Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

April 29, 2005

U of G Prof Heads to Sri Lanka

A University of Guelph professor is one of five people selected to take part in a fact-finding mission to Sri Lanka with World University Service of Canada (WUSC).

Jana Janakiram, a professor in the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development, will join representatives from WUSC and four other universities — Manitoba, Queen’s, Trent and Waterloo — in the tsunami-devastated country April 30 to May 9.

The five universities are joining forces to identify ways to make a co-ordinated and meaningful contribution to long-term rebuilding efforts in Sri Lanka. Those selected for the mission represent a variety of disciplines and areas, including rural development, environmental studies, education, occupational therapy, international relations and gender issues.

Participants will identify opportunities for Canadian post-secondary institutions to take part in reconstruction initiatives, facilitate research and partner with local organizations and academics. They will also assess the potential for creating new service and co-op learning opportunities for Canadian students.

“This initiative represents an important opportunity for Canadian universities to demonstrate their tangible commitment to Sri Lanka’s long-term reconstruction,” said Paul Davidson, WUSC’s executive director. “It will also help strengthen WUSC’s current development work in Sri Lanka.”

The Dec. 26 tsunami left more than 50,000 Sri Lankans dead or injured and devastated many communities along the country’s eastern and southern coastlines. It is now expected to take more than four years to rebuild the hardest-hit areas.

WUSC is one of the country’s leading non-governmental development agencies and the largest Canadian NGO in Sri Lanka. Founded in 1939, the Ottawa-based agency teams with students, faculty and institutions to internationalize Canada’s universities and increase knowledge of global issues. It is governed by a board of directors, whose members include president Alastair Summerlee, who serves as vice-chair.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rebecca Kendall, Ext. 56982.

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