Beyond the Headlines: Transgenus International

October 9, 2002

As you recall early this year we started a new monthly feature (Beyond the Headlines) that focuses on the good work of Alberta-based NGO’s (Non-Governmental Organizations) working on international development projects.

We have featured thus far the courageous & inspirational engagement of groups such as HumanServe International, Change for Children, Cause Canada, Rainbow of Hope for Children, RAFIKI Friends of Rwanda, Sombrilla Refugee Society, and Friends of Nepal Society.

In this issue of Beyond the Headlines our feature group is Transgenus International a group with a mandate is to work in partnership with aboriginal communities around the world. Again, we hope this special feature is informative and useful, and invite you to consider supporting the work of our NGO’s who’s tireless efforts for a better and more just world should be commended…

About Transgenus International

Our Mission is to assist indigenous peoples in alleviating poverty. We engage in a process of capacity building for/and networking with communities, groups and individuals, and are committed to creating opportunities for all peoples and organisations involved. Transgenus engages in capacity building for, and networking with, these communities, groups and individuals. It is committed to creating learning opportunities for all persons and organizations involved in this educational process.

Transgenus International was founded in 1994 through the particular initiative of Dr. Sybille Manneschmidt, a psychologist and anthropologist with an interest in tribal groups around the world; an interest which stemmed from, and is fed by, her extensive travels to, and work in, remote areas of the world. Through her observations and work with these groups, she became convinced that the best way to effect positive change was to answer the needs of these groups as expressed by them, and not as expressed by the state governments or foreign aid organizations.

The first project Transgenus undertook was to raise funds to support a locally based and locally operated health education program for the Kham Magar community in the mountains of Nepal. In 1997, Transgenus, working with the Canadian Peigan Indians (one of the Blackfoot Nations of the western Great Plains of North America), raised money which has gone to the purchase of a 40-foot-diameter tipi. It will be used by the community for ceremonial and cultural events. In 1999, Transgenus focused on a group of Mam-Maya people in the western highlands of Guatemala.

Transgenus worked with Pueblo Partisans, an NGO that supports the Mam-Maya in improving the community’s health, education, literacy, agriculture, and craft production. Transgenus’ 2001 project is to support a group of Samburu women in Kenya. The funds will help initiate a health education project, will assist with the establishment of a potable water system, and will support further activities with a women’s camel ownership program.

After reviewing possibilities, Transgenus chooses a project it wants to support by working directly with the community in question or with local development groups which work directly with the community. To fund each project, Transgenus publishes and sells a calendar based on original photographs of the community which will be the eventual recipient of the funds.

Calendars have been published in 1995 for the Kham Magar, in 1997 for the Blackfoot Peigan, and in 1999 for the Mam-Maya.Transgenus has also become engaged around informing Canadians of the human rights situation in Nepal (see:

Transgenus International
P.O. Box 2154
Pincher Creek, AB T0K 1W0
Fax. (403) 627-3915