As a teacher and mother of three I believe in education. In my opinion, there is no doubt that the development of a society goes hand in hand with the education of its girls. When I attended the first 60 million girls conference, I was struck by the integrity, passion and optimism of that evening’s message. I knew that I had to become involved in the foundation since it shares so many of my values. With 60 million girls, I feel privileged to be part of something important: taking action for girls’ education. When we offer girls an education, we offer them a better future.
My interest in Fine Arts led me to work in graphic arts and presently as a project director in the field of continuing medical education. When Wanda Bedard proposed to put my graphic art talents to the support of girls’ education through the 60 million girls Foundation, I accepted right away. My determination to defend such a cause has today become a true passion for me.
I am privileged. I live in a society of abundance that has offered me a diversity of tools to realize my dreams, to improve myself as a person and to live comfortably and safely. Among those tools that have been invaluable to me is education. On top of having been the source of my development, my education has made me realize the situation that young girls live in who haven’t had the same chances as me. Help us improve the access to education for these girls, thereby providing them with the means to open a bit more the windows on their life and on the world.
I was already involved with two organizations which have for objective to educate children in developing countries. Joining 60 million girls was thus quite easy, especially since the foundation is aimed specifically at educating girls, a cause that is close to my heart as a woman and mother of a girl. I sincerely believe that education is key to breaking the poverty cycle for these children.
Upon retirement from my 20-year teaching career at the École Polytechnique, I began looking for some form of volunteer work. I wanted something that I would like enough to become truly committed. Then, I discovered 60 million girls and my decision was made. Indeed, the Foundation’s projects not only help girls to become educated, but they also show a respect for the different cultures of each community and take into account their specific needs to ensure that girls attend school. I am as excited now as I was on that first day and have also discovered a group of people who share my interest. We can accomplish much together.
After having worked as Vice President in our family business, I later chose to pursue my career with UNICEF. All those years as manager of various programs in the organization reflected a true social commitment on my part. Working with the 60 million girls Foundation fulfills my desire to pursue my participation in a better society.
We know that the fate of the planet is in our hands. The quality of life of those who come after us depends, from this point on, on our will, our creativity and the means which we will use, locally and internationally, as citizens, women and men, young and old, from the rich countries as well as from the poorer countries of the world. Women comprise half of the world. We can no longer do without their intelligence, their imagination and their talents. The basis for their contribution remains education, that of girls being a priority, too often left aside in the accession to knowledge, understanding and the power to effect change… This is why I have chosen to support the 60 million girls Foundation. We need you who believe in the potential of women.
Contributing some of my time and talents to help the 60 million girls Foundation puts my life into perspective, showing me that there’s more to life than what directly affects me. My mother, Wanda Bedard, opened my eyes to a whole new world and allowed me to participate in this adventure of spreading awareness of the importance of educating girls. These young women have the potential to develop their talents and contribute to a better tomorrow. Age, gender, culture, or any type of diversity adds to the power each of us has to help a cause we believe in. We have the wealth of knowledge to make a difference.
My interest in development, education and gender equality began as a political science student at Western University and was reinforced by my studies in International Affairs at Columbia University. I believe strongly in giving back as a volunteer and I am thrilled to be a part of the 60 million girls Foundation. Research unambiguously shows that educating children, especially girls, makes a significant difference in the lives of individuals, families and communities. I write the blog and manage the Foundation’s presence on Facebook, to spread the word about the importance of education for all children, including the world’s most vulnerable and marginalized, most often girls, refugees, the handicapped and children living in rural areas.
Upon graduating from university, many years ago, I spent some time in West Africa to test one of my dreams: to work in international development. What a shock! I realized that I wasn’t ready at that time to work in such a chaotic environment. My professional life turned towards the arts. Now, in retirement, I have come full circle to support development work in line with my feminist values. Being a volunteer with 60 million girls means helping give girls in developing countries the tools for their future.
A society that values education for all is more tolerant and open-minded. From my point of view, it’s the best way to promote peace in the world. In my teaching, I try to educate my students on the importance of a good education and I remind them that they are very fortunate to live in a country where all children – boys and girls – can go to school. It is a privilege to be part of the 60 million girls’ team of committed and dedicated volunteers.
Because I am keenly aware of the importance of education for children, I am thrilled to work with this dynamic group of women, who are committed to achieving the Foundation’s mission. It is a mission in which I believe deeply. Through its support of outstanding education projects that offer practical solutions, the Foundation provides girls the opportunity to improve their living conditions and the hope for a better future. I feel privileged to be able to contribute.
As I watch my children learn and thrive at school, I am aware what a privilege education. Every child should have the same opportunity. Education is the surest path to a bright future. Each individual should try to make a difference in this world. Being part of a foundation dedicated to supporting education projects for girls allows me to contribute, in my own way, to ensuring as many girls as possible have the same chance.
I was raised in Zambia. As such, I have witnessed firsthand the importance of education to help reduce poverty and improve people’s standard of living. I was lucky enough to be born into a family that believed in and supported my education, which today is the foundation of my life. Volunteering for 60 million girls is my way to give back, to support change for girls around the world, and to create opportunities for education that will transform lives and communities.
As a teacher, I believe in the value of education. I am convinced that educating girls provides long-term results on the health, well-being and prosperity of a family, a community and a country. With the 60 million girls Foundation, I feel involved and can contribute to improving our society. Our goal is to support programs that target girls’ education in the most impoverished countries. These help to reduce the inequalities between girls and boys. By working with the Foundation, I feel that I am part of the solution.
“When you educate a girl, you educate the whole family and the next generation.” This proverb is at the origin of my commitment in favour of education for vulnerable children. The 60 million girls Foundation is a truly heartfelt mission for me: specific projects, a passionate volunteer force and a strong conviction of making a difference in the lives of hundreds of young girls.