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.
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 after spending the whole day trying to upload the Inspirational Monday I can relate to Thomas Edison when he said “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10000 ways that won’t work.” I found it hard today to keep pressing on but I believe that this story is so important and I want to others to see how doing something so simple like smiling or being welcoming can make the world a better place. After doing this all day though, I am very excited to leave the hostel and go in search of something with lots of chocolate! Andres and Diana, the owners of Cafe Converso, declared themselves my first friends in Bogota and they may never know how much that meant to me. They helped me to feel welcome and loved when I was wondering if I was doing the right thing. I will be forever grateful to them for helping me to remember why I am doing this and for reminding me of what I know to be true -- there are good people everywhere, we just have to be brave enough to seek them out! Today is family day back home. My mom prayed for me before I left that I would find family everywhere I went and I believe I have found it here in Colombia.
This week I met with Calgary author, Chris Turner who is making his city better by writing and speaking about the importance of great public spaces. He is a unique voice in the world of urban development and climate issues since he focuses on hope rather than the doom and gloom ,choosing to emphasize positive change. His solutions, success stories and insights into the ways that individuals and small groups can make positive change in their communities provides hope for improving cities!
WINS Thrift Store is a social enterprise that uses they money it makes to provide resources including a free referral program for household needs and clothing as well as learning opportunities for families. Its environmental program, employment skills program and collaboration with the community help make Calgary a better city! Get involved by visiting their website.
Over the last couple of weeks I have been focused on trying to find funding for Worldviews Project. Each day I wake up and start off early phoning people, sending out funding proposals, emailing and keeping my fingers crossed that one of them will respond with a “yes!” So what do you do when you face rejection? What are the solutions? How do you stay positive in the face of so much competition? Continue reading →
I had a great time yesterday down at the Homestretch with Doug Dirks, Jenny Howe and Danielle Nerman. After spending most of my childhood waking up to hearing the CBC playing in the background (that is whenever my Dad had control over the radio dial!) it was awesome to be a part of creating positive news. Listen to the interview by clicking on the picture.
To help advertise our film festival and to show what youth are doing in Calgary to make it a better place, we submitted this short film to 3 Things for Calgary. 3 Things for Calgary is an initiative of Mayor Nenshi to engage Calgarians by encouraging them to find 3 ways they can make their city better. I love this concept!