Anne's Interview on Courage to Change with Lisa Kirchner

In her website's introductory comments, Lisa Kirchner of Courage to Change at Intention Radio really captured the spirit of this project, and how it's transformed my life. My gratitude to Lisa for the interview. Here's the link:


Anne Mahon is a Canadian with a background in mathematics, whose volunteer work introduced her to such powerfully transformative stories that she decided to change herself and become an author. I gave her background first to really give you a sense of how far afield her passion took her, and became her first book, The Lucky Ones: African Refugees’ Stories of Extraordinary Courage. That book has since won the On The Same Page Book Award and was selected as the book all Manitobans should read in 2014. She’s currently working on a follow-up about gang members who have transformed their lives. She’ll share some of those stories, as well as her own, tonight on Intention Radio’s “Courage to Change with Lisa Kirchner,” live at 6pm EST.

“I have always seen myself as a strong independent person, but after writing The Lucky Ones: African Refugees’ Stories of Extraordinary CourageI have a newfound ability to trust the unknown, and no longer fear failure,” Mahon writes. “I have also learned to believe that anything is possible. The resilience of the subjects in this book, as well as this book’s creation, have taught me this, we should never limit our expectations to the boundaries of what we already know.”


Early Praise for The Lucky Ones

In Anne’s words, she uses the title The Lucky Ones to describe how the people she has written about felt in being here – using the word “lucky” as in “being blessed.” We too are blessed in having them here, adding their energy, their talent, and their unique understanding of Africa, just as we are fortunate to have Anne Mahon’s book to introduce us to such an impressive group of Canadians. -Lloyd Axworthy President, University of Winnipeg and former Federal Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs

Winnipeg is a diverse, multi-cultural city and being a new Canadian is an experience that many of our citizens share. It is my hope that the extraordinary collection of stories found in The Lucky Ones will inspire discussion, encourage an exchange of ideas, and promote understanding.    Sam Katz, Winnipeg Mayor 

In The Lucky Ones, Anne Mahon faithfully captures refugees voices with raw authenticity, imprinting their lives onto our collective memory. Their stories of love, loss, war, and grace capture the dogged human drive to metabolize pain into power for good. Each story leaves you feeling you've just spent a long afternoon with a new friend.  -Lisa Shannon, Author of A Thousand Sisters and Founder of Run for Congolese Women

Anne Mahon's book The Lucky Ones offers a rare insight into the lives, challenges and joys of the guests who come to live among us and become part of us. The stories are granular yet are presented within the larger sweep of the dysfunction of many societies. The stories are full of pain, suffering and separation yet continually demonstrate the dignity and resilience of the individual and their ability to transcend the past and celebrate the new opportunity. This book gives us the ability to look beyond the exterior of those who come to live among us. Reading this book will help us bridge the gap with the refugees – and will make us better Canadians as we appreciate our good fortune at the accident of birth. This is priority reading as we live in an increasingly complex Canadian society.  -Art DeFehr, Former Representative of the UNHCR to Somalia    

Canada has thousands of usually untold stories of the immigrant and refugee experience. Here is a well-selected and well-told sampling - gripping accounts of what it’s like to overcome horrific obstacles and to live the dream. -Tom Denton, Hospitality House Refugee Ministry