When we set out to walk from Edmonton to Calgary three days ago, we didn't really know what to expect. Last summer our journey to raise money for clean water in developing communities had us climb Kilimanjaro, but in some ways Alberta's flatlands offer more unforgiving terrain than mountainous peaks.
Never tell Spencer West that he can't do something. A congenital spinal disorder rendered his legs useless, so at age five, West underwent a double amputation to remove them. His biggest challenge -- so far -- was climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for charity last June. Today, we were with West as he kicked off the We Walk 4Water campaign, starting a 300-kilometre trek from Edmonton to Calgary.
When we first met the guys from Hedley, the band wanted to embark on a Me to We Trip to Kenya. When their tattooed limbs touched down in the rural Maasai Mara, we wondered how the community would react to the Canadian rockers. Turns out the local chiefs were fascinated by the band's markings.
If there is one person in this world we truly envy, it's Victor Chan. For more than 40 years, Chan has had the incredible opportunity to accompany one of our heroes--His Holiness the Dalai Lama--on his world travels. In a new book, Chan shares stories about the Dalai Lama's encounters with world leaders, children living in poverty, activists, and scientists, among others.
Today, the challenge isn't finding green products, it's detecting greenwashing (companies misleading consumers with green PR but shoddy goods). In preparation for Earth Day on April 22, and with a nod to the Green Living Show held this past weekend in Toronto, we've compiled some of the show's featured products and services.
The first rule of the Mad Men premiere is that you do not talk about the Mad Men premiere. We'll say only this: the sixth season started off with a pensive Don Draper, more withdrawn than usual on a Hawaiian vacation with wife, Megan. It ended with the revelation that the honeymoon is over.
U.S. Army infantryman J.R. Martinez was only 19 when he was deployed to Iraq, in 2003. Less than a month into his tour of duty with the elite 101st Airborne, his Humvee hit a roadside bomb. The vehicle was thrown into the air, ejecting three other soldiers. Martinez, trapped inside, was engulfed in flames. The skin on his face, arms and hands burned away.
"Never give up when things look the bleakest. There will always be a tomorrow and when I look back, the biggest worries I had weren't that test on Monday, that girl who didn't return my phone call, that sad day my team lost."
Amidst the chaos backstage at We Day Seattle, we found a quiet corner to talk with our good friend, the famed actor and activist. Mia Farrow is fearless. She visited our development projects in Haiti just one year after the 2010 earthquake. We couldn't imagine who she would look up to. So on We Day, we asked her.
Don't underestimate the power of a letter, especially the power of many pens. Sandi Rae, a teacher at Mt. Slesse Middle School in Chilliwack, B.C. recently wrote an email -- that counts as a letter, right? -- telling us about her Grade 9 Leadership class and their letter-writing campaign to protest funding cuts for the Rainier Hotel in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.
Liz Murray's childhood was bleak. Her drug-addicted parents kept a ready-supply of heroin in their family home in the Bronx -- but no food. At 15, Murray's mother died of complications from HIV/AIDS and her terminally ill father moved to a shelter, leaving her homeless. She and her sister ate from dumpsters and rode the subways at night, imagining a better life.
Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll has shown us that his football philosophy changes lives. Earlier in his career, Carroll couldn't sit back and watch as kids in L.A.'s inner-city schools succumbed to pressure to join gangs. He created A Better LA in 2003, an organization that works to reduce gang violence by offering skills training and resources for people looking to get off the streets.
Students at Lincoln High, an inner-city school in Tacoma, Washington, banded together to support their peers; but their efforts extended beyond the schoolyard, to global service actions. They are in the midst of a penny drive to support a local homeless shelter.
Mikhail Gorbachev initiated the fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of communism and the end of the Cold War. At the heart of all his actions has been compassion for his fellow human beings. We had a chance recently to sit down with Gorbachev.
With so many international atrocities committed against women on a daily basis, I as a woman in the west sometimes feel that there is very little that we can do. But living in the lap of luxury doesn't remove the sadness one feels when they see the news reports. I feel overwhelmed by the state of women and believe we should act more. This International Women's Day let us educate ourselves and the society at large.
The United Nations World Health Organization estimates that 140-million women and girls around the world have experienced female genital mutilation (FGM). In December the UN unanimously passed a resolution banning the practice. What shocked us was discovering FGM is a serious issue in Canada, too. In 2011, almost 29,000 women from Africa and the Middle East became permanent residents of Canada. Dr. Davis, who has worked with hundreds of immigrant women, says a high percentage of these will have undergone FGM.