Relief, Development and Podcast is a podcast from MCC. Every episode features a story from the field and a conversation with a special guest, we want to highlight the people and programs making an impact all around the world. Together we’ll hear stories about relief, development and peace, and how your support for MCC helps to meet basic human needs and work for peace and justice.
Season 4, episode 5: A conversation with Malcolm Gladwell (March 16, 2023)
We’re taking a break from the usual programming to bring you an episode from our sibling podcast Undercurrents, produced by MCC Ontario and hosted by the very wonderful Ken Ogasawara.
In this episode, Ken speaks with best-selling author, public speaker and podcaster Malcolm Gladwell. They cover a lot of ground—from pacifism to soccer, climate change and more. This episode has been edited for length.
Season 4, episode 4: MCC responds to earthquakes in Syria / Petra Antoun (February 24, 2023)
“There [will] always be hope somewhere but now, everything is destroyed. There are still areas that were not affected directly, not destroyed but the people there are destroyed from inside.”
Today on the show, an update from MCC staff Petra Antoun in Syria on the aftermath of the earthquakes and how MCC is responding.
Season 4, episode 3: Men Can Cook / Zimbabwe (February 16, 2023)
In this episode we bring you to the Mwenezi district of Zimbabwe to a program that cooks up more than just food...they’re also...stirring up the patriarchy!
A story of what happened when Zimbabweans from MCC’s local partner SCORE Against Poverty came together to create a program that addresses gender inequities in their community.
The program is called Men Can Cook!
Season 4, episode 2: Audio diaries from Ukraine / Emily Loewen (January 26, 2023)
In this bonus episode, on-the-ground interview clips and audio diaries from Emily Loewen's recent trip to Ukraine. Emily is the head producer of this podcast and MCC Canada’s marketing and communications manager.
Season 4, episode 1: Peace pigs / With Mary Ilero and Sam Eibu (January 19, 2023)
A gift of a pig can bring peace in a household, but how? Today on the podcast we speak with Mary Ilero, a recipient of a pig from MCC’s partner in rural Uganda. Many MCC supporters have participated in Christmas giving this past year and so we wanted to share Mary's story so you can see the impact a small gift can have. We hear first-hand from Mary how a pig and the support of an MCC partner can make a difference. Read more about Mary's story here.
Season 3, episode 16: Giving gifts of music / Girl Named Tom (December 8, 2022)
Today on the show, we feature an interview with Girl Named Tom – a sibling music group with Mennonite roots and an affinity for MCC – who won “The Voice,” a national U.S. singing competition in December 2021. Shortly afterward, their father died from cancer. They carry his love with them as they perform in large venues across the country. Their music is a gift, full of exquisite harmonies and infused with love, honesty and joy. Watch Girl Named Tom pick gifts from MCC's Christmas Giving guide.
Shop MCC Christmas Giving at mcc.org/christmas
Season 3, episode 15: Preventing and responding to abuse in the church / Jaymie Friesen and Val Hiebert (November 17, 2022)
Today on the show, we're talking about a difficult, but important topic. Abuse. And more specifically, abuse in the church community.
We'll explore how church culture can sometimes enable abuse, how to prevent it and how to best respond when it happens.
Our guests are Jaymie Friesen and Val Hiebert, Abuse Response and Prevention coordinators for MCC in Manitoba.
This episode deals with sensitive subject matter. We talk about abuse, including sexual abuse, and misuses of power. While no graphic details are included, take care while listening. And if you want to skip this one, that’s okay too.
Season 3, episode 14: Making decisions day by day / Checking in with partner in Ukraine (October 21, 2022)
The latest shelling on cities across Ukraine has killed and injured dozens of people and led to widespread damage to civilian areas.
Many MCC supporters have a soft spot, maybe even a personal connection, to Ukraine. Maybe you’re watching closely and wondering about the safety of MCC staff and partners in the area. We are too.
Today on the show, we check in with one of MCC's partners, Max. We’re only using his first name for security reasons.
Season 3, episode 13: Empowering refugee children through education / Daniel Ameny in Uganda (September 15, 2022)
Daniel Ameny arrived in Uganda as a refugee from DRC when he was only ten years old. Today he is 35 and helping other refugee children in the country get an education, through the local MCC partner organization that he helped found.
"Education is my only hope, was my only hope to change my life," he says. In this episode, we bring you Daniel's story.
Season 3, episode 12: Wisdom within Indigenous roots / MCC staff Ricardo Salinas in Guatemala (August 25, 2022)
Much of the farming industry across the Americas has been industrialized over the course of colonization. Storyteller Ricardo Salinas in Guatemala is learning how Indigenous farming methods are making a comeback in the San Marcos community to help combat the effects of climate change. He says sharing the stories of the people who are using these communal practices is essential and shows the value of ancestral methods.
Season 3, episode 11: Emergency supplies arrive in Ukraine / MCC staff Nadiya* (August 4, 2022)
It’s been over five months since the Russian military invaded Ukraine and, because of the war, supply chains in-country have been disrupted. Many essential items are difficult to find.
Recently, a shipment of emergency supplies sent from the United States and Canada arrived in Ukraine and are being distributed to the people who need it most.
Today on the show, MCC staff Nadiya shares an update on MCC's response in Ukraine and answers some frequently asked questions about the recent supply shipment.
*Last name not shared for security reasons
Season 3, episode 10: The hunger crisis / Andy Harrington from CFGB (July 6, 2022)
Right now, around the world hundreds of millions of people go to bed hungry. 50 million have exhausted all options and are teetering on the edge of famine. That’s up from 27 million in 2019 before the pandemic began. A substantial increase.
Today on the show, we’re bringing you a bonus episode about the hunger crisis. Our guest is Andy Harrington, Executive Director of Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFGB).
Season 3, episode 9: Imagining better futures / Sibonokuhle Ncube on climate change and faith (June 16, 2022)
Dr. Sibonokuhle Ncube says climate change chose her since she learned as a child that people in her rural village in Zimbabwe suffered from drought and hunger. But today she doesn't focus on all that is broken and what to fear, she focuses her energy on working towards a better future. You're going to want to listen to this one...
Season 3, episode 8: Pressure on top of pressure in Haiti / Conversation with Rony and Naomi, MCC staff in Haiti (May 19, 2022)
In this episode, we talk with Rony Janvier, MCC Haiti rep, and Naomi Docilait, program director, about the current unpredictability in Haiti. Gang violence, natural disasters and climate change are all factors making life difficult for a vulnerable population.
Season 3, episode 7: "No road is safe": Asiyah and Desalegn on the civil war in Ethiopia (April 21, 2022)
While it has barely made the news, the northern part of Ethiopia has entered its 17th month of civil war. In this episode we hear from two Ethiopians––Asiyah Mohammed, a pastoralist, who fled the Afar region after a shell landed near her home and Desalegn Abebe Ejo, a pastor from Addis Ababa who recently travelled to the conflict zones to supply emergency aid.
Season 3, episode 6: "I understood that we are refugees now" / Anna from Ukraine (March 28, 2022)
For years Anna (full name not used for security reasons), an MCC staff person, supported people who were displaced from the fighting in eastern Ukraine. Now she is one of those people and, in this bonus episode, she shares a bit of what it was like to quickly pack up and leave her home behind.
Season 3, episode 5: The state of refugee sponsorship / Interview with Kaylee Perez (March 17, 2022)
In this episode, we're talking about refugee sponsorship with Kaylee Perez, MCC Canada's migration and resettlement associate. She talks about how relationships between people from different cultural backgrounds can be powerfully transformative. She also shares what the work of sponsorship has been like during the pandemic, and how the Canadian government's plans for Ukrainian refugees are a departure from the norm.
Season 3, episode 4: "I couldn't believe it:" An update from Ukraine with partner Maxym Oliferovski (March 1, 2022)
In this bonus episode, we get an update from Maxym Oliferovski, program director for an MCC partner in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine. He and his wife decided to stay to help distribute emergency supplies and help other people evacuate. At the time of recording, they were less than 62 miles from the front lines of the conflict, with things changing hour by hour.
Season 3, episode 3: Leaving Afghanistan / Stories by Sadia and Najia (February 24, 2022)
In this episode of “Relief, Development and Podcast,” we’re bringing you the stories of Sadia and Najia—two people from Afghanistan who left their homes and now live in Canada. Full names were not used for security reasons.
Season 3, episode 2: Migration and Family: A personal story from Lynette Madrigal (February 10, 2022)
In this bonus episode, Lynette tells us her story of growing up with an undocumented parent, and how that experience of having a migrant narrative has shaped her path. Serving alongside migrants today in Guatemala, she finds compassion through listening to people's stories and finds it expands her view of what it means to be a migrant.
Season 3, episode 1: Rethinking migration / Interview with Saulo Padilla (immigration education coordinator) (January 20, 2022)
In this episode, we're thinking critically about the human experience of migration. What causes people to leave their home? Why can some people move freely across borders, while others are criminalized for it? Saulo Padilla, MCC's immigration education coordinator, shares his own experience with family separation and migration and reflects on how this impacts the work he does today.
Season 2, episode 10: Holiday food traditions around the world (December 16, 2021)
For this special Christmas episode, we hear stories from members of the MCC global community about how they fill their bellies and nourish their spirits during this season.
Featuring Connex Kalinde with a story of hot Coca-Cola in Malawi, Gabriella Hernandez on how the nativity scene comes to life at a migrant centre in Mexico City, Rony Janvier with the story of freedom soup in Haiti and Ikhlas Siriani with the story of an Arabic Christmas tradition bringing Palestinian Christians and Muslims together.
Season 2, episode 9: Increasing local food security in India / guest MCC project officer Pabitra Paramanya (November 18, 2021)
In this episode, we look at food insecurity in India and how MCC partners are working alongside rural farmers to increase access to food for their families. We talk to MCC project officer Pabitra Paramanya about this work, and how partners help farmers try new methods and increase their yields. We also hear a story from Manki Kashyap, a participant whose family gained food security as a result of these projects.
Season 2, episode 8: Disaster response to Haiti earthquake 2021 / Guests MCC staff Paul Shetler Fast and Muriel Chaperon (September 20, 2021)
In this episode we look at the recent earthquake in Haiti, hearing about the vast and diverse needs in the affected communities.
We talk to global health coordinator Paul Shetler Fast about the first distribution of relief and look at what a long term response might look like. We also talk to MCC staff Muriel Chaporon about the importance of getting relief to women as well as responding to the trauma that people have experienced.
Season 2, episode 7: Peace and development in Colombia / guest MCC project coordinator Sara Melgarejo (August 19, 2021)
In this episode, we’re talking about the importance of integrating peace and development in Colombia, a place with a long history of armed conflict.
Featuring a story from Dionisio Alarcón about how he uses storytelling to help victims of violence process their trauma. Host Scott interviews Sara Melgarejo, an MCC staff person who has a front row seat to our peacebuilding work in the region.
Season 2, episode 6: Honouring treaties as peacebuilding / guest elder Adrian Jacobs (July 16, 2021)
In this episode, we explore how honouring treaties with Indigenous peoples is connected to peacebuilding. We feature the story of the Two Row Wampum belt and guest Adrian Jacobs, who is Ganosono of the Turtle Clan, Cayuga Nation of the Six Nations Haudenosaunee Confederacy. He joins us to talk about how his people are fighting for the land that is rightfully theirs.
Season 2, episode 5: Relationship building in Palestine and Israel / guests learning tour participants Mike and Linda Shantz (June 17, 2021)
Amal Nassar, a Palestinian woman from Tent of Nations in the West Bank, is committed to peace with neighboring settlements even as they face constant pressure on her family to leave their land.
Mike and Linda Shantz join host Scott Campbell to talk about their experience on an MCC learning tour to Palestine and Israel in 2019 and explore how relationship building is connected to peacebuilding.
Season 2, episode 4: Peace clubs / guest peace coordinator Issa Ebombolo (May 20, 2021)
While in prison in Zambia, Zebron Mwale found his attitude around reconciliation radically transformed after joining a peace club.
Issa Ebombolo joins host Scott Campbell to talk about the creation of peace clubs and bringing them to the Zambian correctional facilities as well as his own personal journey to becoming a peace builder.
Season 2, episode 3: COVID-19 at the border / guest border and migration coordinator Katherine Smith (April 22, 2021)
Season 2, episode 2: Gender and COVID-19/ guest humanitarian response coordinator Annie Loewen (March 18, 2021)
Season 2, episode 1: (Nearly) a year into the COVID-19 pandemic / guest health coordinator Paul Shetler Fast (Feb 22, 2021)
Season 1, episode 8: O what a Christmas / guest The Daily Bonnet's Andrew Unger (December 16, 2020)
Christmas is just around the corner and this episode is our gift to you. A reprieve from this year.
Today on the show, an interview with Andrew Unger from the Daily Bonnet. A satirical rundown performed by comedian Jane Testar.
A song about the MCC Christmas Giving guide performed by The WhizBang Shufflers. Plus, a Christmas story from the MCC archives.
Season 1, episode 7: Demining in Laos / guest peacebuilder Gopar Tapkida (November 25, 2020)
In this episode of the show, we're talking about peace. MCC alumni Titus Peachey, shares how a shattered garden hoe motivates him and his wife Linda to advocate for Laos villages still being injured and killed by cluster bombs forty years after the Vietnam war.
Gopar Tapkida, MCC rep in Zimbabwe, joins host Scott Campbell to talk about his journey to becoming a peacebuilder.
Plus, we'll hear from Lizette Miranda, MCC Area Director for Central America and Haiti about singing through a disaster.
Season 1, episode 6: 100 years of MCC / guest historian Esther Epp-Tiessen (October 28, 2020)
It's MCC's 100th birthday! Listen in for the story of how MCC was formed and the story of Anna Janzen Funk, one of the women who ran MCC's first relief kitchen. Featuring Esther Epp-Thiesen who *literally* wrote the book on the history of MCC Canada.
Season 1, episode 5: Loaves and fishes story in Colombia / guest Hutterite Elaine Hofer (September 23, 2020)
This episode takes a deep dive into what community means, featuring a "loaves and fishes" story from an MCC partner in Colombia, an interview with Elaine Hofer, a Hutterite woman, and a story about the "dragon" of Addis Ababa.
Season 1, episode 4: A short break and update (August 19, 2020)
Season 1, episode 3: Laughing through fear in Syria / guest comedian Matt Falk (July 22, 2020)
On this episode of the show, Rima (full name not used for security reasons), who works for an MCC partner in Syria, shares about how she and her colleagues found joy amidst danger when a bomb fell nearby during a craft workshop.
Comedian Matt Falk joins host Scott Campbell to talk about how comedy can shift culture and be used as a tool for social change.
MCC worker Annalee Giesbrecht ends the episode with the story about a mysterious nightly serenader in Mexico City.
Season 1, episode 2: COVID-19 response in DR Congo / guest Cindy Klassen (June 24, 2020)
Mulanda Jimmy Juma shares about how his experience as a displaced person helps inform his work for MCC today in the Democratic Republic of Congo and how our partners there are responding to COVID-19 in camps for displaced people.
Olympian Cindy Klassen joins host Scott Campbell to talk about her Olympic career, her life today and how she views achievement and success.
MCC worker Alex Azar in Jordan ends the episode with the story of how his children filled the streets of Amman with song during quarantine.
Season 1, episode 1: Lessons from cholera in Haiti / guest Cate Friesen (May 19, 2020)
MCC staff Annalee Giesbrecht and Paul Fast share the story of how, several years ago, MCC partners contributed to the elimination of cholera cases in two remote communities in Haiti. The two talk about how these lessons can be applied to a COVID-19 response.
Professional storyteller Cate Friesen joins host Scott Campbell to talk about her work, some of the influential people she's met along the way, and how holding a human brain shaped the way she understands storytelling.
MCC worker Wendy Vado in Nicaragua ends the episode with her story of a "magic hammock."