Paul Bettings/World Vision Canada
It gave me a glimpse into awful environment that so many people, humanitarians and civilians, live through every day.
Through encounters like this one with Aysha, I have seen firsthand that all mothers have the same dreams for their children. We want them to be safe, happy and successful, and that hope doesn't change even if your circumstances are difficult. If anything, it may even become more important.
This World Day Against Child Labour is a poignant one for me. It's been over three years since I started living as a more conscious consumer, by educating myself about child labour in the products I buy and use. That all started with a little blue dress I bought in England.
Despite some earnest progress, workers, including children, are still being exploited. Big factories that supply major brands are better regulated, but many of the smaller operations -- just one link down in the supply chain -- are still engaging children in some of the worst forms of child labour.
Alex Whittle/World Vision
It's not so easy in countries ravaged by the El Nino weather phenomenon. Most rural families work a garden or field to produce enough for the year ahead. When the rains don't come as usual, everything changes. Children must lug dead-weight water jugs over huge distances to keep their crops alive.
World Vision Kenya
On Wednesday, April 12, Prime Minister Trudeau will present that citizenship to Malala Yousafzai. For young women across our country, it will be a moment of pride and hope. Her fearless stand is something Canada applauds. But recognizing her passion is not all Canada is doing to improve the lives of girls around the world.
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Mental illness takes a significant toll on your ability to function in any job. When you're a single mom and have the added pressure of being the sole breadwinner, depression, anxiety and PTSD can cripple your ability to cope.
It was four days after my 30th birthday. Looking down at the two lines on that little stick, I knew that my life had already begun changing in so many ways. What I could not have anticipated were all of the challenges I would face in my pregnancy. Around the 30-week mark, I found out I had gestational diabetes, a disease that affects two to four per cent of all pregnancies in Canada. Although gestational diabetes is fairly common, I was devastated.
"I was certain that I was going to die," said 25-year-old Ifrah in Somaliland, of her battle with tuberculosis. It's not something we should be hearing in 2017. An illness old enough to have been known as 'consumption' or 'The White Plague' should have its place in medical history -- not claiming 1.8 million lives a year.
Each year on March 22, UN-Water calls on people everywhere to help tackle the global water crisis. It's a great goal -- but can feel like a pretty tall order. More than 663 million people have no safe water supply close to home. That's way more people than occupy all of North America.
After six years of violence, Syrian children need us to believe in them more than ever. We must to ensure that an entire generation of children with dreams for the future doesn't get lost in the rubble. I have been allowed to grow up in peace into a future that allows me to work for my dreams. Syrian children deserve the same.
On the eve of the sixth anniversary of the Syrian conflict, World Vision has released a report, comparing the fears and dreams of Syrian children with those from other countries. We wanted to get a better understanding of how violence might affect a child's view of the world.
Siegfried Modola / Reuters
"Famine" is a word that's rarely and cautiously used by the international aid community. It's reserved for describing the very gravest of human suffering. For the U.N. to declare "famine," a great many people must be dying of starvation. Hunger, even lots of it, isn't enough for an official declaration.
Despite being outlawed in 2011, girls in remote Kenyan communities are still undergoing [female genital mutilation], most often during the December school holiday. But some people are working hard to change this rite of passage.
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I've come to Somalia with World Vision, to meet children living on the brink of famine. The United Nations issued the warning last week. If the rains fail again, and if international aid is not taken, Somalia could see a repeat of the 2011 famine which killed more than 250,000 people.
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In my classroom, there were a few precious books available in my local language. Those stories profoundly touched my heart, and I loved reading time at primary school. Children love stories, you see. Stories are the virtual window to their world of fantasy and reality. Children do not want to read just any story book, but story books that are engaging and connecting to their passionate souls.
I may have never been to South America, but in many ways my whole life has been spent hopping from one place to another. With all that in mind, and the research I did on Bolivia, I landed in Cochabamba on September 28, 2015, fully expecting to fall in love with the people and culture. What I didn't expect was to fall in love with a man -- but that's just what happened.
In developing countries around the world, small business owners with dreams of doing more for their families and communities find themselves in this impossible situation.
The cold truth is this: Europe's winter weather has set in quicker than its leaders were able to make decisions on how to protect these people. For many migrants and refugees, the shores of the Mediterranean aren't just arrival points. They have actually become semi-permanent homes.
Steph Glinski/World Vision
Some people hate being in a plane for a long period of time, but I love it: it means you're off to a faraway destination. When I booked my 15-hour direct flight to India to attend a wedding, I was excited. The long flight also meant I would have enough time to watch at least five Bollywood movies.
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A looming famine threatens the survival of many, particularly children, as 5 million face starvation in Somalia. There's no time to mull this over, considering whether or not to respond. The stark fact is that hundreds of thousands of children need immediate help if they are to survive.
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We all love spaghetti, but who would think it has a national celebration? Well, it does! January 4 is National Spaghetti Day. Spaghetti Day is more than just a clever marketing gimmick. For those of us who dig the twirly stuff, it's a day to reflect on the history, evolution and universal appeal of spaghetti and other lengthy pastas.
The trouble is, darkness doesn't go away during the Holidays. If anything, it can feel deeper, more acute. Perhaps that's why we work so hard to brighten things up with lights and candles, and reach out to those who are in need. Sometimes, a little extra care can make all the difference to a friend or neighbor in need.
As a Canadian, it's hard to believe it's possible for teachers to successfully educate 104 children of different grades in a single classroom. Where children sit on a dirt floor, have an empty stomach, don't have sufficient school supplies for their needs. Children excited to be in school, no matter how far they had to walk under a blazing sun.
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Gifts are often something we think of as meaningful, but mostly superfluous expressions of our love for each other. But in some cases, gifts can be blessings that change the course of people's lives for good. As Human Rights Day approaches, I've been reflecting on ways to offer hope for a better future to children in need overseas.
Megan Radford and Friends
In 2013, when the Philippines was hit by Typhoon Haiyan, thousands of people were made homeless and to this date, still can't celebrate Christmas like they used to. But despite poverty and hard times, Filipinos always find a way to give gifts and celebrate. Many charities, like World Vision, continue to work with the people in the country to rehabilitate and rebuild.
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This fall, I decided to challenge myself. I set out to wear one black dress the whole month of November, and, in the process, create awareness about how important having the right clothes for inclement weather truly is. Here are five things I've learned from this experiment.
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This Giving Tuesday, for the fifth year in a row, Canadians have an opportunity to double their gift when they donate two hens and a rooster. Burnbrae Farms, a 5th generation family-owned company, will match your gift up to $10,000.
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?
Each year around this time, I find myself frustrated that the world still needs to observe Universal Children's Day on November 20th. Don't get me wrong, kids are worth celebrating. As someone who has dedicated my life to serving children, I believe that at my core.
We're the nation that opened our doors to Syrian refugees, aren't we? Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has declared in his speeches that "we're Canadian and we're here to help." Generosity and giving are fundamental Canadian values -- and the world knows it.
The children of war will never forget what they've been through. When that minute of silence has ended this Remembrance Day, please keep the world's child survivors in front of you. Then reach out to help them.