Feature

Project Overseas

ETFO Voice

Project Overseas is a joint endeavour by the Canadian Teachers' Federation (CTF) and its affiliates across Canada. The project is designed to give professional assistance to fellow teachers in developing countries. Project Overseas 1 operates during July and August.

Started in 1962, with one program in Nigeria, Project Overseas has now assisted teacher organizations in over 50 countries of Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the South Pacific. With the financial assistance of CTF, provincial and territorial teacher organizations, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the Wild Rose Foundation (an Alberta agency for international development), in a single year as many as 60 volunteers are sent to approximately 15 countries.

Project Objectives

  • To help teachers in developing countries upgrade their competence through in-service courses;
  • To help overseas teacher organizations improve and strengthen th e ir structures and activities; and
  • To promote understanding and goodwill among teachers.

Basic requirements for participation

Any Canadian teacher who is a member of a provincial or territorial teacher organization which is a member of CTF can participate in Project Overseas, providing she or he meets the following requirements:

  • Possesses an appropriate teachers' certificate;
  • Has a minimum of five years teaching experience in Canada;
  • is a Canadian citizen;
  • Has excellent health; and
  • Shows evidence of mature judgement and flexibility.

Some academic or administrative specialization is an asset.

Selection process

Candidates for Project Overseas are selected by their CTF affiliates. ETFO sponsors eight candidates. These candidates are chosen through the following process:

  • Application forms are sent to every ETFO steward in September.
  • Interested candidates complete and return the form to ETFO's provincial office by the mid-November deadline.
  • All applications are reviewed and short-listed by ETFO's International Assistance Committee.
  • Short-listed candidates are interviewed by telephone.
  • The names of the candidates selected by the committee are forwarded to ETFO's provincial executive for approval.
  • The names of ETFO's candidates are forwarded to CTF and are matched to appropriate projects.
  • Because the CTF projects have specific requirements and because candidates' personal situations can change between the time they are approved (December) to the time they are scheduled to travel overseas (July), ETFO always forwards the names of a few more candidates than it is prepared to sponsor. And as it has done this year, the CTF Trust Fund occasionally sponsors an additional ETFO member.
  • Those selected to participate in Project Overseas are finally notified prior to the March break.

If you would like to participate in Project Overseas in 2003, watch fo r the application form to arrive in your school early this fall, in the meantime, visit www.etfo.ca and click on "International Connections." This page contains last year's application form as well as articles and photographs from previous participants.

Best wishes to the following ETFO members who are participating in Project Overseas this summer:

  • Carolyn Collins, Hamilton-Wentworth, Deputy Team Leader, Malawi
  • Anne Dahmer, Waterloo, Uganda
  • Adeline Griffin, York Region, Ghana
  • Elaine Hick, Toronto, Grenada
  • Karen Ingram, Halton, Grenada
  • Suzanne Mason, Ottawa. Ghana
  • Dave McCourt, Toronto, Ghana
  • Aima Westlake, Avon Maitland, Uganda
  • Stephen Wise, Thames Valley, Malawi

N.B. ETFO is sponsoring eight members. The CTF Trust Fund is sponsoring a ninth ETFO member.

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etfo members posing with ugandan teachers

My primary assignment as a Project Overseas participant in Uganda was to facilitate, with my Ugandan co-tutor, a series of workshops in early literacy for Ugandan teachers.