This post was written by Chloë Straw, Project Research Assistant.
The Engaging Diasporas in Development Project held its third dialogue, Education for Development, on May 18th, 2011. Ten impassioned storytellers recounted a mosaic of personal anecdotes that served to explore three central questions: (1) what kind of education is needed for development? (2) How do educational projects create opportunities and choices? And (3) what is unique and inspiring about diaspora-led educational strategies for development?
The evening commenced with a warm welcome and introduction to the project from co-directors Shaheen Nanji and Dr. Joanna Ashworth. Invoking the words of the influential Brazilian educator Paulo Freire, Dr. Ashworth spoke of education as a dialogue between people, based on the facts of their lives, which should not be confused or contorted into a banking system that “makes deposits of knowledge into others.” She also stated that, education is “an act of freedom” and that, for the purposes of the evening, ‘development’ should simply be understood as “the process of change, from one state to another.”
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This post was written by Douglas Olthof, Project Researcher and MA in International Studies at Simon Fraser University.
It is an understatement to call Vancouver a diverse city. Take a ride on the Skytrain during peak hours and you are likely to overhear conversations in four or five different languages. Explore the city’s restaurants and you can sample cuisines from around the globe. Cruise the summer festival scene and you will experience cultural delights from every continent. It is undeniably the case that the cultural milieu of our city draws substance from as many regions of the world as there are seats in the UN assembly.
As residents of this pluralistic metropolis we can easily recognize the contribution that the diaspora have made to our city’s development. What is less obvious, however, is the contribution that members of the diaspora make to development around the world. One of the objectives of Engaging Diaspora in Development Project is to identify and highlight diaspora involvement with international development. This effort is already turning up some remarkable stories:
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