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In truth, too much of contemporary development work relies on stereotypes. And while overly simplistic and ingrained ideas about men, women and the poor may be useful for fundraising purposes, when put into practice by organizations they contribute to ineffective development planning.
No parent dreams of their child working at a young age, missing out on school. But for Mark and his family of seven children in the Philippines, one income wasn't enough to provide for their basic needs. At seven years old, his son Paul carried the burden of work to give his other siblings a better chance in life.
Here in Canada, children learn to scuba dive for fun. But in Honduras, Ariel's work is largely invisible. Tourists tucking into a seafood meal just down the shore from his boat -- perhaps raising a glass of wine at sunset -- likely have no idea who hauled up their dinner from the ocean floor.
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In many parts of Africa and Asia, walking takes on a whole different meaning. That's because many women and children in these developing areas have to walk six kilometres every day to get water for their family. It's not a stroll in the park, or a breezy city walk -- it's a dangerous, hot, painful journey to provide for the needs of their families.
We are presented opportunities everyday to make a difference in the lives of those around us, near or far, through our actions, time, or money. Whether we embrace that opportunity is up to us and, evidently, even the smallest of gestures or actions can veritably snowball into lasting results.
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Eighty years ago, the Spanish Civil War resulted in a vast displacement and large number of unaccompanied child refugees. It was from the ashes of that crisis that Plan International was created. I am sure John Langdon-Davies, the founder of Plan International, would be heartbroken to know how urgently, in so many parts of the world, our work is still needed.
If we really want to support women and really want to be known as a feminist nation, then we need to work hand-in-hand with women and fund their work. We would welcome an announcement for this in the federal budget this week. But for this to happen, it would take courage and vision - not just rhetoric.
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In developing countries around the world, small business owners with dreams of doing more for their families and communities find themselves in this impossible situation.
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Several high-level corruption cases in 2016 have brought corruption to the public's attention. Last month, the South Korean Parliament voted to impeach President Park Geun-hye for extorting millions f...
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Pulses have great potential for human nutrition due to their high protein content compared to other vegetables. Despite this, global research funding for pulse crops remains very small compared to investments made in cereal crops.
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As minister of International Development and La Francophonie, I have visited 15 or so countries and Canada's re-engagement was pointed out to me during each of them. But what does this re-engagement really mean? Here are five major achievements that speak to Canada's re-engagement on the international scene and the impact of our actions.
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The new Netflix musical drama The Get Down depicts life in South Bronx in the late 1970s: with the emerging hip-hop as a soundtrack, a community struggles with poverty and the spread of gangs while so...
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Though Canada is far from immune to the forces of intolerance, we generally still self-identify as generous, socially conscious citizens. In this moment of unease and unrest, it's heartening that we see ourselves as the world's helpful, conscientious neighbor. Well Canada, this week we have the chance to put our money where our identity is.
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Global health transcends boundaries. But it also transcends domains and disciplines of practice. Canada is positioned to play a strategic role as a leader on the international development stage, and this means that integrating youth leaders into global discourses, particularly relating to health, is vital.
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Over 2 billion people, and a growing share of the world's poor, live in the 35 countries considered fragile or conflict states in 2016. And whether we are talking about pandemics, war, or prolonged occupation, these conditions devastate health systems and have lasting impacts on the physical and mental health of affected populations.
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I was reminded of my dad's carefully tended garden when we visited a community on the outskirts of the city of Cochabamba. Outside many of the homes we saw were small squares of flourishing green produce. These gardens provide not only sustenance for the whole family, but a source of income.
We believe that there are three main areas that Canada's DFI -- planned to be based out of Export Development Canada -- needs to "get right" in order to succeed: governance and autonomy, development impact, and mechanisms for integrating specialized developmental expertise into its investments.
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Safe drinking water and decent toilets should be basic essentials in every school, everywhere. Unfortunately, it's not the case for millions of children in the world. Take the 500 students at St. John Bosco Gayaza Primary School in Uganda for example. The water source they rely on is an open pool located about one kilometre from their school.
This time of year, parents are acutely aware of the complexities of raising a child. But imagine if another variable -- a potentially deadly disease -- could affect your child at any moment. For millions of people around the world, uncertainty is a daily reality.
"Now, for both girls and boys, instead of going to the bush to take care of animals, we are going to school."
At last year's Paris climate change agreement, all countries committed to help adapt to climate change and reduce emissions. Canada's official development assistance (ODA) now needs to focus on realizing these commitments. Ensuring maximum impact will require attending to areas where need is greatest and where Canada has particular expertise.
Numbered at 1.8 billion, the world is now home to the largest generation of young people aged 10 to 24 in its history. Having grown up in a digital era and more connected than ever before, younger generations are able to see the world's boundaries as more fluid, recognizing their shared interests and values with people around the globe.
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I've witnessed the power that water can bring to a community -- not hydroelectricity, but human empowerment. It happens when a single borehole is drilled deep into the ground, and a pump installed. Clean water becomes a source of hydration, refreshment and strength, freeing people up to do great things.
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Menstruation is one of the leading causes of absenteeism among adolescent girls, with girls in Kenya missing an average of four days each month. Without access to accurate and essential health information, girls have limited understanding of how their bodies work. Femme International's study in Nairobi showed that 80 per cent of girls had no idea what menstruation was before their first period, leading to feelings of fear, confusion, and shame. A new smartphone game aims to change that.
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As a global collective grounded in humanity as a common value and fully aware that millions of people in humanitarian crises and conflicts worldwide are in need of solutions, now is the time to put differences aside and begin to address the suffering of millions of people affected by humanitarian crises -- particularly young girls.
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Budget 2016 is a step in the right direction, and a welcome course correction from the repeated cuts of the past five years. But it's a very small step. Much more will be needed to match the ambitions of the new government to the needs of the planet and its people.
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Like many Canadians, I have struggled to understand the importance of something as seemingly mundane as water. With our Great Lakes and mighty rivers, we're used to seeing water everywhere. I began appreciating how critical water is to survival when visiting the Kurdish region of northern Iraq with World Vision last month.
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The prime minister and officials in Global Affairs Canada have indicated through both words and action a desire to create a more collaborative and consultative relationship with Civil Society Organizations . But are Canadian CSOs taking advantage of the thaw to engage in advocacy to hold the government to account for the impacts of its policies on global justice?
A key part of being feminist is respecting all people's choices about their own bodies. While a gender-balanced cabinet is a step in the right direction, there is no such thing as gender equality without bodily autonomy. If women aren't able to make decisions about their own bodies, equality is null and void.
Roughly one billion women and girls worldwide -- almost 30 times the population of Canada -- suffer from malnutrition. This has catastrophic consequences not only for them and for their children, but for the world, as the loss of women's full potential hinders the social and economic development of entire countries.
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What is a remittance? Simply put, the process of sending money internationally from Canada to a friend or family member in a foreign country. Globally, the flows of remittances have grown substantially in recent years. Even with a projected slowdown in 2015, the World Bank recently predicted total remittances to 'developing countries' would exceed $435 Billion USD. To put it in context, official development assistance/foreign aid in 2014 was estimated at just over $135 Billion USD globally.
In the summer of 2008, Canada's (now) Minister of Health, Dr. Jane Philpott, was in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where she met with Ethiopian colleagues to explore the possibility of establishing family medicine as a formal discipline in the East African country of 90 million people. For the next decade, she would help spread an initiative to help launch such a program in the East African nation.