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FROM JACK LAYTON’S letter to us Canadians, what called out to me the most was the part where he wished for a more “inclusive and generous Canada.” I contemplated on that and I initially thought of the humanitarian wish for a poverty-free world.  This then got me to think of what cost-effective solutions exist out there, and just then I glanced at a “Back-to-school” ad—it’s education.

Here in Canada, education is free up until post-secondary school, and its importance is emphasized to youth. But as we all know, education is a luxury in many places in the developing world regardless of its value. So wouldn’t an “inclusive Canada” wish for all children to have at least the right to basic education?

My friend, who is a RESULTS Canada volunteer, presented me with amazing facts that just affirmed my belief that education is the way to go. The NGO relayed the information that for each year of education one child receives, his or her potential income increases by 10 per cent. On a national scale, each additional year of schooling a nation provides increases its annual gross domestic product by one per cent!

Now for a more “generous Canada,” I hope that our nation focuses its foreign aid toward education as not only is it a cost-effective solution for a developing nation, but it is an investment. An educated child will grow up and will raise educated children. With a nation championing basic education for all, slowly poverty will really be history and we will live in a more inclusive and generous Canada. Generations of wishes fulfilled.

Rochelle Buenviaje 

U of O alumna