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Jul 27, 2022 Read in Browser

Karuna News

"Surprise is the greatest gift which life can grant us." -- Boris Pasternak
 
Hello everyone! A surprise is often defined as an unexpected or astonishing event. This week’s stories are filled with happy surprises that came as a result of people fearlessly meeting challenges and obstacles -- and then creating from them. In our stories this week, a new bistro is opened using only a staff of refugees, we see how important grandparents are to our species, and an apartment building is built with not only people but wildlife also in mind. Wishing you a week nuanced with surprises that bring you delight!

BUSINESS

Ukrainian Chef Launches London Restaurant Staffed By Refugees

Ukrainian Chef Launches London Restaurant Staffed By Refugees

Dana Potelych | Wikimedia Commons

Renowned Ukrainian chef Yurii Kovryzhenko is preparing to open a bistro in London that will be staffed by Ukrainian refugees. He and his partner Olga Tsybytovska were visiting from Kyiv for an event at the Ukrainian Embassy when Russia invaded in February. They have been in London ever since. They decided to launch Mriya, which will serve Ukrainian dishes made from British products with a touch of the influences Yurii picked up from other countries. Mriya means "dream" in Ukrainian, representing both their shared dream of taking Ukrainian food to the next level globally and the world's largest jet plane, the Antonov An-225 Mriya, which was destroyed during the invasion. "Many Ukrainian families are now living apart in different parts of the world," says Olga. "And they dream of coming back home and sleeping under a safe sky. Of getting their houses back, restoring the country, and to come back to a previous life." The couple hope the restaurant will become a meeting point for Ukrainians and other refugees in London. Read Full Story.

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COMMUNITY

Buy Nothing Groups Are Doubling As Food Distribution Networks

Buy Nothing Groups Are Doubling As Food Distribution Networks

Naomi Fiss

As inflation and grocery prices soar, Priscilla Lee, a volunteer in the San Francisco Bay Area, created a food pantry from scratch to feed neighbors in need. This idea germinated after Lee, an airline employee, voluntarily took a leave of absence from her job during the pandemic, which was part of an effort to help reduce layoffs. She volunteered at a local food bank and was surprised how many people in her affluent neighborhood needed help accessing healthy food. She was allowed to bring excess food home and begin distributing it to neighbors. Now, a few years later, Lee runs the food share through a local Buy Nothing group, which has more than 700 members. She coordinates volunteers to pick up donations and has a weekly food distribution event. She estimates that she redistributes more than 7,000 pounds of food every month to her co-workers, her Buy Nothing community and some of her neighbors. In addition to the food bank, she often receives donations from nonprofits and people in the community that have extra food or fruit from their backyard trees. Read Full Story.

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ENVIRONMENT

This New Apartment Building In Amsterdam Is New Housing For Wildlife, Not Just Humans

This New Apartment Building In Amsterdam Is New Housing For Wildlife, Not Just Humans

Team AM-VenhoevenCS-DSL

A new housing development in Amsterdam will not only provide housing for humans, it will also address a housing shortage for non-human species. "We're aiming for a few species of animals that are now disappearing from the city, like sparrows or bats of some types of butterflies and tried to recreate their perfect habitat within this building," said Jos-Willem van Oorschot, architect. The site, on an island in a river near the city center, is being transformed into a car-free neighborhood. The new building uses a unique model that requires decision-making boards that include a voice representing nonhuman interests; as the architects worked on the design, a "speaker for life" advocated for nature as each decision was made. From roofs to exterior walls and the places where the building meets a river, the design anticipates the preferred habitats for a myriad of species. The ground floor of the building will house several organizations focused on nature. "They will use the building as a prototype that they will monitor over the next years to see if there is anything that we can improve on the design," said Oorschot. Read Full Story.

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YOUTH

A Lesson From Kids: It's OK To Ask For Help, And It's OK To Help One Another

A Lesson From Kids: It's OK To Ask For Help, And It's OK To Help One Another

Tambria Currie, who lives in Clarksville, Tennessee, was looking out the window when she saw her son, Mykel, set out to learn to ride his bicycle -- without training wheels. And she couldn't believe what she saw. The neighborhood kids came together to help him achieve his goal. Two boys helped him stay steady and steer as he rode, while the others walked nearby. She recorded the scene on her phone and since then it has gone viral. She sees it as a teaching moment for adults, too. "We can learn something from this generation. It's okay to ask for help and it's definitely okay to help each other," she said. Read Full Story.

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ELDERS

Our Grandparents Are The Secret To Our Species' Success

Our Grandparents Are The Secret To Our Species' Success

Christian Bowen | Unsplash

Long post-menopausal life is a puzzle in terms of evolutionary theory, says UC Santa Barbara anthropology professor Michael Gurven. "We don't just gain a few extra years—we have a true post-reproductive life stage," he says. His team has released a study showing that over millions of years grandparents have increased the chance of success of the human species through food sharing, foraging, increasing the survival rate of parents, and teaching the young relevant skills, world views, and how to socialize. By increasing the chances of survival of their grandchildren, grandmothers enable their daughters to have more children. "The ability to pool resources, and not just rely on your own efforts, is a game-changer for highly social animals like humans," says co-author Raziel Davison. But older adults are often underappreciated in modern society, Gurven said. "It's time to think seriously about how to reconnect the generations, and harness some of that elder wisdom and expertise." Read Full Story.

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