Need in the News, Vol. IV, Issue 4

Rescuers work amidst rubble left by the earthquake that struck Nepal on Saturday, April 25. (By Hilmi Hacaloğlu, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)
Rescuers work amidst rubble left by the earthquake that struck Nepal on Saturday, April 25. (By Hilmi Hacaloğlu, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

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 April’s most need-in-the-news-worthy stories:

NEPAL — More than 5,000 people have been confirmed dead after an earthquake struck Nepal last week.

UNITED STATES — In Baltimore, Md., peaceful protests of alleged police brutality that brought about the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray turned to riots in the streets. It remains to be seen whether the officers involved in the incident will be charged.

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC — According to the United Nations, the war-torn Central African Republic has a population of 4.6 million people and 2.7 million of them are in need of basic assistance.

AFRICA & SOUTHERN EUROPETwo Eritrean boys joined the present-day saga of Middle Eastern and African migrants escaping violence and other problems in their countries for the hope of more opportunities in Europe. More than 170,000 people made similar treks last year and a similar number are expected this year. Last week, a smuggler’s boat crammed with hundreds of hopeful migrants rammed into a merchant vessel sent to carry them to safety. More than 800 people perished. According to Italian authorities, their ships have rescued 10,000 people just over the last several weeks.

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

KATHMANDU (Nepal) — A teenager was pulled alive from wreckage by rescuers today, 80 hours after a massive earthquake shook Nepal.

LACEY (Washington)Brady Olson, a teacher at North Thurston High School, helped subdue a 16-year-old student who fired a gun inside the school.

DENVER (Colorado)Sir Martin grew up around and in gangs in inner-city Denver, but a chance meeting outside his high school led him to apply for a job with Project Voyce. Now Martin is helping young teens follow that same path.

MEDITERRANEAN SEAChristopher and Regina Catrambone made millions and now they are using their money to operate the 131-foot vessel Phoenix to rescue migrants in danger on the Mediterranean Sea.

WINDHAM COUNTY (Vermont)Ronald Read was a janitor who died last summer at 92. He made news recently because his estate was valued at $8 million.

BANGLADESH and BEYOND — Photographer Ismail Ferdous, of Bangladesh, doesn’t care how far he has to go to tell worthwhile stories worldwide.

Stories worth reflection:

SHE WROTE HER OWN OBITUARY — Before a wife and mother of two died of cancer, she wrote her own obituary.

HOW WILL CALIFORNIA SURVIVE ITS DROUGHT? — One idea is to recycle shower and bathwater.

WHEN ACTIVISM DOESN’T WORK — One year after the popular #BringBackOurGirls campaign, Nigeria’s lost schoolgirls are still missing.

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