Recent Posts By James Addis

PUR genius

We've mentioned before our outstanding corporate partner, Procter and Gamble (P&G). And maybe you even heard about their big milestone a couple of months ago: providing their 3 billionth liter of clean drinking water to the developing world with PUR water packets in partnership with World Vision.

But what you might not have heard is the fascinating story of how P&G's PUR "clean water venture" got started.

A radio star's humble beginnings

Editor's note: You may remember reading about Lloyd Phiri, former sponsored child, in the summer 2011 issue of World Vision Magazine. Because June marks the anniversary of the official patenting of the radio back in 1896, we're again featuring this story of a sponsored-child-turned-radio-announcer.

Turn on the radio in the city of Blantyre -- the major commercial center of the southern African country of Malawi -- and you may hear the melodious voice of Lloyd Phiri reading the news.

Lloyd is the announcer and controller of news and current affairs for MIJ Radio. MIJ (Malawi Institute of Journalism) Radio is a non-governmental station that hones the skills of the country’s best up-and-coming journalists. Lloyd joined MIJ Radio after serving as head of news and current affairs at Capital FM -- one of Malawi’s top music stations.

The brighter side of a shark bite

Imagine being a champion surfer and one day having a shark bite off your arm. Not only will you have to live through the rest of your life with one arm, your surfing career might well be at an end. Is there a bright side to this story?

We wrote about Bethany Hamilton in the Spring 2006 issue of World Vision magazine. And her extraordinary story is now the subject of the major motion picture “Soul Surfer,” due for release on April 8 and starring AnnaSophia Robb, Helen Hunt, and Dennis Quaid.

[caption id="attachment_3598" align="alignright" width="254" caption="At the World Vision transitional housing center, Bethany talks with 13-year-old Ketsara who lost her mother and home to the tsunami, comparing the lessons they learned on how to handle tragedy and loss. (Jon Warren/WV)"][/caption]

Bethany did indeed lose her arm to a tiger shark when she was just 13, but within a month she was back in the water, trying to find the next great wave. That spirit gave World Vision an idea. Following the Asian tsunami, fishing communities we were working with in Thailand had become petrified of the ocean from which they derived their living. Could Bethany help?

Bethany traveled to Phuket, where she talked with villagers about her own devastating ocean experience. One of her key points: Shark attacks and tsunamis are rare events; we ought not allow them to dictate the way we live the rest of our lives. Bethany persuaded some village youngsters to head into the ocean with her, where—much to their delight—she gave them their first-ever surfing lesson.

Cartoon wisdom

One of my eccentric hobbies is discovering theological insights from animated cartoons. A favorite is “Road Runner.” The dastardly coyote is always devising ever-more fantastic means to capture the elusive bird, but his wicked schemes invariably and hilariously backfire, causing maximum pain and humiliation for the coyote....

Pink Floyd got it wrong: Children are educated for life

When I was a kid in high school in England, a rock band called Pink Floyd released a hit single called “Another Brick in the Wall.” I still vividly remember the lyrics … I’m not sure whether my rather strict geography teacher, Mr. Clift, was familiar with the song, but I’m certain he would not have approved. Whenever we grumbled...

Voting for hope and peace in Sudan

If you are a close follower of international news, or perhaps of film star George Clooney, you might have picked up there’s a bit of excitement surrounding an independence referendum going on in Sudan this week—one that is likely to see the creation of an entirely new nation.