In the spring of 2008, the Board of Directors of Lupus Canada, representing the Member Organizations and Divisions across the country, made the decision to focus the efforts and resources of our organization on five key priorities for people living with lupus.
We adopted what we call our ‘Pillars’ (what we do for people living with lupus) – Advocacy, Public Awareness and Research. We are committed to adapting the organization to focus on our pillars and the underlying objectives of each. Additionally, we committed to accountability and transparency to our stakeholders in all we do on behalf of people living with lupus.
Advocacy – What does it mean to Lupus Canada?
- To educate people about their legal rights and entitlements;
- To work with politicians and government to enhance policies and legislation affecting people living with lupus
Advocacy has been achieved in large part through our website where we are able to share a great deal of information, in an organized and comprehensive manner, thus allowing people with lupus and those who care for them to better understand lupus and the support and resources available to them. It is a complex maze of information to disseminate when seeking to understand the variety of government programs and benefits available to people living with lupus. Sharing what information we have been able to accumulate both nationally and provincially makes things easier when navigating that maze.
Lupus Canada will continue to make information available through this website and through links to our Member Organization and Division websites; provide referrals for support to our Member Organizations and Divisions and work to bring lupus and related issues to the forefront through conversations with members of parliament, local politicians and by utilizing all available forms of media coverage and social networking opportunities.
Public awareness – What does it mean to Lupus Canada?
- To inform and educate the public about what lupus is
Because lupus is not well known, it is imperative that we bring knowledge and awareness to Canadians so that they better understand lupus allowing them to better support people living with lupus. Public Awareness of Lupus has increased through the development of our various Public Awareness campaigns.
Our Celebrity Ambassadors, Colin Mochrie, Debra McGrath and Patrick McKenna will help us garner much needed media attention to help us move the vision and mission of Lupus Canada forward through increased awareness.
Research – What does it mean to Lupus Canada?
- Funding to enable medical research to find causes, cures and treatment of lupus
Our strong and ongoing relationship with the Canadian Network for Improved Outcomes in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (CaNIOS) has provided significant opportunities to fund for Research and is fostering new relationships with other organizations so we may, in the future, reach and assist even more Canadians living with lupus with resources and information. We have also challenged ourselves to allocate more money to research and to designate a portion of our fundraising efforts to research.
Lupus Canada will continue to support research through our support of CaNIOS which enables hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of research to occur.
Volunteer Development – What does it mean to Lupus Canada?
- Recruiting, training, and retaining volunteers for Lupus Canada, its member organizations and divisions
Volunteers are the heart of Lupus Canada – delivering support, resources and energy to assist in our efforts to support people living with lupus. Our continued commitment to volunteers is reinforced through our focus on recruitment and recognition at both the provincial and national levels as well as new opportunities for volunteers to participate and use their special skills on behalf of Canadians living with lupus.
Lupus Canada will continue to focus on volunteer development by working together with our Member Organizations and Divisions in the creation of volunteer job descriptions and related advertisements that will assist them in recruiting for specific roles in their organizations like newsletter editors, walk coordinators, translators, sponsorship coordinators and media coordinators to name just a few. Using Walk for Lupus as the springboard to launch a new recruitment effort nationally, we will work together to recruit volunteers in all provinces. Additionally, we will provide the necessary support to all Member Organizations and Divisions to train, retain and recognize their volunteers.