It gave me a glimpse into awful environment that so many people, humanitarians and civilians, live through every day.
Libya is a beautiful country, but my welcome to it was anything but. I had been in Tripoli less than a week and already my parents' worst nightmare was coming true. Our compound, which was home to most UN agencies and several embassies including Canada's, was under attack.
Every child deserves a quality education, but refugee children, especially girls, are the most likely to be left behind. Over half of all refugees are children. Only 50 per cent of these children are able to attend primary school; 25 per cent make it to high school; and just one per cent of these students move on to colleges and universities.
Although they are not soldiers, humanitarians working abroad face risks like war, disease, and nature's wrath. In honour of World Humanitarian Day on August 19, we are introducing you to a few of the too-many Canadians who have given their lives in the service of others.
A desperate Syrian mother in a refugee camp tried to give me her sick little girl on my last visit to the region's conflict zones and neighbouring countries filled with fleeing people. She wanted me to take her child back to Canada for medical care. That day, I saw misery and despair that no one should bear.
From a very young age, my parents taught my siblings and I, through instruction and example, that doing even a little can lead to a lot. But what initially felt like a pointless, mind-numbing activity became a valuable exercise in developing understanding and empathy.
I spent over a week in Jordan at the beginning of January, with the Syrian American Medical Society visiting non-profit clinics in Jordan where the Syrian refugees were populated and went into the camp to work in their Medical Centre. I did not know what to expect going into the camp, now termed the fifth largest city in Jordan.
For every tragic incident in the world today, there are countless more women and men humanitarians -- changemakers -- making the world a better place in their own respective capacities. Light is more potent and powerful in effacing darkness; let's each of us resolve to spread more light around us, in our communities, and throughout our world.
Ebola has infected nearly 24,000 people and killed almost 10,000, mainly in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. However, the impacts of Ebola extend far beyond the borders of the worst-affected countries. G7 Foreign Ministers should champion a rigorous approach to go beyond reducing transmission, to stopping the disease completely, to enabling societies to manage the consequences of the outbreak, and to preventing future outbreaks.
The United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland has recently published a unique cookbook, Recipes for Peace, Rights & Well-being, which shares the secrets of many "recipes" for its peace and humanitarian initiatives that have changed the world, combined with superb recipes from some of Geneva's most celebrated chefs.