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CCIC members include approximately 70 Canadian non-profit organizations working, both in Canada and overseas, on the front lines of social justice, humanitarian aid, economic and democratic development.

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IMPRIMER

Member Profile July-August 2016

CoDev

 

SCIC
Saskatchewan and Salvadorean youth playing a team-building game in El Zapote, Cabañas, El Salvador, during the Global Citizen Youth Leadership Program. The GCYL Program was a partnership between SCIC and the Primates World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF).
 

This month CCIC met with Jacqui Wasacase, Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Council for International Cooperation (SCIC) to discuss the recent funding cut by the government of Saskatchewan and its impacts on SCIC, and the #LookDeeper campaign, among others!

CCIC - CCIC was very disappointed to learn that as part of its recent budget cut, the government of Saskatchewan had ended a 42 year partnership with the Saskatchewan Council for International Cooperation (SCIC) and the Matching Grants in Aid Program.  Can you tell us about the impacts of this decision? 

Jacqui Wasacase - The Matching Grants in Aid Program (MGAP) was founded as a partnership between Saskatchewan citizens and the Provincial Government to leverage more funds for global cooperation, justice and peace. Originally created as a dollar-for-dollar grant matching program, the MGAP has been administered by SCIC since 1974 when a resolution to fund humanitarian, international cooperation, public education, and global poverty reduction programs on behalf of Saskatchewan people was unanimously agreed to by all parties in the Legislature.
 
Projects that have been funded through the program range from maternal health and food security, to co-operative business development, teacher training, children’s rights, emergency response, and more. SCIC’s members include leaders in the field such as Oxfam, Save the Children, as well as the relief and development programs of major churches – many of which run programs in Canada as well as internationally – such as Canadian Lutheran World Relief, Mennonite Central Committee Canada, and Presbyterian World Service & Development.
 
The real impact of the cuts is already being felt by SCIC member organizations and their international partners, who annually count on the matching fund to reach more people in need. For example, a current application to respond to flooding caused by Cyclone Roanu in Sri Lanka, which has affected more than 300,000 people, will not be funded as a direct result of the cuts. “For 42 years our members have been doing the difficult work of long-term, sustainable community development – the type of work which is often overlooked because it happens when the cameras turn away,” said André Magnan, SCIC’s President. The cuts will be felt within the SCIC office as well, with substantial cuts to staffing and office operations being decreased to 4 days a week starting this fall.

 

CCIC - The #LookDeeper campaign takes an in-depth examination of issues such as hunger, health, education and conflict. What is this campaign hoping to achieve? And how can people get involved?

Jacqui Wasacase - The goal of our #LookDeeper campaign is to engage ordinary citizens in effective sustainable development by using the arts and creative messaging. The campaign invites people to consider the root causes of these four major global challenges, in order to change the public perception of international development from a charity-based model, towards a justice-based perspective.

Embarking on new territory, this ambitious and creative campaign uses commercial radio advertising outlets to share poetry carrying messages of justice and solidarity that are not heard on mainstream media. Through the creation of these poetic radio ads, our goal is to connect people on a human level, regardless of personal politics, to give voice to the issues and to demonstrate that being an active global citizen means working for human rights, equality, partnerships, and ecological resilience.

The campaign was designed to be accessible to people who don’t have backgrounds in international development, while at the same time not oversimplifying the issues, and providing multiple avenues for people to engage at a level appropriate to them. Citizens can simply use the website to listen to the radio ads, explore the underlying causes of global health, conflict, education, and food security challenges, and read stories of sustainable solutions. But, there are also tools to continue learning and take small personal actions, including taking a pledge to LookDeeper, and to engage others through social media and other avenues.

 

CCIC - Why must a human-rights based approach be at the core of Canada’s global cooperation policies and programming? How is this linked to Global Affairs Canada’s recent International Assistance Review?

Jacqui Wasacase - Human rights are not realized consistently the world over. Men, women and children around the world face human rights abuses every day. In this increasingly globalized world economy it is vital that Canada not be complicit in the wide spread human rights abuses that are occurring, and further act as a leader in advocating for change, making principled decisions in terms of aid, trade and commerce. 
 
The recent International Assistance Review initiated by Global Affairs Canada gave agencies and individuals involved with international aid work to provide feedback and suggestions on government policies and priorities moving forward. In consultation with our members, many concerns and suggestions were raised relating to human rights.
 

For example issues related to food security are of significant concern to many of our members. The rights of people to have access to land, water, seeds and other resources to sustainably feed themselves was a major theme in our discussion. Along with calling on the government of Canada to be a leader in principled business and trade deals, and advocating for environmental and social safeguards against abuses by Canadian companies operating abroad. Our actions and investments here impact the lives of others around the world. From environmental and labour exploitation to state armament, it is vital we move forward with open eyes and a clear national conscience.

 

CCIC - In 2016, the Global Citizen Youth Leadership Program embarked on a speaking tour in Saskatchewan, inspiring youth to become leaders in their local and global communities.  Why is it important for youth to see themselves as global citizens?

Jacqui Wasacase - In this globalized world, the challenges that face humanity are increasingly global in scope and require global solutions. In order to move humanity towards sustainable, peaceful solutions, SCIC believes in supporting youth in becoming critically informed, motivated, globally competent citizens with social problem solving skills and a willingness to challenge misinformation and government inaction.
 
The Global Citizen Youth Leadership Program is grounded in a belief in supporting students to develop a critical awareness of ourselves and our global identities. By exploring how power and privilege shape our world, learning how local and global issues are connected, and through experiencing positive relationships across cultural and geographical differences, the youth leaders emerge more prepared to engage in difficult conversations and the creative problem-solving that is needed to address these global challenges.

 

CCIC - SCIC is a longstanding and engaged CCIC member. Can you share one membership highlight from the past year?  

Jacqui Wasacase - SCIC had the opportunity to send Rosemary MCallum, a long standing board member to the CCIC Women Leaders Forum this past fall. Rosemary returned from the forum with lessons and experience to share with the rest of the organisation. Rosemary summarised her experience as, “…equal parts inspiration, valuable information, and practical skill-building.”  It was a rewarding opportunity that will have lasting impact.  We are pleased that CCIC has prioritised and supported this type of opportunity for women leaders, and we look forward to participating in future events like this!

 

 

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