On International Day of Families this Sunday, World Vision honours families everywhere. We think of those surviving against incredible odds. We pray for those dealing with overwhelming loss, or standing strong in the face of disaster. We think of those who adapt, forgive, and grow together.
Children under five are more at risk -- they account for 70 per cent of all malaria deaths. More than 300,000 children died last year from an illness that's preventable with things as simple as clean water sources. Let's make sure that kids don't have to fight off a disease that racks their bodies with fever, pain and nausea. Let's stop malaria before it bites.
At these one-year-later moments, headlines inevitably reappear. There's no denying the challenges are real, and there's no doubt we can expect more. But let's not allow ourselves to become cynical. As donors, we need to be patient, flexible and think long-term. To do the most good in the long run, Canadian support needs to allow for the ups and downs of an unpredictable recovery in Nepal.
Gas shortages have instilled immense fear in families living in Nepal's remote mountain regions -- empty gas tanks mean vital goods can't reach the far-flung the mountain villages. The urgency increases every day as the winter snows approach, cutting off remote communities altogether.
South Sudan has been ranked the most fragile country on earth for the past two years. On a recent trip to remote Warrap State, I witnessed targeted Canadian investments improving the health of moms and babies. There are long-term, sustainable efforts to strengthen the health system taking root in South Sudan that go above and beyond much-needed emergency relief -- and they are paving the way for a better tomorrow.
On International Literacy Day, I find myself thinking about classrooms where the challenges go far beyond folding paper. I think of children in the world's poorest, most remote regions, who walk for hours every day to reach the nearest school.
Like many parents, I wonder if I'm too protective. "How can I learn to be safe if you go everywhere with me?" asked Gavin yesterday. He had a point. Especially since I had just read a page on World Vision Canada's web site highlighting the incredible journeys made by children around the world, as they travel to school alone.
There's no question that sports can play a critical role in boosting girls' self-confidence and determination. Many of us have known the girl who claims to be "totally uncoordinated," only to score the winning point for her basketball team. Or the shy, uncertain child who had trouble speaking up in class and now kicks butt in karate. Here's a photo gallery of the transforming effect sports can have on girls, no matter where they live.