One year ago, Ebola began its rampage across West Africa, killing thousands in countries like Sierra Leone and Liberia. After a year of horror, the disease is finally under control. Restrictions are slowly being lifted. Life should be returning to normal. But will life in West Africa ever be "normal" again?
When Canadian soldiers returned from World War II, local business and community leaders formed committees to ensure vets had jobs and the support they needed to start a new life. It's time to re-examine that idea. Soldiers deserve more than a handshake when their service ends. "Support our Troops" must be more than an empty slogan on a bumper sticker.
As part of a modern-day pen pal project for kids at North Ward Public School in Paris, Ont., students are corresponding with an aid worker and peace activists in Yemen. These young Canadians -- who have never known war first-hand -- now understand the far-off conflict better than their parents and many other adults. And they're bringing solace to people beleaguered by violence.
When we set out in 1995 to end child labour, we stood on a straight road with just two directions to choose from: donate to a charity, or start one. It's incredible how much has changed in the world of "doing good" since then. It's been thrilling to see the growth of social enterprise and corporate citizenship over the last 10 years. Even more thrilling is what these changes will mean for the average consumer over the next decade.
When we help, the patient become the doctor, the student become the teacher, the troubled youth become the counsellor -- when the helped becomes the helper -- the impact multiplies by orders of magnitude. It's the difference between giving youth a seedling to plant, and empowering them to lead their community in growing forest.
They say that necessity is the mother of invention. When Mom Necessity visited Sam Goldman one dark African night, she came disguised as a broken lantern and a poisonous snake.
One day, when anti-child labour activist Iqbal Masih was riding his bike in his hometown, he was shot and killed. Iqbal was 12 when he died. The same age Free the Children's Craig Kielburger was at the time. The same age I am now.
One year later, what has #BringBackOurGirls accomplished? It didn't bring the girls home. Second-hand reports suggest that 57 of the girls escaped their captors, but the rest are still out there, likely sold off as child brides (or sex slaves). Recently, a UN official said there's evidence they may be dead. It's a sad illustration of the limitations of "clicktivism" -- the use of online media to advance causes. There must be a plan to engage supporters once they've clicked, and keep them engaged, even after the hashtag stops trending.
Last week, the world observed Earth Hour. Across Canada people flipped off the lights in a symbolic gesture to support action against climate change. But some influential voices like Watt-Cloutier and Mary Robinson -- former prime minister of Ireland and United Nations High Commissioner -- suggest we're looking at climate change the wrong way. Climate change is not only an environmental issue, they say. It's also a human rights issue.
In February, the king of Bhutan signed the royal charter for a school of law -- the very first in this tiny Asian nation. This law school will be unique. It will experiment with new methods for training lawyers that engage them in the country's drive for greater prosperity through happiness.