a letter of gratitude and celebration for National Volunteer Week  

By: Results Canada Published: 12/04/2024

Dear Results Canada volunteers,

As an organization powered by the dedication of its volunteers, we want to take a moment to celebrate and express our gratitude for your contribution and commitment throughout the years.

Whether you recently joined us and courageously wrote your first letter to the editor or have been part of our journey from the very beginning, you understand that every moment matters and step out of your comfort zone time and time again in the mission to end extreme poverty.

You engage deeply and regularly with decision-makers, parliamentarians, and the media to advance cost-effective, proven, and effective interventions and initiatives that can have the most impact globally. 

You stand in solidarity with other global advocates and create tangible change that goes beyond shaping policies and programs.

Picture of volunteer Santa Amanda in front of banners at our International Development Week parliamentary reception.
Results Canada volunteer and 2024 Fellow Santa Amanda at our International Development Week parliamentary reception.

My enriching experience at Results Canada:

Being a volunteer at Results Canada has been an uplifting and enriching experience for me. I joined Results Canada in June 2023 because its mission of poverty alleviation deeply resonated with me. I have not only had an opportunity to learn about the global issues that affect the poorest communities but to also learn about how to best advocate for these issues.

There are countless powerful moments that I have encountered at Results Canada so far, including meeting with Members of Parliament and Canadian decision-makers to discuss how Canada can step up to support children living in emergencies at the Global Refugee Forum. With my past experience working with refugees, I had the opportunity to speak up about real issues that affect them that aren’t often heard in the media.

Another powerful moment that I have had was when I searched for my LTE online and found that it had been published by 5 Canadian newspapers in English and French. This LTE, about urging Canada to invest in programs that reach all children ahead of the budget announcement, received views, comments and critics from the public, which in turn created more awareness about this global issue. It is at this moment that I realized how small, collective actions can influence the big change that we want to see in the world.

I’m grateful to the Results Canada’s board, staff, volunteers and partners who tirelessly advocate for a world where each individual has an equitable access to healthcare, education and economic opportunity to thrive.

Since Results Canada was founded, we have been fortunate to connect with countless passionate and dedicated volunteers who continuously challenge themselves to face their fears and embrace their inner applause. Your advocacy has been pivotal in urging the Canadian government to allocate resources and champion policy changes that empower individuals facing poverty.

This National Volunteer Week, let us pause to acknowledge the remarkable impact you, as a Results Canada volunteer, have made over the years, ensuring that every moment counts.

  • You played a crucial role in Canada's involvement at the 1990 World Summit for Children, which paved the way for the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • In 2010, Results Canada collaborated with partners to secure the Muskoka Initiative during the G8 summit, resulting in significant funding for life-saving interventions. You further ensured the initiative's renewal in 2015 and increased investments in sexual and reproductive health and rights.
  • In 2018, during a G7 summit, you pushed for Canada to take the lead in providing education to vulnerable children, particularly girls, in emergencies and refugee settlements. Through Canada's Charlevoix declaration, $400 million CAD was committed, which led to an additional $3.8 billion globally to enhance the quality of education.
  • You championed significant investments in maternal, child, and newborn health and advocated for funding for key multilateral organizations like the Global Fund, GAVI, and the Global Financing Facility.
  • You have been actively involved in every Global Fund replenishment since 2002. In 2022, Results Canada led a coalition to secure a historic $1.2 billion pledge to the Global Fund, the largest investment in a multilateral health organization in Canadian history.
  • This year, you are championing children through our #ReachEveryChild campaign to build on the successes we have seen in child mortality and ensure that all children everywhere have the health, nutrition, education, and opportunity they need to survive and thrive.
Members of the Calgary Results Canada group
Members of the Results Canada Calgary group, including co-leaders and authors of this story, Randy Rudolph (4th from the right) and Michael Gretton (second from right)

by Randy Rudolph and Michael Gretton

Michael and Randy have been volunteers with Results Canada in Calgary for decades, and co-leaders of the group there for about ten years. It's been an important and fulfilling part of our lives. 

Our group is charitably described as “established”, with a mostly older demographic that got involved with the organization in our more idealistic years. The fact that a core group continues to actively volunteer says as much about the kind of people that are attracted to Results as it does to the organization itself. 

Apart from age, the group is diverse with cultural backgrounds in several countries. Our work experience covers nursing, social work, teaching, computer science, engineering and more. We are all passionate about international development and are eager to learn about best practices and communicating those best practices and the hope these evolving practices bring to others. At the same time, we are clear it is about political will and implementation – we know the tools to end poverty are at hand; to get those tools funded is complicated and to actually use the tools where needed is very complicated. Yet we remain committed to getting the facts and the need in front of our politicians and try to convince them in passionate and creative ways that solving these global problems is as important as those in their constituencies. Our diversity helps frame our requests and solutions in ways that appeal to a range of political interests. 

Our group experiences turnover. The most successful newcomers have an ingrained sense of humanity and Results encouragement to “go deep” on issues, actions and activities provide an outlet for that. In that way, volunteering for Results is transformational for them. If we can find a way to influence others including our elected representatives to do the same, the world will thrive. 

A final thought about our group. We have found that deepening relationships is a key to ongoing stability. How and why we achieve that is probably a testament to the individuals in the group. It's manifested in our insistence to have food and drink at every gathering; it's reflected in the establishment of friendships that spill over into recreational and political activities and support for other international development groups. The lines get blurred (as they should!) but our worlds are more solid and more diverse because of our association with Results. 

Through your passionate advocacy and unwavering commitment to global equity, you have proven that collective action can bring about tangible change in the lives of those who need it most. Your powerful advocacy work has helped to bridge the gap between communities affected by poverty and policymakers, ensuring that the voices of those on the ground are not only heard but also acted upon.

As we look to the future, we know that you will continue to be a driving force for change. With your passion, dedication, and tireless efforts, we are confident that we can build a more just and equitable world where no one is left behind. As it stands now, we need to speed up the pace of our progress five times faster to meet most of our goals. Although things sound dire, there are always hope and solutions to be found.

Photo of Results Canada volunteer Dipanpreet
Results Canada volunteer and TB survivor Dipanpreet Kaur

As someone who survived tuberculosis at 4 years old, my experience serves as a testimony to the vital role that action and advocacy play in the fight against this illness. I have personally experienced the days having high fevers and missing school for a couple of months, waiting in long queues at hospitals to have that one big injection and get treated as a little child. It was horrifying. But with God's grace, I recovered within 6 months. Thus, for me, transformative impact of grassroots campaigning in bringing about legislative changes and obtaining funding for tuberculosis prevention, treatment, and research thanks to groups like Results Canada.

In order to ensure that our stories educate and motivate real action, advocating with Results Canada has been crucial in elevating the narratives of TB survivors like me. Results enables people to become change agents in the battle against tuberculosis by involving policymakers, organizing communities, and increasing public awareness. Sharing my experience with politicians was one of the most influential events of my advocacy journey with Results. I have personally seen the power of storytelling in influencing governmental choices and achieving positive results by humanizing the TB issue and emphasizing the urgent need for additional funding and assistance.

Being a survivor of TB, I knew how important it is to address this issue to make every other survivor comfortable with sharing their stories to make a huge impact in others' lives. Today, I am a young poet and author of two solo poetry books, with only one motto in my head, that my words might make at least a percent of positive impact in the lives of other TB survivors. Therefore, as a co-leader at Results Canada and one of the executive members at Social Work Student Association (a York University club), I also took initiative to make these organizations collaborate with each other and conduct an Educational Webinar on Tuberculosis, so that we can spread the message #YesWeCanEndTB to the larger audience.

Through Results' advocacy, we've seen global progress in TB response, with improved medication access and increased research funding. With each voice, story, and action, we're closer to ending this pandemic. I'm honored to join Results and fellow activists during National Volunteer Week in the fight against TB. Together, we can create a world free from the suffering I endured and eliminate TB's threat to public health.

We need you to continue to push for the policies and funding decisions that are going to get the world back on track.

To all our volunteers, thank you for all that you do.

You are true change makers. 

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