Lidra Remacka is an international consultant, trainer and researcher on Education in Emergencies, psychosocial support, inclusiveness, a high school teacher for Halton District School Board, Ontario, Canada, and a founding member of Sustainability Frontiers. She was previously (2001-3) a Research Assistant in Global Citizenship Education at the International Institute for Global Education, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (IIGE), University of Toronto, Canada, and (2002-5) principal on-the-ground consultant for the 2002-5 UNICEF CARK (Central Asian Republics and Kazakhstan) Global Education Initiative orchestrated from IIGE and, latterly, the University of Plymouth, United Kingdom. In 2015 she was on-the-ground team leader on disability amongst internally-displaced Muslim children living in camps or camp-like conditions in Rakhine State for Save the Children Myanmar and recently (2015-6) she has undertaken a multi-national (Senegal, Nigeria, Niger, Mali, Cameroon, Central African Republic and Mauritania) field consultancy on behalf of the UNICEF Western and Central Africa Regional Office (WCARO) Education in Emergencies initiative, aimed at embedding psychosocial support for children living in situations of emergency and crisis into classroom practice. She has conducted global, ecological and sustainability education workshops in Albania, Kosovo, the Central Asia countries, the Middle East, West and Central Africa and Canada. She is a citizen of both Canada and Albania and lives with her family in Ontario.
Lidra had developed a significant reputation for work in civic and citizenship education in Albania and Kosovo (1993-2000), including acting as team leader for the Albanian National Training and Resource Center USAID project, before moving to Canada where she became involved internationally in the fields of global, environmental and special education. Alongside her international consultancy work, she served as an educational assistant for students with special needs with the Halton School Board (2003-13) acquiring Ontario teaching certification and full special education certification.
The UNICEF CARK Initiative was directed at national curriculum and pedagogical reform towards the child-friendly school in the five countries of Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan), embedding civic, environmental, global, and human rights themes in the curriculum and helping teachers facilitate the new learning using interactive pedagogies. She has undertaken similar on-site child-friendly education consultancy work, often in conjunction with UNICEF, in Albania, Brazil, Canada, Iran, Kosovo, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia.
Lidra helped develop the national policy framework and procedures for in-service teacher and administrator training for the Institute of Educational Development and the Ministry of Education, Albania and Kosovo in 2007. She also developed a human rights education program for girls in Afghanistan funded by Right to Play, Toronto (2004).
More recently she has become known for her expertise in inclusiveness, special education and integrated curricula for students with special needs. She has been heavily involved as a consultant with World Vision Albania and Kosovo and the Ministries of Education in the two countries on curriculum for students with special needs with a view to preparing the way for the inclusion of special needs students in the classroom. Lidra undertook a situational analysis of special education in Albania in 2012 and is in process (2012-13) of developing a teacher manual with the working title I'm With You: Inclusive Classroom, Inclusive Society on inclusiveness in the national curriculum for World Vision and the Albanian Ministry of Education. The initiative has enabled Lidra to meet and work in partnership with teachers, administrators, parents and students with impairments on special needs issues. The manual will be the first comprehensive guide on special education and inclusiveness in the Albanian school system.
Lidra has facilitated conference and workshop sessions on civic, environmental and global education for various international organizations, government bodies and non-governmental organizations. In addition to UNICEF, she has acted as a consultant for the EU, USAID, Earth Rangers (Toronto), Save the Children Fund, World Vision, and Caritas (2000-2009). She has recently acted as a keynote speaker at the University of Tirana and other non-state universities promoting the inclusive school movement in Albania.
She was a nominee for the Ontario Premier’s Award of Teaching Excellence, 2008-2009, and also for the Halton District School Board Award of Excellence, 2009-10. She received a SOROS Foundation award in 2002 for her Masters’ dissertation, Global Citizenship Education in Albania.
She doesn’t own a car or a cell phone. All her life, she has walked, biked or used public transportation to commute. She loves to cook and to arrange flowers (Ikebana technique) and has recently taken up rock sculpture. She is a good swimmer and kayaker.