CARE Canada’s Tanja Kisslinger
May 3, 2019
1. What do you do at CARE?
My job is a mix of communications, public engagement and knowledge translation. That means, I take information from our Global Health programs, and I create meaningful messages and opportunities for the Canadian public to understand and experience our nutrition work in Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia.
I am specifically responsible for leading and coordinating the Feed Her Future campaign.
2. How did you decide that this was what you wanted to do for a career?
I definitely did not choose it – it chose me. Many years ago, I followed an impulse and a desire to spend a year volunteering in Africa. So, I showed up in Tanzania at a Center for Street Kids, and I offered my communications skills. I spent an incredible year with that organization, and it pretty much changed everything. That single year and single leap of faith on my part led to 15 years of freelance communications for nonprofits.
Over the years, my freelance communications consultancy led me to work with organizations such as Medair, Save the Children, World Vision. I worked in a variety of countries, including India, Nepal, Tanzania, and Mongolia.
3. What is the biggest challenge you face in this role?
The Canadian public is overwhelmed with “good causes”, and can experience some apathy as a result. The challenge is to make them feel connected to our campaign, our purpose, and the lives of families and communities so far away. We always look for new ways to inspire and involve the Canadian public.
4. What do you have coming up next?
I’m very excited about the launch of our first Feed Her Future video. It's a brief, emotionally affective introduction to the main message of our campaign. It’s beautiful, and it has been no small feat to take one month, 3 countries and 20 hours of footage and boil it down into a single expression. It just launched this past Monday.
Aside from this, we are also looking ahead to Women Deliver – Feed Her Future will host a panel called “Women’s Health Rights and the SDGs” at the CanWaCH Pavilion very near the conference center. In our panel, three organizations will discuss how women’s rights to health have shifted over the past 10 years, where we need to go next, and who is being left out.
5. Is there anything you want Canadians to know about your work?
We are open to your ideas too. Get in touch and let us know if you’d like us to come speak to your students or community group. We’d love to bring our campaign to you for a day or an hour!