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Photo Credit: Cuso International

On October 15, the Mosaic Institute’s Executive Director John Monahan participated in “Mobilizing Canada’s Diversity for Development”, a symposium organized by Cuso International as part of Global Diaspora Week.  The event, held at Ottawa City Hall, was an opportunity for some of Canada’s leading actors in the field of diaspora engagement in international development to come together and learn from each other’s experiences. The participating organizations included Cuso International, Young Diplomats, the Association for Higher Education and Development, and the Canadian Association of Rwandan Youth.

John’s presentation focused on the “Mosaic Model of Dialogue”, which engages young Canadians with connections to opposing sides of overseas conflicts in mediated discussions that build stronger social cohesion in Canada, and involved them in collaborative community service projects that help create conditions in which peace can flourish. Past community service projects have included an initiative to build and maintain sanitation facilities for internally displaced people in Sri Lanka; a project to support Syrian refugees in Lebanon; and an effort to send young Tibetan youth to secondary school in Sichuan, China. John discussed the potential for Mosaic’s model to be a scalable and sustainable mechanism for engaging many more Canadians from diaspora communities in international development work.