Right Thing, The [Heart And Soul] [World Service]

Episodes

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012020042420200425 (WS)
20200426 (WS)

Mike Wooldridge returns with a new series featuring powerful stories of people who have had to make some of the most difficult choices imaginable in order to do what they felt was the right thing. His guests include Ibrahima Ndiaye, a Senegalese Sufi Muslim whose wife gave birth to conjoined twins, and the Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong who looks to his Christian faith for inspiration.

Programme One: The inseparable twins
Senegalese twins Marieme and Ndeye were born sharing much of their bodies, and doctors advised that an attempt to separate them would be fatal for Marieme. But Marieme’s heart condition put both twins in danger. Mike Wooldridge hears from Ibrahima, now in the UK, who had to face an impossible dilemma - whether his daughters should be separated.

Powerful stories of people making some of the most difficult choices imaginable.

Personal approaches to spirituality from around the world.

01My Son's Killer, Next Door20190208
01My Son's Killer, Next Door20190208

On 12 February 1993 Mary Johnson’s only son, 20-year-old Laramiun Byrd, was murdered. The perpetrator was 16-year-old Oshea Israel, who received a 25-year sentence for second degree murder. Many years later Mary visited Oshea in prison, and after his release in 2010 they lived as neighbours in the Northside community of Minneapolis – and developed a strong bond. Mary, driven by her Christian faith, now runs From Death to Life, an organisation she founded to promote healing and reconciliation between families of victims and those who have caused harm.

Mike Wooldridge hears from Mary, who says Oshea is her ‘spiritual son’, from Oshea who explains how transformative the initial meeting with Mary was, and from the mothers of murderers and victims of murder as they come together to share their pain.

For years Mary Johnson couldn\u2019t forgive her son\u2019s killer. Now he is her \u2018spiritual son'

Personal approaches to spirituality from around the world.

01My Son's Killer, Next Door2019020820190210 (WS)

On 12 February 1993 Mary Johnson’s only son, 20-year-old Laramiun Byrd, was murdered. The perpetrator was 16-year-old Oshea Israel, who received a 25-year sentence for second degree murder. Many years later Mary visited Oshea in prison, and after his release in 2010 they lived as neighbours in the Northside community of Minneapolis – and developed a strong bond. Mary, driven by her Christian faith, now runs From Death to Life, an organisation she founded to promote healing and reconciliation between families of victims and those who have caused harm.

Mike Wooldridge hears from Mary, who says Oshea is her ‘spiritual son’, from Oshea who explains how transformative the initial meeting with Mary was, and from the mothers of murderers and victims of murder as they come together to share their pain.

For years Mary Johnson couldn\u2019t forgive her son\u2019s killer. Now he is her \u2018spiritual son'

Personal approaches to spirituality from around the world.

01The inseparable twins20200424

Ibrahima faced a terrifying choice - to separate his conjoined twins or risk losing them

Personal approaches to spirituality from around the world.

01The inseparable twins2020042420200425 (WS)

Ibrahima faced a terrifying choice - to separate his conjoined twins or risk losing them

Personal approaches to spirituality from around the world.

01The inseparable twins2020042420200426 (WS)

Ibrahima faced a terrifying choice - to separate his conjoined twins or risk losing them

Personal approaches to spirituality from around the world.

01The Right Thing: Life Or Death In The Drc20180126

Sasha Chanoff is a humanitarian worker descended from Jewish great-grandparents who fled the early 20th Century pogroms in Russia and settled in the United States. The story of his courageous and resourceful great-grandmother inspired Sasha to work with refugees in war-torn parts of Africa. And it was there, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, that he faced a life-or-death choice.

Then, in his mid-20s, Sasha was part of a small rescue team deployed to evacuate 112 Tutsi survivors of a massacre. Strictly no more, as the International Organisation for Migration feared that taking anyone extra would jeopardise the entire mission. But then Sasha and his Muslim colleague Sheikha Ali found 32 widows and orphans who were not part of the quota, all close to death. They knew that these women and children were almost certain to perish if they left them behind – but disobeying instructions and taking them would endanger everyone else on the last evacuation flight.

Mike Wooldridge hears what happened next from Sasha himself, two of his colleagues, and survivors of that hazardous mission.

(Photo: Sasha Chanoff stands next to a hired armed guard in the safe compound outside Kinshasa, courtesy of Sasha Chanoff)

The difficult choice of saving 32 widows and orphans or evacuating 112 Tutsi survivors

Personal approaches to spirituality from around the world.

01The Right Thing: Life Or Death In The Drc2018012620180127 (WS)

Sasha Chanoff is a humanitarian worker descended from Jewish great-grandparents who fled the early 20th Century pogroms in Russia and settled in the United States. The story of his courageous and resourceful great-grandmother inspired Sasha to work with refugees in war-torn parts of Africa. And it was there, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, that he faced a life-or-death choice.

Then, in his mid-20s, Sasha was part of a small rescue team deployed to evacuate 112 Tutsi survivors of a massacre. Strictly no more, as the International Organisation for Migration feared that taking anyone extra would jeopardise the entire mission. But then Sasha and his Muslim colleague Sheikha Ali found 32 widows and orphans who were not part of the quota, all close to death. They knew that these women and children were almost certain to perish if they left them behind – but disobeying instructions and taking them would endanger everyone else on the last evacuation flight.

Mike Wooldridge hears what happened next from Sasha himself, two of his colleagues, and survivors of that hazardous mission.

(Photo: Sasha Chanoff stands next to a hired armed guard in the safe compound outside Kinshasa, courtesy of Sasha Chanoff)

The difficult choice of saving 32 widows and orphans or evacuating 112 Tutsi survivors

Personal approaches to spirituality from around the world.

01The Right Thing: Life Or Death In The Drc2018012620180128 (WS)

Sasha Chanoff is a humanitarian worker descended from Jewish great-grandparents who fled the early 20th Century pogroms in Russia and settled in the United States. The story of his courageous and resourceful great-grandmother inspired Sasha to work with refugees in war-torn parts of Africa. And it was there, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, that he faced a life-or-death choice.

Then, in his mid-20s, Sasha was part of a small rescue team deployed to evacuate 112 Tutsi survivors of a massacre. Strictly no more, as the International Organisation for Migration feared that taking anyone extra would jeopardise the entire mission. But then Sasha and his Muslim colleague Sheikha Ali found 32 widows and orphans who were not part of the quota, all close to death. They knew that these women and children were almost certain to perish if they left them behind – but disobeying instructions and taking them would endanger everyone else on the last evacuation flight.

Mike Wooldridge hears what happened next from Sasha himself, two of his colleagues, and survivors of that hazardous mission.

(Photo: Sasha Chanoff stands next to a hired armed guard in the safe compound outside Kinshasa, courtesy of Sasha Chanoff)

The difficult choice of saving 32 widows and orphans or evacuating 112 Tutsi survivors

Personal approaches to spirituality from around the world.

02Joshua Wong: Standing Up To A Superpower2020050120200502 (WS)
20200503 (WS)

Joshua Wong on what he sees as the right thing in his fight against Beijing's influence

Personal approaches to spirituality from around the world.

02Making friends with the KKK20190215
02Making friends with the KKK20190215

Daryl Davis collects Ku Klux Klan memorabilia – KKK robes, hoods and masks. He says they are given to him by those leaving the white supremacist organisation, after he has spent time befriending them and persuading them to change their views. Heart and Soul hears from Daryl about what drives him, his Christian faith and concerns about racial division within the church, and from Scott Shepherd, one of those he helped to leave the KKK.

Mike Wooldridge asks if Daryl is doing ‘the right thing’. His critics complain that his testifying in court in defence of violent extremists is a step too far, and that he would be better joining with others in calling for political change. But Daryl maintains that the sometimes risky meetings he initiates, for which he calls upon God’s protection, are a good way of changing people’s minds.

(Photo: Daryl Davis, 59, poses with a Ku Klux Klan hood and robe in the foreground, 2017. Credit: Matt McClain/The Washington Post/Getty Images)

The story of Daryl Davis, African-American musician and friend to white supremacists

Personal approaches to spirituality from around the world.

02Making friends with the KKK2019021520190217 (WS)

Daryl Davis collects Ku Klux Klan memorabilia – KKK robes, hoods and masks. He says they are given to him by those leaving the white supremacist organisation, after he has spent time befriending them and persuading them to change their views. Heart and Soul hears from Daryl about what drives him, his Christian faith and concerns about racial division within the church, and from Scott Shepherd, one of those he helped to leave the KKK.

Mike Wooldridge asks if Daryl is doing ‘the right thing’. His critics complain that his testifying in court in defence of violent extremists is a step too far, and that he would be better joining with others in calling for political change. But Daryl maintains that the sometimes risky meetings he initiates, for which he calls upon God’s protection, are a good way of changing people’s minds.

(Photo: Daryl Davis, 59, poses with a Ku Klux Klan hood and robe in the foreground, 2017. Credit: Matt McClain/The Washington Post/Getty Images)

The story of Daryl Davis, African-American musician and friend to white supremacists

Personal approaches to spirituality from around the world.

02Making Friends with the KKK20190215

Mike Wooldridge presents a series featuring people who have had to make tough choices in order to do what they felt was the right thing. In each story, faith plays a key part, whether providing a motivation to choose a particular path, intervening as an unexpected influence, or as a cultural backdrop to difficult decisions.

Programme Two: Making friends with the KKK
Daryl Davis collects Ku Klux Klan memorabilia – KKK robes, hoods and masks. He says they’re given to him by those leaving the white supremacist organisation, after he’s spent time befriending them and persuading them to change their views. Heart and Soul hears from Daryl about what drives him, his Christian faith and concerns about racial division within the church, and from Scott Shepherd, one of those he helped to leave the KKK.

Mike Wooldridge asks if Daryl is doing ‘the right thing’. His critics complain that his testifying in court in defence of violent extremists is a step too far, and that he would be better joining with others in calling for political change. But Daryl maintains that the sometimes risky meetings he initiates, for which he calls upon God’s protection, are a good way of changing people’s minds.

The story of Daryl Davis, African-American musician and friend to white supremacists.

Personal approaches to spirituality from around the world.

02Making Friends with the KKK2019021520190217 (WS)

Mike Wooldridge presents a series featuring people who have had to make tough choices in order to do what they felt was the right thing. In each story, faith plays a key part, whether providing a motivation to choose a particular path, intervening as an unexpected influence, or as a cultural backdrop to difficult decisions.

Programme Two: Making friends with the KKK
Daryl Davis collects Ku Klux Klan memorabilia – KKK robes, hoods and masks. He says they’re given to him by those leaving the white supremacist organisation, after he’s spent time befriending them and persuading them to change their views. Heart and Soul hears from Daryl about what drives him, his Christian faith and concerns about racial division within the church, and from Scott Shepherd, one of those he helped to leave the KKK.

Mike Wooldridge asks if Daryl is doing ‘the right thing’. His critics complain that his testifying in court in defence of violent extremists is a step too far, and that he would be better joining with others in calling for political change. But Daryl maintains that the sometimes risky meetings he initiates, for which he calls upon God’s protection, are a good way of changing people’s minds.

The story of Daryl Davis, African-American musician and friend to white supremacists.

Personal approaches to spirituality from around the world.

02The Right Thing: Bringing Peace In South Sudan2018020220180203 (WS)
20180204 (WS)

Daniel Deng Abot was one of Southern Sudan’s ‘Lost Boys’ – one of around 20,000 boys displaced or orphaned during Sudan’s civil war. After spending 15 years in refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya, often in miserable conditions, he and his young family were finally able to resettle in Australia. They were looking forward to a quieter and more settled life – yet Daniel, by then an Anglican priest, soon developed a strong sense that God was calling him to return to newly independent South Sudan.

The situation he was facing in South Sudan was another civil war. Daniel felt strongly that it was ‘the right thing’ for him to bring peace and spiritual support to both sides. The decision was tough on his wife Rachel and their seven children, who have remained in Australia; but, says Daniel, “when you have a family that believes in God, you can sacrifice for God’s sake.”

Now an unpaid bishop, Daniel often works in highly dangerous circumstances. Both he and his wife admit that the price has been too high; yet he remains convinced that God has called him to bring peace to his people, both in South Sudan and Northern Uganda, where many live in refugee settlements.

(Photo: Bishop Daniel Deng Abot visits a refugee settlement in northern Uganda, courtesy of Bishop D Abot)

Daniel Deng Abot gave up a life in Australia to bring peace to war torn South Sudan

Personal approaches to spirituality from around the world.

03The Right Thing: Breaking Faith Boundaries In Syria2018020920180210 (WS)
20180211 (WS)

Carol Cooke Eid grew up a Christian in Lebanon. As a young woman, she felt uneasy about Islam and wanted as little as possible to do with Muslims. Yet when she began to follow a religious path and later became a nun, she found herself making an extraordinary vow: to dedicate her life to her Muslim brothers and sisters. The pledge soon turned into a deeply held love of Islam – but it turned out to be costly; Carol joined Mar Musa, a desert monastery near Damascus within striking distance of Islamic State militants. A monastery which exists to help Christians and Muslims in Syria live together peacefully, almost to the point of breaking traditional faith boundaries.

Mike Wooldridge meets Sister Carol and some of her fellow nuns and monks, currently in exile in Italy. He hears how the monastery’s founder, Fr Paolo dall’Oglio, was abducted in 2013 and still remains unaccounted for; how another priest survived over three months of Islamic State militants captivity; and how the remaining monks and nuns are determined to continue their work, despite the dangers they face.

(Photo: A Muslim man performs his prayers inside the church in the Monastery of St. Moses the Abyssinian, east of Nebek, Syria. Credit: Ghaith Abdul-Ahad/Getty Images)

The Christian nun who decided to devote her life to helping Muslim brothers and sisters

Personal approaches to spirituality from around the world.