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Finding Hope in Unlikely Places

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The daunting issue of world hunger is not usually associated with hope. According to a CBS news magazine 60 Minutes report, malnutrition claims the life of one child every six seconds.  Considering that there are 86,400 seconds in each day and 31,556,926 seconds in every year, those numbers add up fast. It amounts to about five million children who die from this preventable cause every year.

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No one should ever have to feel alone. No one should ever have to feel helpless, unloved, or unlovable. Yet sadly, this is exactly how many people feel. Depression, addiction, self-harm, and suicide ideation are sobering truths that face us as a society everyday. To Write Love on Her Arms, a nonprofit campaign, was founded on the belief that a community of support can make a difference in the lives of all those who face these difficult challenges.

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In most other places across the globe, the construction of a new school would not be regarded as a particularly remarkable or noteworthy event.  But in a land still suffering from the damages of a recent and brutal genocide, a new school has the potential to be the remedy needed to elevate communities out of poverty. If successful, the new school being built by Mission Schools International in Rwanda could be the first step in putting the entire Rwandan nation’s economy back on track.

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Deep in the depths of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a beautiful country in central Africa known for its breathtaking rain forests, unique wildlife and diverse culture, lies a shameful secret: a ragging war in which women have been used as a chief weapon; a weapon of rape. 

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On Tuesday night, in a room at Boston College crowded with students eager to hear her words, Grace Akello, author of Girl Solider, shared her story.  She began by showing a brief video, which gave an overview of the treacherous war in northern Uganda and highlighted the plight of the innocent “children caught in the crossfire.”  International support, such as that by World Vision, has helped to bring hope to the situation but, in a country like Uganda where “amber alerts” do not exist, children remain in danger even today.

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This poem by Marianne Williamson is one of the most powerful and inspiring poems I've ever read. No matter what happens in my life, however I am battered or scraped throughout my life, I will always remember her words and know that I am 'powerful beyond measure'. 

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By Anonymous, Age 19

Journal Excerpts:

8/10/05: How do I keep going, how do I just keep walking through the pain? It really hurts, deep, deep down no matter what; I just want to crawl out of my own skin

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By Ihilani H.


Laughter, A smile, A baby's cry, A rainbow, The first drop of rain, An "I love you," A "thank you," A blooming flower, The strum of a guitar, Applause, A high-five, A cartwheel, The smell of a new book, A hug, A kiss, Meeting a new person, Spending time with old friends, The warmth of your family, Knowing that there are others out there just like you, And the promise of tomorrow, With the sunrise of each new day.

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