IN what has become an annual event since 2013, Sikhs across Canada, in partnership with the World Sikh Organization of Canada, took part in the One Billion Rising movement by providing care packages, treats and baked goods to approximately 1,500 women and children in shelters in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. Handmade Valentine’s cards prepared by Sikh children accompanied the packages.
One Billion Rising began as a call to action based on the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during their lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than one billion women and girls.
This initiative was launched by the WSO in 2013 in Vancouver and has subsequently spread across Canada. For the first time this year, the Sikh community in Regina also joined the One Billion Rising initiative.
Volunteers gathered in each city to prepare packages which included a variety of items, including, gift cards, personal care products and plush toys for children.
Once again this year, WSO was joined by community partners in each city.
WSO President Mukhbir Singh said, “The Sikh community’s One Billion Rising keeps growing every year and is a great way to show those going through a difficult time that they are loved and not alone. Sikhs in cities across Canada are now participating in this campaign and helping to raise awareness about violence against women and promoting WSO’s Sikh Family Helpline as an active resource for women and families facing violence. We are proud to have had Regina’s Sikh community participate for the first time this year. We thank our community partners and organizations across Canada without whom this event would not be the success it is today.”