SandraLaya Retires as VOW’s National Coordinator
Today,August 30th, 2017 is my last day as the National Coordinator of Canadian Voice of Women for Peace (VOW) after almost a decade. It has been an exciting and life changing experience. I look back over these past years with a lot of emotion. We shared so many successes and so many disappointments, but through it all we continued in our determination to create a culture of peace. Over this period I also became a grandmother, and that only increased my commitment to work towards a safe world for our children and future generations to live and grow.
During my time at VOW, we established peace leadership camps that are held every year in three different provinces (Nova Scotia, Ontario and British Columbia). In Manitoba, VOW developed a ToolKit for Young Feminists. Over the past several years, we have continued with our educational excursions to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW), with so many of these young women returning to their communities to become strong members of our organization. We have many young women assuming roles in our organization – from being on our national board to developing youth chapters, as well as helping with social media, grant writing, camp organizing, and fundraising.
It is my intention to continue as a member of VOW and to help with ongoing projects such as membership development and peace education. Peace education is where my heart is. I would like to see VOW continue to grow as an organization that supports young women in their work to become activists for change. I have started a fund for peace education. This will aid young women to attend our summer camps, to attend conferences, both alone and/or with senior mentors, to go the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW). All of these programs are important. I am particularly committed to seeing young women represent us at conferences and meetings held by our peace partners. Media savvy young women will share the information with our membership through blogging, live videos, photos, and social media. Senior VOW women have been attending these events at their own expense. We need to make it possible for younger women to attend through fundraising.
I am hosting a Peace Education Fundraising and Retirement Celebration on October 27 from 7 pm – 9:30 pm at Women on the Move, 2111 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON. You can get your tickets by clicking here. Please consider making a donation to this important project. You can donate by clicking here and write peace education in the memo line.