Every two weeks we feature four to five posts by Rising Voices participants as a way of showcasing some of the finest content from new voices that are typically ignored by both traditional and new media.

In order to make new voices heard, however, we must be willing to hear them. Please take twenty minutes out of your day to read their posts, and to offer comments of encouragement.

Thanks to Hamid Tehrani from Iran, Romina Oliverio from Argentina/Canada, and Adelynne Ong from Malaysia for leaving comments on the featured posts from two weeks ago. I hope that this time many more people will take the time to leave comments.

As long as we are on TV

The impressive work by the HiperBarrio group of young bloggers in La Loma, Colombia continues to attract media attention from all over the country. Last week it was the national television program “Camino al Barrio” that visited La Loma in order to feature the community, its history, and the transformation taking place as La Loma puts its violent past behind it. But the visit by the television crew revealed that media attention and obsessive documentation can also distract us from helping out our neighbors when they need us the most. Milthon, a performance artist and talented poet, takes his fellow bloggers to task for carrying more about being on camera than helping their neighbors in a severe time of need.

Three poems translated from Bangla

The young Bangladeshi women at the Nari Jibon center in Dhaka continue to reveal their poetic prowess. This week Rafiq has translated three short poems, originally published in Bangla from Hazera Akter Sherin Sheela, Jesmin Ara Amzad, and Afiya Akter. The themes of friendship and expectations are, of course, universal.

Lost and The River

In Madagascar, members of the Foko Blog Club have also been publishing their poetry recently. Rodro’s poem, The River, takes us from Madagascar’s ancient mountains down through the modern suburbs and out into the seemingly endless sea. Cylnice’s Lost describes the complex feelings of anger, frustration, and forgiveness which overcome us after we are left by a former lover.

Love your children

Just like parents can frustrate their children to no end, the opposite is also often true. But it is important to step back and think about what matters most in our lives. For children, it is often their parents. And for parents, of course, their children. Nancy Condori, a new blogger from El Alto, Bolivia, reminds us just how precious – and fleeting – life can be.

Playing with the paramilitarists

“Putting its violent past to rest” also means being comfortable to share the childhood stories which were so commonplace for members of HiperBarrio‘s La Loma group, but which seem surreal to most of us. Dneiber Xady recalls a day when paramilitary soldiers passed the school field where he was playing football with friends and asked if they could play with them. Hours later, along with his friends, Dneiber was running through a storm of bullets to the safety of his home and family. “Mom, I love you- was the first thing I said – Lets hide because they are just in front of our house…”