Driving towards Madaya in a convoy that snaked along the Damascus highway for hundreds of metres, a huge knot formed in the pit of my stomach. Not knowing what we would find there, and remembering the harrowing images of emaciated children pleading with their eyes for some respite from this siege, it was hard not to be worried.
Both of my boys have a rare neurological movement disorder called Dystonia. It causes painful twisting and contractions of the muscles. The episodic nature of it means that one minute they are running and playing like any other child and the next minute their hands and legs stop working. This means lots of falls and has made my six year old apprehensive about participating in team sports.And then he saw you play.
Remember when your parents scrimped and saved to buy you 17 volumes of the 1973 World Book Encyclopedia? Well it's your turn to return the favour. Look through a local Continuing Education catalogue. Contact a nearby seniors centre. If they don't have a workshop that suits the older adult in your life, tell them what you are interested in and why. Digital Literacy is an essential part of lifelong learning. At any age.
One of the mothers said to me, "As a mother of a malnourished baby, I am so thankful to be learning how to make this porridge!" She was not embarrassed, nor was there stigma, rather, she was thankful that World Vision was there to help.
Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus (MNT) is a deadly disease caused by unhygienic birthing practices that affects newborns after birth and continues to ravage the lives of children and mothers in 18 countries. The symptoms of infection are particularly tragic -- babies suffer intense spasms and reel in pain from any type of contact. Parents cannot even touch their babies to comfort them.
Don't get me wrong: B.C. truly is a glorious place -- the type of place you can fly over in a seaplane and easily think the wilderness will never end. But it's also one of the world's last frontiers and the race is on to cut down our old-growth forests, to send more oil tankers into our ports, to build natural gas plants in our salmon estuaries and to flood our rivers for megadams.
Older women/grandmothers in sub-Saharan Africa are rarely recognized or included in programs and policies addressing HIV/AIDS, health-care strengthening and development assistance. Yet they are at the centre of the pandemic.
Each one of our stories is important. When we find the courage to have real conversations about our inner worlds, we have the potential of helping another through their struggles. When we reveal our humanity and imperfections, it connects us to one another and create an opening for meaningful, authentic conversations about how we are doing. To have them know and understand they are not alone. I am a mother of four, a wife, an Olympic athlete, a writer, a speaker, a changemaker. I am also someone who has experienced mental illness. I hope that we have the imagination to define one another in our complexity.
As a child advocate, I recently had the opportunity to travel to Cambodia to see some of the work World Vision is doing to make a difference. It was the first time I took my sons to see how many people in developing countries live. I tracked my experience in this travel journal. This is the second of three parts.
Since Black Lives Matter Toronto's sit-in during Pride 2016, many of you have shown woeful levels of misunderstanding of where our community as a whole sits with the police. I've heard several of you say that the police don't pose a threat to LGBT people, because we've made "progress." "The bathhouse raids were 35 years ago. Everything is fine now between LGBT people and the police!" is how the argument goes, as if conflict between police and LGBT people is a thing of the past. What you mean to say is that your battle for your rights (which did not include an agenda for LGBT people of colour) was already hard fought decades ago.
Life evolved to live within limits. It's a delicate balance. Humans need oxygen, but too much can kill us. Plants need nitrogen, but excess nitrogen harms them, and pollutes rivers, lakes and oceans. Ecosystems are complex. Our health and survival depend on intricate interactions that ensure we get the right amounts of clean air, water, food from productive soils and energy from the sun.
It may be that Mohammad El Halabi has committed misdeeds -- time will tell -- but why should that derail all of World Vision's operations in Gaza? Before the end of August, World Vision had been forced to lay off all 120 staff in Gaza after the organization's bank accounts in Jerusalem had been frozen by Israel. The organization was simply no longer able to transfer money to Gaza.
The key to delivering a better food future for everyone is moving beyond individual change into the public realm. We must act collectively, pressuring governments to use their regulatory and legislative powers to emphasize health, sustainability and fairness.
Last month, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that in just three weeks, it processed 37,491 refugees from South Sudan who were fleeing to neighbouring Uganda -- 8,200 arrived in a single day.
By the time Loyce was 10, both her mother and her younger brother had died of AIDS and tuberculosis. She didn't know she was suffering from the same diseases until she was diagnosed two years later, and her young and difficult life was once again turned upside down.