Special event to celebrate Maureen Whittaker’s retirement

maureen-whittaker-simon-parcheA Matter of Taste Toastmasters and Valley Vintage Toastmasters hosted a small celebration in recognition of Maureen’s retirement from Statistiques Canada at its meeting on Friday, July 8, 2016.

An interesting evening of food, fun and well-wishing, with a special guest speaker.




To find out more about the event, view the following videos:

Speech for World Peace Summit

Bratislava, Slovak Republic
October 5th to 7th, 2007
By Ricaardoe Di Done

It is my great privilege and a real honor to be here with all of you in the historic city of Bratislava.

First, I must thank and congratulate the organizers of this magnificent event. I would like to particularly thank my very good friend Dr Timi Ecimovic. Prof. Ecimovic is an eminent international independent scientist, researcher, lecturer, first director of SEM Institute for Climate Change, Chairman of the World Thinker’s Forum, International Consultant of UN, and professor of environmental sciences at Ansted University.

But most importantly, he is a man with a beautiful soul and great determination to bring positive change in the world.

If only his determination and the determination of you all were contagious and millions and millions of people would get that fever, what a beautiful world it would be. But I know that slowly but surely, if we all work together, it will happen.

In 1983, I became the founding president of the Organization for the Protection of Children’s Rights. The objective of our organization is to make sure that all children of the world have all the tools that they need in order to flourish in life. We are a multidisciplinary group of professionals with international representatives who have the well-being of children at heart. Our main focus is prevention and education – why should we cure when we could prevent the problem altogether?

Let me tell you why I am here today.

Because, it is not right that more than 30,000 children around the world die every day because of preventable diseases, lack of food and water. This must stop.

It is not right that the poverty rate among children keeps increasing. In Canada, even after we so proudly ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the poverty rate increased. And here we are referring only to financial poverty, what about psychological poverty?

It is simply not right that the breakdown of the family, dysfunctional homes, single parent homes cause so many helpless victims (especially our children, parents, grandparents, and society as a whole).

It just is not right that the problem of street gangs consumes our youth and society in so many industrialized countries.

It was essential for me to send a powerful message of hope for children and that is why I decided to develop a Manifesto that is simply entitled GAIA 2031.

What is GAIA 2031? It is an important opinion piece that is to sensitize decision makers and government officials in addition to the different communities of the world to the urgency of developing human and environmental strategies that will preserve the evolution of future generations. It is in the spirit of this important link between children and the environment that we have written this Manifesto.

Why unite children and the environment?

The link between the future of our planet and the future of our children is clearly obvious. However, if we have a healthy planet but we do not provide our youth with the tools that they need so badly to flourish, what kind of world will we have? On the other hand, if our children finally have all they need in life to be happy and healthy without clean water, clean air, or should I say, basically, without a world, what have we accomplished?

As you already know, GAIA is the name that is given to Mother Earth in Greek mythology. The year 2031 represents the approximate period in time when the population of India will probably surpass that of China and where the Earth will be subjected to a veritable ecological “hallucination” if this same population follows the identical frenetic habits of consumption of the Americans. The objective of Gaia 2031 is to demonstrate the urgency and the necessity to protect our natural resources and to keep children, for today and for tomorrow, in an environment where they can evolve and be healthy.

Gaia 2031 is presented “head to tail” that is, without a beginning and without an end. It is done this way to present the two facets of a same reality, that is, it demonstrates the gravity of the situation of the planet and of our human conditions as we are experiencing them right now as well as the solutions which must be put forward, according to us, in order to re-establish the power of humanity at the very heart of the environment.

Why the children? After all, they are vulnerable, we do not listen to them, they do not decide….the adults decide and children are simply subjected to these decisions. And of course, most governments may not pay much attention to children perhaps it is because they do not vote!

We have already given them everything….even silence. Our actions have negative consequences on their future. Of course, we have even given them our fears which they have transformed into all sorts of distressing situations.

Children have no problems if we forget, in industrialized countries, all the separation and divorces, the single homes, the dysfunctional homes, the lack of love and abandonment that we have thrown them into.

Children have no problems if we forget that many of them runaway and find themselves involved with drugs, street gangs and prostitution, because they lack that sense of belonging at home.

Children in developing countries have no problems when they are subjected to acts of violence at a very young age or when a young 10 year old boy works in a factory. No problem either for the young girl who must get water every day from a well and bring it back on her head for 3 kilometers when she should be going to school.

No there are no problems either for children who are forced to become child soldiers or for children who are victims of war.

It is maybe for this reason that our modern societies inject so much money in the public health system. It is because our children have no problems! We are rich with problems!

In Canada, criminality alone costs us over $70 billion dollars a year. Whereas a number of research studies have demonstrated that for every dollar that we invest in prevention, we save between $6 and $13 dollars that it would cost to cure.

Our children have no problems, for sure. With reason, we give them ours. How? By depriving them of the resources that they will need for survival. The natural resources that they will need to live in a healthy environment: air, water and even the forests that we pollute.

And what do people do by endorsing these positions. We must understand that, our political decisions affect our societal choices.

And what should we say about our waste, our over-consumption and our indifference which are at their highest level. For example, we are planning to considerably increase the number of cars on the roads and to use more fossil fuels. Black gold. Our careless behaviours for the last twenty five years have major irreversible effects. We consume more than the Earth can give us. We are now more than ever at the breaking point. No, our children will not have any problems. They will only suffer the consequences of what we have left them to inherit!

But, there are solutions. And that is where you can intervene. You, you and you too….all of us!

We all have this responsibility.

Please allow me now to open my soul and I dare to hope, yours also to this humanity. Please allow me to believe in each small gesture. Please allow me, with you, to make the difference. We are here today to create this new world cooperation. This new universal truth which must be solely based on the development of our humanity.

Our planet, GAIA, has its resources and can constantly adapt to its needs. She protects herself. But in order to survive, human beings must make an effort and understand the situation that they have created themselves.

I hope therefore that this Manifesto GAIA 2031, encourages a kind of collective awakening since it constitutes the basis of our survival. The different political, scientific and ideological communities must, now more than ever, be united in order to recreate this intergenerational link that we are cutting.

Changes must be made. I am not a fundamentalist or an extremist. But I sincerely believe that we must immediately make choices before chaos chooses us.

I do not want to indoctrinate anyone, but simply encourage a profound reflection which concerns us all. Since in this global village, no one is an island safe from a tsunami or human acts of violence that are generated by fear.

In conclusion, be vigilant in your surroundings and remember the children that you meet and ask yourself what action have you accomplished today for Sarah, Roshni, José, Ming or Ali, who are growing today in this world that we are preparing to leave them as their legacy.

It is also for them that I believe in this Manifesto.

I have attached two pages of the recommendations contained in the Manifesto that will hopefully create a sprint in the right direction. If you would like a complete copy of the Manifesto Gaia 2031 you can download it by visiting the following website: www.theodone.com

I wish you all a productive summit and a long life.

And remember this, the sky is not the limit, it is only the beginning.

Ricaardoe Di Done
Founding President
Organization for the Protection of Children’s Rights


For the love of the world

recommendations of the organization for the protection of children’s rights
for the respect of children’s rights and future generations

In order to obtain stable climate conditions and a greater respect for the balance of biodiversity and the survival of our children, four general objectives guide our actions in our approach for new worldwide cooperation.

Educational objective
That is, favor a preventive approach that encourages actions which provide more incentives to recycle and regenerate as well as the adoption of school programs for children during the compulsory years of schooling.

Mutual Human objective
That is, pass on values of solidarity and environmental interdependence which affect the entire world’s populations, those who are present and those to come.

Participation objective
That is, encourage the support of all social partners towards mechanisms of decisions and achievements. The new forms of governance will have to foresee policies and action plans that favor this purpose.

Objective of Support and surveillance
That is, a surveillance of the parameters that have been established and tools which will allow to evaluate and judge the validity of the actions that have been undertaken and their possible reorientation if necessary.

The Organization for the Protection of Children’s Rights recommends:

As a whole, the respect of a worldwide concept on the environment and in particular Agenda 21, action program established for the 21st century from the main principles adopted at the Earth’s Summit.;

An immediate and controlled worldwide decrease of at least 2% per year of greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions linked with transportation and all economic activities related to energy in the industrial, commercial and residential sectors;

The drawing up of a management strategy for transportation and the adoption of an approach to favor the number of environmentally friendly vehicles or the establishment of incentives that promote and favor the use of public transportation;

Enhance the image and the use of renewable sources of energy (solar, hydroelectric, etc.) and fossil fuels that are less polluting (ethanol/gas) and the incitement to develop environmentally friendly technologies;

The obligation for companies to conform themselves to stronger social and environmental laws when exploitating natural resources;

A better management of water, forests and natural resources while protecting species and ecosystems, in order to protect biodiversity;

Providing support to emergent countries in order that they adopt an appropriate “eco economic” policy and create development programs that are within the limits of the planet;

The immediate creation of a 5% emergency tax on any gas that does not contain ethanol or less polluting fuels and on the purchase or the renting of any new vehicle that has a higher mass, more than six cylinders, and four driving wheels. We also recommend that 25 % of the multinational gas companies’ annual profits be dedicated to the world community (The same principle should apply to the multinational pharmaceutical companies which should automatically remit a certain percentage of their annual profits to humanitarian causes which specifically deal with children in the world) ;

The immediate creation of specific and obligatory programs for students of the primary and high school levels so that they offer all the necessary tools for assuming the responsibility of their environment and the development of a social justice.
For Gaia’s children

The recommendations of the organization for the protection of children’s rights
for the respect of children’s rights and future generations

WHEREAS the future of children is inextricably linked to the living conditions of their parents;

WHEREAS children living in particularly difficult conditions and those having particular needs must be fully part of programs whose aim is to prevent and eradicate financial, psychological, spiritual and political poverty;

WHEREAS a huge number of major social problems affecting society cannot be solved without first improving the critical situation of children;

WHEREAS the protection against violence, the access to healthy food, to health and to education should constitute essential preconditions for the fundamental rights of children;

WHEREAS children are able to develop a vision of the world and to freely express it according to their age and maturity;

WHEREAS obstacles to improving the living conditions of the world’s children are often related to lack of political-will and a bad distribution of the available resources;

The Organization for the protection of children’s rights recommends:


That they ensure the safety and the stability of children in an adequate family context, that is favorable to their development;
That they ensure that children’s rights to education be respected;
That the essential physical needs of children are met, in particular providing healthy foods;
That children have psychological safety and learn how to develop their self-esteem.
That children have access to healthy foods, drinking water and the essential nutrients for their development;
That they can evolve in a healthy and safe environment without violence;
That they can adequately learn how to read, write and maintain hope in their future.
That they can learn how to respect the differences between humans and that they manage to solve conflicts with peers in a rational and peaceful manner;
That they understand the significance and the responsibility to communicate within all human and family relationships.


That there is more responsibility and the acquiring of tools which allow for a good education, the importance of good nutrition and the preservation of a good environment;
That they recognize the importance of the bond which links them to their children through out their lives;
That they understand that children are lent to them and that they are responsible for them on a physical and psychological level;
That they understand with complete freedom and justice that spirituality brings universal values of love which must be both respected and promoted.
That states of the entire world must recognize that the establishment of social programs centered on the protection and development of children constitutes a major responsibility;
That a society should not tolerate conditions which create street children;
All societies must adopt mechanisms allowing them to be full members of a community;

That it is essential to establish a world ministry for children who will have as foundation the CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD and who must ideally have a representative in all nations.
Each member will have complete power to bring to light any important problem which
is a hindrance to the rights of children in the world.

In solidarity with the families of Amatrice, Italy

Fundraising campaing to help the victims of Amatrice Earthquake.

On August 24th, 2016 an earthquake hit the region of Amatrice, Italy where over 300 people lost their lives. In solidarity with all the families and especially the children who lost their parents, the National Federation of Italo-Canadians (NFIC) organized on September 12th, 2016 a fundraiser in Ottawa.

The participants of this event, many of Italian descent who represent a population of approximately 1 400 000, were very proud to come together to offer their support to the victims.

Mr. Ricaardoe Di Done, president of the production and publishing house Theodone & Associates, is proud to collaborate with the National Federation of Italo-Canadians (NFIC) and to be part of its tremendous effort to raise funds for the victims of Amatrice.

Together for children

A most enriching trip to Edmonton

Ricaardoe Di Done et Samantha Di Done à Edmonton, Alberta.

Ricaardoe Di Done and Samantha Di Done in Edmonton.

Ricaardoe Di Done, chief operating officer of Children Now, visited Edmonton this summer with his daughter, Samantha Di Done, to prepare two upcoming sensitization campaigns on anti-intimidiation and the benefits of family mediation.

Several enriching meetings took place with community members who strive to make a difference by implicating themselves in the cause that touches us all: the well-being of children and families.

Ricaardoe Di Done, Chief Operating Officer of Children Now, and his daughter Samantha, had a most enriching meeting with Teresa Spinelli on the well-being of children. We wish to thank Mrs Spinelli for her consistent community engagement and especially her work for improving the lives of children. Recognized as one of Canada’s Top 100 Business Women, Mrs. Spinelli is also a co-patron of honor at Children Now’s International Symposium on Family Mediation, in June 2018.

Mr. Ricaardoe Di Done, Chief Operating Officer of Children Now, met with Mr. Steve Young and his wife Leanne Young in Edmonton, Alberta. Mrs. Leanne Young is a top lawyer and family mediator in Alberta. Mr. Young is a co-patron of honor at Children Now’s International Symposium on Family Mediation in Canada. Mr. Steve Young is also a former sergeant of the Edmonton Police and Chief Whip of the Alberta provincial government. He has significant expertise in protecting the community from bullying, cyber-bullying and intimidation that may lead to street gangs. His work focuses on interacting with troubled youth to help set them on the right path. Please check out Mr. Ricaardoe Di Done’s interview of Mr. Steve Young.

Mr. Ricaardoe Di Done, Chief Operating Officer of Children Now, along with his daughter, Samantha, met with Dr. David Yawrenko. Dr. Yawrenko is at the forefront of alternative medicine. He holds both a Chiropractic degree and a Naturopathic degree in medicine; he is also a licensed Acupuncturist who has been practicing for 41 years at the New Life Clinic in Edmonton, Alberta. Congratulations to Dr. Yawrenko, a most dedicated individual who has been a long-time advocate and friend to Children Now.
Mr. Di Done’s interview with Dr. Yawrenko on the advantages of natural medicine,
Mr. Di Done’s interview with Dr. Yawrenko on the use of the Vega machine.
And the powerful interview of Dr. Yawrenko by Mr. Di Done on the dangers of the Ritalin epidemic for our children

Meeting with Mr. Luigi Zorzetto in Edmonton, Alberta. Mr. Zorzetto is a true family man, very dedicated to society. He is a tremendous volunteer.

Meeting with Mario Sarnelli, a strong supporter of the physical and psychological benefits of soccer.

Meeting with Mike Traficante, former president of the Alberta Soccer Federation, Director of Technical Programs of the Canadian Soccer Association, and Executive Member of the Canadian Soccer Association and Natale Arucso.

Meeting with Salvatore Lombardo, a most beautiful soul and long-time friend.

Here are a few photos,
for more see Children Now Facebook page

The Surprisingly Epic Journey of Conception and Birth!!

Food for Thought.
Although we learn about reproduction in school, we cannot truly appreciate just how special and difficult the journey is for the sperm to reach and fertilize the egg. Such an inspiring journey really gives one food for thought!

Watch this magical and inspiring video.


The importance of grandparents in our life

In a society which values high performance and profitability of individuals, elderly people are far too often the neglected and forgotten citizens and this despite their important contribution to society and the family. The elderly deserve our consideration, respect, attention and compassion, especially when faced with various obstacles.

Ricaardoe Di Done en compagnie de sa petite cousine Esther.

Ricaardoe Di Done with his little cousin Esther.

I had the immense privilege and pleasure to spend some wonderful memorable moments with my little cousin Ester who is 102 years of age. Despite her advanced age, she amazes us with her vivacity, energy, serenity and zest for life. Her appreciation for her family and loved ones, as well as her gratitude for being alive, shows us how we preoccupy ourselves with little concerns that, due to our own amplification, make us forget what is truly precious in life, which are family, love, benevolence, health and inner peace. Hence, my little cousin’s life experiences and wisdom are an invaluable richness for us all.

My cousin Ester is lucky to have the physical and mental capacity allowing her to live on her own, and this in an autonomous manner. Unfortunately, her case is not the norm and many elderly people, especially those who have lost their autonomy or who are too often victim of negligence in the hands of their own family, are placed in old age homes without adequate care or visits from their loved ones. This sad reality causes many elderly to live with depression in profound solitude with ties to family members such as grand-children being cut off. This causes the latter to be deprived of an enriching relationship with their grand-parents, and this on all levels.

The special relationship between grand-parents and grand-children is unique and despite the age gap, the two generations understand each other. The usual conflicts between parents and children, as well as the responsibilities of parents towards their children being nonexistent, grand-children feel a certain peace and unconditional love emanating from their grand-parents. Just being together brings joy and tranquility to the two generations. Whenever possible, children should never be deprived of their grand-parents because this bond is of such a richness which cannot be otherwise replaced.

Let’s love and respect our elderly, and give them a much needed voice.

Ricaardoe Di Done, April 2016


See also Do you think our elderly relatives are safe and protected in Quebec?, an article and a video on Healthcare services and senior citizens in Québec.

Do you think our elderly relatives are safe and protected in Quebec?

Sadly, still relevant.

In this article originaly published on Together for Families website in 2013, Ricaardoe Di Done speaks to all. This clip highlights the brutal reality faced by hundreds of senior citizens living in Quebec. This report addresses the realities of old age, and the quality of services offered by Quebec society to seniors.


Elder mistreatment coupled with the inefficiency of our decision-makers, hinders our elders from living a longer life.

Mr. Di Done represents a family that questions the role of the Quebec government in the tragic death of a loved one, his octogenarian aunt, Antoinette Di Done.

The incident sheds light on the precarious management within the group of CHSLD (Centres d’hébergement de soins de longue durée) and the systematic disregard for the fragile health and well-being of seniors. Mrs. Antoinette Di Done’s health deteriorated drastically after she was removed from Centre D’Hébergement Quatre-Temps. In April 2011, Mrs. Antoinette Di Done’s health deteriorated drastically after she was removed from Centre D’Hébergement Quatre-Temps and was transferred to another health centre, where she died a few months later. The transfer had been done despite her doctor’s strict order against the transfer.

News that make us feel good!

Together for Families, under the leadership of Mr. Di Done, wishes to congratulate the Health Ministry for adopting regulations aimed at protecting the safety and well-being of our elderly in Quebec. The Quebec Minister of Health, Réjean Hébert, announced that effective as of 13th March 2013, new regulations will tighten safety and training standards in Health centers and social services offered to seniors. The new regulation includes mandatory training for staff, a minimum of staff present at all times, an emergency call system and a register of accidents or incidents. Additionally, the law requires mandatory criminal record checks on staff, individual assessment for each resident, availability of recreational activities, and meals that are consistent with Canada’s Food Guide.
(Source: via Huffington Post Quebec, 27/02/2013)

Mistreatment and neglect in a nursing home could happen to your loved one as well. Our seniors should be able to live their old age in dignity.

People of all ages should unite and join together to defend our elders against abuse. Every one of us should agree that we will not stand for the mistreatment of elders, since we will also get older!

Together for Families gives vulnerable groups a voice and our network of multidisciplinary experts offers the public practical information about what we can do.

How can we nurture troubled youth into caring and compassionate adults

Nina Meyerhof and Ricaardoe Di DoneNina Meyerhof, President and Founder of Children of the Earth is interviewed by R. Di Done at the “Building the New World” Conference, Radford University

Nina Meyerhof explains what her organization does to foster positive feelings in young people who may be suffering and feel lost, so they can discover who they are, what they want to do and how they can make a difference in the world. She also discusses the psychology behind bullying in young people.



World Day of Bullying Prevention – now what?

Infofam is proud to support Children Now in its campaign against bullying and violence.  On this World Day of Bullying Prevention, we would like to underline the importance of prevention and education against these social blights.

Children Now asks each and everyone of us to take a moment to encourage this movement in order to see it grow, and to give it due attention.

Children Now is engaged in doing its part by developing programs for schools and  sports organizations to rid our society of intimidation and bullying.

Today and everyday of the year, let’s keep working  for a world without violence.

Learn more on :

October 5th, World Day of Bullying prevention, Children Now is working year round

Prevention of intimidation, bullying and violence in schools

Training workshops for young people, against bullying and intimidation in sports


Children Now and O.P.C.R. Toastmasters’ annual celebration is an appreciated success.

It’s with great joy that Ricaardoe Di Done, general manager of Children Now in Montreal, welcomes guests to his home who have the well being of children and families at heart.  Once again, Mister Di Done underlines the implication of people who make a difference.

For more details and pictures of the evening, read the article on Children Now’s website