Women have a strength within themselves.
What you can do is help them to break down the barriers that prevent them from using that strength to its fullest capacity.
Behind their shy smiles and their sometimes uncertain voices hides an iron will. Driven by their duty to ensure the well-being of their families and by the belief that the world can become a better place, women are committed to breaking down barriers. They move forward with a sense of accomplishment.
This is why, within its mode of operation and in the attribution of your donations, the LÉGER FOUNDATION is always looking for means to elevate women:
- Promoting gender equality;
- Promoting the respect of women and girls rights;
- Empowering women and girls;
- Ending child marriages, both early and forced;
- Recognizing and responding to women’s and girls’ needs in situations of conflict;
- Eliminating violence;
- Protecting sexual and reproductive rights;
- Improving the health of women and children.
And we are passionnate in our work.
Richard Veenstra, our new Executive Director, who has defended women’s rights in Canada nongovernmental organization’s and promoted women’s empowerment over the last 20 years, has just taken over this commitment.
And how do we measure the impact of our actions? The United Nations Population Fund suggests observing the development of a 10-year-old girl as she progresses ilife. Does she have enough food to grow? Does she have equitable access to health services? Does she enjoy a safe living environment? Is she free to make decisions about her body? Does she receive an education?
In order to truly make a difference, the LÉGER FOUNDATION takes into careful consideration the special needs of women and girls before, during and throughout the course of its actions. Women are consulted. They take part in decisions. They participate in the creation and implementation of programs. And they celebrate victories – as you’ll see in the next few pages!
Marie-Claude Bibeau, the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, said the following in connection with our mission:
“When they have the resources to reach their full potential, women become the most powerful agents of change. They are the pillars we can use to tackle poverty and inequality, to deal with climate change and increase peace and security in the world.“
Thank you for believing in our potential and in the power of women!
To get to Gressier, where the health services are located, it takes almost two hours by motorcycle. On the morning I was giving birth, that was my mode of transportation when I went to the hospital with a friend. And that’s how I came home on the very same day with my baby pressed against my chest. I have 10 children. Three died during the earthquake of 2010. Today, I am tired, but I am thinking of Junia. I will have to go back to Gressier to have her vaccinated...
- Guerline Chérubin
In Haiti, stories like Guerline’s are not uncommon. Access to available services is a source of difficulty for many people - especially for women, because the burden of care, and of course childbirth, rests on them. They often have to travel hundreds of kilometers to reach clinics. Because of the lack of resources, many give birth at home, with all the risks that this entails (many midwives work in Haiti, but they rarely have the capacity to intervene in the event of complications). One hundred times more women die in childbirth in Haiti than in Canada.
Despite these statistics, despite the natural disasters, the poverty and the burden of their daily lives, Haitian women fight for the well-being of their families. The LÉGER FOUNDATION supports them thanks to its PROSAMI project. In collaboration with the Haitian government, we are working to reduce the mortality rate among pregnant women, newborns and children under five years of age.
- Improve obstetrics, paediatrics and neonatology services in the health facilities of Léogâne and Gressier communes.
- Support the development of five community centers.
- Train 50 health workers to reach women and children in remote areas requiring antenatal care, delivery assistance or vaccines.
All too often, motherhood in Haiti tells the story of women determined to seek care for their children, often at the detriment of their own health.
Being born a woman in India means being exposed to grave dangers. Sexual abuse, slavery, domestic violence and forced marriage are, unfortunately, far too common. An additional layer of suffering is added for the women who are victims: traditionally, these events are not denounced or even debated within Indian society.
A longstanding partner of the LÉGER FOUNDATION for many reasons including its leadership, the SWAYAM organization works to help mentalities evolve through vivid, well-told educational campaigns. The organization denounces the precarious status of women, raises awareness of the issue of violence and thus helps to prevent new cases of assault.
But at the heart of SWAYAM’s mission is direct intervention. The organization provides psychological support, legal aid and health care to women at risk. Workshops aimed at building self-esteem and developing professional skills are also available.
By supporting this project with the LÉGER FOUNDATION, you are helping women who have been ignored for far too long to raise their heads, express their emotions and defend their rights.
‘‘I was in survival-mode when I arrived at SWAYAM on March 20, 2017. I was a victim of domestic violence, and I absolutely had to find ways to get myself out of the situation. They listened to me. They helped me with the legal costs and the schooling of my children. I was also offered a loan. Currently, I am benefitting from legal counselling, psychological care and play therapy sessions for my children. When I have the opportunity, I also participate in workshops offered by SWAYAM which add a positive aspect to my life.
I attended a workshop last September. We were given felt pens and asked to write on a white and red sari about ourselves and about femininity. We were also invited to come up with an idea that could end domestic violence. This project was an amazing way for me to release everything that had been in my head for years.
After the workshop, we learned that our saris would be part of an installation by the Swiss artist Franziska Greber which was going to be exhibited in Calcutta! Even if I was feeling broken inside, and even if I was just functioning out of pure survival, I could serve as inspiration to others. What a beautiful feeling! Thanks SWAYAM for healing our broken wings.
Thank you for restoring our courage so that we can fly again”
- Lubna Rahman
‘‘Along with my son and my husband, I live in the district of La Paz, Bolivia. I had a difficult childhood. My mother was very poor and I had to drop out of elementary school early in order to help her.
I had to wait until I was 45 years old to complete my schooling. Today, I am very proud to be a teacher in the Academic Sustainable Farming Unit of the Catholic University of Bolivia! What I love above all else is the time I spend in the field with my animals.
When I was invited to participate in the LÉGER FOUNDATION’s IMSA project, I was very excited by the opportunity to learn more about irrigation systems, training for women, vegetable production and planting cañahua (a grain in the quinoa family). I view all these activities as a chance to create new opportunities for the future and to improve the lives of my family.
But the best part for me was the chance to create my own ecological agricultural production unit. I also received training on the use and management of solar ovens.
The beauty of the IMSA project is not only about having the power to plant. There is a whole intellectual aspect that encourages us to be proactive. It’s amazing to innovate - I started baking and selling pastries - and improve our competitive edge.
I feel happy. All my efforts have not been in vain. My dream now is to become a municipal councillor. I want to motivate female colleagues to participate in these activities and to face their challenge. ”
- Francisca Huallpa Mamani
Like Francisca, thousands of female farmers living in the arid and semi-arid zones of Burkina Faso, Bolivia and Peru continue to cultivate their plots of land and to raise their animals under extremely difficult conditions linked to isolation, poverty and climate change. They are ready to mobilize, learn and innovate in order to achieve their goals!
It was for this very reason that the Innovation and Mobilization for Food Security (IMSA) project was created in these three countries.
As a result of the many initiatives and actions undertaken by our partners, more than 3,600 women are gradually transforming their agricultural enterprises and obtaining promising results for their future. These achievements are also thanks to your support!
SOME MAJOR MILESTONES
Since April 1st 2015
- 2,169 female producers are using new agri-environmental technologies that are adapted to climate change.
- 2,911 female farmers are using higher quality seeds, fertilizers, equipment and agricultural materials.
- 2,577 female producers are using new techniques for the collection and conservation of agricultural products and / or dairy products.
From April 1st 2016 to March 31st 2017
- 1,666 female producers increased their production by 43%.
- 1,180 female producers have an average increase of 93% in their income for all combined crops.
- 1,571,428 vulnerable people were fed with surplus production generated after only 2 years of production, thanks to distribution through the World Food Programme.
100% of the body shop and paint graduates found employment, improved their living conditions and helped change the perception of gender roles within Burkinabe society.
Traditionally, this path is reserved strictly for men. But it offers such good prospects that we wanted to help our partners, the Tout pour Tous Association and the Centre for Women in Trades (CFIAM, Centre féminin d’initiation et apprentissage aux métiers), open it to women as well. Through this initiative, we contribute to reducing inequalities, enhancing women’s self-esteem and enriching the range of their career choices. And you can contribute too!
CFIAM offers several different trainings including automotive electronics, body work and paint jobs, electronics, mechanics for two-wheeled vehicles and automotive assembly. They also offer end-of-course support services such as subsidies for driving lessons, research for internships and support for obtaining micro-credits. Some students can even elect to pursue further studies and become teachers!
CFIAM’s are also very active when it comes to raising awareness as it is necessary to change mentalities. Their efforts include skits, documentaries, music videos and radio broadcasts. They discredit the myth that certain trades cannot be performed by women.
‘‘I was born on August 29, 1992. My father has two wives and twelve children. I am the third child on my mother’s side.
Both my parents work: my father is employed in social work and my mother is a housekeeper. Education is very important to them: I started going to school at 7 years old and then attended a CFIAM. It was my father who told me about this training center for women. He selected body shop for me. It was not easy: I did not think a woman could work in this trade.
My first internship was at the Super auto service garage in Wentenga, where I worked in auto body paint and repair work for one year. Then I went to Watam-Kaizer. It was more complicated there: the working techniques were a little different. I was appointed head of the painting section, which I managed for four years. Now I’m at Fortune Moto. I’m working again as an auto body painter and am responsible for managing the painting division.
When I was working at the Wentenga garage, I found that my fi nancial situation was starting to improve. In Watam, I was able to buy a motorcycle. When I arrived at Fortune Moto, the financial conditions were even better. They were so good, in fact, that I bought myself a brand new moped. For the past three years I’ve been helping my father pay for my little sister’s tuition. I also contribute towards groceries and I am able to save money for my own personal projects. The training at CFIAM radically changed my life. I am now thriving in a job where I had never dreamed of working and I am making a really good living.”
- Zida Aguiratou
The media might now be silent, but more than 228,000 people who have been forcibly displaced continue to suffer, both physically and spiritually, from the violence committed by the Boko Haram terrorist group.
That is why the LÉGER FOUNDATION and its partner, the CDD-Caritas* of Maroua-Mokolo, are still present in Cameroon, where refugees and displaced people are located. Our goal is to help people develop sustainable livelihoods so that they can leave the days of extreme insecurity behind them. The first group of targeted beneficiaries: women. They are the most vulnerable when they have children, but they are also targeted because they are often the foundation of family-based economic activities.
By supporting our project in the Far North region of Cameroon, you will help to provide women with small business management training (cattle breeding, shea sales, catering and restaurant management, etc.), technical support, as well as start-up scholarships. You will also participate in the development of sustainable agriculture: we will provide high-performance grains (rice, sorghum, peanuts and soybeans), a vaccinated breeding animal as well as training and support to women and men prepared to cultivate the land. This type of support is combined with direct relief in the areas of health, nutrition and hygiene.
‘‘I am married and the mother of 3 children. Three years ago, Boko Haram chased my husband and I from Madagali, Nigeria. We came to take refuge in Ldubam, Cameroon. We had no food, no land and no money.
We were strangers to Ldubam, and no one trusted us enough to give us a field to cultivate or credit to start an economic activity. Then, CDD-Caritas* came and I was funded with 45,000 CFA** to start a small restaurant in the village. Thanks to this activity, we can eat two meals a day. I rented a field that I cultivate with my husband. Thanks to the savings, I was able to pay for my health care, including a surgical procedure. I have noticed that I have more consideration and respect from my husband. You saved me. I am able to live an almost normal life now. I give thanks, from the bottom of my heart, to all those who have seen our suffering and who help us even when they do not know us”
- Déborah Simon
No matter the amount, a monthly donation from you helps us to better plan our actions from a sustainable development perspective.
For just $10, $15 or $20 a month, you can help a woman start a small business and earn a decent living, allow a community access to safe drinking water and help improve the health of their families or provide enough seeds for farmers to grow peanuts, carrots, potatoes and onions to better feed themselves.
IN ADDITION :
- Monthly donations enable you to limit the amount of mail you receive, according to your preferences. This allows the LÉGER FOUNDATION to invest more in its sustainable development projects and its humanitarian actions by saving on the administrative costs associated with raising funds.
- You receive a receipt for tax purposes for the total amount paid during the year.
FOR ITS PART, THE LÉGER FOUNDATION COMMITS TO:
- Offering you the opportunity to change or cancel your monthly contributions at any time by calling 1 877 288-7383 or by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- To collect your donations in a confidential and secure manner, by means of an automatic debit by cheque or on your credit card.
- Keeping your information strictly confi dential - your contact information will not be shared with other charities.
By choosing the monthly donation option, you can help us accelerate changes toward a more dignified world in Quebec and abroad. Thank you for considering this option as a way of supporting the LÉGER FOUNDATION over the long-term!