Sharing good news from Africa

Beth Ann Caspersen ’96 speaks to Wheaton students during a campus visit in 2010.

In an op/ed piece published in January by the Boston Herald and Providence Journal, anthropology alumna Beth Ann Caspersen ’96 writes about unsung heroes and the good work being done in Africa.

Having returned recently from her second trip to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Caspersen says these positive stories need sharing and that “the constant drumbeat of only bad news actually badly misinforms us about a vital and vibrant part of the world.”

“Africa is huge and diverse, and its people are so much more than what the headlines imply,” Caspersen writes in the editorial.

She highlights the work being done by the Panzi Hospital, which provides obstetrics and gynecological care to women in the DRC, and its founder Dr. Denis Mukwege, as well as the efforts of Congolese coffee farmer Joachim Munganga, who founded a farmers co-operative in the same region.

The Tiverton, R.I. native is a coffee expert for Equal Exchange, working with farmer organizations throughout the world, including in the DRC, Ethiopia and Uganda.

Caspersen first traveled to Africa while studying anthropology at Wheaton, living and studying in a village in rural Kenya. She has since returned to the continent a dozen times through her work with Equal Exchange.

Read her editorial on the Providence Journal site or at