On August 29, Teresa Edge began serving as the Coordinator of the Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement. Teresa comes from New Zealand, and first connected with the Centre in 2016 when she took a summer Peace and Conflict Studies course while doing her Masters in Economic Development and Innovation at the University of Waterloo.
Demine Robotics, a former Grebel Peace Incubator start-up stationed in both Cambodia and Canada, has left its mark around the world. With the goal of accelerating the clearance of landmine-infested land, Richard Yim, CEO & co-founder, Jared Baribeau, CTO & co-founder, have safeguarded 100,000 m2 (25 acres) of land containing explosive weapons in Cambodia. They built hundreds of relationships with deminers, government officials, industry leaders, and neighbourhood Cambodian tuk-tuk drivers, setting out to make landmine clearance faster and safer. Despite this impactful effort, in early 2022, the team made the difficult decision to wind down the operations of Demine Robotics. But where are the founders now? They are continuing to advance PeaceTech around the world, using engineering to make the world a better place. Demine Robotics serves as both a learning experience to reflect on and an incredible effort to celebrate, an experiment in innovation nurtured by the Centre that will have impact for decades to come.
On Sunday, July 24, 10 refugee and immigrant women from the Waterloo Region performed their personal narratives in front of family, friends, and community members in the Chapel at Conrad Grebel University College. By developing their writing and performance skills throughout a 12-week workshop facilitated by local, professional artists, these women were given the opportunity to showcase their narratives in front of a live audience. This year’s performance, “Voices,” was the first in-person X Page performance in more than two years. Witnessing such collaboration, compassion, and diversity was inspiring, aligning with the Centre’s mission and values.
As COVID restrictions have lifted, the Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement has become a livelier place with old faces returning and new ones joining. Among them are a number of students hired for co-op, internship, and volunteer positions by the Centre for Peace Advancement and its participants, particularly The Ripple Effect Education (TREE), Project Ploughshares, andESGTree. In the previous academic year, 27 students had the opportunity to be apart of our community, and a total of 161 students have been hired by the Centre for Peace Advancement and its participants since 2014. The Centre is a collaborative space with eleven participant organizations, where connection, professional and informal, comes easily. This interdisciplinary community that emphasizes peace exposes students to diverse ways of thinking and real examples of community change. These placements provide students with the professional skills needed to excel in the workforce, mentorship by reputable academics and professionals, and exposure to the expansive and exciting field of peacebuilding.
Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) starts from the ground-up. This is why community-based research is vital in working toward these 2030 goals, as outlined by the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement has teamed up with the Centre for Community-Based Research (CCBR) to create resources on localizing the SDGs for grassroots communities, small start-ups, and community-based organizations. The Centre recognizes the value in taking multisector approaches to peace through interdisciplinary collaboration, even on a small scale.