It takes decades of determined and unflagging work – some successes, some failures – to bring about real social change.Canadians are generous people. In 2010, the vast majority of us – 84 per cent to be exact – collectively donated some $10.6 billion to charitable and not-for-profit organizations. Almost half the Canadian population volunteers their time, energy and expertise to charitable causes. But sometimes, along with that generosity, we get a nasty case of tunnel vision. Because beyond our borders, those numbers tell a very different story. Only one in 10 Canadians give to organizations working internationally, and only 8 per cent of all Canadian charitable contributions goes to fighting poverty, alleviating humanitarian crises and promoting human rights in the developing world. Read Full Article →
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Profit is not a dirty word. Sustainability is an all too often over used word that is rarely linked to the word profit. Yet the two go hand in hand and when it comes to social franchising their link is imperative: without one you cannot hope to have the other. Why is this so? Because aid as we have known it is changing and the handouts are starting to dwindle as we come to realize that aid is not sustainable. What is sustainable is profit. Profit creates the opportunity for an enterprising doctor to effectively run a clinic so that in due course the clinic becomes financially viable; providing a fair return to the doctor to live off the proceeds of their efforts while serving the health needs of underserviced populations who are willing and able to pay modest fees for good healthcare services and products. Read Full Article →
Am I a new kind of philanthropist? Probably not. But I am part of a zeitgeist of women who are empowered with a sense of agency, purpose, significant resources and talent, willing to take risks and make big commitments to address the rising tide of violence against women and girls. Women and girls are the key to ending extreme poverty and building our future families, communities and nations. However, many women are at the bottom of the pyramid of economic and personal agency throughout much of the world. They often experience violence and social injustice that leaves them powerless over their own lives and those of their children. I see a future where women are safe, have access to health and education, and are empowered to choose the best life possible. I am an optimist about this future and believe we can all play a greater part in creating it. Read Full Article →