Posts Tagged ‘Relationships’

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.

Lion Mama

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.

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
Advertisements

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.

Dilon

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.

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

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.

Shyam Lal.2

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.

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

 

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.

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.

MB1

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

 

Sometime in 2015, the Taliban attempted to recapture an Afghan city called Kunduz. War began between the Taliban and the government military. All roads were closed and hospitals became battlefields. People were trapped in hospitals for weeks. Hospitals were running out of medicine, blood, and even food. One hospital was blown up by a mortar.

A gynaecologist named Dr. Marzia Salam Yaftali was working at the last-standing public hospital in the city. She couldn’t go to work during the attack and it worried her sick. The situation was getting worse. The injured kept arriving at the hospital despite the diminishing supplies.

I was desperate to go to work but I couldn’t because all the roads were closed and the hospital was a battlefield. It was in the crossfire between the Taliban and the government troops. My colleagues were trapped in the hospital for two weeks. No one could leave.

One night when the fighting had worsened uncontrollably, Dr. Marzia was called to help her neighbour deliver twins.

There was heavy fighting one night. The battle was going on from street to street and house to house. It was so bad that no one dared to leave their homes. If you were shot at no one would know if it was from the Taliban or government troops. My family was hiding in the basement.

Around 8 o’clock in the evening, there was banging on our door. We were terrified. But it was a neighbour. They had a lady staying with them called Fatma. She was young and pregnant with twins. But it hadn’t been an easy pregnancy. My neighbour said, ‘Please come. Fatma is going into labour. We need your help.’

Dr. Marzia was living with her sister, also a doctor. But her sister refused point-blank to go outside. The risk was too great. She had her own children to look after and going outside meant certain death.

Dr. Marzia had to decide what to do. She had met Fatma and seen the scan of her babies.

I knew that if I didn’t go, Fatma would die.

When I stepped outside the front door, there was a rain of bullets. It was absolutely terrifying.

I was running. I will never forget that night. There were NATO airplanes above. It was pitch-black but I could see the laser lights coming from the jets looking for the Taliban fighters. I ran like I had never run before. The neighbour’s house was ten minutes away but it felt like a whole hour.

Dr. Marzia managed to deliver the first baby. Unfortunately, the second baby was trapped at the shoulder and needed caesarean section to be delivered. She needed a hospital.

I called my government contacts and asked them to send a military tank to take us to the hospital. Then I rang the hospital and my colleagues there said absolutely not. You cannot come here. The hospital is a war zone. Earlier a patient and his father left the hospital and were shot. Their bodies are still outside in the driveway and no one dares to pick them up. The same could happen to you. Don’t come.

The rest of Dr. Marzia’s story can be found here.

Dr. Marzia

Dr. Marzia Salam Yaftali. Photo by BBC.

 

This is the 16th 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 GargBelinda WitzenhausenSylvia McGrath, Simon Falk, and Andrea Michaels.

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

Some days you come across a horror story about the agonies of sex-trafficked women. Young girls in their teens–children, really–kidnapped or sold, enslaved, abused, tortured, raped, degraded, and dehumanized, their bodies full of cuts and burns and bruises and deformities, their eyes wells of deep-rooted fear and despair, their children sold without their knowledge–they have no hope but to die.

In the Italian town of Caserta, near Naples, a little hope shines there for these women, growing bigger and bigger every day.

Sister Rita Garietta dedicates her life to helping women trafficked for sex. She was initially a nurse and a trade union representative, but when she was 29, she quit her job to follow a calling, becoming a nun. Later on, she left her home city for Caserta where, together with other nuns, opened Casa Ruth, a shelter for victims of sex trafficking in Caserta.

When she first saw the young girls on the streets, she was worried. All of them were about fifteen and sixteen years old. Sister Garietta was with a few other nuns and they stopped the vehicle to talk to the girls, thereby beginning a new journey in her life which would see her become families with the enslaved women.

“When there are stories about loss of dignity, you never get used to them,” she says after encountering the young girls and listening to their harrowing stories.

“What happens to your heart is that it grows in tenderness. This is the essence of Casa Ruth . . . of feeling loved with no judgement. It is a process of healing to the girls. They call us ‘Mama’ and every time we hear this, it sends a shiver down our spines. Being a mother today is about joy, it is about responsibility. It is about the responsibility of being entrusted with the care of other people’s lives,” she says about her experience with the women.

“My reward is joy . . . and the smiles. When these women arrive, they are desperate, and the pain is etched on their faces. Then the lines relax, joy sets in, hope sets in . . . All I want to do is to bring light into these people’s lives.”

Sister Garietta’s rich story can be found here and also here.

Rita Garieta

Sister Rita Garietta, BBC

This is the 14th 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, Damyanti Biswas, Andrea Michaels, Inderpreet Uppal, 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

In a world where humans are increasingly isolated and the cost of healthcare is always rising, being pregnant and homeless can be too harsh an experience. Every child deserves a home to grow up in, but looking forward to having a child who will never have a home or a country can fill the heart with despair.

Fortunately, there are women like Memuna Sowe whose compassion, love, and kindness  lead them to dedicate their lives in helping the unfortunate women in the world.

Memuna helps pregnant drug addicts, asylum seekers, street families, and people who have escaped war-torn countries with only their lives.

 Memuna Sowe is Britain’s midwife of the year according to the British Journal of Midwifery. Memuna stands out from many of her colleagues because she devotes her life to helping marginalised pregnant women, including asylum seekers and rough sleepers. Her family are originally from Sierra Leone. They inspired her to take up her chosen career.

Memuna’s story can be found here.

Mamuna

Memuna Sowe, BBC

This is the 13th 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 Antion, Simon Falk, Michelle Wallace, and Mary J. Giese.

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