Posts Tagged ‘#WATWB’

In early 90’s a devastating civil war broke out in Burundi between the Hutu and the Tutsi people. Violent murders, rapes, displacements, and appalling suffering became the order of the day. Children were not spared, but were subjected to the same unspeakable atrocities their parents were experiencing. Things were dark.

In these bleakest of days, one woman, a teacher named Marguerite Baranktse, emerged an unlikely hero. When she was only twenty-three, she adopted a young Hutu girl aged thirteen. At first, her relatives did not welcome her decision and urged her to reject the girl, because the girl was from the Hutu people (the enemy) while Marguerite was Tutsi. Only her mother encouraged her.

Marguerite’s entire family was later slaughtered by the Hutu fighters in October 1993. They spared her because of her work.

Nevertheless, she refused to hate the Hutu people. She went on to adopt more children from both the warring Hutu and the Tutsi sides.

She had to defend them and fend for them. She had to watch people die and had to bribe the killers to save the children.

“She set up Maison Shalom, the House of Peace, in 1993, a shelter providing children displaced by Burundi’s civil war with refuge, medical care and education.”

It was an undertaking so risky at the time that people started to think of her as insane. They called her “Maggy the Madwoman”.

As the war went on, the number of her children grew to over 100,000. Later on, her efforts were recognized such benevolent organizations as the UNICEF, WFP, and ActionAid.

She says the name “Maggy the Madwoman” suits her best because what she did was crazy.

“[It is crazy] to decide sometimes alone in the streets, whether to teach love when the others are killing. I would like everybody to follow this madness, to create hope and to break this cycle of violence. To teach love.”

Marguerite’s story is found here.

Marguerite Barankitse

Marguerite Baranktse. Source: BBC

 

This is the seventh 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: Michelle Wallace, Emerald Barnes, Andrea Michaels, Shilpa Garg, 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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A strange illness has been debilitating the children of Northern Uganda. Named Nodding Disease or Nodding Syndrome, it causes the children to nod their heads rapidly and go into severe seizures similar to those caused by epilepsy. The seizures begin when the affected children are presented with food or exposed to cold temperatures. The  children become mentally and physically stunted.

MRI scans have revealed brain atrophy and damage to the regions responsponsible for memory storage and retrieval.

Recent studies have shown that the disease is caused by a water-borne parasitic worm, Onchocerca volvulus, which is also known to cause river blindness.

However, in the beginning, stigma and superstition about the disease prevented the children from receiving proper care and treatment.

Today, for the WE ARE THE WORLD BLOGFEST #WATWB, I share with you the story of one kind-hearted COLLINES ANGWECH, who dedicates her life to taking care of these unfortunate children.

Collines grew up in Northern Uganda at a time when the terrible Lord’s Resistance Army used to make frequent attacks on the villages and kidnap the children to use as soldiers and sex slaves.

Her story is found here.

Collines Angwech

Collines Angwech, Source: BBC

This is the sixth 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: Simon Falk, Inderpreet Uppal, Lynn Hallbrooks, Eric Lahti, 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

As time passes, the world becomes more and more chaotic. Humanity has been divided along every possible line and almost every nation feels the effects of the split. As our population continues to grow against the ever-dwindling resources, the cracks and crevices originally created by differences in race, gender, religion, tribes, class, etc, are increasingly turning into irreparable chasms and valleys. And at this rate, we might soon find ourselves in a world where everyone is everyone’s enemy.

In Kenya, my country, the divisions along tribal lines have escalated in recent years and they are hurting us all. The politicians, the chief national leaders who are also known for their cunning opportunism, had long since ascertained the advantages of ruling a disunited nation and exploited the situation to the hilt.

We have national elections next month–August 2017–and the country is already too tense. Regions have been marked as “hotspots” of violence and people are running away from one another. Meanwhile Kenyans online engage in a vicious tribal war of words.

It is too sad. I am terrified. I feel like a foreigner here.

It is for this reason that for today’s WE ARE THE WORLD BLOGFEST #WATWB, I searched for a subject that might, even remotely, deal with the present situation in Kenya.

So meet the extraordinary Fatuma Abdulkadir Adan who grew up in a tribally violent region of Kenya, and who, instead of threatening the warring tribes with arrests and convictions, as our leaders often do–though in vain–has found a common interest amongst the people of her region and uses it to bring them together and champion for peaceful co-existence.

Under the program she calls “Shoot to score, not to kill”, she has mobilised the youth to play Football together and hold dialogues about their cultures and causes of conflicts among them. So far she has 10,000 youth participating in the games, each one of them being an ambassador for peace.

Fatuma studied law, the knowledge of which she also uses to fight for the rights of the vulnerable women in those regions.

Her story is here.

Fatuma

Fatuma Abdulkadir Adan, Source: BBC

This is the fifth 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 July are Damyanti Biswas, Simon Falk, Roshan Radhakrishnan, Inderpreet Uppal, 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

This post is for the WE ARE THE WORLD BLOGFEST #WATWB announced early this month, and which will continue every last Friday of the coming months. The blogfest aims to spread love and positiveness in this rapidly darkening world where human relations are increasingly deteriorating. We aim to show that there is still light in this world, there are still great heroes amongst us going great lengths to do tremendous things for others, despite the overwhelming effusion of pessimism exhibited almost all around us.

The blogfest co-hosts include: Damyanti BiswasBelinda WitzenhausenEmerald BarnesEric Lahti, Inderpreet UppalKate Powell, Lynn Hallbrooks, Mary Giese, Michelle WallaceRoshan RadhakrishnanSimon Falk, Susan Scott, Sylvia McGrath, Sylvia Stein, Chrissie Parker.

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My choice for today’s post is about one extraordinary Namibian ophthalmologist who has saved 35,000 people’s sights.

Dr. Helena Ndume, known locally as “Dr. Miracle”for the unparalleled work that she does, is an unshakeable pillar of human inspiration. Growing up in the hostile apartheid era and having to make a traumatizing escape to Zambia where she lived in a refugee camp, and being only fifteen years old, she might have been expected her to harbour a vengeful heart or to use her harrowing experience as an excuse for her future failures. Instead, she turned out with a heart of gold and tremendous strength and vision exploited for the benefit of her people and for the world.

I first heard this story on BBC Outlook program and I was uplifted with a poignant sense of hope. I was inspired.

Surely to still find your humanity in these bleak, divisive times is no mean feat.

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