PET MO-Columbia update 2-24-15: PETs built since 1-1-15 #266
Recommended book for all PET Folks: A Path Appears by Nicholas D.
Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn, Knopp, 2014.
I’ve just read this book and found myself saying “Amen” on about every
page. It is a wonderful mix of individual stories about how persons and
groups have made a difference in this world, and with solid research
I was especially interested in what the book had to say about hope.
Years ago Missionary Larry Hills described PET as a “GIFT OF MOBILITY
AND HOPE,” and I have used that word thousands of times in thanking
Research, we are told, reports that about one-third of the poor are in
various stages of depression, some extreme. Their depression quite
logically comes from their extremely stressful living situations. They
do not know whence comes their next bit of food. Children are sick and
dying with no doctor. Bad housing or lack of any closes in on them.
Wars often compound the problem. The writer suggests that the disease
that kills the most poor is hopelessness. When people lose hope
depression follows, and, as we know in the affluent community,
depression can be deadly.
Here is a key statement in the book:
“Intervention that creates hope, such as microsavings programs and
entrepreneurship training, can shatter the cycle of depression.
Seligman found that learned helplessness can be unlearned. When people
or animals learn they can escape their situation they lose their
passivity. They take responsibility.”
The “intervention” of a PET into a poverty community not only gives hope and aid to the PET recipient, but also to the entire community. We
have seen large crowds gather to see the PET delivered, and to cheer on the new owner. Hope is nourished. (See attached pictures of a woman in Ghana receiving and then learning to drive a PET while surrounded by a
crowd of supporters. Pictures received thru our good friends at Orphan
Grain Train in NE.)
When Rainbow Network dedicates the new homes for 25 families in
Nicaragua a crowd of 600 may walk miles to be present at the event. It
is a very happy and joyous occasion. Only a few got new homes, but hope
So — our task as an affluent resource community is to “intervene” in
situations where hopelessness and depression abound with appropriate
actions that will stir the creativity and entrepreneurship of its
residents. PET and Rainbow Network are two examples of how to do that,
but there are many more. Read about them in the book.
“One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.” John F. Kennedy