Very shortly after finding out I was approved to adopt, my adoption worker came to my home to tell me about two amazing adolescent sisters: Charity and Emily. I sat at my kitchen table for the rest of the night, staring straight ahead like a deer in the headlights, thinking about everything the worker had asked me to consider.
Ten years ago at the 10th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide I went to Rwanda with World Vision. I knew it would be a difficult trip, but I had no idea the impact that trip would have on me going forward. Now, as we near the 20th anniversary of the horrific Rwandan genocide, my heart is still broken by the meaningless killing.
It was with much sadness that I read Kristy Woudstra's article published on this site on Thursday morning. While World Vision U.S. has made changes to their policies over the past week, World Vision Canada has not. As a Christian organization, we follow the example of Jesus who reached out to everyone, especially those who were marginalized or left out.
Why do I care about the hiring practices of a Christian international humanitarian organization? Well, I worked at World Vision Canada for nearly 10 years and last week's news brought me back to one incident that still looms large: the time I tried to hire a lesbian at World Vision Canada. As a senior manager, I was hiring for an editorial position. In the final stages of the recruitment, HR informed me that the candidate had shared she was gay. She seemed ideal and I was excited to work with her. Without telling me, HR called the candidate to let her know that she didn't get the job. A senior staff manager told me he had come to the realization that if you're gay, you can't be Christian. And only Christians can work at World Vision, so we couldn't hire her.
A movement with real staying power was kick-started way back in 1971 by a Calgary teenager, Ruth Roberts. More than 40 years later, it's still going strong -- not only in Canada, but globally. This annual fundraiser to help children around the world through World Vision has become a world-wide movement: the 30 Hour Famine.
As long-awaited Syria peace talks begin this week, World Vision's Tanya Penny will be watching closely. She has been living alongside Syrian refugees in Jordan for the past two months, telling their stories with words and photographs. Here, Tanya describes the heartbreak that even the camera can't capture.
I love social media. As a recording artist it's a wonderful way to stay connected to the fans. I remember a time when I use to sit in the back of my tour bus and hand write letters back to the fans. I've always enjoyed that connection and social media for me allows the connections to be more immediate and more often.
UNICEF, Save the Children and World Vision are urging the global community to commit US$1 billion to provide the education, protection, and support Syrian children need to fulfill their potential, and to develop the skills their societies need to create a more sustainable future. This investment could well save a generation.
All of these children have been badly needing food and water, and aid agencies have been working hard to meet those needs. But it's also easy to see why they need chances to begin learning again as soon as possible. This is why World Vision is planning to set up child-friendly spaces in as many communities as possible.
Thank goodness there is more to talk about than Rob Ford and Miley this week -- I refuse to give either one of them air time (even though I just did, right there). I found a really cute Etsy video, a delicious quinoa snack (to buy, not make), some amazing gift-wrapping ideas for the holidays, a revealing video and suggestions on how to help people in the Philippines.
Heading downstairs, I felt the room shake violently. The walls were swinging. Everything around me was plunging down, including the TV set, books and cabinets. My housemates all looked so scared and shivering. We were still wearing our sleeping clothes. The strong quake lasted over a minute. It sounded like bulldozers demolishing houses.
October is Women's History Month -- a chance to highlight the past and present contributions of women. We recognize their achievements as a vital part of our Canadian heritage. It gives us the chance to reflect on how we've benefited from women activists in the fight for women's equality. Most importantly, it gives us a sense of pride in our historic origins, while providing role models for Canadian women everywhere.