|Local News : Young Canadian honoured with royal accolade
| on 2015/7/5 23:13:50 (101 reads)
Aaron Joshua Pinto, 24, was among 60 exceptional young people from across the Commonwealth to receive the inaugural Queen's Young Leaders Award handed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II herself at a very special, star-studded ceremony in Buckingham Palace last week.
High-profile guests like David Beckham, David Walliams, Sir John Major, Rob Brydon, Duncan Bannatyne, Steve McQueen, Stephanie Linus, Gemma Cairney, Jamal Edwards, and John Bishop attended the ceremony to congratulate the recipients.
World-renowned footballer David Beckham told the audience: "I was fortunate to work with some incredible captains and managers throughout my career each bringing their own qualities to leading a team. As a captain myself there was no prouder moment for me then when I led my country into a major tournament. I'm honoured to be here today to celebrate your achievement, with people like you I have no doubt the world will be a better place."
Former UK Prime Minister Sir John Major said: "The Commonwealth is a unique institution. History has seen nothing like it, and the future is unlikely to have anything to compare with it. You exemplify the very best of what the Commonwealth is today, and our hope for what it will be tomorrow."
HRH The Duke of York, HRH Princess Beatrice, TRH The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and TRH Prince and Princess Michael of Kent also attended the event, along with former BBC Radio 1 presenter Fearne Cotton.
Aaron and the others were recognized by HM The Queen for taking the lead in transforming the lives of others and making a lasting difference in their communities.
"This is a very special award in that it is the first of its kind to be named after the Queen. Her Majesty is extremely passionate about the Commonwealth and this award was set up to encourage and inspire the next generation of leaders in those countries", Samantha Cohen, assistant private secretary to the Queen, said at a royal briefing in the South Drawing Room of Buckingham Palace.
The Award recipients all received a unique package of training, mentoring and networking, including a one-week residential programme in the UK in association with Cambridge University.
Before receiving his award at Buckingham Palace, Aaron and the other young leaders met for breakfast with UK Prime Minister, David Cameron as well as executives of the UK headquarters of the global social networking company Twitter, and the BBC World Service.
After the awards ceremony, the recipients attended a grand dinner at St. James' Palace, the official residence of the British sovereign, hosted by HRH The Duke of York.
Following the ceremony, the Queen's Young Leaders spent four days in the UK taking part in a residential development programme as part of the Awards package. The programme included a two day residential at the University of Cambridge to continue the online leadership course they have been taking part in since January. The Young Leaders had then went on to meet with UK business leaders, attended a reception with High Commissioners at Canada House, and visited life-changing social action projects, among other things. The residential week finished off with an intimate celebratory dinner at the top of the BT Tower in London.
This year's Award winners, aged between 18 and 29 and who come from all four corners of the Commonwealth, are working to support others, raise awareness and inspire change on a variety of different issues including: education, climate change, gender equality, mental health and disability equality.
Aaron Joshua Pinto was born in Bahrain and came to Canada with his family after the Gulf War. He recently completed his Honours Bachelor of Arts at Western University, focusing on International Relations and French.
Years of passionate engagement in social issues have taken Aaron from the creches of post-Apartheid townships in Cape Town to the bustling streets of Mumbai all the way to the hilltop villages of indigena in Puerto Carreno.
Aaron's avid interest in global affairs led to his selection as a Junior Team Canada ambassador on a trade and development mission to Central and South America, as well as a domestic mission to the Canadian Arctic.
Back in secondary school, Aaron co-founded a scheme to help people in Canada who are living below the breadline. The project delivers food hampers to migrants, the elderly and survivors of abuse.
Upon returning from a year's exchange in Europe and a development internship in Central Russia, Aaron went on to establish the Canadian Youth Think Tank, an organization which offers opportunities for young Canadians to produce written articles on Canadian and global public policy news, developments and events.
Aaron was formerly a World Vision Canada Youth Ambassador, a member of the Globe and Mail Student Advisory Board and a Junior Research Fellow at the NATO Council of Canada. Aaron was previously elected as a Youth Councillor and Chair of the Mississauga City Youth Council and he was also selected to be Canada's Youth Ambassador to the Organization of Security and Co-operation in Europe, engaging in negotiations for a Youth and Security Action Plan.
Last October, Aaron travelled to Ukraine as one of 90 Canadians to be an International Election Observer monitoring the Verkhovna Rada parliamentary elections.
In the past, he has also met with HRH Prince Charles and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu; climbed South Africa's iconic Lion's Head (during nighttime); and celebrated Christmas mass with the Pope.
In the long term, Aaron intends to pursue a career in international law and justice, and eventually in the Foreign Service.
"I never imagined that I'd ever be inside Buckingham Palace. I'm humbled and honoured to be one of the first recipients of the Queen's Young Leaders Award. To be presented with an Award by Her Majesty The Queen in recognition of my work is an incredible honour."
"Over the course of the residential week, I've met some wonderful and inspiring people, young and old, from across the UK and beyond. From my many conversations and meetings, I've learned that, ultimately, passion and hard work can, indeed, triumph over personal challenges. It is passion for the work you do, passion for the community that can keep a person going. For me, this is most rewarding and is what continues to make me tick."
"The Commonwealth is one big family, comprised of 53 countries from across the world. Meeting the other Queen's Young Leaders has been great and I have been positively challenged by the experience. Learning about the work of these young people - from combating domestic violence on the Solomon Islands to advocating for disability rights in India to encouraging effective sustainable development and the protection of the oceans in Mauritius - this has all certainly given me a boost. I feel very encouraged and excited."
The Queen's Young Leaders Programme is an initiative established by The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust in partnership with Comic Relief and the Royal Commonwealth Society in recognition of The Queen's lifetime of service to the Commonwealth.
Aaron on Canada AM, CTV News - http://canadaam.ctvnews.ca/an-experience-i-will-never-never-forget-young-canadian-meets-the-queen-1.2439675?hootPostID=54c150f4379f9469d31e7906a8982972
Video clip featuring TRH Prince William and Prince Harry - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifrq4H600FM
Queen's Young Leaders of 2015 receive award from Her Majesty The Queen - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1I5BaJ52rk&feature=youtu.be
Prime Minister David Cameron Meets The Queens Young Leaders 2015 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vvUMLc0Qnw
Highlights of The Queen's Young Leaders visit to the UK - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iF1NYuH2TQ
Queen's Young Leaders on social media -
|Local News : Obituary: Evelyn D'Souza (81 years), Mangalore, India
| on 2015/5/25 22:20:00 (181 reads)
The Mangalorean Association of Canada (MAC) and all its members offer their sincere condolences on the passing away of Evelyn D'Souza, 81 years, wife of the late L C D'Souza, 3B, III Floor, Windsor Manor, Highlands, Falnir, Mangalore, mother of Joyce, Joel (Juliet), Jardin, the late Rohan & Jeevan, grandmother of Laurentina & Clementina, on Sunday, May 17, 2015.
May God grant the strength and courage to Joel and Juliet, and their family to overcome this tragedy. Our prayers and support are with the family.
To post your condolences please click:
Mangalorean Association of Canada
Membership form: http://www.macsaunsar.com/modules/news/visit.php?fileid=19
TOGETHER WE MAKE A DIFFERENCE
|Local News : Pinto to join OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission to Ukraine
| on 2014/10/28 21:30:00 (355 reads)
In two weeks, Canada's Aaron Joshua Pinto will fan out across Ukraine along with hundreds of Canadian election observers to monitor the integrity of the embattled country's early Verkhovna Rada parliamentary elections.
Pinto has been selected through CANADEM, commissioned by the federal government, to join the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR) Election Observation Mission (EOM) in Ukraine.
The EOM supports transparency and democracy by undertaking electoral analysis and stakeholder engagement. Pinto and other observers will be there to monitor the election process and by their presence, encourage a fair and democratic election.
In early September, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine invited the OSCE/ODIHR to observe the early parliamentary elections scheduled for 26 October 2014.
Canada, an OSCE participating State, is sending 90 short-term observers (STOs), including Aaron, to observe voting, counting and the tabulation of results for two weeks. There will be 60 long-time observers (LTOs) joining the OSCE/ODIHR EOM, as well as 12 Canadian parliamentarians who will join the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Election Observation Mission delegation.
International Election Observers are deployed throughout the country in multinational teams of two to assess the close of the campaign, voting, counting and tabulation of results. Observers are strictly impartial and they work to bring irregularities to the attention of election officials and the Central Election Commission of Ukraine.
Upon arriving in the capital Kyiv on October 21st, Aaron will attend a pre-election briefing. The briefing will cover all parts of the election process, as well as logistical and security information Specific topics include: general information, country-specific information, findings so far (interim reports), political background including parties and candidates, election and legal aspects of the process, media landscape, info regarding the political participation of women and national minorities (i.e. Roma and Sinti), election day procedures and reporting, code of conduct, security situation, and logistical information, including deployment.
After a day and a half of briefings, Aaron will be deployed to his Area of Observation in Ukraine and will have a chance to attend a regional debriefing and familiarize himself with the assigned observation region and polls before Election Day.
OSCE observers will be present in all "oblasts" or provinces in Ukraine, except Crimea, the strategic region on the Black Sea which Russia took over in March.
Election Day on October 26th will be a long day for Aaron. He will observe the opening, polling and closing of an average of 10 polling stations during the day. He will have to witness every aspect of the election process, from the formal unsealing of the ballot boxes to the demonstration that they are empty. He will also witness the tabulation process and the physical transportation of the ballots.
After Election Day, Aaron will travel back to Kyiv and attend a debriefing. This will provide an opportunity for him and other observers to discuss major findings and share conclusions with other observers and EOM members.
The EOM will hold a press conference on the day after the elections to present its preliminary findings and conclusions. A comprehensive final report will be issued by the OSCE/ODIHR approximately two months after the election process has been completed, taking into account Aaron?s findings as well as those of other observers.
The OSCE/ODIHR last observed the parliamentary elections in Ukraine in 2012 and the early presidential election in May 2014. This will be the eleventh OSCE/ODIHR election observation activity in Ukraine.
Aaron is a recent graduate of the Honours International Relations and French programme at Western University. He is currently the Co-Chair of the Mississauga City Youth Council, an international trade intern at the U.S. Consulate in Toronto and is Canada's OSCE Youth Ambassador.
"I am very honoured to be selected as an International Election Observer. It is with pride that I have the opportunity to join fellow Canadians and others from the OSCE to play a role in fostering democratic principles of freedom and good governance at such a challenging time in Ukraine."
"Civic engagement and democracy are a passion of mine. I am excited to be putting my academic background in international relations and my experience volunteering, studying and working abroad to good use. Being a part of the Mission will provide an opportunity for me to learn as much as I can about electoral processes and observation."
"Many Ukrainians have been waiting for these upcoming elections since the Maidan protests. They believe the elections are a chance to restart the government and help President Poroshenko make systematic democratic reforms to propel the country forward."
"This is an important election for the people of Ukraine, and an important election for national and geopolitical stability. If there is going to be forward progress, then the October elections need to be viewed as legitimate by the people. This is why the work of the International Election Observation Mission is crucial. We are going as observers to make sure that the election that will be held is free and fair."
Short-term observers (STOs) deployment schedule:
Tuesday, 21 October Last date for arrival in Kyiv
Wednesday, 22 October STO briefing (Day 1)
Thursday, 23 October STO briefing (Day 2); deployment to the areas of observation for most STOs
Friday, 24 October Deployment to the areas of observation for some STOs; familiarization with areas of observation
Saturday, 25 October Familiarization with areas of observation
Sunday, 26 October Election Day
Monday, 27 October Observation of tabulation of results; regional debriefing of STOs
Tuesday, 28 October Observation of tabulation of results; some STOs return to Kyiv
Wednesday, 29 October Most STOs return to Kyiv; central STO debriefing; reception
Thursday, 30 October STO repatriation
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