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Posted by on Oct 19, 2016 in General News

Mary’s inspiring story and a generous matching campaign

Dear VOWs


Mary Selvarajah

Mary Selvarajah

“One of my biggest fears during the harsh, cold winters was when I was dressing small children, adding layers, in fear that they would have severe frostbite or worse. Their shivering bodies haunt my nights.”

Mary Selvarajah joined VOW several years ago. She is a member of the VOW Toronto Council and has attended our PeacemakeHers Leadership Camps.

This is one of Mary’s stories from this past year when she volunteered in Lesvos, Greece, one of many Syrian refugee camps.

“You hear stories of parents who lost their children, saw their daughters raped, their sons tortured, their children starving or dying in an explosion!”

“These are real stories that are being lived by real people, people who had dreams and a hope for a bright future. In over five years, more than 300,000 Syrians are dead, more than 12 million forced to flee for their lives, and we’re still watching it happen.”

“We can do better, we need to do better: we need to put pressure on our governments and the international community to do more or this will be another history lesson on how we failed as a human race.”

VOW is determined that we will succeed and not fail.  Our Action Manifesto for 2016 with its twelve Peace Priorities ( continues to guide our work for a world without war.  We have lobbied in Ottawa and sent letters to our new Prime Minister and to the new members of Parliament explaining our Peace Priorities.

VOW highly appreciates the contributions of our members, volunteers and donors which help us to achieve our long-term objectives in Canada and around the globe.

We cannot continue to be effective without your financial support. Canadian Voice of Women for Peace needs your help . Your gift of $10, $20, $50, $100, or whatever you can give, will help us to continue Mary’s work and our VOW projects.

VOW chapters have organized Peace Leadership Camps for women in Nova Scotia, Ontario and British Columbia. VOW has offered these engaging and educational programs with the support of your donations. Here are a few comments from our VOW campers:

“Some of the most empowering workshops I found were ones that reconnected us to the power of our bodies and our communities by gently encouraging us to be present in our bodies, our voices, our senses and our life-stories.”

“These workshops raised our own awareness of the power inherent to each of us, and then took that power and guided us so that we might collectively extend that power outwards to support and honour anyone who was in need of some extra nurturing.”


These camps were also “stepping stones, perhaps reminding ourselves of the growth we have all already achieved and perhaps coaxing each of us to attempt the positive personal and societal changes that are as yet ahead of us.”

To continue educating women about their role in promoting world peace and justice, VOW needs your generous support. Please consider a monthly or one-time donation, renewing your membership or becoming a member today. With your financial support, we can continue to be effective.

To move these initiatives forward, we are very excited to launch our November “Match for Change” Campaign. A very generous donor, Ann Gertler, will give VOW up to $6000 as part of a matching campaign. Yes!  You give an amount, and our donor will match it.

Please donate today by sending a single gift or by starting your monthly donation to help us reach our fundraising goal.

Peace is the foundation for a just and sustainable society. We look forward to your support and collaboration in working together for peace.

In peace,


Janis Alton, Lyn Adamson, Co-chairs and the entire Board of Directors

Yusur Al-Bahrani, Brigid Grant, Sandy Greenberg, Hannah Hadikin, Catherine Lathwell, Marilou McPhedran, and Judith Wouk.