TORONTO, Dec. 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ - Intact Financial Corporation (IFC.TO) today announced it is committing $1 million to the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative to support the establishment of a regional centre of training and learning in Rwanda. The regional hub of practice, research and advocacy will serve as a meeting place for countries to exchange and learn how to prevent the recruitment and use of child soldiers.
The $1 million donation builds on Intact's initial investment of $300,000 in the Dallaire Initiative, which began in 2015. These new funds will help the Dallaire Initiative establish a permanent presence in Africa.
According to the UN Secretary-General's 2018 Annual Report on Children and Armed Conflict – seven national armies and 56 armed groups operating in 14 countries recruit and use children as soldiers.
"The Dallaire Initiative is a pioneer in the work of preventing the recruitment and use of child soldiers and a permanent presence in Rwanda will strengthen their effectiveness," said Charles Brindamour, Chief Executive Officer of Intact Financial Corporation. "I spent time in Rwanda this spring with the Dallaire Initiative and saw first hand, the importance of their work. While the problem of using children in wars is far from resolved, the General's team is moving the needle and making progress."
"This level of support makes Intact the Dallaire Initiative's first $1 million corporate donor," said Dr. Shelly Whitman, the Dallaire Initiative's Executive Director. "These funds will be critical in enhancing our training in East and Central Africa, where some of the gravest violations against children are taking place." The donation will also go towards funding a fellowship for the Executive Director to continue advocating for children's rights on the international peace and security agenda.
An event marking the first anniversary of the Vancouver Principles, is being hosted tonight by the Permanent Missions of Canada and Rwanda to the United Nations in collaboration with the Dallaire Initiative.
Hosted by Canadian Ambassador Marc-André Blanchard, special guests include LGen (ret'd) Roméo Dallaire, Executive Director of the Dallaire Initiative Dr. Shelly Whitman, global advocates for children and Dallaire Initiative Advisors Michel Chikwanine and Ishmael Beah as well as Intact Financial Corporation CEO Charles Brindamour.
At the event, the Dallaire Initiative will announce the establishment of a regional centre of training and learning in Rwanda, the first African country to endorse the Vancouver Principles. To date, 69 UN member countries have endorsed the Principles, a watershed initiative that was jointly launched by the Government of Canada and the Dallaire Initiative.
About Intact Financial Corporation
Intact Financial Corporation (IFC.TO) is the largest provider of property and casualty (P&C) insurance in Canada and a leading provider of specialty insurance in North America, with close to $10 billion in total annual premiums. The Company has approximately 14,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than five million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada and the U.S. In Canada, Intact distributes insurance under the Intact Insurance brand through a wide network of brokers, including its wholly-owned subsidiary BrokerLink, and directly to consumers through belairdirect. In the U.S., OneBeacon Insurance Group, a wholly owned subsidiary, provides specialty insurance products through independent agencies, brokers, wholesalers and managing general agencies.
About the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative
The Dallaire Initiative, based at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, is recognized as the only organization in the world taking a prevention-oriented, security sector focused approach to the crime against humanity that is child soldiery. Founded by retired lieutenant-general and celebrated humanitarian Roméo Dallaire, the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative is a leader committed to ending the use and recruitment of child soldiers worldwide, through ground-breaking research, advocacy, and security-sector training.