[World News ★★★]
(P1) Myanmar was once ruled by a military junta but changed after returning to democratic ways. The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) has just stated the country has the world’s most generous people. It is the third successive year it has got this accolade. The CAF “World Giving Index” found that 91 percent of Myanmar residents gave to charity in the past year, 62% helped a stranger, and 55% volunteered. A government spokesman said: “The results demonstrate very sharply how a ‘poor’ country can be a ‘rich’ one through its generosity, by focusing on giving rather than getting.”
(P2) The report also found that people in Iraq are the kindest to strangers. Eight in 10 Iraqis helped someone they don’t know in the past year. The BBC commented on the significance of this, given the turmoil Iraq has been in for years. It stated that: “It is the kindness of Iraqis to complete strangers in the face of years of conflict and terrible violence which stands out on the list.” The CAF said: “The generosity of people, even in countries suffering from disaster and turmoil, is truly humbling.” It added: “Unconditional gifts of time and money are a life-changing force for good in the world.”
VOCABULARY: junta, charities, accolade, turmoil, humbling, unconditional
If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.
- Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
- Is it important for people to be kind and generous? Why or why not?
- Have you ever given your time or money to a charity? If so, how did it make you feel?
- Should more people in the world be kinder and more generous? Why or why not?
READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:
- In the past, Myanmar was governed by a military group. (T or F)
- What percentage of the citizens in Myanmar donated to charity over the past year?
- How many Iraqis during the past year were warm-hearted towards strangers?
- What two obstacles has Iraq encountered for years?
- Which two gifts does the CAF mention that can change people’s lives for the better?
EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:
What do the following expressions or phrases mean?
- how a poor country can be rich (P1)
- complete strangers (P2)
- stands out (P2)
- life-changing force (P2)