Can You Survive on Just $1.50 of Food and Water a Day? #Poverty

The Global Poverty Project is inviting engaged idealists the world over to spend only $1.50 a day for food and drink for five days to raise awareness for the 1.4 billion people who live below the extreme poverty line.


Because 1.4 billion people in the world live on less than $1.50 per day.

Because 10 percent of the world’s income goes to women, despite the fact that women work two-thirds of the world’s working hours.

Because 950 children die every hour from hunger or preventable diseases.

Because 884 million people in the world don’t have access to clean drinking water.

In 2012, roughly 15,000 Live Below the Line participants raised over $3 million dollars for organizations working to fight poverty globally. The Global Poverty Project wants to double the number of participants in 2013.

Are you in? Register here to participate in the official global Live Below the Line week from April 29 – May 3, 2013.


699 #Children Thank The Man Who Saved Them From a Death Camp #Holocaust

Nicholas Winton is surprised when he realizes he is in an audience filled with children whose lives he saved. This emotional video clip is from the BBC television program “That’s Life”.

“I was told that my sister and I were going to be sent to England. I was only 9 and not aware of the situation. A lot of us thought it was an adventure. We didn’t know what was happening.”

Here’s what happened. Milena Grenfell-Baines and 668 other mostly Jewish children were transported from Czechoslovakia to England in order to save their lives before the outbreak of WWII.

The man who made this possible was Sir Nicholas Winton. In 1939, Winton and a friend, Martin Blake, were supposed to take a skiing vacation. Instead, Blake, who worked with refugees, told Winton, at the time a 29-year-old stockbroker, that he should visit him in Prague and help with the refugees fleeing Hitler’s advancing armies.

Nicholas Winton did go to Prague, and he was deeply affected by what he saw: thousands of refugees driven out of Sudetenland, a Czechoslovakian area recently under Nazi control (Britain and France agreed to allow Hitler to annex a large part of Czechoslovakia in an attempt to avoid a World War and the Nazis had started to take control of the country.) There was no plan to save the refugees from the looming danger of the Nazis.

So Winton decided to act. He told the BBC, “The task was enormous but I had to do something. The so-called Kindertransports—initiatives to bring children west—had been organized elsewhere, but not in Prague.”

“Everybody in Prague said, ‘Look, there is no organization in Prague to deal with refugee children, nobody will let the children go on their own, but if you want to have a go, have a go.’”

Winton contacted multiple governments for help, but only England and Sweden agreed. The British government approved his bringing children to the UK if he could find them homes and make a deposit of 50 pounds for each child.

From March to August 1939, Winton worked as a stockbroker by day and a rescue worker at night to get the kids to the UK. Winton advertised in British newspapers and in churches and temples to find families. He raised money for transportation and managed logistics—even forging entry permits when the government was moving too slowly.

Winton saved 669 children, working until war broke out and kids could no longer leave Czechoslovakia.

Winton stresses that he receives too much attention and that his collaborator in Prague—Trevor Chadwick—and everyone who participated deserves credit.

In fact, Winton kept his heroic deeds to himself for almost 50 years. His wife, Grete, didn’t even know about his rescue efforts until 1988, when she found his scrapbook in the attic, with records, photos, names and documents from his efforts. With his wife’s encouragement, Winton shared his story, which led to his appearance on the BBC television program That’s Life. The emotional video clip in this article is from that show—you’ll see the moment when he realizes that the studio audience is composed mostly of people he rescued.

The rescued children, many of them now grandparents, still refer to themselves as “Winton’s children.” And Winton said that hardly a week goes by when he isn’t in touch with one of the children or their relatives.

Vera Gissing, one of the rescued children, said, “If he hadn’t gone to Prague on that day [instead of on his skiing vacation], we wouldn’t be alive. There are thousands of us in this world all thanks to him.”

When asked by a class doing a history project for advice, Nicholas Winton said “Don’t be content in your life just to do no wrong. Be prepared every day to try to do some good.”

Sign a Petition to Nominate Sir Nicholas Winton for Nobel Peace Prize

Why We Expect More From #Technology And Less From Each Other


“Technology reshapes the landscape of  our emotional lives, but is it offering the lives we want to lead?”

–  Sherry Turkle

The following is an excerpt from Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology And Less From Each Other by Sherry Turkle and originally appeared on on February 19, 2013.

Online connections were first conceived as a substitute for face-to-face contact, when the latter was for some reason impractical: Don’t have time to make a phone call? Shoot off a text message. But very quickly, the text message became the connection of choice. We discovered the network—the world of connectivity—to be uniquely suited to the overworked and overscheduled life it makes possible.  And now we look to the network to defend us against loneliness even as we use it to control the intensity of our connections.

(To read the rest of this excerpt please click on this link.)

Sticks and Stones: Can #Bullying Be Stopped?


Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy is Slate senior editor Emily Bazelon’s in-depth look at bullying and a blueprint for how to reduce it. She tells compelling stories from the perspective of both the bullied and the bullies, explores the new world of online bullying, looks deep into the academic literature, and provides answers to the problem. She discussed it all with Slate‘s “Dear Prudence” columnist, Emily Yoffe.

#Banksy #SlaveLabor Mural Removed From Auction Sale In Miami


Slave Labor by Banksy

(The following excerpt taken from “Stolen” Slave Labor Mural Withdrawn From Auction At The Last Minute by Ben Rankin originally appeared on on February 23, 2013. To view this post in it entirety please click on the link below.)

A Banksy mural at the centre of a controversial auction has been withdrawn from sale at the 11th hour, the council campaigning for its return to the UK said tonight.

Slave Labour, which shows a young boy hunched over a sewing machine making Union Jack bunting, appeared on the wall in Wood Green, north London, last May, just before the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

It disappeared from the side of the Poundland store last weekend and was due to be auctioned thousands of miles away in Miami tonight, with Fine Art Auctions (FAA) expecting it to reach between 500,000 US dollars (£328,063) and 700,000 US dollars (£459,288).

But Haringey Council said it had been told the sale was halted at the last minute, with no explanation given from the auction house.

One Person Makes A Difference In the Life Of A #Child


“Music could ache and hurt, that beautiful music was a place a suffering man could hide.”
― Pat Conroy

(The following excerpt from One Person Makes A Difference In A Child’s Life by Arthur Dobrin, D.S.W., was originally posted on on February 22, 2013. To view this article in its entirety please click on the link below.)

Writer Pat Conroy’s father was a brute, heaping verbal and physical abuse on his children, treating them as though they were raw recruits in a sadistic boot camp.

For many, this sets them down a road filled with physical and psychological hardships. But some, such as Conroy, overcome such a harsh childhood.

So what is it that kept the Conroy sane? What allowed him to transcend the daily horrors? Conroy attributes his salvation to his mother, who provided the counter-weight his tyrannical father.

When he was a boy, Conroy reports, his mother read aloud to him. One that stands out in his memory is The Diary of Anne Frank. The books was more than inspiring. Conroy says that he fell in love with Anne and became hysterical when, at the end of the book, he learned of her fate.

“And then my mother said something that affected me my entire life. She said she wanted us to become the kind of family that would hide Jews.”

Here was the father beating the hell out his children and a mother who wanted them to be rescuers of children like Anne Frank.