Wider View Archive

“I will not forget you”

November 16, 2017 Charles Kwuelum

“I will not forget you” By Charles Kwuelum Amidst all of the headlines these days, little attention is being paid to the crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo). In August 2016, violence broke out in the Kasai region when the Kamuina Nsapu, a local militia group, engaged in a clash with national security forces. The clash was partly due to the local appointment of a traditional chief, seen by many as a way to influence land rights and traditional values. The Kasai region is the birthplace of the Mennonite Church in DR Congo. The violence displaced […]

After ISIS, now what?

November 3, 2017 Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach

After ISIS, now what? By Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach Last winter Rafee, his wife and sons received heating fuel through a program supported by Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) in Syria. In 2015, their hometown had been attacked by ISIS, and eventually the family fled to another village. There they struggled to pay for rent and medication, so they were grateful for the fuel assistance provided by the church. Rafee’s last name is withheld for security reasons. Syrians like Rafee long for an end to the conflict that has engulfed their country since 2011. With the next round of negotiations scheduled for […]

What is Canada’s Persons Day?

October 27, 2017 Third Way

Persons Day By Monica Scheifele October 18 is Persons Day in Canada. It is a time to remember and celebrate the historic 1929 decision of what was then Canada’s highest court of appeal – the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council of Great Britain – to include women in the legal definition of “persons”. The idea that women would not be considered persons seems absurd today and even more ridiculous to think that this was the case less than 100 years ago. Aren’t all human beings persons? Apparently not in Canadian law before 1929 when the definition was still based […]

Counting calories in Gaza

October 20, 2017 Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach

Counting calories in Gaza By Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach October 16 marked World Food Day. In Gaza, a small slice of land home to two million Palestinians, 80 percent of people rely on international humanitarian assistance. Nearly 1 in 2 do not have enough to eat on a regular basis. Gaza’s humanitarian crisis is due primarily to the blockade that has been imposed by Israel. For centuries the residents of Gaza have relied on the sea as a source of food and income. But Israeli restrictions prevent Gazan fishing boats from traveling more than six nautical miles from shore, and often […]

Reflecting the humanity of migrants

October 6, 2017 Charissa Zehr

Reflecting the humanity of migrants By Charissa Zehr Sacrifice, bravery, survivor—these words kept running through my mind as I sat in migrant shelters in Mexico City and Tapachula, near Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala. Hearing the litany of dangers people faced as they crossed highways, forests, deserts and borders to find safety and security, I was struck most by their courage. I was reminded by our hosts at Voces Mesoamericanas, an MCC partner in southern Mexico, that most people don’t migrate because they want to–they are resigned to it because they see no other option. At each shelter, we listened […]

The right to safety

September 29, 2017 Cherelle M. Dessus

The right to safety Cherelle M. Dessus A shooting at a Washington state high school upended the lives of families and the community in the small town of Rockford when a 15-year-old shot four students as a response to bullying. The student had obtained a pistol and an assault rifle from his father’s safe and transported the weapons to his school in a duffle bag. In an attempt to stop the shooting, one other student was shot and killed. The shooter had shown signs of mental instability during his meetings with a school counselor. The student was reportedly obsessed with […]

Wear an Orange Shirt on September 30

September 22, 2017 Third Way

Wear an Orange Shirt on September 30 By Miriam Sainnawap \Miriam is Co-coordinator of MCC Canada’s Indigenous Neighbours program. She is from Oji-Cree, from Kingfisher First Nation in northwestern Ontario. The fifth annual Orange Shirt Day takes place across Canada on September 30, 2017 — a day to commemorate the experiences of residential school survivors and their families. Wearing an orange shirt when we gather is way to raise awareness of the legacy of the Indian Residential School System and build solidarity with the survivors. The Indian Residential School System was established by the federal government of Canada and administered by church denominations from the 1880s […]

Pursuing what makes for peace in Nigeria

September 8, 2017 Charles Kwuelum

Pursuing what makes for peace in Nigeria By Charles Kwuelum According to the Global Peace Index (2014), 500 million people live in countries at risk of instability and conflict, and 200 million of them live below the poverty level. One of those countries, Nigeria, is facing the catastrophic consequences of both violent extremism and militarized responses to “counter violent extremism.” This has resulted in a humanitarian crisis, human rights abuses, and as many as 100,000 deaths. In northeast Nigeria, 1.7 million people have been displaced from their homes, and 8.1 million people are in dire need of humanitarian and emergency food […]

The power of presence

August 17, 2017 Third Way

The power of presence Krista Dutt, Program Coordinator for Chicago and Church Relations Associate, Mennonite Central Committee Great Lakes I have often heard the life of Job upheld as an example. However, my experience as an immigration court watcher has allowed me to enter into the perspective of Job’s friends. These friends heard that Job’s life was in a hard place and so they went to sit with him (Job 2:11-13). Scripture says they didn’t speak, waiting until Job broke seven days of silence, but the power of their presence during that time is clear. Sometimes the most we can […]

Strangers in their own land

August 10, 2017 Third Way

Strangers in their own land By Daniel Friesen Since the beginning of the civil war in 2011, instability has been the governing force in the lives of many Syrians. While local and international powers have compounded the civil war with their own interests and sectarian conflicts have sprung up around the fray, Syria’s people continue to be threatened by mortar attacks, missile strikes, chemical weapons, and violence from the so-called Islamic State. Media coverage often centers on U.S. coalition forces and defeating terrorism, but we must not forget the ever-increasing humanitarian crisis. Syrian civilians in great number have been caught […]