Strolling Polar Bears, Global Affairs Canada and the Aga Kahn Foundation

Under grey but mostly dry Vancouver skies, I attended CandyTown – A Yaletown Holiday Festival 2017 today with a friend. Amidst the sampling of black tea, waffles, and other treats at the stands, polar bears, gingerbread people and ladies on stilts were walking amongst the crowd. But the best was yet to come.

At one end of the CandyTown festivities, we found a 53-foot, custom trailer. We soon found out that the Aga Khan Foundation Canada (AKFC) and Global Affairs Canada have partnered to bring a special tour of the award-winning Together exhibition to towns across the country.

The exhibit brings photos and stories to visitors from the work that Canada, or 21 Canadian organizations, is doing to improve people’s quality of life in the developing world.

One part of the exhibit clearly presents a point of view that Voices For Our Planet shares: “People can’t thrive when their air, land and water systems are damaged. Positive, lasting development goes hand-in-hand with protecting and improving the environment.” Exactly!

The exhibit goes on to say that “successful economic development happens at the village level”. So does wildlife conservation.

“The most successful development programs equip women and girls with relevant knowledge and skills. These women become a vital part of their community’s social and economic growth. Making men part of the solution leads to lasting change. Everyone needs to be on board to make the world more equitable.”

Across the courtyard, the Rotary Club of Vancouver had a booth and were introducing people to the Suswa Community Schools Water Project they are working on. The Project’s purpose is to provide rainwater in a part of Kenya where schools currently lack a reliable water supply. An insufficient water supply negatively affects students’ health and retention, and the Rotary Club would like to improve this situation. Another way Canada cares.

If you’re reading this, please consider giving a year end donation to one of the organizations working to improve life in the developing world. If you don’t know of any organizations to donate to, check out the B.C. Teachers’ Federation’s list of Organizations and networks dealing with global issues. It’s not a complete list of charities in Canada, but it is a good starting point.

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Alison Wheatley

Alison Wheatley

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