For immediate release
July 11, 2012
$4.95 million, five-year funding to empower women, build food security
ANTIGONISH, Nova Scotia – Dr. John Gaventa, director of the Coady International Institute and vice-president of International Development at StFX University, today welcomed the announcement of $4.95 million in Government of Canada funding for a project to empower women and build food security in the African countries of Ethiopia, Ghana and Zambia.
“This is a unique opportunity to strengthen the leadership of women and their organizations so they themselves can build food security and sustainable livelihoods,” said Gaventa. “Our citizen-led and community-based approach will help this effort take root and create positive change well beyond the five-year mandate.”
“Canadians want to make a difference for those in need around the world and expect real results from Canada's international assistance. Our Government will work with Canadian universities to deliver tangible results for people in developing countries,” said Hon. Peter MacKay, Member of Parliament for Central Nova and Regional Minister for Nova Scotia. “By tapping into their expertise, Canada will help provide the essentials for people in need, and give them the economic tools they need to become self-sufficient over the long term.”
The Coady Institute will expand leadership education and build capacity in each country by working closely with three existing partner organizations:
• Women in Self-Employment (WISE) in Ethiopia will focus on its credit and savings network to provide business and life skills training.
• University of Development Studies (UDS) in Ghana will focus on women involved in sustainable agricultural production, food processing, marketing and nutrition.
• Women for Change in Zambia will focus on economic empowerment for women through adult education and community development involving women and girls.
Beyond the broader objective of supporting women’s economic empowerment, the program has three goals:
• to enable Coady Institute’s partner organizations to become regional and national centres of excellence for women’s leadership programs;
• to develop and share innovative approaches and best practices for enhancing food security and diversified livelihoods;
• to strengthen networks and alliances so they can more effectively influence policy decisions at the national and international levels.
Gaventa says the Government of Canada funding, through the Canadian International Development Agency, covers 75 per cent of the total project investment of $6.6 million. The Coady Institute will raise additional funds by working with its existing network of individual donors, foundations and private sector organizations to support scholarships for citizen leaders from Ethiopia, Ghana and Zambia.
About Coady International Institute
Through its unique, community-based approach, Coady International Institute equips citizen leaders to address contemporary global challenges and opportunities. Established in 1959 by St. Francis Xavier University, the Coady Institute is world-renowned for its leadership education programs and its work with partners in Canada and internationally to advance community self-reliance, global security, social justice and democratic participation.
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