International Perspectives

Nurse leaders graduate from ICN-Burdett Global Leadership Institute

Twenty-seven senior nurse leaders from 24 countries graduated from the 2013 International Council of Nurses (ICN)-Burdett Global Nursing Leadership Institute (GNLI), which took place in September in Geneva, Switzerland.

The GNLI offers an advanced leadership programme for senior and executive level nurses from low, middle and high-income countries. It provides participants with opportunities to develop understanding of global health challenges, obtain insight into international leadership styles, and be exposed to and analyse global leadership activity.


Graduates of the 2013 Global Nursing Leadership Institute (GNLI) in Geneva at the conclusion of an intensive week. Kneeling from left to right: Shirley Joyce Kelly, St. Kitts; Angela Maria Sosa, Colombia; Mariam Mohd Nasir, Malaysia; Mila Delia Llanes, Philippines; Brenda Canitz, Canada; Anthonette Patterson, Jamaica; and Rachael Tommbe, Papua New Guinea.

Standing in first row from left to right: Laurellyn Williams, Antigua; Bagooaduth Kallooa, Mauritius; Josephine B. Etowa, Canada; Catherine Betty Odeke, Uganda; Surekha Sama, India; Winifred Jeanneton Agricole, Seychelles; Bozena Gorzkowicz, Poland; Olaide Bamidele Edet, Nigeria; Amelia Latu Afuha'amango Tuipulotu, Tonga; Katherine Pereira, USA; Augustina Elijio, Belize; and Mildred John, Nigeria.

Second row from left to right: Rebecca Pamela Johnson, Bahamas; Hannah Akua Oparebea Acquah, Ghana; Ram Sharan Mehta, Nepal; Rula Harb, USA; Lydia Leonce, St. Lucia; Sulaiman Turkman, Palestine; George Onyango Odhiambo, Kenya; and Gustav Moyo, Tanzania. Photo credit: Sonia Fernandez, ICN.

Focused on the theme Redesigning Health Systems in the Context of Global Health Issues, the GNLI employed an action-learning approach. During six days of intensive study, participants observed and analysed strategic leadership in action; enhanced their knowledge of healthcare globally; sharpened strategic skills; and engaged in peer learning and development.

‘Graduates of the GNLI can use their new knowledge to build strategic national and global alliances’, said Judith Shamian, ICN President. ‘I commend these graduates on their achievement and I look forward to witnessing their impact on the health of their communities, their countries and the world’.

Established by ICN in 2009, the GNLI is funded by the Burdett Trust for Nursing, with support from Pfizer's International External Medical Affairs Group, the founding sponsor. Financial support from the Burdett Trust for Nursing, Pfizer Inc., the Taiwanese Department of Health and the Taiwan Nurses Association allowed ICN to provide bursaries to 17 participants in this year's Institute.

Composed of 22 women and five men, the 2013 GNLI class included nursing officers; executive directors, deans, lecturers and professors; and presidents and officers of national nursing organisations. Graduates have, on average, 26 years of professional experience.

‘The Global Nursing Leadership Institute draws on the expertise of international faculty, allowing participants to review and enhance their national and global leadership knowledge and skills within a collaborative and stimulating learning culture’, said Alan Gibbs, the Chairman of the Burdett Trust for Nursing. ‘These graduates will now return to their communities with strengthened capacity to influence policy change and take on higher leadership roles nationally and globally’.

Paula DeCola, Senior Director, External Medical Affairs, Pfizer, Inc. added, ‘As the initiating sponsor, Pfizer Inc. congratulates the graduating nurse leaders and joins in the celebration of the Institute's fifth year’.

Dr Stephanie Ferguson facilitates the GNLI, along with an international faculty. She is also the Director of the ICN Leadership for Change™ programme and an ICN Consultant for Nursing and Health Policy.

ICN has been a pioneer in leadership, management and negotiation skill development for nurses for more than 20 years through the highly successful Leadership for Change™ and Leadership in Negotiation programmes. The GNLI represents the third component of ICN's leadership development strategy. In May, ICN launched the GNLI Colloquium to give all Institute alumni the opportunity to easily network and exchange information, and to allow ICN to capture outcomes and best practice exemplars in global health.

INR December 2013

New Year Greetings


The International Council of Nurses extends its warmest greetings to its member associations in over 135 countries, and to the more than 16 million nurses working worldwide to support and deliver healthcare. We express deep appreciation for your daily work, which many of you carry out in the face of challenging conditions and even in the midst of armed conflicts and other emergencies. Your knowledge, skill, compassion, tenacity and heroic commitment improve the health and lives of individuals, families, communities and nations. We wish health and peace in 2014 for you, your families, and the people you serve.

The application process for the next GNLI, to be held in September 2014, will open on 1 December 2013 and close on 15 February 2014. Further information about the GNLI is available at

The Burdett Trust for Nursing is an independent charitable Trust set up in 2002 in recognition of the foundation, philosophy and structure of the Royal National Pension Fund for Nurses (RNPFN) and named after its founder Sir Henry Burdett, KCB. The Trust makes charitable grants to support initiatives that are nurse-led and that empower nurses to make significant improvements to patient care.

ICHRN identifies key principles for safe staffing levels

To meet patient care needs and ensure hazard-free working conditions, safe staffing levels must exist at all times across the continuum of care. A policy statement, released by the International Centre for Human Resources in Nursing (ICHRN), identifies key principles that underpin safe staffing levels, and stresses the need for an appropriate number of nurses and other staff with a suitable mix of education, skills and experience.

‘It is well known that nurse staffing affects the patient's length of stay in hospital, morbidity and mortality, and their reintegration into the community’, said Judith Shamian, President of the International Council of Nurses (ICN). ‘In addition, safe staffing levels are associated with improved retention, recruitment and workforce sustainability, as well as better cost efficiency for the healthcare system. In short, safe staffing levels are essential to the functioning of all health services’.

The key principles established in the ICHRN policy statement, prepared in consultation with the ICN International Workforce Forum, take into account the numbers of staff and mix of competencies, and other variables including:

  • a manageable workload,
  • a responsive and supportive workplace culture,
  • adequate supervision,
  • appropriate training,
  • a range of high-quality facilities and equipment.

Today governments are examining how to achieve or maintain universal access to healthcare and well-being services, while simultaneously containing or reducing costs. To make informed decisions, policy makers need to use available evidence and engage in constructive dialogue with nurse leaders and others in healthcare. Nurses can use the policy statement on safe staffing levels to provide policy makers with critical information.

The policy statement, along with other publications on human resource issues in nursing and healthcare, is available at More information about actions nurses can take to promote safe staffing is available in the publication Safe Staffing Saves Lives, which can be downloaded free of charge at

‘Nursing human resources will be a major focus of ICN activity in 2014’, stated David Benton, ICN Chief Executive Officer. ‘ICN will continue to play a lead role in supporting nurses' development throughout the world, building on its track record in developing resources’.

A unique, online resource, ICHRN is dedicated to strengthening the nursing workforce globally through the development, ongoing monitoring and dissemination of comprehensive information, standards and tools on nursing human resources policy, management, research and practice. The Centre was established in 2006 by ICN and its premier foundation, the Florence Nightingale International Foundation (FNIF). The Centre works through collaborative partnerships with ICN member national nurses associations, other professional nursing organisations, United Nations specialised agencies, and key institutions and individuals worldwide.

The Centre offers a free, electronic biannual newsletter providing updates on the latest developments in nursing human resources. For further information about ICHRN and/or to sign up for the newsletter, please visit


Improving nurses' work conditions and patient care topic of international forum

Twenty-three nurse leaders from nine countries gathered to form strategies to address common issues such as the economic crisis and its impact on nurses' and patient welfare. The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) hosted the 19th Annual ICN International Workforce Forum held in Dublin in September 2013.

Nurses and midwives around the world face similar challenges as they struggle for safe staffing levels and safe workplaces; resist attacks on pay and working conditions; and oppose threats to the provision of quality assured, universally available healthcare.

‘At ICN Workforce Forums, we learn from each other, share information and strategise on how to deal with issues confronting nursing in many countries’, stated Lesley Bell, ICN Nurse Consultant. ‘We ask how, by working collectively, we can have a positive impact on working conditions, influence policy and improve the work life of nurses. Opportunities to dialogue with an international group of nursing leaders don't happen often enough. Such meetings are an excellent forum for increasing knowledge and advancing socioeconomic welfare around the globe’.

During the three-day forum, nurses discussed numerous topics including: advanced practice nursing; standardisation of terminology; changes to labour conditions; nurses and social media; adequate staffing levels; the ageing nursing workforce; and work-life balance. Nurse leaders from Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Japan, Sweden and the USA participated.

Participants also reviewed feedback on the ICN Nursing Workforce Profile survey on issues such as the types of nurses within countries; years of education; the number of nurses in certain workforce categories; turnover; shortages; and hours of work.

Nurses from the INMO reported on their campaign against the policies of austerity imposed upon Ireland in recent years. The INMO has spoken out about the impact these cuts will have on essential public services such as health, education and welfare. As a result of their collective action, INMO members succeeded in reducing some of their government's demands. Nevertheless, collective agreements were impacted and gains previously made by INMO were reduced.

INMO representatives also led a workshop on how to move from research to action in order to achieve adequate staffing levels. Representatives of the Japanese Nurses Association presented a session on promoting work-life balance for hospital nurses.

Participants developed a communiqué, available at, summarising their findings and recommendations. The next ICN Workforce Forum will take place from 29 September–1 October 2014 in Sydney, Australia.

Global experts will gather to consider challenges in health regulation

A global community of health professionals will convene in Geneva to analyse critical challenges facing health professional regulation. Sponsored by the World Health Professions Alliance, of which the International Council of Nurses (ICN) is a founding member, the conference is open to anyone interested and involved in regulation.

The one and a half day conference, taking place from 17–18 May 2014, immediately precedes the World Health Assembly, allowing the participation of key healthcare regulation leaders who will be in Geneva.

Health professional regulation is situated within a dynamic global environment characterised by political, social, economic and technological change. Many governments have enacted policy initiatives and widespread reform of health professional regulation in an attempt to ensure sustainable, efficient and effective health service delivery.

‘ICN is pleased to co-host the conference as an important opportunity for multi-profession global dialogue’, stated Jean Barry, an ICN Consultant for Nursing and Health Policy with responsibility for nursing regulatory and education issues. ‘Today there is a heightened focus on effectiveness and accountability in professional regulation, evolving scopes of practice, and calls for increased inter-professional collaboration. It is timely to share best practices and research related to professional regulation and governance’.

At the conference, international knowledge leaders in their field will explore current challenges in regulation; review lessons learned from the evolution of competence-based approaches to regulatory functions; and consider current regulatory models and best practices in regulatory governance and performance. Speakers will draw upon the available evidence both from professional regulation and wider regulatory practice, and provide diverse exemplars and case studies spanning disciplines, geographies and regulatory approaches.

Conference speakers, panellists and participants will synthesise lessons from the evolution of competence-based approaches to regulatory functions, and identify and promote best practices in regulatory governance.

The event will be of particular interest to:

  • CEOs, registrars, board members and policy advisors of health professional regulatory bodies
  • senior government officials and legal advisors with responsibility for health professional regulatory legislation
  • presidents, CEOs and policy advisors of professional organisations
  • academic leaders
  • future leaders of health professions and health services
  • leaders from patient groups

Additional information about the conference and registration is available at:

The World Health Professions Alliance (WHPA) brings together global organisations representing the world's dentists, nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists and physicians, and speaks for more than 26 million healthcare professionals in over 130 countries. WHPA works to improve global health and the quality of patient care, as well as to facilitate collaboration among the health professions and major stakeholders.

Nations consider how to solve critical shortage of healthcare workers

Key experts and frontline health workers from all over the world came together in Brazil to find ways to solve the human resources for health crisis and accelerate progress toward Universal Health Coverage (UHC). The International Council of Nurses (ICN) provided expertise and ideas during the 3rd Global Forum on Human Resources for Health (HRH) held in November 2013.

‘The forum was part of an on-going process of engagement, knowledge exchange and coordinated action on HRH, based on the recognition that HRH is not a luxury, but rather a human right for all’, stated Lesley Bell, ICN Nurse Consultant. ‘Moving the dialogue away from the 57 crisis countries to a global focus enables recognition that this issue affects us all’.

The Global Health Workforce Alliance hosted the forum under the patronage of the Government of Brazil, the World Health Organization and the Pan American Health Organization. The objective of the forum is to elicit new political commitments on HRH based on technical evidence, in order to achieve UHC and attain the health MDGs.

At the forum, high and low-income countries considered joint and complementary actions to address the common goal of improving human resources for health as a foundation for UHC and the post-2015 development agenda.

‘Nurses, as the largest professional group of providers in healthcare, have a huge role to play in achieving UHC’, said Bell. ‘As we look to the future and move towards health promotion and disease prevention in collaboration with populations, nurses are ideally suited to assist with partnerships and finding solutions’.

Health workers are the heart and soul of health systems. Yet the world faces a chronic shortage: an estimated 4.2 million health workers are needed to bridge the gap, with 1.5 million needed in Africa alone. The shortage is recognized as one of the most fundamental constraints to achieving progress on health and reaching health and development goals.

The Global Health Workforce Alliance was created in 2006 as a common platform for action to address the crisis. The Alliance is a partnership of national governments, civil society, international agencies, finance institutions, researchers, educators and professional associations dedicated to identifying, implementing and advocating for solutions.

Russian nurses develop leadership skills at 2013 LIN workshop


More than 21 nurse leaders representing ten regions participated in the four-day ICN Leadership in Negotiation workshop held in St Petersburg, Russia. Shown in the front row are (from left to right): Nikolay Soloviev, representing the RNA branch in Ivanovo region; Evy Gustafson, representing the Swedish Association of Health Professionals; Francis Supparayen, who facilitated the workshop; and Lesley Bell, ICN Nurse Consultant for SEW affairs.

Twenty-one nurse leaders representing 10 regions of Russia recently participated in a Leadership in Negotiation (LIN) workshop, designed to enable them to realise their potential impact in policy planning and become a strong voice for nurses in their country. At the invitation of the Russia Nurses Association (RNA), the International Council of Nurses (ICN) conducted the four-day skills training event in St. Petersburg. The Swedish Association of Health Professionals (SAHP), an ICN member that has supported the RNA in their development and growth for 15 years, provided technical support.

The LIN project develops nurses' negotiation, communication, management and marketing skills. It supports their efforts to achieve better pay and working conditions, a safer work environment and greater patient safety, and to influence health and nursing legislation.

More than 35 national nurses associations (NNAs) worldwide have adopted and implemented the LIN project. Participants in the four-year programme attend a workshop each year. When they return to their workplaces, they implement a project related to either a professional issue or the growth and development of their NNA.

The RNA is an active, non-governmental organisation defending workers' rights in the health sector. The RNA invited ICN to implement its LIN project in Russia in 2007, and in view of its success, renewed the project in 2011 to train leaders of other regions. In Russia, the nursing profession, composed mostly of women, has suffered gender discrimination. Nurses typically receive low salaries relative to other similarly prepared professionals with a comparable degree of responsibility.

Russia has 84 regions and over 1.3 million nurses. A national organisation, the RNA has 54 regional NNAs as affiliates. Most of the regional NNAs have not yet reached membership strength, and considerable opportunity for growth and expansion exists.

Francis Supparayen, a resource person provided by ICN, facilitated the workshop in St. Petersburg with the assistance of Evy Gustafson from SAHP. The workshop featured presentations given by international and national experts, interactive plenary discussions, group work, role play and analysis of case studies. Topics included negotiation, effective writing, association management, communication and occupational health and safety. Participants committed to developing post-workshop projects in the next 12 months to address priority issues identified during the workshop. These issues included NNA recruitment and membership growth; improving the prestige of nurses; professional development; and addressing staff shortages.

Lesley Bell, ICN Nurse Consultant for SEW affairs, and Valentina Sarkisova, RNA President, also attended the workshop. Julia Schur, a trade unionist and legal adviser, led a session on mediation and arbitration.

With new and enhanced skills developed through the LIN project, nurses in many countries have influenced nursing legislation. They also have achieved occupational health and safety legislation; better pay and working conditions; elimination of occupational health hazards; and development of public education. With donor support, the LIN project has been developed in Africa, Latin America, Asia, the Middle East, and the Caribbean.

Call for abstracts for 2015 ICN Conference in Seoul, Republic of Korea

Nurses and other healthcare professionals are invited to share their ideas, research and expertise by submitting abstracts for the ICN International Conference in Seoul, Republic of Korea on 19–23 June 2015. Focused on the theme Global Citizen, Global Nursing, this international gathering of thousands of nurses will explore the importance of cross-cultural understanding and global cooperation in nursing.

At the conference, participants will have opportunities to build relationships and to disseminate knowledge and leadership across specialities, cultures and countries. It is an opportunity to share information about how to provide quality care, improve populations' access to health services, and advance nursing knowledge and practice.

Abstracts may be submitted for a concurrent session, a symposium or a poster. The working languages of the conference are English, Spanish and French. The abstract submission guidelines are available on the conference website ( The on-line submission system will open on 15 April 2014. The deadline for receipt of abstracts is midnight GMT 7 October 2014.

Abstracts must demonstrate a direct link to the conference theme and address one of the following sub-themes:

  • Care systems, economics and coverage

    How are care systems evolving to meet changing needs? What happens at the interface between the health and social sectors? How do we achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) at a time of major societal change? What have been some of the challenges and opportunities for the nursing workforce and models of care in the current economic climate including the interface between public sector and private sector systems?

  • Direct care, patient safety

    What innovations in clinical practice support better patient outcomes? Given the continuous need for evidence-based practice to guide the development of the best practice models to provide safe and quality care, what is the link between the practice environment and patient safety? What are quality healthcare indicators and how are they measured? What is the link between patient engagement and better patient outcomes? What is the relationship between nursing leadership and quality patient outcomes? What is the evidence, if any, in the literature of the impact of nurses who are certified as specialists on patient safety and care outcomes?

  • Equity/ethics/human rights

    What ethical dilemmas exist in ensuring access, quality and health? What is equity and how is it introduced/maintained in health systems? What measures need to be taken to promote and protect the health rights of individuals and populations? What is the impact of our rapidly advancing technology on nursing ethics? What are the ethical implications for nursing in a global world? What needs to be in place to support ethical practice? What are the ethical challenges facing global nursing when providing care through medical/health tourism programmes?

  • Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

    Across the continuum of care what are the trends in health and well being? How can we effectively promote and improve the health and well being of individuals and populations? What is the impact of interventions addressing those at an early stage of life (from pregnant women, young children to adolescents)? What are strategies to address the growing trend in non-communicable diseases (NCDs) including mental health globally? How can we support healthy ageing and provide equity and access to healthcare including end of life care? What is the current status of NCDs from a nursing perspective? How is nursing education, regulation and practice responding? How can we learn from our past experiences and avoid shortcomings?

  • Information and Communication Technology supporting global nursing and quality care

    How do technology and informatics support access to health services and quality care? What innovations have advanced healthcare delivery and improved patient outcomes? How is technology supporting connectivity in the nursing community? How do nurses/Advanced Practitioners use ICT for patient empowerment? How do informatics, technology and social media impact on nursing practice? What are the implications and how does knowledge management impact nursing?

  • Leadership and management

    What competencies do nurse managers and nursing leaders need? Are there innovative models of education and development available to meet future needs? How can we prepare future generations for leadership in a global world? How can nurses engage and lead in the formation of health and social policy? What actions can be taken to address the global reduction in nursing leadership positions? How can nurses better understand the concept of governance and management in a global context? What impact will Advanced Practice Nursing have on leadership and performance globally?

  • Nursing education and learning

    In light of the global shortage of employed nurses and workforce maldistribution, how will a sufficient student pool be attracted to the profession? What are the reasons behind the high student attrition rates and how must they be addressed? How will we prepare the academic staff necessary to educate future generations of nurses? How do we better address the gap from education to practice? What innovations do we see in the learning environment? What are the trends in international delivery of entry level and continuing education? How do we address the gaps in standards of education globally? How do we understand the new generation's personal attributes and needs and what are the predictions of how the nurse of the future will look?

  • The nursing workforce, workplace and image

    What are the priority workforce and workplace issues that most affect access to care? What skill mix is required to achieve UHC and ensure quality care? What is the impact of positive practice environments? How does global nurse mobility affect access to quality healthcare? What is the current image of nursing and will that image empower the profession? Is the profession adequately influencing how nursing is viewed and maximizing its visibility? What are the current work force planning models that are utilised by other industries? Are they relevant to nursing?

  • Disasters/conflicts/pandemics

    What is the impact of global climate change on public health? What is the role of nurses in conflict situations, disaster preparedness and relief efforts? How do we screen and deploy disaster nurses safely and effectively? What protective measures do relief workers require? What are the risks and protective measures for nurses in times of conflict, disasters and pandemics? What is the role of nurses in sustainable development?

  • Regulation

    What is the role of professional regulation in ensuring patient safety and quality? How can accreditation systems benefit the patient? What will be the impact of national/regional/international dialogue on regulation? What has been the impact of globalisation and trade agreements on regulation? Who are the stakeholders in regulation and how best can we collaborate with in the profession and among professions? What are the implications of evolving regulatory models around the world for the global nurse and for nursing regulators?

  • History

    How does knowledge of the past help us prepare for the future? What lessons have we learned? What national and global trends do we see in nursing? What do we know about the history of global nursing?

Factors that will be considered in selecting abstracts are:

  • interest to an international audience
  • relevance to both the conference theme and one abstract sub-theme
  • scientific and/or professional merit
  • contribution to knowledge, practice, policies or programmes of nursing and/or health
  • clarity of abstract.

Further information and regular updates on the conference programme will be posted at


Learn How to Grow Your Wellness!

A new and exciting feature focusing on nurses’ health is now available at ICN's online health and wellness centre, (GYW). Building on the GYW original mission to provide resources for nurses addressing non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and healthy ageing, the new feature targets the strengthening of nurses’ own health and wellness, including:

  • imageNurse-recommended wellness tools that can work for you, such as: stress management tips; fitting exercise into your daily routine;
  • imageStrategies and recipes for feeling your best at any age, including: Tell me your healthy breakfast;
  • imageImmunisation for adult and work-related preventable disease;

This resource for nurses engaged in their patients’ and their own health and wellness will continue to evolve. We want to hear from you about what YOU would like to find at Please send your ideas and questions to


Clean, safe solar lamps light the way for GCEF students in Africa

A donation of Nokero solar lamps is making a difference for girls in sub-Saharan Africa by enabling them to study and do homework in the evening.

More than 60% of the girls supported by the Girl Child Education Fund (GCEF) do not have reliable access to electricity. Many of them use candles or highly polluting kerosene lamps to light their studies at night. Others simply have no source of light by which to do school work at home.

The small, solar light bulbs provide each girl with an independent light source of her own, providing the potential to improve her school performance and life quality. Advancing their capacity, educational outcomes and quality of life has a direct impact on the girls' health, education and productivity and that of their future families.

The GCEF Coordinators in Kenya, Swaziland, Uganda and Zambia designed a survey to measure the impact of the solar light on the girls' school performance and life quality. Standardized pre and post interviews with the girls, their guardians and some teachers were conducted and analysed. The results were presented at the ICN 25th Quadrennial Congress in Melbourne, Australia.

‘Before conducting the survey, I had no idea how a simple light can change children's lives’, said Faith Mbehero, GCEF Coordinator in Kenya.


Coordinators of the Girl Child Education Fund (GCEF) participated in a three-day workshop in Nairobi, Kenya. Shown are (left to right): Theopista Kabiliisa (Uganda); Jennifer Munsaka (Zambia); Linda Carrier-Walker, FNIF Board Member and GCEF Programme Manager; GCEF student Decima Wesa, aged 12, and her father; Violet Wafula, Honorary Secretary of the National Nurses Association of Kenya; and Tiny Dlamini (Swaziland).

Nokero (short for ‘No Kerosene’) designs, manufactures and collectively distributes safe, affordable, and environmentally friendly solar-based technologies. The solar lights and solar battery chargers are high quality and low-cost, eliminating the need for harmful and polluting fuels around the world.

Additional information about the GCEF can be found at and

GCEF coordinators meet in Kenya

The in-country Coordinators of the Girl Child Education Fund (GCEF) participated in a three-day workshop in September in Nairobi, Kenya.

Operating in Kenya, Swaziland, Uganda and Zambia, the GCEF supports the primary and secondary schooling of girls under the age of 18 whose nurse parent or parents have died.

The GCEF is an initiative of the International Council of Nurses (ICN) and its sister organisation, the Florence Nightingale International Foundation (FNIF). Nurses and their associations around the world, individually and collectively, support the GCEF. Each girl is paired with a nurse volunteer who helps to monitor her progress. ICN's member national nurses associations (NNAs) administer the GCEF in their respective countries.

The GCEF Coordinators are: Faith Mbehero, Kenya; Tiny Dlamini, Swaziland; Theopista Kabaliisa, Uganda; and Jennifer Munsaka, Zambia.

Jeremiah Mainah, President of the National Nurses Association of Kenya (NNAK), gave the opening address. One topic considered at the workshop was the possibility of marketing Nokero solar lamps (see related article) as a fundraising project for both GCEF and the NNAs in Kenya, Swaziland, Uganda and Zambia. Workshop participants also took part in a special event to honour graduates of the GCEF project in Kenya, their guardians and the nurse volunteers who supported their studies.

A contribution of US$ 200 helps to cover the costs of uniforms, schoolbooks, and fees for the primary education of a girl child for one year, and US$ 600 for secondary education. Approximately US$ 5000 will secure the education of a girl throughout her primary and secondary schooling years. Contributions can be made on the following secure online site:

Additional information about the GCEF can be found at and

Flight for Every Mother project chooses GCEF

The Girl Child Education Fund is one of seven charities selected to benefit from Flight for Every Mother (FEM), an innovative project that raises awareness about maternal health, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. Directed by obstetrician and pilot Dr Sophia Webster, the all-female team flew from Cape Town to England via 23 African countries from August to November 2013.

The flight path targeted countries that are furthest from reaching Millennium Development Goal 5: to reduce maternal mortality and improve maternal health. The FEM team made stops along the way to raise awareness about maternal health, visit local facilities caring for pregnant women, provide labour ward teaching and offer donations of basic equipment.

Flight for Every Mother will also fundraise for GCEF and six other charities, each of which was chosen because their sustainable work focuses on a different aspect of maternal health. Many factors impact reproductive health outcomes for women, including little or no formal education, early marriage, teenage pregnancy, violence, poverty and poor access to skilled healthcare.

The UK Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists sponsors the FEM project. Further information is available online at