on getting services to those suffering from HIV/AIDS in Manitoba. Eventually, she plans to return to Southern Africa, using the knowledge she’s gained here to help those in her home country. “It’s amazing how similar issues come up around HIV/AIDS, no matter where you are in the world,” says Sané. “This really is a global issue.”
Dale Camuyong (17) believes music has the ability to reach youth and get them engaged in global issues on a deeper level. As participant in MCIC’s High School Music Video project, Dale worked with seven other youth from across Manitoba to create an original music video on issues of fair trade and child labour. “Today we have more access to information about these things than ever before”, he says. “There’s no excuse not to be informed.” Dale also promotes social justice in his High School and mentors younger students on issues like peer pressure and drug use.
Todd Phillips (28) recently got the news that his life-long dream will be fulfilled. An Engineering graduate and instructor at the University of Manitoba, Todd has been accepted to go on a mission with Doctor Without Borders. “For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to work for this organization,” he says. “I really believe in the work that they do and the way they deliver assistance overseas.” Todd will be working in the Engineering Division, setting up medical stations for the staff. He is also one of the founders of the Manitoba Chapter of Engineers Without Borders at the University of Manitoba.
Kathy Sexsmith (25) of Winnipeg, Manitoba has found her life’s passion in fair trade. As an Economics student at the University of Manitoba, she was inspired by a professor who spoke of unjust trade relationships and the exploitation of workers. “I couldn’t leave this question of fair trade behind,” says Kathy. “I knew changes needed to be made.” After completing a Masters Degree at Oxford University, she now plans to research fair trade at the PhD level in her studies at Cornell University. Kathy has worked with MCIC to inform government of the benefits of fair trade and encourage them to carry fair trade wines through the Manitoba Liquor Control Commission.
Leslie McNabb (28) believes in the power of youth and the importance of exposing them to other cultures and ways of life. In her work as a Project Supervisor for Canada World Youth, Leslie has seen first-hand the change that comes over young people when their eyes are opened to the world. “I honestly believe that if we could all spend some time in someone else’s shoes, we would see that we all have the same fundamental values,” she says. Leslie currently works in community development, providing services to inner-city residents of Winnipeg.
Brad Johnson (18) of Gimli, Manitoba believes in the power of community. At the age of 16, Brad became a Councillor in Gimli’s Town Council, bringing the concerns of young people to local decision makers. In 2009, Brad and the Youth Community Partnership in Gimli worked with the Town Council to have Gimli declared a Fair Trade Town by Transfair Canada. Brad continues to promote fair trade in his community and plans to study Business at the University of Manitoba, “so I can bring my values of ethical consumption and trade into the corporate sphere,” says Brad.