GLOBAL VOICES COLUMN ARCHIVE

Giving a voice to the world's most fascinating untold global and social issues.

Think Global, Act Local: What Canadians Can Do About Their Fury at Social Injustice in the News

Immigrant children peer out of barred windows in a building surrounded by razor wire. This isn’t Texas—it’s Laval, Quebec. Canadians are appalled at stories of migrant children torn from their parents in the United States, asking ourselves what to do from up North. With no vote to leverage, we don’t have much influence over American poli...

November 5th, 2018 read more

Girls Can Save the World: The Unexpected Benefits of Educating Girls

October 11 is International Day of the Girl Child What if we told you that you could simultaneously reduce poverty, counter radicalism, fight climate change, improve the health of entire communities, and increase the global food supply? All of that, with just one investment. That’s the power of girls’ education. Girls could be the world...

October 11th, 2018 read more

Art is a powerful way to transform women’s lives

Julia was a drug addict living on the streets of Toronto. Then a pottery wheel changed her life. Seven years ago, Julie (her name has been changed) joined Inspirations Studio. The pottery social enterprise is run by the Toronto non-profit, Sistering, which helps low-income women who have experienced poverty, homelessness and mental health issues. ...

May 7th, 2016 read more

A changing battlefield: The fight to help child soldiers

Without guns, tanks, or warplanes, the United Nations won a stunning victory on the battlefield. After months of complicated negotiation, in May the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) convinced 10 armies involved in the conflict in the Central African Republic to stop recruiting children and release all of the estimated 6,000 to 10,000 ch...

May 30th, 2015 read more

What happened to #BringBackOurGirls? Was it clicktivism or slacktivism?

One year ago the world stood with a small Nigerian community to demand “bring back our girls.” Today, there may be no one to bring back. Most Canadians had never heard of Boko Haram—a Nigerian radical Islamic militia violently opposed to western education and culture. But in a matter of days they became a household name after abducting 270...

April 11th, 2015 read more

2014 wasn’t exactly a year worth tweeting about

Sports, violence, and Toronto’s Ford brothers. According to Twitter, that’s what intrigued Canadians this year. The 2014 #YearOnTwitter report reveals the 10 news stories most tweeted by Canadians. Six concern sporting events, two cover acts of violence (the Parliament Hill attack and the shooting of three police officers in New Brunswick.) ...

December 22nd, 2014 read more

Nobel recognition for children’s rights

Almost two decades ago, long before the ubiquity of the search engine, the only article about child labour at my tiny local library was a piece about Kailash Satyarthi. The activist had been unjustly arrested, accused of “kidnapping” the very child slaves he had been freeing in India. I showed the photocopied article to classmates, who agreed ...

October 18th, 2014 read more

After Ebola, let’s not forget Sierra Leone

  Sarah Karim lives in one of the world’s poorest countries. The teen’s community still bears the scars of a devastating civil war that ended over a decade ago—ruins of burnt-out buildings, a collapsed economy, people with missing limbs and unspeakable psychological trauma. Sarah’s single mother provides for her four children buying...

October 4th, 2014 read more

Attawapiskat celebrates a new school

For most Canadian schoolchildren, their biggest concern is a pop quiz or playground bullies. Chelsea Jane Edwards worried about getting frostbitten fingers while she took notes. In the dead of winter, minus 40 degree winds whistled through gaps around doors and windows of the decrepit portables that made up the entirety of their school. Bathroom...

September 20th, 2014 read more

Children’s Charter—Taking the global, making it local

No more hockey. No more swimming lessons. For 15,000 Thunder Bay families living in poverty, the proposed funding cuts in 2005 meant the end of the only affordable sports and recreation programs available to their children. The council debate was rancorous. The motion looked ready to pass. Then one councillor rose to remind his colleagues of their...

September 6th, 2014 read more