If there is one person in this world we truly envy, it's Victor Chan. For more than 40 years, Chan has had the incredible opportunity to accompany one of our heroes--His Holiness the Dalai Lama--on his world travels. In a new book, Chan shares stories about the Dalai Lama's encounters with world leaders, children living in poverty, activists, and scientists, among others.
I remember meeting an executive at a corporate reception a couple of years ago who was bemoaning the fact that he's just too busy to deal with what he called "the niceties" of peer-to-peer communication. According to him, there just aren't enough hours in the day to swap insignificant comments of courtesy. When he said, "I wish people would just get to the point" it struck such a chord in me that I Tweeted about it, suggesting that maybe he's missing the point:
The Eritrean Youth Collective is an ambitious youth led organization that is having a profound impact in Toronto's diverse (Eritrean) Canadian communities. In five years, we hope to provide employment and internship opportunities for youth -- being a trusted resource for both first generation and newcomer youth.
To those of us who immigrated to Canada in the 1990s, Namugenyi "Nam" Kiwanuka was our introduction to Canada. She was a smart and engaging celebrity MuchMusic VJ. As if being a new mother is not occupying much of her time, the Ugandan native has used whatever time she has left fulfilling the promise of her Canadian citizenship by bringing attention to worthy causes all around the world.
The non-profit organization, just like the technology start-up with a disruptive, yet unproven, new innovation, must sell its vision as much as its financial model and its metrics for measuring impact. But by reducing organizational survival to a simple sales-pitch ignores the fundamental truth that not all organizations are created equally.
How does a woman who was abused by her father and addicted to drugs by her parents at that age ever get back on her feet? How does she grow up to become a functioning member of society? It can be hard enough for people with parents who care for them to succeed in life and find happiness, but with criminal acts perpetrated by family members this seems impossible.
As non-scientists, we've been casually observing a trend for some time that we'd initially dubbed: the baffling research phenomenon. We still haven't eradicated polio in all parts of the world. Or malaria, for that matter. Or yellow fever. Every day, people die from vaccine-preventable diseases. So we can appreciate science for the sake of science but our collective time and money, as a species, might be better spent elsewhere.
Toronto's own Jamil Jivani will soon return home as a newly minted Yale Law School graduate. For the nearly 25 year old law student, who is a self-described citizen committed to the "principles of change, hope and progress" -- it has been quite a ride. For him, even a gig as an intern at one of the most exclusive law firms New York was not enough to convince him to stay in the United States.
Long before Mark Persaud became the Queen's Golden Jubilee medal winning activist, the noted Toronto lawyer spent many trying days as a new immigrant on the streets of Toronto, homeless. He opens up on the early days as an immigrant, his law career, why he is a patriotic Canadian and the reason why he is committed to peace and justice in Canada and abroad via the Canadian International Peace Project.
Robin Wiszowaty left the gleaming strip malls, street grids and coiffed lawns of suburban Illinois for the wilds of rural Kenya in 2002. And she's never looked back. What was meant to be a brief exchange from the University of Illinois to the small Nkoyet-naiborr community in Kenya's Maasai Mara has morphed into her life's adventure. Here, Robin Wiszowaty tells us how she fell in sync with the heartbeat of Africa, and how she found her home.
If you're lucky, you're reading this with your feet propped up on a deck chair at a cottage, enjoying the last days of summer. Heading to the cottage is an increasingly popular Canadian pastime. While most people buy or rent cottages for peace and tranquility, more people in cottage country means more air, water, noise and light pollution.
Bruce Alexander is helping create a movement of new Canadians to have a huge impact in the Canada of tomorrow. For the last several decades, the 74-year-old former Bay street lawyer has mentored a slew of new Canadian women change their lives and the lives of their communities through the power of an education.