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Amazing Women of Salt Spring

2011 Presentation




Speaker 1 0:00
This is part two of amazing women. And I know that it won't be the last part. Because there are so many amazing women on Saltspring that are doing incredible things, and making a huge difference. I spent a lot of time probably think I said to Bob, that I would do this maybe last April. And I spent hours and days and months trying to figure out a theme. And I couldn't come up with one. After we done the last one. We got a little bit toasted by the people. We had some people come and say, Well, why didn't you pick my mother? Why didn't you pick my grandmother? Why didn't you pick me? Why didn't you pick my hand? And all of them were absolutely right. There's so many incredible women that have gone through the history of Saltspring Island, that we just can't possibly do all of them. And trying to find a theme that would work so that I could pick a smaller group of people from the island was quite a task. But I came up with one and this one, it's a slightly different twist. This time, it's tied to International Women's Day, which happened last Thursday, March the eighth. And the whole idea for International Women's Day is to put women and women's rights to equality on the global agenda. And that didn't come about just yesterday that came about 101 years ago, came out of the US and Europe. And the focus was on women's rights and achieving suffrage for women earned the right to a political vote. And that finally came for Canada on May the 24th 1918. It really took hold in between 1913 and 1917, when women were championing for their sisters who were trying to get the vote, and who were also protesting the First World War. In December of 1977, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations day for women's rights and international peace. And since those early days, there's certainly been a lot of change that's happened over that time, lots of legislation on legalities around who you can hire and making sure that women are hired for jobs that mostly around first world countries, and things are improving marginally for women in third world countries as well, I would highly recommend a book called Half the Sky. I read it recently, I could hardly read it. I put it down after 30 pages. And my sister who is not a feminist said, Pick up that book, you need to finish it, you owe it to all the women in the world. So I read a little further and the things about that said, read a little further, maybe another 50 pages. And I put it down again, because the stories of what's happening for so many young women in the world is so incredibly sad. And I put it down again and she said pick it up, you need to finish it, you owe it to women in the world to finish that book. So I kept reading. And it became a story of incredible, incredible courage on the part of many women in third world countries and social entrepreneurship. People instead of giving large amounts of money to some of the and I'm not putting down large groups like well mission, they do wonderful work, but finding different ways of of giving money and giving smaller amounts directly to very small organizations in villages, so that one woman might go out and buy a sewing machine. And she would begin to make a product that could be sold. And then because she made a little bit of money, she was able to hire another woman, and they buy another sewing machine. And they pretty soon have a little production going. And their husbands were unable to bring any money into their homes. And so this elevated what was going on in their homes and their husbands began to see a change. And it lowered the amount of violence against women. So very, very slowly with very little bits of money through social entrepreneurship. Things are happening in third world countries too. And I highly recommend reading that book as oh my goodness, what a story. And then oh, there are some things happening. Around here. Many things have happened. And in a very short time, I think back to when I first started teaching, which was in 1966. And I wasn't allowed to wear pants. When I went to my first job interview, the superintendent said to me, and are you going to get pregnant And I said, Well, I'm, I'm newly married, I'd like to have a family. Well, how are you going to make sure that you're not going to get pregnant while you're teaching? And can you imagine that kind of a question being asked these days, I went to see the see a movie one night, and it was a Tuesday night. And one of the parents saw me there and had been called up before the school board for going out on a weekday night, instead of staying home. And planning and marking my books, by always was planned before every day. But it just in that short time, those kinds of things have happened. I had my hair done up when I had the inspector coming to see me, and it was rolled up in a French roll. But through the day, a little tendril had come down, you know, just one of those little pieces, you can't hold up with your bobby pin, although I don't think they have bobby pins anymore. And he wrote me up and commented on how good my teaching was. That was great. And then he said, but I must pay attention to my hair, because that small little tendril was awfully seductive. I kind of laugh when I think of that thinking that there was a time when I was seductive. When I when I was 20. Those kinds of things don't happen anymore. And I told my university class this, and one person in the very back said, How old are you anyway. So things have changed. But building on the 101 year tradition, International Women's is still working and Women's Day is still drawing attention to the need to pay attention to women's rights and to honor what's been happening for women in the world. So I looked up what the theme was for this year, and it's connecting girls and inspiring their futures. That gave me my See, then I knew what to do exactly what to do. So I think five amazing women who are making her story, instead of history, that's just a little play on words. I thought of women on Saltspring, who are quietly doing a wonderful job of making huge differences in the lives of young women and young men. And five sprang to mind immediately. Some of them are doing it locally, some globally. But the key with each is that the women's started from a place of inspiration from an inner awakening that made them want to be in service to the younger generation, and to pass the torch on to them. There countless women who fall into that category. And just like the last time we did this, I'll probably get in trouble for the ones who left out. And so I take this moment to say thank you to everybody, every woman in this room who's doing whatever they're doing to pass it on to the next generation. Things like teaching grandchildren like I have one sitting in the front row right now. How to make granola. I kind of blew it, didn't I? What did I do? Burn. So that wasn't a very good lesson once it's out. So the first person that I want to draw your attention to sorry, is Kathy Reimer.

Speaker 1 8:30
Kathy Brymer is with the island stream and salmon enhancement society. Kathy has been spearheading the island stream and salmon enhanced since penetrant. Society since 1983. When she started out she had a newborn son and her newborn son's one you've been reading out in about in the drift with that just had a double lung replacement and a transplant and I'm happy to report he came home last weekend from Toronto and has settled in quite nicely. So this is our caffeine. When he was a newborn. She packed him around Creeks of Salt Spring as she was looking at what needed to be done and what could be done. And she had them on her hip and packing them around. And when it was time to nurse she found a nice log and a beautiful spot and would feed him until he was finished and full and satisfied and then she'd be on her way again, and nothing slowed her down. The mandate at this organization at organization has been watershed restoration, and public education. They work with over 300 property owners to restore the fish bearing streams on the island and to create new aquatic habitat in the watersheds. They also teach Kapalama college stream keepers and have projects in all the schools on the island. This is where I first became acquainted with Kathy and her salmon and classroom programs. Since this program of raising and releasing the fish and fry into Creek, it's likely that several 1008 to 30 year olds know about the lifecycle of a salmon and how to take care of streams. So small program in, in our local schools, making that huge difference over a 20 to 25 year period, Kathy had lots of help. She had the the teachers in the schools who carried out the programs and were supportive. But without her championing it, it wouldn't have happened. So think about that, how many that would be that that's 1000s of people that have that knowledge. So the 30 plus year olds now have their own children. And those kids are going to school or finding out about raising salmon and coming home and having those discussions with their parents, which is really exciting because then the momentum builds that's building capacity from within. The society also sponsors job training projects for at risk youth, and for employment disadvantaged people. And this is where a lot of Kathy's pay off and pay it forward has come from. In addition to this group of individuals, Kathy's been able to hire Junior biologists using gaming grant funds and has mentored them to become team leaders. There's not very much money in it, contrary to what I've seen as articles in the paper over the last little while about them getting bundles and bundles of money from the government. They don't. Kathy has done most of this work as a volunteer over the years. In all of those years since 1983. There's only one year where she made enough money where she qualified to get unemployment insurance. And that's not very much money. She does it because she loves it. She has a passion for it. And she's out there showing other people and passing it on. Kathy Cathy's believes that by taking at risk youth out into the woods, and into some of the most beautiful and challenging spots one can find on this island, they get a chance to just be in the moment with what they're doing. And to shift their perspective or mentoring for these kids is to work them hard. Take along a good lunch, a little junk food for delight, she said on the side, to teach them about nature and preserving her beauty. And then sometimes after really tiring them out, take them out for a big burger and fries. Although coffee shops like that aren't quite as easy to find these days, it was easier in the days of reading. Kathy's provided leadership to young women who have applied to work on her site at her side as junior biologists a lot of the places where she goes are really scary. And they're not places where someone should go alone. And so she hired Junior biologists using gaming grant funds to to pay them. She says there's a place down by full for now full from people have ever found it called the canyons of hell, which is where you climbed down over the side of the sofa creek down by where you used to live Nancy, right down there. And she said she calls it the canyons of hell. And she likes to take younger people down with their turf. So she can scramble up and down the rocks but has somebody there to give her a hand if she needs it. Several of these young women have gone on to become career biologists. And one of these has a doctorate in cell biology and in molecular biology. And I ran into this young woman's mother the other day and she said now she's doing postdoctoral work in biology and Kathy has been recognized as her mentor in her graduation announcement highly highly thought of Kathy's been repeatedly referred to as a wonderful, generous and very inspiring person. And I certainly witnessed that in my years of being a principal of a school where the salmon had been raised and released down in Fulford Creek. Since 1984, the main projects have been in St. Mary's Lake Cushing Lake and Fulford Creek watersheds. Since 1984, the size of these societies operated to conserve conservation style hatchery on donated land on Cushing Lake, restoring and restocking the streams from the hatchery. Stream keeper data is kept on all the creeks and each Creek has a stewardship group. Now under Kathy's supervision as an RP biologist, the riparian areas are being mapped with the latest equipment. She's been able to lease and they've created new software specifically designed for the task. She doesn't have a lot of money to go out and buy all that equipment. She turned it around on her own line of credit. Most of Kathy's work has been volunteer in nature, and it's been a labor of love. And here's what it looks like in the beginning. If you look closely, there's Kathy on the far right, and that sisters and I think that might be Georgia Parker in there, I'm not sure. But it's from that very beginning when they were selling memberships for $5 each. We Devin up in the archives the other day. Funding for this comes from grants for specific tasks. And when you get a grant for the government, they don't give you money to pay wages. You can get that from gaming. But you get it for something specific specific like buying shovels to dig up the creek, or buying wheelbarrows to take material of that kind of thing. So you don't get a lot. Federal fisheries gave them one not long ago $1,000 Saltspring Conservancy is given the money for broom removal. Gaming has given them some, and there have been some generous donors, local donors, and there's one sitting in front of me right now, who have been very helpful to the stream enhancement. When I asked Kathy what she was the most proud of, she showed me letters of thanks from eight year old letters of thanks to her helpers, and her most proud one, not all these awards that are hanging on every square inch of wallets in her office. It was from a six and a half year old child who had kids donate money for the stream enhancement at his birthday party instead of bringing him gifts. He raised $17.75 Cathy's humble gratitude and pride is palpable. There have been Awards presented by many in the walls are covered the John Howard society fisheries, Island trust Fisheries and Oceans Pacific environment, BC naturalist they're everywhere in there want to come away with after I talk to Kathy is an overriding feeling that this is a woman who sees the potential in everyone. And that given the right circumstances, some of the youth who haven't met the success in school or in their social life, get a chance that she is a person who sees beyond the behavior that's being presented and sees the true identity of the people that she's working with. She sees their light, and she does it all by tromping around in the bush with kids and letting them know how valuable and important they are as human beings

Speaker 1 17:05
while expecting darn hard physical workout. The next person the next person is Linda last week. Linda this was a suavo which is the Saltspring women post violence. She's the executive director. She has a master's degree in criminology and has worked in the Canadian criminal justice system in various capacities over the past 30 years. Linda says she's got the dubious distinction of having been inside every prison in Canada. Linda's taught criminology at Memorial University in Newfoundland, been the assistant editor of a monthly publication on criminal justice for the Solicitor General of Canada, and for the past two decades has focused on prevention of violence against women and children. I asked Linda what brought her to starting this type of work. And she told me that all of her work in slova, an adult developing healthy relationships program comes out of a terrible incident that happened at Beaver point in 1992. And many of you will remember that were Mary Tay and Sahara and her daughter were attacked by a man who was wielding an axe he came down even living up on one of the mountains up and he came down and attacked her and she escaped. By rolling out into the middle of the lake to get away from it was a horrible thing. candlelight vigil was held. And out of that 90 conversations began to happen with other women. Linda had been in social justice all her life and at this point, she felt she needed to do something hopeful not always be involved with dealing with people who had done something wrong. She wanted to move forward with something hopeful and other that an informal group called slova was formed. In the beginning it happened in the kitchen around the table. BC health research grants help to get it on the road. But it was always a struggle to keep it afloat financially. Through Time, however, the impressive body of work that was provided as evidence helped to secure grants and funding. After well suave is split into two groups. There's iWave, which is the island Women Against Violence and nonprofit society dedicated to supporting women and their children throughout the southern Gulf Islands whose lives have been affected by violence and abuse. That Slover which is the Community Development and Research and Education Society. So now 20 years down the road, what contributions have been made in that time. slova is in the 12th year of respectful relationships program with the school district. This is the only school district in Canada that has this in four consecutive consecutive years of programming Each year 500 grade 789 and 10 students are part of the program. If you calculate that over 12 years, there are a lot of kids who've been impacted by the Healthy Relationships Program. And now there's a 2500 page curriculum for this program that can be purchased and utilized by other districts, and has been picked up all across Canada. They started the pass it on program, which is in its third year. This is a smaller program working with between 24 and 30, grade eight students at a time. At the moment. It's just for girls, because that's where the funding has come from. So has been organizing sexual health workshops and sets and did a sexual health fair at gi Fs. This involved not just something for the kids, but the parents coming and talking with their kids about sexual health. And I think that to my day, when I asked my mom about how did men and women have babies, and her only answer that I ever got was their germs mix. So you can see that the work that's been doing been done for sexual health and getting kids they're talking with their parents, not to their parents or their parents talking to them, but all of them talking together is pretty important. They've had a number of awards for the work. It's been recognized by the BC Superintendents Association for its contribution to education. It's been recognized by the status of women for Canada, and the UN for the Goodstart that's been made in addressing youth violence prevention. For Linda herself. She's the recipient of the Attorney General's regional awareness and promotion award for an outstanding contribution toward Crime Prevention and Community Safety and BC, as well as being the 2005 winner, the YM, YWCA Women of Distinction award for education, training and development for Vancouver Island region. She's also one of the authors of freedom from fear, how to guide the house to guide on violence prevention, inspired by teens, 14 Haslund of what she was most proud of. And her response was my two sons. And then she followed it with this collective pride. I didn't do this by myself, I came up with the ideas that I was the one to take it forward. But we proved that we can be an instrument of social change. And that's what I'm most proud of. And that has to feel pretty good. And I asked her what she felt most grateful for. And she said, for having had this opportunity, and for life to have unfolded as it did to do this. It had its challenges. But I use all of my skills every single day. I'm so grateful to live in a community with a school district that was open enough to give this a try. And here's Linda with Gloria Steinem telling her if you remember back to Gloria Steinem days, and I can't remember the name of her book I thought I'd never forget. Anybody remember? Anyway, you know who she is. And Linda was able to tell her about the programs that she'd been developing in the Gulf Islands. The next person

Speaker 1 23:30
the next person is Sarah hook Nielsen. And this one has a few more pictures to it, because it involves a number of the people that we have in our group here. And I'm glad to see Bob ball here today because your pictures up there. This is program is working with connecting generations program and GIS s Gulf Island secondary school. This is a relatively new program that started in its formative stages in 2009 and got rolling in January of 2010. Sara and her family were running a hotel in Spain, but we're looking for something different for their children other than the school system in which they were studying at that time. They moved to Salt Spring Island and were impressed by the atmosphere at the high school. They found young people with great confidence and self assurance, and the community welcomed them in. Sara said it was an enormous contrast to what they've been involved with in Spain. Sarah watched her youngest son go through the Healthy Relationships Program and Linda and health her folks were doing and was most impressed with it. And as a result of her interest. She got involved in the school, the Healthy Relationships Program, and then she sat on their board of volunteers. She took an active role in that board and then continue to organize a lot of fundraising raising, wrote proposals and help them a lot and then went on to working with the passage on program for girls. She left the board in 2000 They stayed on with the passage on program. She wants to hear John Abbott of 21st century learning who was speaking at the University Women's Club. And she was very intrigued by what he had to say. The idea for connecting generations was beginning to take form in her head. And in her heart because she was really inspired by it. Sarah spoke with the superintendent, and then she went after seed money to get her idea launch. Now, if, if you've not met Sarah before, she is probably one of the quietest, most gentle, calm lady, she wouldn't, couldn't even imagine that she would go pursuing this. And yet, in her quiet way off, she went. She was inspired by seeing the connections that could happen. And that was what kept her going. Sarah found funding from work BC and applied to new horizons for seniors, and then was successful in getting funding through Service Canada. It was Sara calm assistance and vision that got this off the ground and has kept it going. Sarah spent a lot of time working around the table with older and younger. And you can see just by looking at him cut off some of them. But you can see there Sarah, at the end, another older person on either side of her young people from the high school and at the table, there were more young people. They plan everything together. They sit and discuss everything together. It's done in a conceptual way. There's no adults teaching the children. There's all of them discovering together, and it's quite powerful. Frank was involved in that for that the first first year that you were there weren't you giving them a hand getting started? Now here we go. The first year the focus was on bridging the gap between younger people and older folks. The original idea was to have the students use Island old timers is living references for independent study progress projects that included fashion health, psychology, music, technology and culinary arts. So Sarah put the old and the young together. In a great 12 History rate trial socialist program. Students learn firsthand from the experiences of second world war veterans, and people who had lived through the Great Depression. Here's a quote from one of the kids, I love to talk with people who experience things that we learn about school sent one student that hurts history we learn about the world wars, and the time then is fascinating. And have first hand information is really interesting. While the youth get a sense of life experience, the elders who volunteer often become inspired by the energy expectations and optimism of a younger generation. And let me show you some of these folks working together. First is this young man working with Queenie and Queenie I believe miss that metal rucksack right soon. And they hit it off like a house on fire. They both had some similarities in their background. And it made it a match made in heaven. And there they are. I mean, look at their faces. This isn't isn't any kind of condescension. There's just pure love. Look at their eyes, and I love it. And here's Bob ball, whose fault all over here but here's the ball ball up here. Oops, not there yet. You look pretty happy. Bob. Was it something you enjoyed? Yeah. And I know that the amount I believe his name was Liam. Site. Right? Yeah. The comments that he made in his report that he gave back to the school, or how much he cared about it, but wasn't sure that he necessarily got something out of it. But when you talked to Liam, when when the teacher talked to Liam and asked him, was this valuable to you, he had nothing but praise. It really spoke to him in a deep way. And I think what happens my old partner is teaching us to go around and hit her belly like this and say you got to have meaning for things before you really get it. And I think what's happened for these young folks is that they've had felt meaning for what has happened where history has been made alive for them. It's brought to life by somebody who's actually experienced. It's not coming from a textbook

Unknown Speaker 29:50

Speaker 1 29:56
so this one, I wish Betty was here today. That's better isn't about Betty ball on the left here? And I can't quite make out what she's showing him. Can anybody see what that says? Do you know what it was? She was given when she left the forces. This is something she got when she left the forces back in the 70s. And she's sharing her history. And you look at the attentiveness of the kids that are with her, they really are genuinely interested. And she's genuinely interested in sharing part of her life with them. Another part of it was something that they put together with the University Women's Club. And this was called plugged in. So some of the folks who weren't very used to using a computer wants to know how to use a computer. So who do you go to you when you want to know about computers, you go to kids? Who, who uses my iPhone and fixes it for me, my eight year old granddaughter that sitting in the front here, I'm going to tell the story of him. The other day, she took my iPhone, and she set the alarm for me at one o'clock. Unfortunately, it was one o'clock in the morning. At one o'clock in the morning, I could hear this banjo strung going off somewhere in the house. And what on earth is that? It was the alarm on my iPhone going up so the kids know way more than we go. I didn't know how to turn it off. I had to go hide it in another room. But here we see Joburg and nating. Since they're getting instructions on how to use the computer, and how exciting for them to feel good about what they're doing, and for the kids to be doing the passing on not just the adults. Before participating in the program, Sarah said that many of the older people were feeling afraid of teenagers often crossing to the other side of the road to avoid getting too close. Others just couldn't relate or never had the opportunity to engage with Island use. That same time most of the youth never gave a second thought to popping into Greenwood's or Meadowbrook to have a chat with somebody. So now they found out they can they've got people that they can talk to one of the young men somewhere, and I'll just have to paraphrase. He said that he didn't realize how much he missed his grandparents were gone, were gone. And this gave him an opportunity to connect again with older people to share who he was inside. Somebody beyond his parents, somebody that cared about what he did somebody that would give him encouragement, and not judge him. And that has to be worth its weight in gold. So Sarah has really put something together. And the folks that made over it that have been involved have done a great job of passing it on to the kids. This year, they're doing a program called building the bridge. And it's funded by Service Canada and sort supported by the Saltspring Chamber of Commerce and local career assistance and resources for employment agency and Saltspring. Literacy, the focus, they've had focus groups where they've had people from the community who do particular jobs, come and meet with the kids for a day and sit around and discuss options. And here you see our local chiropractor, Libby Barlow, sitting down and the day that they had health professionals come in, and the comments that have been made by the adults in the community that have talked with the kids, and found out what they have to offer have been quite incredible. To have business people come in as well to talk with the kids. And some of the results were remarkable. Here's one and share with you. These forums are showing us the value of collaboration between peers and between generations. Philip Reeves, co owner of salt spring air and representing the Chamber of Commerce, one of the partner organizations supporting Bridging the Gap told the assembled group about his company's change in approach with young employees. Inspired by his attendance at the forum in October on third tourism, he decided he would let a young employee writes his own instruction man and was impressed by the results. Listening to the advice of this young employee Saltspring air changed their advertising campaign to include more social media, with the result that their sales figures have been steadily improving ever since. It's pretty darn good day. Then in the words of Craig Seto Salzburg natureWorks. Our community success and ultimately societies will depend on the wreck. recognition of our interdependence on each other. Programs such as this are too rare and provide us a working example to multiple generations sharing a more thoughtful way to look forward. So Sarah has done an amazing job. I asked her what she's most proud of, she said, the connections that are being made that are fruitful and bringing a heightened awareness to all members of the community. Sarah expressed her gratitude to all that have been so open and supportive in the venture. And she's grateful for all the help it's given others and for the opportunity to learn and grow herself.

Speaker 1 35:44
The next one is Alma Rue right. Alma passed away just before Christmas this year, and I for 1am Really glad she got to live long enough to see her dream come true. Alma was the one that got Saltspring literacy started. 30 years ago, Alma sister took her to a picnic of adults who are all adult learners celebrating their literary accomplishments. She was blown away by how many there were and how very public they were about their struggles with reading, it touched me deeply, and it never left her mind in all those 30 years. As a Saltspring library volunteer, Alma would look around and wonder Where would people go to learn how to read as an adult? It took a while for the timing to be right. But the day came when it was. Alma had a discussion with Judy Francis and she convinced her other friends to be part of the mix. They did public research and identified the gaps and then demanded that the gaps be filled. And this was only four short years ago. Our literary coordinate literacy coordinator goes to regional meetings, where they're still quaking in their boots at the vociferous pneus of Elena's commitment and single mindedness and getting Saltspring literacy off the ground. And I'll show you a picture of Elma in a moment that she's got a look on her face anything from you wouldn't say no to her coma had a vision for what she wanted, and she wasn't about to be stopped. She didn't accept any BS. She was action driven, and she called it like she saw it. She called bureaucrats on their slowness and insisted that things be pushed forward. She didn't take no for an answer. And it's documented that no other community has moved as fast as Saltspring literacy has, and it's held up as the golden child in the province. Something came from blacks legacy 2010 project from the provincial government. This was to be the silver lining from the Olympics, but it only lasted for one year after the Olympics. Now there's funding from ESL Monday money from the United Way as well as from other grants. There are far more people coming to take advantage of the services than one might ever imagine in this community. There are between between 101 150 each year. They meet with their tutors at the Literacy Center in homes and coffee shops and upstairs in the private area of the office. They meet wherever the client feels comfortable. They have two full time staff and a six hour week of ministry. There are eight ad active volunteers and they've had over 150 people volunteer to date. And even more important is that they serve 262 learners in the four years they've been open. Currently, there are 164 active learners here all the programs they have one to one tutoring free voice which is giving marginalized people some of the homeless people an opportunity to be able to present their work if they're a writer, or they want to give a talk on something. They're providing that opportunity. Success works vocational rehabilitation. And this is a program for people who have been unable to get a job and they're helping to build their skills. Traveling book box, it's a box that travels all around the community with free books in it. There's commuter computer access at the literacy home there where people can go in and use the computers. They provide exam invigilation and study space. They have a learner fund and a number of donors have given money to help pay for some of the materials that students might need. They have ESL One to One tutoring ESL Friday family projects, ESL friendship program for a number of the people on Thanksgiving, number of people on the island that are new that don't speak English. They've held an international food and culture festival and they have English practice and now they're going to be the operators of the annual books. sail. When I first spoke to Rachel, who's the literacy coordinator about doing a story on Alma, she told me this. She said when she was a little child, she thought she would be able to change the world. As she grew up, she began to disbelieve that that would happen. And by the time she was in her 20s, she thought it was impossible. But then she met Alma, to quote, Rachel, Alma taught me that one person can change the world. And she has forever so many young men, young women, old women, and old men on Salzburg. So now Alma, I'm glad you got

Unknown Speaker 40:40
your dream come true. Good luck to Saltspring literacy. And that's number four. I promise to show you the picture. Here's Elmas. Friends.

Speaker 1 40:56
Don luchar. And she had a bunch of others that apparently she roped in and said, You're going to be on the literacy, society and you need to help me. And here Look at that face. Would you have said no to her? No, you would not. The last one, as Linda Catlin pop off with the virtues project. Linda is a therapist by profession and she and her husband Dan had been working in the area of suicide prevention for teens. They were alarmed by the statistics of the growing number of suicides, murders and accidents happening, particularly involving young women between the ages of 15 and 24. Linda and Dan were looking for a service project for the year, but they've not yet come up with one when Linda's brother John came for a visit. John at that time was working as an imagineer for the Disney Corporation in Tokyo. Over lunch, John said, I really want to do something to give direct service to humanity. To which Dan replied, come with us, we'll do something together. John quit his job was Disney, that's commitment. And that's began their summer of what they called discernment. They needed to think about what it was they were going to do, and to quiet down and be still and try to have the answers come to them. They moved to Salt Spring at that time, and it was 1988. And they asked themselves some big questions. And among them were, what is missing for kids around the meaning of life? What is missing for kids that leads them to violence? Where do you find the meaning of life in the world sacred texts? So what did they do? Well, first, they hold themselves up in their converted garage, and made it into a work room and office was a beautiful view across Trinka Malik channel. It was a quiet, wonderful place for allowing some answers to come. They looked at the world sacred test tests, not any one religion, all of them. And the common thing that they found was the underpinning of goodness, and the virtues that were spoken in each of them. So they began thinking about the environment and caring for the earth, planning activities for kids, perhaps using a virtue each week, they discovered that what they were being inspired to do was so powerful that it needed to become operationalized into a project. And from this in 1990, the virtues project was born. Under Linda's tutelage, this threesome produced the activity book. The first one in the garage was nothing fancy. I had the first one. It was just they had a photocopier, and unboxes. The paper and ink and a certain loss, minder and paper cutter is just a real mom and pop and brother or operation had no funding, no marketing experience. They didn't have a clue. They just knew that this was something they had to do. They reflected on where to take the book, and they had a strong intuition that it should go to First Nations first but they had no idea how they were going to get it out there. But that very day in January 1991. They received a call from the SOA First Nation in Pinkham inlet, or remote First Nations reserve in northern BC with the question, Are you the ones when you bring the virtues to our people? The first gig was underway. And three weeks later, Linda and Dan were in a tiny sea plane on their way to get their first Virtus workshop within two months, and that's only 60 days. It was in 20 countries and all of this by word of mouth. Today in 2012, I'm 21 years later. The virtues Project is an international bestseller and is being used in schools and villages in over 100 countries. All from up there on Sunday Eagle drive. Across Africa, in the Middle East, Malaysia, India, Canada, Southeast Asia and the South Pacific islands. Notice not the US, coach and children are learning with felt meaning what words like compassion, faithfulness, tact, loyalty, and caring look like when they're practiced in life. This program of character education has cut across cultures, religions and nations to impact children around the globe. In 1994, the year the family the project won a un award for being a model program. Following this, Lynda was named a cultural creative by Time Magazine, and in 2001, like Linda will last weigh in 2005. She received a Women of Distinction award from the white W YMCA. Linda has appeared on Oprah to share her program with millions of viewers. In addition to the virtues project, Linda has authored two books, sacred moments and the pace of grace, and a third graceful endings about the end of life is about to be published. She's going to have a launch on the island, probably later this spring, then has spoken at conferences and gatherings around the world, in small native villages, northern villages in Norway, South Pacific islands and at large gatherings, such as the Dalai Lama's conference. This is Dan and your brother John. And this is sorry, I kept forgetting to do this. This is Kingdom Midland were the first people that called for her to come. And this is Linda on the stage at the Dalai Lama's conference sharing the stage with Reverend Desmond Tutu. I asked Linda what she was most proud of. And she said it was the social change that she had seen come of its most particularly that the caning of children and villages had stopped as people gain greater understanding and are most grateful feeling when I see hope in the eyes of people, that the people that we're serving. Thanks, Linda cancer.

Speaker 1 47:19
So what is significant to me and all five of these cases is that visions and results cut across boundaries, and break down the barriers to separateness. My opinion. That's what we need in the world, no more black and white, this is mine, this is yours, but more us and we rather than me. If we're going to survive together on this planet, we need to find a way to look at both our similarities and differences with respect to caring and to put our issues on the table and find solutions. Kathy Rhymer was written off in the newspaper. This week, there was a thank you note to her. And it was thanking her for her selfless work that she's done. Through decades of time, most of the volunteer, Linda lush weigh, her healthy relationships have included hundreds and hundreds of people over the 12 years of the program. Linda Catherine Popoff, serving our kids here serving kids all around the province. I've been in schools all over Vancouver Island and the virtuous projects happening there. And it's happening all around the world, on the roof, right? Just imagine the people that she's touching in the lives that she's changing, we have to remember that an estimated 20% of the adult population in the US and similar here is functionally illiterate. That figures skyrockets to over 60% When you examine the literacy rates of the inmate population in jails, and prisons across the country, and even more appalling at the fact that over 85% of juvenile offenders have literacy issues. And illiteracy leads to recidivism, they're back in prison. They can't read the can't do a job back in prison with the life they know. So just imagine, this is my fantasy. If instead of building more jails, we put the money into schools and hospitals and made sure everybody could read. There are no second class citizens by virtue of their literacy, just people that haven't learned to read yet. And look at what the vision of one woman has done. Hundreds of people have moved forward because of Elena. So thank you to Elena. And for Sarah Nelson, gratitude, respect, sharing compassion, all virtues that the virtues project teaches. She's putting into life and bringing people together, older and younger generations, which is absolutely incredible. So these five women, I think, all deserve a huge round of applause for the significance that they're making in connecting generations and passing it forward to the younger people, because they are making a difference.