Christian Girard

Scholars
2005
Mentor(s): 
Current affiliation:
Assistant Professor, Development and Urban Studies, Asian University for Women, Chittagong, Bangladesh
Localisation:

Assistant Professor, Development and Urban Studies, Asian University for Women, Chittagong, Bangladesh

As an acknowledgement of my academic and community commitment, the Trudeau Scholarship gave me the resources and support I needed to be able to dedicate myself fully to the research and issues that motivate me. With the Foundation’s support, I was able to get out into the field several times and adapt my research and questions to the realities I found there. The Foundation staff members have been more than generous with their time, giving me sincere, ongoing support throughout my doctoral work, and always demonstrating understanding and willingness to work with me as my projects and needs develop and change. Their confidence and commitment have been a never-ending source of encouragement over the years. I have been unbelievably fortunate to be able to count on this kind of support as I pursue this fascinating adventure.

The Trudeau Scholarship is also exceptional and unique because it is enriched by the community’s energetic enthusiasm to be dynamic and committed researchers and players, demonstrating true openness and an honest desire to help build a better world. The Trudeau community is an extraordinary network, and the Foundation’s activities provide an inspiring platform for discussing and debating the critical issues of today and tomorrow. This experience has given me a better grasp of the vast scope of social sciences and humanities research and of the strategic role it has to play in connection with different issues and public policy areas. The multi-disciplinary discussions are rich with questioning and reflection, and they clearly nurture the members’ projects, research and actions. One thing is certain: this experience has encouraged me to remain devoted and engaged in a world where the contribution of every individual can make a difference.

Biography

With a B.B.A. in finance and international management and a master’s degree in international studies, Christian Girard is currently completing his Ph.D. in urban planning at the Université de Montréal. His research interests include development and poverty, micro-finance and access to financial services, affordable housing and land ownership, as well as the dynamics of aid and cooperation, development theories, and urban management in developing countries. To this end, he has contributed to the Université de Montréal Institut d’urbanisme’s urban management in developing countries graduate program, as a lecturer and guest speaker during his doctoral studies. Forces Avenir and United Way have given him awards for his commitment to youth both at home and abroad, and he is a devoted Scout who has participated in the scouting movement since his boyhood. He has been a volunteer coordinator and trainer for the Scouts of Metropolitan Montreal for over ten years. With the group of rover scouts that he founded, he helped launch education projects in the slums of Lima, Peru, in partnership with a local NGO called the Asociación Gabriela Mistral. These projects have fed his passion for international social engagement and encouraged him to continue his efforts to understand the issues facing the poor in developing countries, in order to help the local people participate in and contribute to the development process. His current doctoral work examines both the role of the housing asset as a means to reduce the vulnerability of poor households as well as access to funding among the poor in Yaoundé, Cameroon.