What about the Children of Greater Montréal? Response to Unicef’s Disturbing Report
This past June 15, Unicef’s Report Card 14 revealed the disturbing reality that Canada ranks in the bottom half of industrial nations with respect to child well-being. More specifically, Canada is presently 25th among the world’s 41 wealthy countries, as compared to holding 7th place in 2007. Of course, this report comes as quite a surprise to many, particularly the findings that Canada is in 33rd place in terms of child homicide, 31st for rate of suicide, and it also suffers from a high rate of child intimidation. What is worse: our country ranks 37th in the fight to eliminate hunger and to improve the well-being of children.
“The publication of these results confirmed the observations, which several citizen and organizations of the Greater Montréal have already expressed, in regard to the state of children, ” says Yvan Gauhtier, President and CEO of the Foundation of Greater Montréal. In 2016, the Foundation of Greater Montréal (FGM) decided to make child well-being the major issue of focus in the upcoming Greater Montréal’s Vital Signs report to be released this coming October 3.
The FGM has assembled some 30 organizations, institutions and experts all of whom are concerned with children up to the age of 17 so as to establish a statistical portrait on the state of children. As part of the several meetings, these professionals and interveners in the area of childhood have exchanged studies and inquiries, and they have actively engaged in discussions about a host of issues related to such subjects as mental health, academic success, the environment, culture, social inequality and inclusion.
Aside from the updated data by the strategic committee, the initiative has included children in the process of the Vital Signs project. In partnership with The University of Montréal and Concordia University, seven groups of young people originally from different districts and realities (Syrian refugee families, handicapped, etc.) were assembled to express themselves on issues, values, contraints and their dreams related to Montréal city.
As Unicef’s report has indicated, it is important to provide an update on children’s situation, especially within the context of this special year of celebrations of Montréal’s 375th and Canada’s 150th anniversaries. The good news is that this mobilization is already in place; while several local and regional actors have begun strategic initiatives among children of the community.
Vital Signs Strategic Committee
Centraide of Greater Montreal
Commission scolaire de Montréal
Commission scolaire Marguerite-Bourgeois
Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal
Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec
Conseil régional de l’environnement de Montréal
Direction régionale de la santé publique
Forum jeunesse de l’île de Montréal
Institut du Nouveau Monde
Institut du Québec
J.W. McConnell Family Foundation
Montréal Hooked on school
Observatoire des tout-petits (Lucie and André Chagnon Foundation)
Québec en Forme
Section Recherche de la direction stratégique
The University of Montréal
The YMCAs of Québec
Tommy Kulczyk, Commissioner for Children City of Montréal
University Advancement at McGill
More about the Foundation of Greater Montréal
The FGM offers innovative solutions to philanthropists and organizations of all kinds, helping them creating and managing endowment funds so they can have the most durable and positive impact possible on their community. Founded in 1999, the FGM has since then awarded 30 million CAD to more than a thousand community non-profits. As a decisive link between the donors and non-profits, the FGM ensures each donation will work in the long term.
The FGM helps corporations, families and individuals set up endowment funds, and awards the revenues generated to local non-profits in the form of grants, in accordance with any specific objective established. It also sees to promoting philanthropy as a tool to improve quality of life in the Greater Montréal.
Every two years, Canada’s Community Foundations take part in Vital Signs, which is aimed at measuring the vitality of our communities and cities, using a host of social and economic indicators. Each community foundation leads the project in their respective region. By bolstering knowledge about the communities they serve, Vital Signs allow the foundations to better channel donations and have an even greater effect.
Foundation of Greater Montréal
Corinne Adélakoun, Director of Communications
514 866-0808 ext. 109 / firstname.lastname@example.org