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Mary McConnell

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Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world. More than 6 million out of the 10.4 million Haitians (59%) are living below the national poverty line of CAD $3.16 per day and over 2.5 million (24%) are living below the national extreme poverty line of CAD $1.61 per day. (The World Bank April 2018)

Some other staggering statistics reveal the ongoing desperate state of the 12.9 million Haitians who are subject to impoverished living conditions. (World Food Programme & Restavek Freedom...

Every week, students at the Children’s Academy in Baocia, Haiti eagerly anticipate talking with their volunteer partner, known as their “Hangout Partner”, using an online video chat application. As participants in the Language Hangouts program, students are given the opportunity to practice their English-speaking skills through weekly 30-minute virtual conversations on one of the school’s laptop computers with a volunteer who connects from their home in Canada or the U.S. 

Haiti Partners, founded...

The other day I was talking with a friend about what makes us happy.  Everyone has their own thoughts on what brings joy to their lives, but I think there is a big difference between what we believe makes us happy and what really makes us happy.  Actually I think the problem lies in what people believe happiness truly means.  Just as there can be different types of love, so too can there be different types of happiness.  When we ask ourselves what true love is, we also need to ask ourselves what...

Travelling to Haiti is always an eye-opening experience, no matter how many times you have been there.  I will never forget what one of my friends who lives in Haiti said one day. It will forever stick in my mind.  He said, "If I wake up with a few dollars in my pocket, I don't wake up hungry. But if I wake up with no money in my pocket, then I wake up hungry".  He went on to explain that if he wakes up with a few dollars he knows that he has the means to purchase some food for himself and his f...

How can I tell him to not give up

when he hasn't eaten in days and his body and mind are weak and sick from lack of nutrition?

How can I tell him to hang in there

when he has no money, no job and no opportunity?

How can I ask him to dream of a better life

when he may be sick with cholera from drinking contaminated water?

How can I hope to inspire him

when his dirt floor is flooded from the rain, his roof is leaking and his spirit is broken?

How can I try to give him strength

when the government cont...

Thursdays are my favourite day of the week.  It is the day that I get to spend time with some of London's less fortunate.  As part of the meal program offered by the London Food Action Coalition, Beth Emanuel Church opens its doors every Thursday evening to those in need of a hot meal and a warm, safe place to spend some time.  Some of the people who come to the meal are struggling with addictions, some are living in an abusive situation, some are facing financial crisis and others have been str...

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