ISSN 1710-6931 October 5, 2007 Issue 109

Window To A Different World

Under RESPECT International's Global Letter Exchange Program, refugee and non-refugee students correspond to know each other better. It helps to build bridges between children and youth facing varied reality.

Mariette Petit-Genet, a primary school teacher in France, introduced to the Benin refugees in 2006-2007, takes part in the Letter Exchange Program with her students aged six to eight.

According to RESPECT's French coordinator, Sandrine Cortet, Mariette is a very motivated teacher, open-minded and committed to the program.

Lumbu Sembeya, a refugee who is also the country coordinator for RESPECT Benin and president of the Group of Refugee Student Parents (GPER), is coordinating the letter exchange on the refugee side.

Ms. Maite and Ms. Angeles, who are based in Spain, contacted RESPECT to make a documentary about the program, their focus being on how the children from both sides see their own world as well as that of their pen pals.

Sandrine is coordinating the communication among the three groups involved. Maite and M Angeles are currently in Benin for a month to meet the refugees and to learn first-hand the daily work of the GPER and the reality of Benin. The technical team for this documentary comprises three young women — M Angeles, Maite and Mar.

On sharing her thoughts with us about the program, Mariette says she feels it allows the children to learn about other children who have very different lives from their own. Thus, they can learn to respect others and to be open-minded.

She hopes that through this documentary the children will give their personal and genuine impressions about the letter exchanges. She thinks the children will be delighted to see their pen pals in a video and for them it will be almost like a face-to-face experience.

Mariette expects the documentary will help the children in her school to understand a lot of things about countries they know very little of.

Lumbu also shares similar thoughts to Mariette. He feels this program helps to develop friendship between children from Africa and from France and Canada. He believes it is extremely helpful in building their personality and knowledge of themselves. Different World


A Refugee Living In Canada Looks Back At Camp Life

Enoch Noel was excited when he came across RESPECT International's website while searching for jobs and opportunities in Canada.

As a new resident of Kitchener, Ontario, since Dec 2006, Enoch is trying to adjust after his relocation from the Kyangwali Refugees Settlement in Uganda. Life In The Camp


Great Response To Training Program For NGOs

RESPECT Refugiados this week enrolled its 100th students into its training program for soft skills and management abilities for NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in developing countries.

The training program is a complete success as in only one month we have received dozens of applications and already 100 students are taking it. Students are coming from all over the world, a majority of them from African and Latin American countries.

This online course aims to help volunteers and members of NGOs to develop their soft skills and management abilities, increasing the skills and knowledge existing in countries where local communities, NGOs and volunteers are trying to improve their present situation.

For more information, please visit our website.

As in any newsletter or magazine, RESPECT e-zine is committed to striving for interesting articles and announcements concerning refugee issues all around the world.

If you have any suggestions or would like to contribute an article, contact the e-Zine editor, Angela Carter, at

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