Refugees: Positive News

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Reuters

There has been a lot of news about the refugee crisis over the last year both in Europe and  here in Canada. We have seen terrible images of babies washed up onto beaches and been impacted by the surge of terror that seems at times insurmountable. However, there are also stories of amazing generosity, innovation and inspiration amid all of chaos that need to be shared. Continue reading

New Book Arrives!

Passport Project Book - Premiere Edition

I am so excited to announce the arrival of my new book: Passport Project! The premiere edition was launched at TEDxYYC and on the CBC Eye-Opener.  It has been exciting to hear about people using the book with their families, as team-building with their co-workers and on their own to explore their city!

All too often we think that we can only have an adventure if we go away to an exotic location.  It is easy to feel depressed or bored when we aren’t learning or growing or meeting new people.  This book was created so you could explore right in your own city and have amazing adventures and experiences that would remind you that life is awesome!  There are so many exciting and inspiring people and places to see and meet.  By expanding our worldviews we can break down barriers, misunderstandings and stereotypes and build bridges towards peace. I hope that by completing these challenges you will be inspired to share your positive stories. By sharing our positive stories we can combat mental health issues and become inspired to make positive change in our communities.

If you would like to purchase a copy of the book it is available for purchase at Shelf Life Books in Calgary.  We will have a limited number of books available for purchase as we travel across Canada as well.  If you would like to make a bulk order of the books please send us an email and we will arrange to have copies shipped to you.  For educators and youth leaders please enquire by email about our classroom and school license to receive special discounts on large orders.

 

Inspiring Speech by Malala Yousafzai

  After visiting Pakistan last year I will always have a spot in my heart for the country.  One of the most inspiring people I have heard speak about education is Malala Yousafzai the young woman who was shot by the Taliban due to speaking out about the need for all people, girls included, to have access to education.  Her message is one of hope as she does not ask for revenge on the Taliban but rather states that she hopes that the children of the Taliban will also have access to education. Her message is inspiring and reminds us that we each have a role to play in helping to provide education to all so that we can build a more peaceful world. To hear her whole speech please click here.  I have also included some highlights below.

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Flooded with Hope

I have collected these images throughout the last two weeks to show the amazing things that can happen in the midst of very difficult situations.  Throughout my time volunteering in Calgary and on the Siksika Nation I have been amazed at the resiliency of people and the way that communities have come together.  Below are some of my favorite moments!

Good News from Calgary’s Flood

   On our last day of school some of my students were able to share with me their positive stories from the Calgary Flood.  Most places in Calgary did not allow volunteers that were under 18 and yet these 13-14 year olds still had stories of how they had made a difference.  They shared with me what they and their families had experienced that gave them hope.  There were many stories so I chose to highlight four of them here.

Radio Girls Podcasts!

  Working in colaboration with my Gr.8 students we have created 16 podcasts about our  journey to discover new experiences in Calgary! Come and hear the podcasts and share in our unique experiences April 11, 2013 at Alice Jamieson Girls’ Academy!

Podcast Listening Party!

   Over the last few months, I have been working tirelessly with my current Gr.8 students to create podcasts.  Their mission was to go out into Calgary and expand their worldview.  They had 20 tasks to complete ranging from trying a new type of ethnic cuisine to taking a new form of transportation.  It was amazing to see my students tackle new experiences head on and look for ways to explore everything Calgary has to offer! Too often we fail to see the wonder and beauty that’s in our own backyard so it has been awesome to have the chance to see Calgary through a new light!

We partnered with Calgary 2012 GIGYYC and Danielle Nerman from CBC Radio to be able to create 16 podcasts! We will be sharing each of these stories this Thursday, April 11, 2013 at Alice Jamieson Girls’ Academy at 7pm.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Inspirational Monday: Culture Hub

  Tinto Tintero is a cultural hub in Medellin, Colombia.  I was so impressed to hear how Dave, a former teacher has, with the help of his partner, Monica, started a business model that is not only financially successful but is also making their community a better place!  They have found a way to merge their passion for art, culture, literature and music all within one location.  Through their efforts, they are transforming their community by providing opportunities for culture and offering a diverse array of options for entertainment throughout the week.  But it is not only culture they are offering but also a public space devoted to building a strong sense of community.

Inspirational Monday: Love Cafe – Cafe Converso

  Well after spending the whole day trying to upload the Inspirational Monday I can relate to Thomas Edison when he said “ I have not failed. I’ve just found 10000 ways that won’t work.”  I found it hard today to keep pressing on but I believe that this story is so important and I want to others to see how doing something so simple like smiling or being welcoming can make the world a better place.  After doing this all day though, I am very excited to leave the hostel and go in search of something with lots of chocolate! Andres and Diana, the owners of Cafe Converso, declared themselves my first friends in Bogota and they may never know how much that meant to me.  They helped me to feel welcome and loved when I was wondering if I was doing the right thing. I will be forever grateful to them for helping me to remember why I am doing this and for reminding me of what I know to be true – there are good people everywhere, we just have to be brave enough to seek them out! Today is family day back home.  My mom prayed for me before I left that I would find family everywhere I went and I believe I have found it here in Colombia.