Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Overwhelming support!

In case anyone is interested in knowing how the fundraising is going let me tell you!

The target is $5,700. To date, $4,650 has been raised! This is fabulous. Thank you all for your generous support, I can assure you it has been put to good use and will make both work and camp living a little easier to adjust to. Of course, I am still aiming to meet the target which means I will continue to accept donations before and after I leave. Again, all gifts can be receipted if sent to:

Holy Rosary Parish

510 River Avenue
Winnipeg, MB
R3L 0E1

Thank you all for your support, it will truly help me in my efforts to support refugee learners in the camp and upon my return home to refugees integrating into Canadian communities.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The last supper..almost.

Let me just say that tonight was a fabulous evening with 5 women that I admire and respect very much. Put a geologist, a dentist, a symphony violinist, nurse, lawyer and international development grad together at one table and what do you get? An exciting tapestry of conversation, warmth, and a little while to place an order.

Thank you ladies for a great evening. You know who you are! Your curiosities about my travels spurs more questions and thoughts in my mind as well and I definitely look forward to keeping you posted on the answers I come up with. Of course I will update you on the realities of camp life; I'm sure it wont be as glorious as I've made it out to be :)

On that note, this is one of few dinners left with good food, great company and many ideas and I want you all (all readers, though I'm not sure whose reading) to know I look forward to enjoying the last few days we will share together...

14 days

It's 7:10 am. At this same time, September 4th, I will be stuffing the remaining necessities into my bags and taking one last look around as a reminder of what I will be leaving and eventually coming back to. Somehow I am ready for this...I suppose I need to be.

  • Water treatment tablets, check.
  • Head lamp, check.
  • Protein bars, check.
  • Adapter, check.
  • Lip chap, sunblock, and deet, double check!

Friends, I want to thank you all for your generous support! So far, over $4,000 has been raised for this initiative. This will definitely help cover some major costs and make living in the camp a little more tolerable. Water treatment tablets are definitely going to come in handy during times of emergency when boiling water is impossible or inconvenient and anti-malarial pills will also be a great deterrent from the skeeters' poison.

Before I wrap this up though, I want to send a special thanks to my mum, especially for her moral support. Your endless curiosity in this endeavor has truly made me feel more prepared and capable to cope with uncertainty and to offer all I can to the students and others I will be working beside. Thank you for your patience and unconditional love.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

24 days and counting...

During the last couple of years of my undergraduate degree I found myself wondering what it would be like to experience life as a refugee in the field. I wondered what it would be like to lose everything and have limited resources to live by, how difficult it would be to have little access to water, or to fathom the daily food ration, to have limited control over what you need or want. I wondered about the UNHCR's role in managing the worlds many camps and how it's rolled out logistically. I wondered how the humanitarian enterprise functioned especially in the event of war, who received what, how much and by who? And what political interests pulled countries together or drove them apart. I will soon have answers to these curiosities.

Dzaleka refugee camp in Malawi will be my first experience with this reality.

~ 10,000 refugees.

This is nothing compared to some of the worlds largest camps located in Kenya but these people have suffered nonetheless. Refugees have fled their countries and are temporarily residing in Malawi until refugee status is granted, they repatriate home or integrate into communities in Malawi.

I hope to understand how NGO's work together to manage the needs of thousands in a camp setting and with great intention, will honor the value of education in communities that will one day be integrated into ours.