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SMALL WORLD BIG PICTURE - Expedition Africa
Expedition Africa Welcome by Kent MacDonald
Expedition Africa is designed to actively engage Canadian school-aged students, their teachers and their families with respect to the Continent of Africa, its opportunities, its challenges and its peoples.  Through the innovative use of advanced technology, these individuals will better understand the realities and challenges facing groups of people and their communities in developing African countries.

This ‘reality learning’ project will reach millions of people including Ontario students, parents,  the public  and an audience outside of Canada through a broad media presence and through the World Wide Web.

SWBP – Expedition Africa includes a 20 week project (2006) based in the continent of Africa.  Starting with the expedition launch on September 14th, 2006, the SWBP-Africa expedition will traverse the continent of Africa from Egypt to South Africa. This project will address a wide range of educational topics, share African issues and opportunities, be very technology intensive, and will leverage a broad media news presence. 
Many initiatives to raise the profile of Countries of Africa have been supported by various governments’ decisions to adjust financial lending support, reduce debt and enhance African trade practices to create longer-term economic prosperity. The continuing health and political crises that face many parts of the African continent have started to reach the Western conscience on a more regular basis. With globalization, the developed world is beginning to understand that the interdependency of peoples and nations worldwide will become more pronounced and important in coming decades.
It is the premise of this project that we all benefit if we can change how people view the realities of the social and economic opportunities and challenges that exist in Africa.  This project brings Africa to Ottawa, Ontario and Canada and will support local African communities to better share their history, opportunities and wonders of their respective homelands.  The project has various goals including:
    • Linking the College and School Board educators, enabling them to collaboratively leverage their respective skills and resources to create relevant learning materials for their respective constituents including elementary and secondary school educators, students and parents. 
    • The project will actively engage 1000s of students in Ontario, influencing them in terms of creating a long-term understanding of Africa, actively engaging them through technology and with hope, having them act and reflect in a positive and demonstrable way with respect to supporting the millions of African peoples who live in conditions much different to that in Ontario. 
    • Providing daily reports to Canadian Media Outlets (data, pictures, voice and video), keeping the Canadian public aware of the progress of the expedition and to share stories and an understanding of current events in each host country.  This media will create long-term impressions of Africa which is more likely to create lasting attitudinal change and enhanced learning / understanding. 
    • The CHUM Group TV has signed on to the project to provide ‘at a minimum’, 2-4 minute news stories, on the 6:00 pm Evening News twice a week for the duration of the entire expedition.  The span of distribution includes A-Channel Ottawa, A-Channel Barrie, A-Channel Windsor-London and City TV.  The commitment also includes CHUM’s 24 hour TV News Network. 
    • Creating a leading edge, real-time website that will host daily updates regarding the expedition. 
    • Launching a set of fundraising initiatives, through partnership with appropriate charitable foundations to create a long-term legacy for the project both in countries of Africa and in Canada.