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

Friday, July 31, 2009

AP: Another China Activist Charged With Subversion

July 31, 2009

Another China Activist Charged With Subversion

Filed at 3:25 a.m. ET

BEIJING (AP) -- A Chinese activist who questioned why so many schoolchildren died in 2008's massive earthquake has been charged with subversion and will stand trial in mid-August, his lawyer said Friday. [MORE]

-- The Kettle Rumbles

Thursday, July 30, 2009

NYTimes: Nicholas D. Kristof: An Update on Assiya

Published: July 28, 2009
After my Sunday column on Assiya Rafiq, the teenage girl who is trying to prosecute the police in Pakistan who raped her, an update. First, many, many of you donated money through Mercy Corps to the Mukhtar Mai fund (a total of $75,000 so far), and some of that was stipulated for Assiya. [MORE]

-- The Kettle Rumbles

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

NYTimes: In War and Isolation, a Fighter for Afghan Women

Published: July 28, 2009
Pashtoon Azfar, director of Afghanistan’s Institute of Health Sciences and president of the midwives association, is bringing attention to maternal deaths. [MORE]
Her mother delivered her own 10 children by herself! Wow. The article demonstrates the damage Afghan society has endured at the hands the Taliban, but I am sure the civil war and Soviet invasion before then didn't help either.

-- The Kettle Rumbles

Saturday, July 25, 2009

NYTIMES: Not a Victim, but a Hero

Published: July 26, 2009
A Pakistani girl musters the courage to publicly fight her rapists, despite threats to her family. [MORE]

Knowing how hard other people's lives are makes it hard to complain about the little frustrations I have to deal with. I am grateful for the resources and freedom I have, and hope that these things will allow me to make a real difference in this world. I would change the title of that article to "A Victim, but Also a Hero," but I am no Nicholas D. Kristof of the New York Times! I have done nothing in my life that comes close to how bravely Assiya Rafiq has perservered after her ordeal.

I've been trying to figure out the mercycorps.org website mentioned in the article. There doesn't seem to be a fund to help Assiya's family. Maybe if I twitter the author, he would actually respond and tell me how to get money to her!

-- The Kettle Rumbles

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

NY Times: Teacher, Can We Leave Now? No.

Published: July 19, 2009
Watching the delight in the faces of Afghan girls crowded into a school waiting to learn put a new perspective on the war. [MORE]
Thomas Friedman writes about his thoughts after being at one of the Central Asai Institute's schools in Afghanistan. The impression he got was enough to give him hope that perhaps not everything that has happened in Afghanistan is bad and that perhaps the world can't just leave and abandon the region (again).

-- The Kettle Rumbles

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Navy Compass: IA/GSA Sailors hear unique viewpoint from best-selling author

"Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission To Promote Peace… One School At A Time is required reading for U.S. senior military commanders, U.S. Special Forces deploying to Afghanistan and Pentagon officers as well as military personnel from several other countries. Many who have read it embrace Mortenson’s advocacy for building relationships as a part of an overall strategic plan for peace." [MORE]

-- The Kettle Rumbles

The Associated Press: Egypt: Muslim Victim Mourned

Published: July 7, 2009
Thousands marched Monday behind the coffin of a pregnant Muslim who had been stabbed to death in a German courtroom. [MORE]
What happened here is so wrong on so many levels. It's hard enough for minorities who are discriminated against to speak up, but for a government to fail to protect them...and demonstrate their own prejudice and racism at the same time, that's just astonishingly bad. What a sad day for society.

-- The Kettle Rumbles

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Ted.com: Sophal Ear: Escaping the Khmer Rouge

Sophal Ear speaks about his family's escape to Vietnam from Cambodia after the Khmer Rouge came to power.

-- The Kettle Rumbles

Monday, July 6, 2009

NYTimes: Running Out of Options, Afghans Pay for an Exit

Running Out of Options, Afghans Pay for an Exit
Published: July 5, 2009
Young Afghans are abandoning their country, frustrated by endless war, a lack of prospects and the slow pace of change. [MORE]

-- The Kettle Rumbles