Big ball of fun

By Вen Li

A big ball of elastic bands could help this year’s International Week theme: bringing people together with The Ties That Bind.

"The Ties That Bind is a way of bringing different ideas, attitudes, and philosophies together from different countries, organizations and mindsets," said Maryan Nabavi, International Centre Program Assistant for International Development and Research. "I would say bridging the gap and helping people understand one another, different ideas and perspectives is the main thing."

The International Centre, International Students’ Centre and the Students’ Union this week hosted 27 non-governmental organizations and 18 speakers from Calgary and abroad, including Prime Minister of Grenada, Hon. Dr. Keith C. Mitchell. Mitchell is scheduled to speak at the Rosa Centre on Fri., Feb. 9.

"We wanted speakers who could provide some insight on bridging the gap between the developing world and the developed world, providing information on different opportunities [and] projects taking place overseas," said Nabavi.

Other presenters included U of C professors, health professionals and social activists.

Sparse attendance at the NGO fair on Monday was due to poor publicity and con├čicting events, said International Week Co-ordinator Mihiri Wijesuriya.

"It could be that we did not do a good job promoting [it]," said Wijesuriya. "Maybe it’s the construction, or the time of year. Everyone has midterms."

Over 30 ISC staff and volunteers worked with the IC and Students’ Union to put on the event.

"We have numerous people working on the project with many other groups," said SU Vice president Operations and Finance Matt Lauzon. "In the past, [one] of the events we’ve helped to put on is the multicultural gala, which is the ├×nale for [this] week."

According to Lauzon, funding for the event was made possible with a $9,000 grant from the University International Grant Committee, which covers advertising and other costs. There is virtually no cost to students.

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