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Five things that inspire True Patriot Love

Oh, Canada! What an amazing country we have – from our breathtaking home and native land to the glowing hearts of our compassionate Canucks.

Canadians like you have made our country strong, progressive and culturally rich. But most impressively, you have made the world a better place for children.

This Canada Day, here are five things that inspire true patriot love.

  1. Ensuring every child has a chance

    A child born in Canada is more likely to have a longer life expectancy than a child born in the world’s least developed countries. Some refer to this as the lottery of life, but where you live should not determine whether you live. To address this inequity, the Government of Canada generously committed $3.5 billion to bring life-saving services to the most vulnerable children and mothers around the world. Canada is not only helping to end the preventable deaths of women and children, it’s helping to build stronger families, communities and countries.
  2. Reaching the hardest to reach

    Globally, we have made much progress to save children’s lives. The number of children living to see their fifth birthday has dramatically increased and more children are in school than ever before. But too many children are still being left behind. One way to reach children in the most remote corners of the world is with UNICEF Survival Gifts. Since 2010, Canadians have helped save and transform lives in 88 countries by purchasing Survival Gifts like bed nets, therapeutic food, school supplies and vaccines. These items are delivered to the children who need them most, no matter how far they may be.
  3. Making every child count

    Currently one in three children under the age of five does not have a birth certificate. Birth registration is absolutely essential because it provides children with access to life-saving health, education and protective social services. Canada is supporting UNICEF’s work in sub-Saharan Africa to ensure children have a legal identity. With MobileVRS, an innovative mobile phone technology, birth registration is completed in minutes instead of months. We are counting every child so that every child is counted.
  4. Breaking the cycle of poverty

    When a child suffers from chronic undernutrition, she can sustain permanent damage to her brain and body. She performs poorly at school and has fewer options for jobs. It is an injustice often passed from one generation to the next. With funding from the Government of Canada, UNICEF and partners are addressing the issues of stunting and undernutrition, from pregnancy and breastfeeding to micronutrients and feedings. This will help children – and countries – develop to their full potential.
  5. Making history

    Diseases like polio and maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT) still claim the lives of children worldwide. To help eliminate these diseases for good, UNICEF and partners are reaching every child in every household wherever they are needed – by plane, automobile, boat, donkey (!) or foot. And we are changing the course of history. With support from Kiwanis, MNT has been eliminated in 171 countries. With support from Canada, polio cases have decreased by 99%. We’re thinking BIG for the world’s littlest children and creating change for generations to come.

Not bad, eh?  We’re incredibly proud and grateful for all that we have and will accomplish together.

But we can’t rest on our laurels.

Our work is not done. We can do so much to save children caught up in conflict in South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Syria and Iraq. And we can devote more of our Gross National Product (GNP) to increasing our Official Development Assistance (ODA) to raise children out of poverty.

Celebrate this special day, Canada - and tomorrow, let’s get back to work!