I'm always glad to see some good news out of Africa, when so much is tragic and sad. Today's News and Observer carried a somewhat hopeful article on Africa, entitled "Africa Opens Classes." The article reported the good news that many Africa countries have eliminated fees for primary education. In the past, fees were only averaging $12/student a year, but this amount was beyond the means of many parents, keeping children out of school. Now, children flood the schools, and a new problem has been created: they have no room, not enough teachers, and certainly not enough books and supplies.
Two children were profiled. One, a 12-year old Kenyan boy had a father who was an alcoholic and a mother who died in childbirth. His goal is to become a lawyer. Read his story here. He shares a one-room shack with his father and a dog in Kibera, a squalid "suburb" of Nairobi. He perseveres. His name? Job.
Since I visited East Africa with my wife in 1987, I have tried to keep abreast of what is happening there. I have found that one of the best things is simply to read their newspapers; it's so much more representative of reality than our Western newspaper's reports of how things are. The best way to track the news is on AllAfrica.com, a blog you can find here. It allows you to search for stories on topics or by country. I enjoy seeing stories of everyday life, sports competitions, concerts -- things which peer into "normal" life. Some newspapers are government-controlled (Zimbabwe comes to mind), so consider the source, but others aren't. Reading these stories gives me hope. There are positive things happening. There are many Jobs in Africa.