Posts Tagged ‘Relationships’

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.

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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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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.

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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

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.

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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 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.

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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

We are all born innocent. We are born with young, feeble limbs waiting to grow strong and serve humanity, and an almost empty brain waiting to learn from the world. We never ever ask to be born. We never ever ask to be brought here. But once you are born, you begin experiencing the world as it is. Depending on where you are born, and of whom, your first taste of the world can be varied from too lovely to too hostile, from too sweet to too bitter.

If you are the child of a sex worker, who herself is subjected to repeated abuse and contempt, your chances of ever having a full positive life begin in the negatives and linger there for days on end.

In Dhaka, Bangladesh, one tender-hearted, compassionate woman cares for the children of sex workers.

Hazera Begum was born in an abusive family. When she gathered the courage to run away to her aunt, who lived in a different part of the city, she got lost and ended up in the streets. Hungry, unwashed, foraging for food and work, she later met a woman who sold her to a brothel. She was eleven years old.

It was in that hell of rape and torture and suicide and never-ending series of abortions that she learned of the inimical fate of the children of sex workers.

“Actually, I saw that the children of sex workers often end up in the streets. No one wanted them. They were suffering very pathetically.”

The children face too much discrimination even in school. Normal parents do not want their children mixing with the children of sex workers.

Hazera says that it is the little girls she worried about the most. She didn’t want them going through what she herself had gone through. Abandoned girls are more prone to being sold away for sex work.

When she could, she quit the brothel and set up a facility for the children. She now takes care of as many as 35 of them. Sex workers in the city know her and they bring her their rejected children.

“She knows from her own traumatic personal experience that the children of sex workers can have a rough time. They’re often shunned, end up on the streets or in the same trade as their mothers. So Hazera looks after as many as she can – 35 at the current count – all living in her home. For some, it’s the only chance they’ll have to get fed, clothed and educated.”

She loves the children as her own.

“Love has no limits. They love me and I love them. And they call me mum. Likewise, I treat them as my own children. I enjoy and love it so much.”

Hazera’s story is found here.

Hazera Begum

Hazera Begum. Photo Courtesy of BBC.

This is the twelfth 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 GargEric Lahti,  Belinda McGrath WitzenhausenSylvia McGrath, and  Sylvia Stein.

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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

When war breaks out in a country, families scatter and sometimes remain separated for years on end. It is traumatizing to lose loved ones without knowing their actual fate. The suspense due to the loss and the subsequent sense of emptiness can be devastating to an individual and can leave them in a constant state of despair.

The recent exodus of the Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar into Bangladesh has created such a situation. Fleeing persecution and genocide from home, the Rohingyas have lost not only their livelihoods but also their children.

They are currently in a refugee camp in Bangladesh where one man, KAMAL HUSSEIN, helps them reunite with their lost children.

Kamal himself fled Myanmar into Bangladesh when he was nine years old in the 1990’s. He was sheltered by a kind family before his parents found him six months later. His parents had thought he was dead. He had missed them so much, and he had caused them so much pain, that the memory of those days continue to inspire him to help desperate parents find their lost children.

He has so far reunited 700 children with their families. He has a booth and a megaphone which he uses to search for the missing children. He also protects the children from  suspicious people who falsely claim them. He has a paying job but he volunteers to search for the children during his free time.

He says: “I want to keep on doing this as long as I can. I mean, I have been through the same experience. Reuniting other families helps me forget the pain that I went through. This work is the most important thing in my life.”

Kamal’s full story can be found here.

Kamal Hussein

Photo Courtesy of BBC

This is the ninth 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:   Damyanti Biswas, Sylvia Stein, Susan Scott, Inderpreet Uppal, Shilpa Garg, and Andrea Michaels.

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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 May this year, Muslim militants linked to the dreaded (but now defeated) ISIS attacked the Philippine city of Marawi on the island of Mindanao.

As the fighting raged on between the Philippine army and the militants, the latter began hunting down Christians. They would meet random people in the city and ask them to recite the Qur’an, failure to which would lead to merciless executions.

It was in this period that one kind-hearted man, Norodin Alonto Lucman, a prominent Muslim in the area decided to save the persecuted Christians. He started by hiding his Christian workers as soon as he heard the news of the executions. Not long after, however, more and more Christians poured into his compound. They came with their children, the youngest of whom was ten months old.

It was a great risk for him and he was scared. He could have run away and left them to their fate but he stayed in order to save them. He says:

“The first thing that came to my mind was to save these people. I had a chance to leave. I had three cars in the house. I could have left, put my belongings there and then leave but I figured if I left these civilians will die.”

Later on, when he had a total of 67 Christians in is home and he was quickly running out of food to give them, he took even a greater risk to lead them to safety outside the city. He disguised the women to look like Muslim women and made the men to carry the babies so that they all looked like couples. Then he taught them how to recite a Muslim prayer and bravely led them out of the city at dawn. On the way, more people from neighbouring homes joined them until they were about 144 in total, excluding him.

Alonto says:

“I saved their lives because I had to save their lives, because they came to my house and asked for help. It is a human thing. It is not something about being a Christian or a Muslim. They are human beings like me.”

His home was burnt down by the militants.

Alonto’s full story is found here.

Norodin Alonto Lucman

Norodine Alonto Lucman, Source: BBC

This is the eighth 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:   Belinda McGrath Witzenhausen, Sylvia McGrathMary GieseShilpa Garg, and Guilie Castillo.

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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