By Wanda Bedard
60 million girls’ 8th annual conference will be held on Monday, October 21st, from 6 to9 pm, at l’Ermitage on the campus of Collège de Montréal.
Our guest speaker will be Caroline Ouellette, three-time Olympic Gold champion and member of Canada’s National Women’s Hockey Team, team member for the upcoming Olympic games in Sochi and spokesperson for Right To Play, our partner for the project we are supporting this year in Ethiopia.
Caroline’s personal journey to excellence in a male-dominated sport is due, in good part, to strong female mentors and role models, her family’s support and an indomitable spirit. Her deep belief in the power of sport to develop physical strength and health, along with her experience as a member of a goal-oriented and greatly successful team, helped define her self-confidence, leadership, values and communication skills as well as her strong academic performance. Realizing the benefits that sport and play can have for all children has led Caroline to become a passionate ambassador for Right To Play’s work supporting education.
The project in Ethiopia uses Right To Play’s proven program of engaging girls and boys in sport at school to reduce dropout rates and increase a positive learning and sharing environment for all.
Bring a friend with you to the conference to hear the eloquent story of Caroline’s amazing career and community commitment and help spread support for that most vital investment: girls’ education.
It is with great honour that Wanda Bedard recently accepted a three-year term on the Advisory Board of McGill’s Institute for the Study in International Development (ISID).
The creation of ISID in 2008 reflected a commitment to building bridges between McGill University and the international development community through a unique focus on multidisciplinary research that is intended to contribute directly to better evidence-based development policies and practices. In this way, ISID hopes to find practical solutions to some of today’s most pressing development challenges. It does so by bringing McGill’s wealth of resources together with the ultimate goal of maximizing synergies and connecting the world of the academic with that of development practitioners — government officials, international bodies, the private sector and the NGO community that actively promotes a wide variety of initiatives on the ground.
ISID also offers a successful executive education certificate program in International Development that will take place in Montreal from October 21-25 entitled International Development: Bridging the Worlds of Theory, Policy and Practice.
60 million girls is proud to be part of McGill’s ISID Advisory Board and be able to profit from the invaluable experience of the distinguished board members and ISID’s faculty.
By Lesley Stewart
If you have ever wondered what difference an education can make, then watch the short video Two girls, two lives to answer the question. It’s the story of two girls, Mary and Susan, born on the same day in very humble circumstances. But, though their beginnings may be similar, the paths their lives take are very different. As little Susan walks up the steps to her school, Mary climbs to the top of garbage heap. As Susan pores through books and learns how to read and write, Mary ekes out a living by sifting through refuse. At the age of 24, they meet. Mary brings her sick and dying baby to the hospital where Susan works as a nurse. Both lives are poignantly illustrated and the differences are stark. Education makes a difference!
By Manuela Clément-Frencia
Today, 1.5 billion people live in conflict-affected and fragile contexts, and about 70% of this number have seen conflict since 1989. In these conflict zones, 20 million girls are out of school, and they represent only 30% of refugees enrolled in secondary school.
It is in this context that the International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) of UNESCO and the International Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) held a high-level symposium entitled High-Level Symposium on Conflict-Sensitive Education – Why and How? on April 8th at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris.
The symposium was attended by about 200 participants, representing ministers of education and other government bodies, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, UN agencies, bilateral development organizations, the private sector, civil society organizations, as well as those working in the field. The 60 million girls Foundation was privileged to attend this event (this participation was voluntary).
This opportunity allowed us to better understand the challenges facing conflict-affected populations and governments and learn about the initiatives and education programs adapted to countries in crisis. Furthermore, it confirmed the Foundation’s decision to support two education and leadership projects, in 2008 and 2011, in the refugee camps of Dadaab and Kakuma in Kenya and Dzaleka in Malawi, in collaboration with our partners WUSC (World University Service of Canada) and Windle Trust Kenya.
The symposium’s framework included guiding principles and tools to support education policies and programs. The following are some examples: “Ensure that the programs do not intentionally favour one group over another”; “Protect teachers and students from attacks and recruitment into armed forces”; and “Provide psycho-social protection”. This framework was accompanied by a statement that reinforces the important role of education as a means of peace building, violence prevention and resilience of populations.
This unique learning opportunity will allow 60 million girls to continue to choose the most effective and most promising projects for girls and make the best investment for a quality education that is relevant, safe and transformative.