Good morning, everyone.
Pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), we are resuming our study of the protection of children and youth in developing countries.
To all our witnesses, thanks for coming back. This has got to be like déjà vu for you, showing up again. We'll actually let you testify this time. How does that sound? Why don't I start by just introducing people.
We have with us Bryn Styles, who's a trustee from The Rotary Foundation. Welcome. We also have with us Robert Scott, chair emeritus of the International PolioPlus Committee. Welcome, sir. We're glad to have you here. And we have Wilfrid Wilkinson, the past international president of Rotary International. It's great to have you here as well. Then we have John Button, the president of Kiwanis International. Thank you for returning again today. We have Debra Kerby, president and chief executive officer of Canadian Feed The Children. And finally we have Sohel Khan, senior program advisor, food security and environmental sustainability, Canadian Feed The Children.
We'll start with opening remarks and once those are done we'll go back and forth among the parties to ask questions over the next hour and a half.
We'll start with John Button from Kiwanis International. Sir, we'll turn it over to you for seven minutes. The floor is yours.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Good morning. My name is John Button. I am a retired family physician from southwestern Ontario and I'm currently the president of Kiwanis International, a global organization of over 640,000 members in more than 16,000 clubs in more than 80 nations.
We are engaged with our partner UNICEF in a campaign to raise $110 million to eliminate maternal-neonatal tetanus, which tragically and cruelly kills a newborn baby every 11 minutes and a new mother every 25 minutes in the developing world. We are extremely grateful for the generous matching-funds donation of $2.5 million from the Government of Canada, which makes it the largest government donor to our campaign.
Since our partnership with UNICEF began four years ago, we have eliminated maternal-neonatal tetanus from 16 countries; however, 23 remain. We are prevailing. We are now beginning to see some unexpected but very positive outcomes to our campaign beyond the elimination of maternal-neonatal tetanus. Whole communities in the developing world are being opened up to new health care initiatives, because they see that their babies are no longer dying because of three injections of tetanus vaccine, because of the education of health care workers in safe birthing practices, and because of the women's assertion of their right to access safe health care.
Integrated immunization programs for measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B, childhood diarrhea and pneumonia—both leading baby killers—and cervical cancer are being introduced and eagerly embraced. Educational programs on midwifery, hygiene, sanitation, and child care to name a few are being implemented and expanded. As well, we are starting to see something much more subtle and, I believe, something more profound going on.
The first 28 days following the birth of a child are known as the neonatal period. Every day, 70 new mothers in the developing world die during this time. Eighty-nine percent of children in the developing world whose mothers survive this period live long enough to go to school, compared to only 24% of children in the developing world whose mothers die during these critical 28 days. The presence of absence of a father makes no difference.
The loss of a mother has a devastating effect on a family, especially a family in the developing world. The effect on girls is particularly devastating. In most instances the mother, as well as being everything else, is the family's principal breadwinner. So the family’s income is reduced if not lost altogether. School becomes unaffordable and so educational opportunities dry up. The dropout rate soars.
All too often, the end result of all of this for girls is early marriage out of necessity. Every day 39,000 girls are forced into early marriage. That adds up to over four million girls every year. Around the world, there are currently 700 million women living in forced marriages. One third of these marriages occurred before the girl was 15 years old. In the African nation of Chad, seven out of 10 girls are married before they are 15. As well, in Chad, a girl is much more likely to die in childbirth than she is to attend secondary school. Chad is one of the target nations for Canada’s contribution. Child marriage is a human rights violation.
Studies show that immunization leads to improved academic performance. Why? We don’t know. But we do know that improved academic performance gives young girls and boys a greater chance of breaking the cycle of poverty, malnutrition, dependence, and child marriage. Interestingly, an increased education leads to a decrease in the fertility rate, which is not such a bad thing in developing countries struggling with population control.
Educated girls are empowered girls, and empowered girls can and will say no. Recently, in a UNICEF journal, I read the story of a 15-year-old girl living in sub-Saharan Africa who was betrothed by her family to a 75-year-old man. She attended school. She was educated. She said no. She rallied her classmates to her cause. They said no. Together, they marched on the village elder's hut and said no, and they prevailed. There was no marriage. That was empowerment. That 15-year-old girl was empowered because she was in school. She was in school because she lived long enough to attend and because her mother could afford to send her. She was there and the money was there because her mother survived the neonatal period because she had been immunized and had had access to safe obstetrical care.
What we Kiwanians started four years ago with UNICEF has taken on a whole new significance in the lives of children, families, and their communities. The elimination of maternal-neonatal tetanus will be our finest accomplishment, but we will have achieved so much more. As they are now, whole new communities in the developing world are opening up to health care and health education initiatives that will improve the lives of children for generations.
They will be raised in healthy and nurturing communities where they will be able to pursue opportunities to grow, to develop, to go to school, to dream, and to succeed. They will be raised in communities where young girls are empowered to learn and have hopeful futures and empowered to say no to forced marriage and the miseries that come with it.
We are advancing Archbishop Tutu’s Girls Not Brides campaign. Girls are being empowered to demand access to safe health care and empowered to assert their rights over their bodies. We are transforming societies and how they work.
By choosing to serve the poorest of the poor, we Kiwanians are sending a loud message, a message that says these children and women matter. They have the right to access safe health care and enjoy the benefits that come with it. Women deserve to give birth to healthy babies, and not die because of it. Their babies should not die because they were born, and they deserve the opportunity to live full and productive lives. The accident of geography should not determine a child’s destiny.
Kiwanis and UNICEF are wiping maternal neonatal tetanus off the face of the globe. By ridding the world of this vicious killer, we will make history. But we will also be making a more subtle and perhaps far more profound difference. We will be delivering hope. Children will live long enough to be educated. Girls will be empowered to demand their rightful place. We will be changing the way whole societies will function, not only for now but also for generations to come.
We will do it, and I am so proud to be part of it, and I am so proud that my government and my country are playing a leading role.
Thank you very much.
Thank you, Chairman Allison.
Members of the committee, Rotary International appreciates this opportunity to provide information about the work of Rotary International and Rotary clubs in Canada to support the study on the situation of children and youth in the developing world, and the role Canada continues to play in the protection of children and youth.
Rotary is a global network of leaders who connect in their communities and take action to solve pressing problems. For the past 37 years, Canadian Rotary clubs and the Government of Canada have partnered effectively to increase the impact of Rotary projects in the developing world through the auspices of the Canadian Rotary Collaboration for International Development, known as CRCID.
CRCID was formed in 1986 as the Canadian Rotary coordinating NGO to help implement the Government of Canada’s international development priorities. The projects supported through this collaboration have an estimated value of over $30 million, with over $15 million contributed through Rotary community fundraising efforts and The Rotary Foundation, with the balance provided by the Canadian government.
A proposal for continued partnership between Rotary and the Government of Canada is currently being considered. Rotary is grateful for the opportunity to pursue continued collaboration toward shared development objectives, particularly those which benefit the most vulnerable and at risk.
The building of a school in Nasrat, Afghanistan is a signature project of this collaboration. A two-storey school was built through a partnership of Rotarians in Canada, the United States, Afghanistan, and with the Government of Canada. The school, which was built in 2010, now serves 3,615 boys and girls. An equal number of male and female teachers were hired and trained through the project.
Rotary also has action groups composed of Rotarians who are experts in particular fields and who voluntarily share their expertise to support club and district projects. The Rotary Action Group against Child Slavery features participation of Rotary club members in 65 countries. They create awareness among Rotarians and the general public about the millions of children who are held captive for commercial gain, and help Rotarians take action to protect children through programs, campaigns, and projects. This group participated in a conference about modern slavery organized by Britain’s Home Office in January of this year and is also participating in a summit that will be held at the Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia, in May, featuring the participation of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.
The Rotary Action Group against Child Slavery has supported several shelter and rehabilitation projects in countries such as India, Thailand, and Ghana. Through these projects, rescued children can stay in safety and be trained in vocational skills that will enable them to support themselves independently.
Rotary also has an impressive network of alumnae from our Peace Centers program who represent the world’s most dedicated and brightest professionals. For example, one alum is now the Latin America and Caribbean policy director for the International Center for Missing & Exploited Children, based in Brasilia, Brazil. Another founded her own NGO, Children United, which partners with grassroots organizations to fight for the elimination of sexual exploitation of children. One serves as an expert for the gender and children unit of the Office of the Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court and for sexual and gender-based violence for the United Nations Women's Justice Rapid Response team. Still another of our distinguished alumnae is a senior adviser focused on child rights governance for Save the Children in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
These are just a few of the key examples of how Rotary's investment in some of the most talented among our youth is paying off as these outstanding individuals assume key leadership positions and devote their lives to serving others.
Rotary’s highest priority, global polio eradication, offers the best example of our collective work to reach every child. We are proud of our long-standing collaboration with the Canadian government on this issue. This global project has revealed what we can accomplish through collective action and partnership and by elevating the projects we undertake to ensure sustainability and maximum impact.
Our partnership with the United Nations agencies, governments around the world, private sector lenders such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and a wide range of other civil society organizations has opened the doors for collaboration in other areas of shared concern, such as those we are addressing here today.
In addition to the more than $1.3 billion that Rotary has spent, Rotarians have negotiated access to children in such places as Sri Lanka, Angola, and Côte d’Ivoire. We have been successful in our efforts to negotiate access because we are part of these local communities. We are neutral, non-partisan, and not affiliated with any religion.
Using a best practice developed in India, Rotarians in Pakistan have established health camps that offer health interventions besides the polio vaccine. These are supported by all Rotary clubs in Pakistan and have been crucial to ensuring continued demand for the vaccine in high-risk communities. Similar health camps have also been set up by Rotarians in Nigeria.
In 2014 Pakistan saw internal displacement of more than one million people. Rotary has funded numerous permanent transit points and mobile health clinics, both with the goal of immunizing mobile populations, including internally displaced persons and migrant populations, to ensure that the disease doesn’t spread throughout Pakistan or beyond. These clinics, supervised by the World Health Organization, are staffed around the clock and reach hundreds of children daily.
Rotary has been referred to as the conscience of the global polio eradication initiative in recognition of our work to hold governments accountable. I and my fellow Rotarians Bob Scott and Bryn Styles, who are here with me today, have travelled to Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Chad, and Nigeria, as well as to other donor countries, to meet with the heads of state and provincial leaders to urge them to provide the highest level of attention and oversight to polio eradication activities and ultimately ensure that every child is reached and protected from polio.
This is relevant for this committee because, if we can achieve this for polio, we can do it for a range of other efforts that benefit those most in need of our support.
Again, we thank the committee for this opportunity and we encourage the continued leadership of the Government of Canada in protecting the most vulnerable among us. Please be assured of Rotary’s continued commitment to complementing this work when and where possible.
It's great to be back here. Thank you again for the invitation and the opportunity to appear before the standing committee today.
As a Canadian secular international development agency founded in 1986, Canadian Feed The Children has as its mission to reduce the impact of poverty on children by providing children, parents, local partners, and communities with the resources needed for self-sufficiency and resilience and by strengthening local organizations with a focus on change that benefits children.
Our current countries of focus are Ghana, Ethiopia, Uganda, Bolivia, Haiti, and First Nations communities here in Canada as well. Over the past five years, we’ve streamlined our development approach and increased our focus on the related issues of education and food security based in strong local capacity building. We have transformed from an agency that historically delivered a wide variety of activities in many countries each year to one that now targets specific outcomes to address broad development challenges and create tangible long-term results using a “theory of change” approach.
As identified by a previous speaker to this committee, CFTC is aligned with UNICEF’s vision of the evolution of the child protection sector, characterized by “a move away from addressing child protection issues in isolation to a more holistic approach...with a focus on overall systems strengthening, and addressing social determinants of child protection failings.”
CFTC addresses the social determinants of child protection through adequate nutrition in the early childhood and primary school years and access to education, especially for girls. Access to nutritional food and to education is only possible where food security—especially for mothers—exists. Working through women to increase the health and well-being of children is central to our work and to the contribution we can make to the Government of Canada’s mandate on maternal, newborn, and child health.
At CFTC, systems strengthening takes place on two levels: through organizational systems development at our global headquarters here in Canada and locally, where we support strengthening of local NGO partners and communities themselves.
In Canada, we are honoured to have been recognized for excellence in good governance and financial transparency, winning the Voluntary Sector Reporting Award for transparency in financial reporting for our annual reports in 2012, 2013, and 2014, as well as for being one of the first non-profits in Canada to achieve Imagine Canada standards accreditation.
In turn, CFTC shares these best practices in governance and financial excellence, as well as technical and capacity building expertise, with our local NGO partners to support their ability to move from dependence to independence. For example, over the last two years local partners in Uganda and Ghana have secured significant levels of institutional donor funding—in the six-figure level—in part through our support for their strengthened governance, financial, and monitoring and evaluation systems, which have allowed them to demonstrate both greater accountability and greater impact.
In 2013, CFTC received a DFATD grant of $2 million for what we call CHANGE—the climate change adaptation in northern Ghana enhanced project. CHANGE has helped to transform the lens through which we view our contribution to child and youth protection. The cross-cutting themes of environmental impact, disaster risk reduction, and gender equity are core elements within CHANGE that help create more resilient and food-secure communities. CHANGE is perhaps the best example of a project in which the interconnections between women’s health and participation in the local economy and the resulting positive impact on children’s nutrition and health are most evident.
We agree with DFATD’s position that if child protection and security issues are not addressed, “investments in health, education, and other areas may not bring lasting improvements.” This is why CFTC’s programs, especially those that strengthen opportunities for women, are at their heart child-centric. For example, women in one CHANGE focus group, held in early 2013, spoke about growing food insecurity resulting in an increased incidence of stunting and wasting among children and a reduction of meals from three times to twice, and sometimes, to only once a day as a result of a shortage of food or the lack of income to buy it. They also reported reductions in household income as a result of crop failures, leading to their inability to keep their children in school and pay for health insurance. These are all examples of how the changing environment and reduced agricultural production in northern Ghana are directly impacting the safety and protection of children.
Since that time, CHANGE has included women in agricultural training opportunities, given women leadership positions in farmer-based organizations, and granted land to women to grow crops and materials required for agricultural and non-agricultural income generation. Right now in CHANGE communities in northern Ghana, more than 70% of farmer beneficiaries are women, far in excess of the original target of 40%. We have seen a dramatic improvement as well in women’s crop yields: from 1 to 2 bags to up to 10 bags per acre, close to a 10-fold increase.
Women are now participating at increasing levels in farming activities. They are gaining the knowledge they need to boost their own productivity and a stronger voice in community economic development. They are being recognized for the value they can contribute to both household and community food security. Most importantly, they are now able to feed their children nutritious food, send and keep them in school, and pay for basic necessities like clothing, repairs to their homes, and health care.
CFTC also supports women’s micro-finance groups in Ethiopia and Uganda, where more than 10,000 members, 80% of whom are women, are earning income. These groups offer important channels to ensure that increased household income leads to better nutrition for children. CFTC’s local NGO partners are delivering nutrition education to group members, which is designed to ensure that household income directly translates into improved quantity and quality of the food children eat.
We are seeing these efforts pay off. There has been a 73% increase in income among self-help group members, and 93% of those who reported increased income have spent some or all of it on food.
We're also seeing significant progress in our work in first nations communities in Canada, where we started with breakfast and lunch programs and now are rolling out community-led, community-based nutrition programs, one in Eel Ground First Nation outside Miramichi in New Brunswick and another north of Owen Sound, Ontario with the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation.
Our work on child protection in Canada is informed by our international work, and is in turn informing our education and nutrition programs in indigenous communities in the developing world, such as Bolivia.
It is CFTC’s position that increasing women’s livelihood opportunities plus empowering women in agricultural training, leadership, and nutrition education leads to healthier, safer, more secure lives for children.
Development that is truly community-based and community-led is critical to ensure community ownership of long-term development goals and processes. Community-led adaptation and action can also reduce the risks and effects of environmental-related disasters should they occur, therefore decreasing reliance on humanitarian assistance.
In closing, it's been stated that the single most important determinant of whether a child in the developing world will live to see her or his fifth birthday is a measure of that family’s access to education and income, particularly the mother’s access.
We appreciate the Canadian government’s maternal, newborn, and child health strategy, and its commitment to long-term engagement in development. We call upon the Government of Canada to continue to support long-term approaches to the protection of children, focusing on mothers’ access to education, enhanced income, and the provision of nutritious foods to drive food security for the protection of both children and their families.
That's a very good question.
I think that the focus on women and children in the SDGs can always be deepened. I think it needs to keep going further to understand the shifts and changes at the community level. From our experience with the CHANGE project in northern Ghana, where we've been working for a number of years and where we knew that women were engaged in agriculture, it was very much at the direction of their husbands to a great extent in the communities where we were working.
When we set a goal of 40% women's participation, we were told, “That's very aggressive, good luck with that“. The fact that we have almost doubled that and have released.... It's the community that's facilitated it by helping create leadership and opportunity in the community and by having a certain percentage of women lead farmer-based organizations, for example, when they never did before. It has helped to give them profile and confidence that they are able to do this work.
Through CHANGE, we've worked with Farm Radio International. The great work of Farm Radio International has helped us use women's voices to take those messages out to women who are in more remote communities. I think women learning from women, as some of my colleagues have mentioned, and communities learning from each other is the most powerful learning. It's also important to take into account the domestic changes that can happen with men in the community. If women take on more agricultural responsibilities, but the men don't pick up the domestic responsibilities, that is not so great for the women.
It's important that we have sensitization for the men about the contributions that women are making to economic development, to social development, and to child development. It's not just about women working; there's the role of women in the community that we very much need to pay attention to because that's the environment the child will grow up into. I think we can continue to keep pushing for more focus on women and children in the SDGs.
Thank you to all of you for being here this morning. We apologize for the short change you got the other day when you got cancelled, but some things are beyond our control.
I really appreciate the comments that each of you made about collaboration. You talked about collaboration with governments, with UN agencies, and we just had a conversation about collaboration with UNICEF.
Mr. Wilkinson, you said:
Our partnership with the United Nations agencies, governments around the world, private sector lenders such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and a wide range of other civil society organizations has opened the doors for collaboration in other areas of shared concern, such as those we are addressing here today.
One of the things we know is that the call for ODA has recently been $135 billion, and we know that in the future it's going to take trillions of dollars. That is the expectation to fulfill the development goals that we're looking at. One of the areas that has not been well explored for a long time is the collaboration with private sector.
Mr. Wilkinson, I wonder if you could speak a little bit about that. How have you found success in working with private sector? Are there areas where we can move forward with that to leverage knowledge and expertise and financing?
Ms. Kerby, I'll give you a little side note. My son-in-law, who did his doctorate in electrical engineering here in North America, is back in Ghana, his country of origin, and he is building solar fields north of Kumasi. The project is $150 million U.S. going into that country, creating jobs, creating prosperity, creating tax revenues for the government, but it's also creating sustainability. I wonder if each of you could speak to how we can harness this kind of an investment going into a country that will enable us to do more with our development dollars.
Mr. Wilkinson, perhaps you'd like to start.
We wish that Bill Gates was a member of Rotary. However, his father is, or was, and so I'm sure that had some influence. I hope I influence my sons as well. But we just have to look at the facts, including the fact that the divide between the wealthy and the impoverished is getting bigger. In addition to that, because of communications, the impoverished are finally getting more of what the haves have, and therefore they want to see more of that. If we're ever going to have peace in this world, we have to find some way to bridge that gap.
We see in Rotary an organization of over 1.2 million members—not to take away from all our youth programs, the Rotaract programs, the Interact programs, and the EarlyAct programs—who are concentrating on the need for those living in have countries to share with the people who live in have-not countries. We believe that Rotary is providing that exchange. It's not an easy exchange, but we're providing that exchange, and I think it's working.
I couldn't believe that last week the EarlyAct programs running in elementary schools raised $3,000 to buy goats to send over to Ethiopia. Kids in grades five, six, seven, and eight are learning at their age that the world is changing. Among the leaders of those groups are young women, young girls. I think we're developing that.
I think the country has to do that, our country has to do that. I think countries all over the world have to do that. Because of the influence that the Canadian government has and organizations like Rotary have, we're able to share that idea with other countries. So we were immensely pleased when the Government of India encouraged every country to give a percentage to charity. Rotary has benefited, not to the extent it would from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, but from very large corporations in India that have contributed substantially, millions and millions of dollars, to help India become polio-free. They've put the pressure on the government, but they've done it by contributing their own funds to it. So I think we're bridging that gap that you so clearly identified.
I don't know whether any of my colleagues would like to add anything, but I think it's very important.
Thank you for coming in today.
I really appreciated your presentations. One thing I sensed in all of your presentations was a certain optimism. I know it's a real challenging world out there, and it can become very frustrating. Especially when I think about your large organizations, with all of your volunteers, how do you keep that optimism? If you take the long view and you look at the last 50 or even 100 years of human history, you see that in certain developments—access to drinking water, primary education, infection rates—we are actually making headway in many parts of the world.
All of your organizations have been successful in various ways. I think one of the things your organizations and your individual volunteers bring is this skill set or this diversity of backgrounds that you're able to deploy and focus. Management thinker Peter Drucker talked about SMART goals: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals. There are elements of all of that when you describe what you're doing as being very achievable. I think about the eradication of polio; we know it's achievable. You have a certain timeframe you want to do it by, and that's why you're able to get people to focus on these things.
Mr. Styles, you mentioned that you're in discussion with the Government of Canada right now. You have partners around the world in terms of different countries that you're operating in. When you're discussing with the Government of Canada, are there calls for proposals? Are they looking at other organizations? Is it a competitive bidding process? I always say that we don't fund NGOs, we fund programs and projects, and then we look at who is the best partner to deal with. How is that discussion taking place with Rotary right now?
Well, to call on Drucker again, you can't manage what you can't measure, or is it that you can't measure what you can't manage?
When I came to CFTC in 2010, five years ago, we had a lot of good work under way, but it wasn't great work. For me, the difference between good to great in the not-for-profit sector is that good work is when you can tell a great story about it; great work is when you can define measurable impact and very clearly defined indicators.
The impetus for our theory of change journey over the last five years has been the absence of a monitoring and evaluation framework to be able to very clearly define impact. It was a very messy but very important process to go back to our community partners and the communities we're working with to talk about theory of change. It meant we needed to focus our efforts. Instead of sprinkling a bit of sugar on everything, we needed to be very focused. That was how we came up with our theory of change map. Then, we drilled down, working with the communities to talk about the clear and measurable indicators for food security, education, capacity building.
That was done in each country. Now we're coming to the end of a three-year period, and we'll be able to measure against very specific and clearly defined indicators that were developed by the community, that also link in with global indicators, to make sure we can track impact at the community level, at the country level, and against global indicators.
Thank you very much for the question.
I don't believe that we've had a lot of difficulty. I can remember being in Nigeria, and the difficulty was that the workers were not being paid.
On the other hand, I can remember an imam at one of the mosques saying that you'll never get rid of polio in Nigeria until you stop the money. I asked what he meant. He said, “Well, you know, the people here have figured out that you used to hire people to do this”. When he said “you”, it's the government, which we were supporting. They would get drops once a year. Then they were getting drops twice a year. Now you're up to immunizing them every three months, and all that. He said that they'd figured out that if they immunize all the kids, you wouldn't need them anymore.
What you have to do is to convince them that there are other things to do. That's why we have the whole area of the camps to provide not only polio vaccine but also health care in other areas, so that they know there's a future.
Sometimes governments are less than perfect, but because the members of Rotary are not being paid—they're there as volunteers—they're able to influence the local population and local business people tremendously. I think that's how we are getting around this problem. It's a problem, and it doesn't matter what country you're in. You might even say that we have some of those problems right here in North America as well. We're constantly at it.
However, our big argument is that our people are all volunteers. They are not being paid.
I'd be happy to take that one on.
I think one needs to take care in simply looking at ratios of 10% or saying that 80% is a good ratio. I think it's really important that we raise the bar in terms of whether or not an organization is having a demonstrated impact, because I think a 10% ratio might look good but that organization might not be having a strong impact and there could be governance issues within that organization.
I sit on the advisory council of Imagine Canada. Some of you may be familiar with it. It's an excellent Canadian-grown organization, and they have put together a fantastic model for excellence in good governance and financial transparency. It's almost like a road map. For those 86,000 charities in Canada, there are only a couple of hundred that have been accredited underneath Imagine at this point in time, but there's a huge push forward.
Also, I think in the international development sector it's particularly important. Is say this because the Muttart Foundation issued a report on Canadians' trust in charities about a year ago, and for international development agencies, Canadians have about a 50% trust level. Of course, it's competition for funding, to be sure, but also competition for share of mind.
But I know that at Canadian Feed The Children, not only did the Imagine accreditation help us get our finance and programming in order, but it was also an important journey for our board. One mustn't overlook the role of the board in terms of excellence in governance in charities. Also, I think it's helped put us on track, so that in two years we've actually doubled our donations from our major gift donors, who are leadership donors. I think that's because of the excellence in the quality and the way we drive our organization. We have a 10% administration, and about a 65% program. But again, we're pushing impact; we're not pushing ratios.
Thank you very much to our witnesses here this morning.
I'm a Shriner, and I understand that we aren't quite as focused around the world as you are, even though we are international.
I know that you have to have a focus area, and in our case that has been crippled and burned children. We have a cut-off at 18 years, but if someone is under our care through that time—they've been hurt or under care at a younger age than 18—as they get older, they aren't kicked out of the program, but go right through it. So I totally understand that.
One thing I see from all of you this morning is that you do specialize in focus areas, and rather than try to spread your resources over every problem that's out there, you focus on those problems.
As a government, we also have kind of learned that a wee bit, in that we have focus countries. Rather than try to fix everything around the world, we're trying to focus on, I think, roughly 10 countries for some of those types of things. So I congratulate you on that. I think it's about realizing that, if you put more into a pool, you might be able to eradicate polio or you might be able to eradicate tetanus. I appreciate that.
What lessons are to be learned from Rotary's efforts to eradicate the polio virus? How can we transmit this knowledge to eradicating or curbing other preventable illnesses?
Okay. That's what we'll do then.
We want to thank you all for being here. Once again, all the organizations here do outstanding work—Rotary, Kiwanis, and Feed The Children. I know Mr. Bélanger mentioned this. Thank you. Keep up the great work.
We're going to keep going here, if the witnesses could step back from the table.
The question I want to pose to the members is in regard to the suggested drafting instructions to work forward on this report. You've seen those. If we're okay with them, that's really all we need to do. It's just to give them the go-ahead to move forward on those reports.
Do I have consensus to do that?
Some hon. members: Yes.
The Chair: Okay. So we didn't need to come back anyway. We took care of all that.
Is there any other business?
With that, the meeting is adjourned.