COLOMBIA, Jan. 27, 2012 /CNW/ - Representatives from the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), the Union of Employees of Rights and Democracy and the Colombian Indigenous National Organization (ONIC) as well as Suzanne Trépanier, spouse of Mr. Rémy M. Beauregard, former president of Rights and Democracy, are presently in Colombia to attend a ceremony recognizing the beginning of construction of the Rémy M. Beauregard School.
In January 2011, on the first anniversary of Rémy M. Beauregard's death, the PSAC and the Union of Employees of Rights and Democracy announced the creation of the Rémy M. Beauregard Fund to honour his legacy and continue his human rights work, which included a visit to Colombia two months before his sudden death due to a heart attack.
"PSAC is proud to have made this project possible through its Social Justice Fund and to pay tribute to the work done by Rémy M. Beauregard," said Christine Collins, member of the PSAC National Board of Directors, from Colombia.
The delegation is presently in the Valle de Cauca region of Colombia, where the school is being built, to establish connections in the aboriginal community made up of more than 40 internally displaced families. The funds collected so far have been donated and school supplies will be distributed to families during the visit.
The Rémy M. Beauregard School is emblematic of a cause Mr. Beauregard held dear, children's rights, including their right to education. Mr. Beauregard had worked in Uganda on the protection and social integration of child soldiers.
"Rémy was a man of principle who believed all human beings deserved to have their human rights respected. Rémy worked hard to make sure that children's rights were recognized. He always wanted to make a difference in the world. He's not alive to see this today, but I'm sure that, wherever he is, he's very happy that his efforts were not in vain," said his spouse, Suzanne Trépanier.
In Colombia, over 1.6 million of displaced people are children and youth under the age of 18. Forced internal displacement is a critical issue when it comes to the physical and cultural survival of aboriginal peoples.
"ONIC is very proud to contribute to this joint project. This school is a tangible, sustainable act of solidarity. It supports education of aboriginal children affected by the armed conflict and the displacement due to mega-projects forcing their families out of the territory," added ONIC's Luis Evelis.
For further information:
To arrange an interview with a member of the delegation, please contact Ariel Troster, PSAC Communications, 613-292-8363