The Montreal group Women Inspiring Next GenerationS (WINGS) held a meeting on May 12, raising funds for CNIS obstetrics work in Africa.
The evening was interesting and inspiring and featured addresses on fistula, a devastating complication of pregnancy and rape – too common in developing countries. Dr. Joyce Pickering spoke about the Addis Ababa fistula hospital and showed a video about the great work being done there. Next, CNIS’ board chair, Dr. Tarek Razek, spoke about the work CNIS does overseas and the challenges women in Africa face because there is such a dearth of qualified doctors, especially in the outlying regions. Drs. Razek and Pickering answered many interesting questions. The attendees were a mix of young science and medical students, as well as women in their 40s and 50s.
WINGS had decided to organize a meeting on fistulas and I searched high and low for a Canadian charity that was trustworthy and had good financial records. When they saw our ration of donations to administration costs on our financial statement and read that CNIS is supported by CIDA, WINGS contacted us for more information.
WINGS is an organization dedicated to empowering women by providing them with protection from exploitation, and helping them access health services,
education and financial support. Their intention is to achieve these goals by raising funds that will be used to target sex trafficking, fistula treatment, education and micro-finance in developing countries and women’s support services locally. They also promote awareness of these issues in order to recruit as many as possible to this global movement. The United Nations Development Programme (2006) reports that empowered women finance education of younger relatives, reduce infant mortality, improve health and nutrition and raise economic productivity. This is known as “The Girl Effect” and is the inspiration for WINGS.
WINGS accomplish their mission by organizing small meetings in people’s homes. Each meeting deals with one of the above subjects and hopefully raises both money and awareness. For each event, the group tries to find a worthy charitable organization that helps women in the developing world. For more information on some of WINGS’ past meetings, please visit wingsmontreal.blogspot.com
We would like to thank WINGS and the women of WINGS – Sherry Luger, Sara Ravel, Genevieve Charette, Corrine Guttman and Sara Heppner – for their generous support.