Past Events

Winter 2016:

2016   Film and Speaker Festival                January 15-16

Theme: Walking Together  

A weekend of film and discussion around relationships, community, and the journeys we take together.

Location: Roger Epp Centre, Augustana Campus, University of Alberta.

Admission: Donations at the door. Snacks and beverages available.  Please bring water bottles and mugs if you are able.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 15     7 – 10 pm

Speaker:  Varghese Manaloor discusses Sahakarini’s newest project with Pipal Tree’s Children’s College

Film: The Backward ClassFeaturing the first class of dalit caste students to attempt the Indian School Certificate exams and aspire for university.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 16

10:00 am     Even the Rain – Explores effects of Spanish imperialism resonating 500 years later in the struggle again privatization of Bolivia’s water supply.

1:00 pm       Colours of Edziza – Journey of a member of West Coast Tahltan Nation and a mountaineer into the remote and rugged mountains in northern BC.

3:00 pm      Speaker – Leslie Lindball on “Couch-Surfing and Community”

3:30 pm      Craigslist Joe – Young American attempts to rely on the goodwill of others to provide everything in his life from the Craigslist website.

Click this link to access Film and Speaker Festival brochure: 2016 Film Series Brochure

Fall 2015:

2015 Loaves and Fishes Dinner   Growing Hope Together   

November 7       Norsemen Inn, Camrose          Doors open: 5 pm          Dinner: 6:00 pm

Have you ever watched the news or a television documentary and wished you could do something to make a difference, something to pull a family or a community out of poverty so they could have adequate food, and the children would be able to attend school and afford shoes for their feet?  Well, you are not alone.

Sahakarini, a respected local organization, reaches out to communities in several countries with smaller, intimate projects and programs that accomplish that very thing. Communities are learning new skills, people are becoming more employable, children go to school and their physical health is improving due to adequate nutrition and the cooperative work of Sahakarini.

On November 7th , Sahakarini is hosting the annual fundraising Loaves and Fishes Dinner at the Norsemen Inn. The name of this annual event comes from the Gospel of John where Jesus blessed five loaves of bread and two fish and they fed 5,000 men plus women and children.  It was a miracle! The work Sahakarini is doing today is a modern-day miracle that year after year and project after project improves the lives of those with whom the organization partners. This annual fundraising event invites the local community to become part of the miracle through donations and the purchase of artifacts and gift items.

The event traditionally holds both silent and live auctions, plus the Market Place where guests can directly purchase a variety of items for sale.

An annual feature that draws much fun and excited bidding is a pair of Indian handmade chappels (sandals) worn by one of Sahakarini’s pioneers, Rev. Gordon Schieck. The chappels go to the highest bidder to take with him/her on their own travels in the coming year. (If the sandals could talk I wonder what they could tell us about the paths they have travelled with Gordon and all the others who have walked in them over the years?

The Hindi word sahakarini literally means cooperation between equals. From the organization’s beginning cooperation was intrinsic to its character and ethos. It was registered as a charity in 1979. Sahakarini pioneers include Gordon and Mina Schieck, Norman and Eloise Umbach and Jack and Jane Ross. Since its inception the organization has come along side and contributed in a variety of ways to many programs, including education and health care projects, schools, skills training for income generation and micro credit programs (small loans to kick start income generation programs for individuals).  Sahakarini has answered the call for cooperation in India, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Zambia, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Haiti, Brazil, Guatemala and Columbia.

Tickets for the November Loaves and Fishes Dinner are $40 adult, $25 student with 10 and under free. Tickets can be purchased from Board members or Wisemen’s Way bookstore, or by phoning the Sahakarini Office at 780-672-8222

The next time you watch the news and see a small child walking with bare feet on a refuse strewn pathway remember you can be part of the answer by supporting Sahakarini, an organization right in our own community, managed and directed by people with years of experience and expertise in cooperation with communities and villages around the world.

President’s Remarks at 2015 Loaves and Fishes

President Gail Stolee presented updates on Sahakarini projects at the annual Loaves and Fishes Dinner held on November 7. She spoke about a water management project in Columbia that is winding down, an ongoing project to build sand dams in Kenya, and an exciting new project in India.

Click on the link to read her remarks. President’s Remarks at 2015 Loaves & Fishes

Thanks so much to everyone who came out to the dinner and made generous donations to allow us to continue our work.

2015 Loaves & Fishes


Alan D. Fielding Earns Alumni Honour Award

Alan Fielding  We are pleased to announce that our long-time board chairperson, Alan Fielding was recognized for his long record of volunteer service and philanthropy by the University of Alberta Alumni Association. On September 24, the University of Alberta Alumni Association awarded Mr. Alan D. Fielding (’65 BA, ’69 LLB) with an Alumni Honour Award for his extraordinary volunteer contributions and philanthropic work.  Alan was also honoured with a Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award in 2014 for his significant contributions to local and international causes. A founding partner of Fielding & Co. LLP, Fielding held numerous positions with the Law Society of Alberta and the Legal Education Society of Alberta. He has served as president of the Vision Credit Union for decades. Fielding, a longtime Rotarian, lives by the Rotary motto Service Above Self. He is active not only in his community but also in his church and the university. A longtime advocate for mental health, he served for 19 years as chair of the Central Alberta Mental Health Review Panel and currently serves on the Alberta Review Board. Music is Fielding’s great love, and he has long been a performer and a supporter of the Camrose and Edmonton music scenes. The Alumni Honour Award recognizes the significant contributions made over a number of years by University of Alberta alumni to their profession, their community, to society at large, or to the University of Alberta.

   

 


 

Winter 2015:

2015 Film and Speaker Festival          “Planting Seeds”

2015 Film Festival poster

When?     January 23, 7 – 9:30 pm and January 24, 10 am – 5:00 pm

Where?   Roger Epp Room, Augustana Campus, University of Alberta

How much?     Entrance by donation.

What?

Friday, January 23 (7-9 pm)

Just Eat It (75 minutes)

We all love food, so how could we be throwing nearly 50% of it in the trash? Vancouver film-makers Jen Rustemeyer and Grant Baldwin take us on a personal journey of discovery about the issue of unnecessary food waste by turning their challenge of living off discarded food into a labour of love.   (From www.knowledge.ca)

The Man Who Planted Trees (30 minutes)

Based on the story by Jean Giono, this film tells the story of a shepherd who repairs the ruined ecosystem of a secluded valley by singlehandedly cultivating a forest over a 30 year period.

Saturday, January 24

10:00 am     Urban Roots (30 minutes)

A timely, moving and inspiring film that follows the urban farming phenomenon on Detroit, and speaks to a nation grappling with collapsed industrial towns and the need to forge a sustainable and prosperous future. (From www.urbanrootsamerica.com)

Save the Farm (30 minutes)

Film-maker Michael Kuehnert tells the story of the largest urban farm in the USA, a 14-acre organic farm in the middle of South Central Los Angeles. Over 350 families cultivated the farm, which fed the community and created an urban oasis for more than 14 years. But when the city sells this public tract of land to a developer, activists and celebrities try to save the farmers from eviction. Demonstrates that protecting green spaces and urban farming is a successful solution for local, affordable organic food in cities everywhere, and an important building block for a sustainable future.

11:00 am     Farm Community Relationship – Speaker, Takota Cohen

11:30 am     Various clips from Alberta Voices and speakers Alison Bortolon & Hans Asfeldt, Dueling Interests: Agriculture and Industry, Where is the Common Ground?

12:30 pm     Lunch (off campus or in cafeteria for $7.50)

1:30 pm       Solar Mamas (58 minutes)

An uneducated Bedouin mother from Jordanian desert has the chance to attend Barefoot College where middle-aged women train to become solar engineers, and to bring power to their communities.

3:00 pm       The First Grader (1 hr, 43 minutes)

 


 

Fall 2014:

2014 Loaves and Fishes Dinner      November 15 

5:30 pm   Norsemen Inn    Guest speakers: Dr. Dittmar Muendel and Mrs Pat Mader Muendel

UPDATE: Thanks so much to all of our supporters who attended our annual fundraising dinner, and the many who supported us financially through purchasing items in the Marketplace or auction or through generous donations.

Sahakarini Supports Agro-Forestry in Colombia2014 Plant a Seed Poster

Have you ever watched the news or a television documentary and wished you could do something to make a difference, something to pull a family or a community out of poverty so they could have adequate food, and the children would be able to attend school and afford shoes for their feet?  Well, you are not alone.

Sahakarini, a respected local organization, reaches out to communities in several countries with smaller, intimate projects and programs that accomplish that very thing. Communities are learning new skills, people are becoming more employable, children go to school and their physical health is improving due to adequate nutrition and the cooperative work of Sahakarini.

On November 15th , Sahakarini is hosting the annual fundraising Loaves and Fishes Dinner at the Norsemen Inn. The name of this annual event comes from the Gospel of John where Jesus blessed five loaves of bread and two fish and they fed 5,000 men plus women and children.  It was a miracle! The work Sahakarini is doing today is a modern-day miracle that year after year and project after project improves the lives of those with whom the organization partners. This annual fundraising event invites the local community to become part of the miracle through donations and the purchase of artifacts and gift items. Funds raised at this year’s event will be directed toward the community of Socota in the Boyaca region of Colombia.

For generations mining has been the way of life for people in the Boyaca region but the mines are now less productive so fewer people have mining jobs, beside which the mines have left an environmental nightmare in their wake. The project will establish five protected areas for reforestation with natural diversity which will regulate water flows for the whole community.  Issues that have been identified as requiring attention include water-flow problems, erosion and lack of food security. The people from Socota will carry out the reforestation, fencing water areas and planting gardens. About 200 people will benefit directly and up to 2,000 will be impacted by this new model of water management.

In order to bring this project to life, Sakaharini is partnering with Diaconia, the arm of the Lutheran Church in Colombia that carries out projects and programs addressing social needs in the country. This partnership, together with that of the local people, is central to the success of the program.

Dr. Dittmar Muendel and Mrs Pat Mader Muendel are presently in Socota and will return in time for the annual event, bringing with them fresh news and insights to the work that is underway. They also plan to return with artifacts and interesting items for sale that are not available in our local Camrose shops and stores. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn and feel, to see and touch and buy products and items from Colombia.

The event traditionally holds both silent and live auctions, plus the Market Place where guests can directly purchase a variety of items for sale. Some of the special features this year will be a hand-stitched quilt by the ladies of Quilting from the Heart, an hour airplane ride with Ron Grue over local fields and the new canola plant, a one week condo in Ontario or equal exchange, a supply of local foods, a Columbian dinner for four, plus other items yet to be named.

An annual feature that draws much fun and excited bidding is a pair of Indian handmade chappels (sandals) worn by one of Sahakarini’s pioneers, Rev. Gordon Schieck. The chappels go to the highest bidder to take with him/her on their own travels in the coming year. (If the sandals could talk I wonder what they could tell us about the paths they have travelled with Gordon and all the others who have walked in them over the years?

The Hindi word sahakarini literally means cooperation between equals. From the organization’s beginning cooperation was intrinsic to its character and ethos. It was registered as a charity in 1979. Sahakarini pioneers include Gordon and Mina Schieck, Norman and Eloise Umbach and Jack and Jane Ross. Since its inception the organization has come along side and contributed in a variety of ways to many programs, including education and health care projects, schools, skills training for income generation and micro credit programs (small loans to kick start income generation programs for individuals).  Sahakarini has answered the call for cooperation in India, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Zambia, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Haiti, Brazil, Guatemala and Columbia.

Tickets for the November Loaves and Fishes Dinner can be purchased from Wiseman’s Way Bookstore or from Sahakarini Board Members.

The next time you watch the news and see a small child walking with bare feet on a refuse strewn pathway remember you can be part of the answer by supporting Sahakarini, an organization right in our own community, managed and directed by people with years of experience and expertise in cooperation with communities and villages around the world.

By  Ruth Eva Jensen

2014 SCORE! Freecycle Marketplace     Tues November 4  2014 SCORE

Update: We are excited at the success of the 2014 SCORE event.  With a matching donation from Augustana Chaplaincy, Sahakarini will receive almost $1700 from this event.  Thanks so much to Augustana students and faculty and other volunteers who organized and worked at the event, and those who attended and made donations to Sahakarini. 

Sahakarini is again pleased to be designated as the beneficiary of the 4th annual freecycle market to be held at the University of Alberta – Augustana Campus on November 3-4. Residents are invited to drop off good they don’t use any more (clothing, furniture, household items, toys, books, etc) at the Augustana Info Desk between 8 am and 6 pm on November 3. The next day, everything will be on display and available for the taking in the forum. The event kicks off with a music and fashion show featuring some of the donated clothing. Then all of the donated items are available to everyone, with donations encouraged to support Sahakarini’s work. One of the goals of the event is to remove the negative stigma surrounding used goods. “Within a community there’s enough for everyone, but some people have too much, and some don’t have enough. So if you have more than you need, you can give, and if you don’t have enough, you can take.” explains environmental science student Erin Specht. The event also tries to promote a sustainable lifestyle, and therefore will feature a learn-how-to-knit booth. Sahakarini will also benefit from  “Scorest of the SCORE!” , where some of the more desirable donated items are placed in a silent auction, with the funds raised designated for Sahakarini. Any leftover items will be recycled back into the community through organizations like Habitat for Humanity and the Emergency Clothing and Furniture Depot. The Augustana chaplaincy helps sponsor the event, accesses a matching grant, and provides logistical support, but the event is a student-led endeavour.


Spring 2014:

Bicycle Workshop to support our “Goats for Family Income” Uganda project          

Saturday, May 10          

Bicycle Workshop 3Bring your bikes and learn about:

  • How to set up your bike for comfort
  • Simple repairs (tire changes, brakes)
  • Maintenance (cleaning and lubrication)
  • Troubleshooting problems
  • Accessories and safety gear

DONATIONS gratefully accepted to support our Iryango Widows “Goats for Family Income” Project in Uganda.

Bicycle Workshop 2 UPDATE: Alan Ford held a Bicycle Workshop to raise funds for the widows in our Uganda project to purchase goats.  Once again we thank Augustana Chaplaincy for lending us the goat, Malador.  Despite a blustery cold day, we enjoyed our participants, and Malador who proved to be a most social billy goat!

 

 


Winter 2014:

2014 Film Series: “Moving Forward”

2014 Film and Speaker Poster Final

February 11, Faith and Life Lounge and Chapel, 6:00 pm   

Columbian Dinner followed by showing of Sins of My Father which tells the story of notorious drug trafficker, Pablo Escobar,  from the perspective of his only son as he reaches out to the sons of his father’s murder victims.  www.sinsofmyfather.tv

February 25, FL1-315, 6:30 pm

Solar Mamas tells the story of a strong-minded Bedouin woman who struggles against tradition and society as she seeks to become Jordan’s first solar engineer. www.rafeasolarmama.com   and  www.pbs.org/independentlens/solar-mamas/film.html

March 18, FL1-31 5, 6:30 pm

A variety of TED talks and other short films on the theme of “Moving Forward”.

Sahakarini Sandals Go to the Olympics

Les-Parsons-and-Sandals-224x300

Les Parsons and Sandals

University of Alberta, Augustana Campus cross-country skiing coach, wax technician and promoter Les Parsons is going to the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia and he is taking Sahakarini sandals with him.

Les not only volunteered to help the Great Britain team with waxing techniques, he also agreed to help out the Canadian squad.

“I helped coach some of these athletes a few years ago (Canadian Alex Harvey has a shot at a medal) and I wanted to go cheer them on,” said Les, who has attended six Olympics. “I will be cheering for both teams. In fact, I will be cheering for most of the lesser known athletes in all the sports at the Games.”

Les will be taking a pair of sandals to send a simple message to the world.

“I purchased the Sahakarini sandals first worn by Gordon Schieck at last year’s Loaves and Fishes auction. I will be taking them with me during my travels and sharing the story behind them with athletes and people from around the world.”

Gordon Schieck purchased the then sturdy sandals in India in the 1950s when he and his wife Mina were missionaries in the country. He and his wife were later involved in establishing Sahakarini. Sahakarini has supported many projects around the world to help developing countries and the sandals have travelled with supporters to countries such as Africa, India, South America and the Caribbean.

Since the first Loaves and Fishes Dinner in 2001, the sandals have been auctioned to raise funds and people have travelled the world with them. The first owner other than Gordon, Alan Fielding, walked a mile in his sandals in Brazil.

This year, Les wants to add to the list of places and people who have come in contact with the storied sandals.

“I’m going to get some of the athletes to listen to my story and get a picture of them with the sandals,” said Les, who will be gone for a month. “Wouldn’t it be great if I could get Sydney Crosby to wear them? This is my opportunity to connect the sandals with people from several countries. Sahakarini is about helping others and connecting them with our group from Camrose.”

Les also plans to take the sandals with him to Newfoundland for the skiing nationals.

“I’m not a big fan of the Olympics because of the dream teams and major sponsorships, but I like and support the athletes,” added Les. “The focus of Sahakarini is to help the poorest of the poor, which is a contrast to the Games. There won’t be a lot of people from Africa or parts of Asia, and India is one of the largest countries in the world and they won’t have very many, if any at all, at the Games.”

Les said it is hard to justify the Olympic Games spending $50 billion, when we still have poverty.

“Some people don’t have food, shelter or clothing. My heart is with them.”

Les shared the story of Jesus wearing sandals and that John the Baptist indicated he wasn’t even worthy of tying his (Jesus’) sandals.

“Sandals are the most common footwear in the world. It is symbolic of the poor and it reminds us that we can help people from different countries. That could have been me. I could have been born in a poor country.”

Les plans on putting them on the outside of his backpack so they can be seen wherever he goes.

“I’ll challenge people who ask about them to do something in there own community, such as start a Sahakarini organization,” he said.

Many athletes put their life on hold for several years to pursue the Olympic dream.

“Some work very hard and I’ll be cheering for those athletes. In some poor countries it is amazing the athletes even get to the Olympics,” said Les on the sacrifices that are made. “Those are the athletes that I’ll be cheering for the loudest.”

The Sahakarini promoter is also being asked to pass the sandals on to the next generation.

“We want to reach and connect with a new generation of people to make them aware of the fact that we still need to help others from poor nations,” said Les. “I’ll broadcast on behalf of the poor and the spread the word they still need help.”

Source:  Murray Green, Camrose Booster, 11 February 2014

 


 

Fall 2013:

November 2013: Loaves and Fishes Dinner – Theme is “Catch the Rain”

Thanks so much to all of our supporters who attended our annual fundraising dinner, and the many who supported us financially through purchasing items in the Marketplace or auction or through generous donations.

Loaves and Fishes 2013 was a lively event with young children, students, middle-agers and people who have been dedicated to helping the vulnerable and marginalized for over sixty years. Mother and son team of Barb and Scott Stolee gave an excellent presentation on the construction and benefits of sand dams all the while inspiring us with their own passion.

The silent and live auctions, as well as donations made by supporters, went towards Sahakarini projects. Auction items included a canoe trip with Augustana outdoor education professor Morten Asfeldt, and condo rental in Canmore, and a biking trip and lunch at Dried Meat Lake as well as some items brought back by Don and Chris Rebus from their trip to Uganda.

Several tables of Augustana students got into the act – a fair bidding war in fact – over the chance for a canoe trip.  There were “high fives” all around at Dean Berger’s table when they finally won the bid! In the end, four canoe trips were auctioned off.  We look forward to hearing about those adventures when the ice melts.  The Eriksson/Foged family will take a journey of a different kind when they mount their bicycles for an outing and lunch at Dried Meat Lake.

The sandals are set for an epic journey to the 2014 Olympics with their new friends, Les Parsons.  Les will speak about his adventures at the Sahakarini supper and annual meeting on June 9 at Messiah Lutheran Church.

In all, the 2013 Loaves and Fishes event raised approximately $20,000, representing close to 40% of our year-to-date fundraising. It remains our major fundraiser. This year we were able to tell donors that they could make their gifts electronically any time through ATB Cares, a program of the Alberta Treasury Branch. There is no deduction or fee from the donation, and ATB will match 15% to a maximum of $1000. Since last fall, this program has meant an additional $2200 for Sahakarini.  Thanks to ATB and those who made their donations through them.

 “We don’t want relief. We want water. Give us water, and we can grow our own food.”

Those words are the basis for Sahakarini’s latest project – the building of a sand dam in Kenya. We are working in partnership with the very experienced Utooni Development Organization (www.utoonidevelopment.org).

Sand dams are practical, sustainable, grassroots initiatives that will benefit a whole community for years to come. The dams are designed to catch, filter and conserve water for later use. With more reliable, safe and plentiful water, people can grow more produce and from there generate added income to start new enterprises and live healthier lives.

Those who attended the dinner heard more about sand dams at the Loaves and Fishes Dinner from our presenters – Barb Stolee and her son, whose visit to a sand dam led to our participation.

Sahakarini helps the poorest of the poor in developing countries to help themselves improve their quality of life. We do this by working together with project partners in the receiving country on  programs in  education, health, economic and community development.  The emphasis is on initiatives and improvements which can become self-sustaining and will foster the development of women and girls.

The name Sahakarini is a word from Southern India roughly translated as “cooperation” or ‘working across.”  Therefore, we are also engaged in encouraging and fostering interest in and support of international development amongst Canadians.

We are grateful for the support of many donors from across Canada and the U.S. In many cases contributions are matched by grants from the Province of Alberta. Sahakarini is a registered charity and issues tax creditable receipts for all gifts.

Barb-and-Scott-Stolee-300x225

Guest Speakers, Barb and Scott Stolee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2013 Catch the Rain poster final

October 2013: 4th Annual SCORE! Supporting Sahakarini

UPDATE: Sahakarini would like to thank Augustana Chaplaincy for inviting us to participate in SCORE! once again this year.  This high energy, fun event at Augustana Campus not only provided students and the community the opportunity to recycle furniture, clothing and other articles, but also allows Sahakarini the chance to share who we are and what we do with a wide audience of people.  Once again, we were able to raise enough funds through donations to gain matching dollars of $500 from Chaplaincy.  Thank you to Augustana staff and students who helped us with this venture.

On Oct 17, Augustana Student Forum will be full of “trash” – treasures waiting to be claimed. Pre-owned furniture, clothing, dishes, blankets, shoes, and other household items will be available. Anyone who wants to can SCORE! a new pair of jeans, a new CD rack, or maybe a gently used coat. SCORE is a “free-cycling extravaganza” – a giant free garage sale for Augustana students and the Camrose community. SCORE! focuses on reciprocity, community, and sustainability.  People contribute  items they are no longer using to create a huge free marketplace for others to come and take.

Augustana Chaplaincy holds SCORE! once a year, and again they have kindly invited Sahakarini to participate in and benefit from the event. Sahakarini will have a display table at SCORE!, and even though the items are free, we will be asking for donations. Chaplaincy will match donations to a maximum of $500. This is an excellent way to raise at least $1000 to support our projects.

Anyone can contribute by dropping off their unwanted goods in the main entrance of the Augustana Forum on from 8am -6pm on October 16 and coming back for a community party the following day. The exchange of clothing, furniture and other household items is a very eco-friendly way to refresh your closet, living room, or kitchen. It takes about 1000 gallons of water to make a cotton t-shirt, so giving it the longest life possible is the best choice you can make for the environment. Local musicians, bike-powered energy and a fashion show are just three reasons why you don’t want to miss Score!

See Augustana Chaplaincy website (http://news.augustana.ualberta.ca/2013/10/score-free-cycling-event/) to get a sense of the energy of this event!