Complex problems, simple beginnings of a solution

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It’s quite the dichotomy, is it not. On the one hand, we have complex international problems that are tightly woven one into the other and all come down to the ego (which expresses itself in arrogance, hunger for power, greed or a mixture of the three). On the other hand, we have solutions that, for the most, can seem simple but are very hard to put in place (selflessness would solve a lot of these problems, but seriously, how do you go about setting that up?).

In any case, while we try to figure out how to put in place these long-term solutions, there is a need for short-term solutions to patch up as much as possible. And, as horrible as things can get, there always seems to be stories of amazing courage, selflessness and devotion to the cause of service that shine through.

Like this one.

Stoves help keep Darfur’s women out of harm’s way

WASHINGTON (CNN) — In Sudan’s Darfur region, where violence and genocide are rampant, women risk their lives every day performing tasks as seemingly mundane as seeking out firewood.

But, from his suburban home, one Maryland teen has dedicated himself to making life a little safer for those women.

The United Nations estimates that 300,000 people have been slaughtered in the ongoing violence in the north African country. Countless others have been forced out of their homes and are living in refugee camps.

People living in the camps are relatively safe, but there is danger for the women and young girls who leave the compounds in search of firewood to cook meals. Firewood in the desert is scarce, and the women often have to walk up to seven hours to gather enough wood to bring back to their camps. Some women have been targeted, sexually assaulted and killed.

Spencer Brodsky, 17, learned about the violence and decided to raise money to purchase fuel-efficient stoves to send to Darfur. The stoves burn 75 percent less firewood.

Brodsky reasons that if he can do something to keep Sudanese women in the camps, this would decrease the likelihood of violence.

“We need to be able to benefit them in any way that we can so they don’t have to be out as many times of their compound,” he said.

Brodsky, who is Jewish, said his elders have compared the genocide in Darfur to the Holocaust. He believes that his peers should not stand for such injustice in their lifetime.

Read the rest of the story here.

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