Articles in Category: Women Worldwide

Achan Grace Finds Hope And a Home With BeadforLife

Story & Video by Vicky Collins

achan_grace3.jpgAchan Grace crosses the threshold of the home she built with her own hands, falls to her knees and wails. Moments later, she ululates and dances with joy.

It’s a scene that no one, especially Grace herself, would ever have dreamed possible.

Three years ago, this mother of five begged for work. She feared she would die from sickness and starvation, leaving her children with nothing.

Today, she is one of several hundred women who earn an income making beautiful bead jewelry from recycled magazine paper, and selling it to eager buyers in North America. Now she makes enough money to feed her family and send her children to school.

She feels sufficiently wealthy to take in a baby that someone else has abandoned, even though she already has five children of her own. She has named the rescued infant “Gift from God.”

Running Until My Son Comes Home From War

By Vivian White
Posted May 26, 2009

vivian__husband_run.jpgI'm a 51-year-old mother whose 20-year-old son is serving in Iraq.

When Brian left last January it was very hard for me to say goodbye, especially as he was going off to war.

So, in order to feel closer to him, and stay connected with him, I decided to run the distance from where I live in Illinois to where he's stationed in Iraq, 6,436 miles away, and to run it in one year - sort of like I was running to bring him home.

Once I completed the distance, his tour would be over and he would come home.

Even though I'm a runner, 6,436 miles was huge - so I've enlisted my husband, and a few other family members to put in miles for Brian as well.  So far, after 4 1/2 months, we've reached almost 2,000 miles!  And we're still running....

We run not only to honor my son, but for all the soldiers overseas, and the sacrifices they make every day for our country, our flag, and all of us.

Susan notes: I asked Vivian about others donating miles. Here's what she said:
Susan, We are accepting miles.  Not only do we want to accumulate miles, but also give others who are touched by our story a chance to contribute and be a part of it.  So, certainly if you want to post a blog that'd be great.  You could just direct them to email me directly  if they'd like to contribute miles or share similar stories about their soldiers, I'd really like that. Thanks again!

Vivian  (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Related links:
On War, Soldiers and Being Apart

Shaimlee Can-Can!

cancan_dancers.jpgThe French version of the can-can, which became popular in the early 1800s in the working class ballrooms of Paris, is a lively music hall dance.

It's performed by a chorus line of women, usually dressed in long skirts and petticoats, which are lifted, kicked and swirled suggestively to reveal the dancers’ black-stocking-ed legs, and sometimes more!

Tags challenges courage determination happiness health inspiration Malaysia success

Brave South African Teen Goes Beyond Bullets

razelle_botha.jpgBy the time the second bullet struck her spine, 18-year-old Razelle Botha was bleeding so badly she thought she was going to die right there in her bedroom in Pretoria, South Africa.

The force of the next three bullets sent her flying across her bed and suddenly the teen was fighting to take her next breath.

Her arms became heavy. She couldn't move her legs.

A few days later, doctors told Razelle she would likely never walk again.

It was just over a year ago, while still in a hospital bed, that Razelle (shown here with her dog Whooki), decided she wanted to escape the violence of South Africa, move to a "safer haven" and begin anew in Calgary, Canada.

Photograph by: Courtesy

Walking Beneath a Weight

Susan notes: excerpted from Walking Beneath a Weight, a column  by Pakistani writer and author Bina Shah, which first appeared at in March 2009.

Recently I found a poem (first published in 1963), by the poet and academic Jon Stallworthy, who is professor emeritus of English literature at Oxford University:

Sindhi Woman

sindhi_women2.jpgBarefoot through the bazaar,
and with the same undulant grace
as the cloth blown back from her face,
she glides with a stone jar
high on her head
and not a ripple in her tread.
Watching her cross erect
stones, garbage, excrement, and crumbs
of glass in the Karachi slums,
I, with my stoop, reflect
they stand most straight
who learn to walk beneath a weight.

By Jon Stallworthy

I was quite surprised that a New Zealander who is the author of several volumes of poetry and books about poetry and famous poets could produce something relevant to our corner of the world. But the poem is incredibly evocative of the stereotypical image of the Sindhi woman.