April 6-12, 2014 is National Volunteer Week.
Meet some of the inspiring CMAT volunteers who help us fulfil our missions in communities around the world!
April 10, 2014 – Jeewan Chanicka – Fundraising
As an educator, Jeewan Chanicka wanted to extend the work he was doing with CMAT into the students’ learning which was happening in his classroom. The Helping Hands project was born early on in CMAT’s existence and through this, students from across the York Region District School Board (YRDSB) engaged in learning which resulted in them assisting children and families around the world. “With the growing partnership between CMAT and our schools, and through the support of our Inclusive Schools and Community Services, Helping Hands has been made a system-wide initiative across the YRDSB,” states Jeewan.
“Our work allows us to work with CMAT to assist and learn from families and children from around the world including places like Sri Lanka, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Japan, Haiti and the Philippines,” Jeewan remarks. “Through our efforts, schools across YRDSB have had the opportunity to interact and learn the collective capacity we have to make a difference in the world.”
Often, people who have been affected in such catastrophes are viewed through the lens of pity and sadness. This simple gesture was a powerful reminder to both the students and staff of YRDSB to instead, observe the resiliency, the strength, and the ability to move on despite such difficulties. “It was also a critical reminder that this work is not about going out there to ‘save’ others, but instead – to realize that we are sharing with others because of the privileges we enjoy, and that one day, it may be us who need their help. “
Jeewan Chanicka is an elementary school Principal at Aldergrove Public School in the York Region District School Board. He graduated with his BA with honours in Individualized Studies at York University with a focus on Restorative Practices and (culturally appropriate forms of) Mediation. He completed his BEd at the University of Toronto and his Masters Degree in Education at York University.
In 2006, Jeewan was awarded an international award from the Canadian Education Partnership based in Washington D.C for his work on participatory democracy as a framework for student engagement. Most recently, in 2013, he was a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Award. Jeewan has worked with the United Nations University of Peace to develop a curriculum framework around Peace Education for North American and South Asian learning networks. His work over the past 20 years has been focused on Equity and Social Justice. Over the years, the Helping Hands Project has raised over $250,000 for a variety of CMAT projects.
To Volunteer with CMAT, please visit www.canadianmedicalteams.org/volunteer .