For many years, The Harbinger Foundation has supported Canadian organizations working to build healthy communities internationally (Guatemala, Colombia, Uganda and eight countries in Africa, particularly through The Canadian Network for International Surgery (Vancouver-based). CNIS teaches practical surgical skills – instructional videos are now available to many thousands of medical practitioners digitally. Epidemiological methods are widely used to determine the main causes of death and injury.
GLOBAL WASH PROGRAM
Global Water, Sanitation and Hygiene 2005-2015
(This program is now closed.)
2005- 2015 – Global access to Water and Sanitation – this culminated in a 3-year initiative, WASH Canada which impacted and supported Canada’s Foreign Aid efforts to provide better maternal and new-born health.
From 2005-2015 the Harbinger Foundation looked at the role that a small Canadian foundation could play in the global water crisis. The program grew organically, beginning with a “learning” agenda, starting with the convening of a group of experts. From this point, we embarked on an active discovery/learning granting program. Inspired by the Gates Foundation and our friends at WASH Advocates in Washington DC, and with the help of our advisor, Alan Etherington, the Foundation defined its WASH interests as funding locally but with global impact. We directed our efforts to improving quality of life by increasing access to clean water and sanitation in areas of extreme poverty. In addition, the Foundation recognized and celebrated the sacred and life affirming role that water plays in all life.
In the early stage of the WASH program, we conducted a landscape study of the global WASH sector in Canada. We itemized all Canadian organizations and public sector efforts as to better understand the collective financial impact of this group.
During the life of the program, we gave approximately $1 million to support global WASH efforts, funding capacity building for Canadian organizations, on the ground projects like latrines, water purification kits in disaster zones, and networking and learning opportunities, and convening meetings and events for Canadian organizations.
Through this work, we identified an important role for the foundation: supporting the WASH community in Canada, providing a centralized point of contact, and linking this collective Canadian effort to the global WASH efforts. This identification of need was the seed of WASH Canada a three-year public awareness and educational initiative founded with partner The Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation.
More information about WASH Canada can be found here.
We were thrilled when our networks brought the very experienced, Boston transplant, Lotika Shaunik Paintal to our attention. Lotika joined Harbinger's Connie Wansbrough to spearhead the launch of WASH Canada. Together they co-directed the initiative as it grew to a collection of over 40 partner organizations, institutions, foundations and businesses all embracing a common vision of seeing and end to the global WASH crisis.
Raising the Voices of Women in Water:
September 18-20, 2012
The “Women in Water” series presented by WASH Canada, UNU-INWEH and H2O 4 All, was designed to engage three very diverse but influential Canadians target groups (university students, business community and policy makers). We were honoured to have HE Maria Mutagamba from Uganda as the keynote speaker for the series. Read more here.