VIU hosts International Development Week Feb. 6 to 10

February 1, 2012 - 7:26am

World-class international guests, music, films, discussions, photography and poetry all related to the theme “The World’s Indigenous Peoples” will be featured during International Development Week (IDW) at Vancouver Island University’s Nanaimo campus Feb. 6 to 10.

The events are open to the public and provide a window into countries where social justice does not prevail.

VIU students, faculty and staff from Global Studies, Recreation and Tourism, Modern Languages, Nursing, Early Childhood Education, International Education and other program areas are involved with planning and hosting events, volunteering, and participating in IDW.

Three international guests will be on campus all week, making presentations in classrooms and engaging with students, faculty and instructors. The public is invited to the following events:

Mon., Feb. 6, 8:30 am to 10 am, Building 180, Room 134

Dr. Kofi Barimah, Dean of the Faculty Of Public Health and Allied Sciences at the Catholic University College in Fiapre, Ghana, will speak on the acculturation of immigrants, particularly with respect to their use of traditional medicines.

Mon., Feb. 6, 6:30 – 7:30 pm, Royal Arbutus Room

Carlos Reyes-Manzo, a Chilean-born photo journalist, social activist and poet, will present his photographs and share his perspectives with VIU students, staff, faculty and the public. He studied photography and in 1964 began working as a photojournalist in Chile. Following the military coup in 1973 in which General Augusto Pinochet came to power, he was detained and imprisoned for two years and in 1975 was exiled to Panama. In Panama he worked as a photojournalist but in 1979 was kidnapped in Panama by the Chilean secret police and sent back to Chile via London. He escaped from the plane in London Heathrow Airport and has since lived in London.

Reyes-Manzo has travelled extensively throughout Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia documenting people who are marginalized from society and who suffer human rights abuses. He is Amnesty International UK’s first Poet-in-Residence. Reyes-Manzo’s photography exhibition will be on display in the VIU Library from Feb. 6 to March 15.

Following the talk, a reception to welcome international guests to Nanaimo will take place at 7:30 pm in the Royal Arbutus Room. Everyone is welcome, there will be a no-host bar.

Tues., Feb. 7, 11:30 am to 1 pm, Building. 250, Room 125:

“Combatting Human Trafficking” is a discussion led by VIU alumni Amanda Moore (Bachelor of Tourism Management) and Putu Kristen Hunter (Global Studies) regarding the work they did as students and as alumni in the area of international development and specifically human trafficking. They will be joined by Tourism alumna Brianne Labute who was mentored through an internship with Moore in Ghana last spring.

Tues., Feb. 7, 4 pm – 5:45 pm, Building. 356, Room 109:

On assignment from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), Douglas Coutts will share his thoughts on world hunger and global and local solutions. Coutts, a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Auburn University in the USA, has more than 23 years of experience with WFP, more recently as Country Director for Bangladesh, where he oversaw the organization’s single largest development operation. He has represented WFP all over the world, including as the UN’s first Humanitarian Coordinator for North Korea, responsible for implementing what at the time was WFP’s biggest emergency operation. He also served as WFP Country Director in Nepal and Namibia, and as WFP’s Representative to the United Nations.

“We invited Doug Coutts to provide our community with an opportunity to find out firsthand about the activities of the WFP, understand the work individuals in his position undertake as well as what can be done locally and globally to help eradicate hunger,” said Dr. Catherine Schittecatte, VIU’s Chair of the Global Studies Program.

Tuesday, Feb. 7, 6 to 9 pm, Royal Arbutus Room

A presentation called “Refugee Rights, Issues and Resettlement” is co-sponsored by VIU’s World University Service of Canada Local Committee and the Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society.

“Any refugee, community member, or person working with refugees is invited to come and meet others, share their stores and experiences, and learn about refugee rights, issues and the supports that are in place,” said Paula Phelan, co-chair of the local WUSC committee. “We are hoping to build a local network that can share knowledge and support.”

Wednesday, Feb. 8, 11:30 am to 12:10 pm, Malaspina Theatre (Building 310):

Also as part of IDW, the world famous Watoto Children’s Choir, a Christian choir made up of Ugandan aids orphans will perform an uplifting, energizing performance on campus. Admission is by donation.

Wednesday, Feb. 8, 12:15 – 1 pm, Building 250, Room 210

Martin Mpanga, Director, Operations and Administration of the Children’s Sure House in Uganda, will speak about “Social Development and Education in Uganda” and describe a unique model of education and ecotourism partnership.

Wednesday, Feb. 8, 7 pm, Malaspina Theatre, Building 310

As part of the Royal Society of Canada Governor General Lecture Series, Dr. James Miller, Professor of the Department of History at the University of Saskatchewan and Canada Research Chair in Native-Newcomer Relations, will make a presentation entitled “We are all Treaty People: New Models for a Shared Future”. Register online at

Thursday, Feb. 9

Several other engaging events are planned during IDW, including Worldbridger film screenings of Milking the Rhino (11:30 am to 1 pm in Building. 250, Room 125) and Experimental Eskimos and Our First Voices (a double feature) at 7 pm in Building. 356, Room 109.

As well, a mini-conference will be held (4 to 7 pm, Building 355, Room 211) for people who want to be active on issues of social justice in the community. Registration is required by Feb. 6. Email

For a full schedule of International Development Week activities at VIU go to

For information, contact Meg Savory at 250-740-6378.

Tags: In the Community

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