Miguelina Martizez was so afraid of her husband that she'd gone to the country's courts 18 times to ask for a restraining order. In desperation, she even made a video and posted it on YouTube. But the justice system in the DR is slow to protect women, often tragically so. It failed the 31-year-old mother and her four young children, and her husband stabbed her more than two dozen times.
Girl Rising tells of girls facing arranged marriages, child slavery, and other injustices we only read about here in Canada. But the girls in the film all have a common ally: education. By getting an education, they're all able to change the course of their lives, breaking barriers and creating change.
On July 30, the International Day of Friendship celebrates unlikely friendships with the power to change the world. Children's empowerment is exactly the kind of thing UN leaders had in mind, when they said "yes" to the idea of an International Day of Friendship. The date places particular emphasis on involving young people as future leaders.
The number of Syrian refugees who have fled to neighbouring countries is expected to reach two million in the coming weeks. Approximately half of these human beings are children. In some ways, helping the Syrian refugee children is remarkably simple. But what do you offer a child who wakes screaming in the middle of the night, reliving a rocket attack on his house?
Amani may know nothing about the trillions of dollars' worth of minerals hiding beneath the ground of her country, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). But she may reap the benefits of her country's mineral wealth in the future, thanks to a new Canadian G8 commitment announced by Harper in London last week.
As we mark the World Day Against Child Labour, more than 115-million children are forced to work in jobs that are dirty, dangerous and degrading. World Vision is fighting to keep the conversation about child slavery going strong. Wednesday in Toronto and Vancouver, we staged potentially shocking events in store windows to generate discussion about child slavery.
At an age when Canadian teenage boys are downloading songs on iTunes, Bounmy left his village in Laos to find work next door in Thailand, which he did on a fishing vessel. Little did he know he would be kept on that boat for nine years with no pay. And the fish he hauled out of the water may well have been appearing on Canadian dinner tables.
My son, Derrick was one of thousands of Canadian youth who went without food for 30 hours this past weekend, as part of World Vision's 30 Hour Famine. In school hallways and church basements from Toronto to Medicine Hat, kids banded together to put up posters, plan activities, and talk about what hunger feels like.
Each week, I give my two children a small allowance. Since I'm trying to teach them about managing money responsibly, their coins are automatically divided among three different jam jars: Spending, saving, charity. This week, Canada's federal government announced the amalgamation of CIDA and DFAIT. What will happen when the two jars become one?
Canadians clearly love chocolate. Each of us consumes an average of 5.5 kg of chocolate per year. This February, I'm asking Canadians to join me in purchasing chocolate that's free from child labour. An estimated 2-million children work in the cocoa industry. But Canadian chocolate lovers do have several ethical options.
There's something families can do together to start 2013 on the right foot. It's a New Year's "tithe." The concept of tithing, the setting aside of one-tenth of our earnings for a purpose other than our own use, is thousands of years old. This January, instead of a list of resolutions that you may not keep, why not consider a New Year's legacy?