The 25th Team is a group of 60 influential Canadian women who save the lives of the world’s most vulnerable women and children.

The 25th Team is a group of 60 influential Canadian women who have joined together to save the lives of the world’s most vulnerable women and children. Through this unique and innovative partnership, these women have changed the face of philanthropy in Canada and set a new standard for global giving. UNICEF Canada’s The 25th Team initiative is providing unprecedented engagement to its members in their philanthropic endeavors.

Every day 16,000 children die of largely preventable causes, where simple, low cost interventions exist to save them. The 25th Team is making great strides to change this. The partnership is investing 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 combined investment will help more than 3.8 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 investment.

As part of a national giving circle, The 25th Team members have opportunities, 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

The 25th Team is funding programs in five countries around the world with a diverse range of challenges, issues and cultures:

Each of the five countries face a unique gap – an area that requires urgent attention, but has been under resourced – in maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH). The goal of The 25th Team interventions is to address these gaps in order to improve health outcomes for mothers and children.

The programs in each country are specifically structured to leverage The 25th Team investment by modeling approaches to improve child health that will then result in further investment by national governments and other donors.

The goal is to multiply the impact of The 25th Team investment and ensure that the programs are sustainable into the future. Complementing the country-based interventions, The 25th Team funding will support A Promise Renewed, a global effort led by UNICEF to end preventable maternal, newborn and child deaths. With support from The 25th Team, UNICEF will help hold governments accountable for the promises they have made for children.

Cross-cutting themes of The 25th Team interventions:

Health Systems Strengthening

Strong health systems are needed to deliver and scale up maternal, newborn and child health interventions. However, in each of the project countries, health system conditions vary: from inadequate infrastructure, under-trained health care workers and a lack of basic supplies, to a lack of data to track progress and no refrigeration to store vaccines.

Maternal Health

The birth of a healthy child relies on a continual process of care provided to the mother, including prenatal care (before conception), antenatal care (before birth), postnatal care (after birth), and care during the first 28 days of life (the neonatal period).


Undernutrition contributes to nearly half of all deaths of children under five. It places children at greater risk of dying from common infections, increases the frequency and severity of infections, contributes to delayed recovery, and can cause permanent damage to a child’s physical and mental development. The first 1,000 days – from conception until age two – is a critical period for a child’s nutrition requirements.

Birth Registration

A name and nationality is every child’s right, yet around the world the births of almost one in three children under the age of five have never been recorded. Without a birth certificate, a child may be denied health care or education, it can mean that a child may enter into marriage or the labour market before the legal age. In adulthood, birth certificates may be required to obtain social assistance or a job, to buy or prove the right to inherit property, to vote and to obtain a passport. Birth registration is vital to providing government with data to guide planning and budgeting for services for children. Registering children at birth is the first step in securing their recognition before the law, safeguarding their rights, and ensuring that any violation of these rights does not go unnoticed.

To learn more about The 25th Team, please contact

Thank you to our generous supporters:


The 25th Team members:

Jeannine Bakeeff
Clare Beckton
Joan Berger
Rebecca Brewer
Shauneen Bruder
Caroline Cathcart
Bita Cattelan 
Nancy Choi
Kristine Delkus
Monika Federau
Arlene Fox
Lauren Gehlen
Maddy Gibson
L. Britt Giuffre
Lisa Grogan
Sarah Hamhuis
Linda Heathcott
Heidi Henschel
Vivien Ho
Dr. Carin Holroyd
Donna Horton
Jessica Houssian
Joanne Houssian 
Robin Howlings 
Dr. Dianne  
Kipnes Karen 
Kirker Lynda 
Kuhn Megan 
Lawrence Karina LeBlanc
Cristina Linden
Tamara MacDonald
Gail MacNaughton
Anne Mahon
Holly Miklas
Noella Milne 
Dr. Liza Murrell
Teri Nicholas 
Karen Nordlinger
Chitra Ramaswami
Sue Riddell Rose
Geeta Sankappanavar
Mirella Saputo 
Sherry Schluessel
Stasia Schmidt 
Dale Sheard 
Hanita Simard
Marcia Smith
Jennifer Spezza
Miranda Steele
Jennifer Toby
Suzanne West (In Memoriam) 
Maggie Williamson 
Mabel Wong
Joanna Wright 
Christy Young 
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