Global Issues

If You Give Women in Poverty the Right Tools, They Will Flourish

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 08.21.2014 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

Although she attended primary school, Daisy's family couldn't afford the fees to send her to high school. But when Barengetuny was 19, development workers began travelling from village to village by motorcycle, including her community of Motony, introducing women to the micro-finance "merry-go-round." Now she's an established businesswoman.

Why Archbishop Desmond Tutu Is Focused on Forgiveness

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 08.18.2014 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

What astounds us is that, despite everything he saw and endured during the apartheid years, Tutu remains one of the most joyful human beings we know. A laugh is never far from his lips. When music plays, he is the first on his feet dancing. We can only attribute this to his mastery of the art of forgiveness. Tutu's soul remains unburdened by anger and vindictiveness.

Kofi Annan: Global Solutions Will Be Defined by Youth

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 07.24.2014 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

Is it just us, or does the world feel a bit scarier lately? The world needs experienced leaders -- grizzled global firefighters with the wisdom to staunch the flames and guide us through turbulent times. One is Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Remembering Greatness: Happy Birthday, Madiba

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 09.16.2014 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

Nelson Mandela would have been 96 this week. It's the first birthday since his passing -- celebrations replaced with mourning and reflection. With the passing of Mandela, humanity lost a quiet voice of reason -- one we still sorely need in an increasingly polarized world. In honour of Mandela's birthday, here are some of our own fondest memories of "Madiba."

Are You Doing Your Part to Fight Child Labour?

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 08.26.2014 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

While much of the onus lies on individual nations to strengthen their laws and enforcement against labour exploitation, van de Glind also pointed out that Canadians can do our part, too. And if exploitation continues because it remains profitable, we as consumers can make it less so. Before checking out the half-off sale at that popular clothing chain, do your research. Check web sites to read what companies say about their sourcing. If the information isn't easily available, write the company and ask. The more pressure companies feel from customers, the more attention they will pay to ethical sourcing.

Tax Fairness: International Businesses Should Pay Their Due

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 08.19.2014 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

There are many tricks -- most of them currently legal -- multinationals use to avoid paying taxes in developing countries, including a tactic called "profit shifting." This often leads struggling families in the developed world paying more in income tax than international businesses.

The Power Is in Dad's Hands to Teach Sons Respect For Women

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 08.12.2014 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

Creating a society where all men respect women starts in the home. Boys look up to the adult males in their lives. With Father's Day approaching, dads are realizing the power they have to make a difference. We can't fight the violence until all men respect women as equals. And this Father's Day, changing men's attitudes starts with dad.

Giving Back Is Just Good Business

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 07.29.2014 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

The evolution -- we might even say revolution -- taking place in the field of corporate social responsibility has been fascinating to behold. For the best companies, making your employees recycle, and cutting a big cheque once a year to some lucky charity, is no longer good enough. They're making "giving back" an integral part of doing business.

How One Woman Tackled Genital Mutilation and Child Marriage

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 07.22.2014 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

In a developing community, a child willingly skipping class is nigh unthinkable; education is a resource more precious than gold. So when the students filed in to see Khady's empty seat, it was a gaping void that could not be ignored. The 12-year-old had been pulled from school by her father. She was to be married the next day.

We Need to Talk About Missing Women All Over the World

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 07.15.2014 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

Dig deeper into the current headlines and the sickening stories mount. The so-called "honour killing" of women by their husbands and families in Afghanistan is rising. Police in Paris allegedly raped a Canadian tourist. Rebels in the forgotten crisis in the Central African Republic rape and murder women with relative impunity. And it's not just about high profile atrocities. When was the last time media talked about the missing women of Asia?

Mia Farrow's Ode to the World's Strongest Mothers

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 07.08.2014 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

With Mother's Day approaching, Farrow has a challenge for all of us living in comfort here, far from the struggles in central Africa. This Mother's Day, take a moment to think outside our own families. Make this Mother's Day not just about our own mothers, but about all the mothers of the world -- especially those faced with overwhelming adversity.

India's Monumental Exercise in Democracy

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 06.25.2014 | Canada Politics
Craig and Marc Kielburger

In addition to being the biggest with 800-million potential voters, and most expensive at $35 billion, the Indian Parliamentary election also has the world's largest youth vote; political parties that reach all the way to our shores; reserved parliamentary seats for minorities; and electoral corruption on a mind-blowing scale. Here are five things you didn't know about democracy in India.

From Generation Me to Generation We: How Millennials Are Changing Business

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 06.08.2014 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

The TIME magazine cover last May cried: "The Me Me Me Generation: Millennials are lazy, entitled narcissists who still live with their parents." For all the bashing of millennials, when it comes to spending and working, their priority is making a difference. Businesses that want to attract the best workers and remain profitable must make it their priority as well.

Afghan Illiteracy Can't Be Solved by Simply Slapping Up More Schools

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 06.01.2014 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

Since 2006, Canada alone has pumped more than $180 million into education in Afghanistan, according to the Canadian Foreign Affairs project browser. Thousands of schools have been rebuilt or rehabilitated by western nations. Afghan government statistics show more than -- up from just 5000 in 2001. So why is it that, despite this decade of massive investment, the literacy rate for women is still only 22 per cent according to UNICEF? It's the same problem we've seen so many other places: failing to realize that building a school is not the same thing as providing an education.

Sochi: What $50 Billion Could Have Accomplished

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 04.14.2014 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

As we watch the Olympics and cheer our athletes on, like many Canadians we think back to our own Vancouver games which cost $7 billion, and we wonder if at least some of Russia's $50 billion Olympic cost couldn't have been better, more compassionately, spent?

Canada's Healthcare Prospers

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 03.30.2014 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

Last year the Canadian health care system managed to save $400 million. Sounds great, right? Now what if we told you that Canada did it by poaching trained doctors from the poorest and most vulnerable communities in the world? To prosper, Africa must keep her brilliant children home. And developed nations like Canada have a role to play here, too. For a start, we must address the issues in our own health care system that requires us to draw so many health professionals from developing countries where they are needed more.

Charity Works Better Without Pity

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 03.16.2014 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

We've all seen the ads. A white person -- often a celebrity -- strolls through a dilapidated village of mud huts, stooping to pick up one of the strategically-placed children who sit listlessly, their bellies bloated with hunger. The problem with these ads is they reinforce negative stereotypes about people in Africa and other developing countries -- that they are helpless victims who need to be saved. The goal of the ads is to tug heartstrings and create an emotional connection between you, the potential donor, and the people in need. Numerous studies have shown that donors respond better to appeals that include an "identifiable victim"-- putting a name and face to the cause -- than they do to a statistic.

Let 2013 Inspire Us to Do Better in 2014

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 03.09.2014 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

Last New Year, we wrote about some of the issues we hoped Canada and the world would tackle in 2013. To reflect on the year gone by, we pulled that column from the archives -- it was a disheartening read.

The Best Gifts Don't Always Come in A Box

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 02.23.2014 | Canada
Craig and Marc Kielburger

Canadians are frantically scrambling to knock those last few items off of their Christmas shopping lists. Traffic is impossible, free parking spaces are non-existent, and stores are jammed to the rafters; last-minute stress abounds. Come Boxing Day, many will survey the carnage -- the mounds of packaging and torn wrapping paper -- and lament the waste and excess of holiday consumerism. It's a good time to stop and think that, just maybe, the best gifts don't come in a box.

Climate Change Refugees: Coming Soon to a Country Near You

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 01.27.2014 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

Ioane Teitiota just wants a safe home where his family has a future, but his quest may set a legal precedent with global ramifications. Teitiota could become the world's first legally-recognized refugee from climate change. Canada is a global destination for refugees -- we took in 5,412 last year.

Syrian Children Are Starving to Death

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

It's likely one-year-old Rana was malnourished the entire year she'd been alive, since aid hadn't reached the village in her lifetime. Doctors could do nothing by the time she was admitted to the field hospital just north of the Syrian capital of Damascus. She died within 24 hours of admittance. Rana was born, and died, during the civil war that is slowly attacking Syria's children. The people left in her ghost town of Moadamia are bargaining chips for the rebel Free Syrian Army, which refuses to relinquish control of the area long enough for humanitarian groups to distribute aid. For these children of war every aspect of their life has been diminished, or stolen.

Can Online Petitions Change the World?

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

Skeptics take heed: to dismiss online activism as mere slacktivism is to ignore one of the very real positive social benefits of the internet. But a warning to activists as well: e-petitions can help you change the world, but only when mixed with a little old-school elbow grease.

How Marriage Killed This Child

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 11.19.2013 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

Rawan was just eight years old when she died last week. The cause of death: her uterus ruptured during sexual intercourse with her 40-year-old husband. It was their wedding night in northwestern Yemen. How do we stop child marriage?

Unleashing Africa's Beautiful Minds

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 11.11.2013 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

At age seven, Uwizeye barely escaped the genocide in her homeland of Rwanda, fleeing with her family to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Two years later, war came to the DRC and the family had to run again, back to Rwanda. Her parents vanished, never to be seen again. With some support from her two older sisters, Uwizeye told us she persevered.

Star Power: Canadian Pop Singer Lights is a Global Citizen

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 10.01.2013 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

Lights became a seasoned world traveller long before concert touring had her crisscrossing North America with hits like "Toes" and "My Boots." She told us what advice she would give her high-school self, and why she believes that education can break the cycle of poverty.