Who's listening to the children?

We've heard a lot in the news recently about the unaccompanied migrant children from Latin America, who feel so threatened by gangs and violence at home that they make the treacherous journey to seek safety and asylum in the United States. The conditions that these children face at home is tragic; no one, let alone children, should face such day-to-day violence that they feel safer fleeing from home and country alone than staying with their families. I am distressed that when they do make it to "safety," the US government is more concerned about deporting than in protecting these vulnerable children.

But as I've followed the issue and listened to the discourse, there is a striking omission - who is listening to the children? Everyone is talking about them, but it seems that no one is talking with them. So not only are their human rights for life and security threatened; their right to be heard is being violated as well.

A Literary Human Rights Defender Dies

Nadine Gordimer, South African author and human rights defender, died yesterday, at age 90. A prolific writer, Gordimer published over 30 books, as well as short stories depicting the consequences of apartheid and alienation.

Gordimer was a member of the African National Congress, fought for Nelson Mandela's release, and once it was realised, the two became good friends.

What are riches?

Are you rich? While your immediate answer may be based on how you compare to your neighbours, your aspirations, or how stressed you are at the end of the month, it's actually a much more complicated question. Take a moment to get in touch with what you identify as true riches, the kind that will matter at the end of your life, and ask yourself again - how rich are you?

Peace is a Personal Journey

Confucius taught, “To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must cultivate our personal life; and to cultivate our personal life, we must first set our hearts right.”

Friday the 13th

My cheeks hurt. Not because of dental surgery, but because I can't stop smiling. And I've been smiling all day. I just got back from the Friday the 13th motorcycle rally in Port Dover, Ontario. I can't believe I rode for years and never made it before. This time I took a day off work, grabbed my camera, and had a fabulous day!

A Senagalese Hero Remembered

"I’ve covered many wars and seen many acts of courage. But for sheer grit and determination I’ve never known anyone to compare with Capt Mbaye Diagne, a United Nations peacekeeper in Rwanda," said Mark Doyle, an International development correspondent. Armed only with cigarettes and whisky, and an indefatigable sense of humour, Diagne talked his way through numerous checkpoints, transporting people to the safety of Hotel Mille Collines, or bringing messages between the UN and government forces.

Remembrance is not enough - What could have been different

This month, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) is attending events in Rwanda and posting news online about the history of the Tutsi genocide. At numerous points, the story could have gone differently. What if Romeo Dallaire's fax warning the UN of impending violence was heeded? What if the Arusha Accord was implemented? It's extremely painful to imagine that human error and complicity prevented us from averting the genocide. However, it's worth the difficult look if we can learn from these mistakes.

20 years later - the Miracle of Reconciliation

It's twenty years since the start of the Tutsi genocide in Rwanda, and the world is remembering, with touching tributes and testimonies to the victims, and the survivors. I'm amazed at the courageous and generous people who have reached hands of forgiveness out to the perpetrators of such atrocities against themselves, and their families. Here are a few of their testamonies.

Grateful in Indianopolis

Tonight, getting ready for bed, I said prayers of gratitude for the day:

  • For the inspiring Wilbur Awards banquet I just enjoyed, with touching stories that inspired me to revive this blog, even if life doesn’t afford me the luxury of front-line journalism right now
  • For the flight that I caught after missing my scheduled flight this morning after convincing US Border guards that letting me attend the World Association of Christian Communicators meeting wasn’t a national security risk
  • That my ankle injury that flared up last night calmed down enough for me to take an hour walk tonight
  • For good conversations with like-minded strangers around the banquet table tonight.

Josephine's Story

My name is Josephine Murphy; I am glad to share my story with you because I know that I can use it to touch and change other people's lives. I wouldn't be the same person I am today without the things I have seen in my life. I hope that my story will help others to get stronger for whatever situation they are facing today. My twin sister and I are the 7th and 8th of 10 children not including 3 adopted ones. We were born in Burundi but my family is from Rwanda. We had a lot of struggles as it is for most African families.

Josephine Murphy
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