"I'm what the world considers to be a phenomenally successful man. And I've failed much more than I've succeeded.
And each time I fail, I get my people together, and I say, "Where are we going?" And it starts to get better." - Calvin Trager

With Ya, my Ga tutor in Mallam
The Rev. Mike Kinman
Executive Director
Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation
Age: 38

Check out Forsyth School ...
where Robin teaches and
the boys attend.

Since you're already blowing time surfing,
why not do some cool stuff

  • Watch the Make Poverty History videos
  • Watch Sara McLachlan's "World on Fire" video
  • Take a seat at Oxfam America's Hunger Banquet
  • Look at the "Eight Ways to Change The World" photo exhibition
  • See how rich you are on the Global Rich List
  • Make a promise to do something cool -- and get people to do it with you
  • Use your computer to fight HIV/AIDS and other diseases

    While you're at it, do these things
  • Join the ONE Campaign to Make Poverty History
  • Join the Episcopal Public Policy Network
  • Join Amnesty International
  • Subscribe to Sojourners Online newsletter about faith, politics and culture
  • Sign the Micah Call and join other Christians in the fight against poverty
  • Subscribe to a great new magazine about women and children transforming our world

    People who show us What One Person Can Do
  • Liza Koerner (Teaching soccer and doing mission work in Costa Rica)
  • Erica Trapps (Raising money so Tanzanian children can go to school -- check out her photo gallery)

    What's happening in Sudan might
    surprise (and shock) you

  • Episcopal Diocese of Lui
  • South Sudanese Friends International
  • The Sudan Tribune
  • SudanReeves -- research, analysis and advocacy
  • Save Darfur
  • Darfur: a genocide we can stop

    For your daily fix on the irreverent...
  • Jesus of the Week
  • The Onion

    Interesting People Who Are Great To Read
  • Beth Maynard's excellent U2 sermons blog
  • Global Voices Online
  • Neha Viswanathan - poetry, commentary, humor, reflections

    Some interesting organizations and programs
  • Borgen Project - poverty reduction through political accountability
  • CARE
  • Center of Concern
  • DATA: Debt, AIDS and Trade in Africa (Bono's site)
  • El Circulo de Mujeres/Circle of Women
  • Engineering Ministries International
  • Episcopal Peace Fellowship
  • Episcopal Relief and Development
  • FreshMinistries
  • Global Campaign Against Poverty
  • Global Ministries
  • Global Work Ethic Fund -- Promoting philanthropy and fundraising in developing and transition countries.
  • Karen Emergency Relief Fund
  • Magdalene House
  • The M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence
  • Natural Capitalism
  • NetMarkAid - Humanitarian Entrepreneurs
  • North American Association for the Diaconate
  • Peace Child International
  • People Building Peace
  • Project Honduras
  • Results - Creating political will to end hunger
  • St. Paul's Institute
  • Stop Global AIDS
  • TakingITGlobal -- connecting youth for action in local and global communities
  • Tanzania Educational AIDS Mission
  • TEAR (Transformation, Empowerment, Advocacy, Relief) - An Australian Christian anti-poverty movement
  • Working For Change
  • Xigi.net -- an open-source tool to aid discovery in the capital markets that fund good.

    Some Episcopal churches and dioceses doing cool things
  • Companions of Swaziland - Diocese of Iowa's Companion Relationship
  • International Development Missions -- St. Paul's Church, Sparks, NV
  • The Malaria Villages Project - St. Paul's Church, West Whiteland, PA

    Must-read books and websites about them
  • What Can One Person Do: faith to heal a broken world -- Sabina Alkire & Edmund Newell
  • The End of Poverty -- Jeffrey Sachs

    Learn more about things you really should know more about
  • UN Millenium Development Goals
  • The Millennium Campaign
  • AIDS Matters - a resource for global AIDS professionals
  • Christian Aid's in-depth report: "Millennium Lottery: Who lives and who dies in an age of third world debt?"
  • Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Poverty Mapping
  • Solutions for a water-short world
  • Transparency International: The global coalition against corruption
  • UNICEF's State of The World's Children report 2005

    General cool and/or goofy stuff
  • Alicebot chat robot
  • Bono Quotes -- but what's really wild is that it's from a page on Boycottliberalism.com!
  • Buffy Slanguage
  • Big Bunny

    Useful web tools
  • Gcast - make your own podcast
  • Podzinger - podcast search engine
  • Orb - streaming digital media

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  • Sunday, March 18, 2007

    Random Rwandan Ruminations

    There are about a dozen things I could write in depth about, but all of them need more reflection and less reactivity. I'm trying to gather pieces of a complex puzzle in less than a week, which is an impossible task. All I can really do is get a small sense of things and go from there.

    I'm trying to hear as many stories and perspectives as possible. I've met with a lot of the Millennium Village people here and feel like I've got a good handle on what's going on with that. Yesterday, I spent a few hours with an Episcopal laywoman who is working for the Anglican church in one of the outlying dioceses and heard about Rwanda from her perspective. Today I went to church, coffee and lunch with Kimberly Buxton, who is working with Partners in Health in Rwinkwavu (I was hoping to go out to the site with her tomorrow, but those plans aren't going to work). Tonight, I'm having dinner with someone from REACH, a faith-based organization that is doing reconciliation work here (the Diocese of SW Florida has been involved in working with them).

    Everyone has a different perspective ... which is really valuable. Some of them jive together. Some don't. I'll need awhile to put it all together.

    So in the meantime, two random slices of life/other thoughts.

    *Just to let you know the little I am learning about Kigali. It's a city of about a million people, but it's really a lot of sprawl -- there is definitely no downtown or skyline. It's very hilly. Most of the roads are unpaved, though major arteries are paved. There are plenty of stoplights but none of them work because the electricity is too expensive (they say they turned them on when Bill Clinton came).

    The primary way people travel is walking, because that's the cheapest way to go -- and when you have close to 70% unemployment you really gun for cheap. The other popular mode of transport is thousands of little motorbikes that you climb on the back of and hold on. Traffic here is like NYC ... the lanes are more suggestions than anything else. And the motorbikes are always zipping in and out of everything.

    The combination of all this -- lots of pedestrians (who just wander into traffic with great regularity), zipping motorbikes, permeable lanes and no stoplights makes traffic an interesting experience. But like in most places like this, people seem to have an intuitive sense and so nobody gets hurt.

    *There seems to be a real catch-22 with developing industry here. Labor is incredibly cheap (which has its pros and cons, obviously). But raw materials are incredibly expensive. Why? Because there is little infrastructure here to produce and refine raw materials, so they have to be imported. A major source of revenue for the Rwandan government is tariffs on imports -- which drives the prices of materials WAY up.

    The argument for this is that the tarrifs protect domestic industry that would have a hard time competing against cheaper foreign goods (This is where Andrew Langan will get interested). Problem is, there is no domestic industry to protect and the high cost of goods with which infrastructure could be built to actually BUILD domestic industry prohibits domestic industry from developing.

    This is a great example of how a comprehensive approach of aid, debt relief and trade is important. You need aid ... but the ultimate goal is to have a society that doesn't need aid. Aid industries should be in the business of putting themselves out of business and aid should be used in ways that promote local development. That's why microfinance -- when done properly (and I'm still learning what that means) is such an intruiging option. But in this system, protectionist trade policy is actually preventing economic development -- and all the aid and debt relief in the world isn't going to enable Rwanda to stand on its own two feet economically if those don't get eliminated or at least phased out.

    More later.
    Mike at 3/18/2007 07:27:00 AM

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    Episcopalians for
    Global Reconciliation

    EGR is an organization resourcing a grassroots movement of spiritual transformation in the Episcopal Church to end extreme poverty on this planet.

    The structure for this movement is the Millennium Development Goals -- 8 goals committed to by all member nations of the UN and a unique partnership of governments and civil society to:

    *End extreme poverty
    *Achieve universal
    primary education

    *Promote gender equalty
    *Improve maternal health
    *Reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS
    *Promote environmental sustainability
    *Build a global partnership for development

    EGR resources and connects the church to embrace what one person, one congregation, one diocese and one church can do to make this mission of global reconciliation happen.

    Want to find out more ... check our our website at www.e4gr.org.

    "Christ's example is being demeaned by the church if they ignore the new leprosy, which is AIDS. The church is the sleeping giant here. If it wakes up to what's really going on in the rest of the world, it has a real role to play. If it doesn't, it will be irrelevant."
    - Bono


    What I'm Reading
    Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
    by Doris Kearns Goodwin