Ruth Alkema

Apr 16, 2019 by Ruth Alkema

Sharing our Roots: Reflecting on 40 Years of Welcome

By 1975, Southeast Asia was in turmoil. Communist takeovers in Vietnam and Laos and the rise of the brutal Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia forced thousands to escape on makeshift boats. If the refugees survived the journey, what awaited them on land was years spent in overcrowded refugee camps with few resources. Images of the dangers faced by the refugees at sea and the hopelessness of the camps compelled many Canadians into action.

Mar 20, 2019 by Ruth Alkema

Finding Safety: A Family's Search for a Home

As refugees from Syria, they have experienced the horrors of war and the uncertainty of living without a home. Their safety has been a never-ending concern. It took time, but the Kahya family can now say with confidence that they feel very safe in their adopted country of Canada. The path to living in Canada was a difficult one for Najib and Nurhan who, with their two small daughters had made their way first through Libya to seek temporary refuge in Turkey.

Feb 8, 2019 by Ruth Alkema

Changing Women’s Lives “Little by Little”

In rural communities in developing countries, most women have very limited opportunities to access important financial resources through banks. Access is one critical problem, being a woman -- and a high risk investment for banks -- is another. The inability to open a bank account and borrow money at a reasonable rate can be financially and personally crippling. This is where community-based Village Savings and Loans groups have become valuable lifelines for women to create a better future for themselves and their families.

Feb 8, 2019 by Ruth Alkema

Powerful Voices for Change

                                          As a wife and mother, Saem worked hard to raise her children and to provide for them. In addition to tending to her rice field near her home, Saem traveled outside of the village to her plot of corn during the harvest season.

Feb 7, 2019 by Ruth Alkema

Honduran Women Grow Healthier Communities

For indigenous women in Honduras, life is hard. Persistent poverty, high rates of violence, organized crime, and systemic government corruption have had a significant impact on the daily lives of Hondurans. The government has consistently violated the land rights of indigenous people, who have been advocating for better environmental protection of their land.

Feb 5, 2019 by Ruth Alkema

Inspiring Hope and Gender Equality

Faced with unequal decision-making opportunities and unequal workloads, Grace said it was like living in “total slavery” — a seemingly never-ending cycle of toil, exhaustion, and inequality. Throughout the first full week of February (Feb. 3-9, 2019), Canada will celebrate International Development Week (IDW) to recognize contributions in creating a better future for people like Grace through international development efforts. IDW is also a time to inspire Canadians to consider what they can do to reduce poverty and suffering in the world’s most broken and needy places.

Feb 4, 2019 by Ruth Alkema

Together for Women’s Health

Rose and David have been blessed beyond measure with a large family of seven children, but along with those blessings have come much pain and suffering, especially for Rose. In rural Mozambique, pregnant women and mothers have limited access to healthcare, and there remains a strong reliance on traditional folk medicine. This often comes at the cost of women’s health, and the health of their children.