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."
The chance to save lives is simple--become an organ donor. The chance that someone from a particular ethnic group will receive an organ, like Canada's aboriginal and South Asian populations, is a little more complicated. We're a diverse country, but does our donor pool match that diversity? In Ontario's predominantly caucasian communities, up to 50 per cent of residents are registered. But in more diverse areas like the GTA, the registration rate is around 14 per cent.
Make no mistake, everyone on that list is worthy of inclusion. They all made great contributions to our country and our world. But where are the women and non-whites who have contributed just as much? A pantheon so steadfastly monochromatic and male hardly reflects the diverse and multicultural nation we claim to be.
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.
If there were such a thing as a rock star politician, the man known affectionately around the globe as "Madiba" is one. Today's youngest generation did not witness his historic struggle, release or election. Yet they know his extraordinary messages of equality, hope and forgiveness. And they are ready to receive his torch.
It was the speech heard around the world. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I have a dream" are some of the most recognizable words in history, and 50 years later, the March on Washington Square is an enduring example of the struggle for basic freedoms through peaceful assembly. Now, it's time for reflection.
The story of how Jesse Giddings got his break in the entertainment industry reads like the opening act of a Hollywood film: star-hopeful moves from the suburbs to the big city with nothing but a duffel bag and a dream. We caught up with Giddings to find out what motivates him, and what he would say to his high-school self.
Hannah Alper is a 10-year-old blogger with a resume that would make recent journalism grads jealous. She earned a press pass for the 2013 Juno Awards, where she worked backstage as their official blogger. The reach of her environmental blog, callmehannah.ca, has landed her in the hot seat as interviewee with the likes of CBC Television's George Stroumboulopoulos.
Boredom is curable. Reading is the antidote. It's never too early to use the potency of story to illustrate a lesson. Kids have to learn about causes before they can care about them. Books with an overt moral message offer even more rewards as children learn about bullying, global issues, or the importance of helping others.
The headline that caught our attention: "Millennials genuinely think they can change the world and their communities." It's the kind of headline that makes us smile. If you don't believe your efforts can make a difference, you're probably less likely to even try. So how do we build that optimism in young people so they do believe?
Don't call Victoria Duffield a triple threat; she's closer to quintuple or septuple in her numbered talents. The recording artist from Abbotsford, B.C., recently joined forces with Aussie teen heartthrob Cody Simpson for the single "They Don't Know About Us". Duffield co-writes most of her tracks, some in collaboration with songwriters from Justin Bieber's camp.
Toppled piggy banks lay discarded on dressers. Couch cushions litter living room floors, the remains of an archaeological expedition for loose change. Cup holders in family cars across the country are missing coffee money. Youth across Canada have been busy collecting coins, especially pennies, and creating change.
The real world now has the largest generation aged 15-24 in history. Last year, 75-million young people were unemployed globally. In developing communities, investing in education dramatically increases economic and social capital, and even lowers health care costs. That's why J.R. Martinez calls youth the secret investment that will change the world.
On America's Independence Day, we find ourselves thinking about that time we went to Washington (state) to meet the (Kid) President. The president made an official visit to We Day Seattle with his brother-in-law and chief advisor Brad Montague, the guy behind the camera in Kid President's inspirational video series.