There’s good news for our Canadian members who want to support Marie Stopes International (MSI) in its mission to provide family planning services in developing countries: you can now support the work of MSI in the Sahel through its partnership with KBF Canada and receive a tax receipt. KBF Canada is part of the international philanthropic network of the King Baudouin Foundation.

PIC members might know that MSI, headquartered in London, England, is one of the largest and most effective non-profit organizations providing family planning services in developing countries. But because it has no presence in Canada, Canadians who made a donation to MSI’s excellent work couldn’t receive a tax credit.

This year Population Institute Canada attempted to have MSI designated a “Qualified Foreign Donee” to make donations tax-deductible, but the Canada Revenue Agency denied our request. This was disappointing – especially since MSI is one of the major recipients of Canadian government funding for family planning assistance.

But KBF Canada has recently partnered with MSI to support an MSI project in the Sahel. KBF Canada is part of the international philanthropic network of the King Baudouin Foundation, established in Brussels in 1976 in honour of the late Belgian King Baudouin (1930-1993). KBF Canada manages charitable projects on all continents in a variety of fields, including reproductive health, and is recognized as a charitable organization by the Canada Revenue Agency.

The countries that will receive family planning support through the MSI-KBF Canada partnership are Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, and Senegal. The Sahel region is one of the poorest and least developed in the world and has a rapidly growing population of 71 million people, nearly half of which is under 15 years of age. Women give birth to five children on average and many become mothers while still teenagers. Only 20% of women of reproductive age use a modern contraceptive method and 25% of all married women want to use contraception but aren’t able to do so.

Marie Stopes International began working in Africa’s Sahel region in 2008 and delivers its services there through 9 centres and 33 outreach teams. In 2018, over 1.1 million women and girls in the Sahel were using a family planning method provided by MSI, estimated to have averted 350,000 unintended pregnancies, 240,000 unsafe abortions and 1,800 maternal deaths.

The goals of the KBF Canada – MSI project are to make comprehensive reproductive health services (including the full range of modern contraceptive methods) available to all adolescents and adults in the region and to prevent death and disability from unsafe abortions. Tubal ligation and vasectomy would also be available to those who want no more children. More details about the project can be read here.

PIC is very pleased that our members and supporters now have an opportunity to make a donation to Marie Stopes International through its partnership with KBF Canada. Donations to KBF Canada to support the work of MSI in the Sahel should be designated as “Project D303 – Reproductive Choices in the Sahel.” If the donation is by cheque, that designation should be written on the “Pay to the order of” line of the cheque.

Tax-deductable donations to support the Sahel project can be made:

PIC invites its members and supporters to take advantage – and help PIC promote awareness – of this unique opportunity to receive a tax credit for supporting Marie Stopes International’s work in a region of the world where it is most urgently needed.