News Release

REF NO.: 123

SUBJECT: Marine Institute hosts International Development Week celebrations

DATE: February 4, 2010

             The Fisheries and Marine Institute (MI) of Memorial University of Newfoundland will hold its annual International Development Week celebrations Feb. 7-13.
The event coincides with the Canadian International Development Agency’s (CIDA) 20th annual International Development Week activities. It will focus on showcasing Canada’s efforts to improve the quality of life in developing countries while reflecting on the commitment of CIDA toward providing lasting and substantial global aid.
             The festivities are organized by MI International, the international office of the Marine Institute. The media is invited to all activities taking place at MI’s Ridge Road campus in St. John’s.
              “International Development Week celebrates Canada’s role in providing meaningful support to those who need it most,” said Bill Chislett, director, MI International. “CIDA strives to provide effective aid that yields concrete and sustainable results and makes the best possible use of resources while maximizing benefits. This is the message we will pass to people during the International Develop Week celebrations at the Marine Institute.”
               International Development Week activities at MI begin Monday, Feb. 8, with visits to local schools. On Tuesday, Feb. 9, MI participants in international projects will give presentations from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. in the third floor Mini Lecture Theatre at the Marine Institute. Claire Thompson of the International Development Research Centre in Ottawa will serve as guest speaker at this event.
              On Wednesday, Feb. 10, two films will be shown at MI in honour of International Development Week - Recycled Life and Ryan’s Wells. MI International will take part in the Marine Institute Career Fair on Thursday, Feb. 11, and on Friday, Feb. 12, an International Development public awareness meeting will run from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the MI cafeteria, followed by a photo presentation of MI International activities and a question-and-answer session.
                The public is encouraged to attend all the festivities as International Development Week is a great way to learn what Canadians are doing to help the developing world, said Mr. Chislett.
                “These activities will highlight the superb work already done by the many MI employees who have worked overseas on MI projects,” Mr. Chislett explains. “We want to help everyone learn more about life in developing countries and find out how they can become global citizens actively involved in improving others’ quality of life.”
MI International has been making a positive impact in many parts of the world, particularly in developing countries, for the past 25 years. It has successfully implemented more than 200 projects in over 50 countries in the last two decades, with close to 150 MI faculty and staff having worked overseas during this time.
                 “MI International has helped individuals, towns and cities all over the world tackle issues such as poverty, education and food security,” said Glenn Blackwood, executive director, Marine Institute. “MI International’s recent project that raised funds to purchase school busses for marginalized villagers and physically and mentally-challenged students in Calcutta, India, is just one example of the meaningful work it has accomplished worldwide.”
                The primary areas of focus at MI International are food security, poverty reduction and capacity development of individuals and institutions in the developing world. Among the projects MI International is currently leading is an endeavour in Malawi to develop sustainable coastal communities; three projects in Mozambique focused on building capacity in three of that nation’s technical colleges; and a project in Cambodia to develop sustainable integration between fish and rice.
                 “With many of our projects, we are fortunate to partner with, and receive funding from, the Canadian International Development Agency,” said Mr. Chislett. “We have managed more than 40 CIDA-funded initiatives, including the CIDA Partnership Branch, CIDA Bilateral, CIDA International Youth Internship Projects and a number of CIDA micro-fund projects. We have also been successful on five recent bids for new projects funded through CIDA’s Education for Employment (EFE) program.”
                  In addition to its efforts abroad, MI International works with local junior high and high schools to create awareness of issues affecting the developing world. Faculty and staff often serve as public speakers at schools to teach local students about important global issues such as food security and poverty.
                  For more information on MI International, visit www.mi.mun.ca/mi_international.

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