Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Orange Ribbon Campaign - Celebrating Refugees: Maryam Monsef

Part 8 of our Celebrating Refugees Series takes us to the Honourable Maryam Monsef. Monsef is a Canadian politician of Afghan descent. She is a Member of Canada's Parliament for Peterborough-Kawartha, and a Minister in Prime Minister Trudeau`s Cabinet.

Monsef's father died when she was still an infant and her mother struggled to raise her three daughters under the growing problems in Afghanistan. She moved the family between Iran and Afghanistan for many years, until they finally made the journey to Canada as refugees, settling in Peterborough, Ontario.

Monsef went to Trent University, earned a degree in Psychology and co-founded a grassroots initiative called the Red Pashmina Campaign - an effort to help support women in Afghanistan.

Monsef's induction into politics happened when she ran for mayor of Peterborough in 2014. She did not win, but the Liberal Party of Canada chose her to represent them in the upcoming federal election. She was elected on the 19th of October 2015. PM Justin Trudeau soon appointed her as the Minister of Democratic Institutions and later the Minister of the Status of Women. She is the second-youngest Canadian minister ever.

Orange Ribbon Campaign - Celebrating Refugees: Maryam Monsef from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Orange Ribbon Campaign - Celebrating Refugees: Hyam Abu Nada

June 20th was World Refugee Day, but Refugee Month and the Orange Ribbon Campaign continue throughout June. Part 7 of 9 in our Celebrating Refugees series takes us to Hyam Abu Nada. Hyam is not a Governor General or a Cabinet Minister, nor is she a famous musician or an acclaimed writer. She is just a woman, just an ordinary person like you and me, except for the fact that she was forced to flee her home in search of hope and freedom, and who is now working so very hard to make a new life here in Calgary.

Hyam has a Bachelor's Degree in Food Science Technology and has worked as a Project Coordinator, a Field Supervisor and an Agricultural Engineer in Gaza, Palestine. The Gaza Strip is home to 1.8 million people, people who face poverty, mass unemployment, a crippling lack of electrical power and infrastructure, and the ever present fear of sudden conflict.  In many ways, Life is in Ruins in Gaza.

We had the chance to talk with Hyam about her journey to Canada, about what she's found most difficult and most surprising since her arrival, and about what message she has for the people of Canada. Watch below to hear her answers to these questions and more.

Orange Ribbon Campaign - Celebrating Refugees: Hyam Abu Nada from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

AGM & World Refugee Day @ CFN

Yesterday CFN held its Annual General Meeting & World Refugee Day Celebrations and CFN would like to send out a big thank you to all those who participated in what was a special day.

In the end, CFN is Calgary; CFN is Canada and our heart, like the heart that drives World Refugee Day, can perhaps best be summarized by a single word - hope.  Canada, more than ever, truly is a beacon of hope to the world.  For all our flaws, for all the challenges that still lay in front of us, we are a nation where individuals are treated with respect, have equal rights, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of sexual orientation, free education and healthcare, and can live life, for the most part, as we see fit, without fear of repercussion, and with pride and hope for the future. As Canada approaches its 150th birthday, pride is another word that comes to mind. Hope and pride; yes indeed Canada is simply one of the best places in our big wide world in which to live out the human experience.

CFN thanks our community partners and collaborators, our fellow settlement agencies, along with the host of passionate and driven non-profits that burn bright throughout our great city and serve to better the city in which we all live; we thank the hundreds of our volunteers who donate their time to help improve the lives of others; we thank the more than 130 people who come to work at CFN everyday and work hard to build the community around them; we thank our heartfelt Board, our spirited leadership, but most of all we thank all those who are now working so very hard to make Calgary their new home - who in the process make Canada the glorious country it has always been.

And therein lies our responsibility as a community. All of us here at CFN will surely do our best, each and every day, to help them, in any way we can, throughout their journey; to assist these newcomers, into a city, a culture and a country that was built upon the ideals of pride and hope, upon the ideals that serve as a driving force behind all those looking to make something better for themselves and their families.  For photos of our Annual General Meeting CLICK HERE, to download a copy of CFN's Annual Report CLICK HERE, and for a quick by the numbers glance of Fiscal Year 2016-17 simply watch below.

CFN's Annual General Meeting: FY 2016-17 By The Numbers from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Orange Ribbon Campaign - Celebrating Refugees: Dany Laferrière

Part 6 of our Celebrating Refugees Series take us to Dany Laferrière, a Haitian-Canadian novelist and journalist who writes in French. Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and raised in Petit-Goâve, Laferrière worked as a journalist in Haiti before moving to Canada in 1976. He also worked as a journalist in Canada, and hosted television programming for the TQS network. Laferrière published his first novel, Comment faire l'amour avec un nègre sans se fatiguer (How to Make Love to a Negro Without Getting Tired) in 1985. The novel was later adapted into a screenplay by Laferrière and Richard Sadler, earning a Genie Award nomination for best adapted screenplay at the 11th Genie Awards in 1990. The film adaptation of the novel starred Isaach De Bankolé and was directed by Jacques W. Benoit.

Orange Ribbon Campaign - Celebrating Refugees:Dany Laferrière from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

In 2009, Laferrière won the prestigious Prix Médicis for his 11th novel, L'énigme du retour. Upon receiving the prize, he commented on its ability to open up a new readership in France, giving him visibility there. .On 3 June 2014, he was awarded the International Literature Award by the House of World Cultures for his novel The Return. In 2015, Laferrière was awarded the Order of Canada.

June 20th is World Refugee Day

Here at the CFN, today, we celebrate World Refugee Day. Last year we started #RefugeeDayYYC to go along with our city wide, month long Orange Ribbon Campaign to bring awareness to the plight of refugees and to honour their strength, courage and resilience. World Refugee Day commemorates the obstacles refugees face each year, while also celebrating their courage and strength. Since 2001, the United Nations and more than 100 countries have observed World Refugee Day annually on June 20th. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has started the #WithRefugees petition to send a message of action, solidarity, and responsibility on behalf of refugees to governments worldwide.

Together, we can work to end the refugee crisis and find homes for displaced peoples worldwide. Here are several facts to help you better understand the current refugee crisis:
  • According to the UNHCR, there are 65.3 million forcibly displaced people around the world. 
  • More than 21 million of these people are refugees and 10 million are stateless. 
  • On average, 42,500 people per day flee their homes to seek protection within the borders of their own country or other countries.
  • In the last year alone, there have been 13.9 million people newly displaced.
  • The civil war in Syria has led to one of the worst humanitarian crises of our lifetime.
  • More than 11 million Syrians are currently displaced. This amounts to 45% of the Syrian population.
  • 86% of the world's refugees are hosted by developing countries.
  • This number has jumped by 16% in the last decade. Refugees only account for a tiny percentage of overall immigration.
  • The world’s largest refugee camp is located in Dadaab, Kenya, which is home to more than 329,000 people.
  • The Dadaab refugee camp was been threatened with closures due to potential security risks.
  • Of the 20 million refugees worldwide, 51% are under the age of 18.
  • This is the highest number of child refugees since World War II. 
  • The first-ever Refugee Team competed at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. 
  • The team was comprised of athletes from Ethiopia, South Sudan, The Democratic Republic of Congo, and Syria.

Monday, June 19, 2017

CFN @ SocialWest

Last week CFN attended SocialWest, an exciting multi-day conference developed for those working in communications, marketing and social media. Attendees experienced sessions, panels and workshops lead by the industry's foremost experts. Over the course of SocialWest, speakers shared the elements of truly successful social media and digital strategies for businesses big and small. SocialWest 2017 featured more than 30 speakers and experts from across the country. A worthwhile educational conference for social media and marketing professionals of all levels, we look forward to  attending again next year!


CFNs EthniCity Catering @ Feeding 5000

Feeding 5000 Calgary is a global initiative to raise awareness about food waste. The goal was to feed 5000 people with food that would have otherwise ended up being thrown away. Originating in England, Feeding 5000 has since become a global movement. Since then, Feeding 5000 events have happened in cities across Europe and North America with CFNs EthniCity Catering having the privilege of participating in Calgary's inaugural Feeding 5000.

Held at Olympic Plaza on Thursday, the event fed nearly 7000 people, while saving more than 1,000 kilograms of food from the landfill.

Food was donated by local farms, grocery stores and wholesalers, and put together in creative ways by chefs right here in YYC. The chefs, including Ethnicity Catering's Mark Sefton, treated the public to some delicious meals. The event was made possible by the hard work of hundreds of volunteers, who spent the week prepping for the event.  Leftovers from Feeding 5000 were donated to the Drop-In Centre, Alpha House and the Dream Centre. For more Photos of the event CLICK HERE.