Amplifying Community Voices with Stephannie Veenbaas and Alain Chelala
EWB’s Day of Action and #BeAdVENTUROUS campaign were meaningful leadership moments for young people. Through these activities, the next generation of leaders gained experience as part of a major national movement working to establish Canada as a global leader in international development. They trained, built awareness, and learned about the nuances of the DFI, development finance, meeting with MPs, pitching to policymakers and gender inclusion. Most importantly, EWB members have a better understanding of their own power in shaping Canadian policy, having a global impact, and how their voice matters in a democratic society.
“I was blown away by accessibility of the opportunity. Many Canadians don’t feel like it is accessible which results in a lack of empowerment. I learned how important it is to know what you’re talking about and to be challenged, so that you can strengthen what it is we think we know. Day of Action also impacted my desire to continue being engaged. I’m finding new mechanisms or avenues to get involved and stay involved.”
Stephannie Veenbaas, a fourth-year Sociology and Sustainability student at Concordia University and former EWB Junior Fellow in 2016, attended Prime Minister Trudeau’s announcement of the Development Finance Institution (DFI) in Montreal with EWB. Participating in six meetings with MPs during Day of Action 2017, including one with Minister Bibeau, helped Stephanie see the value of her role and her voice in the process.
“EWB’s Day of Action helped me understand that this work is effective and made me feel like I was doing something great and wanted to do it all over again. I’m grateful for this experience – it got me to push past my limits and discover skills I didn’t know I had.”
Alain Chelala, current EWB Chapter President at McGill University, Alain Chelala, attended EWB’s Day of Action in 2017 and met with the Minister of International Development and two other MPs. This experience enabled him to see the impact that individuals can have when they raise their voice.
We just began our new campaign Day of Action campaign, #hello2030, read about it here for all of the latest updates!