Welcome to World Neighbours Canada
World Neighbours Canada Society was founded in Oliver, B.C. in 1989. Programs are currently active in three program areas: Nepal in Asia, Burkina Faso in Africa and Honduras and Guatemala, in Central America.
posted by Judy Gray, with information from Libby Denbigh
The Denbigh family in Salleni, Nepal – Libby, our newest Board member, wearing a white Tilley hat.
My name is Libby, short for Elizabeth, but nobody calls me that except the bank. My late husband, David Denbigh, was a member of the board of World Neighbours for several years. He passed away suddenly last December and I am honoured to be asked to take his place on the board. I don’t expect to be able to fill his shoes, (they were size eleven, after all) but I will do what I can to help this really important organization. I have seen first hand what money from WNC has accomplished in Nepal as I have been there twice. Our initial interest was spurred by our younger daughter’s death in 2006. Her last wish was that we should find an NGO that worked with the villagers of Nepal. We chose World Neighbours because all of the board are unpaid volunteers. All the money donated goes to fund new water systems in the rural area of Ramechhap in Nepal, or to projects in Honduras and Burkina Faso. We have been supporters ever since. I am a retired primary teacher. I have three children and four grandchildren and I enjoy camping with them in the summer and skiing in the winter. Originally a farm girl from Manitoba, I have lived and worked in Kamloops since 1970. I look forward to serving on the board of WNC for as long as I can be of assistance.
by Bruce Petch, WNC director
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
World Neighbours Canada is a member of the BC Council for International Cooperation (BCCIC), a network of organizations working in international development. I attended the annual general meeting of BCCIC in Vancouver in mid-September. It was a great opportunity to meet with other BC organizations who are also engaged in the alleviation of poverty around the world. BCCIC has provided a number of very useful workshops over the past year, with topics such as project monitoring and donor stewardship. The network also fosters connections with Global Affairs Canada, and a current employee and two retired employees from this branch of the federal government attended the meeting. They were able to provide insights into the functioning of this sector of our government. Lastly, BCCIC is a useful link to “the big picture” of international development. A current focus of attention is the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations, a lofty set of goals intended to make the world a better place for everyone by 2030.
a short excerpt from, “Sustainable Community Development” written by Navjot Gill as a reflection of her 2016 field visits in Ramechhap, Nepal ]
I had the opportunity to accompany the TSS (Tamakoshi Sewa Samiti – our partner NGO in Nepal) team to the district of Hilidevi for an initial community-wide engagement visit. Here, TSS will support the construction of household toilets. This work will be funded by the Global Affairs Canada grant in Maternal, Newborn and Child Health. The community of Hilidevi faces many challenges in health care and development. First, it is extremely isolated. It is a 5-hour drive from Manthli and roads are often closed due to the weather. Second, the community lacks basic necessities. There is no access to electricity and most people have no access to water. Lastly, the village does not have accessible health care, though there is a health post in the district headquarters. With so many challenges, where does development even begin?
The community-wide meeting in Hilidevi gave individuals, families, and service providers an opportunity to discuss some of these challenges. In total, there were 8 TSS personnel and 55 community members, ranging from children, mothers, elders, teachers, health care workers, political leaders and female community health volunteers. TSS project coordinator and board member presented their invitation for collaboratively building household toilets in the district. This was followed by an invitation for community members to discuss their experiences of health care. Themes that circulated the room were access to healthcare services, lack of accessibility due to their geographical location, the need to include and provide for those who cannot afford to build their own toilets, and an agreement that ODF (open defecation free) was a priority for the community. This participatory process ensures community buy-in, allows dialogue and discussion, and further gives community members, like the health services providers, an opportunity to discuss the importance of topics like household toilets in relation to infectious disease.
Board of Directors for WNC: (left to right) Judy Gray, Bruce Petch, Laurena Rehbein, Mary Doyle, Graem Nelson, Libby Denbigh, Dale Dodge and Nav Gill
The Annual General Meeting of WNC took place last weekend in Penticton B.C. As always, it was an intense, though very cordial meeting, with many items to cover. Much of the discussion centred on developments dealing with our Maternal Newborn Child Health grant from the federal government. Activities are underway in each of our three project countries; and our partner NGOs are very happy to know that funding will be secure for the next four years. Some Board members are experiencing a very sharp learning curve with respect to the documents required by the government!
We are also very happy to announce that Libby Denbigh has joined WNC Board. We’ll be profiling Libby soon on our website.