Background on FFKF

ASC has been supporting students at Farkwa Secondary School since 2007 when the Tanzanian Field School first visited it.  As of 2012, ASC has provided a portion of a student’s boarding fee through Fostering Futures for Kids in Farkwa (FFKF).  The article, Fostering African Futures, from Gippsland Magazine, Winter Edition 2015, provides the background to FFKF’s origin.  It describes how friends and family of Rosie Broughton came together to support Farkwa students.  Rosie married into a Farkwa family and after living in the village became aware of the challenges faced by those seeking a secondary education.  Through FFKF, students are sponsored with a day or boarding scholarship.  The majority of sponsors are Australian (living in Gippsland).

Visit for more information.

Oxfam Canada Regional CHANGE Summit

Oxfam Canada’s Regional CHANGE Summits are just around the corner, and we’d like to invite YOU to join the movement! Regional CHANGE Summits are a leadership and knowledge-building opportunity offered by Oxfam Canada. We want to build a generation of young people who are prepared and motivated to fight poverty and advocate for women’s rights.

The weekend will have interactive workshops on hot topics, including:

  • Women’s Rights and Gender Justice
  • Oxfam Development and Humanitarian Programs
  • Campus group health
  • Fundraising Strategies

These Regional CHANGE Summits are open to both new and old Oxfam campus group members So long as you have an interest in bringing an Oxfam presence to your campus, then you are most welcome!

The official deadline for applications is THIS FRIDAY, December 13, and the application itself should only take about 5 minutes to complete. However, we recognize that some individuals will be getting this message quite late, and we are willing to be a bit flexible with the deadline. The deadline will be extended.

CHANGE Registration is available here:
FAQs are available here:

Thank you and please don’t hesitate to contact Oxfam Canada’s Youth and Campus Outreach Officer, Erin Aylward, with any questions, concerns, comments, ideas, etc. that you might have…

Erin Aylward

Youth and Campus Outreach Officer
Oxfam Canada
39 McArthur Avenue | Ottawa | Ontario | K1L8L7

Phone: +1.613.237.5236 x.2284
Fax: +1.613.237.0524

Field School / Delegation to Guatemala, May 12-25, 2014

The University Of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) & Rights Action invite you to join an
MAY 12-25, 2014

The Global Order, Injustice, and Resistance in Guatemala

The UNBC Geography Program and Rights Action are co-organizing a Geography field school to Guatemala for the Spring 2014 semester, Our tentative dates are late April/early May (on-campus) and May 2014 (Guatemala portion) – tentatively May 12-25, 2014.

We hope you will consider participating in this Field school and, perhaps, inform other students who may be interested as well.  This field school is for UNBC students as well as students at universities across Canada – both senior undergrads & graduate students.  We will facilitate non-UNBC student participation via Skype before our departure.

Please contact us for an application form – DUE: December 10, 2013.

The first week of the course takes place at the UNBC campus in Prince George. Students will prepare for this intense week of classes by reading material made available one month before the course commences — tentatively planned for the end of April into early days of May 2014. During the UNBC-based seminars we will discuss both theoretical issues of power and human rights as well as specific historical and contemporary aspects of Guatemala’s violent past and present. Pre-reading and course work will help to prepare you for an intense Field School experience in Guatemala.

Weeks two and three take place in Guatemala. Grahame Russell of Rights Action will facilitate all aspects of our time in Guatemala including set-up, guiding, translation, transportation, and so forth. All students will return to Antigua for a final day of reflection, discussion, and analysis of our various experiences. The final form and content of the Field school will be worked out in consultation with Rights Action, participating students, and Dr. Nolin.

Over the course of 14 full days in Guatemala, participants will meet with Guatemalans and some North Americans working for human rights and the environment. The group will travel (by rented van) to and spend nights in rural communities seeking justice for environmental and health harms caused by North American mining companies; to the coffee-growing regions of the country to meet with indigenous organizations working for Fair Trade and equitable trade arrangements; communities resisting forced eviction from their ancestral lands to make way for African palm ‘for export’; meet with people working for the rights of sweat-shop (maquiladora) workers; and human rights organizations & the Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation who work to clarify past violence, historical memory and justice. (Closer to the actual dates, UNBC-Rights Action will set out a detailed 14-day itinerary.)

This field school / delegation is for undergraduates & graduate students who are concerned about: global exploitation and poverty; military interventions and repression; the global “development” model and environmental destruction; and, about courageous people and their courageous work and struggles for community-controlled development, protection of the environment, human rights and justice, and for democracy.

CATHERINE NOLIN:  Dr. Catherine Nolin is an Associate Professor of Geography and has long-standing interests in issues of Maya refugee movement, Guatemalan migration and refugee experiences in Canada, and critical development studies. Catherine has organized and facilitated six field schools to Guatemala in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 (plus a graduate student delegation in August 2010), and 2012 and one interdisciplinary field school to Peru.

GRAHAME RUSSELL:  Grahame Russell is a non-practising lawyer, adjunct professor at the University of Northern British Colombia, author, and, since 1995, co-director of Rights Action. Rights Action funds community-controlled development, environmental defense and human rights projects in Guatemala and Honduras, as well as Chiapas, El Salvador and Oaxaca; and carries out education and activism work in the USA and Canada related to global human rights, environmental and development issues.

GEOGRAPHY 426/626 – GEOGRAPHIES of Culture, Rights & Power

INDEPENDENT Study (arranged with your home program taken concurrently or immediately after the field school)

COST = $1400 + airfare + tuition

Weeks One & Two: food, accommodation, translation, guiding, and honorariums for local community-based groups – based on approx. 14 days in-country
$1400 (approx.)
Total excluding:
·         Airfare
·         meals in Antigua
·         spending money
·         UNBC tuition fees & reading material
$150 (?)
 Rough Guide to Total Costs

This field school fee covers: 14 nights of hotel; 3 meals a day for 14 days; transportation in-country; trip organization, guiding, translation; honorariums for some people and communities we meet with, etc. (Participants pay for their own travel to and from Guatemala – though we will coordinate schedules to travel together)

Grahame & Catherine will have discussions with interested persons about the possible risks involved with this delegation, before people decide to join or not. Since 1995, with Rights Action, Grahame has planned and led over 50 such delegations to Honduras, Guatemala, Chiapas and Oaxaca, and never had any serious problems.

Grahame Russell,, 1-860-751-4285
Catherine Nolin,, 1-250-960-5875

New listserve: Overseas internships & jobs

The VIU Education Abroad office has set up an email list-serve that will be used to send out announcements that are received about internships and job postings from overseas organizations, or within Canada, that will appeal to students and graduates who are interested in pursuing a career in international education or some sort of development work abroad.  There will probably be 10 to 30 emails per year from this list-serve.

Anyone who wants to subscribe to the list can send an email to: with the following in the body of the message (the Subject: doesn’t matter):  SUBSCRIBE WORKABROAD

To unsubscribe, send an e-mail to:  and in the body of the message type: UNSUBSCRIBE WORKABROAD

Homelessness Action Week, Oct 13-19, Cowichan

Many individuals often talk about making a difference–often in far off lands.  Here’s your opportunity to contribute to your community, specifically the Cowichan Valley.  Social Planning Cowichan’s Affordable Housing Project is looking for donations of items  for the care packages they will be distributing during Homelessness Action Week, as well as, volunteers.

From Joy Emmanual, Social Planning Cowichan:

Homelessness Action Week is coming up – October 13-19.  This year we are hosting an event at Duncan United Church Hall on Wednesday, October 16 called: Connect-In – A Day of Direct Services for the Homeless.  We are inviting a number of different community agencies and service providers to participate (Legal Aid, First Aid, Public Health, ID Replacement and also barbers, hand message, chiropractors, etc.) The intent is to have all these services available in one location where homeless and low income people may access them. A meal will also be provided.

If you are interested in donating or helping  with this event – either before the event or at it – please contact Joy at:
Joy Emmanuel
Coordinator – Affordable Housing Project
Social Planning Cowichan
250-746-1004 Ext 260

Items we are looking for as part of care packages for 60 to 80 guests during Homelessness Action Week – Connect-In: Day of Services:

  • Seasonal clothing
  • Work Clothing
  • Blankets
  • Tents
  • Sleeping Bags
  • Boots
  • Back Packs
  • Sewing Kits
  • First Aid Items
  • Foot wear
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Granola Bars, Juice Box
  • Flashlights
  • Hats, scarves, mitts, rain gear
  • Razors
  • Nail Clippers

Update from Farkwa Secondary School

As has been mentioned, ASC has raised funds to support Farkwa Secondary School since 2007.  Last year FFKF (an NGO) made ASC aware that one of the students needed assistance with boarding costs.  Here’s the mid-year report regarding the student:

Can you please pass on this report to the Anthropology Students club.  If you recall from last year, they have come to the rescue of Auzelia who needed extra assistance to pay for boarding costs.

Results for Auzelia:    Academic Progress –  satisfactory.     Attendance – excellent.

It is very hard for the secondary students as the medium of instruction is English language; and while they do learn English at primary school, they know very little when they start secondary school. In fact, English is their third language, after their tribal language and then the national language of Swahili. It can be a real struggle for them in the first year or two of secondary school.

Few students are given more than a satisfactory or good for progress. So at this stage I think Auzelia is doing OK.

As well, here are some photos illustrating the contributions made in supporting the students and the school.

Plot and "green house" for vegetable seedlings.

Plot and “green house” for vegetable seedlings.

School garden (2)

School garden to provide better nutrition for lunches.


School library

School library showing many of the books provided by FFKF, which ASC has helped to support with its fundraising.