The Trustbuilding Program - Canada

IofC Canada has a long history with promoting effective intercultural and inter-religious bridge building across societal divides, creating safe spaces where people of different origins, beliefs and religions can have dialogue, undo prejudices, and reach across divides. IofC has had a strong presence and impact on Canadian affairs, especially in the years around World War II and for the subsequent decades. This included a variety of media (books, plays and musicals) as well as important connections to First Nations.

Focus of the project

The project in Canada creates safe spaces for honest conversations for people from different groups who are willing to face the issues feeding targeted divides in Quebec society. The team provides concrete tools and methodologies to address ignorance, build joint action through mutual understanding and through the understanding of historical and socio-political realities and experiences underlying our current society.

Canada Project Team

Genevieve Dick

Geneviève Dick

Geneviève first encountered IofC’s work 14 years ago and defines herself as a perpetual learner and wisdom seeker. She holds both a Master’s and Bachelors degree in Philosophy, as well as a year of Law in Université du Québec à Montréal. Currently she lives in Montreal, after having spent a few years working in different parts of Québec.

She has simultaneously been involved in student and provincial politics, as coordinator and communications coordinator respectively, which has allowed her to develop skills relevant to project management. This gives her unique insight into how our polarized world needs tools for people to build trustworthiness and engagement toward each other and the community.

As a teacher, she is sensitive to the degradation of social fabric: witnessing students struggling with loneliness, anxiety, and powerlessness in the face of today’s challenges, whether they be environmental or social. The Trustbuilding project gives her great hope that we can offer people of diverse communities support in building a more just and sustainable  to face these ongoing challenges.

Joseph Vumiliya

Joseph Vumiliya

Joseph has been living in Montreal with his wife, Florence, and their three children since 2012. He was hired by Initiatives of Change Canada to work full-time and is currently the Provincial Coordinator for the province of Quebec, after having been a project manager for two years, a volunteer for nine months, and a part time consultant for six months.

He brings to this position a considerable experience in administration, finance, and project management gained through the 18 years he spent working for the Association for Co-operation and Research for Development (ACORD), an international NGO in Rwanda, his country of origin, where he also first encountered IofC.

He has a Bachelor's degree in Project Management and has served on several Boards of national and international organizations in Africa and Canada.  He is also a Community Trustbuilding Fellowship Alumni.

Firyal Mohamed

Firyal Mohamed

Firyal currently resides on Haida Gwaii- a remote archipelago of islands off the northwest coast of British Columbia, home to the Haida First Nations. As a community economic developer, she cares deeply about locally defined, people-centered solutions that respect the lands, culture and diversity of our communities. She has well-developed skills in designing and delivering entrepreneurial training, and extensive experience with community-based facilitation practices. More recently, she is working within rural communities of northern BC to develop strategies that enhance culturally specific economies of scale, or transition toward more self-sufficient models of economic prosperity.

Firyal was introduced to IofC as a Caux Scholar in 2011 and was involved in local trustbuilding programming in Alberta prior to moving provinces. She has served on the national board since 2015 and is currently co-Chair of IofC Canada. Firyal has developed 3 national consultations and 2 board/staff retreats- both in-person and virtually.

Lorne Braun

Lorne Braun

Lorne Braun lives in Richmond, BC and currently works as a consultant to Canadian NGOs doing humanitarian work throughout the world. He has an extensive background in international development: working and consulting with NGOs, the private sector, and the Canadian Government. Lorne has an MA in Conflict Analysis and Management from Royal Roads University in Victoria and his research on the Eritrean-Ethiopian conflict has led to facilitated dialogue work in Canada and the UK. He also spent four years teaching international non-profit management at a college in North Vancouver.

He has been involved with the local IofC team in Vancouver since 1992, and served as co-Chair of the IofC Canada Council. Lorne was Treasurer of IofC International from 2008 to 2014. He is currently Treasurer of IofC Canada. His specific skill set includes strategic planning, board development, program planning, proposal writing, government liaison, project monitoring, and project evaluation.

Annie Lessard

Annie Lessard

Annie has extended experience of working in communications, especially in the field of film and television production, festivals and web projects. She has worked many years at the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), at Vivavision (a private film and television production company), and at the Festival Eurêka! (a major science festival), in Montreal. As a coordinator, project manager, and communications manager she has developed expertise in social media communication, event organization, and partner and sponsor relations. Annie sees her involvement with the Trustbuilding Program as a way to combine her commitment for a more just and equitable society with a deep pursuit of personal development, represented in the IofC’s approach.

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