For Day 5 of the Giving Games, we are excited to pass the Compassion Torch from Nimo Patel’s Empty Hands Music to the International Institute for Child Rights Development (IICRD). Hereditary Chief Phil Lane Jr., Chairperson of Compassion Games International (CGI), and Jon Ramer, Founder of CGI, have had the blessed fortune to work with IICRD over the last 10 years.
The Purpose of IICRD is to “build respect for children’s inherent human dignity, nurture their sense of belonging, and reinforce justice at all levels through the implementation of strengths based approaches to child rights.”
IICRD brings child’s rights to life by utilizing the power of empathy combined with evidenced-based approaches to spark engaged action with youth. IICRD strives to deal with the most vulnerable young people in our society, and uses over 20 years of experience to work in the spaces between sectors, nourishing a vibrant network of innovators spanning more than 30 countries.
IICRD engages a small team of talented staff and associates around the world from their headquarters in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. It is their goal to enhance the capacity of individuals, organizations, governments and young people to transform systems to fulfill their rights as defined by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. To achieve this goal, IICRD empowers the full range of community members – from youth, parents, artists, Elders, social workers, educators, public servants, doctors, lawyers, academics, business people and social entrepreneurs – to not only help children live and survive, but to thrive.
Dr. Philip Cook, the founder and Executive Director of IICRD with a doctorate in cross-cultural psychology, is a pioneer in child right’s development, and leads the IICRD from the Centre of Global Studies at the University of Victoria (Canada). Partnerships with Indigenous people on Canada’s west coast and in Latin America were central to the IIRCD’s evolving niche in grounding child rights in cultural practices supporting children. This learning was highlighted in the “Caring for Indigenous Children” Conference and led to the creation of IICRD’s unique logo.
We are inspired by the dedication that embodies the work of the IICRD and Dr. Cook. We are honored to grant to them today the official title “Champion of Compassion” for their work to bring compassionate action to life with youth and indigenous communities around the world.