Posts Tagged ‘Love’

In Iowa, US, a carpenter from a humble background saved his earnings over the course of his life and used them to send 33 people to college. People he had never met and would never meet.

Dale Schroeder was a simple, humble man from Iowa, who ended up changing the lives of 33 people forever. Schroeder worked as a carpenter at the same company for 67 years. He grew up poor and had no wife or children of his own.

His friend Steve Nielsen described Schroeder as a “blue collar, lunch pail kind of guy.”

When he died in 2005, no one could have guessed how rich Schroeder really was. “He had church jeans and work jeans,” Nielsen said.

Schroeder had saved up a fortune over the years. He had no living descendants, so before he died, he went to his lawyer with a plan for his money.

“He said, ‘I never got the opportunity to go to college. So, I’d like to help kids go to college,'” Nielsen said. Not only did Schroeder have enough money to send a few kids to college, he had enough saved to send dozens.

The rest of Dale Schroeder’s story can be found here.

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Dale Schroeder, photo from Newsweek

This is the 26th celebration of the WE ARE THE WORLD BLOGFEST #WATWB which is carried out every last Friday of the month, and which aims to spread love and positiveness in this vulnerable world. A celebration of heroes who can still restore our faith in humanity, especially in this period when our world seems to be full of endless series of horrible happenings.

Our generous co-hosts for this month are:  Shilpa Garg, Simon Falk , Damyanti BiswasLizbeth Hartz and Eric Lahti.

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To sign up for We Are The World Blogfest, please see the guidelines below.

~~~GUIDELINES~~~

  1. Keep your post to below 500 words, as much as possible.
  2. All we ask is you link to a human news story on your blog on the last Friday of each month, one that shows love, humanity, and brotherhood. Something like this news  about a man who only fosters terminally ill children.
  3. Join us on the last Friday of each month in sharing news that warms the cockles of our heart. No story is too big or small, as long as it goes beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.
  4. Place the WE ARE THE WORLD Badge on your sidebar, and help us spread the word on social media. Tweets, Facebook shares, G+ shares using the #WATWB hashtag through the month most welcome. More Blogfest signups mean more friends, love and light for all of us.
  5. We’ll read and comment on each others’ posts, get to know each other better, and hopefully, make or renew some friendships with everyone who signs on as participants in the coming months.
  6. To signup, add your link in WE ARE THE WORLD Linky List
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This is the heartfelt and heartwarming story of a woman forced to defend her daughter (and herself) from three rapists in the middle of the night.

Back in 2017, a South African woman named Nokubonga Qampi received a phone call in the middle of the night telling her that her daughter was being raped by three men. Her daugher, Siphokazi, had been visiting her friends who went out at 1.30am and left her alone and asleep. Sometime later, three men she knew well, who had been drinking nearby, attacked her.

Nokubonga’s first response was to call the police, but there was no answer. She knew, anyway, that it would take them time to reach her village, in the rolling green and brown hills of South Africa’s Eastern Cape province.

She was the only person that could help.

“I was scared, but then I was forced to go because it was my daughter,” she said.

“I was thinking that when I get there, she might be dead… Because she knew the perpetrators, and because they knew her and knew she knows them, they might think they had to kill her so she couldn’t report them.”

“I took it for me, for walking the distance between here and where the incident was taking place, because it is not safe,” she says. “It was dark and I had to use the torch on my phone to light the way.”

She heard her daughter’s screams as she approached the house. On entering the bedroom, the light from her phone enabled her to make out the awful sight of her daughter being raped.

“I was scared… I just stood by the door and asked what they were doing. When they saw it was me, they came charging towards me, that’s when I thought that I needed to defend myself, it was an automatic reaction,” Nokubonga says.

The rest of Nokubonga’s story can be found here. BBC podcast can be found here.

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Siphokazi and Nokubonga in January, 16 months after the attack. BBC photo.

This is the 24th celebration of the WE ARE THE WORLD BLOGFEST #WATWB which is carried out every last Friday of the month, and which aims to spread love and positiveness in this vulnerable world. A celebration of heroes who can still restore our faith in humanity, especially in this period when our world seems to be full of endless series of horrible happenings.

Our generous co-hosts for this month are: Shilpa Garg, Dan AntionMary GieseSimon Falk , Damyanti Biswas.

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To sign up for We Are The World Blogfest, please see the guidelines below.

~~~GUIDELINES~~~

  1. Keep your post to below 500 words, as much as possible.
  2. All we ask is you link to a human news story on your blog on the last Friday of each month, one that shows love, humanity, and brotherhood. Something like this news  about a man who only fosters terminally ill children.
  3. Join us on the last Friday of each month in sharing news that warms the cockles of our heart. No story is too big or small, as long as it goes beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.
  4. Place the WE ARE THE WORLD Badge on your sidebar, and help us spread the word on social media. Tweets, Facebook shares, G+ shares using the #WATWB hashtag through the month most welcome. More Blogfest signups mean more friends, love and light for all of us.
  5. We’ll read and comment on each others’ posts, get to know each other better, and hopefully, make or renew some friendships with everyone who signs on as participants in the coming months.
  6. To signup, add your link in WE ARE THE WORLD Linky List

In March this year, one of the worst tropical cyclones on record to affect Africa and the Southern Hemisphere, caused catastrophic damage in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi, leaving more than 1,000 people dead and thousands more missing. Hundreds of thousands were displaced. Homes were destroyed and livelihoods wiped out. Hunger, starvation, homelessness and diseases soon took hold over the region. According to the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, OCHA), about 1.85million people were affected by Cyclone Idai.

In the face of this destruction and death, several heroes emerged. The world responded positively to the disaster with donations pouring in from governments, individuals, and organizations such as WFP, UNICEF, MSF, OCHA, UNISDR, Samaritan’s Purse, and others. South Africans responded generously to their Zimbabwean neighbours’ plight, sending donations from the citizens, companies and members of the Diplomatic Corps to help the victims of the Cyclone.

One 71-year old grandmother named Plaxedes Dilon, a native of Zimbabwe, walked over ten miles to donate clothes to the unfortunate victims of the Cyclone. She had bought the clothes to resell but when she heard about the devastation wreaked by Cyclone Idai, she decided to donate them instead.

Her selfless action drew the attention of the Zimbabwe’s richest man who then promised to build her a house.

Plaxedes Dilon trudged on foot from near her home in downtown Harare to the Highlands Presbyterian Church to donate bundles of clothes to victims.

She heard about the devastation of Cyclone Idai, which has killed more than 700 people, on the radio after spending a long day selling clothing and decided to offer her wares to charity.

Church volunteers posted a photo of Ms Dilon with a sack balanced on her head, adding she could not afford to pay for a bus from her neighbourhood of Mbare. 

Her selfless act went viral and was noticed by Zimbabwe’s richest man, Strive Masiyiwa, who offered to build Ms Dilon a home wherever she wants in the country.

The rest of Dillon’s story can be found here, here, and here.

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Plaxedes Dilon walked over ten miles to the Highlands Presbyterian Church in Zimbabwe’s capital Harare to deliver donations to cyclone survivors. Source: Daily Mail UK

This is the 23th celebration of the WE ARE THE WORLD BLOGFEST #WATWB which is carried out every last Friday of the month, and which aims to spread love and positiveness in this vulnerable world. A celebration of heroes who can still restore our faith in humanity, especially in this period when our world seems to be full of endless series of horrible happenings.

Our generous co-hosts for this month are: Shilpa GargInderpreet UppalLizbeth HartzEric Lahti and myself.

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To sign up for We Are The World Blogfest, please see the guidelines below.

~~~GUIDELINES~~~

  1. Keep your post to below 500 words, as much as possible.
  2. All we ask is you link to a human news story on your blog on the last Friday of each month, one that shows love, humanity, and brotherhood. Something like this news  about a man who only fosters terminally ill children.
  3. Join us on the last Friday of each month in sharing news that warms the cockles of our heart. No story is too big or small, as long as it goes beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.
  4. Place the WE ARE THE WORLD Badge on your sidebar, and help us spread the word on social media. Tweets, Facebook shares, G+ shares using the #WATWB hashtag through the month most welcome. More Blogfest signups mean more friends, love and light for all of us.
  5. We’ll read and comment on each others’ posts, get to know each other better, and hopefully, make or renew some friendships with everyone who signs on as participants in the coming months.
  6. To signup, add your link in WE ARE THE WORLD Linky List

For years, Saja Pahad village in Chhattisgarh’s Koriya district (in India) faced water shortage. Villagers found it difficult to quench the thirst of their cattle, but they did not know what to do. And the government, too, did nothing.

Then one day 15-year-old Shyam Lal decided to take his spade and dig a pond. Fellow villagers laughed at him. But the tribal teenager was determined.

Lal identified a spot in the forest in and kept digging — for 27 years, according to villagers.

The result is nothing less than that of Bihar’s mountain man, Dashrath Manjhi — a one-acre 15-feet deep pond, which is filled with the elixir of life.

“No one helped me in my work, neither the administration nor the villagers,” the 42-year-old beams proudly, adding that he did it for the welfare of the people and the cattle of his village.

Villagers hail him as a role model and saviour. Ramsaran Bargar (70), a local who witnessed Shyam toil through the years, says, “The pond is now used by everyone and we are all thankful to him.”

Sources said Saja Pahad, which lies near a hillock under Chirimiri, still does not have electricity or proper road connectivity. The only source of water for the villagers is a couple of wells.

Lal’s work comes as a relief at a time Chhattisgarh is suffering from drought-like situation this year. The rainfall has been 10% short of the average over 10 years. District collectors have been directed to ensure proper utilisation of irrigation facilities.

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Shyam Lal. Photo credit: hindustantimes.com

This is the 21th celebration of the WE ARE THE WORLD BLOGFEST #WATWB which is carried out every last Friday of the month, and which aims to spread love and positiveness in this vulnerable world. A celebration of heroes who can still restore our faith in humanity, especially in this period when our world seems to be full of endless series of horrible happenings.

Our generous co-hosts for this month are: Inderpreet Uppal Shilpa Garg,  Sylvia McGrath , Belinda WitzenHausen, and myself.

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To sign up for We Are The World Blogfest, please see the guidelines below.

~~~GUIDELINES~~~

  1. Keep your post to below 500 words, as much as possible.
  2. All we ask is you link to a human news story on your blog on the last Friday of each month, one that shows love, humanity, and brotherhood. Something like this news  about a man who only fosters terminally ill children.
  3. Join us on the last Friday of each month in sharing news that warms the cockles of our heart. No story is too big or small, as long as it goes beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.
  4. Place the WE ARE THE WORLD Badge on your sidebar, and help us spread the word on social media. Tweets, Facebook shares, G+ shares using the #WATWB hashtag through the month most welcome. More Blogfest signups mean more friends, love and light for all of us.
  5. We’ll read and comment on each others’ posts, get to know each other better, and hopefully, make or renew some friendships with everyone who signs on as participants in the coming months.
  6. To signup, add your link in WE ARE THE WORLD Linky List

 

If you would like to help out in saving a school, you could also sign up for theValentine’s Day :Show the Love , Save a School Blogathon . It is easy to join–just write about someone/ something you love. You can combine it with your WATWB post.
 
You could also chip in to the fundraiser here, only if you’re so inclined.

A while back, a man from Odisha, India, singlehandedly carved an 8km (5-mile) road through hilly terrain so that his children attend school.

His three sons used to spend six hours walking from their boarding school in Phulbani to the village of Gumsahi where Nayak lives. Fed up with seeing his kids stumble down the dangerous route, the 45-year-old vegetable seller grabbed a chisel, a pickax, and a garden hoe and began digging a safer path.

 

In a remote village in India’s state of Odisha, the schoolchildren needed to walk through 10 kilometers (6 mi) of thick brush, climbing up and down hills and boulders in each direction for three hours. It’s understandable why many of these kids gave up on their education.

But a father named Jalandhar Nayak was determined that his sons would receive an education. His boys moved closer to the school, and Nayak began to work. Armed with only a pickaxe and a crowbar, Nayak began clearing a road to the village in 2016. He pushed boulders and dug the earth so that it would be a flat surface. He worked from sunup until sundown, eight hours a day every day for two years straight.

A local news outlet heard about Nayak’s story. The government agreed that the village needed a road, so they paid him for his time and took over the construction where he left off. Once he got the media’s attention, he requested that the village get access to running water and electricity, too. After generations of this village having been so far removed from civilization, one man’s actions helped the entire community.

The rest of Jalandhar Naya’s story can be found here, here, and here.

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Jalandhar Nayak. OdishaTV

This is the 20th celebration of the WE ARE THE WORLD BLOGFEST #WATWB which is carried out every last Friday of the month, and which aims to spread love and positiveness in this vulnerable world. A celebration of heroes who can still restore our faith in humanity, especially in this period when our world seems to be full of endless series of horrible happenings.

Our generous co-hosts for this month are:  Inderpreet UppalSylvia Stein, Shilpa GargSimon FalkDamyanti Biswas.

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To sign up for We Are The World Blogfest, please see the guidelines below.

~~~GUIDELINES~~~

  1. Keep your post to below 500 words, as much as possible.
  2. All we ask is you link to a human news story on your blog on the last Friday of each month, one that shows love, humanity, and brotherhood. Something like this news  about a man who only fosters terminally ill children.
  3. Join us on the last Friday of each month in sharing news that warms the cockles of our heart. No story is too big or small, as long as it goes beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.
  4. Place the WE ARE THE WORLD Badge on your sidebar, and help us spread the word on social media. Tweets, Facebook shares, G+ shares using the #WATWB hashtag through the month most welcome. More Blogfest signups mean more friends, love and light for all of us.
  5. We’ll read and comment on each others’ posts, get to know each other better, and hopefully, make or renew some friendships with everyone who signs on as participants in the coming months.
  6. To signup, add your link in WE ARE THE WORLD Linky List

An American man named Mohamed Bzeek from Los Angeles has been taking care of terminally ill children for the past 20 years. He has cared for 40 children so far.

Bzeek is the only foster parent in the county known to take in terminally ill children.

Bzeek, originally from Libya, was introduced to foster care by the woman he fell in love with, Dawn, who would die in 2013 to his devastation.

She [Dawn] had become a foster parent in the early 1980s, before she met Bzeek. Her grandparents had been foster parents, and she was inspired by them, Bzeek said. Before she met Bzeek, she opened her home as an emergency shelter for foster children who needed immediate placement or who were placed in protective custody.

Dawn Bzeek fell in love with every child she took in. She took them to professional holiday photo sessions, and she organized Christmas gift donation drives for foster children.

Mohamed Bzeek started caring for foster children with his wife Dawn in 1989. Often, the children were ill and sometimes they died, leaving the Bzeeks in intolerable pain. By the mid-1990s, the Bzeeks decided to specifically care for terminally ill children.

The children were going to die. Mohamed Bzeek knew that. But in his more than two decades as a foster father, he took them in anyway — the sickest of the sick in Los Angeles County’s sprawling foster care system.

He has buried about 10 children. Some died in his arms. Now, Bzeek spends long days and sleepless nights caring for a bedridden 6-year-old foster girl with a rare brain defect. She’s blind and deaf. She has daily seizures. Her arms and legs are paralyzed.

“I know she can’t hear, can’t see, but I always talk to her,” he said. “I’m always holding her, playing with her, touching her. … She has feelings. She has a soul. She’s a human being.

“The key is, you have to love them like your own,” Bzeek said recently. “I know they are sick. I know they are going to die. I do my best as a human being and leave the rest to God.”

The rest of Bzeek’s story can be found here in Los Angeles Times.

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Mohamed Bzeek with a foster child

In a time when the 24-hour news cycle bombards us with stories of tragedy, heartbreak and deceit, it can be difficult to keep our heads up and remain optimistic about the world we live in. But amid the tragedy and sadness, we receive daily glimpses of hope and happiness—moments when our spirits are lifted and we’re reminded of the generosity and kindness of others. 

This is the 19th celebration of the WE ARE THE WORLD BLOGFEST #WATWB which is carried out every last Friday of the month, and which aims to spread love and positiveness in this vulnerable world. A celebration of heroes who can still restore our faith in humanity, especially in this period when our world seems to be full of endless series of horrible happenings.

Our generous co-hosts for this month are:  Eric Lahti Inderpreet UppalShilpa GargDamyanti Biswas, and myself.

watw-turquoise-badge-275-x241-white

To sign up for We Are The World Blogfest, please see the guidelines below.

~~~GUIDELINES~~~

  1. Keep your post to below 500 words, as much as possible.
  2. All we ask is you link to a human news story on your blog on the last Friday of each month, one that shows love, humanity, and brotherhood. Something like this news  about a man who only fosters terminally ill children.
  3. Join us on the last Friday of each month in sharing news that warms the cockles of our heart. No story is too big or small, as long as it goes beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.
  4. Place the WE ARE THE WORLD Badge on your sidebar, and help us spread the word on social media. Tweets, Facebook shares, G+ shares using the #WATWB hashtag through the month most welcome. More Blogfest signups mean more friends, love and light for all of us.
  5. We’ll read and comment on each others’ posts, get to know each other better, and hopefully, make or renew some friendships with everyone who signs on as participants in the coming months.
  6. To signup, add your link in WE ARE THE WORLD Linky List

 

There is a doctor in this world who has saved more rape victims than almost anyone else. His name is Dr. Denis Mukwege and he comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was once described by the UN as the “Rape Capital of the World.”

A 2010 study found that four women are raped every five minutes.

That is a terrifying figure of 1,152 women every 24 hours.

Much of the research conducted about sexual violence in the DRC has focused on violence against and rape of women as related to these armed conflict, mostly occurring in the eastern region of the country. The eastern region of the country does have the highest rates of sexual violence, and much of it is perpetrated by armed militia groups.

DRC has been a warzone for a long, long time. The land is rich in raw materials such as rubber, ivory, gold, diamonds, uranium, coltan and timber. Coltan is used in the smartphones. As with almost anything that people value dearly, love quickly turns into obsession, hell quickly breaks loose and establishes a formidable dominion over all concerned. Consequently, the DRC has suffered from war, corruption, death, disease, hunger, mercenaries, child labour, child soldiers and rape. Rape, sexual violence, and the abuse of women is the tragedy within the tragedy there.

It has been reported that the international corporations (mostly the US, Chinese, and European Companies) that benefit from the raw materials produced in DRC are responsible for the armed conflicts there.

The use of rape as weapon of war, rape as a weapon of genocide, has been frequent and widespread in the DRC, especially in the eastern side of the country.

War rape makes a particularly effective weapon because it not only destroys its physical victims, but entire communities as well. War, violence, and instability have ravaged the DRC for decades, and this has led to a culture of violence in war and civilian life that often takes its form in a sexual nature.

The situation of women in eastern DRC is too painful to bear and it can fill the heart with bitterness and hate, with apathy and despair.

To make it even worse, rape victims are often abandoned and marginalised by their communities.

Despite the trauma, despite the everlasting agony, the pain and the despair, of being subjected to rape and sexual violence, even gang rape and genocidal rape, the communities still ostracise and discriminate against the victims. It is cruel.

But hope is not lost.

Dr. Denis Mukwege is the hope that shines for these women.

Every day, 10 new women and girls who have been raped show up at his hospital. Many have been so sadistically attacked from the inside out, butchered by bayonets and assaulted with chunks of wood, that their reproductive and digestive systems are beyond repair.

He is the main street of hope for thousands in eastern Congo. He has stayed in a warzone for 14 years and practised medicine with bare medical resources and witnessed the unbearable enacted on the vaginas and bodies of women day after day. He has invented surgeries to meet the acts of cruelty and has helped repair 30,000 rape victims. He has opened and maintained a hospital providing ongoing care in a place with no roads, no water, no electricity, minimal internet or phone and rampant insecurity.

He has done this and has been the head pastor at his church and a teacher and a fundraiser and a mentor of hundreds of doctors and the head of the Panzi Foundation, which is responsible for opening justice centres and the City of Joy. Everything he does, he does with dignity, kindness and composure. He is beloved. In any village in South Kivu, his arrival is much like the arrival of the pope – throngs of people greet him, thousands of women whose lives he has saved or healed or touched celebrate him. We have few heroes in this world, few who have given their lives and souls for the safety and health of their people.

Few who are driven by such purity of love and service . . . A hero walks among us and his people.

Dr. Mukwege has been attacked in his home and shot by armed militia men, rapists and violent evil men who hate the hope that he gives to the world. His undying love still shines, though, and this year he won the Nobel Peace Prize for his humanitarian actions in the DRC. He runs Panzi Hospital which cares for victims of sexual violence.

The rest of his story can be found here, here, here, and here.

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Dr. Denis Mukwege

This is the 18th celebration of the WE ARE THE WORLD BLOGFEST #WATWB which is carried out every last Friday of the month, and which aims to spread love and positiveness in this vulnerable world. A celebration of heroes who can still restore our faith in humanity, especially in this period when our world seems to be full of endless series of horrible happenings.

Our generous co-hosts for this month are:  Eric LahtiInderpreet UppalShilpa GargMary Giese, and Roshan Radhakrishnan

watw-turquoise-badge-275-x241-white

To sign up for We Are The World Blogfest, please see the guidelines below.

~~~GUIDELINES~~~

  1. Keep your post to below 500 words, as much as possible.
  2. All we ask is you link to a human news story on your blog on the last Friday of each month, one that shows love, humanity, and brotherhood. Something like this news  about a man who only fosters terminally ill children.
  3. Join us on the last Friday of each month in sharing news that warms the cockles of our heart. No story is too big or small, as long as it goes beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.
  4. Place the WE ARE THE WORLD Badge on your sidebar, and help us spread the word on social media. Tweets, Facebook shares, G+ shares using the #WATWB hashtag through the month most welcome. More Blogfest signups mean more friends, love and light for all of us.
  5. We’ll read and comment on each others’ posts, get to know each other better, and hopefully, make or renew some friendships with everyone who signs on as participants in the coming months.
  6. To signup, add your link in WE ARE THE WORLD Linky List