Change the world with International Development Week at York

International Development Week is an annual event that takes place each February at York University in conjunction with a national event. This year’s version runs from today to Feb. 9 and is designed to spread awareness of important development issues and highlight key global initiatives.

Featured this year is a lecture by Chris Smart, the former director of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Special Initiatives Division. The IDRC is a public corporation created by Parliament in 1970 to help developing countries use science and technology to find practical, long-term solutions to the social, economic, and environmental problems they face.

Other events include a non-governmental organization (NGO) trade fair, a presentation from CIDA election observers who have just returned from monitoring the Palestinian elections, and much more.

Professional Development Speaker Series, Part I – Chris Smart, former director of the International Development Research Centre Special Initiatives Division
Senior Common Room, 305 Founders College

Smart will give a presentation titled, “The planet as I find it”. He will describe his many years in the field of development and discuss what he has learned from his experiences. Smart retired from the IDRC in October 2003 after 24 years with the organization. Since 1998, he has served on the board of Voluntary Service Overseas Canada and is currently Chair of the organization’s board of directors.

Monday, Feb. 6
Movie Screening of
Shake Hands with the Devil – The Journey of Romeo Dallaire
Stedman Lecture Hall A

A vital document in any understanding of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, Shake Hands with the Devil looks at the disaster through the eyes of a hugely conflicted observer. Romeo Dallaire was the Canadian general commanding the powerless UN forces in Rwanda; he pleaded with his superiors to intervene and possibly stave off the slaughter, and then watched helplessly as the country went to hell. The film follows Dallaire’s return to Rwanda in 2004, as he tries to exorcize the demons that have haunted him. He suffered a breakdown and suicidal depression after his service in Africa.

Tuesday, Feb. 7
NGO Information Fair
Bear Pit, Central Square
12 to 4pm

The International Development Studies Student Association presents its second annual NGO Fair in conjunction with the Ontario Council for International Cooperation. This event provides an excellent opportunity for York students to learn about the work of non-governmental organizations and the potential for student involvement.

Participating NGOs include:

  • Beehive Collective
  • Casa Canadiense
  • Oxfam
  • Las Nubes
  • Canada World Youth
  • Canadian Crossroads International
  • Development and Peace
  • Guatemala Community Network
  • Mines Action Canada
  • Peace Brigades International
  • Pueblito
  • Rooftops Canada
  • SalvAide
  • World Vision Canada
  • Engineers without Borders
  • Global Aware

Wednesday, Feb. 8
Professional Development Speaker Series, Part II – Fresh from the elections in the Palestinian Territories
Brian Craigg Theatre, room 211, Founders College

Fresh from the elections in the Palestinian Territories, two election observers with the Canadian International Development Agency will discuss their careers, experiences and offer advice for students interested in following a similar career route. Rania Karam, public engagement officer at Canada Corps, will also speak about CIDA’s youth programming and Vanessa Podgurny, member of Canada Corps Election Team, will discuss Canadian Election Observation Missions.

Thursday, Feb. 9
Movie Screening of
T-Shirt Travels
Vari Hall D

What happens to all those old clothes you bring to the Salvation Army or Goodwill Industries? Join the International Development Studies Student Association in viewing T-Shirt Travels, a comprehensive program about Third World debt and secondhand clothes. While traveling to Zambia, the filmmakers were amazed to find almost everyone wearing Calvin Klein, MTV and James Dean t-shirts. Huge bales of American secondhand clothing are sold to African importers, putting many African clothing manufacturers out of business.

For more information on York’s International Development Week, visit the York International Web site.