August 30, 2012
students work with UN affiliates in Africa
Released by the Ashley Wray, University
of the Fraser Valley
UFV student Braeden Wiens demonstrates
how to use a GPS unit at an event in Africa. Titled Planning for the
Future of a City, Generation, and Workforce, the workshop was
designed to help improve gender equality in the field of urban
from UFV spent the summer in Africa working with UN-affiliated
programs on initiatives aimed at educating women, and engaging in
community planning with a primary school in rural Tanzania.
One project involved
working with the Girls in ICT Portal, a UN affiliate designed to
help girls prepare for careers in information and communication
technology. Through this program, the UFV students hosted a seminar
aimed at teaching young women how to work with technological tools
used for urban development.
Titled Planning for the Future of a City, Generation, and Workforce,
the workshop was designed to help improve gender equality in the
field of urban planning.
The women were taught by UFV students how to use a GPS unit, and how
to incorporate it with basic mapping.
While the event was hosted at the end of June, students were busy
preparing before they left Canada.
UFV students worked on press releases, bookings, and invitations to
speakers. They also gave their own presentations at the event, in
addition to conducting the training.
"It was exciting to host an event like that to celebrate success and
change," said UFV Geography instructor Cherie Enns. "And to know
that the students' research will be used in Tanzania, and even
beyond that, is very rewarding."
Enns has been leading UFV students to Africa on study tours for the
past three years.
This year there were 16 students. Four of them received funding from
the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC)
development program. The rest of the students were self-funded.
While in Tanzania, half of the students carried out applied
internships for two to three months. Their placements included law
firms, non-government agencies (NGOs), and research internships at
The other eight students completed field studies from May to June
where they worked on general assignments, took field trips, and
They also spent a week at an elementary school near Mount
Kilimanjaro, assessing the school environment and its
"Overall, we were working in partnership with the community to
create a vision for the school," said Enns. "We were exploring
opportunities to strengthen the rural school and looking at how to
make it more sustainable, economically, environmentally, and
Students worked on landscape assessment, mapping, food growth, and
land use planning. They created a final report for the school, which
will also be submitted to the local Member of Parliament, and to the
UNICEF Canada Green Learning program.
Students based their research on the UN Sustainable School
checklist, which focuses on encouraging and safe learning
UFV students are currently working to connect the primary school in
Tanzania with one in the Fraser Valley that also participates in the
UNICEF Green Learning program.
The work of the UFV students this summer will be presented at the
Child in the City conference in Croatia at the end of September, and
displayed at the Reach Gallery in Abbotsford beginning Dec 6.
For more information, visit the UFV Today blog at
Copyright (c) 2012 The Valley Voice