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University of Calgary takes part in International Development Week

By Saima Asad, February 7 2017 —

International Development Week (IDW) is taking place across Canada from Feb. 5–11, including at the University of Calgary.

Global Affairs Canada started the annual event in 1991. This year’s theme is “Leave no one behind: Canada contributes to global goals.”

This year, various events are being held throughout the week in recognition of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which include topics ranging from gender equality to climate action.

U of C manager of international development Nalini Andrade said the purpose of the event is to raise  awareness for the work done on international development and promote the SDGs to both the U of C and the city.

“In terms of what we do as an educational institution, we’re promoting so many of the goals that encompass the SDGs,” Andrade said.

According to Andrade, the U of C worked to involve the broader Calgary community into this year’s events.

“We have representation from all the major groups. So we have young people and students, academics, industry, government, [non-governmental organizations] and civil society,” Andrade said.

An opening ceremony was held on Feb. 6 and featured a keynote address by Janice Eisenhauer, the executive director of Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan. The following day’s event, “Sustainable Development Goals in Focus,” featured speakers from the Alberta government, local non-governmental organizations and U of C students.

Andrade said the Feb. 8 activities had a stronger student focus. The two-part event took place at Foothills Campus from 11:00 a.m–noon and resumed in MacHall at 1:00 p.m. It focused on global health.

On the last two days, participants will have the chance to learn more about ongoing international development projects, along with ways to find employment in the field. The week will close with a screening of He Named Me Malala on Feb. 10 in Science Theatres 145.

Recent U of C graduate Maria Shamsi attended the opening ceremony on Feb. 6. She said she is looking forward to the rest of the week’s events.

“I’m looking forward to the discussion on [Feb. 6] about global health. I think there is a lot going on in the world that we don’t know about in terms of global health. I’m looking forward to that discussion and seeing what I can learn and how I can help,” Shamsi said.

Andrade hopes the events will garner widespread participation.

“By looking at our registration, we’re really happy to note that we have wide representation [of participants],” she said.

All events are free, but some require pre-registration on the U of C’s website.

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