Need in the News, Vol. III, Issue 8

At the end of every month, I summarize local, national and international “stories of need” from news sites, blogs, press releases and editorials. The following are some of August’s most need-in-the-news-worthy stories:

WEST AFRICA — The World Health Organization is projecting 20,000 people could contract Ebola before the current outbreak of the virus ends. The outbreak in Sierra Leone has been traced to its likely source, the funeral of a local traditional healer.

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC — The U.N. distributed 500,000 mosquito nets to families in Bangui, as armed conflict in the C.A.R. rages on.

KASHMIRBorder tensions between India and Pakistan escalated recently, causing 15,000 Kashmiris to flee their homes.

Protesters demonstrating down West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, Mo. (By Loavesofbread via Wikimedia Commons)
Protesters demonstrating down West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, Mo. (By Loavesofbread via Wikimedia Commons)

FERGUSON (Missouri) — Since the officer-related shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown earlier this month, this St. Louis-area community has become a “ground zero” for racial tension and polarizing rhetoric in America. Now that nightly protests have given way to mourning and relatively civil discussion, can Ferguson and the rest of the country find a way forward?

At times, what gets lost in the concern and clamor over major local, national and international events and issues, are ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Here are a few I’ve heard about recently:

MONROVIA (Liberia) These are the people who are risking their lives to collect the bodies of those who have died from Ebola.

THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA — According to the U.N. Refugee Agency, 1,889 people have died in Mediterranean waters this year while trying to get from Africa to Europe. After hearing a call from the Pope for entrepreneurs to help migrants in need during their perilous sea journey, Chris and Regina Catrambone of Malta, decided to buy a boat and help.

SOUTH SUDAN — A family of Raggae singers is using its art to encourage its neighbors to work hard to stave off famine.

SEATTLE (Washington) — Kris and Erika Kalberer currently live in their car, but they aren’t letting that reality offer the final word on their lives or their future.

FERGUSON (Missouri)Jameila White handed out water and snacks to people protesting Michael Brown’s shooting death in Ferguson, Mo. She wound up getting maced after joining other volunteers in a line to keep protesters and police apart.

Stories worth reflection:

DOCUMENTARY OFFERS HOPE — If you have a loved one affected by Alzheimer’s you might consider watching There is a Bridge.

ORPHANAGE OR FOSTER CARE? — A recent study found that kids can do as well in orphanages as they would in foster care.

“AVERAGE” DEBT — The average debt incurred by college graduates in the United States in $26,000.

WHAT IS BURNING MAN? — The enigmatic summer-end festival in the Nevada desert attracts thousands.

HOW TO INTEGRATE YOUR LIFE? — Harvard says this is how to integrate all the aspects of your life.

LEARNING WITHOUT A HOMEThis report looks at the plight of the 23,000 homeless students in Colorado.

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