One month until Christmas -- and the countdown begins! November 25 is when I typically shift into full tinsel mode. But here's the twist. We've been asked to reign in the gift-giving this Christmas. Can I really do like the people in the movies, and remember the meaning of Christmas without gift-giving?
We've all heard the real estate mantra: "Location, location, location." It means that two identical homes can have completely different value, depending on where they're situated. Location is everything. Millions of the world's poorest children know this all too well -- especially when natural disaster strikes.
Since travelling to Tanzania this September I have a more useful way of looking at addressing food scarcity. I got to see World Vision at work providing communities with the tools necessary to create a sustainable living. We met fish farmers, bee farmers, food and milk processing workers, and saw water projects that helped farmers feed multiple communities.
When you add in the damage to roads, schools and clinics, combined with the risk of waterborne diseases like cholera that are increasing due to flooding, the people of Haiti are in desperate need. But they are also resilient. These photos tell a story of great tragedy, community cooperation, and the strength of Haiti's people to get up and begin rebuilding.
Telling a great story should be the goal of every photograph. Food is chock-full of nostalgia and emotion. Photographing a great meal means styling, lighting, and shooting in a way that invokes a specific emotional response from the viewer. Is it a date night? Game day? Thanksgiving dinner? All very different experiences, and your food photo can tell that story.
On International Day of the Girl Child, I think about a little girl I used to know. She was the daughter I imagined I would have. I said goodbye to that girl on a cold, February afternoon, in an ultrasound lab in downtown Toronto. I learned that the child growing inside me was my second, beautiful son. I would never have a daughter.
In all the bustle of "celebrating Thanksgiving," it's easy to forget everything we have to be thankful for. Not the least of these are the bounty of food, and wonderful people to share it with. A couple of years ago, I discovered the key to gleaning the most from Thanksgiving weekend and in turn, bringing more joy to the table to offer those around me.
As a child advocate, I recently had the opportunity to travel to Cambodia to see some of the work World Vision is doing to make a difference. It was the first time I took my sons to see how many people in developing countries live. I tracked my experience in this travel journal. This is the second of three parts.
It may be that Mohammad El Halabi has committed misdeeds -- time will tell -- but why should that derail all of World Vision's operations in Gaza? Before the end of August, World Vision had been forced to lay off all 120 staff in Gaza after the organization's bank accounts in Jerusalem had been frozen by Israel. The organization was simply no longer able to transfer money to Gaza.
It's hard to focus on math when your head is pounding. Or decipher complex instructions with your stomach gurgling. And essays are a write-off if you have no fuel. Children filled with nutritious food -- and enough of it -- are fortified to learn. Children who've eaten well can concentrate better and perform better in class.
According to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, AIDS-related deaths have dropped by 45 per cent, malaria death rates are down by 60 per cent and tuberculosis mortality has diminished by 47 per cent. These are exciting achievements, but not nearly as exciting as the possibility of ending those diseases for good.
Today, the world remembers a child who never had the chance to seize life at all. His name was Alan Kurdi. You'll recall him as the little Syrian boy who, was found dead on a beach in Turkey the morning of September 2, 2015. He had stepped into a crowded inflatable boat with his family the night before, in a desperate attempt to each Europe in safety. Alan's death rocked people everywhere -- from families in their homes to leaders in the halls of power. When children like Alan reached out for help, we didn't reach back.