News Archive

Letter from our Partner
The work that WEIF has done over the years would not have been possible without our partnerships across India and Pakistan. The Girivanvasi Educational Trust (GVET) has provided on the ground management of numerous initiatives over the years, and here they reflect on everything we have accomplished together.
Update on Maternal and Child Health
In 2016, WEIF began our final project, a comprehensive maternal and child health initiative focused both in the Warli tribal communities of Palgar District in Maharashtra State and on the slums of Sion, Mumbai. WEIF is proud to have incorporated numerous successful aspects of our previous initiatives into a comprehensive program to improve nutrition, health access, health literacy, and pre- and post-natal care for underserved mothers and their families across India.
Celebrating WEIF's First Project
WEIF's first project, the Rahimabad School in Gilgit-Balistan, Pakistan, was honoured on May 24, 2016 by a visit from Princess Zahra and Prince Rahim Aga Khan. This is a proud moment for WEIF and reflects the sustainable change that we have made in Gilgit-Balistan through access to education. In 2006, through the generous support of our donors, Alberta's Wild Rose Foundation, and the communities of Rahimabad, WEIF facilitated the construction of the first self-sustaining school in Gilgit-Baltistan.
WEIF Featured in The Edmonton Journal
Heather McPherson, Executive Director for Alberta Council for Global Cooperation, wrote an op-ed in The Edmonton Journal emphasizing the importance of empower-ing women in the fight against social inequality and extreme poverty. WEIF was one of several organizations highlighted for their contributions to improving the education, health, and well-being of women and children in communities across the globe.
New Partnerships
WEIF has proudly joined hands with several companies and organizations in the fight against global poverty — Vibrant Village Foundation, Luke Four Foundation, Your Tea: ChariTea, Afsana Dance Group, Bridge Street United Church Foundation, Trinity Jubilee Foundation, and LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics.
Anna Appearances Sponsors WEIF
WEIF is proud to announce its newest partner, Anna Appearances, which is a non-profit project founded by 17-year-old Maria Park from Corner Brook, Newfoundland. Maria make appearances as Disney's Frozen Princess Anna at parties and events. One hundred percent of the proceeds go towards providing quality education to children in Bihar, India.
LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics Sponsors WEIF
WEIF is extremely pleased to announce its ongoing partnership with LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics. Through LUSH's Charity Pot Program, WEIF has received continued support for women in the neighboring villages of Navapada, Khadikipada and Shisane. Beginning July 2015, the Village Improvement Program will expand into Bihar, India’s second poorest state, where women in the villages of Padampur and Sattarkattaiya will receive support from LUSH.
ACGC Top 30 Under 30
WEIF is proud to announce that two of our members, Erin Balcom and Julia Rudzitis, are honoured recipients of the Alberta Council for Global Cooperation's Top 30 Under 30 Albertans working for global change.

Expansion of Microcredit
One of WEIF's longest-running projects has reached an important milestone: microcredit loans have now been provided to over 1,000 women in Northern Pakistan. This program is empowering women and breaking the cycle of poverty through entrepreneurship.
HIV Outreach Program
WEIF partnered with Indian NGO Somaiya Action for HIV/AIDS Support (SAHAS) to provide urgent care to persons living with PLHIV in the poorest districts of Mumbai, India. WEIF is working with local health care experts to create an outreach program that provides home-based counselling, nutrition, and education while fighting stigma and misinformation surrounding HIV.
Agricultural Development
WEIF is supporting sustainable livelihoods, food security, and gender equality in remote communities of rural India. Our successful agricultural development program in the villages of Divshi and Gadchincla has been expanded to nearby communities and the state of Bihar, India.
LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics Sponsors WEIF
WEIF is delighted to announce its new partner: LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics! Through LUSH's Charity Pot Program, LUSH has contributed to the expansion of WEIF's Village Improvement program—a replication of the highly successful CIDA project in Gadchincla and Divshi—to Ghadne and Bahare, two neighbouring villages of the Nareshwadi Learning Centre.
Contribution from Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
WEIF is extremely pleased to announce that the Canadian International Development Agency has approved a grant of $480,974 in support of WEIF's initiatives at the Nareshwadi Learning Centre. This contribution will enable the construction of a Girls' Hostel, the renovation of the Vocational Training Centre, and upgrading the facility to include a training centre for young women seeking certification as healthcare workers or Early Childhood Education teachers. WEIF is very proud of our partnership with Girivanavasi Educational Trust (GVET), and grateful to CIDA for allowing the exemplary work done at the Nareshwadi Learning Centre to continue.
New Partnership: Somaiya Action for HIV/AIDS Support, Mumbai, India
WEIF is partnering with Somaiya Action for HIV/AIDS Support (SAHAS) in an urgent intervention to rescue a HIV/AIDS Community Care Centre (CCC) in the urban slums of Mumbai from closure in 2012.
Kilimanjaro Climb, Tallest Mountain in Africa
Salim Kara, a member of WEIF's Board of Directors, is fulfilling a life-long dream of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in support of WEIF's projects in India and Pakistan. Salim ascended to the "Rooftop of Africa" on September 25th, 2012. Mr. Kara covered his own expenses for the trip, and all funds raised will be contributed toward WEIF's program.
WEIF Intern Visits India Project
In summer 2012, Erin Balcom, a University of Alberta student and intern with WEIF, spent two months volunteering at the Nareshwadi Learning Centre in Dahanu Taluka, India. During her assignment, Erin worked one-on-one with the children at the Centre, participated in WEIF's village-outreach initiatives, and visited an HIV/AIDS clinic in the slums of Mumbai—WEIF's exciting new partnership for 2013.
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