Media Advisory - November 4 event to mark official launch of Worldwide
Orphans Foundation Canada

TORONTO, Nov. 4 /CNW/ - ThorntonGroutFinnigan LLP is pleased to announce the official launch of Worldwide Orphans Foundation Canada (WWO Canada). The inception of the Canadian chapter of this world-renowned charitable organization will be celebrated at a cocktail reception at Kultura Restaurant, 169 King Street East, Toronto, Ontario on Wednesday, November 4, 2009 at 5:30 p.m. Members of the media are welcome to attend.

WWO was founded in 1997 by New York pediatrician and infectious disease specialist Dr. Jane Aronson. WWO's mission is to transform the lives of orphaned children around the world by taking them out of anonymity and helping them to become healthy, independent and productive members of their communities.

There are a staggering 140 million orphans in the world, representing 7 per cent of the world's children. Millions of these children suffer from devastating diseases such as HIV-AIDs. All children without families are at risk for substantial and widespread developmental delays including, physical and motor delay, cognitive impairment and delayed language development. Research shows that children typically lose one month of development skills for every three months that they live in an institution. WWO currently delivers programs to children suffering from HIV-AIDs in Ethiopia and Vietnam. Early intervention programs are also carried out in Azerbaijan, Bulgaria and Vietnam.

WWO Canada supports orphanages in Bulgaria through an early intervention program. Retired health care workers and teachers in local communities are paired with children in orphanages one-on-one, five hours a day, five days every week. These 'grannies' or 'babas' work with on-staff psychologists to identify and address each child's individual needs. The results of the program have been dramatic. For instance, children in the grannie program, with the benefit of a loving, caring one-on-one relationship with an adult, are developing at a normal pace and not suffering the developmental delays of the children without grannies. This means that these children can go to school with their peers and have the best possible opportunity to develop into productive members of their societies.

"We have been inspired by the vision, passion and perseverance of Dr. Jane Aronson," said John Finnigan, a founding partner of ThorntonGroutFinnigan LLP and a director of WWO Canada. "WWO's 'grannie program' is one specific example of an initiative that allows us to make a real difference in these childrens' lives. Those of us who are so privileged to live in a country such as Canada simply cannot let these children be forgotten."

WWO gratefully acknowledges the tremendous support provided by RBC Dexia Investor Services to the cause of orphaned children. RBC Dexia has demonstrated its compassion and leadership with a generous donation of funds and employee volunteerism to WWO Canada. RBC Dexia's donation is already at work, improving the lives of orphans.

SOURCE THORNTONGROUTFINNIGAN LLP

For further information: For further information: about WWO, please visit www.wwo.org or contact John Finnigan at (416) 304-0558 or jfinnigan@tgf.ca

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