Monday, November 03, 2008

Good News When It's Lacking

Let’s briefly paraphrase recently covered news headlines

Global Economy Left for Dead, Can’t Afford to See a Doctor

Earthquakes Rattle from Pakistan to Texas

And for you tabloid enthusiasts:

Angelina Admits Love Affair, All of Celebrity Population Follows

It’s not outrageous to claim that “good news” is hard to find and that can be especially true in the international development field. Perhaps we are only exposed to the dismal news to elevate network news ratings, increase the price and sales of our beloved newspapers, or even to keep anti-depressant drug manufacturers in business. No matter what the reason, we can all agree that the unhappy stories are keeping us away from the truly important reports; the ones that we read and help us decide to keep on keepin’ on. At ASAP, one achievement will always outweigh 100,000 losses (although we occasionally thank our stars we have more achievements than losses), and this is why we report our news, free of charge. Donations always welcome.

Our work in cultivating self-reliance is not complimented by all, but when one hears a story like that of Queen’s, the disagreement felt by many quickly turns on its head.

Queen was not lazy, unintelligent, or any negative adjective to be filled in. She was young, widowed, trying to feed her daughter, and a victim of circumstance. When her husband died, she found herself out on the streets but had a clear vision of what she wanted for her and her little one, independence. She was only given $100 from a micro-financing program, an amount most of us consider practically unhelpful, but through selling simple products like popsicles to her local community, she harbored enough profit to move on to selling electronics and other supplies vastly unavailable in her home of Zimbabwe. Today Queen and her daughter happily call Canada home. She is obtaining a graduate degree focusing in Development Studies, and her daughter is now able to study at a university as well. All of these possibilities were made available to Queen because of a simple $100 loan from an organization not unlike ours. We heard from Queen through the glories of cyberspace, in an email she sent commending our work. We not only appreciate her encouraging words, we appreciate knowing that the work we do is life-changing.

Surely, our business isn’t perfect and we all come across pitfalls, but in a world where bad news sells, one can always find words of kindness.

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