Cape Breton University alumna, Jill McPherson, has been invited by Their Excellencies the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and Mrs. Sharon Johnston, and the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, and Mrs. Laureen Harper to a receptionin honour of Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridgeto celebrate the exceptional service of Canadian youth toward a smart and caring nation. The event is taking place today at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, Ont. McPherson, who is native of Port Morien, N.S., was selected as a representative of Save the Children Canada (SCC), an organization that she became involved in during her time at CBU.
The event brings together 100 Canadian youth who are dedicated to service both at home and abroad and who, through their actions, are building a smarter and more caring nation and planet. The youth selected work inareas of service similar to those identified in the Royal Wedding Charitable Gift Fund:
• support for service personnel and their families;
• conservation for future generations;
• children fulfilling their potential;
• changing lives through art and sport; and
• help and care at home.
“I am honoured to have been nominated by Save the Children Canada – an organization whose vision and mission I truly believe in and am proud to be a part of; an organization whose work brings immediate and lasting improvements to children’s lives through the realization of their rights. Secondly, to be selected by the Governor General to be part of such a dynamic group of young Canadians is truly humbling,” says McPherson.
In September 2010, McPherson travelled to Kenya, Africa, as an intern with Save the Children, where she was responsible for conducting an evaluation of a two-year program entitled Youth Friendly Adolescent and Sexual Reproductive Health Services. The purpose of this evaluation was to glean best practices and lessons learned by conducting qualitative interviews with program beneficiaries – children, youth and their families and various program stakeholders including government officials, local non-governmental organizations (NGO), volunteer groups, to best inform the design and implementation of future SCC projects and programs. Additionally, she assisted in the coordination of a documentary film entitled Living Positively about a man who is currently living with HIV.
McPherson’s involvement with Save the Children began in 2007 when she was Vice-President Academic with the CBU Students’ Union. “I brought the idea of supporting an international NGO to the attention of the CBUSU executive. Following this, I began researching various international NGOs hoping to find a Canadian based organization that was both independent and non-denominational, an organization that values cultural diversity and provides emergency relief and long-term sustainable development. While in the beginning I doubted an organization possessing these qualities existed, I soon came across Save the Children – an organization that embodies each and every one.”
McPherson is a 2010 graduate of CBU and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology/Sociology (honours).
Save the Children is a network of 29 member organizations raising funds and operating programs domestically and internationally that focus on the issues of health and nutrition, education, HIV and AIDS, child protection, livelihoods and food security, emergency relief and child rights governance.