Invest in your future

  • Investments into health and education shape women and push them to maximize their potential and live more productive lives.
  • Greater gender equality can enhance productivity, improve development outcomes for the next generation, and make institutions more representative.
  • A recent study shows that 2,000 women in 19 countries depend on a combination of factors to feel empowered such as: communication with community and financial independence. (World Bank)

Strive for success

  • Seek out a mentor in your field. They have the opportunity to pass on invaluable information, lend support and provide encourage- ment to build confi dence, self-es- teem and explore options.
  • Empowering women globally to take on leadership positions is essential in providing new perspective and encouraging balance. (Women in Leadership Foundation)

Dream big

  • In countries such as Ethiopia, Eritrea, Guinea and Niger, there are fewer than 35 female tertiary students for every 100 male students.
  • Women are just as likely as men to graduate in the fields of Science and Social sciences, business, education and law. (UNESCO)

Offering a fighting chance

Women are the face of HIV and AIDS in many parts of the world and since healthcare is considered a luxury, this disease has created wide- spread poverty. World University Service of Canada (WUSC), through the Uniterra volunteer cooperation program jointly man- aged with the Centre for International Studies and Cooperation (CECI), works tirelessly to inspire change. WUSC provides education and training to improve livelihoods, balance inequities and promote health.

"Access to healthcare, medication and testing for HIV and AIDS is limited and without the tools to combat this pandemic, women are at high risk of facing many challenges."

These initiatives are progressive, and with the dedication and commitment from volunteers, tackling economic challenges and gender equality can become more possible. Thus far 2,300 Canadian men and women have volunteered internationally. In result, 470,000 people in developing countries have improved their living conditions. But the problem still remains and more help is needed. According to UNAIDS, 34 million people are living with HIV, of which approximately 22.5 million live in Sub-Saharan Africa. Half of the people infected are women.

Turning frustration into motivation

Access to healthcare, medication and testing for HIV and AIDS is limited and without the tools to combat this pandemic, women are at high risk of facing many challenges. “In most cases, infected women are rejected by their husband and family,” states Fatimata Lankoande, WUSC country director in Burkina Faso.

Destitution effects economic self-sufficiency, education, and health, but through a microloan pro- vided by affiliated organizations such as l’Association Solidarite Entraide Mutuelle au Sahel (SEMUS), a promising future lies ahead. SEMUS aids entrepreneurship groups to train and help women create their own business.

One of which is Sanata Compaore, an HIV-positive, 40-year-old widow, who is now the only caregiver for her family. Through this program she was awarded 50 000 francs, equivalent to one hundred Canadian dollars, and has since more than doubled it by providing services such as selling condiments, beans and carrying wood on her bike.

Currently, she is able to afford treatment and take care of her family. Support from Canadian volunteers makes a significant difference and success stories, like Sanata’s illustrate how a little goes a long way.