60 million girls is a Montreal-based public foundation dedicated to girls’ education in developing countries. Wanda Bedard, 60 million girls’ founder and president, established the charity in 2006 to address a glaring need: 60 million primary-aged girls around the world were out of school, more than half the global total at the time.
Today, the numbers are different, and many more children are in school due to the impetus created by the Millennium Development Goals (2000-2015), but the fact remains that many children lack access to a quality education and, particularly in times of crisis, girls are often the first to be left behind.
Wanda Bedard and a group of like-minded, talented, creative and energetic people are working to address this imbalance. We strongly believe in the need to support education for all children, regardless of gender, wealth, or place of birth, to create a more just and balanced world.
Our objective is to support at least two major education-related projects in developing countries every year. Our aim is to reduce gender disparity in school enrolment by ensuring at least half of the students impacted by each project are girls. The Foundation also places huge importance on finding innovative solutions to the problem of out-of-school children.
To achieve our goal of gender equality in educational opportunities, we partner with Canadian charities that have a proven and sustainable track record. Over the last ten years, we have worked with the Stephen Lewis Foundation, CAUSE Canada, We Charity (Free The Children), World University Services of Canada (WUSC), Save the Children, War Child Canada, Change for Children, Handicap International, CARE Canada, ACCESO International, UNICEF Canada, Right To Play and AMREF Canada.
60 million girls is a volunteer-based organization with no paid staff or office space, and we gratefully benefit from free services offered by many professionals and companies. This helps us keep administrative costs at an absolute minimum. In fact, 99% of our funds go directly to the children we support.
The Foundation’s volunteers come from different walks of life, professions and age groups. Yet, we all share a strong commitment to contributing to the world as best we can by supporting the power of education.