Wednesday, October 26, 2011

World Vision response to Minister Oda's global food security commitment to the UN World Food Programme

TORONTO, October 26, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - World Vision's food security policy adviser Sheri Arnott said:

"World Vision is encouraged by Canada's commitment to the World Food Programme and this announcement of funding for food security. As WFP's largest NGO partner, we work side-by-side in communities and see the great work they do on the frontlines with children and families who don't have enough to eat."

"The nutrition and health needs of women and children are a critical part of emergency food response, and by making this connection, Canada is on track to save lives and improve the health of children who are living in poverty."

"Funding for humanitarian food response is often short term and unpredictable, but this five-year strategic partnership between CIDA and WFP breaks this trend. With predictable funding for programs like school feeding and support for local small-holder farmers, children will be healthier and stay in school and families will have better economic opportunities and greater food security."

"Next week at the G-20, Canada must continue to champion food security initiatives that prioritize the nutritional needs of women and children. This includes putting nutrition at the centre of G-20 plans for emergency food reserves so the most vulnerable people have the nutritious food they need quickly."

World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender.

United Church Moderator Comments on the Occupy Movement

TORONTO, October 26, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - In a recent blog entry entitled "Occupy Hope," the Moderator of The United Church of Canada, Mardi Tindal, said that she sees the Occupy movement as an expression of hope similar to that being offered by faith communities that are working toward the promise of abundant life for all.

"Inequality challenges the faith we profess as followers of Jesus,"
wrote Tindal as she offered her impressions of the Occupy movement.

"Much has been made of the fact that the Occupy movement, which describes itself as 'a leaderless resistance movement with people of many colours, genders, and political persuasions,' appears to have no coherent goals. What is it resisting? Where does it want to go? For my part, I see the movement as both a search for hope and a statement of hope, made by people who have come to believe that something is deeply wrong in the staggering inequality of our current society. I don't think it is required of anyone to provide a complete, documented solution before they're allowed to express concern. To the contrary, recognizing that 'something is not right' is the essential first step toward defining change."

To read more visit:

Friday, October 21, 2011

With diminishing supplies of firewood in many impoverished nations, how can rural people cook food for their families?

In 1987, 17 solar cooking Californians started Solar Cookers International (SCI), and produced manuals on how to produce and use a simple solar box cooker. Since then, 30,000 families in eastern and southern Africa have learned to use solar cooking with the assistance of SCI.

Visitors should definitely check out the ten-minute video below that explains the spread of the use of the solar cooker in Africa, which began in refugee camps where food had to be cooked for tens of thousands of people. Eventually, its use spread to rural villages, but the video explains it has been a slow process.

Visitors interested in the Solar Review Cooker e-newsletter that is published thrice-yearly can sign up to receive it free, under the "Newsletter" tab. It is also available in dozens of languages, including French, Arabic, and Chinese. [KMG]

Visit Solar Cookers International

>From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout 1994-2011.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Students Help Raise $22,000 by Playing Hopscotch

GUELPH, Ontario October 18, 2011 - University of Guelph Campus Bulletin

Hopscotch may be for children, but there is nothing juvenile about the amount of money University of Guelph students helped raise recently by getting 850 people to play the game.

Hopscotch 4 Hope, an event organized by two U of G student clubs and three area youngsters, brought in more than $22,000. The event was held Oct. 1 in Eden Mills, Ont., and the final tally was released this week.

The money will go to Free the Children and Right to Play, international initiatives that help children in developing countries. Both organizations have U of G chapters.

U of G’s chapter of Free the Children will use proceeds to help provide water and electricity to a girls’ school in Kisaruni, Kenya.

“I was overjoyed when I heard that $11,000 was going to Free the Children,” said club co-president Natalie Binette. “Having seen the Kisaruni All Girls’ High School in Kenya where this money will be going, I know how much of a positive impact this money will have. It brings a smile to my face to imagine all of the girls who will benefit from this donation, as they strive to gain a good education in order to lift themselves out of the cycle of poverty.”

Binette added that she felt “privileged” to be part of the event and was inspired by the volunteers.

The U of G students were enlisted by Kory Melnick and Kamari Brown Gain, both Grade 8 students at Rockwood Centennial School, and Grade 6 student Robin Melnick. The trio has formed a charity called Step Up for Change and will spend this year helping disadvantaged children around the world.

All three girls have U of G ties. Linda Melnick, mom of Kory and Robin, is manager of business and client services for the Department of Athletics. Kamari is the daughter of Laura Brown, a special graduate clinical faculty member in the clinical psychology program.

U of G students, along with the girls and dozens of their friends, spent two days in Eden Mills laying out the hopscotch course. At 5.5 kilometres, the course likely set a world record. Individuals sponsored hopscotch squares and boards, and participants received pledges to complete the course.

“It was a great event with children supporting children,” said Robin Melnick, age 11. “All the awareness and money we have raised is incredible.”

Kamari Brown Gain, age 13, added:
“The day was fantastic. I can’t believe how many people came out to support us.”

Monday, October 17, 2011

Powerful, new campaign sheds light on the reality of child abuse in Canada

photo credit: "Powerful, new campaign sheds light on the reality of child abuse in Canada (CNW Group/Boost for Kids Foundation)"

TORONTO, October 17, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - In conjunction with Child Abuse Prevention Month, Boost for Kids Foundation is launching a cutting-edge television and online campaign in an effort to raise awareness about the prevalence of child abuse in Canada. Entitled "Make the Call Now", the campaign depicts a chilling reality and encourages Canadians to be more vocal against signs of abuse.

Created by Marshall Fenn Communications, the television and online videos paint a powerful picture stating that one in every three children fall victim to some form of abuse. The online campaign is the first of its kind and takes the commercial one step further, providing the viewers with a leading, interactive role. Viewers are encouraged to call a 1-800 number. When dialled, the phone in the video rings, the call is answered by the abuser, and a dialogue is initiated that leads to the intervention and prevention of child abuse.

"The goal of this campaign is to leave viewers feeling uncomfortable, just as they would feel if they witnessed the abuse first-hand," explains Karyn Kennedy, Executive Director, Boost for Kids Foundation. "This campaign should make Canadians feel as if they are standing between the child and the abuser and are the only means of stopping the violence. We want Canadians to take this personally. This is what motivates people to get up, make that call and stand in the way of continued abuse."

Child abuse includes child neglect as well as psychological, physical and sexual abuse. The Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies reports that a significant barrier to protecting children is the large number of individuals (54%) who would not report a suspicion of abuse.

"Many Canadians don't realize abuse manifests itself in many forms and it's not always discernible through cuts and bruises," explains Kennedy. "We need to educate people on the signs of abuse and encourage people to pick up the phone and make the welfare of children a top priority."

The Public Service Announcement campaign appears in two different media types - television and online - and will run through to the end of November 2011. To view the campaign, go to

"Canadians aren't naive to the fact that child abuse happens, but the statistics show that they aren't taking the steps to stop it," explains James Dunlop, Creative Director at Marshall Fenn Communications. "Our goal was to develop a bold, hard-hitting campaign that amplifies the situation and provides viewers no other options but to make that call."

Boost for Kids Foundation

Boost for Kids Foundation is a registered charity that is committed to eliminating abuse and violence in the lives of children, youth, and their families. Established in 2009, Boost for Kids Foundation works to generate sustainable funding for the programs and services offered by Boost Child Abuse Prevention & Intervention across Canada. The Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors with the mandate to raise funds that will allow Boost to respond effectively to the needs of children and youth who have experienced abuse. The organization believes that all children and youth have a right to grow up in a safe, healthy and nurturing environment free of child abuse.

Team of Agencies

The Boost for Kids campaign was conceived by Marshall Fenn Communications, the Canadian communications agency behind award-winning brand and advertising campaigns for companies such as Casino Rama.

Marshall Fenn worked collaboratively with Circle Productions (commercial production and editing), Silent Joe (music/sound production and editing), and COLR (visual effects and colour). All agencies generously donated their services to ensure this campaign delivered the powerful, commanding messages intended.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

World Food Day: Engage At Home and Around the World to Support Those Who are Hungry

Food Banks Canada asking Canadians to take action on October 16 in support of
World Food Day

TORONTO, October 12, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - On World Food Day, October 16, 2011, Food Banks Canada is asking Canadians to take action in support of people in need. All Canadians can make an impact by donating or participating in an activity that helps them acknowledge the continuing global struggle against hunger.

World Food Day occurs annually on October 16 to mark the date of the founding of the Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. Organizations, agencies, businesses and individuals are marking World Food Day across the globe. The goal of the day is to strengthen awareness around the issue of food security and the struggle against hunger and poverty globally.

Hunger is an unacceptable problem in Canada. Food Banks Canada's HungerCount 2010 reports that close to 900,000 individuals turn to food banks for assistance each month - half of assisted households are families with children and 17% of households that turn to food banks for help each month are living on income from current or recent employment. This is an increase of 9.2%, compared to March 2009, 28% higher than in 2008, and is the highest level of food bank use on record since 1997.

"We know that hunger is a global challenge and we recognize the work of the FAO in their efforts to address this issue", says Katharine Schmidt, Executive Director, Food Banks Canada. "Sadly, in Canada, close to 900,000 individuals turn to food banks each month for assistance and close to 2 million Canadians worry about how they will get their next meal*. I hope all Canadians will take action on October 16th to help their neighbours".

Food banks in communities across Canada are at the frontlines of addressing short-term hunger relief. However, government action is required to address the underlying root causes of hunger in order to develop a long-term solution to the problem.

Ways you can make a difference leading up to and on October 16th:

Stay Informed:

...Visit,, to stay informed about the issue of hunger in Canada and for a global perspective go to


...Text HUNGER to 30333 to make a $5 donation to Food Banks Canada via any mobile device.


...Donate your status to Food Banks Canada with the messaging, "I'm donating my status to @FoodBanksCanada for World Food Day. Join me and do the same".


...Find out what others are saying around World Food Day and join the conversation to learn more @foodbankscanada

It takes all Canadians to make a difference. Please act today.

About Food Banks Canada

Food Banks Canada is the national charitable organization representing the food bank community across Canada. Our Members, Affiliate Member food banks, and their respective agencies serve approximately 85% of people accessing emergency food programs nationwide. Our mission is to meet the short-term need for food and find long-term solutions to reduce hunger. Please visit for more information.

*Health Canada (2011). Household food insecurity in Canada in 2007-2008: Key statistics and graphics. Ottawa: Health Canada.

Women Living Courage - A KAIROS Tour

TORONTO, October 12, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives (KAIROS) launches a tour of women human rights defenders to raise awareness about the impact of armed conflict on the lives and rights of women and girls and to make visible the violence faced by women in migrant and Indigenous communities in Canada. The tour highlights the essential role women play as peace builders.

The tour underscores Canada's responsibility to promote the application of United Nations resolutions on women, peace and security (such as UNSCR 1325) and to ensure the meaningful participation of women in all aspects of peace-building. KAIROS calls on Canada as a donor country to increase political and financial support to women's organizations working in conflict zones as an effective strategy to help resolve conflict and build lasting peace.


Featuring KAIROS global partners:

...Chantal Bilulu is Program Coordinator for Women and Children and advisor to the legal clinic combating gender-based violence of Héritiers de la Justice in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

...Rebecca Nyagai Kafi, representative of the Sudan Council of Churches, ordained Deaconess of the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church chair of its General Women's Group Office.

...Vernie Yocogan-Diano, a human rights and community activist from the Cordillera region of the Philippines and an Indigenous woman (Kankanaey-Bontoc).


Public forums with women leaders from the DRC, Sudan and the Philippines who live in conflict zones, in dialogue with Indigenous and migrant women in Canada


Kitchener - Wednesday, October 26, 6:00 to 8:00 PM, St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, 54 Queen St North

Further information on the tour, local contacts and details of local sponsors for the forums are available on the KAIROS website at


...In the Democratic Republic of Congo, women's daily challenges of poverty and hunger are multiplied by an epidemic of rape - a common weapon in the ongoing resource war.

...The Republic of South Sudan is the world's newest country. And yet, for all of the optimism created by its founding, it is also a country where 90 percent of women can neither read nor write and where women die in childbirth in shocking numbers.

...In the Philippines many face the daily challenges of poverty and hunger. Those who confront the powers that impose this economic hardship also face pervasive violence.

...In Canada Indigenous women and girls are five times more likely to face violence and disappearance than are non-Indigenous women. Migrant workers are particularly vulnerable to violence in the workplace.

...Women are disproportionately affected by violence and militarism. Still, they bring unique perspectives and strategies to help communities and nations put an end to violence. This role is rarely recognized and women are largely absent from official peace initiatives and negotiations.

...By sharing their courageous stories, the women participating in the Living Courage Tour will inspire concerned Canadians and call for action from the Canadian government. KAIROS is a church-based social justice organization focusing on human rights and sustainability.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Childhood Summer

Sara Groves - Childhood Summer - Music Video

Official music video for Childhood Summer by Sara Groves. From the exclusive bonus edition of the new album Invisible Empires - Available until October 18th ONLY at

Thursday, October 6, 2011

"Virtual" World Food Party Feeds Hungry Children

TORONTO, October 4, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - Canadian Feed The Children (CFTC) has launched its first annual World Food Party to raise awareness of and funds for the alleviation of world hunger. Individuals, groups and organizations across Canada are hosting food-related events in recognition of UN World Food Day (October 16th, 2011) and donating the funds raised to CFTC's nutrition, health and food security programs in Canada and around the world.

The Canadian Electrical Industry has been on board the World Food Party bus since 2008. The industry's charitable initiative, Hungry for Change, has raised close to $900,000 through events and donations generated by participating companies in the industry.

This year, Electro-Federation Canada has named Canadian Feed The Children its charity of choice. Hungry for Change Committee Chair, Wayne Donaldson, says "as an industry that is all about providing Canadians with electricity to make their homes and lives brighter, warmer and safer, we are well aware how very fortunate we are. Not everyone in the world has the same level of access to these life-sustaining necessities. Especially this year, as the famine in the Horn of Africa reminds us, there are millions of people at risk and experiencing hunger - most of them children. This is our industry's way to give back, make a difference and have some fun in the process."

Hunger is the world's number one health risk - above malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis combined. Last year alone, 925 million people experienced chronic hunger. And of the one in seven people who go to bed hungry each night, most are children and vulnerable women (UN Food and Agriculture Organization, 2010).

"CFTC's World Food Party is a way to rally Canadians to make a meaningful change in the lives of children. We're aiming to have 10,000 Canadians participate - in big or little ways. Even a simple individual act like brown-bagging your lunch and donating what you would have spent dining out for a week can make a huge difference in the life of a vulnerable child," said Debra Kerby, Executive Director of Canadian Feed The Children.

For information on CFTC's World Food Party and to check out some ideas for getting involved, visit To learn more about the programs CFTC funds in Haiti, Ghana, Ethiopia, Uganda, Bolivia and Canada, please visit

Founded in Canada in 1986, Canadian Feed The Children is an independent, registered Canadian charity that works with local partners in Canada and around the world to reduce the impact of poverty on children and enhance the well-being of children and the self-sufficiency of their families and communities.