Global Issues

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

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 04.08.2014 | 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 04.01.2014 | 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.

A Coveted Job Skill That You Already Have

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 09.16.2013 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

One of the best networking tips we've encountered is to be selfless. Listen actively, immerse yourself in a stranger's work life for the duration of the conversation and figure out what you can do for them. Remember, if you're too focused on the question, "what can empathy do for me?" you're missing the point.

A Canadian Crusader Fights for the Oceans

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 08.12.2013 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

Rob Stewart's whole life changed the day he found the "curtain of death." In 1999, Stewart was 22 and enjoying a carefree existence as an underwater photographer and filmmaker. "I was selfish before. I was just travelling, photographing animals, thinking I had the best job in the world," he told us.

A Visit From the Governor General Can Make All the Difference

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 08.05.2013 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

Her Excellency Sharon Johnston, wife of the Governor General of Canada's teenage audience members were victims of sexual abuse participating in an after-school art therapy program that helps them open up and talk. It's one of the many programs at Stepping Stones International -- a small organization working with orphaned and vulnerable youth in Botswana.

Canada Was Wrong To Withdraw From Desertification Treaty

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 06.09.2013 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

Many voices have since weighed in on Canada's decision to quit the Convention to Combat Desertification, citing facts and figures; however the voices absent from the debate are those of the estimated two billion people watching their livelihoods dry up with the land.

Roméo Dallaire Is Fighting to Get Children off the Battlefield

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 05.20.2013 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

More than 250,000 children under 18 are involved in at least 17 conflicts around the world today. In 2008 Romeo Dallaire, now a Canadian Senator, founded the Child Soldiers Initiative to raise awareness, pressure world governments to take action, and train police and military forces from around the world to protect children and prevent them from being recruited as soldiers.

What the Butterfly Effect Means For Canada's Foreign Aid

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 05.13.2013 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

They say a butterfly flapping its wings can cause a tornado on the other side of the world. A fascinating new study, "The Arab Spring and Climate Change", essentially applies the "Butterfly Effect" to global current affairs, examining how climate change may have influenced the revolutions that rocked the Middle East.

Female Genital Mutilation Is a Canadian Issue Too

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 05.06.2013 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

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.

The Worldwide Epidemic That Needs Your Attention

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 04.29.2013 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

The Oscar Pistorius murder case in South Africa; rape in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; gang rapes in India; Pakistan acid attacks, and missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada. Each news item was served up by reporters and anchors as a separate, isolated story. In fact they are all different versions of the same story, told over and over again, night after night, from one country to the next. Why do we treat all these disparate threads around the world as unrelated events? According to UNIFEM, one in three women -- one billion members of our human population -- will be raped or beaten in her lifetime. It's time to wake up and connect the dots.

Can You Tweet Your Way to Empathy?

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 04.21.2013 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

Sara Konrath and her colleagues have just released some startling findings about empathy in different age groups, and launched a new experiment to see if new media -- like social media -- can teach people to be more empathetic. Here's what Konrath and her fellow researchers have discovered.

Seven New Year's Resolutions Canada Should Make

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 03.11.2013 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

New Year's resolutions have become something of a cultural joke, however they can serve a purpose to make each year better than the last. That applies to nations as well as individuals. 2012 left Canada and the world facing some daunting challenges we have to tackle in 2013.

Affordable Medicine for All the World's Grandchildren

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 01.28.2013 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

There are approximately 23.5-million people living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. Without medication one in two children living with HIV/AIDS in the developing world will die before their second birthday. We have an opportunity now to change that. A new piece of legislation before Parliament -- Bill C-398 -- aims to cut the red tape.

Why Won't Canada Take a Stand on Cluster Bombs?

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 01.07.2013 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

Cluster bombs have been employed in at least 31 countries since the Second World War. Eighty-nine per cent of tens of thousands of cluster bomb casualties are civilians, a quarter of them children. Canada does not use cluster bombs, and was among the first to sign the UN Convention on Cluster Munitions in 2008. However, four years later Canada still has not ratified because of concerns how the Convention will impact our relationship with allies.