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JoyBinge Ep. 22: IT’S ON THE CALENDAR!

Listen to the episode here or on SoundCloud through the links below!

Listen to the episode here!

Listen to the last episode here!

Hi and welcome to JoyBinge, a podcast where we re-learn that good things are happening in the world and celebrate those good things because we are tired of only hearing about the bad crap. We are Kimmy and Sinow, bringing you some good news to celebrate! We are not journalists or professionals of any sort in the news industry. This week we are covering the dates April 5th-19th. We just want to spread good news to you! Let’s binge on some joy!


Artisanal Food Shop Helps Kosovo War-Rape Survivors Earn Income — And Heal

  • This article was written by Valerie Plesch for NPR, published on April 7th

  • The people of Kosovo endured a terrible war in 1998 through 1999, where as many as 20,000 people, suffered war crimes such as rape

  • Unfortunately, due to the conservative nature of the tiny country, many survivors have had to keep their tragedies secret

  • The article states that this is the reason names have been excluded from the report to help keep the secrecy

  • A new store in Kosovo rose up to help the victims of such senseless acts find a path to sustainability and active living by selling their homemade wares

  • The German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) worked with an NGO called Medica Gjakova in opening an artisanal store last December that employs survivors

  • To quote the article, “The shop sells a variety of organic products sourced from around two dozen survivors' farms and homes in surrounding villages. Items include different types of fresh cheese, creamy yogurt, three varieties of honey, apple, apricot, raspberry and blackberry jams, bright red pepper spreads, shelled walnuts and eggs. The shop is part of Medica Gjakova's economic empowerment project, which helps survivors become entrepreneurs and earn an income – in some cases, for the first time in their lives.”

  • The article goes on to say, “It is the first shop of its kind in Kosovo and is a big step towards helping these women to lead more independent lives from the comfort and safety of their homes, which makes it more convenient for them to work. Medica Gjakova is in the process of registering the shop as a social enterprise and is training other survivors on entrepreneurship and developing their catering and culinary skills.”

  • One survivor explains her path to healing, “[Working with food] helps me with my peace and with my health...Time goes by and I forget the past. … I gain pleasure from that — when I feel like I can do good for others, too. At the same time, my finances are better. I've helped my children a lot with their education. And I help my husband and the family.”

  • What’s also fabulous about this enterprise is that people like the survivor quoted before, make about $275 a month which is close to what women earn on average in Kosovo.

  • Even more good news: “Medica Gjakova is planning on opening one more shop in Pristina, Kosovo's capital, at the end of April, as well as an online shop.”

The man behind Somalia's only free ambulance service

  • Naima Mohamud wrote this article for the BBC News and had it published April 15th

  • 13 years ago, Dr. Abdirahman Adan started a free ambulance service in Mogadishu, Somalia, with only one ambulance

  • The ambulance service is called Aamin Ambulance, “Aamin” meaning “trust” in Somali

  • Dr. Adan told Mohamud, “I bought a minibus, revamped it and made it accessible for wheelchair users too.”

  • Ambulances that were in use in the city before Dr. Adan’s influence were only available for those who could afford it and the expensive hospitals they worked for

  • Once he got the ambulance running and actively picking up those who needed it, he realized he needed donors to keep the operation running

  • The article reports, “Such was the demand for the service that he realised it needed to expand and he began frequenting the city's open-air markets and corner shops, looking for potential donors.”

  • Among the people he asked to help financially assist his venture were students he was tutoring part time.

  • Dr. Adan told BBC, “I asked my students if they wanted to save a life and if they did, to donate a $1 (£0.75) a month to help save our brothers and sisters.”

  • He went on to ask others to donate $1 a month as well

  • The article states, “Today Aamin Ambulance, which survives on donations, has a staff of 35 people. Many of them are volunteers and students, Dr Adan says. The volunteers are not paid a salary but some of their expenses, such as transportation, are covered. The service has a fleet of 20 ambulances and a driver for each vehicle.”

  • Financially, the service relies solely on donations, no government funding has been provided.

  • However, global organizations such as the UN and WHO have provided supplies and financial assistance which helps a lot

  • But another service the ambulance team offers are updates on social media to journalists and the world regarding terrorist attacks they witness and help people get away from

  • There is a lot of political tension between the Somali government and Aamin Ambulances regarding whether they can assist in such matters, even banning the ambulance service from involvement

  • BBC News reports, “For Dr Adan, such headaches can be overcome as he is heartened by the generosity he has experienced since starting the ambulance service. "Every person in this life has a purpose and the most valuable thing for me is human life. That is my driving force," he says.”

  • The true hope of Dr. Adan is to expand beyond Mogadishu into the rest of Somalia.

  • Of course the terrible actions of extremists such as al-Shabab is a true threat, Dr. Adan is hopeful they can expand into the territories controlled by the group as they do not bother the ambulances in Mogadishu to date

HOMESLICE of Scotland & Texas


Scotland post-surgical deaths drop by a third, say researchers

  • Written for the BBC News published April 17th

  • In 2008, the WHO created a 19 item safety checklist for surgical teams to use and according to the article, “A study indicated a 37% decrease since 2008, which it attributed to the implementation of a safety checklist.”

  • The article reports, “The death rate fell to 0.46 per 100 procedures between 2000 and 2014, analysis of 6.8m operations showed.”

  • BBC News went on to say, “Dr Atul Gawande, who introduced the checklist and co-authored the study, published in the British Journal of Surgery, said: ‘Scotland's health system is to be congratulated for a multi-year effort that has produced some of the largest population-wide reductions in surgical deaths ever documented.’"

  • While check lists and to do lists can feel daunting and annoying at times, this just goes to show how important it is to have things like this in our lives! Sometimes they even save lives!

  • Also, we mentioned this earlier in the podcast episode but be sure to check out Sinow's Sunday Trivia Night show on his Twitch channel: SinowBeats


Longtime South Texas Archaeologist, 82, Honored for Efforts

  • Written by Amber Aldaco for NBC DFW News, published on April 14th

  • Bill Birmingham has been working on recovering historical artifacts from the ground for the last 70+ years, both professionally and as a hobby

  • The article reports, “...for his dedication to the preservation and protection of history, Birmingham was awarded the Curtis D. Tunnell Lifetime Achievement Award in Archaeology on March 26 at the Museum of the Coastal Bend in Victoria. He was nominated for the award by the museum. "For most of his life, Bill has been active in preserving Texas history through archaeology. He has a passion for collecting, but more importantly he has educated himself and others about responsible, scientific collecting practices to ensure that artifacts are gathered in a way that makes them valuable for research," said Sue Prudhomme, the executive director of cultural affairs at the Museum of the Coastal Bend. "Numerous articles and papers have been generated from his research, expanding the scholarly body of knowledge about the prehistoric people of Texas and how they lived. We were honored to nominate Bill for this prestigious award, and it is well-deserved."

  • The article goes on to describe various tools, pottery collections, and sites Birmingham has excavated over the years

  • His interest began during his time as a Boy Scout. He shared with Aldaco, "We were at camp; we would run around and find arrowheads, so that's where it all truly started for me.”

  • What’s even more interesting is that Birmingham doesn’t only find old things left for us to discover, he creates new items for people to enjoy using now

  • The article states, “In addition to archaeology, Birmingham also enjoys creating custom trowels and jewelry. He's created deer antler trowels with turquoise and would donate them for silent-auction bidding at the annual meeting for the Texas Archaeological Society.Birmingham uses his own custom-made trowels, and he'll also make woodworking. With some of his fossil finds, such as arrowheads, he'll cast the item in silver or gold for jewelry or as an ornament.”

  • Best quote from the article, “Curiosity is what got me started on almost anything -- it tells me to do it.”

  • Even at 82, Birmingham isn’t done doing what he loves.

  • He told Aldaco, “I do enjoy it, and it's the early history of this area. If we don't preserve it, it will get lost.”

Thanks for listening to some of the joy found in the world this past week. If you have stories of good people doing good things in your neighborhood or anywhere, send them to me! I’ve got an email, or tweet at us @joybingepodcast or visit our Facebook page and Instagram account. TELL US THE GOOD STUFF!


The music for this podcast is "Industrious Ferret" by Kevin MacLeod. Thanks for listening and have a great week!

"Industrious Ferret" Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License


Dallas, TX


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