By Mélissa Dubé, Public Engagement Organizer
As a new RESULTS Canada staff of about 6 weeks, I had the opportunity to attend the RESULTS Pacific Regional Conference in Port Orchard, Washington State. Excited, I jumped on a plane with my colleague Kristiana Bruneau (Child Health Officer) to make our way to Victoria where we met for the first time with some of our most seasoned volunteers: Anita Mark, Oliver Mark, Colin Nelson and Sam Weller. We then embarked on a ferry and a short road trip through some beautiful country roads with mountains, tall trees and lavender as backdrops.
Every year, groups on the American West Coast, along with the Victoria group, put together a dynamic weekend conference where old and new friends meet (the conference location alternates between Port Orchard and Victoria on a yearly basis). Situated in the middle of the woods, the conference atmosphere is perfect to disconnect, take time for camaraderie and for stimulating learning and discussions.
What struck me, although that should not be a surprise, was how warm the welcomes were and how it felt that we were already part of the family. What struck me more was the luck I had to be with such an amazing group of committed people all working together towards a common goal to end poverty.
As an ice breaker, participants were asked to share a story about persistence or breath (in support of World TB Day that was on March 24). Everyone opened up and shared personal stories. We learned about others’ dreams, struggles and successes. Laughter and a few tears were shared. It was a great reminder that we all take different paths and yet breath and persistence kept us all going and led us to the same goal. Not only did I learn more about grassroots, the work done by RESULTS and the work that is ahead all of us but also about compassion. Coming back to Ottawa, I’m grateful to everyone with whom I was able to discuss and more ready than ever to work with many others to end poverty.