What if we were all connected?

25 04 2015

I have recently learned about http://www.internet.org, described as “a Facebook-led initiative bringing together technology leaders, nonprofits and local communities to connect the two-thirds of the world that doesn’t have internet access”. The projects it supports are aimed at removing barriers for the 2 out of every 3 people who can’t get online. It’s got powerful potential, and it’s a collective effort that spans the globe.internet

It’s the people, however, that really make internet.org so compelling. The first I read about were Erika and Esmeralda, two young girls in Bolivia who share a friendship and a love for inventing. Using scraps and ingenuity, they are inspiring and pushing each other towards a better future. Without the internet. Wow.

Check out their story here: http://connect.internet.org/story/erika-esmeralda





January 28: talking about mental health

25 01 2015

The more we talk about mental illness, the more we combat the damaging stigma that keeps so many from seeking help and finding support. It’s not hard. It’s a conversation that needs to continue all year long, but January 28th is a good day to begin. Watch for events where you live or work, check social media, and have a conversation about mental health with someone you care about.

Bell-Lets-talkSimple conversations can make a big difference.

Add your voice to the national discussion. #BellLetsTalk

 

 





Journeys of Change youth theatre project needs support

9 11 2014

VOTING CONTINUES ‘TIL NOVEMBER 30th – PLEASE KEEP UP YOUR SUPPORT! THANK YOU!

An innovative youth theatre project, Journeys of Change, has been selected as one of five finalists in the 2014 SpecKids Change Challenge (with a $25,000 prize). The project was submitted by the Community Child Abuse Council of Canada and is an extension of its OASIS Program – addressing the unique mental health needs of refugee and immigrant children, youth, and their families who are experiencing symptoms of trauma or serious acculturation difficulties. The project aims to share the stories of newcomer students through theatre, giving voice to their often difficult journeys and reinforcing messages of cultural understanding.

Voting begins on Monday, November 10th and closes on November 30th. Individuals may vote up to 5 times daily to support the project by going to the SpecKids web site: http://www.speckids.ca/change-challenge/finalists/details/community-child-abuse-council

The finalist with the most votes wins, so please consider supporting this worthwhile project – vote, vote daily, and encourage others to do the same. Thank you.

journeys





Child Abuse Prevention Month

1 10 2014

October once again marks Child Abuse Prevention month here in Ontario, and sadly not much has changed since last year at this time. The pending transformation of children’s mental health by the provincial government promises to bring improvements, and we wait and watch for those with significant hopes.

In the meantime, the United Nations has released two new reports – Hidden In Plain Sight: A statistical analysis of violence against children (with global figures and data from 190 countries), and Ending Violence Against Children: Six strategies for action (with case studies from around the globe). Both are part of UNICEF’s #ENDviolence against children initiative.

You can find copies of both reports here: http://www.unicef.org/protection/

endviolenceThis month, as you consider the state of the world’s children, please remember that right here at home 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually victimized before their 18th birthday. We absolutely must change that. Let your elected representatives at all levels of government know that you consider this to be a vital issue. Speak up for additional resources to be invested in child abuse prevention and treatment, and encourage others to do the same.





Talking about children…

17 04 2014

ngugi_wa_thiongo“Talking about the survival of children is not an act of charity. Children are the future of any society. If you want to know the future of any society look at the eyes of the children. If you want to maim the future of any society, you simply maim the children. Thus the struggle for the survival of our children is the struggle for the survival of our future. The quantity and quality of that survival is the measurement of the development of our society.”

Kenyan novelist Ngugi wa Thiong’o





Calling all dreamers…

18 01 2014

IdealistAmi Dar and the team at idealist.org are about to start something, and practical dreamers everywhere will want to hear about it. On March 11, 2014 they will launch “a new network – online, on the ground, in cities, villages, schools and workplaces” to join together people all over the world who want to work together on 3 global challenges. But the challenges aren’t hunger, or poverty, or disease, or world peace (or then again, maybe it is about that…). The challenges Ami and team have in their sights are big challenges, but they may surprise you. As he puts it, “These challenges are quiet—you’ll seldom hear about them in the media—but they affect all of us. And if we can tackle them, all our other problems will be easier to deal with”.

  1. A big gap between our good intentions and our actions.
  2. Our problems are connected, but we are not.
  3. The world is full of good ideas that don’t spread quickly enough.

The goal is to bring together a network of people to tackle these challenges – “an ecosystem of possibility”. To find out more about the project, the March 11 launch, and how to join in, here’s the link: http://www.idealist.org/March11

 





Music for a great cause

17 09 2013

October marks Child Abuse Prevention Month, and this year local music fans will have an opportunity to help support vital child abuse prevention, education, and treatment programs by coming out for a free evening of music on October 18th hosted by Burlington’s B Town Sound. If you happen to be an acoustic musician or band member, you also have a chance to perform that evening by entering your video and drumming up support on Facebook – the top 5 artists with the most “likes” will take the stage at the event AND receive 2 hours of free recording time with B Town Sound’s Justin Koop.

walk-off-the-earthHugely popular local band Walk Off The Earth (famous for their five-person, one guitar cover of “Somebody That I Used to Know,” with 50 million views on YouTube in less than a month!) is donating an autographed ukelele for the live auction.

All proceeds from the event will be donated to the Community Child Abuse Council.

For more details, check out the event poster here Acoustic Night Oct 18th 2013 or go to www.btownsound.ca.