GLOBAL VOICES COLUMN ARCHIVE

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

Rising tides and the world’s next refugee crisis

As the Brooklyn streets went dark and flooded with water, pummeled by the onslaught of Hurricane Sandy, Lizbeth Lucero watched her mother pace the apartment—and pray. In the weeks that followed, her family went without power or heat. Another 760,000 were forced from their homes. Churches provided blankets for cold nights while Lizbeth’s f...

April 29th, 2017 read more

Investigating Canada’s matching funds for emergencies

When typhoon Haiyan ravaged the Philippines last November, leaving more than 6,000 dead and four million homeless, Canadians smashed open their piggy banks, baked and sold oatmeal cookies, and wrote big cheques to help families in shattered cities a world away. Within two days of the disaster, the Canadian government announced it would match the fu...

February 3rd, 2014 read more

Climate change refugees: the tide is rising

  Ioane Teitiota just wants a safe home where his family has a future, but his quest may set a legal precedent with global ramifications. Teitiota could become the world’s first legally-recognized refugee from climate change. Teitiota comes from the small South Pacific island of Kiribati. If sea levels continue to rise as a result of cli...

November 25th, 2013 read more

The world must be better prepared for disasters like Typhoon Haiyan

Typhoon Haiyan was a 600-kilometre-wide wrecking ball of wind and water. Against surging tides and gales over 300 kilometres per hour, the houses of Philippine coastal towns stood as much chance as a snowflake in a blast furnace. Yet when Haiyan ripped off roofs and tore open walls, it often found no one at home. Hours before Haiyan made landfal...

November 18th, 2013 read more

The human toll of desertification

Nora Busienei closed her eyes and smiled as she remembered years past when her small farmhouse burst at the seams with sacks of maize, beans, millet and pumpkins. “I would stare at our harvest. I was so happy, so confident in my children’s future,” she said, before her smile faded. “That feels like another world now.” Today her mud hut ...

April 8th, 2013 read more

An ounce of prevention

Albert Einstein once said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. On Friday, February 3, the United Nations declared the famine over in Somalia. All is not well yet. Some nine million people throughout the Horn of Africa still face a serious food crisis, but the worst of the disaste...

February 27th, 2012 read more

Haiti’s untold story

Last week you did not see the face of Ercene Metellus on your TV screen. Hers is a story you have yet to hear. On the earthquake's second anniversary, the media did their minimum due diligence. They reported on the massive camps that still exist around Port-au-Prince, on the slow progress in rebuilding, and on aid dollars spent and yet to be deliv...

January 16th, 2012 read more

Dadaab refugee’s dreams lead her to Canada

In 20 years, Fatumo Mohamed left the chain-linked confines of Dadaab only three times. Twice she travelled to Kenya's capital to take exams to qualify for a scholarship. Her third trip was to Nairobi's airport, bound for a small technical school in Canada. Fatumo's childhood was contained in the world's largest refugee camp; a place we worry car...

September 26th, 2011 read more

Don’t forget about Dadaab

CNN's Anderson Cooper and the other A-list TV journalists are long gone from Dadaab refugee camp on the Somali border. The huge satellite dish, which enabled live broadcasts, was packed up last week and trucked away.Relief workers told us their hearts sank as the dish departed. Much more than a journalistic tool, it had been a beacon of hope. As ...

September 6th, 2011 read more

Education helps the garden grow when rains don’t fall

David Arap Kilel nearly stumbles up the hill of his slanted farm in pin-stripe pants tucked into knee-high gum boots, wet despite the neighbouring dry fields. "I'm the first home in my community with irrigation!" he shouts breathlessly, waving calloused hands.As a boy, Kilel was a cow herder like his father, and never attended school. Everything ...

August 21st, 2011 read more