This year marks the 26th anniversary of Canada’s International Development Week, taking place between February 5 and 11. The event has been an annual occurrence since its creation in 1991 by the Canadian International Development Agency. Its goal is to highlight the work Canada has done in developing communities and the international sphere. Through activities and conferences, Canadians have the opportunity to engage as global citizens. International Development Week aims to increase awareness and urges us to come together to end poverty and injustice.
Of the many issues currently being faced by developing nations, women’s rights and female education are at the forefront. In many instances, women are left out of school due to cultural tradition and financial issues.
Yet finding a profitable career for young women to make it possible to sustain their family is also challenging — even with a high school diploma. Without the funds to pay for university or vocational college, female graduates can be driven back into the cycle of poverty.
College and university degrees allow women to have a competitive place in the often male-dominated work force. And they can begin working in fields that will provide them with a sustainable income to support both themselves and their families.
That is why Beautiful World Canada focuses on supporting women to pursue post-secondary education in Uganda, Rwanda and Sierra Leone. By becoming a Beautiful World scholar, students gain financial backing needed to fund their education and receive practical support for succeeding in the job market.
Every student who receives a scholarship has the opportunity to partake in a graduation preparation program. Grad Prep is a series of workshops designed to teach students about resumes, cover letters and the interview process.
This International Development Week, think about your role as a Canadian and what you are doing to support girls’ education and other international development issues.