May 2022
Hello ICO friends and journal readers!

Summer is fast approaching and along with it, there is a lot of excitement and hope in the air! Our Annual General Meeting is coming up soon and you can read more details about that in the article below. In this issue, you can read about our collaboration with the marketing students at Camosun College and an interesting summary of Annual Reports, which are prepared about each of our Initiatives. There will be a more detailed report about these in the next issue. As always we have linked the regional updates and, at the end of this issue, we have included an interesting article from the RSA on education. We hope you enjoy this issue of our Journal! 

Yours in Friendship,

The ICO World Team


Table of Contents :

  • ICO AGM – June 25th 
  • Camosun College Partnership
  •  Regional Updates
  • Annual Reports Introductory Analysis 
  • RSA Article: Healing Education





Annual General Meeting

We are pleased to announce that ICO members will have the opportunity to attend our Annual General Meeting either in-person or online.  The details are below:  

Date:  Saturday, June 25th, 2022

Time:  11am PST

Location: Zoom or at theDock, 300 – 722 Cormorant Street, Victoria, BC  

And afterwards:

  • Some fun activities & games
  • Presentations by three Initiative Leads, covering updates in Tanzania, Rwanda and Mali
  • Social time to snack, connect, and relax


Camosun College Partnership Foundation has maintained a close relationship with Camosun College over the past number of years.  This has included participation in volunteer fairs, interview clinics, and partnerships with students wanting experience through Co-op placements.

In the summer of 2021, we were honored to be asked to be the focus of their Marketing 420 program project.  This marketing / project management project focuses on strengthening competencies learned through coursework and students use project management practices to design and implement marketing strategies and plans for our  international initiatives.

During each of the fall and winter semesters, five initiative leads partnered with groups of students to support their learning and to receive needed marketing support for their initiative and for ICO as a whole.    

  • The fall class teamed up with Susan (San Antonio Education & Community in Guatemala), Heather (Kobian Matoto School Scholarships in Guinea). Brad (Nepal Education), Karen & Colleen (MamaPower and Education for All in Tanzania), and Thanh (Vietnam Education),  The students hosted a promotional event at the college to raise awareness and fundraise and also focused on providing requested deliverables such as social media templates, donor sourcing tactics and teaching of new social media platforms.


  • The winter class teamed up with Brad (Nepal Education), Karen & Colleen (MamaPower and Education for All in Tanzania), Yves (Children of Mali), Thanh (Vietnam Education) and Kelsey (Kawangware School Scholarships and Build in Kenya).  This class organized an online symposium on March 30th which promoted ICO and each of the initiatives during respective break out sessions.  The teams also provided initiative specific support to their ICO leads which was focused on specific outcomes.  One of these projects included a rebranding of the Mali initiative – from Instruments4Africa to Children of Mali – Education – Enfants du Mali.  This was done to more accurately align the focus of the initiative and to separate from other charitable work in the area.  

It was great to be able to work with the students and support their learning. ICO benefited from increased awareness of our initiatives and also we appreciated learning about new marketing techniques and tools!

Photo courtesy of: Kobian Matoto Bountouraby Sylla School Initiative

Photo courtesy of: Nepal Irrigation Project Initiative  

Photo courtesy of: San Antonio Education and Community Initiative



Annual Reports Introductory Analysis


In 2021, ICO supported 25 initiatives around the world. The initiatives work to alleviate poverty and/or advance education. This article offers a brief analysis of the initiatives’ 2021 annual reports.

Poverty Relief and Education Advancement

The initiatives’ 2021 poverty relief funds supported necessities, such as those listed below.

  • Food (11 initiatives funded emergency food relief, food growing, and food for students, 44%)
  • Employment (9 funded wage-earning employees, including casual, 36%)
  • Housing (6 funded shelter, such as students’ rent, 24%)
  • Training (7 funded skills training, including trades, 28%)
  • Community development (5 funded community-wide projects, including a community centre, a community well pump and cistern maintenance, and an irrigation canal, 20%)
  • Business support (4 funded small business loans, grants, and entrepreneurial training, 16%)
  • Health (3 funded individual medical and health promotion interventions, 12%)


The initiatives’ 2021 education advancement funds supported students, schools, programs, teachers, and computers.

  • Students (12 initiatives funded individual students’ tuition, extra fees, supplies, living expenses, scholarships, 48%)
  • Schools (7 funded school construction, equipment, furniture, maintenance, expansion, 28%)
  • Programs (6 funded program content and delivery, learning support, 24%)
  • Teachers (5 paid teacher salaries, 20%)
  • Computers (2 funded personal devices for students, computer labs, a teacher, 8%)

Initiative Operations

Effective staff and working relationships were reported. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, information and communications technology replaced travel and in-person meetings.

The ICO initiatives have put in place standardized procedures for financial management, such as scanned receipts, spreadsheets, bank statements, monthly reports, on-site audits, student letters and report cards, regular photo, video, and narrative reports, and regular update meetings.

The ICO initiatives have similar risks (e.g., loss of field leads, insufficient funds for yearly operations, changing exchange rates, uncertain costs, crime, corruption, adverse weather, changing government policies, and natural disasters, among others). They have developed risk management plans.

Initiative funds were raised in 2021 through personal donations; grant proposals; charitable foundation grants; social entrepreneurship; ICO’s website; social media; partnerships with local civic groups and churches; newsletters; online fundraising; ongoing communication with sponsors and key donors, and so on. Fundraising is a mainstay of most initiatives’ work and a constant challenge.

If an Initiative Lead were no longer available, the initiative could be continued by a spouse, a co-lead, friends, project associates, a team in Canada, field leads or local leaders, a regional NGO, and legacy giving.

Impact of COVID-19 in 2021

  • Some initiatives assumed responsibility for emergency food relief.
  • School closures forced the suspension of some programs.
  • Students and their families experienced additional financial pressures; receiving degrees and finding work were delayed.
  • Travel restrictions prevented in-person meetings and regular modes of shipping; relationship-building was stalled; fundraising events were cancelled.
  •  More time was spent on communications and planning emergency measures.
  • Access to technology for online learning was a challenge.
  • The ICO initiatives’ response mitigated some of the worst effects of the pandemic.


ICO initiatives alleviate poverty (e.g., provide food, housing, employment) and/or advance education (e.g., support students, schools, programs) in communities around the world.

In 2021, COVID-19 caused hardship and disruption; for example, some initiatives suspended their programs and some reallocated funds to emergency food relief.

Reliable human resources, communications, financial management, and so on, enabled emergency response measures to be enacted and work to continue.

The initiatives might consider developing plans for future emergencies, which will be informed by their assessment of the pandemic’s impact on their operations and on their communities. 

General knowledge sharing and reporting of lessons learned by initiative team members can strengthen the effectiveness of ICO’s global network.


From RSA Journal Issue I 22:

Healing Education

“As Gert Biesta, the Dutch philosopher of education, shared in 2021’s World-Centred Education: “Education is a thoroughly practical art, and educational sciences are at their finest when they inform the artistry of others.” How, then, do we ensure that our artistry as educators does not contribute to further destruction of the earth?

Several of earth’s fundamental systems are at tipping points which will threaten the future of life on the planet. I see regenerative higher education as a fundamentally ecological, or living-system, approach to education that connects with people, places and the planet as a healing force. As the American biologist and author Janine Benyus said, “Life creates conditions conducive to life”; that is to say, living organisms are primed to adapt in ways that perpetuate their very survival. The question, then, is whether humans can similarly shape the conditions under which education creates conditions conducive to life? This requires challenging many beliefs held sacred within modern higher education, such as the predictability of learning outcomes.”

Click this link to read the rest of the article.


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