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John Connolly

John Connolly

What is your role or relationship with CESO?
Volunteer Advisor

How long have you been working or volunteering with CESO?

Five years

What motivates you to work or volunteer with CESO?

My family has a long history of contributing and giving back to the community. CESO gives me the opportunity to continue our family tradition, only on a worldwide scale.

What is your most remarkable experience or memory of CESO?

I was working in Honduras giving seminars to small groups of farmers and farming cooperatives on how to trade their products with Canada. This was a result of the recently enacted Free Trade Agreement between the two countries, and my visit culminated in a final presentation to a large audience at Agromercado, an international agricultural trade show. A section of my presentation was an explanation and visual presentation about Canada. My audiences for the two week assignment were people from farming communities who were low on the socioeconomic scale. These people faced political unrest, economic hardship, infrastructure problems and oppression every day. As I was presenting at the final seminar and talking about the beauty and diversity of our country, I could see the expressions of disbelief of the people in the audience. I had one of those mini-epiphanies one has in life. It hit me heavy – I was so, so fortunate to be a Canadian and to live our country. Intellectually, I had understood that all my life, but in the context of Honduras and its people, it was emotionally overwhelming. I was proud to be a Canadian in its truest sense and to be able to help others.

Economic development is important because…
There is no other way to change people’s lives for the better.

What advice would you give other Volunteer Advisors?

No matter what you do, you are making change, creating prosperity and fostering hope. Bask in that sunshine. 1-800-268-9052
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CESO thanks and gratefully acknowledges the financial support of Global Affairs Canada, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, and our private-sector supporters.
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