TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 12, 2013) - On February 3, 2013, thirteen young leaders from three African countries met with Canadian First Nations to share their experiences and struggles. They each return home, energized to build social change.
Wanda Nanibrush of the Association for Native Development in the Performing and Visual Art offered the African delegates insight into the cultures and history of Canada's indigenous peoples. The discussion revealed that their communities had common experiences and similar dreams for the future. In particular, participants identified African and indigenous culture and values as key assets that should be preserved and utilized in building solutions to address environmental, economic and social challenges facing their communities.
One participant said: "Oppression is interrelated and there is great transformative potential in working together to understand what lies at the root of oppression, and what can be done to overcome it." The dialogue reinforced the learning potential of shared experiences.
The meeting was convened by Engineers Without Borders Canada (EWB), as part of the organization's Kumvana Program - a month long leadership and skills training forum which wrapped up this week. In 2013, the Kumvana program brought thirteen African leaders from Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Malawi to Canada, where they took part in work placements with Canadian companies, professional development training, and the EWB National Conference. The Kumvana program is hosted by EWB in partnership with 33 companies and organizations, including the program's financial partners: IAMGOLD, Aeroplan Beyond Miles, Le Playground, Hatch and IDRC. Through these leaders, EWB is continuing to unlock the potential in Africa by investing in smart ideas, people and ventures shaping Africa's development.
ABOUT EWB: Engineers Without Borders Canada works to fix broken systems. We invest in smart systems changers, incubating the systemic innovations they create to accelerate rural African development. It's about people working with people to create lasting, scalable change that unlocks human potential. In Africa, EWB's work includes water and sanitation, agriculture, and business optimization. In Canada, EWB focuses on government policy, citizen engagement, and consumer practices. All aim to create more equitable relationships between Canadians and Africans, and engage a network of 35 chapters, city networks across Canada. www.ewb.ca