Not all that long ago, peace was viewed as the occasional pause between a long lists of conflicts. If we aren't careful, we will soon be in danger of replicating such a timeline. Peace becomes an investment in what we can accomplish; war morphs into everything that we can lose.
In my classroom, there were a few precious books available in my local language. Those stories profoundly touched my heart, and I loved reading time at primary school. Children love stories, you see. Stories are the virtual window to their world of fantasy and reality. Children do not want to read just any story book, but story books that are engaging and connecting to their passionate souls.
The Internet was meant to be this great contest of ideas. But instead of expanding our perspectives, the Internet shows us what it thinks we want to see. Is it also dividing us?
Conflict attacks the systems that support the routines of daily life. The result is that, during conflict, millions of children miss out on the basic vaccines they need to stay healthy and have a fair chance in life. Most often the children affected are the most vulnerable to disease.
In communities disproportionately affected by violence, targeted prevention programs and mental health supports have a more focused impact. Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada has adopted a proven gang prevention outreach program, but it requires renewed funding and support.
I grew up in a refugee camp to begin with, and since my parents didn't speak German, I was not able to pick up the language very quickly, so I went to kindergarten and was picked on for not knowing German. Not just by fellow kids, but also the teachers, who isolated me and never included me in anything.
For a poverty reduction strategy to be successful, it takes time, political momentum, dedicated resources and an understanding that governments must consider the lived realities of poverty in every single policy decision they make.