1965, St. Wilibrord’s School, Chateauguay, Quebec
“But it’s not fair,” I said to my grade 3 teacher Mrs. Ducey. I can’t even remember what my 8-year-old self was complaining about. Though I will always remember the response.
“If you are looking for fairness,” she said, sounding uncharacteristically angry and exasperated, “you are on the wrong planet!” The moment was pivotal for me; I was shocked and shaken. What if it were true? What if the world was not a fair place? The idea conflicted with my childish schema of how the world worked.
2008, Southern Sudan
For every 20 babies born, 1 dies during the first 28 days of life.
Of 1000 babies born, 150 die before their first birthday.
One in four children die before the age of 5.
45% of children under 5 years old suffer from chronic diarrhea.
1 in 9 women dies during her lifetime of a pregnancy related cause.
For every 50 deliveries one mother dies of a pregnancy-related cause.
Only 5% of births are attended by a skilled attendant.
The adult literacy rate for women 15- 24 years is 2.5%.
Life Expectancy at birth is 42 years!
Mrs. Ducey eventually died quite young of a brain tumor, proving her point. And I eventually came to accept that the world was indeed, not a fair place.