Thursday, August 9, 2018

Janyce Konkin’s IofC work changed many lives for the better

The Board of Initiatives of Change Canada is pleased to recognize and celebrate the contributions of Janyce Konkin as she finishes her employment as Alberta Regional Projects Coordinator with IofC at the end of June.

Janyce’s contributions over the past thirteen years date back to her first involvement with IofC in 2005 at the University of Calgary campus. Immediately moved by the connection she felt with her own core values, Janyce has shared that discovering IofC was like discovering a home— somewhere she belonged. Since then, Janyce’s impact, passion and friendship have extended into the hearts of many communities and individuals across Alberta.

Perhaps, her most lasting impact is seen in the youth she has mentored, and who continue to be involved with IofC, in Canada and elsewhere, including: Melanie Klein (Ontario), Ashley Muller (Switzerland), Alana Labelle-Wahpooseywan (Morley Stoney-Nakoda First Nations), Shaista Hasham Sajan (Calgary), Agnes Mystik (Calgary), Deepa Suri (Berlin), Firyal Mohamed (Haida Gwaii) and Rachneet Randhawa (Calgary).

We thank you, Janyce, for your service and steadfast commitment to Initiatives of Change Canada and wish you every success for the next chapter of your life.

Firyal Mohamed, Haida Gwaii (co-chair)

 

Janyce Konkin reflects on time with IofC

I joined IofC in 2005 while at University. I joined because there was something that seemed to fit very intrinsically with my own core values of how I believed we should be treating each other as human beings. It was a refreshing feeling to find people with whom I could relate on this important level, where I could feel so at home – like I finally belonged somewhere in the world.

Life-changing learning

There were growing pains, of course, as I learned to accommodate people of fervent religious persuasions into my worldview. As a person who had grown up seeing only the duplicitousness of purportedly religious people, I had developed my own spiritual beliefs outside of organized religion.

But I am grateful now that I had Keith and Joy Newman as local field workers. Through Keith, I was able to observe the impact of the lived-belief. Over the years he opened my eyes and heart to the fact that religions can, and still do, contribute to helping many people live better lives. This learning changed my life, and I believe, helped me to be a better, more open and accepting human being. I am now able to work comfortably with people of any religion because I also feel accepted for my own beliefs.

Caux Experience

The five times I traveled to Caux were instrumental in solidifying my commitment to the organization. Most importantly, IofC offered me the opportunity to develop my skills in designing and facilitating workshops to share our message with others: students at the University of Calgary; the South Sudanese community members; the Cambodian community; the North Sudanese community; the First Nations Community etc. Each trustbuilding workshop, each presentation, and each public display provided an occasion to meet new people, with new stories, new friendships, new potentials. The greatest gift I have received from IofC is the friendships I have developed within our multicultural world.

Unique workshops

I will always believe that our workshops: Trustbuilding, Healing and Reconciliation, Compass Program, and Creators of Peace Women’s Peace Circles, and dialogues and films are some of the best in the peace building community anywhere in the world because they get to the heart of people. The ability to network with so many other organizations to learn and share our IofC work has always been inspiring to me. I feel very blessed to have spent the past nine years working for the organization.

IofC Values forever

Thank you for these opportunities and for my time working with IofC. Now, a new journey begins, as I am now fully engaged in launching a new charitable organization, Peace Africa Alliance Consulting, Educating and Training Centre (PAACET) to address human rights, democracy and good governance, conflict prevention and social justice education and training with an African colleague in Sierra Leone. As we all know, when one door closes another one opens, and my IofC values will continue to guide my life and all that I do.

Janyce Konkin, Calgary