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17
APRIL 2015
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The Canadian Business Journal
which allocates funds and provides grants to
teachers and community organizers around the
world. Established more than 40 years ago, the
committee funds groups that are focused on the
common good, particularly groups with an edu-
cation or youth focus.
Some of the projects funded include: Habitat
for Humanity, which builds, rehabilitates and
repairs houses to provide safe and affordable
shelter for people around the world; and the
Ontario Association of Food Banks, a network
of food banks and hunger-relief programs and
agencies, including breakfast clubs, emergency
shelters and seniors’ centres.
OECTA is also a committed partner of
Education International, which seeks to pro-
tect workers’ rights worldwide. And since 1962,
hundreds of members have participated in the
Project Overseas program by visiting developing
nations to offer their professional assistance and
learn from their colleagues.
Closer to home, OECTA supports
Campaign 2000 (which aims to end poverty
in Canada), the Ontario Coalition for Better
Child Care, the Canadian Centre for Policy
Alternatives, Healthy Minds Canada and Free
the Children, to name just a few.
One project that was launched with funds
from OECTA is the Onigaming First Nations
reserve Aboriginal Summer Literacy Camp, which
has been running since 2008. Canadian Aboriginal
communities face great challenges to literacy due
to isolation, underfunding and poverty. The camp,
which is organized by Frontier College, offers
literacy games and activities that emphasize the
fun of reading and writing. Teachers always report
significantly improved literacy rates among the
students, as well as their readiness to learn, when
school reopens in the fall.
Maintaining
Relationships
Of course, it’s not just about providing funds, but
establishing meaningful relationships. OECTA
works with a variety of non-profit groups that
share the Association’s values and promote the
common good – groups like the Women’s Legal
Education and Action Fund (LEAF), Free the
Children and Egale Canada.
“[OECTA adds] deep commitment to the
well-being of all citizens, especially children and
the less fortunate,” says Levac.
The Association consistently lobbies for greater
income equality, poverty reduction, higher mini-
mum wages, affordable housing, stronger health
and safety measures and an end to bullying.
As part and parcel of this, OECTA was a vocal
supporter of Gay-Straight Alliances in its schools
during the Bill 13 debate (the Accepting Schools
Act) and supported World Pride 2014.
“OECTA has done good things around social
justice and helping others in our communities –
and also in the world,” says Brian Evoy, president
of the Ontario Association of Parents in Catholic
Education (OAPCE), a group that works hand in
hand with OECTA.
Evoy says the work of OECTA demonstrates
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