Government of Canada

Government of Canada

November 17, 2008 19:15 ET

Bill McWhinney Award of Excellence Presented to the Center for International Studies and Cooperation

GATINEAU, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Nov. 17, 2008) - The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) has awarded the 2008 Bill McWhinney Award of Excellence in International Development to the Center for International Studies and Cooperation (CECI) for a volunteer cooperation project that dramatically improved maternal and child health in Bolivia.

CIDA President Margaret Biggs presented the award on behalf of the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, this evening to CECI Executive Director Michel Chaurette at a ceremony during CIDA's International Cooperation Days, a biennial conference on international cooperation.

"CIDA is very proud to present this award to CECI for their work in Bolivia which is improving the health of local mothers and children in that country," said Minister Oda. "It also demonstrates the vital role and contribution of a Canadian volunteer, Miriam Rouleau-Perez, in the success of this project. Ms. Rouleau-Perez's promotion of cooperative action in dealing with the links between traditional medicine and biomedicine, has produced sustainable improvements to maternal and child health care in Bolivia."

CECI won the award for a two-year initiative launched in July 2006 in Bolivia's Altiplano region. The CECI volunteer cooperant, Ms. Rouleau-Perez, acted as an organizational and community health consultant in the village of Curahuara de Carangas, where she identified waterborne diseases and helped improve maternal and child health by working with local midwives and by combining traditional medicine and biomedicine. Pre-natal services and childbirths in institutional settings - or in cooperation with midwives and health centre staff - doubled during the duration of the project. Other rural municipalities, are interested in duplicating this project in their own areas.

The Bill McWhinney Award of Excellence in International Development was established five years ago in memory of Bill McWhinney, who was Senior Vice-President at CIDA from 1980 to 1988, and as the first Executive Director of CUSO. The award recognizes excellence in a volunteer project or program that helps a community in a developing country to build its sustainability and help improve its future prospects.

For more details on the Bill McWhinney Award of Excellence or on the International Cooperation Days, please refer to CIDA's website:

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of International Cooperation
    Jean-Luc Benoit
    Director of Communications
    Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
    Media Relations Office