After visiting Pakistan last year I will always have a spot in my heart for the country. One of the most inspiring people I have heard speak about education is Malala Yousafzai the young woman who was shot by the Taliban due to speaking out about the need for all people, girls included, to have access to education. Her message is one of hope as she does not ask for revenge on the Taliban but rather states that she hopes that the children of the Taliban will also have access to education. Her message is inspiring and reminds us that we each have a role to play in helping to provide education to all so that we can build a more peaceful world. To hear her whole speech please click here. I have also included some highlights below.
Spending time with Sam Effah and Amonn Nelson reminded me of a couple of things, first of all that reaching goals takes a lot of hard work and secondly it inspired me to go for a really hard run in my workout that day!
They shared with me that taking the first steps towards their goals whether it was trying Track & Field for the first time or pushing towards the Olympics was one of the hardest parts. Both of them needed others around them to inspire them. For Amonn it was her Mom and her coach. For Sam his parents and his coaches also made a huge impact. These were the people who knew them and told them they believed in them. It reminded me that often we forget to tell others what we see that is good in them. Wouldn’t it be awesome if everyday someone told you what they thought you rocked at?
By having the support of people that knew them and believed in them from the start both Sam and Amonn have been able to pursue a very difficult dream. But, they’ve also achieved something greater. They have been involved in their community and shown great leadership. Sam is now a Right to Play Athlete Amassador which has allowed him to use sport as a way to help teach things like sanitation, HIV prevention and leadership through games in developing countries. Both of them have volunteered in local schools as well helping to inspire a future generation to take a chance and pursue their dreams. When Sam visited Alice Jamieson Girls’ Academy, where I teach, my track team was impacted greatly. One athlete even said that seeing him work towards his goals and hearing his story had inspired her to pursue athletics as a career!
Sam had an unfortunate injury leading up to 2013 but is now aiming for 2016 Olympics. Most recently at the Edmonton International Track Classic he won with a time of 10.09 seconds for the 100 m. This will qualify him for the World Championships in Moscow Russia in August. Both him and Amonn will be attending the World Championships. We can make a difference by cheering them on at local events, posting comments of encouragement here for them to read or by supporting them financially. To cheer them on across the ocean you can find the results at the following two sites: Athletics Canada or World Championship Results. Best of luck Sam and Amonn we will be cheering for you!
I have collected these images throughout the last two weeks to show the amazing things that can happen in the midst of very difficult situations. Throughout my time volunteering in Calgary and on the Siksika Nation I have been amazed at the resiliency of people and the way that communities have come together. Below are some of my favorite moments!
On our last day of school some of my students were able to share with me their positive stories from the Calgary Flood. Most places in Calgary did not allow volunteers that were under 18 and yet these 13-14 year olds still had stories of how they had made a difference. They shared with me what they and their families had experienced that gave them hope. There were many stories so I chose to highlight four of them here.
Over the last few months, I have been working tirelessly with my current Gr.8 students to create podcasts. Their mission was to go out into Calgary and expand their worldview. They had 20 tasks to complete ranging from trying a new type of ethnic cuisine to taking a new form of transportation. It was amazing to see my students tackle new experiences head on and look for ways to explore everything Calgary has to offer! Too often we fail to see the wonder and beauty that’s in our own backyard so it has been awesome to have the chance to see Calgary through a new light!
We partnered with Calgary 2012 GIGYYC and Danielle Nerman from CBC Radio to be able to create 16 podcasts! We will be sharing each of these stories this Thursday, April 11, 2013 at Alice Jamieson Girls’ Academy at 7pm. We look forward to seeing you there!
Amazing idea by Izhar Gafni filmed by Giora Kariv. Using a completely new engineering philosophy to create a bicycle that is economic, environmental and innovative! Izhar demonstrates that we can make our communities better by following what we are passionate about and making it a reality!
Tinto Tintero is a cultural hub in Medellin, Colombia. I was so impressed to hear how Dave, a former teacher has, with the help of his partner, Monica, started a business model that is not only financially successful but is also making their community a better place! They have found a way to merge their passion for art, culture, literature and music all within one location. Through their efforts, they are transforming their community by providing opportunities for culture and offering a diverse array of options for entertainment throughout the week. But it is not only culture they are offering but also a public space devoted to building a strong sense of community.
Here was the challenge: Make a film and three photographs each on a specific theme, in a limited geographic area all in one day! So after an intense brainstorming session over breakfast and coffees, me, Sadie and Hilary took off to put our Vietnamese, film-making and creativity to the test. How could we come up with something creative, short (only 90 seconds) and something that reflected some of the humorous situations that were always happening in Vietnam? Added to the challenge, we had to start with the sky, end with eyes, include a dress, a white shirt and a man searching for a woman in a shop somewhere in our film.
This video was our finished product for the Maraxuan Competition and voting will take place throughout the week at Eté Resto Cafe in Hanoi, Vietnam. I would love to see this idea of encouraging creativity, exploring your own city and bringing people together used by more organizations! My hat’s off to Eté for coming up with such a great concept!
Well, I’ve been having troubles with my blog photo gallery so to view more of my photos highlighting my time in Colombia click here.