The Knox United Church 23rd Annual Spring Lecture Series
Theme – “REFUGE - WHERE IS HOME?”
Dictionary definitions of “refuge” conjure up both negative and positive images. One may be seeking shelter or protection from danger or distress, but ultimately arrive in a safe place. The presentations will all focus on some aspect of finding a new home.
February 16th – speaker Dr. Susanne Voetmann, a family physician who practised in Nanaimo: will present “Seniors in Transition – Finding the Next Home”. She is part of a team of health care professionals addressing the issue of seniors transitioning into residential care and new living situations. Dr. Voetmann is knowledgeable about ways to sustain an active engaged life style. She will focus on what we all need to think about and implement in advance of our decisions as we age.
February 23rd – speaker Anne Taylor MSW, Executive Director of Haven Society: will speak on “Creating a Safe Haven”. For over 35 years Haven Society has provided a safe haven for women and children fleeing domestic violence in the central Island region, and through counselling and support services helping them transition back into the community. One of the Oceanside programs is the Parksville Qualicum Haven House in collaboration with Society of Organized Services. In her work as a counsellor and consultant, Anne has designed and delivered workshops, seminars, and programs with a focus on sexual abuse, intimate partner violence and crisis intervention.
March 1st - Speakers Ernest Dushime and Tony Davis will speak on 'The Refugee Determination Process and Canada's Success Story'
Ernest Dushime is from Burundi. He arrived in Alberta, Canada at the age of 11 with his brothers and sisters who were sponsored by a church in Edmonton. He is now 21 years old and currently enrolled at V.I.U. in a social work program.
Tony Davis emigrated to Canada from the UK in 1957. He joined the RCAF, graduating from The Royal Military College, Kingston, in 1963. Tony served both in the RCAF and the Royal Air Force in Manitoba. On retirement in 1990, Tony moved to Nanaimo where he became very active in Social Development and Refugee Sponsorship. In 2015, Tony was appointed Assistant Coordinator, Refugee Sponsorship for the Anglican Diocese of B.C. He presently coordinates the sponsorship efforts of 16 groups from Duncan to Campbell River.
March 8th is International Women’s Day, when three speakers will present “Education: Opening Doors to a New Home in Canada,” drawing attention to encouraging female refugee students to seek higher education and providing support for this to happen.
- Hamdi Aweys was born in Somalia and grew up in Kenya where she went to both primary and secondary school and lived there as a refugee for 13 years before moving to Canada. After high school, Aweys qualified for the World University Service of Canada Scholarship and was selected by Vancouver Island University, which is among the 70 universities that sponsor students. Embarking on studies in the Faculty of Health and Human Services, Hamdi hopes to pursue a career as a gynecologist.
- Jessyca Idi was born and raised in the state of Bahia, Brazil. Due to her parents’ tourism business she was constantly exposed to people of different cultures and languages. This allowed Jessyca to develop communication skills and a keen interest in the world outside her home country. In her High School years, Idi lived in both Italy and France. After graduation Jessyca first studied Veterinary Sciences in New Zealand. But soon her interests changed and she finally chose to enrol in Vancouver Island University, due to its program and more affordable tuition than other institutions. Here Idi is studying for a BA with majors in Global Studies, aiming for a career in international development. Jessyca and Hamdi co-chair the VIU – World University Service of Canada Local Committee.
- Suzanne de la Barre first developed her passion for community service when she was 17 years old and joined Katimavik – an amazing program that offered young Canadians the opportunity to live and do volunteer work for 9 months in different communities across the country. It was that same love of service that introduced her to the World University Service of Canada (WUSC) in 1997. She worked with WUSC for 10 years in various positions including as a WUSC volunteer placed with Canadian Physicians for Aid and Relief in Malawi, as coordinator of WUSCs 1999 International Seminar in Zimbabwe, as the Ottawa-based Senior Program Officer on the Refugee Sponsorship Program and the Regional representative for Local Committees for Western Canada, as Manager of Student Programs, and finally, she served for two terms on WUSCs Board of Directors. Suzanne left WUSC to pursue her PhD, and with that pursuit, she shifted her love of travel and adventure back to the Canadian north – a region she has spent a lot of time in since her childhood. Her research examines tourism and community development across the circumpolar north, in Canada and internationally. She has been a faculty member of VIUs Department of Recreation and Tourism Management for the past four years, where she teaches culture, change, and community development courses in the undergraduate Bachelor of Tourism Management program, as well as in the Master of Arts in Sustainable Leisure Management program. Suzanne will provide an overview of WUSC and its programs, and will share with us some highlights from her work with the Refugee Sponsorship program, including some personal perspectives relating to the theme of this lecture series - Where is home?
March 15th – speaker Bob McDonald, CBC Science journalist: will give a new perspective on earth with his topic “Canadian Spacewalkers: Hadfield, MacLean and Williams Remember the Ultimate High Adventure” This is the title of his latest book, which is about the only three Canadians to perform spacewalks outside the International Space Station, and the incredible stories they have to tell about their perspective hanging weightless 400 km above the Earth holding on with one hand alone with the rest of the universe. Bob has been widely recognized for his outstanding contribution in helping the public understand and appreciate Science.
Knox United Church – 345 Pym Street, Parksville
Every Tuesday – February 16 – March 15
Doors will open at 11:30
Lunch: Please bring a bag lunch. Knox will provide beverages.
Lecture will run from 12 noon to 1 pm, including a question period.
Admission is $8.00 per lecture or 5 for $35.00.
Tickets/information: call the church: 250-248-3927 or visit: www.kucparksville.ca.
Knox strives to be a scent-free facility - your cooperation is very much appreciated.