June 16, 2013
Stephen Berg is a stay-at-home father and blogger It was pure serendipity that we adopted our son from Cambodia. While working in human resources at Marshall Field & Co., I befriended an 80-year-old children's department employee named Annie Carr. Though deeply religious - a dyed-in-the-wool Catholic - Annie wanted nothing more than to see us boys have a baby. Scott and I were exploring an adoption from China. One afternoon I returned from lunch to a frantic and breathless voice mail from Annie: "Steve, I've found a baby for you and Scott.
May 27, 2013 |
In March, my 16-year-old stepdaughter, Barclay, and I spent a week volunteering at an orphanage in Costa Rica. The trip had been in the works for a year and was prompted by my desire to share an out-of-our-comfort-zone adventure before Barclay's free time was monopolized by college visits, boyfriends, and driving lessons. As the trip neared, my anxiety mounted. Despite enduring four vaccinations before leaving, I realized there was no vaccine for jumping into the unknown. But as Frederick Wilcox said, "You can't steal second base and keep one foot on first.
April 23, 2013 |
A teenager says his parents treated him badly, hassling him about little things until they finally kicked him out of the house, forcing him to sleep in a culvert. His parents describe a willful young man who ignored house rules, disrespected teachers and others, and chose to leave. It's a scenario that plays out in communities across the United States. In this instance, the troubles between a Collegeville couple - Jackie and Steve Salotti - and their son became an international incident when Russia framed it as an example of Americans mistreating adoptive Russian children.
July 16, 2012 |
Several years ago, when I was working for a congregation of Catholic sisters, I visited their mission in Swaziland, a landlocked country in southern Africa. Swaziland is ruled by a king who has been known to make Parade Magazine's list of "world's worst dictators. " St. Philip's Mission is far removed from any city and most of the nearby homesteads have no running water or electricity. Rural Swaziland only began to get pit toilets in the 1990s. St. Philip's has a school, medical clinic, and orphanage that houses 127 children whose parents died from HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, or other diseases that are all too common in region.
July 15, 2012 |
JOHANNESBURG - Michaela DePrince was little more than a toddler when she saw her first ballerina - an image on a magazine page blown against the gate of the orphanage where she ended up during Sierra Leone's civil war. It showed an American ballet dancer posed on tip toe. "All I remember is she looked really, really happy," Michaela told the Associated Press last week. She wished "to become this exact person. " From the misery of the orphanage "I saw hope in it. And I ripped the page out and I stuck it in my underwear because I didn't have any place to put it. " Now Michaela is the one inspiring young Africans: She escaped war and is an African dancer in the world of ballet that sees few leading black females.
April 28, 2011 |
Since 1999, each student at Abington High School has been required to perform some sort of community service in order to graduate. Tutoring is popular, as is volunteering in hospitals. Some of the girls this year are cutting off their hair so cancer patients can wear nicer wigs. Each student must sign up for 50 hours of service to satisfy the school. For Vika Guendelsberger, that's presented a bit of a problem. Just what work should she count? Twice a week, she volunteers at Holy Redeemer Hospital, helping out in the maternity ward's reception area, delivering papers and mail to elderly patients.
April 1, 2011 |
Any film as politically specific as Miral needs to be addressed on two levels, as a movie and as, from a certain viewpoint, a polemic. If a viewer can separate one from the other - and some may not - there's an intense, novelistic drama here. In 1948 Palestine, following the implementing of the United Nations' two-state solution, social worker Hind Husseini (Hiam Abbass) takes in 55 Palestinian orphans displaced by military action. Almost by accident, she starts a girls' orphanage and school.
March 20, 2011
During the 17th and 18th centuries, Philadelphia cared for poor and orphaned children under a system rooted in the English Poor Law, in which children were usually indentured at a young age and often housed with the adult poor at a city almshouse. That began to change in 1814, when a group of Philadelphia women met in a schoolroom of the Second Presbyterian Church and founded one of the city's first orphanages. In March 1815, the Orphan Society of Philadelphia started caring for 25 children at a rented house on Market Street.
June 21, 2010
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - On Saturday, two members of England's national team, Michael Dawson and Matthew Upson, visited the SOS Children's Village, an orphanage housing approximately 80 children. The orphanage is situated outside Rustenburg, near England's World Cup base camp. Local radio stations and various websites circulated this (fabricated) quotation from the visit: "It's good to put a smile on the faces of people with no hope, constantly struggling and facing the impossible," said Jamal Umbobo, age 6, of his visit with Dawson and Upson.
March 1, 2010 |
Born in Russia with cerebral palsy in 1990, Vanya Pashtukhov was abandoned by his alcoholic mother at a bleak Moscow orphanage called Baby House 10. For the next half-dozen years, he was clothed in rags and confined to a metal crib in near-constant "bed regime. " Government doctors labeled him "ineducable" and, when he was only 6, shunted him to an adult asylum for "mental defectives. " "It was terrifying," he recalled recently. "Like a devil's den. " Pashtukhov's pitiful childhood was no singular nightmare.