The Global Empowerment Collective of the Central Okanagan known as GECCO fosters empowerment through net working, knowledge sharing, and capacity building to support sustainable local and global change. GECCO is a Chapter of the BC Council for International Cooperation (BCCIC) and work together on a regular basis to participate in BCCIC initiatives, programming and services.
Okanagan College welcomed 15 community groups to campus on April 5th to raise awareness about how they help to bring education, opportunity, and resilience to people in the developing world. Groups showcased a myriad of projects and activities, including women’s equality rights, development work in Nepal, and support for grandmothers in Africa. The event featured talks from Hope for the Nations, Victoria International Development Education Association, the Justice Education Society, and Room to Read, among many others. On hand also were the student Sustainable Development club and of course GECCO, the local Chapter of the BC Council for International Cooperation. In their talks, groups shared their activities in fostering job skills and language training, providing legal advice in multiple languages, internship and volunteer opportunities for students and the public, and upcoming fundraising events as well as fair trade goods. Members of the College’s Internationalization Task Force were also on hand to engage with local community members, especially around plans to grow international social justice learning experiences for students. The event was sponsored by OC’s International Development Diploma program (okanagan.bc.ca/inde) to celebrate the role of Okanagan individuals and organizations in creating a better world, one step at a time, through international humanitarian actions, aid and development efforts worldwide. The OC Political Science Department expresses special thanks to the student volunteers and librarians who helped make it all happen.
Newly formed BCCIC local Chapter GECCO [the Global Empowerment Coalition of the Central Okanagan] held their launch event on October 27th in Kelowna. This event was an opportunity for GECCO to introduce themselves to the community, to talk about their mission, and to gain valuable feedback about what the community would like to see and do in the coming year. Thirty-three participants in attendance were invited to “Put Kelowna on the Map”, by adding their names, causes, and interests to a global map and a map of the Okanagan Valley. In the lead-up to the event, GECCO counted down the days by sharing a link to one of the SDGs per day, until all 17 of the Global Goals had been featured on their Facebook page.