TAPESTRY 2030 TRANSCRIPT: EPISODE 4 – CULTIVATING RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE LAND IN COLOMBIA

TAPESTY 2030

EPISODE 4: CULTIVATING RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE LAND IN COLOMBIA

Tapestry 2030

Episode 4: Cultivating Relationships with the Land in Colombia

TAPESTY 2030 TRANSCRIPT: EPISODE 4

Safa (intro): You are listening to the Ontario Council for International Cooperation’s ‘Tapestry 2030’ podcast series, focused on the future of international cooperation and global solidarity, and the partnerships needed for gender transformative, sustainable development.

My name is Safa, and I’m your host.

In this series I’ll be in conversation with diverse development actors and leaders from across Ontario and around the world, learning how they are working together to address some of the most pressing sustainable development challenges of our time.

You’ll hear stories of partnership; approaches to ‘Just Recovery’ in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic; and insights on ways you can make a difference in our collective work to ‘leave no one behind’.

Carolina in Spanish: Para mí la cooperación internacional es la construcción y es el tejido que se da entre las diferentes organizaciones y entre la posibilidad de generar posibles soluciones a diferentes

ENGLISH TRANSLATION: For me international cooperation is the building of and the fabric that exists between different organizations, in order to generate possible solutions to different problems.

Nelson in Spanish: La cooperación internacional es una oportunidad de unir recursos culturas experiencias para responder de manera asertiva de manera conjunta con muchas acciones que llevan a una transformación de las comunidades Y en este caso de las comunidades que se encuentran en mayores desventajas frente a otros.

ENGLISH TRANSLATION: International cooperation is an opportunity to bring together cultural resources and experiences in order to respond assertively, with many actions that can lead to a transformation of communities – and in this case, of communities that are most disadvantaged.\

Esperanza: To me, international cooperation means thinking of the wellbeing of the community -well beyond the borders of our own community. To see community as a global community – my community goes beyond my family, my city, my country. Global corporation or international corporation is in fact having the goal of our collective wellbeing and using the mechanisms of relationships and partnerships to ensure that that is a goal that we can reach together.

Safa: Today we’re in conversation with the YMCA of Greater Toronto and the YMCA of Risaralda in Columbia. They are both part of an international community of YMCA’s in over 120 countries. Through their partnership they support various programs, including a multigenerational initiative to plant urban gardens and promote recycling in Risaralda.

Esperanza: My name is Esperanza Monsalve. I work with the YMCA Toronto as the Manager of the International Programs.

Nelson in Spanish: Mi nombre es Nelson Buitrago. Tengo 48 años de vida de los cuales doce anos han sido vividos utilizados en el cargo de la dirección general departamental de YMCA Risaralda. Vivo en la ciudad de Pereira, capital de un departemento en suroccidente de Colombia.

ENGLISH TRANSLATION: My name is Nelson Buitrago. I am 48 years old. And I have been the General director of YMCA Risaralda for twelve years. I live in Pereira city, the capital of a region in the southwest of Colombia.

Carolina in Spanish: Mi nombre es Diana Carolina Gallego. Tengo 26 años. Hago parte del YMCA Risaralda hace 9 años. Actualmente soy la coordinadora del proyecto familias verdes, en la línea de siembra, en la huerta que se llama la chagra del despertar.

ENGLISH TRANSLATION: My name is Diana Carolina Gallego. I’m 26 years old. I’ve been part of the Risaralda YMCA for 9 years. Currently I am the coordinator of the project Familias Verdes or Green Families, that’s focused on urban gardening, in the garden that is called la chagra del despertar.

Esperanza: The YMCA of GTA is part of a network of over 120 YMC’s from around the world that reach more than 65 million people. And one of the ways we have to connect with each other is through partnerships. The YMCA here in Toronto has 5 active partnerships at the moment in West Africa and Latin America. And one of most active partnerships is with the YMCA Risaralda. I was at a national conference, about 3 years ago, in Bogota and I met Nelson, the CEO of the Risaralda YMCA. I had heard a lot about him and the amazing work they do with youth engagement and youth leadership. So when I finally had the chance to meet him, we talked a lot and we continued the conversation by email, by phone, until here in the GTA we were able to have some funds available to support their school of art and that is how this partnership started, about 1 year ago.

Nelson in Spanish: En Colombia, el 26% de la población está representado por jóvenes y la mayoría de ellos definen su condición como sin esperanza. La falta de oportunidades, violencia, exclusión educativa y laboral son sus principales problematicas. La YMCA lleva 30 años contribuyendo al desarrollo de la región. Son milles de los jóvenes que han participado los programas y proyectos que la organizacione dessarola y que hoy son leaders que transforman y emprended acciones en beneficio de la comunidad. Nuestra relación con la YMCA de Toronto sea precisamente antes de haber iniciado esta experiencia con la pandemia, generada pues por el COVID 19. Iniciamos una relación de colaboración para uno de nuestros proyectos y luego ya cuando entramos a ver la cuarentena y los procesos que debimos atender ante de la emergencia social – mantuvimos la comunicación y estuvimos compartiendonos nuestro trabajo en medio de esta crisis y el deseo de colaboración, siempre la YMCA de Toronto se dio y nos ofrecen la ayuda para un nuevo proyecto. Y es asi como se unen las voluntades de servicio de apoyo para esta nueva historia que hemos llamado Las Familia Verdes.

ENGLISH TRANSLATION: In Colombia, 26% of the population is represented by young people and most of them define their condition as hopeless. A lack of opportunities, violence, and the lack of educational and labor opportunities are their main problems. The YMCA has been contributing to the development of the region for 30 years. There are thousands of young people who have participated in the programs and projects organized by the YMCA and who today are leaders who transform and undertake actions for the benefit of the community. Our partnership with the YMCA of Toronto began precisely before the pandemic. We started a collaborative relationship for one of our projects and then when the quarantine began – we kept in communication and shared our work in response to this crisis. Then the opportunity to collaborate further with the YMCA in Toronto came up and they offered us help with a new project. And that is how we launched together a new community project called Familias Verdes.

Esperanza: We are constantly in conversation with our partners, because this is the way we learn and we shape not only the relationship, but also any ideas that comes out of it. So we know what is happening in each others’ community at any time. For instance, during COVID, our partner told us the priorities had changed and the commun ity needs were now more focused on food security. So we followed their lead, and we know that they have the pulse of the community, they are the ones connected with the community, talking to the youth, to the families. So we worked together to shape the project and here in Canada, we know that we have certain requirements, legal requirements, so we helped shape that part. But it is really the partner who has the voice and the last say in what it is that we are going to do with those resources.

Nelson in Spanish: Risaralda, es un departamento ubicada en el occidente de Colombia, cerca de una población de million de habitantes, con una particularidad es que es ubicada en una región que se denomina “eje Cafetero”. Esto hace que su topografía, su ambiente pues sea muy vivo, muy rodeado de naturaleza, con la biodiversidad muy amplio. Es un departamento muy diverso en todos los aspectos, en el tema ambienta, y l en el tema de la naturaleza, sino también su gente, su población. Pereira que la ciudad capital, y es donde se encuentra ubicada la YMCA , el la ciudad conocida como la capital precisamente de toda esta región del eje Cafetero. Es una ciudad de paso, de camino de muchos otros habitantes de las regiones cercanas y asi se ha ido configurando a través de su historia, y eso hace que sea una ciudad que acoge a muchas personas de diferentes partes del país. Aqui se llama la ciudad de las puertas abiertas y aquí las juventud, juega un papel muy importante, muy transcendental en todo el ejercicio y en la dynamica de la ciudad. La problemáticas que vive Colombia también las vive esa región de Risaralda y en especial la ciudad de Pereira y el municipio Dosquebras, que es donde precisamente la YMCA y tiene sus principales programas. originadas desde del conflicto que vive el país, y de la violencia, de la práctica de la delincuencia, factores como unidos a todo el tema de narcotráfico, tema del consumo de sustancias psicoactivas, la explotación sexual comercial, también son de las principales problemáticas que en cierto modo oscurecen un poco todo ese potencial positivo que tienen los jóvenes y los ninos del departamento. Afortunadamente, es mas positivo todo estos aspectos que es lo que llevan a que la organizacion crea en ellos y le aporte a su desarrollo y a sus procesos de liderazgo.

ENGLISH TRANSLATION: Risaralda is a region located in the southwest of Colombia, with a population of about one million inhabitants, with a particularity which is that it is located in a region that is called the “Coffee Axis”. This makes its topography and environment very lively, surrounded by nature, with a great biodiversity. It is a very diverse region in all aspects, not only in terms of the environment and nature, but also in terms of its people and its population. Pereira, which is the capital city, and which is where the YMCA is located, is known as the capital of this region of the Coffee Axis. It is a city where people come and go, where many other inhabitants of the nearby regions pass through, and that is how it has been shaped through its history, and that makes it a city that welcomes many people from different parts of the country. Here it is called the city of the open doors and the youth play a very important role here, they are very transcendental in all the activities and dynamics of the city. The problems that Colombia is experiencing are also experienced in the region of Risaralda and especially in the city of Pereira and the municipality of Dosquebradas, which is where the YMCA has its main programs. Due to the conflict that the country has been experiencing over the decades, and the violence resulting from it, issues such as drug trafficking, consumption of psychedelic substances, commercial sexual exploitation, are among the main problems that somehow obscure a bit all the positive potential that young people and children have in the region. The YMCA organization believes in youth and contributes to their development and encourages their leadership.

Safa: Faced with the coronavirus pandemic, the YMCA Risaralda had to adapt its programs and services to the new needs of their community, through the efforts and leadership of young community members people like Carolina.

Carolina in Spanish: La pandemia nos ponen un escenario como organización con un reto, sea con un reto de resolver esta problemática y nos genera más allá de pensar que es una problemática que no se puede resolver, nos lleva a generar oportunidades y a buscarlas puntualmente, a buscar oportunidades con otras organizaciones y tejer con la propia comunidad, cómo buscar estas soluciones, cómo resolver el hecho de enfrentarnos a una enfermedad a la que no estábamos preparados. Buscar soluciones para tener alimento seguro, buscar soluciones de cómo cuidar al personal, de cómo cuidar a la comunidad. Entonces nos ponen un escenario de posibles soluciones y deje estar y de tejer con la propia comunidad las posibles soluciones.

ENGLISH TRANSLATION: As an organization, the pandemic put us in a challenging position, with a challenge to solve this problem and rather than thinking that it is a problem that cannot be solved, it led us to generate possibilities and to look for them, to look for opportunities with other organizations and to collaborate with the community itself. How to look for these solutions, how to solve the fact that we are facing a disease that we were not prepared for. To look for solutions to have food security, to look for solutions regarding how to take care of the staff, and how to take care of the community. So then it put us in a position of brainstorming and collaborating with the community itself to come up with possible solutions.

Esperanza: When COVID hit, our projects with our partners in the south were about to end. And my big concern was whether or not our organization would have the resources to continue supporting projects with our partners. We were experiencing, and still do, many challenges, as many other NGOs in Canada. However, knowing that, for us, partnerships – the mean long-term commitments, especially during the most critical times. I thought that I would still go to our senior leaders and ask talk about it. Their response was unanimous and very positive. We would continue supporting our partners and we would find the resources to continue doing so because we knew that if we were experiencing big challenges here in the GTA, we also knew that the crisis would hit harder in other countries with less infrastructure and systems in place. And also, that is the time to turn outwards and realize that this is a global issue that needs all of us to commit to global actions. I feel this crisis brought us closer together as partners. We work in more synchrony now. Our communication now is fluid and constant, As never before, we feel that we are in this together. I think that this is not something that happened over night because of COVID. I think that in fact this is the result of that strong relationship that we had built since the beginning.

Nelson in Spanish: Cuándo inició la pandemia, para mí fue una sorpresa cómo empezar a vivir lo que la ciudad empezó a generar. Y al comienzo me sentía como un poco incrédulo de que fuese a tener la dimensión que tuvo. Y a medida que iba pasando el tiempo en lo personal, iba sintiendo diferentes emociones. En un primer momento sentía como el miedo, el miedo a salir a lá calle, el miedo al contacto con las personas. El miedo al mismo futuro como tal que las noticias cada vez mostraban más avances, más avances, más cifras de los virus estaba haciendo. Luego cuando pienso en la YMCA Risaralda, y en los planes que ya habíamos establecido para el año 2020, sufrí como una especie de colapso o de freno a esos planes y generamos y me género pánico, pero la misma comunidad con la cual participa de los programas de la YMCA, los jóvenes y las familias, me hicieron reaccionar muy pronto. Afortunadamente fue algo de momento, de segundo. Muy rápido, debido a las misma comunidad, a los jovenes y a sus familias, la organización empezó a responder de una manera rápida y genero un programa para poder pues llegar y apoyarlos en esa asitencia. En medio de toda esta situación, movilizar recursos para poder atender a la comunidad con sus necesidades de alimento, y el acompañarlos y fortalecer la información frente a los cuidados que hay que tener con el virus, y también emigrar todos nuestros programas formativos para los jóvenes que se desarrollaban de manera presencial, pero llevarlos ahora a lo virtual, pues en esta dinámica entró la YMCA y permanentamente estabamos en esta comunicación con la YMCA de Toronto y compartiendo cómo estábamos respondiendo ante esta situation. Una de las respuestas rapidas fue que todo el equipo de trabajo, los colaboradores y el talento humano que está representado en un alto porcentaje por voluntariado, migramos todos nuestros procesos y empezamos a trabajar desde las casas y en este sentido la sede de la YMCA en Risaralda, que es una casa pequena, pero que era muy dinamica, sobre todo por el voluntariado que la habitaba, la entregamos. Era una casa que estaba pues en arrendamiento, la entregamos y llevamos todo nuestra operación a nuestras casas. Encontrándonos que de manera inmediata pudimos resolver y atender y responder a lo que la comunidad nos estaba requiriendo. También vimos como, en esta comunicación con la YMCA Toronto, se nos escuchaba y estábamos compartiendonos en unas dimensiones totalmente distintas, como les compartí ahora, pues YMCA Risaralda en su tamaño, tanto de población, como en sus programas, como tal, pues es una YMCA pequena o en esa denominación desde organización. Por ello, este compartir y ese acompañamiento con Toronto nos iba a brindando también como ese respaldo y esa voz de confianza frente a los retos que estábamos asumiendo desde lo local, desde la organización acá en este pequeño departamento de Colombia.

ENGLISH TRANSLATION: When the pandemic started, at the beginning I was a little bit surprised that it was going to have the impact that it did. As time went by, on a personal level I was feeling different emotions. At first I felt fear, fear of going out into the street, fear of contact with people, fear of the future since the news was showing more and more infections, more figures regarding what the virus was doing. Then when I thought of the Risaralda YMCA, and the plans that we had already established for the year 2020, I suffered a kind of collapse and the breakdown of those plans, and it made me panic. But the same community which participates in the YMCA programs, the youth and the families, inspired me to react quickly. Luckily the panic I felt was momentary. Very quickly, due to the community itself, the youth and their families, the organization created a program to be able to support them. In the midst of this situation, we began to mobilize resources to be able to serve the community with its food security needs, to accompany them and to strengthen the public awareness regarding the care that we have to have with the virus, and also to emigrate all our training programs for the youth that were being delivered in person, to do it now virtually. In this process, we were constantly in communication with the YMCA of Toronto, sharing how we were responding to this situation. One of the changes was that our staff and our many talented volunteers started to work from home. We gave up our office – which was a house that was rented, we moved out and took all our operations to our own houses. We found that immediately we were able to resolve and attend to and respond to what the community was asking of us. We also saw how, in this partnership with the YMCA Toronto, we were heard and supported. As I shared with you, because YMCA Risaralda, both in population size and the size of its programs – is a small YMCA , this sharing and accompaniment with Toronto gave us the support and that voice of trust that we needed in the face of the challenges that we were facing on a local level as a small organization here in this rural region of Colombia.

Safa: Despite the changes and challenges brought on by the pandemic, the partnership between YMCA Risaralda and YMCA Toronto enabled the continued implementing the Familias Verdes project, a project that had had significant impacts on the lives of youth participants and their families.

Carolina in Spanish: Familias verdes se ha convertido en una gran experiencia, donde convergemos jóvenes como yo, jóvenes mujeres, jóvenes voluntarios y también madres de familia y otras personas involucradas de la familia, llegamos a un espacio donde aprendemos, pero también donde conversamos y el tema central es ubicado hacia el cuidado del medio ambiente, pero también a cómo mantener esa sustentabilidad dentro de nuestras comunidades. Entonces es un espacio donde rescatamos esos saberes ancestrales de cómo cultivar, de cómo sembrar, de cómo cuidar la tierra, pero siempre teniendo como referente la fortaleza del cuidado del medio ambiente. De comprender que se puede utilizar, qué abonos orgánicos podemos aplicar a los diferentes cultivos. En este espacio convergen diferentes historias. Historias como la mía, de una joven mujer que decide emprender un aprendizaje en medio de una época de contingencia, en una época donde las soluciones hay que presentar las y hay que generar las con otros. Entonces familias verdes también nos ha enseñado y nos ha permitido conocer cómo reciclar, qué elementos podemos reutilizar, incluso con resultados hasta de una recolección de 22 toneladas, recolección que se atraves de una ruta de recolección de este material de reciclaje una vez al mes por los diferentes municipios de Risaralda, entre Dosquebradas Pereira. Entonces nos encontramos con qué es un espacio de aprendizaje, pero también de construcción con otros, con otros sabedores mayores, con custodios de semillas y también con la experiencia de los jóvenes que dentro de las comunidades tienen experiencia de huertas o tienen huertas caseras o tienen huertas con sus familias. Entonces el objetivo de familias verdes es que podamos sembrar esa semilla y cosechar libertad dentro de los hogares. Teniendo un alimento digno, que la gente pueda acceder a él y más entendiendo que una de las grandes problemáticas pues que se ha venido con todo este tema de la pandemia es el tema de la alimentación y esa sustentabilidad dentro de las comunidades .Entonces buscamos que las familias se empoderen y se fortalezcan el todo del tema de siembra. Es decir, en este pequeño espacio de vuelta que se llama la chagra del Despertar, sembramos maíz, tenemos lechuga, tenemos cebolla y el gran propósito y lo que hemos venido haciendo es que las familias tengan semilla en sus casas y aprendan todo el tema de cuidado, y tengan pues en cuenta todo el tema de cuidado con el medio ambiente. Entonces familias verdes, como venía diciendo, tiene diferentes experiencias y diferentes historias. Una de ellas es la de un joven que se llama Mauricio. Llega antes que todos porque está tan enamorado del espacio que constantemente nos reitera que en el silencio que el expresa durante los encuentros de la huerta, ese silencio le ha otorgado esa sabiduría que lo conecta con la madre tierra y entrega todo ese amor y ese cuidado a las plantas y hablarles, cantarles y ha hecho que nosotros veamos resultados cada mes de ver cómo crecen las plantas y cómo crece esa semilla que hemos sembrado con tanto cuidado. Otra joven también es Luisa, una joven quién llega cada 8 días con un compromiso absoluto, lleva su mamá, ella también nos ha compartido algunos de sus haberes de cómo siembra en su casa, de cómo llegó al reciclaje cada ocho días para que nosotros también nos motivemos y hagamos todo un proceso articulado y hagamos un proceso completo, cierto, porque no solamente sembrar, sino también concientizarnos de que consumimos, de que utilizamos y cómo lo utilizamos. Entonces son diferentes historias que nos motivan y que nos llevan a tejer y a construir y a seguirnos soñando con que tenemos y podemos tener esa posibilidad de un alimento digno dentro de nuestras casas. Pero también, entendiendo que somos nosotros, los jóvenes, las mujeres jóvenes también y todas las personas en conjunto, que podemos lograr un resultado que impacte tanto en el medio ambiente de manera positiva como en la generación de nuestro propia alimento y de nuestra propia sustentabilidad.

ENGLISH TRANSLATION: Las Familias Verdes has been a great experience, where young people like me, young women, young volunteers and also mothers and other people involved in the family converge, we come to a space where we can learn, but also where we can talk. The central theme of the project is environmental care and urban gardening, but also how to implement sustainability within our communities. It is a space where we rescue our ancestral knowledge regarding how to cultivate, how to sow, how to take care of the land, but always having as a reference the importance of environmental care. We learn what should be used, what organic fertilizers we can apply to the different crops. Within this work, different types of human stories converge in this space. Stories like mine, of a young woman who decides to undertake an apprenticeship in the midst of a time of crisis, in a time where solutions must be presented and generated with others. Familias Verdes has also taught us and allowed us to know how to recycle, what elements we can reuse, even with results of up to a collection of 22 tons, a collection that is done through a recyclable material collection route once a month through the different municipalities of Risaralda, between Dosquebradas and Pereira. So we see that this is a space of learning, but also of building with others, with other elders, with seed custodians and also drawing on the experience of the young people in the communities that have already had experiences with gardening or have home gardens or have gardens with their families. So the goal of Familias Verdes is that we can sow seeds and harvest freedom within our homes. Having dignified food, that people can access it, and understanding that one of the big problems that has come with the pandemic is the issue of food security and sustainability within the communities, so we seek to empower families and to improve everything to do with planting and growing food. That is, in this small garden space that is called the chagra del Despertar, we plant corn, we plant lettuce, we have onions – and the great purpose of what we have been doing is that families have seeds in their homes and learn how to take care of them and grow them, while taking into account how to care for the environment. So as I was saying Familias Verdes has different perspectives and different human stories. One of them is that of a young man named Mauricio. He arrives before everyone else because he is so in love with the space. He constantly reiterates to us that in the silence that he experiences during the meetings in the garden, that silence has given him a wisdom that connects him to mother earth and he gives all that love and care to the plants and talks to them, sings to them and has made us see results every month, seeing how the plants grow and how that seed that we have sowed with so much care grows. Another young woman is Luisa, a young woman who come to the garden every 8 days with an absolute commitment, she brings her mother, she has also shared with us some of her knowledge regarding how she plants in her house, how she takes the recycling route every 8 days, and that motivates us to be concerned wit and the entire process, because not only do we plant, but we also are aware of what we consume, of what we use and how we use it. So there are different human stories that motivate us and that lead us to collaborate and to build and to continue dreaming so that we can have that possibility of healthy food inside our homes. But also, understanding that it is us, young people, young women too and everybody together, who can achieve a result that impacts both the environment in a sustainable way and the production of our own food.

Safa: As a young leader herself, Carolina further reflects on how being involved in Las Familias Verdes has positively impacted her life and how she believes there is an urgent need for more young people to take positions of leadership and contribute to social issues, no matter their age.

Carolina in Spanish: Una de los mayores aprendizajes que he podido obtener, siendo líder de este proyecto, es tener esa confianza, es poder sentirme empoderada como mujer y poder entender que puedo tejer con otros. Sentir ese empoderamiento, ese reconocimiento y esa valoración del ser, cuando entiendes que puedes construir con los demás, entonces me retroalimentado de diferentes voces, de diferentes historias, que me han llevado a crecer como mujer y que me han potenciado, me han ayudado a fortalecer mi autoestima, me han ayuda a fortalecer todo mi ser, sí. Específicamente, antes era una joven muy tímida que en los espacios públicos me costaba bastante hablar, comunicarme y a través de los años y de la experiencia también que me ha brindado el poder en interactuar en estas comunidades, específicamente en este familias verdes, mi otorgado esa posibilidad de sentir que mi voz es escuchada, que puede ser escuchada y que también tiene un valor para ser tejida con otros.

ENGLISH TRANSLATION: One of the biggest lessons I have learned, being a leader in this project, is to have confidence, to be able to feel empowered as a woman and to understand that I can collaborate with others. To feel that empowerment, that recognition and that value of being, when you understand that you can build with others. So I get feedback from different voices, from different stories, that have led me to grow as a woman and that have empowered me, have helped me to strengthen my self-esteem, have helped me to strengthen my whole being.I used to be a very shy young woman who found it very difficult to speak in public spaces, to communicate, and through the years and the experience that the power of interacting in these communities has given me, specifically in Familias Verdes, it has given me that possibility to feel that my voice is heard, that it can be heard, that it is valuable and that it can be part of the dialogue with others.

Carolina in Spanish: No somos el futuro, somos el hoy somos, somos el hoy que tiene toda la potencialidad para responder frente a las situaciones complejas y a las problemáticas que se dan en nuestro mundo. No tenemos que esperar aún mañana. Hoy es esa posibilidad para que nos repensemos, es el momento despertar, es el momento de colocar nuestras potencialidades al servicio de otros. Tenemos la oportunidad, tenemos ese momento para repensarnos en Cómo fortalecer y en cómo ayuda nuestro mundo. Yo soy joven y a mí, la vida me tocó el corazón y me dijo: eso hoy, es hoy que hay que generar, que hay que construir, que hay que tejer y me empezó a hacer sentir esto cuando empecé a motivarme y a entender que en este mundo somos y tenemos un papel protagónico para responder frente a sus problemáticas. Entonces a los motivos que ustedes también se sumen a este tipo de iniciativas, a este tipo de proyectos y vamos pa’lante.

ENGLISH TRANSLATION: We are not the future, we are the today, we are the today that has all the potential to respond to complex situations and problems that occur in our world. We don’t have to wait for tomorrow. Today is that possibility for us, to rethink ourselves, it is the moment to wake up, it is the moment to put our potential at the service of others. We have the opportunity, we have this moment to rethink ourselves how to strengthen and help our world

I am young and life touched my heart and it told me: it’s today, it is today that we have to generate, that we have to build, that we have to collaborate and I began to feel this when I began to be motivated and to understand that in this world we are in we have a leading role to respond to its problems. So I would like to motivate you to join these types of initiatives, these types of projects, and for us to move forward.

Safa: Another equally important element of the Familias Verdes project is the intergenerational dialogue and exchanges that take place between younger and older participants in the community.

Carolina in Spanish: Muy importante en la voz de las personas mayores. Hay una voz muy importante porque ellos han conocido la tierra, trabajando la, cultivando la. Entonces quién más que ellos para entregarnos esos saberes? Saberes que no queremos que se pierda, o que de pronto se vayan con ellos y no los volvamos comprender. Que hay una importancia vital en el hecho de que sean las personas máyores, las que nos transmitan, el conocimiento y el cuidado de la tierra porque son personas que conocen de primera mano porque la han laborado, porque la han trabajado y porque la entienden con sus diferentes dinámicas. Esos diálogos intergeneracionales, lo que gestan, es una transmisión no solamente de conocimiento, sino de una sabiduría ancestral. Nos motiva el hecho de poder estar conectados con la tierra, pero también nos ha permitido entender como cuidarlas. En últimas sembrar no es solamente sembrar para sacar frutos y alimentarnos, sino que también esa conexión que nos enseñan, esto lo que nos trasmiten, ese amor por la tierra, el amor por el campo, que es uno de los grandes defectos que hemos tenido en este caso con familias verdes y es el enamorarnos realmente de la tierra pero en toda su dimensión, no solamente una forma de extraer alimentos y ya hay consumirlas, no sino, conocerla, conocer sus dinámicas, incluso también entender uno de los procesos más hermosos que sembrar con la luna, cierto, uno de los saberes más grandes que nos han entregado nuestros agrosabedores que son de acá de la región. Específicamente a caer Risaralda, es Cómo sembrar con la luna. Es Cómo aplicar los abonos, cuándo debe de ser la fecha específica a través del calendario lunar. Pero también entonces que aplicar de abonos orgánicos, entonces son experiencias muy valiosas, son experiencias que son necesarias transmitirlas, pasar las de generación en generación, para que también se empieza a gestar ese amor por la tierra, pero también esos conocimientos, pues que nos van a dar sustentabilidad y que nos van a dar una continuidad en el proceso y que también que podamos comprender que nosotros en algún momento vamos a transmitir estos conocimientos a otros y que se va a pasar de un vos a vos, a otros niños a otros jóvenes. Es una experiencia demasiado valiosa y llena de un conocimiento muy muy enriquecedor.

ENGLISH TRANSLATION: In addition, the voice of our elders is also very important because they know the land by working it and cultivating it. So who better than our elders to give us this knowledge? Knowledge that we do not want to be lost, or that will suddenly disappear with them and which we will not be able to recover. There is a vital importance in the fact that it is the elders who transmit to us the knowledge and the care of the land because they are the people who know first hand because they have worked it, and because they understand it with its different dynamics. These inter-generational dialogues, what they generate, is a transmission not only of knowledge, but of ancestral wisdom. We are motivated by the fact that we can be connected to the earth, but it has also allowed us to understand how to care for it. In the end, planting is not only sowing to bear fruit and to feed ourselves, but it is also that connection that we are taught, that is what they have transmitted to us, that love for the land, that love for the countryside, which is one of the great impacts we have had in this case with Familias Verdes and that is to really fall in love with the land – but in all its dimensions, not only in a way to extract food and consume it, but to know it, to know its dynamics, even to understand one of the most beautiful processes which is to plant with the moon, which is one of the valuable lesson that has been given to us from our older generation here in the region, in risaralda. Especially in this region, we learn to plant with the moon. How to apply fertilizers, on which specific date in the lunar calendar and also what organic fertilizers to apply. These are very valuable experiences, experiences that are necessary to transmit, pass them from generation to generation, so that also that love for the land can begin to bloom because that will give us sustainability and also continuity in the process. Also that we can understand that at some point we will transmit this knowledge to others too and that will be passed through word-of-mouth, to other children, to other young people. Familias Verdes has been an experience that is incredibly valuable and full of very very enriching knowledge.

Esperanza: This partnership is very important to us in the YMCA of GTA, because as you hear in the story, it is not only about the funds we are sending or the process or complying to certain rules and regulations from the government. It is really about how we connect with a community in Columbia through Familias Verdes. Here in the GTA, how we are connected, interconnected with a community in Columbia, a rural community there, with many youth, families, women and our colleagues from the YMCA of Risaralda. So it may be seen that it is us sending some resources, but it is really a two way collaboration. We are trying also, here in the GTA, that we amplify the voices of the youth and our partner. And it is also my role to connect back that voice. So youth, as Carolina, and other youth leaders in the YMCA of Risaralda, can talk to our youth here in the GTA, the youth that participate in our leadership programmes, and learn about the initiatives. They can hear the voices of the young leaders and thats our role to. How do we connect the message back to Toronto? And how we are inspired to action here in the GTA. Even though we acknowledge that we have very different realities and different contexts, this example is really something we are learning a lot from. So it is not only one way, it is a two way collaboration. And the YMCA of Risaralda also has many other amazing initiatives, through art, technology, that are very much something we want to learn more about at this point.

Esperanza: Another important principle of our partnership is that we are not the experts. Therefore we cannot decide here from a desk in Toronto, what’s going to happen with the resources in Risaralda. And that’s why this partnership is so important to us. It is our partners who decide, it’s our partner who tell us what the priorities are. They are the ones who decide, really. And we have complete trust in what they decide and their voice to utilize these resources. It is the principle that we know as localization. This is the way we use it here. It is our partner. And I think that that’s also coming from a point of respect for the knowledge they have. And we are really facilitators here.

Nelson in Spanish: Esta relación entre el YMCA Risaralda y la YMCA Toronto, se fundamenta en la confianza y el respeto. Y ha sido muy importante para nosotros y de una gran relevancia y una magnífica oportunidad que se debe esta manera. Es una relación que se ha ido construyendo, que se ha ido desarrollando de una manera muy especial. Conociéndonos, conociéndonos desde del trabajo, desde lo que hacemos con las comunidades, desde los impactos que tenemos, y siempre respetando precisamente ese tipo de comunicación o de mensaje y es realmente atender la necesidad de la población. Y sea en ese nivel, YMCA Risaralda recoge las necesidades y escucha las necesidades de la comunidad, junto con ellas busca soluciones – YMCA Toronto escucha también a la YMCA Risaralda, que transmite esta necesidades y apoya desde ahí. Respetando siempre y respondiendo siempre a lo que la comunidad requiere. Eso es supremamente importante en esta relación. Por eso lo sentimos como amigos, como aliados, como un vínculo que trasciende las distancias que hay representadas tanto en kilómetros como en nuestros estilos, en la cultura y realmente lo que hace es que juntos, YMCA Risaralda y YMCA Toronto, encontramos y respondemos a la comunidad que lo que nos convoca, esa necesidades que la comunidad expresa y este de ahí que sentimos que este vínculo y esta relación es muy fructífera y es algo que sabemos que va a poder irse desarollando en este caminar que llevamos juntos.

ENGLISH TRANSLATION: This partnership between the Risaralda YMCA and the YMCA of Toronto is based on trust and respect. It has been very important to us and a timely and fantastic opportunity. It is a relationship that has been built, that has been developed in a very special way. Getting to know each other, getting to know each other through what we do with the communities, from the impacts we have, always respecting that type of communication and really attending to the population’s needs. And it is at this level that YMCA Risaralda attends to and listens to the needs of the community, working together with them to look for solutions – YMCA Toronto also listens to YMCA Risaralda and offers support while always respecting and responding to what the community here requires. That is supremely important in this relationship. That’s why we feel that as friends, as allies, our partnership transcends the distances that are represented both in kilometres and in our styles, and in our culture. Together, YMCA Risaralda and YMCA Toronto, we listen and respond to the needs that the community expresses to us and that’s why we feel that this partnership is very fruitful and it is something that we know will continue to develop in this journey that we are taking together.

Safa: In Risaralda, as in all communities, the gendered impacts of the pandemic have been significant, especially in relation to women having to provide and prepare food for their families. Familiar Verdes has tried to support women in the community and has been a space of support, empowerment and collaboration for them.

Carolina in Spanish: A las mujeres de la comunidad, la pandemia las impacto de una manera directa. Algunas de ellas que debían de resolver el tema, por ejemplo de la alimentación en sus casas, o eran las proveedoras, o las que debían de trabajar para sus hogares y pues se quedaron muchas sin empleo. Otras jóvenes, incluso también se vieron afectadas en el tema de su colegiatura, de su estudio, ya que no podían ir a la escuela o a los colegios. Sin embargo, estas personas se han visto recogidas dentro del proyecto de familias verdes, con la posibilidad de detener y de contar con una possible sustentabilidad dentro de sus hogares, de buscar nuevas formas de tener su alimentación y de poder sembrar y cultivar en sus casas. A los jóvenes y en este caso a las chicas a las más pequeñas, pues este espacio también las ha fortalecido y las ayudado a entender que pueden generar y que pueden construir con sus mamás o con sus familias dentro del espacio. También empoderandolas, también llevándola a buscar otras soluciones y entender que es de esta forma, como la problemática se debe de llevar. O sea llega momento donde ya no solamente es una forma de alarmarnos y ocasionar caos y que nos lleva y las lleva a ellas incluso a analizar y a poner en práctica su liderazgo, a poner en práctica todo aquello que como mujeres tienen para aportar dentro de este gran proyecto. Entonces hemos visto como mujeres, hemos crecido, nos hemos empoderado y hemos empezado a tener otro discurso diferente de la pandemia, ya no solamente como decía al inicio de una manera caótica, sino que también empezamos a encontrar que esa potencialidad que hay dentro de nosotras para resolver los problemas está ahí y a emergido y tiene gran fuerza. Necesitamos mayor fortalecimiento, claro está necesitamos cada día seguirnos vinculando más con el proyecto. Necesitamos incluso capacitarnos mas, pero como mujeres nos hemos visto bien potenciadas en todo esto de la siembra y en nuestra parte de empoderamiento.

ENGLISH TRANSLATION: Women in the community were directly impacted by the pandemic. Some of them had to resolve the issue, for example, of providing food in their home. Or, for those who had to work for their families, many of them were left without jobs. Other young women were also affected by the issue of their schooling, their studies, since they could not go to school. However, these people have been included in the project of Familias Verdes, so that they can have access to food and to be able to plant and cultivate in their homes. For the young people and in this case for the young girls, this space has also strengthened them and helped them to understand that they can generate and that they can build with their mothers or with their families within the space. Also empowering them, leading them to seek other solutions and understand that it is in this way that the problem must be dealt with. The pandemic has led them to analyze and put into practice their leadership, rather than just being alarmed or scared, to put into practice everything that they have as women to contribute to Familiar Verdes. So we have seen how as women we have grown, how we have empowered ourselves and we have begun to have another discourse, different from the pandemic, not only in a chaotic way, but we have also begun to find that this potential within us to solve problems is there and has emerged and has great strength. We need more strengthening, of course, we need to continue every day connecting with the project. We even need to get more training, but as women we have seen ourselves well empowered in everything to do with planting.

Carolina in Spanish: Tengamos familias que cuenten con seguridad alimentaria que reconozcan, la soberanía alimentaria que cuenten con una capacidad dentro de sus hogares para poderse sostener, porque sabemos que vienen 2021 con bastantes retos en torno a este tema, porque lo sabemos es un tema bien fuerte, el que se nos viene con el tema de la alimentación y la sustentabilidad de las diferentes comunidades, cierto, no solamente de Risaralda, sino de todo Colombia y en los diferentes países del mundo. Entonces sabemos que lo vamos a lograr, que podemos seguir construyendo en comunidad, que podemos seguir tejiendo. Pero todo esto a través de ese fortalecimiento con la propia comunidad y con la construcción de este proyecto cada día y fortalecido de una manera más potente, tenemos esa esperanza de que lo vamos a lograr.

ENGLISH TRANSLATION: Let’s have families who have food security, families that have the capacity within their homes to be able to sustain themselves, because we know that 2021 is coming with many challenges around this issue, because we know it is a very important issue, one concerning food and the sustainability of the different communities, not only in Risaralda, but in all of Colombia and in the different countries of the world. So we know that we are going to achieve it, that we can continue building in community, that we can continue collaborating. But all of this, through the strengthening with the community itself,, and with the building of this project every day in a more powerful way, we have hope that we are going to achieve it.

Nelson in Spanish: La esperanza es muy grande en este proyecto y he tenido la oportunidad de compartir en sus dos escenarios, los viernes he ido a la chagra que la huerta donde se está sembrando en este momento esa semillas que van a llegar luego a estas familias que van a iniciar su proceso de huertas de sus casas y que así como lo mencionaba Carolina, van a reafirmarse en su apuesta de empezar a hacer familias que empiecen hacer autosostenibles o aportar a su sostenibilidad de una manera mas decidida y con unas prácticas más saludables y más amigables con el medio ambiente. Yo veo que la esperanza para el proyecto es muy grande, e muy grande por que está sintonizado con una necesidades reales, con una necesidades que también la misma comunidad les ha encontrado una respuesta y que con el apoyo de organizaciones como la nuestra, YMCA, pues ves más viable que eso se pueda desarrollar, que eso se puede hacer. Como lo hemos compartido lo que buscamos expresamente el empoderamiento de las comunidades, romper esa dependencia entre lo institucional, y quedar en unos más prácticas que sólo asisten y sólo brindan pues unos materiales para qué ellos subsistan. Lo que hacemos es darles herramientas, brindarles medios para que ellos sigan adelante y puedan lograr ese nivel de bienestar que se están proyectando. En ese sentido y siempre cuando sea la misma comunidad, los jóvenes, las familias, los líderes sociales, quienes se apropien de estos procesos, pues son procesos que durarán y serán procesos que realmente van a ser sostenibles en el tiempo.

ENGLISH TRANSLATION: Our hope for Familias Verdes is very big. I have had the chance to participate in both its activities, gardening and recycling. On Fridays I have gone to the chagra which is the garden where we are planting seeds that will later be shared with those families who will begin the process of gardening in their homes, and as mentioned by Carolina, this will reaffirm their commitment to begin to become self-sustaining or contribute to environmental sustainability. As I said the hope for the project is very big, very big because it is in tune with real needs, with the needs that the community itself has found an answer to and with the support of organizations like ours, like YMCA, it is possible to implement these answers, it can be done. As we have shared, what we seek is the empowerment of those communities, to break their dependence on institutions and businesses, and to implement practices that will provide them resources to live off of. What we are doing is giving them tools, providing them with the means to achieve a level of well-being they desire. As long as it is the community members themselves – the youth, the families, the community leaders – who lead and implement these processes, it will be impactful and sustainable.

Esperanza: I think that the model of partnership that we have, and that is working so well, even at this critical time, or even better at this critical time, has to be based in the principles of reciprocity and collaboration. And it’s not only with the idea that we can provide but also we have a lot to learn. And that we effectively open our minds and our spaces for that exchange and for the voices of our partners and the youth from partner countries to come and talk to us here in the GTA. That is important. So I think that is an invitation to also think about the other ways we can learn here in the GTA, we can let others learn in the GTA about the work we do internationally and in cooperation with our others. The other point I think is important and I think we have learned this lesson in other times but especially now is that relationships are long term. These partnerships go well beyond a funding cycle, well beyond whether or not we have funding available, from others, from the government, from donors. It has to be a commitment, a long term commitment. Especially valid in times of crisis like this, that is when we prove our commitment, that is when the relationship has to be stronger for the partners, especially for the communities that rely on those partnerships and on those organizations. That’s another point that I think is important and has been important for us, not only now, but for many many years that we have had these international partnerships. And I think the other point is really understanding that the expertise lies in the field, it is really the organization, the partner organization who knows the most about the community, who works everyday with the community, and our role here is really to facilitate, for the organization, for the partner to get the resources they need to implement a programme, they know how to do best. That is the role we have played here in the GTA and we continue doing with all the partners.

Esperanza: And as I mentioned dialogue, I realized that a very important key element of this relationship is continuity. So our relationship is not only when it is needed, when we have funding, it is all the time. It’s every week. Almost every day exchanges about what’s happening, what’s happening in each of our contexts’. How can we learn from this? How can we support each other? So when the crisis comes, the relationship is strong. We have an understanding of what’s happening in each others’ contexts and we can better support each other. Another important message and learning is that in times of crisis, we feel like looking inwards. And it is hard to go beyond that fear, overcome that fear and try to look outwards and think about others beyond our country, beyond our city, before our own organization, our own neighbourhood, and really realize that it is a global crisis. We are connected. And even if I am safe here at home, or my family is safe because we are not going anywhere or our city is safe because we have a lockdown, we are not going to be safe until we overcome this crisis globally. Until every person in the globe is in a condition in which they can overcome the challenges of this crisis. So it is important now, more than ever, that we commit our global efforts, we commit to our global partnerships and yes, we’re having a hard time. Even for many NGOs in Canada, this is a survival issue, whether or not we are going to be able to make it to next year. But the invitation is to not forget those relationships because in the long term, that’s what’s going to matter in the world. That’s why we are making this huge effort at this critical time to continue supporting, in the capacity that we can, our partners in the South.

Safa: Carolina and Nelson further shared some key takeaway messages for our listeners.

Carolina in Spanish: El mensaje en este momento, es que ahí donde están, cierren sus ojos un momento, y piensen en todo lo que vivimos durante esta cuarentena, durante esta pandemia y pensemos que podemos ser parte de soluciones, ser parte de la solución es que necesita en este momento el mundo, que necesitan nuestra propia familia, nuestra propia comunidad, nuestro lugar, el lugar donde vivimos. Yo los motivo ahí donde están aquí aprovechen a esas personas mayores que hay en sus hogares, permitanse tomarse un cafecito o algo, tomar algo y compartir de esos saberes que tienen esas personas mayores. Por eso han adquirido a través de los años la sabiduría, precisamente el tiempo. A las mujeres que me están escuchando, a que tomemos la batuta de nuestro liderazgo, podemos hacerlo. Podemos seguir construyendo y podemos sacar adelante nuestras ideas y empoderarnos y llevar a que otros también empiezan a reconocer sus potencialidades. Hay una fuerza muy hermosa y una fuerza que nos motiva nosotras las mujeres a seguir adelante. A ustedes también, jóvenes vamos a empezar a construir cada día y a tejer con otros. La juventud es un valor y es algo demasiado preciado y es el momento para ver la vida con todas las posibles soluciones, para soñar, para construir y para tejer. Es un momento donde podemos generar acciones y dónde podemos generar con otros esos cambios que queremos ver en el mundo y de los cuales podemos ser parte. Creamos que sí se puede. Y ahí y en esos casos y en esos hogares, donde nos están escuchando, si podemos salir adelante, si podemos llegar a tener una vida digna, podemos tener un futuro 2021 con esperanza.

ENGLISH TRANSLATION: The message right now, is that wherever you are, close your eyes for a moment, and think about everything that we are experiencing during this quarantine, during this pandemic, and think that we can be a part of solutions, we can be a part of the solutions that the world needs right now, that our own family, our own community, the place where we live, needs. I urge you, wherever you are, to take advantage of the wisdom of the elders in your homes, to allow yourselves to have a cup of coffee or something with them, to have a drink and to share the knowledge that the elders have. They have acquired wisdom throughout the years. To the women who are listening to me, take the baton of our leadership, we can do it. We can continue to build and we can take our ideas forward and empower ourselves and lead others to begin to recognize their potential as well. There is a very beautiful force and a force that motivates us women to go forward. You too, young people, we are going to start building every day and collaborating with others. Youth is valuable and something precious, and it is time to see life with all the possible solutions, to dream, to build and to collaborate. It is a moment where we can generate actions and where we can generate with others those changes that we want to see in the world and of which we can be a part. Let’s believe that we can. And in those homes where we are being heard, we can move forward, we can get to have a decent life, we can have a future, a 2021 with hope.

Nelson in Spanish: Mi mensaje lo recojo en 2 palabras: unión y acción. Este tiempo que hemos vivido durante la pandemia a constatado que el unirnos nos hace más fuertes, que unirnos nos permite encontrar juntos soluciones, que unirnos nos ayuda a llevar de una mejor manera los retos que la vida nos ponen. Quando en familias verdes unimos los pequeños esfuerzos de la comunidad, de cada persona que participa en el, logramos maravillosas cosas. Por darles un ejempo, yo al mes en mi casa, recojo 4 kg de reciclaje, pero eso es 4 kilos se suman a los 2 kg, a los 10 kg, a 200 kg de muchas otras personas de comunidades. Esa unión de esfuerzos, de conciencia, de su mando frente a esa disposición de que el planeta es de todos, que nos pertenece, que debemos cuidarlo. Que es verdad lo del cambio climático, que no es un historia falsa, sino que la tierra necesita que hoy la sintamos, que hoy la respetemos, que hoy la cuidemos, que la amemos y que ayudemos a que nos viva muchos muchos muchos años para muchas generaciones. Por qu así como nosotros la disfrutamos hoy, muchas generaciones también la deben seguir disfrutando. Y la acción también. Así como al inicio esta pandemia mucho nos paralizamos, sentimos miedo, creíamos que era al fin de muchas cosas. El actuar, el actuar hoy muestra que es posible transformar las cosas imposibles. Así que unirnos para actuar, es que hace posible que proyectos como familias verdes, ser una respuesta muy importante a las necesidades de una comunidad. Las grandes transformaciones y acciones que se han presentado durante este año, han sido lideradas muchas de ellas por jóvenes. Acá en Colombia, la respuesta de ayuda alimentaria a las poblaciones que requirieron, fueron lideradas por miles de jóvenes, quienes día a día y de muchas maneras tocaron las puertas de empresas, de instituciones, de comúnidades para recoger los recursos y atender esta necesidades. Por eso en YMCA, creemos y nos reafirmamos en nuestra puesta en el poder transformador de los jóvenes. Su capacidad empoderarse, su capacidad de encontrar soluciones y respuestas a los grandes retos que nos plantea hoy el mundo. Jóvenes crean, recrean y fortalezcan sus habilidades y mantengan las al servicio siempre de la comunidad.

ENGLISH TRANSLATION: My message is summed up in two words: unity and taking action. The time we have lived through during the pandemic has shown us that coming together makes us stronger, that coming together allows us to find solutions, that coming together helps us to better handle the challenges that life throws at us. In Familias Verdes we unite the small efforts of the community, of each person who participates in it, we achieve wonderful things. To give you an example, I collect 4 kg of recycling a month in my house, but that is 4 kg in addition to the 2 kg, 10 kg, 200 kg of many other people in the community.That union of efforts, of coming together under the idea that this planet belongs to all of us, that we should all take care of it. That climate change is real, that it is not a false story, and that the earth needs us to respect it today, to care for it today, to love it and to help it live for many many many years for many generations. Because just as we enjoy it today, future generations must also continue to enjoy it.

And taking action, too. Just as we were paralyzed at the beginning of this pandemic, we felt fear, we believed that it was the end of many things. Taking action shows that it is possible to transform impossible things. So let’s unite and take action, this is what makes projects like Familias Verdes possible, so that we respond to the needs of the community. Many of the great changes and actions that have taken place during this year have been led by young people. Here in Colombia, the movement for food security of communities in need has been led by thousands of young people, who day to day, and in many ways, knocked on the doors of companies, institutions and communities to collect resources and meet these food security needs. That is why in YMCA, we believe in and we reaffirm our commitment to the transformative power of young people. They have a great capacity to empower themselves, to find solutions and answers to the great challenges that the world presents us with today. Young people : believe, pray and strengthen your skills and offer them always at the service of your communities.

Safa (outro): In the words of Carolina, let’s be part of the solution. To connect with YMCA Toronto and YMCA Risaralda, you can visit their website, https://ymcagta.org/ and https://www.ymcarisaralda.org/ , follow them on social media and feel free to send them a message of support.

Thank you to all our wonderful guests for sharing their story with us today. Make sure to tune in to the next episode of the Tapestry 2030 podcast as we continue to share other stories from our OCIC membership community.

The Ontario Council for International Cooperation is an expanding community of members working for global social justice, human dignity and participation for all. Join us! Visit https://ocic.on.ca/ to learn more.

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