Voices from the Field

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Date(s) - Thursday, February 11, 2016
6:30 pm - 9:00 pm

University Women's Club

IIWR-MB’s program during International Development Week! For 26 years, International Development Week (IDW) has taken place during the first full week of February, and is a great opportunity to explore how Canada and Canadians are making a difference around the world!

The theme for IDW 2016 is “We Are Making A Difference.” As part of IDW, IIWR-Mb held a special presentation on February 11th, Voices From the Field – Winnipeggers are making a difference!

We heard from our members as they shared their stories of what they have learned in travels, work and study about the lives of women:

  • Students who experienced an intensive study program at the UN
  • A member who worked in Ethiopia, and connected with school girls and a special hygiene program
  • A member who recently returned from Nigeria, and can report on the recent activities of the kidnapped girls (Bring Back Our Girls)


Christine Williams & Angeline Rivard (IIWR VP-Youth) kicked off the event by sharing their experiences partaking in a UN Study Tour with the University of Winnipeg last fall. This study tour was the last human rights course that Christine and Ange will take before graduating with a human rights degree this June! After learning about the UN throughout the degree, physically traveling to the UN was a phenomenal way to capstone their degrees.

While in New York, Christine and Ange had the chance to act as rapporteurs for the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders.  The group had the opportunity to meet with Simon-Collard Wexler, who is presently the 1st Secretary for Political Affairs at the Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations.The group also met with Jeffrey O’Malley, an alumni of the University of Winnipeg who is presently the Director of the Data Research and Policy Division of UNICEF!

Nancy Cosway, IIWR’s VP Admin, shared insights from her recent trip to Ethiopia to tackle menstrual hygiene issues. Nancy highlighted discrepancies in rural Ethiopia: although there were big signs about washing hands, water taps were frequently broken, inaccessible and remote. Nancy shared some troubling information about menstrual issues in Ethiopia. Nancy partnered with Days for Girls, distributing menstrual kits and educating girls on menstrual issues. There was one testimony from a girl who received a kit!

Florence Okwudili, the co-chair of IIWR-MB, recently returned from Nigeria. Florence updated the audience on the status of the infamous Chibok girls, whose kidnapping sparked the #BringBackOurGirls movement.
Florence transported us to a camp in Nigeria, providing numerous details that highlighted the daily realities of living in one of these camps.

Mary Scott, co-chair of IIWR-MB, pictured with the 4 presenters of the evening. We thank these ladies for taking us on a journey around the world last evening and sharing thoughtful insights into their practical experiences.

photo: Mary Scott, Christine Williams, Angeline Rivard, Florence Okwudili, Nancy Cosway. Photo Courtesy, Terumi Kuwada.