How the YWCA Edmonton’s Rose Campaign spurs learning and action during 16 days of activism
Submitted by Enbridge Inc.
“It’s not okay, and we need everyone at the table to help.”
Late November to mid-December marks an important annual period to renew commitments to end gender-based violence, a collective issue that the YWCA Edmonton wants people to know will take more than just awareness to build equity for affected women and girls.
“We know this is a problem that is preventable and solvable, but we cannot do it alone,” says Christine McCourt-Reid, Director of External Relations at YWCA Edmonton. “We could see significant change in our lifetime – but we need to be working together.”
The Rose Campaign is a national advocacy campaign that began on Nov. 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and ends on Dec. 10, World Human Rights Day. In Canada, Dec. 6 also marks the anniversary of the 14 young women who were murdered at l’Ecole Polytechnique, adding to the importance of this critical campaign period each year.
The Rose Campaign began in 1991 as part of the global 16 Days of Activism and is also the YWCA Edmonton’s largest campaign of the year, raising unrestricted funds for programs where support for women is needed most.
“This is the hardest type of fundraising for a non-profit to do,” says McCourt-Reid. “Instead of program-specific donations that can often sit unused for some time, we want people to recognize that sometimes the area of greatest need is greater than any specific donation.”
The YWCA Edmonton piloted its Equity Fund last year with the specific purpose of allocating funds where they are needed most.
Enbridge has supported the YWCA Edmonton since 2021 through an annual $25,000 Fueling Futures donation to the Equity Fund as part of our commitment to build vibrant, sustainable communities near our operations. The funding allows the YWCA to allocate funds to programming that is in most need throughout the year, including counselling services, advocacy, disability supports and youth programs.
On Dec. 5, Enbridge employees also attended the Rose Breakfast in Edmonton, where we provided a $5,000 sponsorship.
“We are so grateful for organizations that see the value in what we are doing and invest in change,” says McCourt-Reid. “The funding is significant for us—it makes a real difference in what we are doing.”
The YWCA Edmonton has been leading social change and progress for women since 1907. During this year’s Rose Campaign, supporters can continue to educate themselves and take action through YWCA resources and continuing the conversation year-round.
“It’s tough to put into words the feeling of seeing the transformation that people make on their journeys – I’m so proud to be part of an organization that does this work.”
(TOP PHOTO: YWCA Edmonton board member Michelle Okere, who is also the chair of its Truth and Reconciliation Committee, speaks during the annual Rose Campaign Breakfast on Dec. 5.)
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