While we focus on (and maybe obsess over) the nutrients, vitamins or calories in our food, food social enterprises like Newcomer Kitchen are using food's potential to open minds, build healthy communities, and open minds. "You are what you eat" takes on new meaning if we consider not only what is in our dinner, but how and with whom we are dining.
Right-wing fascist group Golden Dawn attacked refugees and set fire to Souda camp on Chios island on Wednesday night. According to eyewitnesses, approximately sixty members of the group descended on the camp around 01:00, launching a series of flares and throwing large rocks before setting fire to several tents.
Justin Trudeau has enjoyed an extended honeymoon as a political celebrity on the world stage. He ran a campaign that promised so much and appealed to so many. Trudeau won our hearts and our votes, and after an extended period of Conservative rule, we were eager to see the new, fresh changes that his campaign promised. So after one year, it's time to sit down and ask ourselves: has Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivered on his promises?
Much of what we eat is reflected in how we live. Like it or not, globalization has arrived on our dinner plates big time. The palates of today's families are much more educated in terms of foreign foods and eating habits than ever before. All kinds of ethnic delicacies have become staples in households that were limited to locally grown basics just a generation ago.
The regular three-hour-a-day training of their professional lives is on hold along with so much else as they wait to hear if Canada will accept them. "Life is day-to-day," says Dawit. "I have lost my country, my friends, my family." But he has found a new family at Matthew House and a new country in Canada and it already feels good.
I was two months short of being 12. I went to bed quite late, only to be startled shortly afterwards by my mother. She was attempting to wake my father. She was yelling, "The war has started!" Years later I can still clearly recall the fright with which I got up. The haunting sound of the sirens still rings in my ears.
Being a refugee isn't fun, you see. It is not an adventure. It isn't an extended vacation at the expense of another. It is a sacrifice. It is a last resort. They may be safe here, but they wish that their own country wasn't at war. They would rather be there than here. Frankly, it sucks that my new neighbours are Syrian refugees.
About ten days from time of writing, I think my three-year-old daughter is going to be a little annoyed with me. This is because at that time we'll be well into our second day of a 135km walk from our house in Toronto to Niagara Falls. I have no idea how much of this my daughter will remember or what, at this age, she will take away from the experience. But when she's older and looks back at this time, I hope these are four lessons she has learned.
Every child deserves a quality education, but refugee children, especially girls, are the most likely to be left behind. Over half of all refugees are children. Only 50 per cent of these children are able to attend primary school; 25 per cent make it to high school; and just one per cent of these students move on to colleges and universities.
The recent revelations that Conservative Party leadership candidate Kellie Leitch has been consulting conservatives around the country about whether we need to screen newcomers to our country for "anti-Canadian values" prior to permitting them entry is both disappointing and, unfortunately, not surprising.
Canada is a young country and we lack the long history and cultural heritage like European countries. We do not share the American Dream nor America's melting-pot culture. Thus, we provide better ground for multiculturalism to flourish; we let refugees and immigrants from around the world preserve their culture and heritage.
Welcoming refugees into our communities implies a responsibility to provide a safe environment for rehabilitation and integration. Yet this weekend thousands of our neighbours will be exposed to trauma in a spectacle many of us would do away with in the first place. The air show is nothing like a charity bike ride. In a city with a large population of refugee newcomers and people who have experienced the trauma of war it is insulting, invasive, and violent.
It has been one year since South Sudan signed a peace deal to end 20-months of conflict in the world's newest country. But with renewed violent clashes in July and mass internal displacement, long-term peace and stability remains uncertain. These South Sudanese children share what peace means to them.