A look back at a passionate human library

This year marks the 30th edition of the International Development Week, a key forum for discussion reflecting Canadian people’s important contribution to global issues responses and poverty alleviation worldwide. On this occasion, the IBCR and 10 other fellow international cooperation organisations cohosted a human library, in order to highlight the work of Canadien volunteers abroad, then allow them to connect with the public and share their experience.

Over the course of an evening, more than 30 former Canadian volunteers from all walks of life were transformed into real “human books”, recounting their experiences and their mission abroad to the public who came to meet them.


During this “human library”, a former volunteer from the Bureau, Gözde Erdogan (click here to see more about her experience), came to share with enthusiasm and interest her contribution to the protection of the rights of children and young people in Tunisia. Gözde was indeed deployed as a legal advisor within the organisations Ado+ and Tunisian Forum for Youth Empowerment (TFYE), two associations dedicated to Tunisian children and adolescents.

It was an emotional moment of sharing for Gözde and her “readers”, who, during an exciting conversation, realised the impact of voluntary co-operation missions in the lives of the development workers, but also the importance of these missions for the local organisations and the target populations. 



During the evening, Isabelle Valois, Director of World Citizens and representative of World Affairs Canada, gave a speech in honour of the development workers, thanking them for bringing their expertise to international development each year and for contributing to Canada’s influence around the world. 

The IBCR team was also present, along with Lawyers Without Borders Canada, to present our volunteer cooperation programmes in consortium “Protection of Children, Women and Other Vulnerable Communities (PRODEF)”.

An event co-organised by IBCR and:

  • Lawyers without Borders
  • Carrefour International
  • CECI – Centre for International Studies and Cooperation
  • Cuso International
  • Oxfam Quebec
  • 6 to 8 of the Cooperation
  • SUCO solidarity union cooperation 
  • Lands without Borders
  • UPA International Development
  • Veterinarians withou Borders
  • World University Service of Canada (WUSC-EUMC)

Photos © Louis Lavoie Photo

Photo caption: Photos 1&2: Gözde Erdogan recounting her experience in Tunisia.Photo 3: Members and cooperants of the ASF and IBCR teams are gathered in front of their stand. Photo 4: Isabelle Valois thanks the volunteers in her speech.  Photo 5&6: Cover pages of human books.