Good News Thursday: Asylum-seekers find work in Italian vineyards, high school senior offers $40K scholarship to student in need


Asylum-seekers help produce Brunello wine

Yahya Adams, of Ghana, right, and Jawad Jawad, of Pakistan, work on a grapevine at the Nardi vineyard in Casal del Bosco, Italy. Migrants find hope working in the vineyards of Tuscany to make the renown Brunello wine. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Asylum-seekers in Italy found work making the country’s famous Brunello wine. A local non-profit in the region helps migrants find jobs while their paperwork is being processed. Instead of having the migrants turn to illegal work in order to make the money they need for schooling or for their families back home, the organization helps them find legal jobs. At the vineyards they learn the wine making process and how to cultivate the crops to make the product properly. The goal of the program is to prevent migrants from being exploited in illegal work.

Many of those working in the vineyards travelled far to find work in Italy. Agronomist Vittorio Stringari supervises and directs their work to help them learn. “You need to have some patience in the beginning,” Stringari said. “Like with everyone who starts a new job, there is a phase of apprenticeship. But given that they are very motivated … they very quickly fill the technical gap.”

Lebanon community helps each other during drug shortage

Nada Waked, a Lebanese woman who helped provide a small amount of medications for free, gestures as she speaks at her house. In late May, Lebanon’s central bank said that it cannot continue with its subsidies of medical items without dipping into the mandatory reserves, and asked authorities to find a solution. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

Christiane Massoud went to pharmacy after pharmacy looking for medication to treat her Crohn’s disease. But much to her dismay, the drug shortage in Lebanon kept her and numerous others from receiving the medication they need. Massoud decided to reach out online to see if anyone could help, and that’s when Nada Waked stepped in. Waked had a little medication left over from when her mother used it and offered it to Massoud for free.

Back in May, Lebanon’s central bank said it could no longer subsidize medical items and that authorities needed to solve the issue. In a panic people began buying a surplus of medication in fear of an outage and pharmacies and drug companies began limiting their supplies. The shortage has left many unsure of how they will get the medication they need. So a nongovernmental organization dedicated to assisting the public found a way to help.

LibanTroc is a Facebook group dedicated to helping people in Lebanon find others in their community with the drugs they need. If anyone has any extra medication or is looking for some to use, the group helps connect those people. “We’ve seen amazing interaction and a lot of good deeds that keep us from working on migrating elsewhere, as we’re still trying to fix whatever remains of our wounded roots,” Hala Dahrouge, founder of LibanTroc, told the Associated Press.

Senior offers scholarship to other student in need

Verda Tetteh thankfully received her scholarship and asked that it instead be given to a student going to community college who is in more need of it. (AP News)

A high school senior offered her $40,000 scholarship to a classmate going to community college. During Verda Tetteh’s graduating ceremonies at Fitchburg High School, she was announced as the recipient of the General Excellence Award. Tetteh heads to Harvard in the fall and received other scholarships and financial aid that promises 100% of tuition coverage if students qualify.

During her graduating speech she thanked the administration for the honor of the award, but also told the audience she felt the money should go to a classmate who is in more need of it going to community college. “I am so very grateful for this, but I also know that I am not the one who needs this the most,” Tetteh said in her address.

She credits her mother, a community college graduate, as her inspiration for the act. The school board plans to meet to discuss how to reallocate the money to a student or students who are in need of it while pursuing higher education.

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