Most tourists come to Tanzania to take a photo safari through a wonderland of wildlife. There are few places on earth that can match it. On the other hand, there are an increasing number of tourists who come to Tanzania to comfort a dying old lady or hold a little orphan girl. It’s called “voluntourism.” More
A new report says this year Americans gave record amounts of private charitable donations. Another report says Americans donated nearly $3 billion to post-hurricane relief efforts. Yet nearly four months after Hurricane Katrina, the magnitude of the destruction is still difficult to comprehend. In the midst of it, many people here say the themes of Christmas are echoing in new and poignant ways.
In Darfur, in western Sudan, a perfect storm of religious, racial, political, military, and environmental conflicts produced warnings of a humanitarian disaster. But that has been averted for now by a massive relief effort. The situation is still dangerous, especially because of marauding fighters called the Janjaweed, but refugees are being cared for. More
By most standards, filmmaker Gerry Straub’s career is in a tailspin. His earnings have dropped significantly, but he’s not complaining. He believes that happiness is measured not by what you earn, but by what you are able to give away. He’s let go of almost everything except his work. Straub makes documentaries about the world’s poverty, hoping it will motivate us to do something about it. More
In response to multiple attacks on foreigners, the UN, the Red Cross, Oxfam, and Care International have pulled their staffs out of Iraq. Yet other humanitarian aid workers remain, risking their lives to help the needy. Their work is difficult, not only because of the violence, but because many Iraqis are suspicious of them, wondering whether aid workers are really occupiers.
Aki Ra is a truly remarkable and extraordinarily brave man. He is a Cambodian, and was orphaned as a child. Then, before he was a teenager, he became a soldier. Now, he is devoting his life — and risking it, almost daily — compensating for, atoning for, the harm he once did. Ra defuses and clears land mines, the ones he once placed, so they won’t kill or maim any more of his countrymen. More