image001

Members of Mosaic’s Staff and Student Advisory Committee Following the Announcement of the “90-day Inter-School Challenge” 

Consistent with Mosaic’s “think and do” approach, the 2014 Citizen Summit on Women & Armed Conflict concluded with the announcement of a 3-month, student-led campaign to help promote awareness about and constructive responses to sexual and gender violence in armed conflict.

The “90-day Inter-School Challenge” will consist of social media campaigns, student events, public discussions, and letter writing efforts in support of the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict (stoprapeinconflict.org), a project of the Nobel Women’s Initiative (nobelwomensinitiative.com). To kick-start this challenge, University of Toronto graduate student Fatima Fasih donated half of the proceeds she made from sales of her peace-focused artwork at the networking reception that was held at the close of the Citizen Summit.

Students from the University of Toronto, York University, and Ryerson University who participated in the Citizen Summit will take the lead in organizing the “90-Day Inter-School Challenge” at each of their campuses. The schools will hold a friendly competition to see which can become the most active campus in raising awareness about rape and gender violence in armed conflict. A leadership committee for the “90-Day Inter-School Challenge” has already been formed, and the challenge will launch in early 2015. Students participating in this inter-school challenge will bridge local and global issues by also participating in Amnesty International’s advocacy campaign seeking a national inquiry into the cases of murdered and missing aboriginal women in Canada.

The “90 Day Inter-School Challenge” will join the growing list of student-led community service projects that that have emerged from the work of the UofMosaic program on campuses across Canada.  These have included RefugeAid, an initiative to support Médecins Sans Frontières’ refugee relief work in Lebanon, and DIYA, a project to support CARE Canada’s education efforts in Afghanistan.