Share Lent 2018 Solidarity Visitors

Felix C. Morka

Founder and Executive Director of the Social and Economic Rights Action Center (SERAC)
Nigeria

Felix C. Morka is the Founder and Executive Director of the award winning and long-time Development and Peace partner the Social and Economic Rights Action Center (SERAC). Under his leadership, SERAC has gained global recognition for its grassroots-centered research, education, litigation, advocacy and community organizing initiatives on economic, social and cultural rights and urban development in Nigeria. SERAC was a 2010 recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Foundation Award for its sustained defense of the rights of urban poor communities in Nigeria.

As a holder of a Master of Laws (LL.M) degree from the Harvard Law School, Morka has extensive experience among international organizations. Amongst others, he served as the Legal Officer for Africa for the Washington D.C.-based International Human Rights Law Group and as Legal Director of the Civil Liberties Organization (CLO).

He served as Chairman of the United Nations Expert Committee that drafted the United Nations International Human Rights Guidelines on Development-based Forced Evictions and Displacements. He was also a member of the UNAIDS’ Global Reference Group on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights, as well as an expert member of the UNAIDS technical team that drafted the updated UN International Guidelines on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights. He served as a member of the Project Steering Committee of the World Bank-Funded Lagos Metropolitan Development and Governance Project of the Lagos State Government.

Morka was the first Martin Ennals Fellow of the European Human Rights Foundation and a Reginal Lewis Fellow of the Harvard Human Rights Program. He has presented testimonies before the Nigerian Legislature, the United States Congress and the Senate of the State of New Jersey, and meets regularly with policymakers to raise human rights concerns. Morka is also the CEO of Urban Spaces Innovation Ltd/Gte, a social housing development concern.

 

The Social and Economic Rights Action Center (SERAC)

Established in May 1995, the Social and Economic Rights Action Center (SERAC) is a Lagos-based non-governmental and nonpartisan organization concerned with the promotion and protection of economic, social and cultural rights (ESC rights) in Nigeria.

SERAC seeks to build awareness about ESC rights and explore strategies for securing them. In addition, SERAC aims at broadening individuals’ and communities’ access to, and strengthening their participation in the design and implementation of social and economic policies and programs that affect them.

With the support of Development and Peace, the organization is currently implementing a civic education and citizen engagement project where community leaders are trained in popular education methods, so they can provide communities threatened of forced eviction with the knowledge and tools they need to engage in effective dialogue with the government.

Visiting region:
Ontario

March 9 to 19

Activities ­­schedule >

Felix C. Morka

Felix will be in Ontario (Toronto and surroundings) from March 9 to 19.

Lidia Rojas

Project coordinator at the Bartolomé de Las Casas Institute (IBC)
Peru

Lidia Rojas is a project coordinator at the Bartolomé de Las Casas Institute (IBC). This anthropology graduate and training of trainers specialist has been involved with the IBC since June 2012. She first started as a program assistant, before being put in charge of the coordination of the Intercultural Education for Development program (in March 2014) and the Hugo Echegaray Leadership School (in November 2015). As coordinator of these two programs, she is in charge of the conception, evaluation and updating of the study plan, the coordination of the school’s activities and the conception of the evaluation tools.

 

Bartolomé de Las Casas Institute (IBC)

Created in 1974 by the philosopher, theologian, and father of liberation theology, Gustavo Gutiérrez, the Bartolomé de Las Casas Institute (IBC) is renowned for its training of Christian activists and for placing poor people at the centre of all human liberation and development projects.

Its Hugo Echegaray Leadership School seeks to increase the participation of leaders in social and religious spaces and to promote initiatives that contribute to the common good. It offers a two-year course aimed at community leaders in order to strengthen their capacity to create dialogue, consensus, participation, and consultation. It focuses on popular education, intercultural and intergenerational dialogue, as well as the exchange of knowledge and the sharing of local experiences. Graduates can then practice thoughtful, ethical, and responsible civic leadership in their communities.

 

For more information about Development and Peace’s work in Peru

Visiting region:
Ontario and Quebec

March 9 to 19

Activities ­­schedule >

Lidia Rojas

Lidia will be visiting parts of Ontario (Ottawa and Sault Ste-Marie) and Western Quebec from March 9 to 19, 2018.

Marie-Fausta Jean-Maurice Baptiste

Program Coordinator at the Institute of Technology and Animation (ITECA)

Marie-Fausta has more than 15 years of experience in international cooperation. She holds a Master’s degree in International Cooperation from the University of Geneva and has worked in numerous national and international organizations, including Caritas Haiti, the United Nations Development Program (UNPD) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). She has solid experience in project management (more specifically development and humanitarian aid projects) and in gender equality.

 She has been working since December 2016 as a Program Coordinator for our partner the Institute of Technology and Animation (ITECA). She oversees the projects and programs implemented by the regional offices and provides support to research programs aimed at finding concrete answers to problems faced by peasant communities in Haiti.

 

The Institute of Technology and Animation (ITECA)

 ITECA is an organization involved in rural development in Haiti and is one of the oldest NGOs in the country. It offers peasant farmers training programs in technical, organizational, environmental and commercial skills. Their mission is to strengthen the role of peasant organizations as actors of social change. Since the earthquake of January 12, 2010, they have set up a post-quake Integrated Program of Intervention to help strengthen the capacity of small-scale farmers.

 

For more information about Development and Peace’s work in Haiti

Visiting region:
Quebec

March 7 to 19

Activities ­­schedule >

Marie-Fausta Jean-Maurice Baptiste

Fausta will be visiting the province of Quebec between March 7 to 19, 2018.

Nagham Tarhini

Originally from the South of Lebanon, NAGHAM moved to Beirut seven years ago to pursue her studies. She now holds a bachelor degree in journalism and is currently pursuing her masters’ degree in communications at the Lebanese University.

Five years ago, Nagham started her journey at Adyan as a volunteer. She says that that moment was a turning point in her spiritual life. “I had many questions with no methodology, nor the knowledge of where to start searching for answers. I walked the road with Adyan while learning the tools of critical thinking and communication, to better understand myself and have the courage to express it.”

Three years ago, she was hired by Adyan where she now works as a Community Outreach Coordinator. She is in charge of the strategic planning, implementation and evaluation of the programs and actions related the Interfaith Networks and the Spiritual Solidarity Events of the organization.

 

Adyan

The word “adyan” means religions in Arabic, so it is a fitting name for this Lebanese foundation that is contributing to peace in the Middle East by building cultural and religious tolerance, particularly amongst youth and students.

In a region rife with religious, ethnic and political tensions, and wounded from past and current wars, the work of Adyan is primordial. With support from Development and Peace, Adyan runs a wide range of programs that includes conferences, trainings for educators, building networks of interfaith leaders and workshops on peace, reconciliation and coexistence. They also launch clubs in secondary schools that encourage inclusive and active citizenship.

 

The work of Development and Peace in Lebanon

Visiting region:
Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland regions

March 9 to 19

Activities ­­schedule >

Nagham Tarhini

Nagham will be visiting Halifax, Charlottetown and St. John's between March 9 to 19, 2018.

Vansey Sao

Founding member and executive director of the Indigenous Community Support Organization (ICSO)

VANSEY is a founding member and executive director of the Indigenous Community Support Organization (ICSO), which works with indigenous communities in Cambodia to gain access to land tenure security and decent living conditions.

Originally from the province of Pouthisat, where he spent part of his youth, Vansey was forced to leave his country when civil war broke out and the Khmer Rouge took control of Cambodia, killing more than three million people including his parents and family members. He fled to the Thai-Cambodian border area, then under control of the United Nations Border Relief Operation (UNBRO), where he seized the opportunity to take part in a number of vocational training programs.

In 1992, under the auspices of the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC), he returned to his native country. Determined to defend democracy and human rights, Vansey began an impressive career in various international organizations and civil society. He has over 30 years of experience in supporting marginalized and disadvantaged groups.

 

Indigenous Community Support Organization (ICSO)

Founded on July 1, 2006, ICSO works with the country’s minority indigenous communities. Through its land title program for communal land, which is supported by Development and Peace, indigenous communities learn how to have their rights recognized by the government, defend their land from corporate interests, and develop economic activities that allow them to live in dignity.

 

For more information about Development and Peace’ work in Cambodia

Visiting region:
British Columbia and Alberta regions

March 9 to 19

Activities ­­schedule >

Vansey Sao

Vansey will be in British Columbia and Alberta from March 9 to 19.