ISSN 1710-6931 December 28, 2007 Issue 115

2007 – A Year Of Positive Change For RESPECT

The changes in RESPECT International in 2007 have mirrored changes in my own life.

RESPECT International has always had fantastic online volunteers going above and beyond the call of duty but this year marks a significant shift in the development of strong volunteer teams that have taken ownership of swaths of tasks to further build the organization.

Ashok Pillai, Coordinator of RESPECT University and his team of committed volunteers were nominated for and won an Online Volunteer Team of the Year award.

Ashok and his team have taken the tremendous challenge of offering quality correspondence education to high school graduated war-affected students personally and seriously.

They have built RESPECT University into a program of a dozen or so instructors with more than 100 students in just over a year. This is just the beginning. 2007

Winning Team of RESPECT University Volunteers

On 5 December 2007, the United Nations (UN) Volunteers Online Volunteering Service announced RESPECT University's team of volunteers was selected to receive the Online Volunteering Team of the Year Award. They are one of ten volunteer teams from around the world to receive the award this year. The following are comments from some of those volunteers.

  • "I feel so happy and proud, when I think that my work – so minimal it is – will contribute to improve living conditions of many refugees in Africa. It's my contribution, it is ours, in this fight against poverty in the world. God bless RESPECT International."
  • Adama Adjomayi
  • "I am very honoured to have been a part of RESPECT International in the fight for refugee schools in Africa. It has been an amazing experience and one we shall continue to fight for. God bless you all and may we all continue to work together to eradicate poverty in the African region!"
  • Vasemaca Naiviko Lutu
    Fiji Islands (Pacific Islander)

Winning Team


RESPECT University Coordinator Meets With UN

On 5 December 2007, RESPECT University (RU) Coordinator Ashok Pillai met with United Nations (UN) officials at the UN Office in India. He told them about RESPECT and RU. The meeting was reported to be a big success.


Positive Result For RU Student In Sierra Leone

Mrs. Isha Miranda, a RESPECT University (RU) tutor, last year taught an eight-month long online course in Small and Medium Entrepreneurship (SME) to which six refugee students from the Peace Pals Education Network and RESPECT Sierra Leone participated. The course was a success.

A few days ago, she received some delightful news from one of her students, Samuel Thompson. He lives in Sierra Leone and a lack of finance and resources prevented him from pursuing his studies for a long time. Without identification documents and qualifications his chances of finding a job in Sierra Leone were reduced to nil.

But the SME course led by Isha through RESPECT University came at the right time and has positively changed his life and the way he sees the future.

"Anything is possible; just believe in yourself." These are the words that you can read on the first page of Isha's lesson and the ones that have left a mark on Samuel for life.

A few weeks after the end of the course, RESPECT Sierra Leone's country coordinator, Alex P. Columbus, appointed Samuel as manager of the educational resource center for refugee youth. Positive Result

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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