Debbie Wolfe
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Debbie Wolfe worked as a journalist with the CBC for 10 years. She now works for children, through international aid and development agency World Vision. Debbie helps convey the stories of girls and boys around the world who are battling poverty and injustice. She has two sons of her own, and lives in Toronto.

Entries by Debbie Wolfe

Are Your Kids Ready To Read Again?

(0) Comments | Posted August 18, 2016 | 2:42 PM

Two weeks from Tuesday, millions of Canadian kids will head off to school. Are your kids ready for reading? Many children start the year at a deficit, battling to regain what some educators call the "summer reading loss."

"We know that students do better in school when keep...

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How Tree-Planting Brings Life To The World's Children

(0) Comments | Posted August 8, 2016 | 11:08 AM

Each summer, Canadians longing for a break flood north to our country's forests. I am one of them. Sitting silently among the trees, I can practically hear them breathing. Whether spruce, maple or aspen, the trees inhale the carbon dioxide threatening our planet, and breathe out life-giving oxygen.

There's...

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Unaccompanied Children Fleeing Disaster Deserve Protection

(2) Comments | Posted August 4, 2016 | 9:29 AM

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In the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, an 11-year-old boy fends for himself after being separated from his parents during an attack on their village. (Photo: Kayla Robertson)

The boy wanders alone in the woods, hundreds of kilometres from home. Fighting...

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5 Ways To Keep Kids Learning About The World This Summer

(2) Comments | Posted July 7, 2016 | 4:39 PM

Children learn a lot about the world in school. How do you keep that going this summer?

One week into my kids' summer holidays, they're still relishing the beauty of simply hanging out. All their school binders are tucked away in the basement. There's no homework, no studying, no looming...

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Consider The World's Children As You Outfit Your Kids For Summer

(2) Comments | Posted June 30, 2016 | 3:21 PM

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Stock photo

My kids love Canada Day -- the parades, the picnics and the fireworks. But like many adults, they can't really appreciate what it means to grow up 'glorious and free.' They have no basis for comparison.

What my kids...

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Your Child's Teacher Deserves A Year-End Gift With Heart

(0) Comments | Posted June 27, 2016 | 2:51 PM

school children
Children in places like Ethiopia often don't have books to aid with their learning. Through the World Vision Gift Catalogue, you can help supply a classroom with tools like these. (Photo: World Vision)

One wall of our home is plastered with artwork our boys...

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Why Parenting In A Refugee Camp Can Be So Tough

(4) Comments | Posted June 22, 2016 | 4:52 PM

The temperature hit 35 degrees Celsius at an event to mark World Refugee Day in downtown Toronto this week. There was no breeze, no shade.

Humanitarian workers sweltered in the booths they'd set up, to raise awareness for the world's 65 million refugees. Organizers had provided...

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This Report Gives Canadians A Way To Stop Supporting Child Labour

(1) Comments | Posted June 10, 2016 | 3:14 PM

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In Guatemala, Luisa waters coffee plants all day, lugging heavy bottles on two-hour round trips through the fields. Are her beans sold in Canadian stores? Photo/World Vision

"It's horrible. But what can I do about it?" My friend Maggie's was...

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Soccer Should Not Be The Only Solace For Kids Living In War

(0) Comments | Posted June 8, 2016 | 11:39 AM

With files from Melanie Markham

My son Derrick dreams of Euro 2016 every time his head hits the pillow. The international men's soccer championship kicks off in France this coming Friday.

The last time the Euros were played, Derrick was just 10, more interested in toy...

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How Clean Water Generates Power For The World's Children

(2) Comments | Posted June 2, 2016 | 5:49 PM

As a little girl growing up in Niagara Falls, I was awed by the power of water. My dad is an engineer, and his jobs often took him to the hydroelectric generating stations on the Niagara River. He sometimes asked me to drive along.

From the safety of my perch,...

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Children Facing Humanitarian Crisis Reveal What They Need Most

(3) Comments | Posted May 25, 2016 | 4:46 PM

Many of the world's most powerful leaders gathered in Istanbul this week for the World Humanitarian Summit. Good things were accomplished, with Canada alone pledging $331.5 million in humanitarian aid.

But despite strong representation from government, big business and some of the world's most...

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Think About What 'Family' Means Around the World

(0) Comments | Posted May 13, 2016 | 4:49 PM

What makes a family? There are so many answers to that question. The dictionary definition of family is "people related by blood or marriage." But in countries around the world, family can mean many different things.

On International Day of Families this Sunday, World Vision honours families everywhere. We think...

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Don't Leave Mother's Day Until The Last Minute

(0) Comments | Posted May 3, 2016 | 11:51 AM

The day I became a mom, I had plenty of company at the hospital. There were lots of visitors, two bouquets of flowers, and several blue teddy bears to welcome our newborn son. But that night, everyone went home. I was alone with my new baby.

My little boy was...

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Diarrhea Is The Uncomfortable Conversation We Need To Have

(0) Comments | Posted April 28, 2016 | 4:30 PM

I still remember the first time my son had diarrhea. My memories of the experience are especially vivid, as I imagine they are for many parents.

"What... again?" I recall my husband asking when I requested yet another run to the drug store for diapers. "You've got to be...

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Let's Dare To Dream Of A World Of Healthy Children

(0) Comments | Posted April 6, 2016 | 4:26 PM

As a child visiting family in Zimbabwe, my memories are like a dream.

I remember sitting on the garden path, lost amongst the flowers, my bare toes wriggling in the sunshine. Barbecued lamb chops so succulent my mouth starts watering at the memory. A crystal blue swimming pool sparkling...

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Harlem Globetrotters Go All The Way For Children

(0) Comments | Posted April 5, 2016 | 4:13 PM

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The Harlem Globetrotters' 'Thunder' Law couldn't wait to start meeting kids Sunday, when the legendary team arrived at Toronto's Ricoh Coliseum on their 90th anniversary tour. All photos by World Vision

They began in 1926 as a basketball team called the Savoy Big...

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Witness The Power Of Clean Water Around The World

(1) Comments | Posted March 22, 2016 | 8:08 AM

Here in Canada, we turn on our taps and clean water comes out. Simple as that. It's always clean, always plentiful, and unless we have long-showering teenagers in the house, usually the temperature we want it.

This World Water Day, however, millions of people who share our planet...

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Try Comparing Your Canadian Classroom With This Syrian One

(0) Comments | Posted March 14, 2016 | 11:54 AM

Before Ms. Bethanis moved in, my son's Toronto classroom was little more than an empty shell. Our new teacher was hired late last August, just days before her students would burst through the door of Room 103.

With almost no time to prepare, Ms. Bethanis spent her last week of...

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This International Women's Day, Think Of Syria's Mothers

(35) Comments | Posted March 7, 2016 | 3:28 PM

Mother Bareaa, her husband, Hisham, and their daughters Sedra and Judi, couldn't wait to connect with other Syrian families. World Vision Photo

I recently finished reading the book Room on which the Academy Award-nominated film was based. In it, a mother raises her young son under unthinkable circumstances: a tiny...

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Why Solutions For Syria Need To Involve Youth

(0) Comments | Posted February 23, 2016 | 1:21 PM

Who made the decisions when you were a child? My home was something of an 'oligarchy' with a very small group (Mom and Dad) calling all the shots. I remember my father saying, when my brother and I tried to weigh in, "this isn't a democracy, kids!"

I chuckle to...

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