Never tell Spencer West that he can't do something. A congenital spinal disorder rendered his legs useless, so at age five, West underwent a double amputation to remove them. His biggest challenge -- so far -- was climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for charity last June. Today, we were with West as he kicked off the We Walk 4Water campaign, starting a 300-kilometre trek from Edmonton to Calgary.
In 1990 when Quebec Mohawks were protesting plans by the community of Oka to build a golf course on traditional Mohawk burial grounds, a Canadian soldier thrust his bayonet into the chest of Mohawk teenager named Waneek Horn-Miller, nearly killing her. In the years that followed, Horn-Miller used sports to help overcome her trauma and anger.
Today, the challenge isn't finding green products, it's detecting greenwashing (companies misleading consumers with green PR but shoddy goods). In preparation for Earth Day on April 22, and with a nod to the Green Living Show held this past weekend in Toronto, we've compiled some of the show's featured products and services.
Amidst the chaos backstage at We Day Seattle, we found a quiet corner to talk with our good friend, the famed actor and activist. Mia Farrow is fearless. She visited our development projects in Haiti just one year after the 2010 earthquake. We couldn't imagine who she would look up to. So on We Day, we asked her.
Don't underestimate the power of a letter, especially the power of many pens. Sandi Rae, a teacher at Mt. Slesse Middle School in Chilliwack, B.C. recently wrote an email -- that counts as a letter, right? -- telling us about her Grade 9 Leadership class and their letter-writing campaign to protest funding cuts for the Rainier Hotel in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.
Liz Murray's childhood was bleak. Her drug-addicted parents kept a ready-supply of heroin in their family home in the Bronx -- but no food. At 15, Murray's mother died of complications from HIV/AIDS and her terminally ill father moved to a shelter, leaving her homeless. She and her sister ate from dumpsters and rode the subways at night, imagining a better life.
Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll has shown us that his football philosophy changes lives. Earlier in his career, Carroll couldn't sit back and watch as kids in L.A.'s inner-city schools succumbed to pressure to join gangs. He created A Better LA in 2003, an organization that works to reduce gang violence by offering skills training and resources for people looking to get off the streets.
With so many international atrocities committed against women on a daily basis, I as a woman in the west sometimes feel that there is very little that we can do. But living in the lap of luxury doesn't remove the sadness one feels when they see the news reports. I feel overwhelmed by the state of women and believe we should act more. This International Women's Day let us educate ourselves and the society at large.
For one week -- this week, Monday February 4 to Friday February 9 -- those precious discarded coins are worth the world. As part of Free The Children and RBC's We Create Change campaign to provide 100,000 people in the developing world with life-saving access to clean water, the Canadian penny has a renewed lease on life.
During his 22 years at CityTV, David Onley was an anchor, producer, science and technology specialist and weatherman. He was also Canada's first senior newscaster with a visible disability. Having lived with polio and post-polio syndrome since the age of three, he has broken down many social barriers. He has worked tirelessly to improve accessibility for all.
In Punjab, India, a young teenager recently committed suicide by poisoning herself. Her story grabbed the world's attention initially when she was gang raped and left to die. As a victim, she went to make a complaint to the local authority and instead she was stonewalled. If her case seems to be an exception in the world, it unfortunately is not.
In the passionate exchange on the role of the Government of Canada via CIDA in Africa between the NDP MP and the Minister of International Cooperation, I side with Julian Fantino in what I think is best for Africa. These days, Africans are more occupied with trade and economical opportunities rather than handouts as often advocated by the NDP.
We know it's the thought that counts, but this holiday, why not give a gift that counts, too? Each Water Rafiki Friend Chain is unique, handmade with love by Maasai mamas in Kenya. Proceeds from the $10 chain support Free The Children's clean water programming worldwide. One chain provides one person with clean water for an entire year.
I'm told that 30 is a big step in the long march from an idealistic youth to a staunchly conservative mid-life. I'm pretty sure I won't become any less idealistic in my approaching dotage. I will still advocate for these same policies; the only difference being that as an adult my opinions are taken seriously. Why do we have such low expectations for young people?
Have you ever felt the energy of 20,000 inspired young people vibrating through your veins? Probably not. I hadn't either, until last month, when I got to attend my first We Day. The Kielburger brothers have a presence and energy like no others. The tools to act local and think global are really just a mouse click away, so there are no excuses to not participate in the movement.