The introduction was made by ICDO’s President Josipa Palac. She said: “ICDO stands strongly for promoting cultural diversity, biodiversity, human rights and supporting Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). ICDO believes that it is important to raise awareness of different cultural expressions and their values in order to facilitate inclusion, empowerment, education and diversity. ICDO is proud to collaborate with more than 35 embassies, cultural institutions, universities, different international organizations and governments, as well as talented artists and musicians around the globe”.
ICDO works hard to transform lives of indigenous and marginalized communities by providing them with basic access to education, health, water and necessary equipment. This year, ICDO achieved one of the main goal of its project in Mexico, “We have established a Development Hub which is actually contributing to brightening future of Maya girls and women by giving them resources to continue their education, to develop their business, to improve financial digital literacy and also to get legal and psychological counseling”, added Josipa Palac.
During the ICDO Fair, ICDO’s Honorary Ambassador Farid Dieck Kattas shared his personal experience during ICDO’s projects and emphasized how important it is to protect cultural diversity and biodiversity. He was working on projects with ICDO and witnessed in person how COVID-19 affected indigenous and isolated communities, which do not have access to medical help and lost their wages due to closed borders. He said: “It was an experience with a lot of lessons and information for us. The Development Hub helps to empower these communities with diverse things like legal counseling, workshops, equity workshops, psychological counseling for a better quality of life. It is an honor for me to be part of this project and it’s a matter of time to see, very tangible, the benefits and changes.”
One of the biggest obstacles for Farid during the projects the COVID-19 outbreak, which made impossible for the whole team to visit Maya communities. However, he added that we all can make a change by donating to the Development Hub or becoming ICDO’s volunteers: “We should believe in the contribution we can have in society and in the reality of others. Sometimes we think that there is nothing we can do, but we should start believing that our actions have an impact, that our actions matter and that we can change at least one person’s reality.”
During the Fair, ICDO has also introduced its current members and former interns from different parts of the world and different cultures, who contribute a lot to ICDO’s main mission. Toni Pehar, the CFO, Isidora Colic, Project and Media Communications Manager and former Administrative Assistant, Viktoria Strejc shared valuable insights and experiences . They all agreed that it is very important to raise awareness, address the challenges of underrepresented communities and continue working on our projects to make a real change. Viktoria said: “what ICDO taught me, and specially the team I work with in Bosnia and Herzegovina, it’s that go to the world with and open mind and an open heart and people will surprise you and it’s incredible how much you can learn by just engaging with people from different cultures.”
The Fair was concluded by discussing the ways to contribute to ICDO’s mission. You can help us to share the message, donate to the Development Hub and funds, become a volunteer or a team member. You can visit our website and find out more about open internship positions, ongoing projects, how to get involved and make a real change. “We invite you all to also support us to continue working on our projects such as The Maya Voice Development Hub, which is transforming the lives of 500 women and to basically empower them.”, concluded Josipa Palac.