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.
"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.
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.
Last year, I ran the Boston marathon with Team World Vision to raise money for clean water projects in developing countries. I'm planning on doing so again this year. Training for marathons requires discipline and motivation over a long period of time, much like what's required to form any new habit or routine.
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.
Visiting Tanzania in September changed my perception of what it's really like to go without. The people we met survive with the bare necessities. A roof over their heads, basic clothing and just enough food to survive. Yet, we witnessed such joy and hope in them, and for this, I fell in love with Tanzania.
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.
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.
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.
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?