Children Become Artists Become Journalists Become Darfur.

You’re fluent in international development, human rights law, medicine, or the arts? That’s amazing! But when it comes to rallying the rest of us, sometimes we need to be sold on the idea in our own native tongue, with strong communication. I was just talking with a co-worker about the need for non-profits to translate … Continue reading

30%. Gone.

As of May, more than 5.5 million people had fled their homes as a result of the conflict in Syria. That’s nearly 30% of the country, or 1.5 million refugees outside of Syria and 4 million people displaced within the border. When I first read those numbers, I found myself imagining 1/3 of my building … Continue reading

Charter Cities Attempt to Reduce Poverty by Providing Options

The dominant trend in international development right now is to provide individuals with greater means to climb out of poverty on more or less their own terms. NYU development economist Paul Romer has pioneered what may be the latest, and perhaps craziest, idea in this trend.  What if we provide individuals with greater means to … Continue reading

Doing Good on Yom HaShoah

Today was Yom HaShoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day. As a Jewish commemoration, it ends in the evening at sundown rather than at midnight. It is a time to reflect and remember, and a chance to refocus our energy on preventing similar atrocities. Unfortunately, the latter half of the 20th century tells a different story than … Continue reading

How to Help Syrian Refugees

As their country enters the third year of a bitter civil war, roughly 4 million Syrians have fled their homes. At least 1 million have crossed into neighboring countries like Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, and Turkey. The rest are displaced within Syria, including a large contingency hiding out in Roman-era caves. And to make the situation … Continue reading

Who Needs More Testimony? Her Escape from North Korea

The emotional speech below is the first Ted Talk by a North Korean. Hyeonseo Lee fled her homeland when she was 14. Like other North Korean refugees who survived and found safety in South Korea and the US, she is still haunted by memories of what she saw as a child and during her escape. … Continue reading

Walking the Land of Our Fathers

I’m in East Tennessee right now, writing from my hotel, where the rooms overlook the Smokies and everyone calls me “dearie.” Every time I come here, I feel closer to my father than before. He was born here and comes from a large, historic Kingsport family that had deep ties to the land and the … Continue reading

Don’t Forget My Friends

I recently came across a CSPAN video of a September 2012 Hudson Institute panel on North Korea, in which Adrian Hong—co-founder of Liberty in North Korea (LiNK)—discusses the true extent of the problem and how it relates to each of us, even if we aren’t Korean or don’t think about the situation there very often. … Continue reading

New Roots

I’m loving the IRC’s New Roots program. It plays on the the not-so-revolutionary idea that refugees miss the food from their homelands and often arrive with significant experience in gardening and even full-scale farming. New Roots helps refugees establish gardens from Iowa to the Bronx. The program has a simple action plan with complex goals. … Continue reading

South Sudan, a Year Later

(This week, South Sudan celebrates its first Independence Day. It’s been a tough year for the new country, and even more difficult times may be ahead. So I asked the resident expert Michael to shed some light on the situation for us.) There are four major issues happening right now to keep in mind regarding … Continue reading

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