Report on Saskatchewan Council for International Cooperation’s AGM 2020 and its World Toilet Day event on November 19
By Catherine Christie
On November 17, the Saskatchewan Council for International Cooperation held its annual meeting. The United Church of Canada, through Living Skies Region, was a founding member of SCIC, 30 years ago, and we are still an organizational member. There are 2 United Church voting members that sit on the SCIC, and presently they are Dan Beveridge and Linda Stumpf. 26 organizations are involved in the operation of SCIC, some of them very familiar, like Fair Trade and KAIROS. Members also include denominational participation, including the Mennonites, Lutherans, Anglicans, Presbyterians and Seventh Day Adventists. Individual members sit on SCIC for free, and organizations pay $50.
SCIC is one of 8 Provincial and Regional Councils for International Cooperation across Canada. These Councils have funding agreements with Global Affairs Canada for their operation. SCIC ‘s daily work is carried out by a Board of Directors of up to 12 members and an Executive Director. Elections for the Board of Directors took place at the AGM.
SCIC is “a network of organizations and individuals dedicated to global understanding, cooperation, peace and justice. Collectively, we work together to connect people to the information and ideas they need to be great global citizens and take meaningful action for a more just and sustainable world. We advise, encourage and support discussion and cooperation among agencies and groups in Saskatchewan interested in global and community development and social justice, and establishing and inspiring the public to take action and creating connections among those we serve. And we want to live in a Saskatchewan where our citizens are engaged global citizens, and where equality, peace and justice are the motivating principles pushing Saskatchewan towards an equitable societal shift.”
SCIC provides Global Citizenship Education for schools in Saskatchewan, providing teachers lesson plans, activities and resources to use in teaching students to understand an increasingly interconnected and interrelated world. Check out their GC modules on the SCIC website (Saskcic.org.)
SCIC presently shapes its work around the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: www.globalgoals.org
- No Poverty
- Zero Hunger (sustainable agriculture, food security and improved nutrition)
- Good Health and Well Being
- Quality Education
- Gender Equality
- Clean Water and Sanitation
- Affordable Clean Energy
- Decent Work and Economic Growth
- Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
- Reduced Inequality
- Sustainable Cities and Communities
- Responsible Consumption and Production
- Climate Action
- Life Below Water
- Life on Land
- Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
- Partnerships for the Goals
These Goals make up the UN’s vision statement to leave no one behind. They are all interrelated, and we cannot achieve any one fully without achieving them all. They also agree that gender equality is the most effective way to combat poverty and insecurity in all societies.
World Toilet Day
On Nov. 19, SCIC held a noon hour event for World Toilet Day. The day recognizes it is important to make the local to global connection, to note that a lack of proper sanitation and clean water is not only an issue in the global south, but right here in Saskatchewan as well. It honours the 4.2 billion people living without access to clean healthy sanitation, and works on SNG #6. There is also a connection with Climate Change (SNG 13), noting the threat of climate to sanitation, through floods, drought, rising sea level, and so calls to work to make sanitation infrastructure resilient. Click here for a recording of the event.
Don, who had long worked in Mozambique, talked about the production of new and efficient latrines for villages. They are squat toilets, shaped like a flying saucer, so easily cleaned, and with a removable cover over the hole that when replaced keeps flies, etc. out of the latrine. I have used a lot of squat toilets in various parts of the world, and was glad to see these innovations.
Ali Tote studies and teaches on infectious waterborne diseases, and spoke of Cameroon, where 50% of the people do not have convenient access to drinking water.
Chelsea talked about the need for clean water and access to sanitation in our communities in Saskatchewan. Especially during Covid, so many public washrooms have been closed, and it causes a great deal of hardship for many. Our governments have to determine ways to give people access to clean and safe places to meet their needs.
There are many opportunities to join SCIC events, and you can get involved in dealing with the Sustainable Development Goals, and share that information through SCIC.
Report submitted by Catherine Christie