Sunday, 31 July 2011

Canadian International Society

I've posted regularly about events of the Canadian International Society (CIS) and wanted to give you a little history.

I joined the Society last year when they needed some help with their major fundraiser. I was recruited by a fellow kiwi - and in the absence of any other kiwi group - joined their Board for 2011. The CIS recently changed their name from the Canadian International Women's Society, which had initially been set up (49 years ago) by a mix of expat and Brazilian wives to fundraise for chosen charities in Sao Paulo. Times have changed and we made an executive decision to become all-encompassing. The 'Canadian' aspect of the group is the official link we maintain with the Consulate here in Brazil. Previously, wives of the Consul Gen were the Honorary President and this year we are honoured to have Abbie Dann, the Consul General of Canada, who actively participates in the Society. The 'International' aspect of the group is reflected in the membership with members from all over the world. I was recently told that there is another expat group here in Sao Paulo screen their members and only allow their passport holders to become members - CIS is completely the opposite!

What drew me to this group is the active fundraising we do. There are some other great expat groups here in Sao Paulo too but they don't have a 100% focus on fundraising.  Yesterday we went to visit Casa dos Idosos- an old folks home where 90% of the residents have come from living on the street but have become incapable of looking after themselves anymore. They have no family ties and are brought to this home to be cared for - provided a bed, showers, food and medical care. The home houses 75 people at the moment which is at it's capacity but is in generally good shape. Irmã Natalina founded the Casa over 20 years ago and continues to be a big part of it. She has some exciting ideas and we are hoping to raise more money this year to be able to continue supporting the Casa (as well as our other chosen charities). 

Story telling

Irma Natalina

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