Greyton Transition Town, South Africa

Greyton Transition Town (GTT) is the first official transition group in Africa. It was initiated in 2012. A significant focus of their work is on environmental and humane education in local schools. Their activities include transformation a municipal dumpster into a green park and planting 500 trees and planting an outdoor classroom using Ecobrick; learning about permaculture and creating organic food gardens in all six local schools; setting among swap shops where parents and children bring clean and dry recycle wastes in exchange for vouchers; setting up a trial hummane educational program aimed at inspiring empathy in children, etc.

Picture retrieved from Transition Network

Greening of the environment by planting trees in a former dumpster, creative use of non-recyclable materials(making them into Ecobricks for an outdoor classroom), creative ways to encourage the collection of recyclable wastes by children and their parents(by exchanging them with vouchers), the use of organic wastes to plant and provide organic food in the local schools, among other outcomes.

Here is an example of using waste to green the environment, provide organic food, and even building materials. Here is also an example of creatively engaging students and parents in environmental preservation/community building by creating mutual benefits, e.g., the voucher card swaps.

Story shared by Margaret Sergon, USA.

More info here

Rainwater Harvesting in São Paulo, Brazil

Residents of San Paulo, Brazil, experience a chronic water crisis. Because of this, residents of Brasilandia, who have no storage tanks, decided to build their own storage systems. Unfortunately, what was build did not filter the water and did not close tightly causing residents to be seriously ill by using the harvested water. Luckily, Isabela de Menezes of Transition Granja Viana proposed a safer solution. She organized worships that taught residents to make water systems that filtered and stored water directly from the roof. The first two workshops in 2014 were conducted by professor Urbano in Granja Viana and Brasilandia.

Residents learned to build water systems that filtered and stored water. Residents had enough water for household use and watering vegetables.

This is an example of a sustainable solution to a community problem. The solution, given as a skill, made it possible for replication- one neighbor teaching another neighbor.

Story shared by Margaret Sergon, USA.

More info here

Chicago Couple Cancelled Their Wedding But Used $5,000 Catering Deposit To Feed People in need

Emily Bugg and Billy Lewis of Chicago had to cancel their big wedding because of COVID-19, but their cancellation uplifted the needy. This happened after the couple asked if the caterer could convert their wedding food into donated thanksgiving dinners for those in need. Consequently, 200 thanksgiving meals were served to Threshold clients, who are individuals with mental health and substance use challenges.

Thresholds’ clients had a thanksgiving meal. The CEO of Threshold said the donation was truly needed because their clients were not likely to have a thanksgiving meal in 2020 due to financial constraints brought upon by the pandemic. The donated food uplifted the clients’ spirits, warmed the givers’ hearts and enhanced the community spirit.

There are creative ways of giving, even and especially during challenging times.

Illustration: Elena Scotti/The Guardian

Story shared by Margaret Sergon, USA, based on a story originally collected by the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies of Ball State University, Indiana, USA.

More info here

Moving Company Helps Victims of Domestic Violence Leave Abusive Homes at no cost

College Hunks is a hauling company that in 2020 began free haulings services to people fleeing domestic abuse situations. Since the recent launch of this program, College Hunks has completed 100 moves for those fleeing unsafe conditions in both U.S. and Canada. The company saw this need as a priority because they said the lockdown mandated by the COVID-19 pandemic exposed individuals to increased abuse. The procedure of how to apply for this service is outlined on College & Hunks website.

There were 100 individuals moved from an abusive situation to safety and no cost to them. Humans have endless creative ideas for meeting their myriad challenges- new and old.

Picture retrieved from Good News Network

Story shared by Margaret Sergon, USA, based on a story originally collected by the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies of Ball State University, Indiana, USA.

More info here

Captain Tom’, 99, raises more than $31 million for UK carers

Captain Tom Moore, a 99-year-old British war veteran did what he could do to raise money for health care service. Using a walking frame, the world war two veteran walked 100 laps of his garden. His goal was to complete the laps before his 100th birthday.

He raised $31.3 million for the healthcare service. Old age is no barrier to responding to the needs of the community.

Picture retrieved from RFEA

Story shared by Margaret Sergon, USA, based on a story originally collected by the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies of Ball State University, Indiana, USA.

More info here or at msergon@my.nl.edu

New Jersey Teens Take Matters into Their Own Hands to Help First Responders and Small

Two teenagers,16-year-old Drew and 13-year-old Heather Paglia created a GoFund to help local businesses and health care workers during the Covid-19 pandemic. The idea was to raise money to help small businesses and healthcare heroes. Since they created the crowdfunding page, the teens have raised $2,250 and they still hope to reach their goal of $20,000.

One hospital was able to purchase gift cards to give to those being released from the hospital to provide food and make sure they stay at home.

This story brings an important lesson on creative ways to support local businesses.

Picture by Cindy Paglia, retrieved from Good News Network

Story shared by Margaret Sergon, USA, based on a story originally collected by the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies of Ball State University, Indiana, USA.

More info here or at msergon@my.nl.edu

Mystery Maryland mom leaves out free lunches ‘for anyone who needs it’ during coronavirus outbreak

In Severna Park, Md, outside of Baltimore, packed lunches are available for those who need them. These were prepared by a mom during the lockdown for anyone who was hungry. The food was available between 11 am and 1:30 pm.

Besides providing food to the hungry, this act spread love and connection within the community. One resident said the kind act made her embrace her community, even more, another said it lifted her spirit, and still, another said that through the act, this mom was putting goodness back into the world.

Small acts of kindness and love uplift and strengthen communities.

Picture retrieved from FoxNews.com

Story shared by Margaret Sergon, USA, based on a story originally collected by the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies of Ball State University, Indiana, USA.

More info here or at msergon@my.nl.edu

Earning his wings: 16-year-old pilot delivers donated medical supplies to Bath County hospital

T.J. Kim, a 16-year-old pilot delivered medical supplies to a rural county hospital. Kim dropped off a bundle of masks, respirators, and other medical supplies to Bath county community hospital. Kim has also made deliveries to other rural hospitals in Virginia. Kim says rural hospitals are often disadvantaged because people tend to donate to bigger hospitals.

Rural hospitals in Virginia received medical supplies during the covid-19 pandemic.

The action by Kim help reduce inequities in the medical supplies by focusing on rural hospitals which, he says are often disadvantaged.

Picture retrieved from inkl – Independent

Story shared by Margaret Sergon, USA, based on a story originally collected by the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies of Ball State University, Indiana, USA.

More info here or at msergon@my.nl.edu

We need something positive: Teenagers take BASKETBALL HOOP to the streets to help ease tensions

Stephania Ergemlidze and a group of some friends used the power of sport to find a common ground to ease the anger and confrontation in their home city of Philadelphia following the killing of George Floyd. The teenagers took the basketball hoop to the streets and encouraged the protesters to join them in a few shots to ease the tensions. To ensure safety, the teenagers brought sanitizers to be used to clean hands and the ball. Ergemlidze stated her aim as peacefully bringing people together and spread love through basketball.

Tensions were thought to subside as small crowds gathered to watch the game. A police officer was among those whom the teenagers encouraged to throw a few shots.

This initiative aimed to bring peace through sports.

Picture retrieved from RT Question More

Story shared by Margaret Sergon, USA, based on a story originally collected by the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies of Ball State University, Indiana, USA.

More info here or at msergon@my.nl.edu

Take-What-You-Need’ pantry

Stacy Mason, an ICU nurse at Mary Washington Healthcare, Virginia started a pantry, first in the ICU nurses’ break room and later, created one for the entire healthcare. Those that extra donated to the pantries and those in need got food from them. Mason came up with the idea after she saw that the supplies in the grocery stores were dindling due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Those who had the capacity provided food for those that needed it.

Even those at the frontline fighting the pandemic still looked out for those who needed extra support with food.

Story shared by Margaret Sergon, USA, based on a story originally collected by the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies of Ball State University, Indiana, USA.

More info here or at msergon@my.nl.edu