Each year, the Alberta Council for Global Cooperation releases a Top 30 Under 30 magazine which profiles 30 Albertan Youth and youth from across the globe who are actively involved in international development. This year CCS student Tif McNaughton is one of them. Tif is very enthusiastic about the ACGC and thinks it’s awesome that a CCS student gets to do things like she gets to do with Sahakarini for a field placement.
(Text credit: Alexander Babaris. Design for Top 30 Under 30 by Tikina Gordey)
Tif’s first introduction to international affairs was innocuous enough, simply reading National Geographic at her grandparents’ house. Other people found it amazing that she would immerse herself in articles about war, extreme poverty, and environmenal destruction. Girl Guides of Canada also played a formative role in Tif’s life, helping to connect her developing knowledge with her own actions in society. Her first steps abroad included participating in the Canada World Youth Rural Development Exchange in 2004/200S. This exchange provided her
with an incredible learning experience and the ability to create connections with like-minded youth from Canada and Mexico.
Currently Tif works as the Executive Director for the Camrose NGO Sahakarini, focusing on the advancement of women and girls around the globe. She is largely responsible for the coordination of projects, reporting to supporters and funders, and ensuring the organization runs efficiently. Sahakarini has benefited hugely from Tif’s efforts; her ability to effectively network and raise awareness in communities as diverse as women’s and girls’ groups, the University of Alberta Augustana Campus, Girl Guides of Canada, and TUXIS (the Alberta Youth Parliament) have proved invaluable for the NG0. She takes particular pride in the work that she does in Camrose from developing her ability to write efficient grant proposals to hosting a film and speaker series highlighting the experiences of women in the Global South. It is through this that Tif has learned the amount and importance of the behind-the-scenes work that goes into international development work.
Tif is currently very interested in the effects that the current distribution of power and wealth have on people. Sahakarini’s partners, especially the CCDO in India, have demonstrated that the genuine inclusion of women and the promotion of self-advocacy is a good way to minimize the negative effects of a power structure that is weighted against marginalized people.
Even with all of her commitments in the NGO world, Tif is currently studying Diaconal Ministry with the Centre for Christian Studies in Winnipeg. She enjoys being outside, studying gardening and fibre arts, especially wet-felting, needle-felting, and knitting.