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Pulitzer Center

Reports from the field - an exclusive channel of Pulitzer Center reporting

How to Help - some thoughts from Greg Carr

Stephanie Hanes, for the Pulitzer Center
Gorongosa, Mozambique

Hi all. I think I mentioned that I asked people at Gorongosa Park what they thought about the whole "how to help" question. Here's what Greg Carr wrote in response...

How can a small group of people change the world:

First, an individual needs to have a big dream. Then, she or he needs to encourage others to share the vision and improve it with their own ideas.

The Mountain

Gorongosa Mountain sits just outside the park's borders. It is considered sacred to many locals, and is the heart of the park's ecosystem.

The Guitars of Camp Jabal Uhot

Don't believe the hype-not even my hype. It's dangerous here. But it's not Baghdad. I got off the boat feeling pretty nervous. Julie Alipala met me right away. She wore a lime green bandana and was sporting a t-shirt that read "I'm saved by Jesus, Are you?" Pretty bold statement in a land where Catholics are a tiny minority and have been killed for not believing in some wacked-out version of Islam. The Armed Forces of the Philippines didn't have to bring in more boots from the mainland to chase Malik.

How to Help 2

Stephanie Hanes, for the Pulitzer Center
Gorongosa, Mozambique

Ok, now I'm going to try to write about this question.

It would be really easy for someone to say: "Oh, you want to help? Send $29.95 to Gorongosa Park and you will!" Do they still have those very maudlin "Save an African Child For Only a Dollar a Day" ads on television? Same thing.

How to Help

Stephanie Hanes, for the Pulitzer Center
Gorongosa, Mozambique

This is a really important – and difficult – question. But I think it's an essential one to ask, and I hope you guys take some time thinking about it and maybe even debating it in class. I know my friends and colleagues do a lot of that here.

I'll post my thoughts on this, but I also asked Vasco, at Gorongosa, what he thought about this. Click to see his answer...

From Vasco:

another q and a...

Stephanie Hanes, for the Pulitzer Center
Gorongosa, Mozambique

What is the most vital issue that needs help in restoring the park? (ie land mines, animals, plant life)

The biggest gap in the park's ecosystem is large mammals. They were all poached out during and after the war. So restoring those animals is going to be huge.

Security

Stephanie Hanes, for the Pulitzer Center
Gorongosa, Mozambique

Hi all - here's another one of your questions, and my attempt at a response... (hopefully not too long winded!)

What are the security concerns presently in Mozambique, and what measures have been taken to promote a safer environment, specifically around the park?

Bound for Jolo

Jolo rises steeply out of the island-dotted Sulu Sea. Thick clouds hover above jagged volcanic peaks on this green and brown patch of tropical forest. Could there be smoke mixed in there too? A little fear mixed with anticipation is playing a few tricks on my mind. I'm on a Weesam-owned fastcraft ship approaching the city, wondering if it is being shelled or not.

Environment at Risk

Water flowing off the mountain creates the park's unique wetland system – the environment that allowed such huge herds of animals. But deforestation is threatening the mountain and its water supply – and the future of the park itself.

The Joe Effect

There's something to be said for being at the right place at the right time. And I'm glad the cosmos came together for my first photographs of the US military. Though it wasn't the most exciting shoot in the world, a C-17 originating in Fort McChord, Washington landed to drop off supplies 30 minutes after my plane arrived in Zamboanga. About 500 US soldiers, many of them Special Forces stationed in Japan or Hawaii, are rotating out of their 6-mont stint in the southern Philippines.

Severed Heads

A grizzly photo on the front page of today's Philippine Daily Inquirer's made me gulp and think about where I'm heading tomorrow. It was a 1-megapixel image spread over 7 columns of the seven, headless bodies found in Jolo. They actually weren't found. The Abu Sayyaf apparently took the time to deliver the heads to an Army camp in the town of Parang. Maj.