February 9th | CBC Studio 700, 700 Hamilton Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 2R5
Meet some of British Columbia’s young changemakers who are bringing the UN Sustainable Development Goals to life within our province!
Have you ever wondered what motivates a person to take on the challenge of creating change in our world?
Join the BC Council for International Cooperation as we highlight some of the inspiring youth who make up our province. Eight young changemakers will share their stories and inspirations in a series of eight, 8 minute presentations animating the work they do to achieve the SDGs and the ‘why’ behind it.
Reception to follow. Come early to mingle, stay later to connect with our speakers.
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What are the UN Sustainable Development Goals?
The SDGs are a framework of 17 goals that aim to address the world’s environmental, social, economic, and security challenges. They are unlike any global goals before them. The SDGs challenge us to move past a business as usual mentality for seeking solutions. They present global issues as being interconnected. They promote universality by asserting that global issues transcend borders and that all people everywhere have a responsibility to each other and the planet. For the first time, all countries, including Canada, will be required to provide updates on our progress to the rest of the world. The goals invite all people to understand where they fit into a bigger picture.
International Development Week 2017:
Youth Voices. Global Issues. Is part of BCCIC’s 2017 International Development Week (IDW) programming. IDW is a national initiative that seeks to inspire Canadians to learn more about, and contribute actively to, global issues initiatives.
IDW is a week full of events, activities, and opportunities to learn about what local-global initiatives are happening near you and how you can become involved. For a full listing of events happening this week check out our special edition e-blast as well as our online community calendar. Since its inception in 1991, IDW has been held during the first full week of February. In 2017 it will be held on February 5-11.
Join the conversation: #IDW2017 #SDGs #makingadifference
Meet the Speakers
Kimberley Wong is a climate action and social justice advocate, majoring in Geography and minoring in Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice, Anthropology and Political Science at UBC. She currently enjoys working as a core team member with Love Intersections, and as Co-Founder of City Hub Initiative. Kimberley has also worked as Co-Director for Kids for Climate Action, and as an organizer for the Vancouver School board Sustainability Conference. Her most recent accolade involves winning the City of Vancouver Greenest City Leadership Award of Excellence.
Born and raised in Coquitlam, Tiffany Lee is a first year student at UBC, pursuing at Bachelor of Arts and Master of Management Duel Degree. In 2015, Tiffany co-founded an international youth organization called United Youth Journalists (UYJ), and as the Editorial Director, Tiffany oversees all journalists and serves on a Board of Directors to make organization-wide decisions. Tiffany is passionate about international development and has been involved with a variety of organizations, such as the Canadian Red Cross, Plan International Canada and World Vision. She hopes to pursue a career in the NGO sector and is committed to helping Canada meet the SDG 2030 goals. Tiffany is also passionate about youth empowerment and her work seeks to create a space in the international community for youth to voice their concerns about international affairs.
Victor Ngo is an urban planner, researcher, and consultant working on advancing sustainability in cities and communities. He is currently a Research Associate at the UBC Health & Community Design Lab, and a former member of the Vancouver Foundation’s Youth Vital Signs Leadership Council that worked towards giving voice to young people in the region. He holds an MA in Planning and a BA in Geography from UBC.
Victor was involved in organizing and launching Do It In the Dark, an energy conservation and climate action campaign that involved 6,500 students across six universities in BC. He was also part of a UBC research team that worked with communities in the Bulacan province of the Philippines to improve their capacity for climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Mohammed Alsaleh was a medical student who was forced to leave everything behind during his fourth-year of studies because of the ongoing Syrian conflict. He fled Syria in 2014 after surviving imprisonment and relentless torture by the Assad regime for his role in documenting the dictatorship’s violations on social media outlets.
Mohammed escaped to neighboring Lebanon where he lived under deplorable circumstances. He had lost all hope until his life changed with one phone call. With help from the UNHCR, he was offered a new start by Canada and became one of the first of 28 Syrian refugee arrivals resettled in British Columbia in 2014.
Since then, Mohammed has been building a new life in Metro Vancouver while advocating for the Syrian cause and sharing first hand details of the experience. Mohammed started his work advocating for refugees as an active public speaker, helping to raise awareness at public events and discussion panels across Canada.
Currently, Mohammed is a National Youth Worker with ISSofBC, working on pilot national youth civic engagement project implemented in four Canadian cities that aims at creating social impact and leads to increased youth civic participation.
Sara’s international work consists of building houses in Ecuador, designing educational programs for refugees in Egypt and volunteering in the health sector in Tanzania. She has advocated for global health efforts with the parliamentary malaria caucus while acting as the Ambassador for the UN Development Goals on parliament hill. Most recently, she has helped start Daughters of Ngomeni for Girls Empowerment- a community based organization in Kenya to help support teenage mothers. She has represented Canada at the United Nations Youth Program and World Youth Congress She has been awarded the YWCA Young Woman of Distinction Awards and a Diamond Jubilee Medal for her local and global efforts.
Abtine is a third year BIE student at UBC, currently interning with the UN Global Compact Network Canada (GCNC), who are mandated to advance the 2030 Agenda within the Canadian private sector. Currently, they are spearheading the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 10 Principles of the UNGC, aiming to to unify and build the capacity of the Canadian private sector to embrace sustainable business practices by convening and accelerating opportunities for multi stakeholder collaboration. “You could say that advancing the SDGs in a country like Canada must be pretty easy. You’re not wrong! But despite Canada’s general receptiveness of the SDGs, there is still a lot of work to be done. I think it’s important to ask how the private sector can strategically adopt the goals in their operations and to present business with a strong case for doing so. The funny thing about my work is hoping to be out of a job one day.”
Abhayjeet Singh Sachal
Throughout my life, I’ve been passionate about public speaking. In 2013, I gave a TEDxTalk called the Theory of Creativity that allowed me to pursue this passion. Last summer, I received a scholarship to take part in the Students on Ice 2016 Arctic Expedition. The journey was more than a chance to look at polar bears and icebergs. As we traveled from Labrador to Greenland, I immersed myself with the humanitarian aspect of the issue of climate change and its effects on marginalized Inuit communities. I also learned about the high suicide rates in many of my new friend’s hometowns. Currently, I am working on creating an organization to connect suicidal Inuit youth with youth in British Columbia to create long-lasting friendships and provide hope for hundreds of isolated students. Students in BC will be able to talk to students across the country through video calls and learn about very different lifestyles. This national network of Canadians’ solidarity can be expanded to many other nations, so more people can become personally connected with the issues the Inuit face. As a fifteen year old pianist and hockey player, I know that nothing can stop you from achieving your dreams once you set your mind. This initiative will make a difference in the lives of thousands, and nothing can stop my team and me.
Ashleigh Eaton works in the communities of Burnaby and New Westminster as an outreach youth worker with The Lower Mainland Purpose Society. She is passionate about the lives of youth in and from foster care and working to create safe spaces for young people to discover their identities. Ashleigh was involved in the creation of groups such as Queer the Way, a platform for young LGBTQ+ youth in-care to provide feedback to their support systems as a means of celebrating diversity for current and future generations. The site for this work, The Burnaby Youth HUB, is a collaborative space which provides a variety of services to youth, from access to alternative education to healthcare to mental health support. Ashleigh has witnessed young people flourish when their voices are prioritized and amplified. She hopes to continue vocalizing the wisdom that young people have to offer and advocating on their behalf. Ashleigh is an avid reader, feminist, and activist from Ontario.
Bhavina is a recent graduate from SFU with a B.A. in geography. In 2015, she received the Mahatma Gandhi Student Peace Award, for her work in the children’s program at the Surrey Food Bank, coordinating and managing the preparation of care packages for newborns.
Her passion for sustainable community development eventually led to a recent internship through the Sustainable Cities International Internship Program. This opportunity allowed for an internship with the eThekwini Durban municipality in South Africa. While there, she worked in the Economic Development Unit, involved in its agricultural project. Implemented to create more economic opportunities for farmers, the project also seeks to eradicate food insecurity and improve quality nutrition levels in rural areas.
Since returning from her internship (and South African adventures), Bhavina is pursuing work with a focus on communities most vulnerable to the impacts of a changing world. She wants to start local, striving for a role in the development of the urban farming sector in the city of Surrey.