The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund is committed to addressing long-term development needs and to working in partnership with local communities and organizations. Could you highlight one of your exciting new programs? We realize it’s difficult to choose!
One new program we are excited about is a youth microfinance initiative with NEDC (Nuu-chah-nulth Economic Development Corporation) in B.C. The Indigenous Youth Business Strategy program provides access to a loan fund to help Indigenous youth start a business, experience success, create job(s) and develop wealth. PWRDF funds will support the loan fund as well as programming to teach and support youth in marketing, cash flow, logistics, personal finance and budgeting skills.
Sharing stories is a great way of engaging Canadians on a human level. Could you illustrate how the PWRDF story library has been able to achieve this?
We have an incredible network of volunteers across the country sharing out our stories to their communities and parishes. They share monthly Voices of Hope stories in the weekly church service bulletins and speak at churches and many other community events – at schools, Lions and Rotary Clubs, with city officials, even at birthday parties and weddings! They share videos we have produced showcasing the work of our partners. We are active on social media and our volunteers are quick to share these stories to their networks, often adding context to make the stories more impactful for their respective audiences. We also produce devotionals for Lent and Advent in which we relate Biblical imperatives for justice and compassion to our work. People subscribe to receive these in their inbox every day. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Springhill, N.S. mining disaster in 1958 which was the beginning of PWRDF, and we are producing an e-book of 60 stories for 60 years. This will be on our website and the individual stories shared on social media. We will also be releasing a new video in honour of this milestone that features the inspiring work of two of our volunteers, a mother-daughter pair in Camrose, Alberta.
We’re looking forward to your panel at the CCIC 2018 Annual Conference focused on the perspectives of Indigenous communities in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals. Without giving too much away, what can we expect from this panel?
There is so much wisdom, impact, collaboration taking place within and across Indigenous communities. Now is the time to share this out, not just for the benefit of working more to strengthen the achievement of human rights in Canada but to share learnings with the broader global development community. Together, we can make progress on the SDGs. Results are happening.