Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Among the recent stresses in my life has been the situation of a family I am close to who recently left their country after being victimized by ethnic violence. During the week or so when they were at risk, I was consumed by worry and a feeling of powerlessness. I called, I read the news, I stayed in touch with people in the know. But there was nothing I could do to stop the possibility of people coming to their house to attack them. Once they decided to emigrate, I used the power of the internet and got in touch with anyone I knew who might be able to help them.

They have been in limbo for over a month, living in a single room, without authorization to work and without jobs. The administrative system where they are is very corrupt. They asked us for some money, which we were willing to send, but we were nervous about their prospects.

Several people I contacted a few months ago responded and I just found out today that one friend, who leads a company where they are now living, was able to offer them jobs.

I’ll send the money to help them get legal permission to work. Once they have those papers, they will have employment by a rather good firm. And they have passed the first step of being legally allowed to stay in the region they are living in.

I’m so thrilled – both for their future safety, stability and security and for the tremendous good that the internet and global networks can do. By sitting in my living room and sending targeted messages, I was able to help a family that had undergone trauma find a new start to life. This is a happy day.

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