Joanne Blythe Receives Global Citizen Award!

Joanne Blythe (right) shares with Denise Kouri the activities of the Mozambique Canada Maternal Health Project.

Joanne Blythe, project administrator for the Mozambique Canada Maternal Health Project, has been named a Global Citizen by the Saskatchewan Council for International Co-operation.

Jessie Forsyth, Canadian Project Director, shared her excitement at the news, “It’s my great pleasure and privilege to share the exciting news that Joanne Blythe, our long-time colleague and friend, has been awarded the SCIC Global Citizen Award. We’re so pleased to see Joanne honoured in this way. Joanne’s deep commitment to community building and social change, reflected in over 30 years’ engagement with local and international projects and movements, make her an incredibly deserving recipient of this award. Joanne has been a valued member of our various Mozambique initiatives over many years, bringing an exceptional blend of diligence, rigour, and kindness to all that she does. She has contributed greatly to the success of our current project and its predecessors and carries with her a wealth of knowledge that enables the effective partnership building that is so critical to social change. Joanne’s deep sensitivity to peoples’ varied experiences and her generosity of spirit are part of what make her both a crucial member of our current Mozambique-Canada Maternal Health Project team and a dear friend. Warmest congratulations, Joanne!”

In her interview with SCIC, Joanne expressed her view of what it is to be a global citizen,”To me a global citizen is someone who recognizes the interconnections that exist between peoples, countries and ecologies worldwide, someone who is willing to stand in solidarity with people working for social and environmental justice here at home and worldwide.”

This following summary of the nomination for Joanne Blythe shows the depth of involvement and commitment she has had to good international development work.

“For 30 years Joanne has played a vital role in supporting overseas development programs and projects.
Her contributions to the CUSO, to Saskatchewan Linkage Projects such as the Costa Rica Saskatchewan twinning, the Training for Health Renewal Program (Mozambique), the present Mozambique Canada Maternal Health Project all required a sensitivity and awareness of the demands being made on communities and the different realities that people and communities work with. As administrator for CUSO Saskatchewan in the 1990s, Joanne played a key role in the recruitment, orientation and sending of cooperants overseas.
Joanne has a firm commitment to bringing the realities of the work outside of Canada back to local development here. She facilitated greatly the visits of partner groups to Canada in making sure their needs were met as they visited communities here. Visits to communities in northern Saskatchewan, for example, could count on a person who would be there for administering necessary resources and using open, responsible procedures in accounting for resources used.

She has skillfully and with commitment ensured that the work of these initiatives was accounted for properly and used diligence with the resources allocated to them. In many an audit Joanne went out of her way to make sure all the necessary information and reporting was open and transparent and delivered as scheduled. Joanne’s work highlights how important it is to have effective administration to support organizations in meeting their development goals.

In Canada, Joanne has been a committed environmental and peace activist, involved over many years in Project Ploughshares, permaculture education (Board Member Permaculture Saskatchewan), organizing permablitzes and Wild About Saskatoon – NatureCity (steering and advocacy committee).

Joanne’s example has been an ongoing strength to the international development community of Saskatchewan.”

Nazeem Muhajarine, Principal Investigator for the Mozambique Canada Maternal Health Project stated, “We are very pleased to have Joanne Blythe recognized by SCIC with a Global Citizen Award. Joanne has worked tirelessly, with great dedication and professionalism for over two decades to advance health professional capacity, women’s health in Mozambique through the University of Saskatchewan – Mozambique projects. This award is a fitting recognition to Joanne’s service and we congratulate and thank her for the same”.

The Saskatoon Celebration where Joanne will receive her award is Saturday, February 9 during international Development Week. Activities start at 7:30 P.M. (doors open at 7 pm) – at Le Relais, Le Rendez-vous Francophone 103-308 4th Avenue North. Nest Saskatchewan will also receive a Global Citizen recognition.
This year, the Global Citizen Award will recognize the theme of “In It Together”, spotlighting inspiring people and initiatives that demonstrate the impact of working through partnership and solidarity towards global citizenship, global cooperation, justice and peace.