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The 25th Team: UNICEF Canada partners with Canadian women on multi-million dollar program to save children’s lives


Innovative partnership allows philanthropic Canadian women to leverage a $6 million investment to save lives in five countries

WATERLOO, Ontario, May 29, 2015—Today, UNICEF Canada announced the launch of The 25th Team—a groundbreaking and innovative partnership between UNICEF Canada, a team of 60 influential Canadian women, Teck and Canada Soccer, aimed at saving the lives of the world’s most vulnerable women and children.

The 25th Team was launched as part of The Power of Women to Save Lives event attended by Mrs. Laureen Harper and The Honourable Minister Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, at the Centre for International Governance Innovation in Waterloo.

In recent months, as Canada has prepared to host 24 teams for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™ —the world’s largest single sporting event for women—UNICEF Canada, with the support of Teck, has been recruiting and mobilizing a team of dynamic female leaders from across Canada to join The 25th Team. UNICEF Canada and these women believe that when the women of the world come together for these monumental games, the women of the world—and their children—should win.

About The 25th Team:
The 25th Team of 60 women will invest over four years in life-saving projects in Cambodia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Namibia and Peru. These projects will build capacity in communities and with governments to save children’s lives and model approaches to reach the most vulnerable with life-saving services. The investment will help more than two million women and children.

The legacy of this investment will be multiplied as the impact and results of UNICEF’s work leverages further investment by governments and donors to take these programs to scale and make them sustainable beyond the four years of The 25th Team’s investment.

As part of a national giving circle, The 25th Team members will also have the opportunity, at their own expense, to:

  • Attend quarterly regional networking and learning events across the country to engage with child survival experts
  • Attend United Nations General Assembly events to discuss critical global issues for women and children’s health in New York City
  • Travel to visit UNICEF programs and see the direct impact of their investments and the results of Canada’s support in project countries


“Canada has a track record of saving lives. But still, around the world, 17,000 children die of mostly preventable causes every day. Imagine a stadium full of children. Every day,” said Sharon Avery, UNICEF Canada’s Chief Development Officer. “The remarkable women who have joined The 25th Team want to stop this. They are influential, engaged, passionate, intelligent and driven women—I know they will leave a legacy of lives saved over the four years of their journey.”

“The 25th Team is a remarkable opportunity for us, as Canadian women, to advance maternal and child health on a global scale.” said Marcia Smith, member of The 25th Team and Senior Vice President, Sustainability and External Affairs for Teck. “As a proudly Canadian company for over 100 years, Teck is honoured to partner with UNICEF Canada, Canada Soccer and women from across the nation to work together to save the lives of vulnerable children.”

About Canada Soccer

Canada Soccer, through its partnership with UNICEF Canada, supports development initiatives that save the lives of children and mothers around the world. The grassroots engagement bridges Canadian soccer pitches in towns from coast to coast with global efforts to save the lives of the 17,000 children who die every day from preventable causes. A natural extension to the work done by goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc (UNICEF Canada Ambassador, Olympic Bronze Medalist and the longest-serving player on Canada Women’s National Team), UNICEF Canada and Canada Soccer are looking to build off of the momentum of the Women’s National Team’s success as ambassadors and female leaders on and off the field.

About Teck

Teck is Canada’s largest diversified resource company, committed to responsible mining and mineral development. Teck’s Zinc & Health program works with international organizations to scale up both short-term and long-term solutions to zinc deficiency. In addition to its support of The 25th Team, Teck has shown leadership in maternal, newborn and child health by partnering with UNICEF to scale up access to zinc and oral rehydration salts in India. The project will save 100,000 children’s lives from 2013-2017 and 50,000 lives annually going forward by strengthening health care systems in India.


Child survival b-roll and photos available here


UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization. We work tirelessly to help children and their families, doing whatever it takes to ensure children survive. We provide children with healthcare and immunization, clean water, nutrition and food security, education, emergency relief and more.

UNICEF is supported entirely by voluntary donations and helps children regardless of race, religion or politics. As part of the UN, we are active in over 190 countries - more than any other organization. Our determination and our reach are unparalleled. Because nowhere is too far to go to help a child survive. For more information about UNICEF, please visit

For further information:

Stefanie Carmichael, Communications Specialist, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8866; Cell: (647) 500-4230,
Tiffany Baggetta, Director, Communications and Brand, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8892; Cell: (647) 308-4806,