Former Kelowna woman receives prestigious service medal

Michelle Bonneau, the founder of Her International, was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal

For the last 12 years a former Kelowna resident has dedicated half of her life to Nepal.

In 2005, Michelle Bonneau founded IWEN, now known as Her International, with the intention of providing educational opportunities and sustainable life skills to marginalized women and children.

Now, she is being recognized by the federal government with the Meritorious Service Medal —which is intended to recognize individuals who have carried out meritorious acts bringing benefit and honour.

“During those (past) years the ups and down were many, but every time I got angry I would remember the fact that we had students for which we were responsible and so I would ask for help and every time someone would show up and help take over the board (of directors),” said Bonneau.

RELATED: The gift of giving after a weekend of spending

Kevin Edgecombe, president of Her International, said the exposure to the charity over the years has completely enriched his life.

“Many people that I have seen visit Nepal, touch, feel, smell Nepal, come away with the same feeling that there is something incredible about Nepal.”

In the last couple of years, Her International has also partnered with Okanagan support groups for women such as the Karis Support Society and H.O.P.E. Outreach. This past February the charity co-hosted a fundraising event with H.O.P.E. titled Hope in Her Eyes, and raised $17,000 to support women both locally and globally.

RELATED: Hope raises thousands for two Kelowna charities

Since its inception, Her International has rescued 187 young girls from bonded labour and provided a total of 2,261 annual scholarships.

Bonneau was recently in Kelowna to launch her book HER The Tharu Women’s Journey to Freedom, which was created by a team of international volunteers ‘who believe the empowerment of women is essential for world peace without the blight of poverty’.

HER The Tharu Women’s Journey to Freedom is available for sale in Kelowna at Mosaic Books.


@Jen_zee
jen.zielinski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Design submitted for new restaurant at location of former Kelowna hot-spot Rose’s Pub

Cactus Restaurants purchased the property earlier this year

Cancer cure breakthrough needs more research

Dr. Connie Eaves, a leading biotech research scientist in Canada, was keynote speaker at cancer care forum held Friday in Kelowna

Kelowna man sentenced to 20 months for having sex with minor

The incidents occurred over a four-month period between February and May of 2018

Well-known Kelowna developer, Al Stober, dies

Al Stober, whose Landmark Centre development spawned new town centre in the city, passes away at 88.

ELECTION 2019: It’s so close, it could come down to who turns out to vote

Black Press Media’s polling analyst on the origins of predictive seat modelling in Canada

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

Natalie MacMaster makes Okanagan one of two B.C. stops

Queen of the Fiddle in town Oct. 24

Shooters compete in Summerland

Seven youth participants take aim

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

VIDEO: Meet your Kelowna-Lake Country candidates

All seven Kelowna-Lake Country candidates answer questions about themselves and their policy

VIDEO: Meet your Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola candidates

Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola candidates answer questions about themselves and their policy

Greta Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta, but doesn’t talk oilsands

Swedish teen was met with some oil and gas industry supporters who came in a truck convoy

RDOS cannabis production bylaw goes to public hearing

Hearing on micro cannabis production facilities will be held Nov. 21

Most Read