I presently work with the UBC Centre for Intercultural Communication as an instructor/facilitator in two of their programs: Professional Global Innovation and Pacific Bridge. I worked in Sri Lanka from November 2006 February 2008 with World University Service of Canada (seconded to a local NGO) as the Livelihood Coordinator. Much of my work involved building cross-sector partnerships with government, UN bodies, NGOs and private organizations. I facilitated a monthly livelihood forum, helped support various projects around the island, helped implement value chain projects, and researched human/workers’ rights in IDP camps and on tea plantations. Before that, I was involved in international education as the Director of a private language school, as an English teacher in Japan, and as the Program Assistant at the University of Alberta’s International Centre. I did my undergraduate degree in Anthropology and Geography and have a Masters degree in Leadership and Training with a focus on sustainability.
I have always had a keen interest in far-away places, cultures, and human rights. To date, I have been to about 70 countries; I love how my perspectives change during and after each “adventure.”
I became involved with Oxfam as a result of my time in Sri Lanka. As a coordinator for a local NGO, I worked in partnership with various I/NGOs. I particularly liked the work being done by Oxfam Great Britain and was impressed with the grassroots work they were doing. I linked in to one of their Dairy Cooperative Programs and enjoyed learning about the innovative approach they were
taking. When I came back to Canada, I wanted to stay connected to my overseas experience, and found out about the Oxfam BC/Yukon regional office.
I am fairly new in being `active (locally) with Oxfam. I became a volunteer after attending one of the intake sessions in 2008, and quickly jumped into becoming a member (it helped me become more committed to the organization). I had ongoing discussions with the coordinator at the regional office who encouraged me to get more involved. As a result, I attended the regional assembly, became a regional steering committee member, and have since gotten involved in the `We Can campaign as a facilitator, and with the Regional Action Team in a support role. I see myself doing a lot more once I have a greater understanding of the `big picture…only time will tell.
Simply put, I enjoy just being part of an organization that really cares about social justice and envisions a world without poverty, not
only in theory, but through the action of its members. I have learned that there are many people out there (like myself) that are frustrated and want to see changes made to certain (detrimental) processes taking place globally. With that in mind, I am learning to throw those frustrations aside and not be so focused on my cynical-realistic `nature. Through constructive practice, rather than
destructive thought, I’m reinventing and balancing my realism with idealistic vision.