Debbie Wolfe
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

What World Water Day Really Means

(0) Comments | Posted March 20, 2014 | 10:27 AM

We don't think much about water here in Canada - just turn on the tap and out it pours! But around the world, clean water is more elusive. It can mean the difference between life and death.

For World Water Day March 22, here's a snapshot of water's role...

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After Three Years of War, Syrian Childhoods Are Shattered

(0) Comments | Posted March 11, 2014 | 12:40 PM

The war in Syria is about to enter its fourth year. The grinding conflict has got to be wearying for people on both sides, as well as those trying to broker a peaceful solution. But adult weariness, you recover from; Shattered childhoods, you never really do.

I remember taking my...

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Think Globally for International Women's Day

(0) Comments | Posted March 7, 2014 | 11:01 AM

My eight-year-old son Gavin is privileged to have a girl for a best friend. And despite the gender difference, they're very similar. Logan and Gavin are equally smart, equally imaginative, and equally good at finding clever ways to get into trouble at school. Both seem instinctively sure that they can...

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Do You Know Where Those Valentine's Chocolates Came From?

(0) Comments | Posted February 12, 2014 | 2:52 PM

What is it about chocolate that says 'love' on Valentine's Day?

The first year I was married, I remember an almost overwhelming instinct to concoct homemade truffles for my husband on Valentine's. They ended up looking something like the pebbles you'd find on a beach. Yet the mere fact that...

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This New UN Initiative Gives Power to Kids All Over the World

(3) Comments | Posted January 15, 2014 | 7:15 AM

Canadian Sara Austin has been on a 15-year quest to give the world's children a way to get help from the UN when their rights are violated.

Starting today, children will be able to appeal directly to the United Nations...

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Overcoming My Fear of Second Hand Clothing

(1) Comments | Posted January 8, 2014 | 10:02 AM

They were called 'jumble sales' and I loathed them. They were the used clothing sales where my mom bought most of our outfits when we lived in England.

When the sale began on a Saturday morning, the pre-loved garments were neatly laid out on tables in the church hall....

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I Grew Up in South Africa During Apartheid

(4) Comments | Posted December 6, 2013 | 4:39 PM

I was born in South Africa, under apartheid -- a white child with every privilege. It was the year 1969, five years after Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life in prison.

While my parents weren't wealthy, my dad was an engineer, and a graduate of the University of Cape...

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Helping Children With Disabilities Around the World

(0) Comments | Posted December 3, 2013 | 10:42 AM

On the International Day of People with Disability, December 3, World Vision notes that an estimated 98 per cent of children with disabilities worldwide are excluded from education. Many of these children are also hidden away due to stigma and shame. Learn how you can help.

In Cambodia...

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What We're Doing to Help Children in the Philippines

(0) Comments | Posted November 16, 2013 | 1:45 PM


Baby Claire lives in the province of Cebu, one of the areas hardest-hit by typhoon Haiyan.

Baby Claire was looking for her school medals. The nine-year-old girl had come to inspect her flattened home, the cruel handiwork of a typhoon with no mercy....

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Helping the Children of the Philippines

(1) Comments | Posted November 10, 2013 | 2:41 PM


As Typhoon Haiyan carved a ruthless path across the Philippines Friday, World Vision staff watched in horror. They imagined what might be happening to the children, especially in remote regions.

"We are waiting for early reports from some of...

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Getting a Grip Before the Holiday Chaos

(0) Comments | Posted November 7, 2013 | 10:59 AM

The holiday "changeover" has never been swifter.

As my kids and I clicked around for a scary movie to watch after trick-or-treating last week, we were amazed to encounter three, yes three Christmas commercials. No kidding. "Monster Mash" was still playing in the background, while sleigh bells jingled on...

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PHOTOS: Step into Harvests Around the World

(0) Comments | Posted October 9, 2013 | 2:44 PM

As we get ready for Thanksgiving, meet children around the world who help their families harvest fruits, vegetables, grain -- even fish! Learn about their joys and struggles, and how you can help make their crops more bountiful.

In Cambodia,...
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Some Kids Don't Have the Luxury of Dreaming

(0) Comments | Posted September 30, 2013 | 12:57 PM

Before he could ask the street children in Pakistan about their "dreams," World Vision worker Brian Miller had to explain the concept.

"They don't think in terms of their future," he said, of the children who survive by their wits in a notoriously dangerous urban neighbourhood. "Their lives are only...

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Back to School: Classrooms Around the World

(1) Comments | Posted September 3, 2013 | 12:23 PM

For a moment, I could have been back in a Canadian classroom -- minus the posters, bookshelves and iPads.

But this wasn't Moncton or Saskatoon. There were no electronic devices in the children's jackets, waiting dutifully for recess. There would be no Girl Guides after school, or ice hockey...

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Syrian Children Were Always "Defenceless"

(2) Comments | Posted August 30, 2013 | 10:47 AM

Earlier this week, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden decried the use of chemical weapons on "defenceless men, women and children" in Syria.

Questions remain about who controls Syria's store of deadly chemical weapons and whether or not Syrian President Bashar Assad himself ordered the strike. But as someone who works...

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Join Hands Around the World for International Day of Friendship

(0) Comments | Posted July 30, 2013 | 12:19 PM

On July 30, the International Day of Friendship celebrates unlikely friendships with the power to change the world. Here's a glimpse at how one of these might work.

The Canadian visitor sat on a wooden box, in a filthy slum in India. It was Drew Scott, well known by...

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For Some Children, War Is No Video Game

(6) Comments | Posted July 23, 2013 | 11:51 AM

"But all my friends have them!" implored by 11-year-old son Derrick, arguing once again for the purchase of M-rated video games (for "Mature"). It was neither a new discussion, nor a new angle. The next attempt was equally familiar.

"How is playing a video game going to make me go...

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Canadians' Choices Can Help End Child Slavery

(0) Comments | Posted July 18, 2013 | 12:13 PM

I had come to Cambodia to meet child slaves. There was no shortage of places to stop.

For five days, I drove with World Vision from garbage heaps to brick factories to seafood processing plants. I met kids whose childhoods have been placed on a kind of cruel auction...

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How to Keep Your Child Writing This Summer

(0) Comments | Posted July 4, 2013 | 6:06 PM

My seven-year-old son struggles to put pencil to paper. Even with all the encouragement I could muster, completing his Grade 2 writing homework often reduced Gavin to tears. The assignments were miserable for both of us, and often took much of the weekend.

Then, one day in April, it actually...

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Syrian Refugee Children Need More Than Just Food and Water

(3) Comments | Posted June 26, 2013 | 5:30 PM

The number of Syrian refugees who have fled to neighbouring countries is expected to reach two million in the coming weeks. Approximately half of these human beings are children.

As World Vision considers the pledges made by world leaders at the G8 summit in Northern Ireland, we're grateful for the...

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