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April 15 – 21, 2012: National Volunteer Week

One of Equitas’ important resources is its team of dedicated volunteers, be they professionals who sit on the Board of Directors or offer their expertise pro bono, families who host a dinner for participants of the International Human Rights Training Program or students who volunteer their time at the office. We take this occasion to profile four volunteers and the special contributions they have made to Equitas. Messaoud Amer Yahia Messaoud did an internship with our Middle East and North Africa (MENA) program in the fall of 2011 as part of his Bachelor’s in International Studies at the Université de Montréal. He assisted the MENA team in research and development of our toolkit on citizenship education. His knowledge of Arab and his understanding of the region were an asset to our research. When Equitas was asked to prepare a proposal in early 2012 for further work in the MENA region, we asked Messaoud for his help. Despite having completed his studies and his internship, he readily agreed to come in for a few weeks as a volunteer to give us a hand. Nikol Drouin Trained as an artist and a teacher, Nikol has produced several videos and presentations highlighting Equitas’ programs and work. Armed with her camera and her artistic flair, she introduced us to the world of video, producing presentations which we have used during fundraising and other special events. Nikol was also instrumental in connecting us with Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf, where she used to teach. Now, every year, two students from Brébeuf volunteer as interns at our International Human Rights Training Program. Inspired by her work with Equitas, Nikol has produced a toolkit based on artistic expression and art projects which she will use in work with vulnerable youth in Latin America. Dan Shapiro When Equitas was looking for help in producing a video about our International Human Rights Training Program, Dan came highly recommended by his professor at McGill University. Dan volunteered the whole month of June 2011, coming out to the site of the IHRTP (in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, a good 40 kilometres from Montreal), meeting participants, setting up interviews and attending sessions of the program. We wanted to capture the dynamism of the program as well as how participation in the program influences the human rights work of participants.  Although the IHRTP was a new experience for him, he quickly got to know the program and what moments to capture. Over the course of the summer of 2011, Dan undertook the editing process, meeting with Equitas staff and Board members and integrating suggestions and comments into the final product. We are thrilled with the results. For the first time, we are truly able to communicate the magic of the program to people who have not experienced the program personally. Émilie Dutil-Bruneau Thank you as well to Émilie has been helping Equitas with its communications strategies and tools since 2008. Émilie has been working with Equitas as part of an agreement with NATIONAL Public Relations who have been offering us pro-bono media relations advice since 2008. During this time, she brought her experience to help us craft our communications plans, strategies and messages. She has helped us make contact and follow-up with key media people. Both Émilie’s and NATIONAL’s contributions are greatly appreciated and have helped Equitas develop a professional approach to communications. Thank you Messaoud, Nikol, Dan and Émilie and to all the volunteers who always bring us fresh energy and ideas! Thank you to all the volunteers who so generously donated their time in 2011 -2012 Alan E. Suaze • Alexandre McAdams • Anjeza Bregaj • Anges Agnero • Bahar Mohafer-Shajaei • Ben Musampa • Brian Fung • Catherine St-Amand • Cecilia Gonzalez Galve • Chloé Beaudet-Centomo • Danny Shapiro • Émilie Dumas • Eudoxie Bakumba • Francis Assonfac-Zangue • Ian Roy • Jasmine Rémy • Jess Messer • Joel Kaushansky • Julie Beausoleil • Katherine Begg • Kimberley Melo-Serpa • Kirsten Marsh • Lara Cousins • Laurent Nahmias Leonard • Margaret Fraser • Mariam Kalifa • Marianna Ryan • Melissa Yonganrioglu • Michael Cooper • Michaël Houle • Miju Martin • Milan Hareau • Molly Hamilton • Nadia Sanagata • Pacita Candelario • Prya Morley • Rachel Lau • Sam McAdams • Salami Obatoki Folonso • Stéphane Bilodeau • Ti-Anna Wang • Viet Anh-Vo • Vital Bintu Kanywabahizi • Yasser El-Hamamsy • Zahra Jalili

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