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Meanwhile... In Rwanda, the Mahama refugee camp looks more like a city than camp

And in American Samoa, the members of firefighting Squad 61 have developed a motivational tool rarely if ever seen among other firefighters: They sing.

Mary Maina at the Mahama camp
Paul Jeeves
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Caption
  • Staff

In Rwanda’s Eastern province, the Mahama refugee camp looks more like a city than camp. With 55,000 residents (mostly Burundians or Congolese who fled violence in their own countries), the massive camp – which opened with row upon row of tents donated by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, schools, health centers, and other offices – seems a world unto itself.

But one thing sometimes in short supply in the camp is hope – particularly among the camp’s more than 25,000 children.

That’s why newly formed charity Cricket Builds Hope is teaching the camp’s children the fundamentals of cricket. “The purpose of sports is security, and when they play they forget trauma, self-pity and all other kinds of problems that refugees have,” Joseph Kamuzinzi, the camp’s protection assistant in charge of youth and sports, told The Telegraph. 

“[Y]ou add skills one by one, and then hopefully a cricketer is born,” says Mary Maina, captain of the Rwandan women’s team and the children’s new mentor and coach. “With these children it is about how to get through to them.”

Cricket Builds Hope has backing from Cricket Without Boundaries, a British group that has set up similar programs elsewhere in Africa.  

In American Samoa, the members of firefighting Squad 61 have developed a motivational tool rarely if ever seen among other firefighters: They sing.

This fall while wildfires raged across northern California, firefighters from around the world came to help, including American Samoa Squad 61. During their time in California the squad was filmed doing one of their usual marching and singing drills.

The video quickly went viral and Squad 61 developed a global fan base. (See http://bit.ly/SamoanFirefighters.)

But for the Samoan firefighters, it’s just an ordinary feature of the workday. “It’s part of what we call ‘fa’asamoa’ – our Samoan way of life,” firefighter Anthony Wyberski told PRI.org. “It’s just something that’s naturally born within us, and something that we do on a daily basis at home.” 

In Singapore, robots named Jeno and Jena are waiting on guests at two different hotels owned by Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts. 

Jeno and Jena are about three feet tall and display turquoise-and-pink tuxedo uniforms. Their main jobs involve delivering things to guests in their rooms. They are equipped with sensors that guide them to the proper rooms.

“The new ‘colleagues’ will be great team players in getting important things done well and delivered in ... distinctive style,” says Cetin Sekercioglu, executive vice president of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts.

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