Search Results: volunteers

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Among the ghosts of Chernobyl

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 14 August 2018
    4 Comments

    The earthworms and bees were the first to know, wrote Nobel laureate and Belarusian native Svetlana Alexievich. The bees stayed in their hives; the worms buried themselves so deep that fishermen digging for bait on the banks of the Pripyat River were perplexed that they couldn't find any. The humans were slower to learn.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Greeks pull together in the face of fire

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 29 July 2018
    11 Comments

    Greece is a fire-prone country, and climate change has meant an extremely hot summer. In addition, the austerity forced on Greece during recent years has meant a reduced fire service, with not enough firefighters and no money to buy the latest equipment. Even so, it is heartening to see the reaction of the Greek public to the fires.

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  • RELIGION

    Soup van's history of holy risk-taking

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 26 July 2018
    11 Comments

    The Fitzroy Soup Van is in good hands because its people recognise the tension between the need for compliance with security and safety regulations and the call to draw close to people whose lives are lived beyond those boundaries.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Lessons in compassion from Thai cave rescue

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 11 July 2018
    19 Comments

    Their resilience speaks of a strong Buddhist culture in which the boys were used to struggle, found meaning in attending to the welfare of others rather than their own, and drew strength from meditative practices that set their perilous predicament within a broader human horizon.

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  • EDUCATION

    Voluntourism hinders community development

    • Beth Doherty
    • 31 May 2018
    13 Comments

    More and more, school leavers are being invited to participate in 'life-changing' experiences where they build houses in Cambodia, or volunteer for a week in a Vietnamese orphanage. When presented with such opportunities we should exercise caution and informed discernment.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Finding freedom after fleeing North Korea

    • Eunhee Park
    • 20 March 2018
    5 Comments

    Freedom is a common word that is often used in our daily lives, but it is not easy to define. Freedom for me means being able to express myself and be outspoken. It means thinking for myself and being free to be curious. Finally it means preserving important economic, social, and cultural rights. I am a North Korean refugee who escaped in 2012 for this freedom.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    God in the cell

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 15 March 2018
    2 Comments

    Kane insists God doesn't make mistakes: 'That's what makes him God.' Lena retorts with reference to the Hayflick limit — the naturally occurring limit on the number of times cells can divide. Never mind cancer; the very fact of ageing, she says, comes down to a flaw in our DNA. It's a telling scene, pointing to a scientifically enlightened humanity at odds with its own physiology.

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  • RELIGION

    Aid work grounded in good relationships

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 06 March 2018
    9 Comments

    The reports of sexual exploitation by officers of aid organisations illustrate the truth of Aristotle's dictum that the corruption of the best is the worst form of corruption. The factors that contribute to such behaviour are complex. They illustrate the constant need for self-reflection personally and in organisations, especially when doing good works.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Gerroa Jack's irreplaceable gift

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 30 January 2018
    12 Comments

    It is tempting to say that Jack and his mates should cease from their work and press the local council or state government to take responsibility for cleaning the beach, so obviating the need for volunteers. The council does indeed provide and empty rubbish bins at various entry points to the beach. But imagine what might be lost.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Johnno vs the bloody banks

    • Brian Matthews
    • 27 November 2017
    7 Comments

    As a conversation opener, it wasn't that flash. I could have told Johnno that stories about the 'bloody banks' are so numerous and predictable that they're being used in sleep clinics. Still, one tries to do the right thing and so, steeling myself, I asked the crucial question. 'What's the story?'

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  • RELIGION

    Finding dignity in two pavilions of dying

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 22 October 2017
    13 Comments

    I am struck by the difference between these two kinds of reflection on life and death. It seems to lie in the articulacy of the appeal to be able to die under favourable conditions and the inarticulacy of those celebrated at Ozanam House. They had died as modestly and wordlessly as they had lived.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Victory claimed in Mosul, but other battles loom

    • William Gourlay
    • 13 July 2017
    2 Comments

    With ongoing celebrations in Baghdad and scenes of devastation in Mosul, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has announced the 'liberation' of Iraq's second-largest city from ISIS. This moment, after an umbrella force of military units fought for nine months to relieve Mosul of the ISIS yoke, represents a victory for the people and government of Iraq. However, many challenges loom, among them reconciling conflicting interests amongst Iraq's peoples and restoring the ravaged landscape.

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