On World Refugee Day 2015 (June 20), events around the world recognize the more than 50 million people who have been forcibly displaced from their homes. It is a day to reflect on the strength and resilience of the millions who have fled their countries and we acknowledge the efforts of individuals and groups who are devoted to supporting refugee populations.
This summer, I had the amazing opportunity to visit Ghana as youth ambassador with Plan Canada. We know that young educated girls are vital for the growth of a community, but seeing it firsthand is a whole other kind of understanding. Ghana is no longer that faraway place that you might hear about on TV. It's a country full of youth just life us who can transform their community if they have the right tools to do so.
While it recently played host to the Oslo Freedom Forum, Norway's capital is gripped by the Anders Breivik trial. What happens at the Breivik trial has a bearing on the libertarian and humanitarian values that underly the Forum -- one that is neither left wing nor right win, and has highlighted oppression and dissident courage in places as various as China, Singapore, Turkish Kurdistan, India and Sudan.
Environmental NGOs in Ontario are hoping to make a promised new provincial law to protect the Great Lakes as strong as possible. The Great Lakes Protection Act, promised in the Premier's 2011 Throne Speech, is a big deal. And why not? The drinking water of 37 million people depends on healthy Great Lakes.
We fuelled a belief in our capitalist society that you can't make a profit without harming the world -- and that the only people who can do good for our world don't make a profit. "Giving back" has become one of the most fashionable lines -- as if to imply that we really must have stolen something as we were making a profit!
The crisis in East Africa has prompted Canadians to open their wallets and their hearts, but with the sheer number of government agencies, NGOs and private sector organizations responding to humanitarian crises, it remains difficult to know who to support and how much of the money will actually get there.