GLOBAL VOICES COLUMN ARCHIVE

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

The power of letters in the digital age

Growing up, there was an unspoken absence in Zainib Abdullah’s life. In Richmond Hill, Ontario, far from the home her family left in Iraq, she pieced together the story of her uncle. He had been unjustly arrested and disappeared years earlier by Saddam Hussein’s government, without a trial or a chance to say goodbye to his loved ones. Now...

January 30th, 2017 read more

Libraries: Relics of the past of more relevant than ever?

If you really want to rile up a Canadian, threaten to take away their library. Craig got his first taste of activism speaking out to save our local library. We’ve noticed ever since then that when provinces and cities experience a budget crunch, libraries are often first on the chopping block. Yet invariably, citizen rise up to protect them fr...

May 28th, 2016 read more

Millions suffer in forgotten conflicts

When the Grade 8 class of North Ward Public School in Paris, Ont. graduated last summer, they made their teacher promise to continue educating students about the terrible plight of people in war-ravaged Yemen. “Don’t give up on them, Ms. Connors,” they said to her. North Ward had a pen pal exchange with aid workers and activists in the ...

March 26th, 2016 read more

Confronting gender violence, International Women’s Day

The catcall came as Brynn Chleirich walked alone through an Ottawa grocery store parking lot. A stranger in his late 30s was leaning against a car, smoking and staring at her. “Hey sweetie, you look pretty badass,” he leered, following up with lewd suggestions. “This has to stop,” Chleirich, a 41-year-old single mother replied, staring b...

March 5th, 2016 read more

Impact hubs provide the tools for social change

Frederic Sune looked around his kitchen at all the expensive tools strewn on the floor. The web developer bought them for a tiling job, but would never use them again. What a waste, he thought. At Hub Ottawa, a community space where entrepreneurs, professionals and activists gather to work and collaborate, he laughed about his tool woes with ano...

January 30th, 2016 read more

Six real-world eco inventions

Our world doesn’t look much like the ones envisioned in sci-fi flicks like Star Trek or Back to the Future, let alone the latest installment of Star Wars. Kids aren’t buzzing around on flying skateboards, and we aren’t dueling with light sabers. But who needs movies when real-world innovations are way cooler—especially the ones poised to...

January 23rd, 2016 read more

Software to build better health in Tanzania

Row after row of mothers wait patiently, babies fussing in their laps. A nurse in this small clinic in rural Arusha, Tanzania, calls them forward, one by one, and gives the squirming infants a shot that will protect them from killer diseases, like measles and polio. Over the past 15 years, Tanzania has made a concerted effort to immunize its chi...

January 16th, 2016 read more

Canada throws its weight in climate change talks

Ali Noor Gedi was so malnourished, the three-year-old was scarcely bigger than the average Canadian infant. Ali’s mother let Craig stroke his cheek gently while nurses tried unsuccessfully to find a vein big enough to insert an IV in his twig-thin arm. When Craig visited Dadaab, Kenya, four years ago and met Ali, he witnessed hundreds of famil...

December 12th, 2015 read more

B Corps: The 21st Century standard for business

For Jay Coen Gilbert, it felt like someone took a wrecking ball to his dream. American entrepreneur Gilbert and two college friends launched AND 1 in 1993. By the time Gilbert decided to sell the basketball apparel business in 2005 so he could move on to new projects, AND 1 was worth $250 million. More importantly to Gilbert, the company was bui...

December 5th, 2015 read more

The fight to eradicate vaccine-preventable diseases

It’s a bittersweet victory. Just last month, the world achieved the lowest rate of polio infections in history, UNICEF announced. It’s all thanks to global vaccination programs. Sounds epic—except 2015 should have been the year humanity wiped polio off the planet. “Unfortunately, over last few years vaccination rates have stagnated,” sa...

November 14th, 2015 read more