By Wanda Bedard 60 million girls is supporting three wonderful projects in 2011 in Sierra Leone with Cause Canada, in Côte d’Ivoire with Save the Children and in the refugee camps of Kakuma (Kenya) and Dzaleka (Malawi) with WUSC. Each project targets specific needs in their communities to ensure girls have an equal chance at a quality basic education. These projects are well thought out and comprehensive in their reach. Our partners have been on the ground for many years and are well regarded by the communities and the countries they work in.To bring these projects to life for you, we invite you to our annual conference on Wednesday November 16th. Following our traditional cocktail and silent auction (how to shop with a glass of wine in your hand!!) we are very pleased to have Veronica Fynn as our keynote speaker.
We have all seen the footage and heard the unbelievable stories behind the influx of refugees to Dadaab in Kenya over the summer because of the devastating famine in the Horn of Africa. Dadaab is a camp that was put in place to shelter and take in some 90,000 displaced people and that now has close to 400,000 as thousands of new refugees arrive daily.
When 60 million girls first supported the remedial education project for primary school girls in Dadaab and Kakuma in 2008 with WUSC, we just started to understand the difficulty and challenge that refugees face in the camps. Not only do these communities leave all their possessions behind, life in the camps is difficult, long and often without hope. In many cases, refugees are in the camps for 10-20 years. These temporary shelters often become the only home a generation of children will ever know.
Veronica Fynn will share her experience and insight of her years in a refugee camp in Ghana after her and her family fled Liberia, her home, during the war. As a teenager in the camp, Veronica had the profound conviction that education was the only way out for her. She earned a WUSC scholarship in 2001 to study at UBC. She later completed a law degree at York University and is presently doing her doctoral thesis on gender-based violence in post-war rural Liberia.
Veronica will bring us into the reality of life as a refugee and why education, especially for girls and women, becomes the ultimate hope for a better and safer life.
We hope you can join us to learn more and understand just how your generosity can make a life changing difference for girls and women around the world. Please mark Wednesday November 16th on your calendar. To purchase tickets, please click here.
We look forward to seeing you!
By Paula GallagherUnfortunately, our speaker’s evening with Mr. Nigel Fisher, the United Nations Deputy Special Representative for Haiti, scheduled for August, was postponed due to a formidable conflict…summer holidays!! Happily, Mr. Fisher has indicated he will reschedule when he is next in town.60 million girls has been invited to participate in an event scheduled for October 15, 2011, at the University Women’s Club of Vancouver. The event is being organized by the Status of Women Committee. We will be making a presentation as well as running an information table. The event is open to the public. Two more speaker events are in the works. We are in discussion for a speaker for November. We will make an announcement once confirmed.
Ms. Stephanie Nolen, the Southeast Asia correspondent for the Globe and Mail, humanitarian, and author of the acclaimed non-fiction book, 28 Stories, will be our speaker for a date to be set in December or January. Ms. Nolen, a Canadian living in New Delhi, will be making a scheduled stop in Vancouver, and has accepted our invitation to spend an evening with the 60 million girls Foundation. More information on the date, venue and tickets will be forthcoming.
Sales of our 60 million girls $25 gift cards are continuing. They are the perfect gift for Christmas and birthdays! Your gift hunt is shortened, the recipient is delighted, and you’ve helped provide a longed-for education for a young girl.
Lastly, but certainly not of least importance, we are working on scheduling some school and college presentations for the fall and winter sessions.
If anyone has any questions or comments for the 60 million girls Foundation – Vancouver team, please send us an email at email@example.com.
By Ariane ÉmondKenyan Wangari Maathai worked relentlessly to ‘’heal the earth’’ as she called it. The ovarian cancer to which she succumbed on September 25th, in Nairobi, Kenya, has saddened the world, most particularly women and environmentalists. Her death, at age 71, undoubtedly also caused tears to fall for all those who believe in the immense power of a determined and insightful person who chooses to give their life for the common good. It’s impossible for me to not also think of the young Kenyan girls – and their families – whom 60 million girls has supported in the past 5 years and who are in mourning today of this inspirational and unique woman.Wangari Maathai’s mobilization for environmental sustainability and women’s rights earned her international recognition and the support of her fellow citizens. The title of her 2006 autobiography is eloquent, Unbowed: A Memoir. As the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004, she was a visionary who enabled thousands of African women to bring their knowledge and their determination to the common cause of reforestation, one tree at a time. Her legacy is the necessary continuation of the defense of biodiversity, a battle that she was able to bring about all the while heightening the value of women in society.
She was married to a politician who later divorced her, leaving her to raise their three children alone, because she was “too educated, too strong, too brilliant, too stubborn and too hard to control”.
Born in what had been a small village of lush vegetation, later ravaged by deforestation, Wangari Maathai became, over the last decades, an icon in her country, in all of Africa and internationally. The organization that she founded in 1977, the Green Belt Movement, led to the planting of 40 million trees on the continent! Tens of thousands of African women were therefore able to earn a living and became ambassadors of a planet that we must respect for those who will follow us.
Wangari Maathai’s remarkable journey started thanks to education. Without the support of her parents who believed in the value of education and the talents of their daughter, without the support of her teachers who helped her access scholarships, would she have been able to become this leader who gave confidence to so many other people to come together for a common ideal and projects greater than themselves?
This remarkable pacifist also stood up against authoritarianism, ethnic clashes and political corruption. She had, on several occasions, paid dearly for her convictions. May she rest in peace. We will follow her journey full of hope.
By Lesley StewartDoes Twitter conjure up images of celebrities detailing the minutiae of their lives? Of people sharing what they just ate for lunch? Or asking you to help choose the colour of their shoes?In fact, Twitter is much, much more and can be an important source of up-to-date information and knowledge. 60 million girls started tweeting 6 months ago. Our objective is to provide links to research, articles, videos, conferences and websites that we feel will be of interest to our supporters. Below are a few of our recent tweets:
For those of you who are new to Twitter, there are a few guiding principles. First, your message or “tweet” may only contain 140 characters, including spaces. Second, because space is so limited, words and links to Internet sites are often abbreviated. A “retweet” or RT is a message that was posted by another user. The format is to write RT @username (the Twitter username). An MRT is a “modified retweet” or a message that has been altered from its original form, usually because of space constraints. The use of hash tags (#) enables Twitter search engines to find relevant sources on the same subject such as education (#education). The word “via” or simply the letter “v” refers to the source of the article, document or video (newspaper, organization, etc.).
Is it possible to find time for Twitter in your hectic day? You don’t have to have your own Twitter account to follow 60 million girls on Twitter. Simply go to our home page (www.60milliongirls.org) and find the Twitter icon and presto!
We leave you with this last significant tweet: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world.” — Margaret Mead
By Lesley StewartL’Odyssée School, situated in Orléans, a suburb of Ottawa, has reason to be proud. It is the only public elementary school in Ontario that offers the international program (IB) at the primary level. This is a program that aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who will contribute to the creation of a better world. Students are taught to be good citizens: open-minded, caring of others and respectful of the environment. To this end, the student body is involved in activities that include visits to a seniors’ residence, a composting program, the creation of a vegetable garden and a mini-forest and the support of a charity.Each year, in consultation with a committee of parents, a charitable organization is selected. Last year, 60 million girls was chosen. Chantal Leclerc, the principal of this school for the last 5 years, spoke proudly about the involvement of both students and parents. Throughout the year, fundraising activities were held: bake sales, hat and pyjama days and a fantastic fashion show, amongst others. Each student was able to participate according to his level. And, finally, this June, the school was able to present the foundation with a cheque for $1,250 to support our three projects this year. Thank you!