relief work

Books

Tombstone, by Yang Jisheng, and Three Famines, by Thomas Keneally

Yang Jisheng argues that totalitarian states tend to develop policies in a vacuum and find it difficult to change course. Thomas Keneally would agree.

Books

Humanitarian dilemma

What does it take to be a humanitarian worker? Idealism and commitment, surely, but also a gift for improvisation. An assignment in a disaster or war zone is by definition chaotic, and those who succeed are those who can solve problems quickly and move on.
Books

The Gospel of Father Joe: Revolutions and Revelations in the Slums of Bangkok

"Water to wine” is the image that journalist Greg Barrett uses to describe the transformation in the lives of children living at Mercy Centre, an orphanage in a Bangkok slum. Most of the children have been abused, neglected, malnourished or sold into sex slavery, and many of them have AIDS.
Books

Do-gooder dilemma

During the 1890s, almost 200,000 Armenians were murdered on the orders of the sultan of Anatolia, in what is now Turkey. It was the first modern manifestation of a phenomenon that has become all too familiar.