February 2017 Newsletter

International Development Week 2017

This year marks the 27th annual International Development Week (IDW). For CanWaCH and its partners, it has been a busy week of events and activities to build awareness among Canadians about efforts to achieve the Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

IDW got underway with the momentum of a statement by the International Development Minister, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, signalling that the Government of Canada will make a significant investment in sexual and reproductive health and advocacy for women’s rights. Watch the Minister’s video reaffirming that “every woman and girl must be treated with dignity and respect”.

CanWaCH kicked off IDW by joining the Ontario Council for International Cooperation (OCIC) in recognizing the 2017 Global Changemaker Youth Ambassadors as part of the Global Citizen’s Forum in Toronto. Throughout IDW, the stories of six outstanding youth will be featured by OCIC.

With 15 million girls at risk by 2020 of being subjected to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) or cutting, CanWaCH partnered with Amref Health Africa to mark International Day against Zero Tolerance Against FGM in Ottawa on February 6th. Parliamentarians and ambassadors, including the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development Celina Caesar-Chavannes, heard the empowering story of Nice Nailantei, a young Maasai women from Kenya who spoke out against FGM at the age of 8. Ms. Caesar-Chavannes called Nice a “modern day hero”.

Nice Nailantei inspired attendees by sharing her story of how she escaped female genital mutilation and now promotes alternative rites of passage for young girls in Kenya.

Learn more about FGM:

Addressing Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting: A Neglected Component of Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child & Adolescent Health programming, Rebecca Davidson, Cuso International It’s Time for Canada to Play Its Part in Ending Female Genital Mutilation, Reyhana Patel, Islamic Relief Canada Neema’s message for Justin Trudeau (video)

IDW dialogue continued on February 7th when CanWaCH partnered with the Canadian Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development, Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights and the International Planned Parenthood Federation to discuss Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights: Best Practices and Lessons learned from Latin America and the Caribbean. The event focused on how to address deeply ingrained patterns of inequality and lack of access to health information and services. The discussion also set the stage for Sexual and Reproductive Awareness Week (SRH Week) 2017, taking place February 12-18. Learn more about SRH Week and how you can participate.

Our partners will continue to host events and promote important dialogue throughout IDW, and CanWaCH will helping to spread word of their efforts on social media. Follow @CanWaCH on Twitter throughout the week and help share IDW news.

CanWaCH International Conference on Global Adolescent Health

Partnership Announcement: CanWaCH is very pleased to announce that we have partnered with Every Woman Every Child (EWEC) to deliver our Global Adolescent Conference taking place May 16-17 at the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa.

Call for Speakers: We are also excited to launch our call for speakers for the conference. Working closely with our partners, we have created a program framework featuring four key adolescent health streams: Nutrition, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, Mental Health and Data. If you have an engaging session to propose, please respond to our Call for Speakers no later than March 8, 2017.

Call for Youth Representatives: Youth Voices will be an important feature of conference planning and execution. We invite our partners to nominate a youth, between the ages of 15 and 30 to lend their unique perspectives and insights on content for the program. Ideally, nominees can be from Canada or abroad, have experience with advocacy, and knowledge of how health issues directly affect adolescents. Successful applicants will be expected to participate in a call one to two times per month leading up to the conference. Please contact Katie Lloyd at [email protected] by February 20 to nominate a youth or for more information.

Save the Date: CanWaCH 2017 Annual General Meeting & Conference

Mark your calendars: our 2017 AGM will take place November 22-23 in Toronto. Stay tuned for more information in the months ahead.

Share Your International Women’s Day Events

Tell us what you have planned for International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8, 2017. Fill out our survey to include your IWD event or activity in our online CanWaCH IWD 2017 directory. Submissions will be published beginning February 22. You can also find great resources and tools for the International Women’s Day 2017 #BeBoldForChange campaign here.

Gender Equality Forum

CanWaCH has signed on to support Global Compact Network Canada, UN Global Compact and UN Women in delivering the Gender Equality Forum April 3-4, 2017 in Toronto., this Forum will feature an ‘action agenda’ to scale up effort to advance gender equality, the Women’s Empowerment Principles and help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, especially SDG5 which is focused on the empowerment of women and girls.

The Micronutrient Initiative Celebrates 25 Years of Impact

2017 marks an important milestone for the Micronutrient Initiative: their 25th anniversary! Since 1992, the Micronutrient Initiative (MI) has focused on reducing micronutrient deficiencies, specifically tackling nutrition challenges faced by women, children and adolescent girls. MI makes a difference because the organization believes nutrition is the difference. Since its modest beginnings, MI has evolved into a global nutrition organization helping to reach 500 million people every year with improved nutrition. We invite you to explore MI’s interactive timeline to learn more about their 25 years of impact.

CanWaCH Executive Director Receives ‘Voice for Children” Award

World Vision Canada has awarded Dr. Helen Scott its 2017 Voice for Children Award. Dr. Scott, Executive Director of CanWaCH, received her award at World Vision’s Annual General Meeting on January 29, 2017. The World Vision ‘Heroes for Children Awards’ celebrates individuals who have a heart for children and have done something extraordinary to change the world. Five Canadians received the award in 2017 in the areas of volunteering, starting a movement, using their voice to amplify the needs of children, Christian faith in action, and for their generosity.

Cast Your Vote: Aga Khan Foundation Canada Art Contest

Last month we told you about Aga Khan Foundation Canada’s contest, as part of Canada’s 150th Anniversary, for artists and photographers to show why they care about global development. Now it’s time for you to vote for your favourite entries. The top ten submissions with the most votes will be finalists in the contest. The winning artist’s work will be displayed in Together: An Exhibition on Global Development, and they’ll receive a $500 gift certificate for art supplies. Vote now!

Save the Mothers Welcome New East African Director

Dr. Miriam Mutabaz is the new East African Director for Save the Mothers in Uganda. The appointment paves the way for Dr. Jean Chamberlain Froese to return to Canada as the Executive Director of Save the Mothers this year. Read more about Dr. Mutabazi and the latest work of Save the Mothers.

Symposium – Women and development: concrete responses for the health of mothers and children

As part of World Health Day, L’AMIE invites you to a symposium on April 7, 2017, at Laval University on the topic of mother-child health. This event will be a stimulating opportunity for you to attend presentations and participate in discussions with stakeholders involved in the health of mothers and their children, especially in African countries and Haiti. Experts will share their experiences and initiatives in addition to discussing lessons learned in order to make progress in this specific area of health in developing countries. To establish a dialogue on these health issues, consider attending this symposium. Check the L’AMIE website (www.amie.ca) and Facebook page regularly; more information will be released soon. Link to Facebook event.


February 15, 2017


CanWaCH Staff