The term, ‘together we are stronger’ is not just a cliché
By Patrick Canagasingham, CEO, firstname.lastname@example.org
Together we are stronger — it’s a common saying, but it’s been on my mind a lot lately.
Two months ago, I stepped into the role of CEO at Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC), and I’m constantly being reminded of the power of a team working together for one common goal.
That’s clear to see in the supporters who give selflessly and spread the word about our work among their friends and family. It’s also evident in the willing hearts of my colleagues and our local partners who are eager to share ideas to move us forward.
I could stop there, but I won’t. A big part of my job is advocating for change on a local, provincial, national and global level. To do that effectively, it’s crucial people in the international development community work together for greater impact.
That’s why I travelled to New York with peers from the international development community recently. As I met Marc-André Blanchard, ambassador and permanent representative of Canada to the United Nations (pictured), I called on Canada to contribute to the Global Fund to End Violence Against Children. And, I joined with the ChildFund Alliance (of which CCFC is a member) to thank the ambassador for the government’s support in launching a special joint report.
The ChildFund Alliance was among a consortium, which released Counting Pennies, a review of official development assistance (ODA) to end violence against children. (Other civil society collaborators on this report included, World Vision, SOS Children’s Villages and Save the Children). It found that of the $174 billion in total ODA spending in 2015, less than 0.6 percent supported ending violence against children.
That same week members of the International Child Protection Network of Canada — Plan International Canada, Right to Play, Save the Children Canada, UNICEF Canada, War Child Canada World Vision Canada and CCFC — mailed a letter to Marie-Claude Bibeau, minister of international development, to request funding for the Global Fund to End Violence Against Children.
As I write this, I’m buoyed by news that the Canadian government has announced plans to invest $150 million over five years to help agencies championing women’s rights. “We will not break the vicious cycle of poverty and violence without stepping up efforts to give women and girls a voice,” said Minister Bibeau while making the announcement.
Issues like these need partnerships to push them forward. That’s why it’s so important to keep the dialogue open. So, I was honoured when Plan International Canada and World Vision Canada hosted a lunch yesterday to welcome me back to international development work in Canada. With a united front, our voices are louder in advocating for global change for children and their families. They deserve the best, just like my family and yours.