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June 15, 2003
Issue 6 

Feature Article

RESPECT Update!

Even with the school year finishing off here in Canada, RESPECT is by no means slowing down its momentum. Letter exchanges are tapering off due to the summer season, but on other fronts RESPECT is marching forward.

A remarkable growth in RESPECT Pakistan and India should make for an interesting coming school year, especially since we have emerging partnerships with Teachers Without Borders, Lawyers Without Borders, and the Jane Goodall Institute that should spur innovative developments. Schools in the USA plan to send soccer balls to their partnered school, a school in London Ontario requested a package of letters so that they too can join the letter exchange, and Taiwan RESPECT is working towards fundraising for computers. Finally, the two new RESPECT university classes, English for Academic Purposes and Statistics, are about to begin as volunteer teachers make final preparations.

In light of these developments, RESPECT is continuing to strive towards raising awareness of refugee issues and bringing communities together in the process. We thank you all for being such an integral part of the RESPECT family.

WREN Youth Conference

By Kate Mossman

The Winnipeg Refugee Education Network (WREN) is a grass-roots organization that focuses on encouraging awareness of refugee issues in the local Winnipeg community, and also serves as RESPECT Canada. From May 23rd to the 24th at the University of Winnipeg, the group successfully held their first youth conference, which involved approximately 25 high school students as participants. This two-day event, known as the Refugee and Youth Leadership Conference, helped to raise youth awareness of refugee and international situations, and encouraged youth involvement in school and community organizations concerned with refugee issues.

The conference featured a number of workshops, with topics ranging from youth leadership and activism to cross-cultural and racism awareness. These workshops were conducted by local organizations, including RESPECT, WREN, the Mennonite Central Committee, KAIROS and Welcome Place.

"We were very excited to host this conference and we were very pleased with the mutual exchange of ideas between refugee advocacy groups and these motivated young people," says Robyn Mossman, WREN Coordinator. With support from the University of Winnipeg's Student Association and WUSC, as well as the Needs Centre for War Affected Families and the provincial government, the conference came at no cost to the youth participants. The goal of the conference was to have the students walk away having gained useful knowledge and skills they can take back to their high schools to enrich their own school experience, as well as those of their classmates.

Gallery

Raphael and Patricia of Teachers Without Borders
Raphael and Patricia of Teachers Without Borders (TWB) with IDP Camp Children in Nigeria

Announcements

Did you know?

In 2002 there were 569,000 applications for asylum submitted in 29 industrialized countries. This was a 6% decrease from 2001. The top three countries of origin for asylum seekers were Iraq, Turkey, and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. UNHCR report

The school administration, staff, and students of Conakry Refugee School in Guinea would like to extend their sincere thanks to their friends in Taiwan for their letters, color pencils and financial donation towards the postage of their replies.

There was great joy on campus as students admired the photos, drawings and other fancy things in their reply letters.

May the Lord richly bless Sunsun, her team of contact teachers,and all the students with their parents.

Guinea logo

RESPECT is currently discussing areas of collaboration with two organizations. The budding partnerships with Roots & Shoots and No War Zone could spread the RESPECT network and bring forth a number of new and exciting projects!

The RESPECT website has been updated! Come explore the new features such as the Forum, University, Ezine, E-cards, and the Refugee Schools. The features are making the website more and more an resouce entrepot for the RESPECT community.

Affiliates

Teachers Without Borders logo

RESPECT Nigeria is working jointly with Teachers Without Borders (TWB) Nigeria on educational programs for a refugee community in Calabar. Furthermore, RESPECT International has been invited to collaborate with Teachers Without Borders on an online course to teach refugee awareness.

Any persons interested in contributing to the development of this project over the summer are encouraged to contact Marc Schaeffer, respect@respectrefugees.org.