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2010 June

News and Updates from our Chapter

28 Jun


Failed States Index 2010

June 28, 2010 | By |

The Fund for Peace and Foreign Policy Magazine released their 2010 “Failed States Index” this month, “ranking 177 countries to determine those most at risk of failure.  The annual report uses 12 metrics including security threats, economic implosion, human rights violations and refugee flows.

Since the index was published for the first time in 2005, the top 10 slots have rotated among just 15 countries, and Foreign Policy said it seems that state failure “is a chronic condition”.  Africa has seven of the top 10 spots, and half of the 60 weakest states.”  (quoted summary is from Al Jazeera’s website).

Though one might not completely agree with the relative weighting of the criteria, and therefore may disagree with some of the specific rankings, the interactive map and rankings page are very informative and well worth exploring.

11 Jun


Africa Podcasts From BBC World Service

June 11, 2010 | By |

Get the latest BBC World news, features and analysis from Africa

This week’s suggestion is to stream or download one of the well-produced Africa-focussed podcasts from the BBC World Service.   These excellent audio files are a handy and effective way to keep informed of some major news topics and analysis, while fostering our connection to and our awareness of life in Africa.  

Don’t feel you have to wait until you have time to listen to a whole episode.  You’ll be pleased by how much you pick up from just hitting “play” and listening for a few minutes once a week while cleaning your (insert one:  kitchen, litterboxes, car, bathroom, spam folder … ).

Africa Today presents “daily news and analysis from the BBC’s Focus on Africa and Network Africa.”

This Week in Africa gives you “a look back at the people and events that have made the news in Africa this week.”

The African Perspective podcast is “a weekly African documentary, which takes an in-depth look at life on the continent.”

10 Jun


Call to ACTion

June 10, 2010 | By |

EWB’s advocacy work promotes improvements in aid effectiveness which we, and other experts, believe could seriously contribute to supporting growth in Africa.

In the coming month, EWB is running a large engagement campaign to reach over 60,000 Canadians in the lead up to the G8 summit. We are seeking to promote a more sophisticated message than the traditional “point seven percent”. We are asking Canada to ACT on aid effectiveness – making our aid more: Accountable, Creative, and Transparent.

Over the past two weeks, EWB members have been meeting with MPs, interacting with policy makers, and sharing information with the general public. Hear more about EWB’s Day of Action on Parliament Hill, by watching this week’s EWBBC episode.

One of our goals is to gather 20, 000 signatures from Canadians coast to coast showing wide spread support and political will to make these changes a reality and we would like your help!

Anyone can participate.  The attached signature campaign kit and petition provide  everything necessary to take ACTion in the Grand River Community and help us reach the 20,000 signature goal.

How much time is required to participate?

This is totally up to you, from 3 minuntes to 300, it depends on how many signatures you hope to collect in the next two weeks.  We suggest that you take a few minutes to review the attached campaign kit and become familiar with the issues and the rest is up to you.  Sign the petition yourself, or engage 30 of your closest friends and ask them to sign it as well!

How many signatures should I collect?

Once again, this is up to you.  We encourage you to set your own personal goal based on your own time and other considerations.

From whom should I collect signatures?

The possibilities are endless.  Some suggestions include: friends, family, co-workers, neighbours, and church members.  Although web based tools may be useful in spreading the message, we’ve found through past experience, that signature collection is most successfully done through in person contact.  So print out a sheet and carry it with you.

What is the deadline for submitting signatures?

Hard copies of the signature sheets are due to EWB-Grand River by midnight on Wednesday June 23.  We will be forwarding them on to join thousands of others from across the country before the start of the G8/G20 meetings.

You can submit your signature sheets at the Al Lukas: Live for Africa Concert on June 23, 2010 at the Rude Native in Uptown Waterloo.  If you are unable to attend the concert on June 23, please contact us at to make alternate arrangements.

Hard copies of all Signature Sheets must be submitted to EWB-Grand River by June 23, 2010.

Is there an online petition?

There’s no online petition at the moment. In the past, EWB has had more success with gathering offline signatures. Offline signatures also add more power behind our campaign for decision makers.


How do I learn more about ACT?

In the attached campaign kit, you will find background supporting material that breaks ACT down into a few key areas, outlining:
1) What the ACT campaign is;
2) Why these ideas matter;
3) An analysis of each of the main issues; and
4) Short descriptions and summaries of each of the main points. 

Additional information is also available on the ACT Website.

10 Jun


EWB-Grand River Development Action Camp

June 10, 2010 | By |

Always thought camp was just for kids?   Think again!

Summer is just around the corner, and that means that it’s time for EWB-Grand River’s first ever ‘Development Action Camp’.    This one day event is an opportunity to strengthen our network, understand what we want to focus on in the coming year, and have some fun along the way!

On Saturday June 19, 2010 you are invited to join an interactive and participatory day, where we look back at our activities, events and accomplishments from the past to create a vision and goals for the year ahead.  ‘Campers’ will be engaged in dialogue, experiential learning and idea generation to strengthen and focus our chapter activities.

Just like summer camp, be prepared to get your hands dirty (figuratively, not literally), challenge yourself, learn in a fun environment, and contribute towards a memorable and enriching experience for all.

Desired outcomes:

–      Develop a clear picture of what the chapter has accomplished

–      Determine key focus areas

–      Form goals and objectives to work towards for the upcoming year

–      Clarify and understand chapter leadership roles

–      Get excited about the action you can take!


Date: Saturday June 19, 2010
Time: 8:30am – 5:00pm
Location:  University of Waterloo, J.R. Coutts Engineering Lecture Hall (RCH), Room 207.  Map

Please RSVP using our contact form by Thursday June 17, to confirm your attendance, and receive additional details.  Lunch will be arranged based on RSVP response.

Kit List:
* Paper and writing utensil
* Lawn chair
* Snacks and drinks as required
* Your feedback, ideas and suggestions about the work of EWB-Grand River
* Thinking caps

Weather permitting, several of our sessions will be held outside, please dress appropriately.

Free parking is available in Lot X (North of Columbia St).  Parking is available in lot C for $3. See Map for parking locations.


8:30 – 9:00 Opening
9:00 – 10:00 Reflection: Why EWB? Why Me?
10:00 – 11:00 Thinking Big Picture: GR Vision and Focus Area
11:00 – 12:00 Rock’n  Roles
1:00 – 2:00 Setting the Stage: GR Goals and Activities
2:00 – 3:00 The African Programs Connection – Featuring Ben Best Live From Ghana
3:00 – 4:00 Choose Your Own Adventure: Activity Focus Groups
4:00 – 5:00 My EWB Action Plan

N.B. The day will be capped off with an optional, but highly recommended, pure fun evening to relax, unwind and enjoy each other’s company after our busy camp day.  No, it won’t be a campfire, but something so much more fun and enjoyable that it’ll blow all your socks off (please wear socks).  If you think you are up for the festivities, please indicate so in your rsvp and we’ll forward along the top secret details.