23-year-old awarded Meritorious Service Cross for work in Haiti

When Morgan Wienberg travelled to Haiti to volunteer after the devastating 2010 earthquake, the recent high school graduate had every intention of returning home to attend university.

See Full Article

The Whitehorse, Yukon native was placed in a locally-run orphanage that housed 75 children. Wienberg says she wasn’t there long, before she felt the desire to turn that visit into something more long-term.

"I became so attached to the children," Wienberg told CTV's Canada AM on Monday.

Wienberg has spent much of the last five years in Haiti, and she is now being recognized for her work helping the country’s most vulnerable children.

The 23-year-old has returned to Canada to receive the prestigious Governor General's Meritorious Service Cross for her work in Haiti. The award recognizes an activity that has been performed in an "outstandingly professional manner, or with uncommonly high standards." Previous winners include Olympian Clara Hughes and astronaut Chris Hadfield.

Wienberg said the conditions she witnessed in the Haitian orphanage were horrific.

"You weren't sure if a child would die in the next three days," she said.

Wienberg said she eventually learned that many of the children in the orphanage had families who were alive in Haiti, but had given up their children in hopes that they'd receive more opportunities.

"Those parents who are struggling in poverty think their children would get that (international) aid if they're in an orphanage," she said.

Wienberg said she witnessed children being "horrifically abused and neglected," and felt the need to act.

In 2011, at age 18, she co-founded Little Footprints, Big Steps in Haiti. The organization now operates two safe houses, for children rescued from illegitimate orphanages or life on the street, and provides them with a "family setting" that includes shelter, food, basic education and health care.

Wienberg said, since launching Little Footprints, Big Steps, 120 children have been reunited with their families.

Wienberg has also been a keynote speaker at the United Nations Youth Assembly and been awarded the Rotary International Paul Harris Humanitarian Award and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal.

She said she's excited about the Meritorious Service Cross and hopes the award shines a light on the organization.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Trudeau says he was informed of Fortin investigation 'a number of weeks ago'

    Canada News CBC News
    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he found out about the investigation into Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, who had been the public face of the vaccine distribution drive, a few weeks ago, but not the details of the sexual misconduct allegations. Source
  • Federal government invests $200 million to build an mRNA vaccine plant in Ontario

    Canada News CBC News
    The federal government today announced a $200-million investment to help a Mississauga, Ont.-based company build a plant that can churn out millions of mRNA vaccines. Innovation Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said the money will be used to expand an existing site owned by Resilience Biotechnologies Inc. Source
  • Feds investing nearly $200M in Mississauga, Ont. plant to mass produce vaccines

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- The federal government will invest almost $200 million in Mississauga, Ont.-based Resilience Biotechnologies to eventually be able to mass produce vaccines domestically. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the announcement on Tuesday, stating that the money will go toward creating and maintaining 500 jobs and 50 co-op positions for young people “to get their foot in the door in a growing sector. Source
  • Massive fire north of Prince Albert, Sask., is threatening farms and acreages

    Canada News CBC News
    Harold Fisher is wondering if he'll have a home to go back to. Fisher had to evacuate his farm late Monday evening because of a large fire raging north of Prince Albert, Sask., about 135 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon. Source
  • 'Sheerness when wet': Joe Fresh recalls boys, toddler swim shorts out of 'abundance of caution'

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Loblaws' Joe Fresh clothing brand is voluntarily recalling swim shorts for boys and toddlers over concerns about the sheerness of the trunks’ fabric when wet. Joe Fresh said in a recall notice posted online that there are no safety concerns with the products. Source
  • Ikea recalls select dishes due to risk of breakage and burns

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Ikea Canada has issued a recall for select dishes after the company received reports of some of these products breaking, leading to a possible burn risk. In a notice issued on Tuesday, Ikea Canada said it was recalling the Heroisk and Talrika style plates, bowls, and mugs "due to the potential risk of burns from hot contents upon breakage. Source
  • Container ship is the largest of its kind to visit Canada: Halifax Port Authority

    Canada News CTV News
    HALIFAX -- Port officials in Halifax say the largest container ship to visit a Canadian port has arrived at the city's south-end container terminal. A spokesman for the Port of Halifax says the CMA CGM Marco Polo is 396 metres long and can carry the equivalent of 16,022 containers that are each 20-feet long. Source
  • Investing in new coal, oil and gas projects must stop to hit climate goals, global energy agency says

    World News CBC News
    A report by the International Energy Agency says immediate action is needed to reshape the world's energy sector in order to meet ambitious climate goals by 2050, including ending investments in new coal mines, oil and gas wells. Source
  • Quebec reports 549 new COVID-19 cases, 9 more deaths

    Canada News CTV News
    MONTREAL -- Quebec has 549 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of people infected to 364,396 since the start of the pandemic. The province's health officials also confirmed nine more deaths, a total of 11,050 after it was ruled one death was not related to COVID-19. Source
  • Israel resumes airstrikes on Gaza, as Palestinian militants fire more rockets into Israel

    World News CBC News
    Israel bombarded Gaza with airstrikes and Palestinian militants resumed cross-border rocket fire on Tuesday after a brief overnight lull during which the United Nations sent a small fuel convoy into the enclave, where it says 52,000 people are now displaced. Source