Voices of RPIA
In Our Community
UNICEF & Nature United
Chief Administrative Officer
I believe that philanthropy is generosity in all its forms and that we are the fortunate ones who are in a position to be able to give back thoughtfully, in a meaningful and impactful way. My experience with non-profits and non-government organizations like UNICEF and Nature United has shown me that we can all make a difference in the world we live in. Joining The 25th Team at UNICEF Canada was a pivotal moment for me. I met a group of like-minded passionate Canadian women and we demonstrated that we are stronger together. In working together, we can make a greater difference, especially in the lives of the world’s most vulnerable. Because of the compassion and commitment of that circle of Canadian women, over 3.8 million women, babies and children will benefit from simple but life-saving essentials like clean water, vaccines, birth registration programs, stronger healthcare systems and nutrition programs. That a small circle of 60 women could make that kind of impact changed the way I look at the world around us. The more I learned about the way UNICEF works, witnessing first-hand the impact of the programs and the infrastructure
Afterschool robotics club at Walton Jameson Primary school in the Pretoria Township - the club is part of a program supported by UNICEF to encourage and promote STEM learning among young girls in the townships.
that would allow those programs to be sustained once our direct involvement was over, the more committed I became in my support. I am fortunate to have had an opportunity to observe the deep respect and appreciation that people and governments around the world have for UNICEF and the essential role the organization plays in moving the agenda for women and children forward. Support of individuals and local groups is essential, however, legal and policy advocacy work with local organizations and governments is fundamental to develop lasting solutions. Within Canada, my work with Nature United opened my eyes to the critical link between the First Nations and the land, and the importance to Indigenous communities of the responsible stewardship of natural resources. What differentiates Nature United, and its global affiliate The Nature Conservancy, is their approach to reimagining conservation and advancing reconciliation through Indigenous partnerships and Indigenous led conservation. It has been a deeply moving learning journey as I developed some small understanding of the First Nations and the challenges and colonization has put in their way, and that they continue to face. As the descendent of early settlers, I have come to realise the enormity of the debt that we owe to the First Nations. Advancing reconciliation through respectful conservation partnerships
with First Nations who are building sustainable economies and resource stewardship on their traditional territories has heightened my awareness of those challenges and the debt they are owed.
Working with First Nations partners on conservation projects that impact both their communities, and our world has only served to reinforce my belief that it is by working together can we make a real difference.
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