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Gearing Up for International Development Week

Now in its third decade, International Development Week (IDW) has been a pivotal moment to inspire and involve Canadians to take on a global perspective and work together for a more peaceful, inclusive and prosperous world. This year, International Development Week will take place from February 5th - February 11th with a number of civil society organizations, universities and government agencies alike organizing events to commemorate the event.

We are an international development organization and IDW is a unique moment for us to think about how we engage in development work. As a field, international development has its roots in saviourism, and a top-down model that “sapped agency from recipient countries and people”. As an organization we’ve had to reckon with that past and rethink an approach to this field that is more participatory and collaborative and that centers problem-solving and ingenuity from the African continent. From working with ventures, to untying tied aid to championing innovation and solutions with the Canada-Africa Fellowship program so much of our work is centered around working together, and relentlessly pursuing change even if we fail and fail again.

This February we’re inviting all of you to a virtual screening of a film; How (Not) to Build a School in Haiti on Thursday, February 9 from 6pm to 9pm EST. Created by filmmaker Jack Newell, the film showcases the human collision of development, history and colonialism when a seemingly simple aid project spirals out of control in Haiti, forcing a reckoning on privilege and power. Following the film, we'll be hosting a curated panel discussion with leaders in development, aid and human rights, giving you a chance to submit questions and interact with panelists.

Panelists include Jack Newell, the filmmaker; Dr. Bonny Ibhawoh, a Professor of Human Rights and Independent Expert to the United Nations; Brian Harrigan, CEO of EWB Canada; and Beth Borody, Vice President, Sustainability at New Gold Inc., and Founder of Femina Collective. With a diverse group of voices, experiences and educational backgrounds, you’ll leave with a deeper understanding of global relations, foreign aid and the systems that weave them together. We can’t wait for you to join us! Register for the free event here.

Beyond our panel event, we invite you to follow our Instagram (@ewb_canada) where we’ll be sharing posts and highlighting moments from our Chapter community. Of course you are also invited to participate in broader international development week activities taking place across the country! This year's theme #GoForTheGoals encourages us to think through how we can work together to get even closer to achieving the sustainable development goals by 2030!

How will you go for the goals?

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