Tapping Our Trans-Local Potential for Change

Archive for the ‘Joanna Ashworth’ Category

Lessons in Diaspora Approaches to Development from a Collaborative Learning Workshop

Workshop participants share insights with each other in a discussion circle. Photo: Jean Bruno Nkondi.

This post was written by Joanna Ashworth, Researcher in the Centre for Sustainable Community Development and Co-Director of Engaging Diaspora in Development.

We just finished a five-month workshop series with 25 diaspora leaders. Here is a glimpse into what we learned together.

1. Take time to grow a learning community

One day a month for five months we gathered with SFU’s project directors, advisors and 25 diaspora leaders in a workshop series. This gave us the chance to network with fellow diaspora involved in similar development work. We learned so much from hearing about the work people are doing and about how we might collaborate with them. We also wanted to gain more skills and knowledge on how to develop our projects. There was good chemistry between people—we all feel like family now.

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Global health through the diaspora lens

Engaging Diasporas in Development Project Co-Directors Joanna Ashworth (left) and Shaheen Nanji. Photo: Greg Ehlers.

This post was written by Joanna Ashworth and Shaheen Nanji, Project Directors.

What does health mean to you? The question might sound simple, but only until you try to answer it. Is health simply a matter of a disease-free mind and body, or are there social, cultural, spiritual or environmental dimensions to be considered? How does our cultural, social and community background influence our understanding of ‘health’? These are just a few of the questions we will ponder when the “Engaging Diasporas in Development” project convenes its second public dialogue: Improving Global Health.

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Starting the conversation

Panther Kuol speaks at the Engaging Diasporas in Development Project launch.

This post was written by Joanna Ashworth and Shaheen Nanji, Project Directors.    

Simon Fraser University, with funding from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), is convening a public dialogue series called Engaging Diaspora in Development: Tapping Our Trans-local Potential for Change to explore the unique role of diaspora living in Metro Vancouver and the impact of their continued connection to the global south.

The first dialogue will be held on January 19th at SFU’s Wosk Centre for Dialogue (580 West Hastings Street, Vancouver) and will focus on diaspora-led efforts to reduce poverty and stimulate economic development.  Subsequent dialogues will examine health, education, peace and security and the overall impact and potential of diaspora in development. The dialogues are organized around the UN Millennium Development Goal (MDGs) themes.

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