I N S I D E T H I S I S S U E
Integral Q & A: The Drive to Fight Poverty
Integral Member Agency: Fasting for Change in Canada
INTEGRAL Q & A
The Drive to Fight Poverty
Marco van der Graaf works for Tear Netherlands as the Director of Campaigns, Marketing & Communication. In July 2010 he was appointed the Deputy Director of Tear ...
Marco van der Graaf from Tear Netherlands
What has been your most interesting job?
That's a difficult question because with every job you learn new skills. Some of the jobs I have done were tough but I did learn a lot. I worked for Pfizer & Wyeth, both pharmaceutical companies, & enjoyed the variety of the challenges & the international scope of my role during those years.
How many languages do you speak?
English & Dutch. My German is not bad & my French is minimal.
What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?
Basically my alarm clock! I am really not a morning person & it is best not to disturb me with difficult questions before at least 9am!
What has been your most memorable country visit with work & why?
In 2007 I visited a local church organization in the vast desert of northern Kenya. They were a very motivated young team with few resources. We drove from lake Turkana to Marsabit & I was struck by the drought & poverty of people. There is nothing but sand & rocks in the region. We visited a created dam where rainwater was collected. Women & children were drinking it but it was terribly polluted. It filled me with anger. I have picture of that place in my room & it keeps me going.
What do you enjoy the most about your current job?
The people both in the countries where we work, as well as in our networks & at our HQ office. It is wonderful to work with inspired intelligent people that have a true drive to fight poverty. I really enjoy that.
What do you find the most challenging?
The volume of work & choosing among numerous opportunities.
What do find inspiring about Integral?
Integral Alliance is an answer to a lot of criticism towards NGO’s in the public space & media. Rather than work & fundraise independently as if the presence & growth of individual organizations is the highest cause – Integral is offering a real opportunity to serve the global Church worldwide by working together in relief situations, both in the field as well in maximizing funds, good communication & campaigning.
How do you relax?
I love to be home alone for a few hours & organize my stuff. That clears my head.
Where would be your favourite place to live in the world? Or where was your favourite place to live?
I was in South Africa with my wife & son last Christmas. It is a very beautiful place with a wonderful climate & lot’s of space. I really loved it. At the moment my family & I live in downtown Amsterdam. When my wife & I plan a weekend to ourselves, we leave our son with family & just stay at home; we enjoy our neighbourhood & all that's is going on there very much.
What skill do your have that many don’t know you possess?
There are many lakes in the Netherlands & I have practised sailing since I was fifteen. I have just completed a non-stop 170 miles trip from Germany back to the Netherlands across the German Bight & Waddensea. Beautiful!
INTEGRAL MEMBER AGENCY
Fasting for Change in Canada
In the spring of this year, Integral Member World Relief Canada joined many churches across Canada in an ecumenical day of fasting & reflecting on how we are all connected ...
"Imagine the possibilities if every member of every congregation in Canada made a small change towards ending both spiritual & physical hunger," says Dave Clubine, Communication Director at World Relief Canada. He continues, "As Christians we are united by our belief that hunger in a world of such abundance is a matter of injustice & we are called to respond in prayer & action. In a world where the climate is changing, unfair trade policies exist alongside over consumption, & more than 850 million people are chronically malnourished - we believe that Canadian Christians have the power to change the statistics, change the rules & change lives."
The aim of the Fast for Change initiative was to encourage Christians to deepen their spiritual walk & reverence for food as a gift from God. A Resource Kit was available from World Relief Canada in partnership with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank to help individuals & churches plan opportunities for meaningful participation. A personal reflection guide featured 7 days of soul food, leading participants toward deeper commitment to the issues. Dave says, "The activities & materials were creative & flexible, appropriate for congregational worship services, youth & adult groups, classrooms & the workplace."
Please click here for more resources that accompany the 7 days of soul food guide.
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