He’s a living breathing Pied Piper. Everywhere he goes, children trail after him. In a Kenyan man called Pastor Karau, the legend becomes visible in real time, albeit with a happy ending. In his home culture, Pastor Karau walks the winding, muddy lanes of the second largest slum in East Africa, seeking out the last…Read more World Children’s Day
Dear Government of Zimbabwe, I want you to see the faces of children whose lives you’ve destroyed. Through mismanagement and corruption, you’ve deprived them of basic human needs. I met them not so long ago - shook their hands, laughed with them. I looked into Sylvia's eyes... When Sylvia’s (named changed) parents, aunts, and uncles…Read more An Open Letter to the Government of Zimbabwe
Photo: kids in Zimbabwe along for the ride to fill water containers I'm currently en route from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe to Colorado, wrestling with the joys and tragedies I witnessed of a courageous people under the siege of a bankrupt economy. Why are kids orphaned in Zimbabwe? What are their lives like? Travel along vicariously with…Read more Orphans in Zimbabwe
I’m about as far from my Colorado Springs downtown neighborhood as possible. The organized streets and neon lights of a modern city fade far away as asphalt yields to a rutted, mountainside-hugging dirt road, and then to a slice in the forest where men on motorcycles cluster. I straddle a bike behind a smiling Vietnamese…Read more Who Is My Neighbor?
All over the world, they peer from the shadows of deconstructed realities… From the rice fields of Vietnam, laboring under a relentless sun. From the slums of Kenya, neglected and starving . From the mountains of Nepal, sold into slavery. From the countryside of Zimbabwe, oppressed by the whims of a corrupt dictator. And from…Read more Littlest Voices
Mathare Valley in Nairobi, Kenya, sprawls in the equatorial sun, harsh and desperate. Six square miles of corrugated metal shacks overflow with half a million people. Here, children are born into deprivation, starvation, abuse, and disease. All the more startling, then, is the light and life in their eyes. Even the worst of this world…Read more Mathare Valley Children
The earth hurtles through space in all its breathtaking wonder; and yet, if you dare to look closer, you will find terribly brittle cracks. There, rivers of misery erode human existence into ever deeper, darker canyons. Children ooze out of one of these cracks, known as Mathare Valley slum in Kenya. These little ones are…Read more In the Cracks (2)
I am very excited to announce a new blog I am writing and to invite you to join me there as well: Welcome to Pamba Toto! Although some of the posts there might be adapted for this blog, the new Pamba Toto blog will include only Pamba Toto-related stories (including our artisans, products and the Sanctuary of Hope…Read more New Pamba Toto Blog!
One of the biggest thrills of my life was creating the Shine Like Stars exhibit last year. In a last blaze of glory, the stars will shine one more time on Saturday, Aug 13 in my dear friend's backyard. We are dedicating a tent to display and sell the artwork, with 100% of profits returning…Read more Stars & Butterflies
A few months ago, international news reported the collapse of buildings in an obscure place called Huruma. At least seven people died and 121 people were injured, buried in shoddily constructed dwellings that rose much higher than should ever have been allowed. There was no mercy for these impoverished slum dwellers, victims of corruption. Ironically,…Read more Huruma Means Mercy, Part 1