During the weekend of June 24th-26th, Memorial University was home to the annual EWB Atlantic Retreat as well as the first Global Leadership Conference. Each of these events took months of planning, and having them come to fruition was an amazing experience for all involved.
The EWB Atlantic Retreat invited members from the University of New Brunswick and Dalhousie University, as well as members of EWB National Office. The day’s events focused on values, mindfulness, and task management through various presentations and team-building exercises. Chapter members participated in a number of tasks ranging from Lego building competitions to meditation, with focus on EWB values and goals for the coming year.
Memorial’s first Global Leadership Conference was a definite success. Through the dedication and hard work of members of EWB MUN, Rotaract, RADHOC, Enactus, MUNHOPE, MUN Minds, and WISE US, the weekend presented delegates with a variety of speakers and panels, as well as presentations from the organizing groups. The weekend allowed delegates to engage in discussion regarding current and future issues, including a panel about Newfoundland’s economic climate by Kim Keating, Dr. Wade Locke, and John Abbott. As well, delegates had the choice to attend breakout sessions such as “Failure is Always an Option” which was organized by EWB, and “A Practical Guide to Networking” with Susan Sparkes which was organized by WISE US.
Overall, the weekend gave participants a chance to network with members of various organizations on a personal and professional level, while also providing individuals with a multitude of resources and skills. We are inspired by the enthusiastic participation of all those who attended, and we look forward to hosting more retreats and conferences in the future.
This weekend wouldn’t have been possible without the amazing efforts of our chapter members, EWB National Office and the other MUN groups listed above. A special thank you goes out to EWB MUN members Taylor Chalker, Ian Connors and Anna Gosine who dedicated a huge amount of time and energy to ensuring this weekend was a success. We are very proud of your courageous commitment to this initiative.
Our chapter had a call tonight with our Junior Fellow this summer, Alycia Leonard. Alycia is in Ghana working for the EWB venture VOTO Mobile. VOTO is a social enterprise which amplifies the voices of the underheard. They do surveying and information distribution to enable smarter, more responsible development. Check out VOTO’s website here and their EWB venture page here for more information on what they do. We’re so excited for her and to learn from her experience this summer.
On March 30th, our chapter held a successful Beat the Crap Out of Poverty fundraiser. If you’re not familiar with the concept, this is how it works:
We acquire a written-off (yet mostly intact) car
We park it near the University Centre
We bring a sledgehammer, safety goggles, gloves and waivers
We let you do the rest
For $2 a smack, $5 for a 30-second brawl or $10 for a full-minute smack-down, this event drew students from far and wide who came to vent their pre-finals frustration. It was a great day with lots of laughs.
Our chapter hosted a retreat on Saturday, March 12 for our members. We had a fantastic time doing workshops in systems mapping, food systems, collaboration through movement, chapter goal-setting and planning for next year. Our members found this a very beneficial opportunity to bond and collaborate. We hope to make chapter retreats a more regular occurrence! Special thanks to Grace Marcoux for organizing such a wonderful day.
In January 2016, our chapter hosted our first ever Kumvana Fellow – Esther Ekua Amoako.
The Kumvana Program builds the capacities of African leaders and EWB partners in systems change while fostering collaborations between Canadians and African professionals. It involves dynamic African leaders travelling to Canada for an intensive four-week experience that combines participation in EWB’s national conference, leadership programming and a two-week visit coordinated by EWB chapters where they connect with organizations that support their learning and capacity-building goals. Read more about the program here.
During her visit to Newfoundland, Esther – a lecturer at one of Ghana’s leading technical universities – collaborated with various individuals and organizations, with a particular focus on learning about how women in Canada work in male-dominated fields. Some highlights included:
Speaking at the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Statoil Speaker Series about her work to improve the financial stability and land-ownership rights of women in Ghana
Meeting with a group at RCMP headquarters in St. John’s and giving a short presentation about her efforts in Ghana, as well as developing connections with various women in policing and exploring the struggles they experience while working in a male-dominated workplace
Connecting with Dr. John Quiacoe, a professor in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science and former dean of the faculty, to learn about his views on equality in engineering and in Newfoundland, as well as his work in Africa
Attending an EWB MUN chapter meeting and providing insight into situations such as Widowhood Rights and the politics of tribes in Northern Ghana.
A huge congratulations goes out to our chapter’s Kumvana Coordinator, Taylor Chalker, for organizing all of Esther’s logistics and connecting her with amazing partner organizations. We are very proud of her efforts which made Esther’s visit such a success.