The Loss of CIDA
This week has marked the official loss of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), as the government of Canada merged it into the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development.
For international development majors like me, and workers in this field, this is monumental, and brings up a lot of questions. The government is currently saying that most efforts made by CIDA will continue under this new designation, but people in the field are wondering if this move will focus more on aid that helps to advance Canada's interests, as has been stated as a goal, by members of the government. This is worrisome, as it could mean more ineffective aid being dispersed, with new forms of tied aid emerging. Also, the consolidation of multiple aspects of international affairs could result in significantly less money being put towards international development.
Take a look at a recent Globe and Mail article on the subject here, and then let me know what you think!
We had the great privilege of being featured in a segment of the local Rogers Daytime show yesterday! Bree & Zain, two of my classmates, represented INDEVOURS wonderfully, and explained our mission, values, and future goals, as well as sharing some of our upcoming events.
Take a look here: http://www.rogerstv.com/page.aspx?lid=237&rid=54&gid=115011
One of the events that my counterparts promoted is the Family Festival, which we are hosting in the Uptown Waterloo Square (75 King St.) on July 6th. We will have booths with information on each of the countries we are going to be placed in, and fun games and activities for the whole family. There will also be a Latin band performing, and a magician! Also, because our rain barrel sale was so successful, we have decided to host another one at the Come on out between 1pm and 6pm that day for a fun time!
Ann Voskamp is a Christian writer who is well-respected. Earlier this week, she posted this letter to the North American church, which really struck me. Please take the time to read it here, and then come back and let me know what you think.
I have personally experienced both sides of this, and I love that she calls out the church for the tendency towards complacency.
"I am standing in Africa and you can hear the whole North American Church, rising up, crying out: What if caring for the poor was more than just caring about easing our consciences? What if caring for the poor meant feeling sacrifice for the poor? What if we weren’t really feeling care for the poor – until we were really feeling sacrifice for them?
Today I'd like to share a trailer for a new documentary with you. I think it is a very powerful two minute segment, and I can't wait to see the full movie!
INDEVOURS Rain Barrel Sale!
Get your rain barrels here, folks! This is the last week to pre-order a barrel (the poster says the 15th was the last day, but we haven't made our quota yet, so we're continuing to sell)!
We will be selling the barrels and accessories at the Kitchener Market (300 King St E.), this Saturday from 7am-3pm. There will be music and food and lots of INDEVOURS to chat with!
Rain barrels are great for your garden and the environment - they prevent groundwater from becoming contaminated by collecting rainwater before it can become contaminated and enter the groundwater, and the water is a great way to save on your water consumption in the summer!
Even if you have rain barrels already, check out our sale website - there are some pretty cool accessories to help you make the most of your barrels.
My family currently has about 5 barrels set up around the house and yard. Some have screens covering the opening to prevent mosquitoes from breeding in the water, and in others, we've put some goldfish to eat the larvae.
If you cannot make it to the Market for pick-up on Saturday, but would still like to order a barrel, let me know and we'll work something out!
So, now that I've convinced you that you really ought to buy a rain barrel - here's the website from which to order one: http://rainbarrel.ca/indevours/. See you on Saturday!
Our first big event is happening tonight! We will be hosting a battle of the bands at Bobby O'Brien's in downtown Kitchener. Come on out for a fun evening of music, games, and supporting the INDEVOURS!
The Battle will feature Whites And Colours, Beech Street, Seeing Eye Dog, and Quiet in the Land (formed of two INDEV grads of this year!). The competition will be fierce, and the last band standing will be winning a prize of a song recorded and produced by the generous folks at The Sound Distillery, a local studio. Bands will be judged by the talented Michelle Titian and Dave Houde.
INDEVOURS will be there in full force, ready to tell you about our plans for the next year, show you our future fundraisers, convince you to purchase our awesome buttons (come out to see what they look like!!), and get you to participate in the fun games (bring change along to play the games)!
Hope to see you there!
Water Safety PSA
Here is my spiel:
1. ALWAYS be within arms reach of your child. At the local pool I work for, we set a parent to child ratio of 2 kids under 10 who can`t swim per adult, and I think it is a good rule to follow - you don`t have more than two arms, and if you are not a trained lifeguard or an extremely strong swimmer, it is just not a good idea to go swimming with more than 2 weak swimmers.
2. Go swimming with a buddy!
3. Wear proper flotation devices - a life jacket or life preserver are wonderful choices, and pool noodles and inner tubes can be useful as well - if the swimmer understands that they need to hold on to them! I do not recommend arm floaties, as they can pop off kids' arms quite easily, and are can get caught on ladders and other such things. Also, another note is that putting your kid in a flotation device does not give you free rein to let them swim out of reach - please stay close to them - some kids are top-heavy and flip upside down in life jackets, or slip out the bottom if the crotch-strap is not done up.
4. Test your kids' swimming skills! The policy at my local pool is that to be allowed to swim alone when under 10, or to be permitted in the deep end, you need to be able to swim 25m on your front (front crawl or breast stroke), and tread water for 1 full minute without taking any breaks. This test makes sure that you can reach the edge of the pool and gives us an idea of your stamina if you become tired out and are in the deep end.
5. Don't get scared off by this! Enjoy the water - and if you or your kids need to learn some more swimming skills, sign up for some lessons at the pool - there are lessons offered for all ages and skill levels, and it is such a worthwhile skill to have!
Take a read here for an experienced perspective on the signs of drowning, and educate yourself before you head out to enjoy the summer weather: http://www.watersafetymagazine.com/safety-tips/drowning-doesn-t-look-like-drowning
Thank you for taking the time to read my public service announcement! I hope you have a wonderful time in the water this summer, and that these guidelines help set some safe boundaries around water.
My Life Mission
One of my assignments this term was to write a personal mission statement, a task I took seriously, and was pleased to find that within about half an hour of sitting down, I had produced the essential aspects I wanted included. I thought it might be of interest to those of you supporting me on this adventure, so have decided to share it here. Now, the main comment I received from the professor was that I need to include how I plan to accomplish these goals, and that is an answer that I am still mulling over and working on figuring out. For some of the statements, they are accomplished through life choices that I am already making, but others are more complicated and require some thought as to how I plan to make sure I practice them in my daily and future life.
Anyhow, let me know what you think!
My life mission is:
I read an interesting news story this past week, about Greek yoghurt and its’ potentially hazardous by-product, acid whey. I thought I’d share the main points here with you.
Greek yoghurt is different from normal yoghurt because it is strained and more acid whey is released from the product. This process makes a thicker and creamier yoghurt, but also requires much more milk to produce the same amount of yoghurt (instead of a 1:1 ratio, it is a 1:3 or 1:4 ratio of milk to yoghurt).
The growing popularity of Greek yoghurt (now a 2 billion USD market) over the past few years has meant that there is a significantly larger amount of acid whey being produced. Acid whey is similar in acidity to orange juice, and right now, there are not a lot of uses for it. This is unfortunate, because the acidity means that it cannot simply be dumped (there are laws against it), as the high acidity would mean that as it decomposed, it would use too much oxygen in the waterways and would cause significant die-off of marine organisms.
Currently, there are a few solutions, but they do not seem to be able to serve the supply of acid whey, and yoghurt companies are looking into alternative and more cost-effective ways of utilizing the whey. Some of these solutions include mixing the acid whey into animal feed (though it is essentially a junk food for them), or mixing it into manure and through anaerobic digestion, convert it into biogas and electricity. Proposed solutions include separating the protein from the whey to use in infant formulas, or separating the lactose and using it in food products.
If you’d like to read more about this issue, visit Modern Farmer here.
There are some people who make their own Greek yoghurt that have found ways to use acid whey – in baking, pickling, and other home remedies (see here, here, here, and here). I am glad that there is a way for people to make use of this by-product, though it probably is not to able to scale to the size that the Greek yoghurt companies would require.
I found it so intriguing that a health food that has been touted by media and that I have noticed growing in popularity, has such an unfortunate side to it. What do you think of this? Do you eat Greek yoghurt?
P.S. Rain barrels are still for sale at http://rainbarrel.ca/INDEVOURS/! We'll be selling them at the Kitchener Market on June 22nd, so order yours now and I'll see you there!
Welcome! My name is Katiana and I am a development professional pursuing my dream to live out Isaiah 1:17 to the best of my abilities. I am passionate about teaching and working with vulnerable families and children to improve their lives sustainably.
This blog is composed of my personal opinions, which do not necessarily reflect the opinion or views of institutions or organizations that I may be or have been affiliated with.