2013-14 Annual Report

INTERCHANGE ANNUAL REPORT 2013/14

Highlights of Our Work over the Fiscal Year

(Please read below or download the PDF version by clicking here.)

InterChange’s 2013-2014 fiscal year was one that brought great AR2014_Image1successes and also great sadness.

In August 2013 we lost our dear friend Anne Goodman, President of InterChange, to cancer. Anne’s vision has been the driving force behind InterChange. She leaves behind a strong network of peacebuilders who are dedicated to continuing to advance her legacy and the message that “Everyone Can Be a Peacebuilder”.

2013 AGM

InterChange held its 2013 AGM on November 3 in Toronto to remember the year. Those who gathered, including InterChange board member Tor Iorapuu (from Nigeria), acknowledged the huge web of relationships that Anne had built and that linked InterChange members together. In response to email communications about Anne’s health and passing, the InterChange community and others around the world had sent a wave of messages of support and grievance, and they shared countless stories about how Anne had touched their lives. It became clear that InterChange was much more than an organization – it is built on the basis of relationships and is a place for people to connect with the ideals that Anne stood for and communicated.

In advance of our AGM a message had been sent out to InterChange members to share stories about their activities. People provided a picture that suggested that members are building peace in a wide range of ways including:

  • Seminars and courses provided over Skype and in-person
  • Supportive coaching to help people find inner peace
  • Undertaking research on peacebuilders
  • In-person meetings and relationship building
  • Using sport, in particular soccer, to build peace
  • Providing community-based theatre programs
  • Mindfulness and compassionate understanding

A number of people commented on how Anne and InterChange had helped them to discover their passion and move towards their current practice.

COMMITTEES AND WORKING GROUPS

In the spring of 2014 a number of working groups and committees were built or strengthened to support the following priorities: Communications, International Connections, Online Workshops, Food and Peace Connections, Health and Peace Connections, and Storytelling in Peacebuilding. These will advance InterChange’s capacity to foster sustainable peace both locally and internationally.

LOCAL CENTRE ACTIVITIES

Uganda

Throughout the year InterChange Uganda continued tosupport peace through sport with its theme of “Play soccer make peace”. It also provided community peacebuilding and counselling services, and ran an internet café. On November 16, 2013 – the International Day for Tolerance – the group held celebrations at St Anne’s Primary School in Lutengo. The occasion included music, dance, planting a tree in honour of Anne Goodman, and a soccer match.

During the year, Jenny Jimenez and Stephen Sillett (InterChange GTA) visited the Uganda centre’s projects at Lutengo and met the Chapter and the Soccer for Peace team. They also visited micro-finance projects run by Jessica Kaahwa an InterChange member.

Nigeria (Jos)

In Jos, Nigeria, InterChange’s partner organization Youth, Adolescent, Reflection & Action Centre (YARAC) helps Muslim and Christian youth find common ground and work together. The organization uses a number of InterChange tools such as drama to engage participants, who are invited to tell and write down their stories, dramatize them, and share them with the community. Soccer games also help to create the bond among youth with different ethno-religious backgrounds. One of the principles of these soccer games is We play to share, not to win.

Canada (GTA)

In December 2013, InterChange GTA resumed holding monthly meetings to bring local members together to reinforce and nurture the organization’s primary vision and its mission of supporting peace builders in bridging knowledge and practice. The monthly gatherings have been held on the first Saturday of the month at the OISE, University of Toronto. With international members joining in through Skype connections, these meetings have allowed InterChange to reconnect its members, better gauge members’ interests, and advance InterChange activities.

Croatia (Vukovar)

The Coalition for Work with Psychotrauma and Peace (CWWPP), InterChange’s partner in Vukovar, Croatia, continued its individual and group counselling efforts and continued to offer its Course for Workers in Areas of Regeneration (CWIAR). InterChange members from several countries have asked to receive training in this course and efforts are being planned to offer the course through electronic means. This year, the CWWPP also began a relationship with the Croatian Ministry of Justice so that people can do community service and restorative justice with the organization. Further, the CWWPP has amplified its efforts to support people who were extremely traumatized as children.

2013/14 INTERCHANGE BOARD

We would like to take this time to thank all of our 2013/14 Board Members:

  • Anne Goodman (President until August 2013) – Toronto, Canada
  • Anthea Darychuk – Toronto, Canada
  • Nadia Fazal – Toronto, Canada
  • Tor Iorapuu – Jos, Nigeria
  • Wilson Omalenge Ndenyele – Mombasa, Kenya
  • Pamela Snell – Toronto, Canada
  • Charles Tauber – Vukovar, Croatia
  • Carolyn Webb (Secretary) – Ottawa, Canada
  • Umar Weswala – Kampala, Uganda
  • Michael Wheeler (Treasurer) – Toronto, Canada
  • Violet Yimbo – Kisumu, Kenya

 

 

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