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  • Brain Food

Fires, Pj's and Vaccines

Vanessa Giralico

Canadian Blaze

As of July 23rd, over 3,710,800 hectares of Canadian forestland have gone up in flames. Over 400 wildfires are currently burning, primarily affecting western provinces such as British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. Many communities were forced to evacuate due to fear of flame or smoke blankets engulfing communities.

In Saskatchewan, over 13,000 individuals from aboriginal communities were forced to evacuate and a state of emergency was declared; this was the largest evacuation the province has ever seen. In Ontario, however, most fires have been relatively manageable. Still, despite water bombs, dedicated firefighters, and even helicopters dropping buckets, many of Canada’s forests continue to burn.

[Sources: IndianCountryTodayMediaNetwork.com, CIFFC.ca (Canadian International Forest Fire Centre Inc.), GlobalNews.ca (all photos courtesy of GlobalNews.ca)]


noun: pyjama bottoms made by women in India who have escaped forced prostitution.

The purchase of these soft, brightly coloured lounge bottoms supports women and girls who are trying to make a new life.

This project provides women with a safe source of income so they can support their children and remain free; in the brand’s own words, “No human being should be owned by anyone, anywhere, for any reason, ever”. Without this steady employment, women may be forced to return to forced prostitution, where abuse and disease are rampant.

The company began in 2006 with only 6 seamstresses, and has expanded enough to support hundreds of employees. The comfy bottoms come in three styles: shorts, capris, and long pants, with styles available for men, woman, and children. Now you can support women without even leaving your bed! You can purchase them at sudara.org [All images and information courtesy of sudara.org]

Malala For Syria

You may remember Malala Yousafzai as a gentle but strong willed 15 year old who was shot by the Taliban as a consequence of her advocacy for girls’ rights and education.

In celebration of her 18th birthday Malala has opened a school for Syrian refugees in Lebanon. Girls will be able to achieve degrees within four years. Those who are not able to commit to the full length of the program will receive training for practical applications so they can find jobs.

Over 200 girls will be able to attend this school, funded by Malala’s non-profit organization, the Malala Fund. Malala has decided to dedicate her adult life to being a voice for children and girls, and she is inspired by her father, a teacher.

[Sources: npr.org, malala.org, community.malala.org]

Fighting Malaria

European healthcare professionals have recently approved the first Malaria vaccine; the fatal disease affects around 200 million people a year. Malaria is a disease born by mosquitoes, and is caused by parasites.

The new vaccine, known as Mosquirix, is the first vaccine against a parasitic disease that will be used on humans, and it has the potential to save millions of lives. More than 80% of lives taken by Malaria are of children under five years old, so the vaccine is aimed toward babies and children.

The vaccine has been in the works for 30 years, and will be used in combination with mosquito nets and insecticides to combat the disease, and steps will be taken to make it accessible to those who need it most. Mosquirix is expected to have a tremendously positive impact on public heath!

[Source: CBC.ca]

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