15 Minutes on Getting Together

Episode Transcript

Lama Alsafi: 00:01 Hello and welcome to 15 Minutes to Change the World. Where in 15 minutes, you can learn a bit more about the world and how you can help change it. My name is Lama Alsafi, standing in for Kasia Souchen as host of this podcast.

We all want to make the world a better place, but sometimes it’s hard to know where to start and what you can do. The truth is every little bit makes a difference and we believe that when all these small actions come together, they have the most impact. That’s why this fall CARE launched The Get Together, a platform where people who are passionate about changing the world can learn more, connect and network with experts, support each other and make a difference. Our guests today are Laura Banks, CARE Canada’s Brand Engagement Officer and Sharon Roy an international development student from Vancouver, CARE Canada intern and member of The Get Together. Welcome Laura and Sharon. Thank you for taking the time to chat with us today.

Laura Banks: 01:20 Thanks for having us.

Sharon Roy: 01:21 Yeah, thank you.

Lama Alsafi: 01:22 Laura and Sharon, can you tell us a bit more about yourself? What got you interested in international development?

Laura Banks: 01:27 Yeah. So I’m actually a history student. I have a BA in history and um, while you might not think that the two go together, I think studying history is really about looking at patterns that repeat and, you know, looking at progress and the human spirit. So I think as you see humanity change and kind of say the same, it has a natural kind of link with development and progress and, um humanity.

Sharon Roy: 01:56 So I didn’t know that international development exists as a major till I came to Canada. I’m half Korean and half Indian. So being in Canada taught me a lot of things, especially in International Development. My parents work in missions and development work, which got me super, super passionate about helping others.

Lama Alsafi: 02:15 Why do you think it’s important for people to take action, whether it’s big or small to help make an impact in the world?

Laura Banks: 02:21 I think honestly everybody wants to change the world. Everybody wants to make things better. Um, I think it’s easy for people to get overwhelmed. There are a lot of options and, uh, I think that whether it’s just having a conversation with someone, whether it’s keeping yourself more informed, um, there’s so many small things that don’t require a lot, um, for people to make things better and you know, to shine a light on issues that otherwise, you know, might not be getting the attention that they need. So, um, I, yeah, taking action is something we all want to do. We just maybe don’t know what to do or how to do it, but there’s definitely a lot, a lot of ways that you can help.

Sharon Roy: 03:09 Yeah. So like Laura was saying, big or small, all actions matter and everyone in this world wants to love and be loved and that is simply what we owe each other. And we just want to make the world a better place and leave it better than how we found it.

Lama Alsafi: 03:24 Does taking, does seeing other people take action and uh, especially now Sharon that you’re working with an international development organization, does that, does that give you hope?

Sharon Roy: 03:33 Yes, absolutely. It does give me hope. Um, before as a student in international development, I would study a lot without having any practical experience. What difference can I make? And being in an organization and seeing it happen in everyday life, like every single worker here is so passionate about what they do and why they do what they do is eye-opening and you know, more people should know about it.

Lama Alsafi: 03:55 That brings us to The Get Together. Can you, can you tell us a little bit more about what that is?

Laura Banks: 04:00  Yeah. So the Get Together is a new online community, uh, that we created recently for people to just come together, connect on things that they’re passionate about that, um, are kind of helping to end inequality in the world. So if you’re interested in doing some good and connecting with people that work in specific international development and humanitarian aid or people that are, you know, just volunteering in the communities, anyone that’s doing any, anything to make things better, uh, where they are, this is a place for all these people to come and connect and network and learn and share. Yeah. Whether it’s talking about specific work in international development, people that go to developing countries and do work there, or whether it’s someone that’s a student learning about it or someone who’s just passionate about staying up to date on the latest news around the world or anyone that just wants to find out more about what they can do to make a difference.

Lama Alsafi: 05:00 So can, can you tell me a little bit about how the idea for The Get Together came about?

Laura Banks: 05:04 Yeah. So The Get Together was created because we wanted to, um, have a place for our many supporters to come and, uh, be able to engage without a financial contribution. So, um, you know, network with people in international development or in any field that’s, you know, making a difference. Um, learn more, have great conversations, uh, you know, share, share things that they find interesting, whether it’s articles, videos, whatnot.

Lama Alsafi: 05:37 Very good. So, so what can someone expect when they, when they sign up for The Get Together?

Sharon Roy: 05:42 Yeah. When people sign up for The Get Together, they can get a ton of resources and actually come close in contact with experts in the field. I really think it’s a cool place for students particularly, because we have all this passion and energy and we don’t have nowhere to navigate it. So it’s a place where you can share your thoughts, have other people comment on it, like on it and it’s like an open space for you to connect with people who you never otherwise would have been able to.

Laura Banks: 06:07 Yeah, I think people can expect to meet new people that are passionate about the same things that they’re passionate about, about, I think they can expect to find different ways that they can take action that, um, don’t require any financial contribution. So whether it’s signing a petition, whether it’s reading, you know, uh, reports or an article watching a cool video, whether it’s asking people questions about their work, finding volunteer opportunities, finding events in their communities. I think those are all things that people can expect on the get together. Um they can also expect exclusive content that you won’t see anywhere else. Really. Um, so for example, we recently shared an interview that uh, CARE Canada ambassador Annie Murphy, um, did with um, someone she met in Amman, Jordan. Um, so that was just shown to members of The Get Together. There’s also, you know, behind the scenes or kind of director’s cut versions of things that we’ll share with, um, our Get Together members exclusively.

Lama Alsafi: 07:12 So how, how can I sign up for The Get Together?

Laura Banks: 07:14 So you can go to care.ca. Um, and you’ll see at the top, uh, right in our, nav there’s a member sign on and if you’re not currently a member, it will just prompt you to become a member. So you’ll just click there and follow the really easy steps. You’ll get an email confirmation and then you can start, um, getting together.

Lama Alsafi: 07:33 Coming back to our earlier conversation when we’re talking about, uh, ways to, to take action and get involved. Ah, what are some tips for someone who might be listening at home right now or in their car on small actions that they can take to make a difference in the world?

Sharon Roy: 07:47 Join The Get Together. It’s so cool and it’s free and you get to meet other people to share ideas of what you can do about inequality all over the world.

Laura Banks: 07:55 I think volunteering locally or for an organization that you care about that does work that you care about, we share, we will share not only volunteer opportunities that arise with CARE Canada, but uh, other organizations as well and we will encourage our members if they’re aware of any volunteer opportunities to please share them as well as career opportunities. Um, you know, nonprofit organizations are, are always hiring and um, The Get Together’s a great place to find these opportunities and as well to ask questions about working in this field.

Sharon Roy: 08:29 The most important thing I feel anyone can do is to educate themselves on the issues that are going on around the world.

Laura Banks: 08:36 Yeah, I agree with Sharon. I think keeping yourself informed, um, is probably the best and most important thing you can do because I think there’s so much misunderstanding around different, you know, different things that contribute to poverty and inequality. And I think, um, by really educating yourself and by having those conversations with other people, even relating it back to things that happen at home, um, you know, talking about the federal election and, and talking about your local politicians and what you, you know, the issues that you care about and bringing those to the forefront.

Lama Alsafi: 09:11 Laura and Sharon, thank you so much for, for sharing a, The Get Together with us today. It sounds like a really amazing place for people to come together and connect and, and learn and to grow. And I wish you the best of luck with the platform. Really appreciate that you took the time to speak with us about it today.

Sharon Roy: 09:27 Thank you.

Laura Banks: 09:28 Thank you.

Lama Alsafi: 09:29 Thank you so much also to all of our listeners for tuning in, as always, you can stay up to date on our newest episode of 15 Minutes to Change the World on Spotify and iTunes.