In the summer of 2011, four Air Force officers deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. During their stay there, they discovered beautiful hand-crafted artisan scarfs produced by a group of local women. Over time, it was brought to light that all of these women had tragically lost their husbands to the Taliban and now had the responsibility of providing for their families – most of which was through the sales of their handmade crafts. This fact brought a realization to the four Air Force Officers that a vehicle of empowerment for the local population did not exist. Thus, Flying Scarfs was officially founded, and with it, a business means through which the local Afghani widows could continue to find financial stability. Today, via their work with Flying Scarfs, these four social entrepreneurs have reshaped the manner in which many Americans think about social change. Through a lens of free market capitalism and micro-economic development, Flying Scarfs is an enterprise dedicated to the empowerment of the artisans not just in Afghanistan, but around the world. What was once just a small goal of providing employment for the Afghan widows after Americans had withdrawn from Afghanistan has now turned into a worldwide mission to find and aid other individuals in similar situations. Flying Scarfs is a not-for-profit team of military officers and volunteers that seek to be an engine of change by building the necessary bridges so that underdeveloped countries may one day flourish in a global economy. Our goal is to promote microeconomic development around the world in order to provide comprehensive networks of stability with a concentration in providing opportunities for women to succeed.In short, this means we buy from the “small guys” through localized economies while promoting peace, both at home and abroad. We intend to ultimately make a change by providing a "hand up" rather than a "handout."
WASHINGTON—Catholics can encounter, learn and act to address poverty in the United States through two new websites from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). PovertyUSA.org and its Spanish mirror site, PobrezaUSA.org, were launched today, the last day of Poverty Awareness Month (January). The mobile-friendly sites offer tools and resources to help Catholics put faith in action by working to address poverty. Resources include an interactive map with state and county level poverty statistics, learning activities about poverty, prayer materials, and multimedia. The sites also feature stories of hope about how communities are working to address poverty locally, and an interactive map to find community organizations funded by the U.S. bishops' Catholic Campaign for Human Development. "As Disciples of Christ, we are invited to encounter those in our communities who experience poverty," said Bishop David P. Talley of Alexandria, chair of the CCHD Subcommittee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development. "Poverty in the United States is a reality. We must work together to put faith in action to work towards policies in our local communities, and nationally, that can help address it." Nearly 41 million people live in poverty in the United States, including 15 million children. The poverty threshold is $24,600 for a family of four and $12,200 for a single person.
Feast Day of St Brigid of Ireland
St. Brigid was born daughter to a chieftain and a slave woman, and brought up by a druid. Her life was marked by miracles from an early age which impressed the king of Leinster, who granted her her freedom. She became a religious and founded a monastery over the fires of a pagan shrine at Kildare, and developed into a cathedral city of culture and learning. She and her friend St. Patrick, are regarded as the Pillars of the Irish people. Saint Bridget is one of the few saints who stands on the boundary between pagan mythology, Druidism and Christian spirituality.
Sad to say, the great majority of Catholics put forth little or no effort in promoting the greater honor and glory of God and the salvation of souls. Let us keep in mind that if we manage to save one soul, we also ensure the salvation of our own. The Holy Ghost reveals this to us in the Holy Bible. [St. James 5: 19-20] This little practice gives us a very easy way to save our own soul as well as the ones dearest to us------our family.