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Discover Innovative Communities.Org Foundation, a charity dedicated to advancing education and alleviating poverty globally.


  • Registered Canadian Charity BN/Registration Number: 871126249RR0001

    ICO WORLDIssue 1

  • Hello from John Mitchell, Chair of the Board: We get things done ICO style The Communications Centre has been work-ing very hard over the last few months to re-focus and energize our communications capabilities. The ICO World Magazine team has worked with a very steep learning curve to understand the operations of ICO to produce our first edition. Sometimes every day appears to be a historic day for us in ICO, as the pace of our growth and development enables us to become more capable. In less than five years we have grown from two active people to over 650 Friends and close to 100 volunteer Team Members with operations in five countries. We are the first in the world, as far as we know, publishing our account balances live; we guar-antee that 100% of donations go to the local people we have the privilege of befriend-ing and serving. Not a penny from donations goes to overhead or administration. Over the last year, more than 60 new volunteer Team Members have joined us. Some weeks 5-7 people apply to volunteer, not to fold envelopes, but to undertake-- with passion and commitment-- a specialist, profes-sional, or managerial role. I want to thank the 650 Friends of ICO for your incredible work, whether it is support-ing us, sending a cheque, working behind the scenes in accounts and admin, writing an article, making sure our building is main-tained to the highest standards, or working with our Friends in the field in Guatemala, Colombia, Uganda and Rwanda--all the count-less activities that make ICO what it is today. Thank You! John

    WELCOMEIssue 1

    Welcome to the ICO Friends Centre!

    ICO has 650 Friends of the Foundation, of which 100 are volunteer Team Members. So what do ICO Friends do and who are they? Friends support the Foundation in three ways: they support the ICO objectives and are the foundation of our network; they contribute financially to initiatives in Guatemala, Colombia, Uganda, Rwanda and Canada; and they share their passion and time as Team Members in areas such as administration, field support, development, communications, human resources, research and property management. ICO also has a Friends Centre, which provides support services to our ICO Friends. These services include: 1. Welcoming new people into ICO, providing the information and connections to our networks and services.2. World Desks that connects ICO Friends and Operations 24/7 around the World. Some of those tools include social media to build and enhance relationships Skype, Facebook, Google Chat, and the ICO Video-Conferencing System.3. The Friends Centre is also working on a preferred part-nerships program, which will enable all ICO Friends to receive discounts or enhanced services from Accent Inns, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Menno Travel and Desjardins (travel insurance) when they use their ICO Friends Card. Additional partners will be added and the ICO Friends Card will be distributed over the next few months.

  • BETWEEN FRIENDSAbove all we are friends...

    Have anything to share? An event? A fundraiser? A free couch? A photograph? Email communications@innovativecommunities.org

    Community News

    The Community Initiatives Centre organized a workshop in May for all ICO team members involved in community initiatives, to create an information-sharing network to develop clarity about effective teamwork within the ICO structure. They also held a fundraising workshop.

    Hello Friends,

    Whether youve been a friend of the foundation for a short time or a long time, we are grateful to have you sharing your time, energy, and thoughts with us. As ICO is growing daily, with new people and communities, we are developing more and more opportunities for our Friends, like you.

    Wed love to have you, your family, and your friends join our family and be apart of our thriving community!

    So, dont delay, join ICO today, and be part of an amazing organization that is focused to making a significant difference in our world, while also developing awesome friendships, and having fun. Membership is free and easy to do, just follow the link below, click Join ICO, on the top menu bar, fill in some easy info, and youre all set!


    As Facilitator Ops for the Friends Centre I am always available to answer questions or listen to any suggestions you may have, with regard to ICO initiatives or events, or improvement in our ser-vices, so please feel free to contact me via email at jeffvos@innovativecommunities.com

    In friendship,

    Jeff VosFacilitator OperationsFriends Centre

  • Welcome to ICOs Rwanda initiative!

    The project in Rwanda is the brainchild of BC resident John Jordan, who was inspired by a lo-cal newspaper article about a Canadian grad student from Montreal. The student was a native of Rwan-da-- a nation where hundreds of widows and orphans struggle daily to attain the basic necessities of life. Captivated by the desperate circumstances detailed in the narrative, John decided to visit the impoverished nation. In April of 2009, he packed his bags and headed to the village Kibogora, in West-ern Rwanda. Now, just a year later, John and his team have two initiatives in Rwanda. The first ICO pro-gram provides educational support to the commu-nitys unstable education system, giving orphans the opportunity to attend school. The initiative provides children with access to quality education, school supplies, and safe homes. Advancing education in Rwanda is integral, as it encourages growth and gives children the opportunity to achieve their dreams. It also takes orphans off the streets and helps them become high-functioning members of their community. The second Rwanda initiative focuses on ru-ral women who have been widowed and are left with no support system to help raise their children, and no way to make money for lifes necessities. ICOs Sustainable Household System provides these women with necessities such as: methods of collecting drinkable water, a secure tarp for their home, anti-malarial bed netting, a blanket and cooking pot and more. Johns initiative is also working on construct-ing over 100 sustainable homes. This project teaches children lifelong construction skills and educates them about sustainability.

    John returned from Rwanda last month, and we are proud to announce the team has created 38 sustainable homes thus far. During his recent visit to Rwanda, John documented the teams sustainable household development, student training, and community development projects. Johns accomplishments in Rwanda are eye-opening. He is also establishing a rabbit breed-ing facility. The revenue from the project allows students to pay for their school fees. John has also been equipping homes with fuel-efficient stoves, and helping students create seed nurseries. The Rwanda initiative is an outstanding example of the power of friendship and teamwork!

    100% of Donatations go to Initiavtives. Accounts are 100% Transparent. Dontate now at www.innovativecommunities.org.

    ICO RWANDAUpdates from the ground

  • Welcome to ICOs Uganda initiative!

    In Uganda, ICO is focused on finding innovative ways to engage chil-dren and youth in educational opportu-nities,incorporating music, dance, and art. The initiative targets mainly marginal-ized groups-- children of HIV and AIDS parents, and orphans. An example of how ICO engages these children and youth is through the Niteo Resource Centre, a dance and arts facility. Surrounded by mirrors, and equiped with 16 yoga mats, a CD player, and speakers, the Niteo Centre is a safe place for youth to practice traditional Ugandan dance, breakdance, Capoeira, and yoga. Some of the dance classes are instructed by professional groups like the Ndere Dance Troupe and the Break-dance Project Uganda. Each Saturday youth from Ugandas biggest slum, Kisenyi, come together with youth living around the Niteo Resource Centre for a full day of traditional dancing and music training. Here they are trained by a local group known as the Bitone Childrens Home and Troupe. Vocal training is also pro-vided by Ugandas top recording studio, Dreamstudio. The youth from the streets of the Kisenyi slums stay in transition homes, where theyre invited to free dance lessons at the Niteo Resource Centre.

    ICO UGANDAUpdates from the ground

    100% of Donatations go to Initiavtives. Accounts are 100% Transparent. Dontate now at www.innovativecommunities.org.

  • Welcome to ICOs Guatemalainitiative!

    ICO has been working with three communities from the Lake Atitln area in the Guatemalan highlands. The initiative uses a simple grassroots approach; meeting with locals (families, teachers, health clinic work-ers), and structuring projects encompassing their feedback. ICOs work focuses mainly on improving health, education, and offering general support to those in need. Traditionally, Mayans cook over un-ventilated open hearths (indoors), which cause burns, respiratory and eye problems. Since 2007, ICO has been busy installing The ONIL Stove in the San Antonio Palop community. Developed in Guatemala, this stove is vented, smoke-free and uses 70% less wood. Locals health has improved dramatically since the arrival of the ONIL. Other ICO initiatives in San Antonio provide computers for schools, medical equip-ment, nutritional supplements, water purifica-tion systems, support programs for widows, environmental training, improving literacy and more. In Santa Catarina Palop, ICO has installed ONIL Stoves, and provided water filters to those at risk of catching water-bourn diseases; such as pregnant women and diabet-ics. Weve also been providing schoo