Views from abroad: a successful event dedicated to international voluntary cooperation

On October 2nd, we organised an event to promote international voluntary cooperation to the Canadian public through the stories of 4 former volunteers back in Montreal. The event was a success in the eyes of the audience, one marked by truly heartfelt testiminies. 

The International Bureau for Children’s Rights, in consortium with Lawyers Without Borders Canada and in collaboration with the Barreau du Québec, has been implementing the voluntary cooperation project “Protection of the Rights of Children, Women and Other Vulnerable Communities” (PRODEF) since 2015. This project relies on the sharing of Canadian expertise, and focuses on improving the protection of the rights of children, women and poor and marginalized communities, as well as on strengthening democracy and the rule of law through access to justice in 9 partner countries.

The project allows Canadians to work abroad for several months, putting their knowledge and skills at the service of partner organizations and associations working in the field of human rights. Since 2015, more than a hundred volunteers have been deployed in the project partner countries.

During the evening, 4 former volunteers – Gözde Erdogan (Tunisia), Karina Fauteux (Côte d’Ivoire), Rocio Delmonte Palomares (Colombia), and Meryem Zhiri (Morocco) – recounted their experiences through a panel discussion facilitated by Tarik Marc, Project Manager of the PRODEF voluntary cooperation programme at the International Bureau for Children’ Rights.  

Their fascinating and sometimes moving testimonies and the lively discussions that followed during the cocktail contributed to a very warm and friendly atmosphere and to the success of this event, which was sold out! The volunteers discussed topics such as the adaptation to their host country and its customs and habits of life and work, the many discoveries and wonders, the forging of international friendships and their sometimes difficult return to Quebec and the reversed culture shock.

The IBCR would like to thank the panelists and participants for their contributions in making this evening a success!

Some pictures from the event (see full album):