Monday, October 12, 2009

Passing it forward

Every now and then, I read a news report that really stuns me - and this story from the BBC is one of those. It's part of a series the BBC is running at the moment, called 'Hunger to Learn'. At just 16 years old, Babar Ali has set up a school in his parents' yard that now serves around 800 pupils. Each day, he goes to school himself, and then he returns home to transmit the day's lessons to others. Though he started by teaching a handful of friends when he was 9, other student-teachers have now joined him and together they give lessons in a range of subjects to children aged 5 to 14. For many children from poor families, this free school is the only chance they have to escape illiteracy. Most work themselves - as laborers, farmers or domestic workers - in the morning before attending Babar's school in the afternoon. The commitment of these children to better themselves is as inspiring and humbling as Babar's desire to pass on his own knowledge. There's a lesson for all of us there...

Friday, October 9, 2009

Creating a local vision of a better world

Thanks to RTBH reader Jacqueline for drawing my attention to this local newspaper article about a hopeful initiative in New Jersey, USA. The article from the Star-Ledger highlights an event, to be held tomorrow, entitled 'Visions of a Better World'. The conference-style event is the brainchild of one woman, Barbara Velazquez of Maplewood, whose objective is to foster a "modern renaissance". In other words, it's a chance to get people thinking and exploring how each of us can play our part in creating a more caring, compassionate world... And it's heartening to see modest, local efforts pushing for positive change, even against the backdrop of economic uncertainty and today's (ironic) hullaballoo over the Nobel Peace Prize!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Man's skull regenerates after 50 years

The BBC reported a fascinating story from the UK today. Gordon Moore suffered severe damage to his skull 50 years ago and has worn a metal plate ever since. However, when surgeons removed the plate recently to treat an infection Gordon had, they found his skull had grown back beneath the plate. This is, apparently, extremely rare in adults - though less so in children whose bones are still growing. Now Gordon has had the plate removed and is, he says, very pleased he won't trigger airport metal detectors any longer.