Welcome to The Kettle!

Primarily, "The Kettle" publicizes and manages the "Three Cups of Tea Book Project." However, as described in our very first post (click here), we also hope to use "The Kettle" as a medium for individuals interested in social issues to become more aware of the lives of those less fortunate. Ideally, whatever we write or publish here will take that nascent concern and transform it into action. To inspire any action, small or large, in the genuine interest of doing better for the world is our ultimate goal.

Though heavily slanted towards Pakistan and Afghanistan presently, we do try to include news, opinions, and reference materials regarding diverse topics, including poverty, reconstruction, human rights, Africa, "Green" developments, Micro Finance, and other solutions and considerations for what are essentially man made problems in the world. In the universe of charitable options, we endorse and support multigenerational solutions and initiatives for multigenerational problems.

The education made possible by the Central Asia Institute is one such solution, but there are certainly others. We encourage the commitment of resources and people that goes beyond merely "patriarchal" handouts to the multitude of people in need. We agree that it is good to charitable, but charity that only treats the symptoms and not the root causes has proven to be insufficient. A consistent commitment to work with the local communities of people in need to provide and/or improve education, nutrition, access to capital, human rights, security, sustainable development/redevelopment, and environmental stewardship are what will lead to an enduring improvement in people's lives.

If you have any questions, general comments, and suggestions for improvements, please leave a comment on any of the posts below, and we'll follow up with you!

The Kettle's shared items

Thursday, June 25, 2009

NYTimes: Saving a Kashmiri Village After Remaking His Life

Published: June 25, 2009
An American who arrived as a volunteer rescue worker after the 2005 earthquake that killed 80,000 Pakistanis started a hospital that treats 100,000 annually. [MORE]

From broken home, drug addiction, music, rescue worker, to hospital administrator. God bless individuals like Todd Shea.

-- The Kettle Rumbles

Book Project Update: Website in the Works

A number of people have commented that the blog format is too confusing. So, I am refocusing on designing a new website, which will integrate this blog. That had been on the works in the past, but I was hoping the blog format would suffice. Alas, it seems I have to roll up my sleeves and build a new site. I am thinking of using google sites, but the results on there don't look like they can be pretty...

In other news, my home computer has been broken. So, I haven't been able to make more book packages and update as frequently as I like. I intend to buy a new computer in a couple of weeks.

Thanks for being patient!

-- The Kettle Rumbles

Sunday, June 21, 2009

BBC: Burmese jailed for Suu Kyi prayer

A court in Burma has sentenced two supporters of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to 18 months in prison after they prayed for her release [more].

-- The Kettle Rumbles

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Book Project Update: 6 Countries and Counting!

We now have books in 6 countries (and counting!). So far, we have the Unites States, India, Japan, China, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

Happy Reading!

-- The Kettle Rumbles

Sunday, June 14, 2009

NY Times: Nicholas D. Kristof: Putting the Microsavings in Microfinance

Published: May 26, 2009

It has become increasingly clear that the most important element of microfinance isn’t lending, but savings. That lesson was taught to me by SEWA in India, Kashf in Pakistan and Grameen in Bangladesh. Only some poor people will benefit from the chance to borrow, but almost all will benefit from the chance to save. That’s also [...] (More here)
Can you imagine paying 40% a year to save your money at a bank? That's exactly what happens in some parts of the world. Nicholas Kristof speaks of how micro savings and not micro credit may by the most important aspect of microfinance. Not only is this more impactful, it might actually be more achieveable, I think. Several years ago and even now, I was/am able to fund a savings account in the United States for $10 (or less!?). I subsequently opted to put the bulk of my savings elsewhere, but that $10 deposit continues to exist in a savings account which has been collecting interest ever since.
So, why can't "regular" banks continue to lend as they are used to, but allow for micro savings from the poor? The obvious answer might be discrimination and a desire to put up a more prestigious appearance--having poor or impoverished people at banking centers might turn off more fortunate account holders... One would hope we can get passed that sort of thinking.

-- The Kettle Rumbles

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Book Project Update: New and Improved Letter

I tweaked the Book Insert Letter for the Books I am sending out. I hope I didn't go overboard with the images. Below is a scan:

What do you think?

-- The Kettle Rumbles

Book Project Update: Book #4 is first!

I am really happy to report that one of our books has managed to inspire at least one person. Jarcin from New York wrote:

"Thank you for organizing this! The book was a great read and it was an inspiring look at what can be accomplished when people take the time to care and share their dreams."

This was really refreshing. It has taken a lot of time and money to get this project started, and seeing just one person appreciate the type of work that the CAI does makes it all worth it.

Thank you, Jarcin! I had not heard back from the other people I've given books to, and I was starting to doubt the concept behind the book project. Your generous contribution and kind words really does convince me that we're doing something good here. I'm off to put together more books!!! THANK YOU.

-- The Kettle Rumbles

What to Read on Iranian Politics | Foreign Affairs

What to Read on Iranian Politics | Foreign Affairs

Shared via AddThis

Sunday, June 7, 2009


If you've ever wondered how you can help in a sustainable way in Afghanistan, without risking your life in Kandahar...

Check out the good works of Arghand.

They make soaps from fruit oils to give farmers an alternative to growing poppy. The founder is Sarah Chayes, author of "The Punishment of Virtue," former NPR correspondent, current Kandahar resident, and all around awesome person.

Their list of retail partners can be found here: http://www.arghand.org/retails_usa.htm

I'll be posting my impressions of her book "The Punishment of Virute" in a few days.

-- The Kettle Rumbles

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Kettle is M.I.A.

I have been M.I.A. the past week! And I will be so until I taken my exam on June 6th. Sorry for the 2 week hiatus! We'll be back serving your hot serving of The Kettle goodness mid June!

-- The Kettle Rumbles