Yarn bombs needed

Poor old Sammy Steele, freezing year after year in his NWMP uniform. I like the fluffy cover for his mountie hat and his padded shoulders. But he looks sad, frozen tears on his cheeks. Will anybody out there have some mercy on him and other characters in the streets of Whitehorse? Jack London and Robert Service look cold, too!

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A Better Yukon for All – the governmental strategy for social inclusion and poverty reduction

A critical review by Othmar F. Arnold

(All mentioned documents are linked directly to the original source.)

The preamble to the new strategy document outlines very nicely what a better Yukon for all means: “A socially inclusive society is one where all people feel valued, their differences are respected, and their basic needs are met so they can live with dignity. It is a society where everyone has the opportunity to participate and to have their voice heard.’ (p. 8) And it continues with deep insight about social exclusion: it “is the result of barriers in the social, economic, political and cultural systems” (p. 8).

In the introduction, the scope of the strategy is presented as a guideline to social policy development; or in other words, how government will facilitate a way of meaningfully living together. From the research the government conducted, it concluded that service delivery and access to services appear the main reasons for the fact that some people in the Yukon do not feel included. Furthermore, “poverty is one of the most obvious factors contributing to social exclusion, but social exclusion also stems from and is exacerbated by inadequate education, housing, health, social participation, employment and access to services (p. 8)”.

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A Better Yukon for All – a new strategy paper

The Government of Yukon has recently released its long-awaited

Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Strategy

It has been in the works for a while and there were several delays in releasing the document. But I am glad that it has finally seen the light. The entire strategy document can be downloaded from the following page: A Better Yukon. On the same page, the government released the 2010 background research report: Dimensions of Social Inclusion and Exclusion.

A socially inclusive society is one where all people feel valued, differences are respected and basic needs are met so they can live with dignity. Barriers in social, economic, political and cultural systems can prevent people from being part of their community. Everyone is affected by social exclusion and poverty, and everyone plays a role in finding solutions.

Vision

A Yukon where social exclusion and poverty are eliminated, diversity is celebrated, and all Yukoners have the opportunity to prosper and participate to their full potential, free from prejudice and discrimination.

The strategy document provides guiding principles, goals, and a commitment to measure success.

Evidence of Homelessness in Whitehorse: abandoned camp along the Yukon River
Evidence of Homelessness in Whitehorse: abandoned camp along the Yukon River

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Hope on the horizon – the movie (+de)

Healing in Babalmé – A story of hope from a marginalized place tells the story of a humanitarian worker’s lived experiences during a malnutrition crisis in Chad, where a pastoralist community on the edge of the Sahara desert mobilizes its own resources to overcome effects of marginalization. This short experimental documentary is a witness to the power of supportive non-intervention and true community development.

für eine deutsche Übersetzung klicke hier: Hoffnung in Babalmé
I am pleased to announce, that my creative spirits have persisted, thanks to the encouragement of Celia and others, to revise and re-edit the animated audio-visual presentation based on my experiences in Chad. I still feel blessed that I have been able to witness the events that inspired me to write the story. They are still a source of hope for me. The events illustrate for me that there is “that of God in everyone”: People with nothing can make a difference if we don’t crush their individual and collective agency with might and paternalistic intentions.

I am planning to submit this version to the Dawson City International Short Film Festival 2013.

DCISFFlogo

It will be another venue to share the message of hope with a wider audience.
You can enjoy the preview in this YouTube version anytime by clicking the arrow button:

Dedicated to the people of Babalmé and the North Kanem/Chad Continue reading “Hope on the horizon – the movie (+de)”

Hope on the Horizon

"Hope on the Horizon" screenshot from the online version of the MSF Canada magazine Dispatches 16(2), Summer 2012
“Hope on the Horizon” screenshot from the online version of the MSF Canada magazine Dispatches 16(2), Summer 2012

I still remember my first visit to Babalme in July 2011. The MSF vehicle had to use a local guide to point at indistinguishable features on the horizon, a lone tree or a sand dune, to direct us more than twelve kilometers off the last known track in the desert sand. It was a bleak picture. The area was drier than the rest of the Sahel, not a single mud brick building, no school, no health centre – just people living a pastoralist life in a forgotten corner of Chad and close to the border with Niger.

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