Kielburger

Behind the Headlines: Why Chief Theresa Spence Is Hunger Striking

The story behind the headline is that Chief Spence's hunger strike is not simply about the appalling conditions her people continue to face. Spence is one of many aboriginal leaders looking for a way to express her frustration with the Government of Canada passing laws that affect their lives and land, as well as violating treaty rights without involving them in any of the decision making.
Shutterstock

Star Power: This Olympian Thinks Outside the Box

Certain people have such boundless inner energy that it seems the whole global deficit might be solved, if only we could tap into their power reserves. Sylvie Fréchette is one of those people. It's not hard to see how this vivacious Québécoise helped Canada bring home the Olympic gold for solo synchronized swimming. We managed to pin down the bubbly Fréchette just long enough for a quick chat in Montreal.
Alamy

ChangeMaker: At 16, Her Hero Is a Homeless Man

Some people avert their eyes or cross the street to avoid an encounter with a homeless person. Not Hannah Taylor. At age five, she watched a man dig through a dumpster, braced against the unforgiving chill of a Winnipeg winter in search of his dinner. He was the first homeless person she'd ever seen, and Hannah refused to do nothing about it.
Alamy

Behind the Headlines: Don't We Have Better Things to Research?

As non-scientists, we've been casually observing a trend for some time that we'd initially dubbed: the baffling research phenomenon. We still haven't eradicated polio in all parts of the world. Or malaria, for that matter. Or yellow fever. Every day, people die from vaccine-preventable diseases. So we can appreciate science for the sake of science but our collective time and money, as a species, might be better spent elsewhere.
Alamy

Real-World Fixes to First-World Problems

Last month, we came clean and admitted that yes, we have First-World problems. Of course we're not alone. Aside from the #firstworldproblem ubiquity on Twitter, we've gotten plenty of unsolicited advice for this Real World Fixes column -- our attempt to insert some perspective into the trivial complaints of the privileged.

Star Power: OneRepublic is Living the Good Life

OneRepublic, the pop-rock quintet from Denver, Colorado, has been together since 2002, since they were in high school, or in the band's words, "since forever." They finish each other's sentences like siblings and cite each other as role models. We caught up with Drew Brown, Eddie Fisher and Brent Kutzle at We Day Vancouver last month.

Star Power: How Cody Simpson Wants to Be Remembered

Cody Simpson is not your stereotypical teen star -- self-entitled or shrouded in scandal. Cody is thoughtful and genuine. Even after his rise to super pop stardom, 3.4 million Twitter followers and a sold-out "Welcome to Paradise" headline tour, Cody still travels with his Dad -- he is, after all, just 15 years old.

Behind the Headlines: Could This Anti-Bullying Campaign Make It Worse?

When we first learned that one beauty brand is joining the battle against bullying by donating to a fund that offers a teen help line for bully victims, our heads turned. There are others. An admirable message, all. But what about the medium? For us, campaigns like these raise more questions than answers. Can a cosmetics company make a sincere plea to stop bullying and plump up the customer's pout or zap a zit? Or are these token donations -- made by companies whose marketing strategies tend to reinforce teens' fixation with physical appearance -- suspect?
We Day

Star Power: This Singer Has Some Advice for Her Younger Self

Energetic and empathetic and always stylish, Kay Boutilier -- better known by her stage name "My Name is Kay" or MNIK for short -- rocked the We Day stage in Vancouver last week. At We Day, she got the 20,000 young people, and even some of their teachers, on their feet dancing. We got an opportunity speak with the 25-year-old backstage about the issues that matter most to her.

ChangeMaker: How One Artist Made His Mark

It was an urban restlessness that first drove graphic artist and Toronto native Jonathan Cruz to explore the far reaches of Canada's North. It was the simple pleasure of eating a hardboiled egg that compelled him to stay. But we'll get to that. The 30-year-old founder of Iqaluit-based Nuschool Design Agency, a multidisciplinary graphic design studio, has literally made his mark all over Canada.
YouTube

First World Problems, Meet Real World Fixes

First World Problems has become a meme of such epic proportions. Your Laundromat doesn't have Wi-Fi!? The magazines in your dentist's waiting room are from last month?! This week, when "First World Problems Anthem," a video devised by a U.S.-based marketing agency for a charitable campaign, went viral, we could hardly keep up with the backlash.
Wikimedia

Don't Let the Penny Die in Vain

As a final tribute to this Canadian icon, let's demonstrate the power of the penny and make the wishes of so many around the world come true: let's collect enough pennies to provide clean water for life for 100,000 people. Just $25 in pennies provides a permanent source of clean water for a person in a developing country.

Behind the Headlines: More Than Just a Bacon Shortage

The alleged pork "fiasco" that broke recently about a bacon shortage was not for want of real news: there is a serious conversation to be had. Not just about the perfect storm brewing in the rise of corn, wheat and fuel prices that's poised to increase food costs for the consumer. But also, what's really behind all of this, and where we're headed.
AP

Star Power: One Woman's Journey From Suburbia to Savannah

Robin Wiszowaty left the gleaming strip malls, street grids and coiffed lawns of suburban Illinois for the wilds of rural Kenya in 2002. And she's never looked back. What was meant to be a brief exchange from the University of Illinois to the small Nkoyet-naiborr community in Kenya's Maasai Mara has morphed into her life's adventure. Here, Robin Wiszowaty tells us how she fell in sync with the heartbeat of Africa, and how she found her home.
Alamy

ChangeMaker: Have a Learning Disability? This Principal Understands

Brent Kreuger was written off as "lazy" and "stupid" in elementary school in the 1960s -- a time before the "distracted student" was a mainstream social problem. So Krueger set out create a learning environment where outside-the-box thinkers were labelled "entrepreneurial" instead of "learning disabled." He founded the Praxis International Institute, the alternative high school he now runs as principal.
AP

If You Build it, They Will Come -- But Building's Not Enough

Many development projects are the product of the Field of Dreams Syndrome: the naïve belief that if you build a hospital, school or well, somehow, magically, doctors and teachers and maintenance workers will just appear to make the project a success. If we don't empower communities to manage projects independently, we might as well throw our money down the well we just drilled. It's more cruel to promise a better life and not deliver than to never offer aid at all.
Alamy

One Way to Help Indian Youth? Bollywood

The class is part of an innovative project called Kid Powered Media -- the creation of Canadian Alex Heywood. Heywood's career plans lay in the food services industry. In 2007, the chef at the Toronto Indian restaurant Heywood managed urged him to visit India and experience the food first hand. Coming home from the trip, however, it was not the cuisine he remembered but the poverty.
AP

From the Slums of Kenya to Buckingham Palace

The 13 members of the Slum Drummers -- nine men and four women -- pulled themselves from lives on the streets of Kenya's most desperate slums to perform with instruments made from trash on stages around the world -- including for the Queen. Now they're using their music as an instrument of hope, reaching out to street kids in the communities they came from.
PA

Olympic Gold Tarnished by Labour Camps, Sweatshops and Child Athletes

Disappointment, with just a hint of betrayal, is what we're feeling about the Olympics right now. Like you, we read all the typical Olympic stories -- the triumphs, the heartbreaks and the heroes. Behind them, though, are darker stories of labour camps, child athletes and sweat shops. There's no excuse in this day and age for organizers of major events like the Olympics not to be aware of these issues.
AP

Up Friendship Creek With a Paddle

It's called the Flotilla for Friendship and for 12 years it's succeeded in building bonds between two very disparate groups: police and aboriginal youth. Distrust of police is both common and deep-rooted among many in Canadian aboriginal communities. In the flotilla, the 21 police officers and 47 aboriginal youth pile into their canoes and bond on the water, resulting in a change for the better.

These Kids Learned About Child Rights the Hard Way

Poonam Thapa, a former sex slave in Nepal, is a jurist and educator for the World Children's Prize, a global initiative that teaches children in all parts of the world about their rights. Each year the WCP brings together a jury of 15 young people from all parts of the world. These children are experts in child rights thanks in part to training they receive, but more importantly, for many of them, because of their own life experiences as former child slaves, soldiers, refugees and street kids.

Funding Aboriginal Students' Schooling Now Will Pay Off Later

Universities are often called ivory towers -- elite institutions open only to those who can afford the cost. When Lloyd Axworthy took over as President of the University of Winnipeg in 2004, he resolved to throw open the tower doors to disadvantaged families in the surrounding communities, many of them aboriginal. He developed the Opportunity Fund, which turns post-secondary education from pipe dream to real possibility for aboriginal and low income students.