Global Empowerment Coalition of the Central Okanagan (GECCO)

gecco_hori_400dpi Regional Coordinator, Keneisha Charles Contact:   GECCO is very happy to introduce our new Regional Coordinator, Keneisha Charles, and at the same time sad to say goodbye to Emma Logue, who has given so much to our Chapter over the last year or more.  Find out more about Keneisha and our other Steering Committee members here. The Global Empowerment Coalition of the Central Okanagan (known as GECCO) fosters empowerment through net working, knowledge sharing, and capacity building to support sustainable local and global change. GECCO is a Chapter of the BC Council for International Cooperation (BCCIC) and work together on a regular basis to participate in BCCIC initiatives, programming and services. We invite you to connect with us on social media via Facebook and Twitter (@GECCOBC)

Upcoming Events

We’re joining a global movement to take ambition to the next level and generate climate action. Okanagan College and the Global Empowerment Coalition of the Central Okanagan have partnered with the Global Climate Action Summit to host an affiliate event during the Summit. With a focus on two of the Summit’s themes of healthy energy systems and sustainable communities, this Affiliate event will demonstrate progress by showcasing local projects addressing sustainable energy, building, and infrastructure. The event will include an ongoing expo with exhibits from local businesses and organizations helping to achieve climate progress and building toward a more sustainable future.  The event will be open to the public and the press.  Visit us at:  Contact:

SDG Challenge

Do you want more people to know about your charity/NGO? Would you like $5,000 to complete a project of your passion? Would you like to interest and inspire local youth in the good things you do? Participate in the Sustainable Development Challenge 2018-2019! Grades 8-12 students in the Okanagan region are looking for charitable projects to promote as part of their learning about the Sustainable Development Goals. Each student participating in the annual challenge chooses a locally based charity to come along side. Will you be one of them? If you are a registered Canadian charity with eligibility to receive/receipt charitable donations for the proposed project and are based in the Okanagan, you are eligible to apply. To apply with your expression of interest, please contact:  Once you say “Yes”! then we can guide you. To learn more about Sustainable Development challenge please follow the link here

Past Events

Finding the Good brought academics and practitioners together to share ethical international development ideas and practices. For two intensive days participants grappled with the abiding questions of how to realize universal values like human dignity, equality of opportunity, mutual respect and sustainability.  We heard from experienced professionals on a range of topics from gender, to peace, to corporate social responsibility.   Finding the Good social vid from Rosalind Warner on Vimeo. View an image gallery from Finding the Good here. For more information, visit Join the Twitter conversation: #ocfindingthegood 

Kelowna BC2030

Some 50 people turned out May 14th as part of the BC2030 and SDG Bootcamp to hear how the Global Goals relate to local efforts to address flooding, housing shortages, and social equity.  Networking with like-minded groups was also top of mind for participants.  For more information about what you and your group based in the Central Okanagan can do to help raise awareness leading up to the Fall municipal elections, contact us!

Human Flow


GECCO and Okanagan College recently screened this important film for the Central Okanagan community, sparking a conversation about the challenges faced by refugees both locally and globally.

Over 65 million people around the world have been forced from their homes to escape famine, climate change and war in the greatest human displacement since World War II. Human Flow, an epic film journey led by the internationally renowned artist Ai Weiwei, gives a powerful visual expression to this massive human migration. The documentary elucidates both the staggering scale of the refugee crisis and its profoundly personal human impact.

The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals represent a touchstone for humanity to address global problems, including people who flee due to famine (SDG 2), climate change (SDG 13) and war (SDG 16). Link to trailer:

World Community Film Festival

We had some great conversations at the World Community Film Festival Kelowna.   Thank you to the organizers for including us! GECCO shared ideas about networking, capacity building and raising awareness about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Her Time to Thrive!

Thursday, March 8 GECCO celebrated International Women’s Day in Kelowna.  This year groups encouraged women and men all around world to gather, to share, stand up and be part of a global movement that will lead to “Her Time to Thrive”! Sponsored by Karis Support Society, Her International and Kelowna Women’s Shelter.

Time is Now! for Sustainable Development

February 21, 2018 BCCIC Chapter GECCO (Global Empowerment Coalition of the Central Okanagan) teamed up with Global Citizen Kelowna to plan Time is Now! for Sustainable Development on February 21st 2018 at the Kelowna Community Theatre.  This upbeat, inspirational evening is an opportunity to come together at the 15th annual event and take action on the Global Goals. The discussion will include local city mayors  and WFN chief who will explain how cities are addressing the challenges of the SDGs.  María Cortés Puch, Head of the National and Regional Networks’ Program for the Sustainable Development Solutions Network will speak via SKYPE.  At the event, GECCO hosted the Global Marketplace, a chance for attendees to experience the good work that local organizations are doing toward the achievement of a better world.  The speakers entertained, educated and inspired attendees to take action. 

SDG Yoga Featured On Global News!

GECCO’s event Self-Care for World Care: Yoga For the Global Goals was featured the Global News on November 25 and in Kelowna Now.  To align the two aspects of sustainable development: self-care and global-care, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals were each followed by a yoga pose. GECCO once again featured a countdown to the event starting 17 days in advance with posts on Facebook for each of the Goals.  The event was a success in engaging people from different backgrounds to the global goals. Our event featured a yoga mat door prize from Mantra Yoga Mat and tea and chocolates from Globally Fair .

Okanagan College International Development Day

Okanagan College welcomed 15 community groups to campus on October 25th to raise awareness about how they help to bring education, opportunity, and resilience to people in the developing world. Nearly 300 people, including OC students, local high school students and community members converged on the Kelowna campus for International Development Day on Oct. 25. Hosted by the International Development diploma program, this popular annual event celebrates the role of Okanagan individuals and organizations in creating a better world through international humanitarian actions, aid and development efforts across the globe. Sixteen non-profit organizations showcased their work through displays in the Atrium of the Centre for Learning throughout the day this year. Students from OC and KSS preparing their projects for Global Citizen’s Sustainable Development Challenge also had a chance to join drop-in talks by OC faculty and guest speakers. Find the full list of participants here. The OC Political Science Department expresses special thanks to the student volunteers and librarians who helped make it all happen.

BC2030 Roundtables

Newly formed BCCIC local Chapter GECCO [the Global Empowerment Coalition of the Central Okanagan] held their launch event on October 27th 2016 in Kelowna.  This event was an opportunity for GECCO to introduce themselves to the community, to talk about their mission, and to gain valuable feedback about what the community would like to see and do in the coming year. Thirty-three participants in attendance were invited to “Put Kelowna on the Map”, by adding their names, causes, and interests to a global map and a map of the Okanagan Valley.  In the lead-up to the event, GECCO counted down the days by sharing a link to one of the SDGs per day, until all 17 of the Global Goals had been featured on their Facebook page.

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