The graphic novels speaks to the courage of women to rebuild, to lead their families when their men are knocked down. The Congolese women are saying “Get up, Come on, We can do this, Together we are strong”!
The human rights situation in Cambodia is quickly worsening. Land eviction is currently a hot issue in Cambodia and, as you can see from this video, the police does not respect basic human rights when it is time to evict people.
Twenty-five years ago, a group of dedicated members and staff gathered to create a dynamic event that would bring the messages and the work of Development and Peace to a broader audience. Creating activities that were interactive, fun and educational, the THINKfast was presented as the first major initiative from the organization to specifically reach out to youth and young adults. It has since grown to be a highly popular program with an average of 150 groups from across the country who participate each year.
This year, we wanted to celebrate by giving the THINKfast a bit of a makeover. So, along with a new logo (check it out!), the kit will take on a different format.
As of January 18th, the new THINKfast will be online! Promotional kits will be sent to everyone who participated in THINKfast last year, along with anyone who requests a copy. Request yours by sending an email, with your complete mailing address, to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Activities, Prayers and Reflections will all be accessible in an online, searchable database. This will make it easier for returning Organizers to find their favourite activities, allow new organizers to more easily customize their event, and will facilitate sharing between Organizing Committee members as each piece will be available for download in PDF format.
This small change to an online system means that we have saved 90,000 sheets of printed material this year! That’s the equivalent of one whole mature tree! Give yourself – and a tree – a hug!
(You can hug the booklet, too, if you’d like!)
On January 18th, you will be able to register your THINKfast event, which entitles you to TWO FREE THINKfast T-shirts! So get your planning committee together, set a date for your 25-hour fast and celebrate 25 years of amazing youth making a difference in the world! Visit www.devp.org/thinkfast for more information.
The following experience comes from our delegates from Winnipeg, Barbara Gajda and Janelle de Rocquigny. To read this post in French, visit our French Youth Blog.
Along the long path called Camino das Artes at the site of the Cúpola dos Povos (the People’s Summit), many exhibits are set up to show, in a visual or auditory way, the challenges faced by our friends in the Global South. One that stands out is an exhibit of a burnt forest. For those who aren’t aware, setting fire to indigenous land is a strategy used by major corporations to force the inhabitants to flee so that the companies can claim the land.
Each day, we also pass by an exhibit by the Movimento Sem Terra (MST), a movement of landless workers and partner of Development and Peace – and we hadn’t yet introduced ourselves! Luckily, they asked us if we wanted to try pure cocoa grains – the perfet chance to chat! With the minimal Portuguese we knew, we tried to explain to our “companheiro” that our delegation is going to visit MST’s national school next week.
“Esperar!” (Wait!) he said.
Barbara is presented with plantain and meat by her new amigo.
He then presented us with a plate of plantain and meat.
“Quanto custa?” (How much does it cost?) we asked.
“Nᾶo, AMIGAS!!!” (No, you are my friends!)
A simple smile along with a mention of our partnership, and now we are amigos!
In this post, delegate Erynne Gilpin shares her experience of the first few days at the People’s Summit here in Rio.
There are over 30 workshops which take place each day in different time slots from 9:30am until 6:30pm – it is impossible to escape the feeling that you MUST attend EVERYTHING. The days are packed and we find ourselves trying to do everything and be everywhere all at once!
Gathering at 'our tree' to decide which workshops we will attend.
Yesterday, I stumbled into an incredible discussion led by working representatives from within the official summit. They are working together to create a Peoples’ Sustainability Treaty on Radical Ecological Democracy. Essentially, what tends to happen at large people’s gatherings is a lot of frustration that although we can:
A) identify the causes of social and environmental injustice
B) identify the effects of these destructive forces and
C) share various forms of addressing these problems;
it proves difficult to build a united citizens movement of all peoples.
How can this happen?
We need equal effort in Individual Action, Collective Action and International Law.
This workshop worked to formulate a treaty of higher ethics and values – in order to advance the humyn* understanding of humyn rights and dignity. They created the space to discuss how we can advance as a species, challenge ourselves and ultimately reach a level of conscious interconnectivity. We can then work to create institutions or transform existing institutions to also function within these guiding principles.
The leaders of this incredible workshop are working from within and outside of the Summit to continue this discussion. I am extremely excited to be involved in these conversations and will check in again!
After two days of training and briefing in the Development and Peace office in Montreal, the youth delegates from across Canada are embarking on their journey to the People’s Summit in Rio de Janeiro. In this special feature on our youth blog, this series will bring reflections and insights, from our delegates and from those we meet, on ecological justice and the alternatives being brought forward to world leaders by members of civil society from around the world.
Erynne and Janelle sewing banners
We’ve asked each of our delegates to share a short thought on what they hope to experience during the summit:
I’m really excited to have the opportunity to encounter the work of social movements in Brazil surrounding social and environmental issues. I look forward to sharing my experiences with you!
– Anna Weber, Regina, Saskatchewan
I’m a teacher in Winnipeg and have been a member of Development and Peace for nine years. In this time, the most important thing I have learned is how all humanity is connected. Our well-being is interwoven with the well-being of all people and the environment. On this Solidarity Tour, I look forward to meeting our partners and hearing their stories. We have so much to learn from our Southern brothers and sisters and I am excited to bring their stories home with me so that I can help connect my community with our global family.
- Barbara Gajda, Winnipeg, Manitoba
I’m so excited to be taking part in this delegation with such an incredible group of women. Having just completed my undergrad thesis examining the role of green-washing in the Canadian mining industry, I can’t wait to connect, strategize, and dream with movements working for ecological justice from across the world in the context of the People’s Summit. Talk soon!
- Kaitlyn Duthie-Kannikkatt, Ottawa, Ontario
Ola galeira! I am beyond excited to attend the People’s Summit with the incredible delegation from Development and Peace. I have just graduated (in fact I missed my convocation yesterday!) from Kings University College in London, Ontario, with an Honours Specialization in Social Justice and Peace Studies. I am extremely passionate about advocating and working for popular education, where youth like myself can be empowered through art and community collaboration. I am travelling to the summit as a Metis-Filipina-Irish young Canadian who is ready to learn, listen and be humbled by everyone gathering from around the world to make a world where all worlds fit. - Erynne Gilpin, Komoka, Ontario
I am happy to be a part of the People’s Summit delegation to learn from the lived experiences of our partners and the civil society groups. I want to know what food sovereignty and ecological justice means to them and how we as Canadians can learn from their efforts so that we can contribute to building a more sustainable global community.
- Katrina Laquian, Victoria, British Columbia
Follow our journey as we report and share our experiences and learning. We will be posting here, sharing tweets as @DevpRio20 and taking lots of pictures and videos to share on the D&P website, YouTube and Flickr accounts. Also, be sure to read the stories of our Francophone colleagues on the French Youth Blog.
It has been an eventful year for Development and Peace, and the strength and leadership shown by our members has been amazing. From coast to coast, thousands of students fasted for change and learned more about global issues of poverty and injustice at over 130 different THINKfast events!
Reports are still being submitted and donations are still being tallied, and already it’s certain that THINKfast 2012 was a huge success!
St Dominic Savio THINKfast in Edmonton, Alberta
Thank you to the teachers, chaplains, parents, student leaders and all who took the time to plan and run these events.
Thank you to the donors who generously supported the youth through online and cash donations.
And thank you to the students and youth who gathered to learn more about the work that Development and Peace does to support partners in the Global South, and who went without food to stand in solidarity with the poor and oppressed.
(Stay tuned in September for a full report on the results of this year’s THINKfast campaign!)
Send us your stories and any photos you wish to share and you may be featured on our Youth Blog and Flickr page!
Groups across the country have already started coming together to THINKfast! We are excited to share some of the great ideas that YOU have come up with in order to promote your events, fundraise, and encourage your friends, families and communities to take part.
Social media connects friends and family. Canada holds the title as the world’s most web-engaged nation, so it is likely very easy to reach your entire network (and then some!) using tools like Facebook. The Newman Club at the University of British Columbia is promoting their THINKfast event with a Facebook page where they are inviting people to join, sharing images and updates and letting people know why they are fasting for change.
Haul out your digital camera and show everyone what THINKfast means to you. A great example of a promotional video was done by the THINKfasters at St. Thomas Aquinas Secondary School in Brampton, Ontario – they even have their own YouTube channel and have linked to Development and Peace’s campaign videos. This allows participants to see how you plan to take action locally while also seeing the big picture and learning more about the work you’re supporting. Don’t they look like they’re having fun?
When you register online as an organizer or participant in a THINKfast, you are able to modify your Personal Page to create a message that tells people how YOU connect to the issues. Donors like to know why their contribution is important and why you believe in the work of Development and Peace. Check out St. John Bosco parish’s Team Page. They’ve used images from our campaign (available here) to create their own promotional poster!
It’s your mission – wear it!
Don’t forget that you can order THINKfast t-shirts from us for $15 each! These are North American, union-made shirts and make great prizes for your top fundraisers, look great on event organizers or on each of your participants!
We have over 70 Teams already registered online and many people have started their online fundraising. You are off to a great start as Lent begins … keep up the great work!
It’s a new year, and a brand new THINKfast kit has arrived!
If you participated in a THINKfast before, you should have received your 2012 THINKfast kit by mail. If not, register your group online, by clicking on the THINKfast tab above, and request a copy, along with your
This year’s kit includes great new activities, peaceful reflections and questions to get your group thinking and talking about small-scale farming and climate change.
Let’s work together to promote ecological justice and raise funds to support Development and Peace partners in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.
Last year, THINKfasters raised $193,095! That’s amazing!
A big congratulations to our top regional fundraisers:
British Columbia/Yukon: St. Thomas Aquinas High School, North Vancouver $7,471
Church of the Ascension, Parksville $2,222
St. Mark’s College, University of Vancouver $2,690
Vanier Catholic Secondary School, Whitehorse $755
Alberta/Northwest Territories: J.M. Picard Ecole/School, Edmonton $2,865
St. Thomas Aquinas Middle School, Red Deer $1,911
St. Stephen’s Parish, Central Alberta $3,053
Saskatchewan: E.D. Feehan Catholic High School, Saskatoon $1,724
St. Peter’s Parish, Regina $325
Manitoba: St. Boniface Diocesan High School, Winnipeg $4,052
St. Paul the Apostle Parish, Winnipeg $1,859
Ontario: Bishop Reading Catholic High School, Milton $8,707
St. John the Divine Parish, London $3,374
Quebec: St. Raymond’s Parish, Candiac $170
New Brunswick: St. Theresa’s Parish, Fredericton $1,000
Nova Scotia: St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Parish, Lakeside $4,025
Prince Edward Island: St. Paul’s Parish, Summerside $170
THANK YOU for all your hard work and for your commitment to helping a just world take root.
Remember, if you have any questions or would like more information about our online fundraising software, the kit or THINKfast in general, please contact Shelley Burgoyne at email@example.com, Raphael Arens at firstname.lastname@example.org or Pat Hayward at email@example.com.
Peace and many blessings on your THINKfast this year.
Erynne Gilpin is a Development and Peace member and a Delegate on our upcoming Youth Solidarity Tour to Rio de Janiero, Brazil. Here, she shares with us how her group at King’s University College at the University of Western Ontario made a local meal, and why that is so important.
Food and Justice
On December 10th, the students of the Development and Peace group, at King’s University College (UWO), gathered to break the bread and celebrate a socially just diet! The entire meal was made with ingredients from within a 100-mile radius of our city, in order to support the local economy. What does this have to do with Development and Peace’s focus on environmental and ecological justice?
The food industry is one of the leading causes of GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions on the planet. In fact, large-scale cattle, poultry and pork factory farms are the leading cause for methane emissions. Folks around the world are recognizing the potential that dietary choices have to impact social and environmental justice, which are intrinsically inter-connected.
Through supporting a local diet we are supporting diverse forms of justice in a myriad of ways. One such way is that we reduce reliance upon the destructive use of fossil fuels, through minimizing the distance food needs to travel from crop to kitchen.
A Kind Diet
The 100-mile diet fosters community and relationships between buyer and farmer. Although today, we can step into the florescent beauty of the supermarket and pick up a lovely avocado from Guatemala, we do not have the opportunity to thank or enter into a relationship with that farmer. Food is an incredible way to bring people together, whether it be through fair exchange of goods or through breaking the bread with our families and communities. When we know where are food is coming from, and of whose hands it was nurtured, we are able to have a more respectful and attuned awareness to those involved in its production process. Furthermore, this encourages the producer to be offer healthy and fresh food for their suppliers, and to be fully accountable for their produce!
Finally, localizing our diet is a great way to foster a sustainable, resilient and diverse local economy. One of the best ways to address impeding issues of climate change, is to create resilient and self-sufficient communities. Through supporting local trade and exchange, we foster an interdependent economy based upon diverse sectors, goods, and services. If a community is fully dependent upon one large supermarket, the moment something falters within its production practices, the entire community is affected. Through localizing our economies, we are creating a more resilient and sustainable means for future survival and well-being.
We ate: homemade pasta (Ravioli stuffed with pumpkin and goat cheese), a garden-fresh salad, homemade bread with delicious marmalade, butternut squash soup, a local organic pork roast, and finally a delicious apple cinnamon dessert.
We had an incredible time talking about the implications of our diet on the environment as we shared this incredible meal. We lived a fun, creative and delicious alternative to large-scale food industrialization, through our collective meal. Food is an incredible way to foster community, trust and interdependent living. We encourage other D&P groups to celebrate a deliciously local meal with your own communities, families and friends!
The deadline for applications has been extended to December 11, 2011!
Development and Peace’s Youth Program is organizing a pan-Canadian Youth Delegation to attend the Peoples Summit on the Environment in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, in June 2012! This summit runs parallel to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio + 20, and will be a dynamic experience for young leaders of the organization. The focus of this international conference also coincides with D&P’s current five-year theme of environmental justice!
Given this unique opportunity, this tour will replace the immersion trip usually organized for youth each year.
Please note that this is for young leaders who have been active for at least one year with Development and Peace and that all youth leaders, whether or not they have already participated in an immersion trip, are encouraged to apply to attend.
Download the application form here and please email your applicaton to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline to submit your application form is Sunday, December 4, 2011, December 11, 2011. Three Anglophone and three Francophone youth leaders will be selected to join the delegation and will be contacted before Christmas.
The statue of Christ the Redeemer overlooks Rio de Janiero
To be eligible, you must:
Be between 18 and 30 years (18 years old at the start of the tour, or 30 at the time of application).
Have been an active youth leader of Development and Peace for at least one year and your involvement must have been consistent and notable throughout the year.
Be a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident.
Be willing to share your journey with other youth and your community prior, during and after the trip through fund-raising, organizing events and via social media.
Be available for conference calls on a semi-regular basis from January to June, 2012.
Be available for travel between June 9 and June 29th, 2012.
Exact dates for travel are not yet decided, as we are waiting on official dates to be decided by the Peoples Summit organizers. There will be two days of orientation immediately prior to departure and approximately 15 days on the ground in Brazil where we will also have the opportunity to meet with some of Development and Peace’s Latin American partners.
Further details are given in the application form, but as always, feel free to contact me with your questions, or leave a comment below! We hope that you can join us on what is sure to be a fantastic learning experience.
Hi, my name is Rachelle Legault, a grade twelve student from École Secondaire Notre Dame in Woodstock, Ontario. I know you probably have never heard of it but that may be because my school only has about 80 students, for grades seven to twelve. Crazy right? Well it’s completely normal for me!
I am sure you are asking yourself, why is she writing on the blog. Well this year, I have the opportunity to do a co-op with Development and Peace. Here, I get the chance to run projects in my school concerning the topic of water bottles. Even though Development and Peace’s focus this year is the Ecological Justice campaign, the water campaign is still going strong at my school. I am in charge of this campaign at my school and Development and Peace is helping me along the way, to make sure this campaign will reach its full potential, and to make sure that I am able to succeed.
In my blog posts, I will be documenting my struggles, my successes and the outcome of my journey along the way. I know this won’t be easy, but I am certainly up for the task.
Have you done the Bottled Water campaign at your school? Leave a comment with your best ideas!