International Women’s Day, Sunday March 8, celebrates the successes of women worldwide and the initiatives that are in place to support their advancement.
Every day, in Canada and abroad, The Salvation Army strives to help women experience futures that are bright, safe and rewarding. It does this by providing services that empower vulnerable women and celebrate their achievements.
For example, The Salvation Army’s Bethany Hope Centre in Ottawa gave Jenessa a better opportunity for success through its independent learning program.
“I’ve graduated high school,” says Jenessa. “Without The Salvation Army I wouldn’t have the confidence I do now.”
Laura found safety and support at The Salvation Army’s Evangeline Residence in Toronto after experiencing domestic violence. Today, she is working toward a certificate in family counselling and wants to help other women.
In Cornerbrook, N.L., The Salvation Army’s fresh program for moms has helped Patricia learn how to deal with stress and budget her money when she experienced unexpected financial setbacks.
The Salvation Army at Work in Developing Countries
The Salvation Army is active in 126 countries, working hand in hand with local communities to improve the health and economic conditions of the vulnerable, particularly in developing countries.
“Women in developing countries face a multitude of challenges and The Salvation Army is helping them develop the persistence and strength needed to overcome them,” says Major Gillian Brown, director of world missions.
The Salvation Army in Canada has partnered with the Caribbean Territory to help those affected by Haiti’s deadly earthquake in January 2010. Young women were given the same vocational training opportunities as men and recent plumbing graduates are beginning a new chapter in their lives.
Improving the health of mothers and children is a priority embraced by The Salvation Army. Each year, close to 4,000 babies are delivered in the two Salvation Army hospitals in Zimbabwe. The risks of childbirth remain high in African countries, yet both Tshelanyamba and Howard Hospitals are known for their excellent care in improving the chances of a safe delivery. This success is attributed to the monitoring of the women throughout their pregnancy.
“International women’s day is not only a time to reflect on progress made,” says Brown, “it’s a time to recognize the courage and determination that exists amongst women who want nothing more than to improve their lives and those around them.”
Photo: Three graduates from The Salvation Army’s vocational training in Haiti receive certificates in plumbing.