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Advocate helping to improve women's rights in Africa

The Donor: Patsy George

The Gift: $40,000

The Cause: Canadian Crossroads International

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The Reason: To help reduce poverty and improve women's rights in Africa

Patsy George has spent more than 40 years advocating for social change as a social worker, community organizer and a volunteer with dozens of non-profit groups.

"We belong to one world," Ms. George said from her home in Vancouver. "We are all connected to each other and so we need to share what we have with others."

Ms. George, 70, immigrated to Canada from India in 1960 to study social work at the University of Windsor. After completing postgraduate studies in 1966 at Carleton University in Ottawa, she worked as a social worker in Ontario, Nova Scotia and British Columbia. She focused on community development, and her commitment to changing people's lives extended far beyond office hours. Over the years, she has also worked with several non-profits, including the Stephen Lewis Foundation, the Vancouver Public Library, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, the United Nations Association in Canada and Canadian Crossroads International.

Her community work has earned her a host of awards, including the Order of Canada. "My feeling is that, in order to be part of a community, you really have to get engaged and you need to participate," she said.

Ms. George retired from social work 10 years ago and now devotes her time to international advocacy. She recently donated $40,000 to Crossroads, which works on poverty and women's rights issues by matching Canadian organizations with projects in Africa and elsewhere.

"It's quite an effective international organization that's doing some fantastic work," she said.

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Ms. George has no plans to slow down and she recently donated $10,000 to the University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford, B.C., for student bursaries. And she has this message for Canadians: "I really want to encourage and to say to a lot of Canadians that we have done very well but we need to do even more, because conditions are so bad for people, particularly during this period of economic crisis."

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About the Author
European Correspondent

Paul Waldie has been an award-winning journalist with The Globe and Mail for more than 10 years. He has won three National Newspaper Awards for business coverage and been nominated for a Michener Award for meritorious public service journalism. He has also won a Sports Media Canada award for sports writing and authored a best-selling biography of the McCain family. More

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