2019 Strathcona Initiative

Beyond Borders Campaign

Mass Participation = Mass Impact

MSF Photos.jpg

Strathcona High School has been teaming up with non-profit organizations annually since 2008, and this year is no different. What started as a small group of students coming together to support a fellow student, has grown into something larger than our school. This year over 1200 students and staff are gearing up to bike for 24 hours in support of Doctors Without Borders in our 11th annual Scona Initiative.

Though it is never easy to decide between multiple charities that are all accomplishing great things, both locally and globally in their respective missions, students and faculty alike participated in a school wide vote back in November to finalize the choice. After receiving a record number of total votes from the school community, Doctors Without Borders (or Medicine sans Frontiere, MSF) was chosen as our partner organization for the 2019 Bikeathon. Students had no trouble getting excited about the prospect of helping this humanitarian cause, and after forming teams of 7-10, students have been busy fundraising and spreading awareness about our campaign for several months now.

Doctors Without Borders serves to  provide urgently needed healthcare directly to people who have been made vulnerable by crisis, conflict, neglect, or natural disaster. Their motto of “impartiality, neutrality, and independence” is important to us as a school because it reflects a value of helping others for the sole purpose of doing what is morally right. The lifesaving field projects MSF undertakes are present in over 65 countries worldwide that find themselves in desperate need of aid due to conflict and violence, epidemics and disease, environmental disasters, poverty or health exclusion. MSF is special in that they prioritize their impartiality which allows them to do their work in countries where other organizations can’t. This idea lead to our campaign name, “Beyond Borders”. We hope to embody the values of this organization by breaking down any borders within our own school community through this school-wide event, as well as help our global community.

In December of 2018, Strathcona had the unique opportunity to meet two representatives of the organizations Canadian headquarters in Toronto, Idriss Lomba, Manager of Donor Care and Community Partnerships along with Grant Assenheimer, Deputy Executive Director of Doctors Without Borders! They flew out to speak at the Live Launch, which kicked off the official start of the campaign. They told stories about being in the field to not only the staff and students of Scona, but the many alumni and parents that were also in attendance. Hearing first hand accounts of the life changing work MSF does, truly gave students an acute understanding of the opportunity we have to affect the world in a positive way. From emergency surgery, to maternity care and diagnostics, Doctors Without Borders is committed to doing whatever it takes to provide help to those who need it most. In 2017, MSF was able to help over ten million people around the world. Though they are able to help so many, MSF is constantly looking to reach more in need. The organization's accomplishments thus far would not be possible without the network of dedicated medical professionals and logisticians who put themselves in danger daily, for the sake of others. Strathcona is proud to be supporting these selfless individuals, and students are inspired by the idea that the money we raise could be the difference between life and death for someone.

Our donations from Scona will go to an unrestricted emergency fund that helps direct the money to wherever it is needed most urgently, and every dollar counts! A mere 18 dollars provides a safe delivery kit for childbirth, and 500 can buy a medical kit that could help 1,200 people for three months. This initiative allows students to wholeheartedly embrace our school motto, “As One Who Serves”, and to see past our own lives to think about the bigger picture of humanity.

We invite you to join us at the event! There are many opportunities to experience the Strathcona High School Bikeathon energy with us! We invite you to take a shift on our community stationary bikes on the main gym stage. This is an interactive sign up that allows you to choose the time and day of your shift! Feel free to forward on and invite others! Link: https://tinyurl.com/Community-Bike-Sign-Up-2019. If you are interested in volunteering your time at the event please email jane.grant@epsb.ca.

Visit sconainitiative.ca for more information or follow us on instagram @sconainitiative to stay up-to-date on throughout out campaign. If you would like to support the Beyond Borders Campaign please visit asonewhoserves.ca. Help us spread awareness about Doctors without Borders and continue the legacy of the Scona Initiative.