Girl with firewood

September 23, 2013

World Relief Canada logoMARKHAM, Ontario–Five strong competitors, made up of staff and friends of World Relief Canada, will compete as the “Tough as Her” team in the annual Tough Mudder event on Sept. 28, 2013 at Mount St. Louis Moonstone Ski Resort near Barrie, Ont. Tough Mudder is a hard-core obstacle course designed to test strength, stamina, mental grit and camaraderie. World Relief’s Tough as Her campaign is about working together to give vulnerable families the power to fight poverty, while recognizing the strength and endurance that women in the developing world demonstrate every day to provide for their families.
World Relief Canada’s Tough as Her team hopes both to complete the course and to encourage Canadians to learn more about the daily challenges faced especially by women and girls, to survive and thrive in the developing world.

Tough As Her

“We want to inspire others to participate in major sporting events and at the same time raise funds for World Relief Canada’s women-focused development work,” says competitor Mark Groleau.

All funds raised go to World Relief Canada’s “Women’s Cause” fund supporting development projects that serve high numbers of women.

One of the projects supported is Burundi: Onramp to Banking. According to UN Women, the status of women in Burundi has been significantly affected by years of conflict and war. During a conflict (1993-2003), which killed 200,000 Burundians, and since a peace agreement in 2003, many women have suffered displacement, and have been victimized by high levels of sexual violence, murder and slavery.

“Women have been the worst affected by poverty and scarce economic resources,” explains Eric Frans, World Relief Canada’s Director of Philanthropy, also participating in the event. “The Onramp to Banking projects fits perfectly with the “Tough as Her” idea because it is the resilience and determination of women entrepreneurs who form community banking groups, build savings and access loans, forge friendships, hold each other accountable, and encourage and support each other as they open or expand small businesses such as fruit stands, clothing stores and food shops. We can’t wait to compete to raise more funds to fuel projects like these.”

Because of World Relief’s partnership with the Canadian government, every $10 raised by the Tough as Her team for this project will be matched 2:1 to help women and their families rebuild their lives. The Tough as Her Tough Mudder team hopes to raise $15,000 in support of this and other vital women-serving programs.

“When the 28th is all done – whatever happens – I know I’ll go home to my wife, baby, and a big dinner on the table,” says Groleau. “I suspect that maybe we’re all Tough As Her, but the truth is, we don’t have to be. Because we have so much. But for a few hours, when Team Tough As Her hits the emotional and physical breaking point, it’ll be a chance to think about the courage and tenacity women in the developing world muster every day to give their kids what I typically take for granted.”

To find out more about World Relief Canada’s Tough as Her team or to donate, please visit

Click Here for backgrounder.

For more information, or to arrange team or World Relief Canada interviews and/or photos, please contact:

Eric Frans

Director of Philanthropy, World Relief Canada

800.567.8190 ext. 206 (Toll Free)

905.415.8181 ext. 206