International Recycle Conference Meets Here
by Dawn Marks –
The Western Territory’s Adult Rehabilitation Centers Command (ARCC) recently hosted the Army’s fourth Annual International Recycling Conference, attended by 41 delegates from 19 countries.
Presentations focused on topics such as identifying world markets, eliminating the middleman, and starting new programs. Zonal conferences gave delegates an opportunity to discuss issues that are specific to their geographic region. The entire group also visited ARCC to learn about the new Call Center operations in the Western Territory and toured recycling operations at Chamlian Enterprises in Los Angeles and the Adult Rehabilitation Center in Anaheim.
Commissioner Verna Skinner, International Secretary for Resources, has helped organize the annual conferences. “People come with expectations as well as a willingness to share expertise. All are looking for insights into how to work most effectively in a very competitive market. The goal of the conference is to strengthen the finances of The Salvation Army, with an emphasis on building partnerships between the first and third world countries. If we can help the countries to maintain and sustain their own work, a lot of the purpose will have been achieved,” said Skinner.
IHQ Finance Secretary Colonel John Flett added, “Self Denial and World Services funding is not meeting the expenses needed to support the demand for resources needed in the developing counties. The Salvation Army has recognized that for many years recycling programs have been very helpful in financing our work. The conference allows us to share ideas and explore ways of making more efficient use of the resources given to The Salvation Army.”
Conference delegate Major Bo Brekke, the commanding officer in Bangladesh, said that with 50 percent unemployment, there is a tremendous need in this part of the world to create local jobs. By producing and exporting items such as greeting cards, wooden items and wrought iron furniture, Bangladesh has been able to generate income to help support The Salvation Army’s large outreach programs in the country.
Brekke said he has been able to initiate recycling projects, including an operation that makes blankets that are used in Salvation Army disaster services programs, through contacts that were made at the conference.