When I was a young man, I worked two years for Child Protective Services (CPS). It’s a strange job, going to people’s homes to talk to them about complaints that other people have made about how they treat their children.
Investigating reports of child abuse is just the beginning of the job in CPS and the simplest part. For those cases where abuse and/or neglect are serious, social workers develop plans that the families must follow, often including counseling and drug treatment.... Read more.
In her autobiography, Life on Two Levels (1978), Quaker dynamo Josephine Duveneck tells of a year when she provided a foster home in Los Altos Hills, CA, to a seven-year-old Jewish boy from Germany, while Hitler was rising to power in Europe. “What a sweet little personality he was . . . He had been to school just before the time when Jewish children were banned, hence he was thoroughly indoctrinated with Nazi ideology. . . He told me that Adolph Hitler was the greatest man since... Read more.
When Veronica Obodo-Eckblad is asked about her escape from war-torn Nigeria as a seven-year-old, she is cryptic. That’s because her emphasis – actually, her life’s focus – isn’t on herself. What drives her is her commitment to others and to a dream. That dream morphed into conviction and then into reality. But we are getting ahead of ourselves in this gripping story, so let’s settle down.
Veronica was born in the Imo State of Nigeria, and soon after her birth, the Biafran War began (... Read more.
In the Puritan and Calvinist cultures prevalent in 17th century Britain and America, children were believed to be born corrupted by “original sin”. Quakers rejected this doctrine, and Robert Barclay called it “an invented and unscriptural barbarism”. . . In an age when harsh punishments for children were the norm, Quaker parents rejected corporal punishment and used reason to appeal to their children. Today, the Quaker Peace Centre in South Africa conducts training for teachers on... Read more.
Dear Friends: In the last issue of Western Friend, I described the formation of our new Sierra Cascade Yearly Meeting of Friends (SCYMF), which is both Christian and Quaker. It turns out that carrying both those identities at once is not easy. SCYMF was formed by... Read more.