RedR Canada gives award to General Romeo Dallaire
July 14, 2005
By Canadian Consulting Engineer
Supporters of RedR Canada sweltered in a hot July sun to listen to General Romeo Dallaire (Ret.) in Toronto on Sund...
Supporters of RedR Canada sweltered in a hot July sun to listen to General Romeo Dallaire (Ret.) in Toronto on Sunday afternoon.
General Dallaire is the recipient of this year’s RedR Canada Award of Meritorious Service in Humanitarian Aid. This year the award is sponsored by Hatch.The presentation was held at the University of Toronto’s Hart House. In the distance, by eerie coincidence given the General’s history, the beat of African drums could be heard drifting over the campus from an African cultural festival going on in Queen’s Park.
RedR stands for registered engineers for disaster relief. It is a relatively new organization that supports relief organizations by providing them with competent and experienced engineering personnel. Supported by the Association of Consulting Engineers of Canada and other national engineering organizations, RedR has helped to send Canadian engineers to recent emergencies in Afghanistan, Iraq and Liberia.
General Dallaire was in charge of U.N. peacekeeping forces during the Rwanda genocide of 1994 when ethnic hatred resulted in 800,000 people being tortured and hacked to death. Personally devastated by his experiences, he since wrote about them in a bestseller “Shake Hands with the Devil: the Failure of Humanity in Rwanda.” He has participated in documentaries about the genocide and campaigns against the inhumanities of war and racism.
During his acceptance speech, General Dallaire said that most recently he has been concentrating on the special problems of youth, and in particular the plight of child soldiers. He also said that in talking to the youth of Canada he finds that they do not feel Canada is fulfilling its role in the world. He said that we in Canada have acquired a responsibility to underprivileged nations and yet we look at international aid to them as a residual issue, when we should be moving it into a front-line effort.
However, Dallaire ended on an optimistic note and said that he believes that in 200 years the world will no longer have conflicts over its differences.
David Chalcroft, P.Eng., Chairman of RedR Canada, said “We are extremely pleased to present this special award to General Dallaire, for his exceptional and tireless efforts in calling attention to the inhuman disaster that beset Rwanda…. His efforts draw all-important attention to the enormous and daunting challenges faced by front-line agencies in responding to disasters around the world.”
For more details about working with RedR or to donate, see www.redr.ca