Dalal Al-Waheidi and her daughter Zeina with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at National WE Day in Ottawa in 2015. Credits: Photography by Scott Ramsay
"It is when you give of yourself that you truly give."
When my 19-month-old daughter Zeina is old enough to read, I'll put this favourite quote by poet Kahlil Gibran on our fridge to remind her of our family values. I hope to teach her that everyone has a responsibility to give back.
On October 19, the first WE Day Family will present this invitation to hundreds of families across Ontario. With this inaugural event, WE Day, our annual celebration of young change-makers, is set to broaden its audience to engage families.
Parents know that a better world begins at home.
As a (fairly new) parent myself, I can now appreciate how hopes for your children can become your entire life. I understand more than ever the power of giving children the tools to be active citizens. And how those tools can help achieve your hopes—that they will grow up strong, compassionate and (relatively) well-adjusted. Research suggests that youth who volunteer are more likely to empathize with others, value their education and develop the leadership skills that are key to success in later years. Volunteering also boosts civic engagement. Zeina is only 19 months, still a bit young to start voting or taking on leadership positions. But you're never too young to start changing the world.
This year, Zeina and I will trick-or-treat for canned goods—not just candy—for WE Scare Hunger. We'll use the occasion, and her superhero costume, to collect non-perishables for our local food bank. Thousands of families across Canada participate in this campaign each year, spending quality time together, making spooky Halloween memories and supporting a cause at the same time.
Giving back isn't about adding to your to-do list. It's about infusing daily activities with a sense of awareness that the small choices we make have an impact on others. When you sit down to dinner, bring along the newspaper and talk about the issues in the headlines. When you're shopping for groceries, pick up a few extra items for a homeless shelter in your community. Some nights when I put Zeina to bed, I take a fairytale break and tell her the story of a local hero, a police officer or a Good Samaritan who made the news. Or better yet, the story of a young volunteer—I'm lucky to meet many of them through my work. I want to help her dream about the real leader she could be, in addition to the imaginary world inhabited by royalty in castles. Although she won't yet understand the message, I'm excited for her to be in the presence of some of the WE Day Family speakers we've got lined up. From Lilly Singh, who built a quirky YouTube empire as a "superwoman." Or Canada's own Man in Motion, Rick Hansen, an activist for accessibility inclusivity. One day I'll tell her that, as a baby, she was in the front row to hear Chris Hadfield's tales from outer space and Margaret Trudeau's message about mental health awareness. And she'll hear from the youth volunteers who rally together around causes that truly matter to them, from hunger and homelessness in their neighbourhoods to girls' education overseas.
I have high hopes for her first WE Day Family experience.
I've been with WE since 2002, and have watched the organization grow from thousands of students to a global movement of more than two million young leaders taking action in their local and global communities.
I'm proud to introduce WE Day Family as I start to grow my own.
Learn how to join the WE movement as a family or be part of the WE Day Family event at we.org/wedayfamily.
Dalal Al-Waheidi is the executive director of WE Day Global. A Palestinian born and raised in Kuwait, Dalal and her family fled to the Gaza Strip when she was 12, during the post-Gulf War period. She is now a Canadian citizen, mother and girls' education advocate. In this monthly blog for CanadianLiving.com, Dalal explores what it means to Live WE, a commitment to making a difference every day, through issues surrounding active citizenship, raising socially conscious kids and women and children's rights.
©iStockphoto.com/oldbunyip Credits: ©iStockphoto.com/oldbunyip
It's time to rethink your beauty biases toward oils. Oil is no longer a dirty word in the language of beauty, these hydrating elixers are the key to supple skin, soft hair and a glowing complexion. We've rounded up our must-have oil cleansers, anti-agers and de-frizzers—and how to use them.
This product is full of 8 essential oils that help to protect the skin's moisture barrier. It's light, non-greasy and incredibly nourishing.
This two-in-one dry oil and toner combines the nutritive properties of four precious oils with the benefits of a fresh tonic water within a fifty/fifty bi-phase formulation. It helps target dryness while helping to give skin firmness.
The packaging calls it a balm, but this product is full of coconut, grapeseed, sweet almond and coffee arabica seed oils to help target stretch marks, cellulite, psoriasis and eczema.
This luxury organic skin care line is made in Vermont and knows a thing or two about oil. One of its newest launches is a oil cleanser which has quickly become a favourite among staffers at Canadian Living. The Biocompatible oils and esters dissolve makeup and cleanse skin while leaving the skin's barrier in perfect harmony. Great for anyone with dehydrated skin or if you live in a climate that experiences extreme cold—aka Canada.
The great thing about body oils? They also work aromatherapy wonders. This blend is a combination of sesame, safflower and rice bran oils as well as grapefruit, chamomile and vanilla essential oils for an uplifting treat for mind and body.
This oil is a favourite among some of the most stunning women in Hollywood, but it works wonders on everything and claims to work with all skin types. This luxury facial oil consists of 11 different kinds of oils. Some of which are arnica, it helps with healing the skin, perfect for any rough patches or acne. Primerose helps with hydration and redness and jasmine and neroli oil can help you relax.
A great skin soother, this oil also works to reduce the appearance of cellulite using algae extract (a powerful antioxidant).
There are a lot of serums and hair oils on the market, but one of our favourite ones is Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil. The formula uses argan, coconut, macadamia-nut, sweet-almond and grape-see oil to help enhance shine, smooth away flyways and stop frizz in its tracks.
Another multi-tasker, this dry oil (for hair, face and body) includes a blend of grapeseed, sesame, and argan oils leaving your skin super soft and hydrated.
This oil based balm is packed with 12 essential oils to help reduce imperfection and rebalance skin's barrier. Sitting just under $100 bucks a pop it's pricey, but worth the splurge. The texture and smell is super indulgent and makes the mundane task of cleansing your face so much more enjoyable.
This multi-purpose oil works for both hair and body, and is formualted with organic Community Trade argan oil frm Morocco.
This organic body oil helps to improve skin and visibly improve it's texture after one month of regular (a few times a week) use. The star ingredients are organic birch leaves, organic rosemary, rusks, apricot kernel oil and jojoba oil.
A cult favourite, this oil (with a non-oily texture) is lightweight and full of vitamin E.
Water and oil seem to get along pretty well in this formula. The hydrating formula improves skin elasticity and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while a cold-pressed blend of seed oils allows for maximum potency of actives for optimal results.
This limited edition oil features the fragrance of the brand's Amazing Grace Eau de Toilette. Apply to skin fresh out of the shower, or put a couple drops in your bath for a subtle, clean scent.
After spending the day soaking up UV rays your skin becomes dry because its barrier breaks down, preventing it from retaining lipids and moisture. Sooth sun exposed skin with a light oil, like this one from Vichy. Its comprised of sheer oil; apricot kernel oil, coriander and blackcurant seeds, plus its jam packed with fatty acids that help nourish and build up your barrier. If you don't like anything heavy on your skin apply in the shower then rinse off, but if you're craving something weightier apply on dry or post shower skin.
Formulated for skin post-wax, this product contains coconut oil, arnica oil, aloe vera and calendula oil that works to soothe skin and heal irritations.
This incredibly moisturizing oil is perfect for summer when quick-dry and sunkissed are your main priorities.
This multi-purpose—skin, hair, lips, nails—hydrating oil is 100 percent again oil and is super lightweight. Although it does absorb quickly, a little goes a long way.
If it ain't broke... If coconut oil is your go-to, we won't tell you to pick up something more complicated. Make sure to buy organic if you're putting this straight on your skin.
Over 50 and fabulous? Our guide to aging gracefully helps you choose the skincare, hair and makeup products that are right for you.
<p>Canadian Living </p>
Chicken is a go-to for weeknight meals, but f you're making the same meals over and over again it's bound to get boring. Instead, shake things up with these tasty recipes.
A hearty mushroom filling adds elegance to boneless skinless chicken breasts, giving you more bang for your grocery buck.
Get the recipe: Stuffed Chicken with Roasted Potatoes and Lemon Broccoli
Sub in different vegetables depending on what you have in your crisper.
Get the recipe: Chicken and Avocado Brown Rice Sushi Rolls
Cooking potatoes in the microwave is a real time-saver for busy weeknights.
Get the recipe: Honey-Mustard Chicken and Broccoli Skewers with Cheesy Potatoes
A little chicken (less than a pound) goes a long way in this rich creamy dish.
Get the recipe: Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Pasta
This decidedly springtime pasta dish comes to life with lemon juice and zest.
Get the recipe: Lemony Penne with Chicken and Artichokes
The sweet, sticky, spicy glaze that coats these chicken bites has all the flavours associated with deep-fried chicken wings without any of the guilt.
Get the recipes : Spicy Honey-Garlic Boneless Wings
A hot, buttery sauce delivers all the sticky satisfaction of buffalo wings, but using whole chicken breasts means there's no need for wet wipes.
Get the recipe: Grilled Buffalo Chicken
A few dollops of light sour cream are all you need to add richness to this dish.
Get the recipe: Creamy Chicken and Green Bean Toss
If you're making this fresh and flavorful salad ahead of time, store it in a large shallow airtight container for easy tossing.
Get the recipe: Cold Chicken Noodle Salad
Need to eat fast? These tacos come together in no time and use ingredients you probably already have in your fridge.
Get the recipe: Weeknight Chili Chicken Tacos
This deliciously healthy stir-fry is packed with flavourful veggies.
Get the recipe: Chicken and Swiss Chard Stir-Fry
If you love schnitzel you're guaranteed to enjoy this variation.
Get the recipe: Crispy Herbed Chicken with Apple Slaw
These saucy knife-and-fork burritos are a family-friendly twist on the traditional Mexican-style wrap.
Get the recipe: Barbecue Chicken Burritos
Grilling broccoli may seem unorthodox, but it makes for a crispy texture that's simply addictive.
Get the recipe: Strawberry-Basil Chicken with Grilled Broccoli
This recipe can easily be left to simmer away in the slow cooker for eight hours before adding the chicken.
Get the recipe: Slow Cooker Butter Chicken
These bites are amazing hot out of the oil but are equally great warm or cold.
Get the recipe: Fried Chicken Bites
On a cold, dreary day, there's no dish more soothing than a steaming bowl of chicken soup.
Get the recipe: Thick and Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
This fun twist on chicken tikka masala packs the richly spiced flavours of the popular Indian-style meal into a fresh and easy salad.
Get the recipe: Chicken Tikka Masalad
This aromatic Thai-inspired soup is the perfect comfort food to warm a cold winter evening.
Get the recipe: Thai Chicken and Coconut Milk Soup
When time is of the essence, a filling dinner can be a real life-saver. We've jazzed this one up by cooking the chicken in a tasty mix of sweet honey and tangy balsamic vinegar.
Get the recipe: Honey Balsamic Chicken and Goat Cheese Salad