February 1, 2013 - 12:20am

NANAIMO, BC: From February 4-8, VIU’s community and members of the public can get involved in a variety of interactive events and activities that will help them build a better understanding of our connection to the global community and explore how Canada and Canadians are making a difference around the world. It’s all part of International Development Week (IDW), an annual event spearheaded by the Canadian International Development Agency. This year, VIU’s event is being officially endorsed by the City of Nanaimo.

IDW will kick off on Feb. 4, with an interactive activity aimed at getting VIU’s community immersed in the theme for this year’s event: the world’s water.

“We chose water because it’s a relevant and critical issue locally, regionally, nationally and internationally,” explains Savory.

During the week, Internationalization Intern Dominique Saab will be in the cafeteria on the Nanaimo campus, inviting people to share their thoughts on what access to clean water means to them. People can jot down their ideas on a card and Saab will take photos of the cards and post them to IDW’s Facebook page, where people can engage in an online discussion on water issues.

To delve deeper into the theme Margaret Catley-Carlson, who is world-renowned for her work on water issues, will be on campus to speak to a variety of classes and give a public talk. Catley-Carlson is patron of the Global Water Partnership, past President of the Canadian International Development Agency, and past Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Canada. In 2002, she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in recognition of her distinguished public service career.

Catley-Carlson will be taking her expertise to a variety of classes to speak to students and encourage them to examine the idea of water from different perspectives. “Another reason we chose water as the theme was because it touches on a lot of disciplines,” says Savory, “For example, it can be a political, economic and/or environmental issue.” Catley-Carlson will speak to accounting, geography, hydrology, political science and First Nations studies classes. She’ll then give a public talk Global Water: Local Water? on February 4, 5:30-7 pm, in the Malaspina Theatre on the Nanaimo Campus.

The next evening, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 6-9 pm, the Campus Food Movement will present "Voices of the River" a film about the Nanaimo River. After the film, Paul Manley, the film’s director, will be on hand to engage the audience in a discussion about the issues examined in his film.

There will also be a variety of sub-themes people can explore through different events and activities, including:

• a photography display in the library called “Hungry Planet”. The thought provoking photos by Peter Menzel and Faith D'Aluisio depict what an average family in different countries eats in a week.

• a speaker’s event presented by the Recreation and Tourism department called: “Socially Responsible Travel; the Unintended Consequences of Canadian Generosity”, February 6, 12-1 pm (Bldg 200, Rm 238).

• a talk by alumna Amanda Moore, who works in Ghana, entitled "Creating an International Career", examining what graduates need in their toolbox of skills, qualifications, and experiences to be successful living and working abroad, February 6, 1-2pm (Bldg 250, Rm 140).

• a WUSC symposium on volunteering and refugees, February 6, 6.30-9 pm, Royal Arbutus Room.

• a mini short film festival on February 7: "Water Matters", 12-1 pm (Bldg 200, R238); "It’s more than just a trail: Sustainable Tourism Development", 12-12:50 pm (Bldg 250, Rm 215); "Crossing Borders" documentary and discussion, 1-3 pm, Royal Arbutus Room.

• a presentation and discussion on February 7, hosted by Free the Children, on the “Five Pillars of Development”, 5-6.30 pm (Bldg 355, Rm 211).

• a film co-sponsored by Worldbridger and IDW called "Dirt! The Movie", a humourous look at the history and present state of the world’s soil, February 7, 7– 9 pm (Bldg, Rm 109).

“My hope is there will be lots of ‘food-for-thought’ activities for the community,” says Savory. “We want people to get involved and think more deeply about what it means to be a global citizen.”

Tags: In the Community

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