The Concoction

An Ethiopian woman's musings on Africa, the world and everything in between

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        Global Voices Online - The world is talking. Are you listening?
        Wednesday, September 27, 2006
        South-south imperialism
        I feel for South Africa. I really do. To get where it is now after its gloomy past is highly commendable. Now that it has the means and tremendous will to gain economical and political power, it's being accused of spreading a sort of south-south imperialism in the region. It's allies against aparthide are counting favours, and grumbling that those favours are not being returned.

        Internally, however, not every thing is rosy.
        The trade union congress this month practically booed the deputy president, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, off the stage. Its delegates sang songs describing President Thabo Mbeki as a "dog". So what's gone wrong? At the heart of the problem is that President Mbeki has led his country down a road many are now questioning.

        Damned if you go left, damned if you go right - I guess. And there is Zuma stirring up things continuously.
        posted by Fikirte @ 5:46 PM   0 comments Digg!
        Tough talk
        The Washington Post reports that the "U.S. tells Sudan: cooperate or expect confrontation" It’s not clear what "confrontation" entails. Still, it’s the toughest talk that came out of Washington regarding Darfur. I don’t know what is going to follow this tough talk if the unflinching Sudan government says "No" again.

        Tougher viewpoint
        Time published an article by Peter Beinart in the Viewpoint page (October 2, 2006) arguing that "Diplomacy hasn't stopped the genocide. It's time to give war a chance." The idea is for NATO to impose a no-fly zone over Darfur (it only takes 12-18 fighter jets based in Chad). If this doesn't work, the article suggests, bomb Khartoum. Here is where I part company with Mr. Beinart. What's the point of exchanging an innocent life in Darfur for another innocent life in Khartoum?

        Middle ground
        I much prefer Richard Gowan's argument for a "NATO for Africa".

        A formal commitment and a tailor-made institution to tackle Africa’s problems would be a valuable step towards preventing future Rwandas and Darfurs.


        Amen.
        posted by Fikirte @ 5:00 PM   0 comments Digg!
        Too good to be lasting?
        A Belgian Organization, Group One, has been assisting former child miners in continuing their education in DR Congo. It sent 250 former child-miners to school with funds from the UNICEF and the Belgium government. According to BBC online , "Funding is secure until next year, but the Belgian scheme is due to wind up during 2007." Who is going to ensure continuity of this program? I really don’t understand how organizations design such an important project and "wind up" after assisting just 250 kids.

        Children are forced into mining because they cannot afford a $75-$90 annual school fee. The lucrative business of mining is keeping the poor poorer.

        MIGA, the political risk insurance arm of the World Bank, expects the face amount of loans guaranteed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) mining sector to increase from $20.8 million today to over $500 million in three years. However, underneath the immense economic opportunities lie significant social and human rights concerns.


        Still, a project geared towards educating ex-child miners winds up after helping 250 kids out of the possible 60,000?

        Related links
        Mining in DR Congo
        Alfred Buju: from child miner to head of justice & peace commission
        Dimond and its effects on the poor in DRC
        US influence on the background to the current situation in DRC
        posted by Fikirte @ 3:28 PM   0 comments Digg!
        Marketing gone so wrong
        I wonder if Kotex received a copy of this?!

        Dear Kotex:

        I recently noticed that the peel-off strip of my
        pantiliner had a bunch of "Kotex Tips for Life" on it.
        Annoying advice such as:

        Staying active during your period can relieve cramps.
        Avoiding caffeine may help reduce cramps and
        headaches.Drink 6-8 glasses of water a day to keep you hydrated
        and feeling fresh. Try Kotex blah blah blah other products...

        Obviously the individual behind this was someone who
        has never possessed a functioning set of ovaries (a man is Concoction's guess).
        Go ahead and tell a menstruating woman that drinking 6-8
        glasses of water will help keep her feeling fresh.
        Like we need more fluid inside our bloated bodies from
        hell...but go ahead...I triple-dog-friggen-dare-ya...
        See what happens and report back. I'll wait.

        While you're at it, dump out the coffee at work and
        remove the chocolate from the vending machine. I
        garan-friggen-tee that the first responders will be
        females who just ovulated.

        Staying active will relieve headaches & cramps...well
        guess what, the only activities that interests me is
        eating..sleeping..bitching or crying for no apparent
        reason.. ..and oh...does ripping someone's head off
        count as a friggen' activity?????

        Look, females don't need or want tips for living on
        their feminine hygiene products. Younger girls are
        already hearing "helpful" crap like that from elderly
        relatives. Veteran females have already concocted
        their own recipes for survival, many containing
        alcohol & barbituates.

        Printing out crap advice while sneaking in ads for the
        brand that was already purchased is just plain
        annoying, not to mention rude, and is enough to send a
        girl running to the Always brand.

        It's not a fun time, but DO NOT try to cheer us up by
        adding smiley faces or bunnies or flowery cutesy crap
        to your products or the packaging. Put the crap in a
        plain brown wrapper so we can throw it in our carts
        discreetly and have it blend in among the wine and
        beer.

        There is nothing more annoying than having a blinding
        pink package announcing your uterine state to everyone
        in the store. Why don't ya just add an in-store
        microphone to the damn package & announce
        that...helloooo, another female in the store is on the
        rag!!!!!

        So take your tips for living and your cute bunnies &
        the smiley faces and shove them right up your ass.

        PS How about adding a free sample of Pamprin & maybe a
        hot of Bourbon to your packages instead!!!

        Phew! That must have felt good!
        posted by Fikirte @ 11:04 AM   0 comments Digg!
        Tuesday, September 26, 2006
        WHO's U turn on DDT
        WHO had a change of heart about DDT since every other effort to reduce malaria related mortality and morbidity is hardly putting a dent on the problem. Now, it's arguing that DDT, which was banned in the United States in 1972 due to concerns about its effect on animal and human health, should be confined to what is called indoor residual spraying (IRS).

        DDT is one of 12 chemicals to be phased out globally under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, substances that are both toxic and persist in the environment -- in plants, water, and animal tissue -- for many years. It seems that a single book, Silent Spring, by Rachel Carlson, an environmentalist, succeeded in swinging public and policy makers' opinion on DDT.

        There are passionate arguments both for and against DDT. This site for example argues that Silent Spring's dramatic language led to successfully ban DDT. And there is this site which claims that "the plain fact is that DDT has never been shown to be a human carcinogen even after four decades of intense scientific scrutiny." Duke University argues that DDT definitely has an effect on living organisms.


        It seems that nowadays, colourful language in reports against harmful chemicals is not helping anti-chemical lobbiest to enjoy the success that Carlson did in the 60s. The debate around flame retardant chemicals, which are proven to be harmful to humans, is still raging in the US. The EU and California have banned decabromodiphenyl ether (Deca),

        Under the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the main U.S. law for chemical regulation, the EPA has the authority to ban chemicals, but must take on such a great burden for action that they have not banned a chemical since PCBs were banned in 1976. Unlike other regulatory frameworks, U.S. chemicals policy regards chemicals as innocent until proven guilty, permitting widespread contamination of the environment and humans before action is taken. As a result, chemicals like Deca can be on the market for decades before their threat to human health is discovered.


        What has changed politically since 1972’s ban on DDT? My suspicion is strong lobbying by companies these days (aka bribery, corruption, sleaze when it is in poor countries)kills any possibility of banning harmful chemicals.

        There are obviously alternatives to DDT, which have proved successful in reducing malaria related deaths.

        Many countries are controlling malaria with effective alternative approaches. Vietnam reduced malaria deaths by 97% and malaria cases by 59% when they switched in 1991 from trying to eradicate malaria using DDT to a DDT-free malaria control program involving distribution of drugs and mosquito nets along with widespread health education organized with village leaders.[15] A program in the central region of Kenya is focusing on reducing malaria by working with the rice growing community to improve water management, use livestock as bait, introduce biological controls and distribute mosquito nets in affected areas. [16]The World Wildlife Fund has documented success in the Kheda district in India, where non-chemical approaches were demonstrated to be cost-effective. [17] In the Philippines, the successful national program has relied on treated bed nets and spraying of alternative chemicals. [18] What countries fighting malaria need is strong support for effective solutions, not increased reliance on DDT.

        In a letter written in April 2004, a group of scientists, researchers and doctors wrote an open letter to WHO objecting to the organization’s stance against DDT to control (preferably eradicate) malaria. Now, WHO has changed its policy to start IRS in 2007. Hopefully, they have solid scientific proof that people are not going to be affected by it. Hopefully, the dire health situation caused by AIDS & TB is not going to worsen by spraying DDT inside houses. Science is going wacko these days – Pluto is not a planet anymore, one decade DDT is in and the next it's out (and now almost in again). I wouldn't be surprised if a few years from now, WHO comes up with "oops, we should have considered the AIDS epidemic before we used DDT for malaria control."

        Facts & figures about malaria

        * an estimated one million people in Africa die from malaria each year, 90% of these deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa 71% of all deaths from malaria are in children under 5. A child's most vulnerable period begins at six months, when the mother's protective immunity wears off and before the infant has established its own robust immune system. Once infected a child's condition may deteriorate quickly and children can die within 48 hours after the first symptoms appear (Roll Back Malaria)

        * the consensus view of recent studies and reviews is that malaria causes at least 20% of all deaths in children under 5 years of age in Africa

        * malaria kills a child every 30 seconds

        * 300 to 500 million clinical cases of malaria are documented each year worldwide

        * the majority of infections in Africa are caused by Plasmodium falciparum, the most dangerous of the four human malaria parasites
        posted by Fikirte @ 1:37 AM   2 comments Digg!
        Friday, September 22, 2006
        Greetings from Thailand
        A dear friend of mine, who is working in Thailand, sent me an e-mail this morning updating me with what she is doing and her organizations take on the recent military coup in Thailand. As a campaigner of a civil society organization, she was going to attend the World Bank/IMF Annual meetings in Singapore. She, along with 26 other activists, was barred from entering the country. There goes democracy and freedom of speech.

        In a response to Singapore’s actions, the civil society organizations held parallel meetings in Batam Indonasia. My friend, D wrote,
        Many campaigners, although they have no plans anymore to attend the meetings, still needed to pass Sing to go to Batam. Many were deported upon arrival at Changi airport or detained for hours. They were interrogated. Those from Africa were even handcuffed and escorted in the airport for deportation.(My emphasis)

        Well, mainstream media doesn’t give you these fine details. They handcuffed and escorted those from Africa. This is what makes ones blood boil. When you try to be above race biases, at times even push it aside as ignorance, something like this jumps at you and makes you all defensive. Why the hell do they single out Africans and handcuff them?

        The "World Bank has criticized Singapore for barring invited activists from entering [Singapre because it] is a breach of an agreement signed three years ago." But the meeting went on. It didn't occur to the WB/IMF chiefs to pack and leave Singapore to show that they strongly object to a breach of an agreement by their own member…? They handcuffed peaceful activist. What more 'breach of agreement' do they want to stand up against actions like this? Then again these institutions are notoriously known for coming up with special "formula" to get around breeches of all sorts.

        Ironically, the home page of the Singapore government site is full of promises such as "Global city: world of opportunities" – but no global citizens please, I would add - and it features a cultural show called Diaspora which seeks "a better life across the four seas", "an exploration of the memories and tribulations of the diasporic peoples of Southeast Asia." And they throw out Southeast Asian activists? Please!

        If the issue of demonstrations is making host governments so paranoid to handcuff peaceful activists, I have a simple solution for WB & IMF. Organize regional meetings with citizens organizations, sponsor those who cannot afford to travel (if a meeting on African blogging could afford to sponsor participants, so can WB/IMF), gather the claims and demands of these organizations and include them in the agenda of the annual meetings. There are civil society organization with which WB/IMF is consulting, but the issue remains that most of the demands fall on deaf ears. Apparently, what these CSO's are demanding and the WB/IMF's mandate are worlds apart. Is there the political will to listen? I....don't think so.
        posted by Fikirte @ 10:51 AM   0 comments Digg!
        Thursday, September 21, 2006
        How cool is that?
        The same week an Ethiopian scientist found a 3.3 million year old fossilized skull of a girl, Selam (Ethiopian word for peace), is unveiled (a day before the UN International Day of Peace), a 17 year old Nigerian girl, Felix, is preparing for a unique journey into space this coming Saturday (9/23. Felix got picked amongst more than 400 applicants to "experience zero gravity".

        Felix is top of her school in her favorite subjects of physics and chemistry. Most of her class of 60 are lucky to have one book between two. "At least we all have chairs," she said with a laugh. A Huston-based Spaceweek International Association is sponsoring Felix’s trip to space.
        The full story here.


        Go Felix and welcome (to the surface)Selam!

        I think the following is an interesting comment about the returning spaceshuttle Atlantis...

        "We have always seen in the program that little things come out in space -- pieces of plastic, ice, lint," Hale said. "We've chased many, but we seldom find what they are. . . . Sorry we're being a litterbug here."
        posted by Fikirte @ 3:40 AM   0 comments Digg!
        Thursday, September 14, 2006
        Yet another world forum
        I stumbled upon Non-Aligned Countries Movement (NAM)’s site. It left me bewildered as to why the world needs yet another reason for politicians to trot around the globe attending summits to only return to their countries and run business as (un)usual – contrary to the principles of the organizations to which they belong.

        Take the first of ten "guiding principles" of NAM, also known as "The Ten Principles of Bandung". It reads "respect of fundamental human rights and the objectives and principles of the Charter of the United Nations." The tenth commandment is "respect of justice and international obligations." Then look at the member countries and tell me what could they possibly be talking about right now in the 14th summit being held in Cuba?
        posted by Fikirte @ 3:57 AM   0 comments Digg!
        A social experiment: from US inner city to rural Kenya

        Africa is very hip these days. The continent has been a hot place for Western super stars – from self-appointed ambassadors to those going back to their "roots". Now it is a life changing place to African-American inner city kids.
        African-American boys have a very high chance of being incarcerated or killed before they reach adulthood. In Baltimore, one of the country's most poverty-stricken cities for inner-city residents, the Baraka School project was founded to break the cycle of violence through an innovative education program that literally removed young boys from low-performing public schools and unstable home environments.

        PBS is airing a documentary, The Boys of Baraka. It is about three African-American boys from Baltimore learning new life skills in rural Kenya.
        Now I see that I can do stuff. I know I can do it. And I want to do it.... They know in society today that black kids can do things, but everybody's waiting for just one example to prove it and let the whole world know that it can be done. But it was sad to see what it had to take.... They had to send us to Africa.

        Let the record show – we have got more stuff together in Africa than the world would like to admit.

        More information on PBS site here.
        posted by Fikirte @ 3:08 AM   0 comments Digg!
        Monday, September 11, 2006
        Ethiopian New year after 9/11
        The first three years after 9/11, I simply pushed Ethiopian New Year away because it just felt wrong to be jubilant. I particularly didn't want the kids to go to school squeaking "It’s our New Year!" and create unnecessary confusion. Celebrating it quietly at home felt like sneaking…. The last two years, I chose to tweak the calendar and celebrate on the 12th.

        This year I did a lot of soul searching and decided to say Happy 1999 to all Ethiopians on the right day. Imagine what a (more) miserable world it would be if we cease to celebrate because of disasters – man made or natural. My heart goes out to the thousands of people who lost loved ones on 9/11. This video clip of Maya Angelou made it alright for me to remember 9/11 while celebrating my new year. Thanks Sokari.
        posted by Fikirte @ 9:52 AM   0 comments Digg!
        Friday, September 08, 2006
        Disaster begets charity. Charity begets greed. Greed begets corruption.
        Now there is a scientific proof. The Economist (September 2nd) has an interesting article on a new paper about corruption and aid. Dr. Peter Leeson and Dr. Russell Sobel of West Virginia University wrote Weathering Corruption arguing that disaster-prone states such as Mississippi, Florida and South Dakota are the most corrupt.

        This is all due to free money which pours into such states in the form of aid. The Economist wrote, "A windfall of federal cash spwans graft in much the same way that oil wealth or foreign aid can cause corruption in poor countries."

        Voila!

        Leeson and Sobel came up with a calculation that "in the average state, an extra $1 per person in money from FEMA increases corruption in that state by 2.5%."

        Related links
        Peter Leeson et al blog
        Russell Sobel’s http://www.be.wvu.edu/divecon/econ/sobel/
        Sokari of Black Looks on [mis]definition of corruption
        Transparency International’s corruption barometer
        posted by Fikirte @ 2:11 PM   0 comments Digg!
        Thursday, September 07, 2006
        Reintegration: the untold story of war
        "Armed conflict is an all too familiar theme for journalists in many parts of Africa and Asia. But reporting on war’s aftermath and reintegrating demobilised soldiers gets much less attention" says Panos – a UK based NGO committed "to promoting the voices of poor and marginalised communities in the developing world." Panos has quite an interesting site covering communication, "the pulse of development", and other development related topics. Check out their photo site - very nice pictures.
        posted by Fikirte @ 2:09 PM   0 comments Digg!
        Wednesday, September 06, 2006
        Charity begets greed. Greed begets corruption
        Now there is a scientific proof. The Economist (September 2nd) has an interesting article on a new paper about corruption and aid. Dr. Peter Leeson and Dr. Russell Sobel of West Virginia University wrote Weathering Corruption arguing that disaster-prone states such as Mississippi, Florida and South Dakota are the most corrupt.

        This is all due to free money which pours into such states in the form of aid. The Economist wrote, "A windfall of federal cash spwans graft in much the same way that oil wealth or foreign aid can cause corruption in poor countries."

        Voila!

        Leeson and Sobel came up with a calculation that "in the average state, an extra $1 per person in money from FEMA increases corruption in that state by 2.5%."

        Related links
        Peter Leeson et al blog
        Russell Sobel's research links
        Sokari of Black Looks on [mis]definition of corruption
        Transparency International’s corruption barometer
        posted by Fikirte @ 6:17 PM   0 comments Digg!
        Sudan: Going downhill fast
        Just reading the headlines on Sudan these days makes ones head spin. It has been six days since the UN Security Council adopted resolution 1706 "by vote of 12 in favour, with 3 abstaining" – for what it's worth – and the list of headlines is getting bigger and scarier.

        • African peacekeepers to leave Darfur unless Sudan agrees to U.N. force - AP 09/05/06
        • Annan warns Khartoum over Darfur - AFP 09/05/06
        • Annan warns Khartoum over Darfur - AFP 09/05/06
        • Govt Should Accept International Help On Darfur, Annan Says - UN 09/05/06
        • Ethiopia to Open Consulate in Juba - EH 09/05/06
        • Floods kill 27, damage 10,000 houses in Sudan, threatening government ministries offices - REUTERS 09/04/06
        • Russia criticises "hasty" UN resolution on Darfur - REUTERS 09/04/06
        • Sudan says AU must accept deal keeping U.N. force out of Darfur, or leave - AP 09/04/06
        • Slovenian envoy convicted of espionage in Sudan leaves prison - AFP 09/04/06
        • Sudan asks African monitors to leave Darfur - AFP 09/04/06
        • Russia calls for fresh UN-Sudan dialogue over Darfur peacekeepers - AFP 09/04/06
        • African monitors confirm renewed fighting in Darfur - AFP 09/04/06
        • Darfur rebels say government on offensive, Cabinet asks AU to leave - AP 09/04/06
        • Nigerian sends troops to war-torn Darfur - AFP 09/04/06
        • South Sudan capital dreams of Nile boom-town status after years of war - AFP 09/04/06
        • Sudan's position incomprehensible - Gulf News/ Editorial 09/03/06
        • Obama Visits Sudanese Refugees in Chad - AP 09/03/06
        • Sudanese president pardons Slovenian 'spy' - AFP 09/02/06
        • Darfur rebel group vows to cooperate with UN force - AFP 09/02/06
        • US appeals court allows Cole families suit against Sudan to proceed - AP 09/02/06
        • Obama meets with Chad president - Chicago Sun-Times 09/01/06
        • Nile floods raise spectre of disease in Sudan: - AFP 09/01/06
        • Sudan launches new offensive in Darfur - AP 09/01/06
        • Egypt warns of deploying UN troops against Sudan's consent - DPA 09/01/06
        • Sudan VP vows resistance to UN peacekeepers - AFP 09/01/06
        • US warns media over travel to Darfur after journalist arrests - AFP 09/01/06
        • Sudanese official rejects UN resolution - AFP 09/01/06
        • SUDAN: Army unleashes military offensive in Darfur - IRIN 09/01/06 (Sudan.net

        Meanwhile, members of the Security Council members are patting their backs for adopting the resolution. British Foreign Office Minister David Triesman said "The vital thing to say is that this resolution does address the international humanitarian catastrophe and it does address the security issues which would make it possible to do something about that catastrophe."

        I must admit, the resolution does address the "humanitarian catastrophe and …security issues" on paper. However, it is absurd to claim that the resolution is making "it possible to do something about that catastrophe" without the controversial invitation by the Sudanese government.

        The main issue for China, one of the three countries which abstained along with Russia and Qatar, was that the Sudan government has to consent to the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS). In reality, China didn't even have to abstain because without the Sudan government's concession, the resolution can't go anywhere. They would have gotten their wish anyway.

        Timing was another reason for China, Russia and Qatar to abstain. The Council’s document reads "even those countries that had abstained did not fundamentally disagree with the issues of the text -- it was more about the timing." What could they possibly be disagreeing about the timing? Not enough people are dead? The militia had a quota of raped women and girls it hasn't met? There still are people living in their homes in Darfur who should be in camps? What?

        Nana Effah-Apenteng of Ghana, the Council’s presidents take on the whole issue is confusingly interesting…(it may require re-hindging the jaw)

        Council President Nana Effah-Apenteng (Ghana), speaking in his national capacity, said that as many as 16 countries were already taking part in the African Union mission, and his country was proud to be one of them. Although the text adopted today was not a magic wand, its adoption was timely and gave the Sudan an opportunity be part of the solution to the Darfur crisis. On the other hand, however, the Government bore the responsibility to protect the victims of war in the Sudan, and for that reason, Ghana had reservations about explicit language in the text regarding the Government’s agreement to the deployment of an international force. (my own emphasis)

        So, what exactly was the point of this exercise of drafting and adopting a resolution?

        Personally, I believe that UK’s and US handling of the whole Iraq WMD (war on terror - I have forgotten which one it was) has given Sudan (assisted by Russia)the perfect excuse to shout "regime change" and reject UN peacekeepers. The UK and US pushed for hasty delivery of the resolution, and you I don't have to be a political analyst to come to this conclusion. They should have made the other co-sponsors of the resolution (Greece, Tanzania, Slovakia, Denmark, Argentina & France) the front runners and made themselves scarce. And let the lesson be, your foreign policy for one country may come back and bite you from behind or something like that.
        posted by Fikirte @ 1:10 PM   0 comments Digg!
        Monday, September 04, 2006
        Pictures on Flikr

        I uploaded some of the pictures I took in California on Flikr. Enjoy.
        posted by Fikirte @ 3:38 PM   0 comments Digg!
        Saturday, September 02, 2006
        EDI or WDAI anyone?
        Measurements of how miserable, poor, generous etc. nations are widely available although they are far from painting the true picture of whatever they are measuring. What is missing from such indexes is the other side of the story. I would say that it's about time somebody comes up with Effectiveness in Development Index (EDI) or Wasted Development Aid Index. That will be interesting.

        What good is measuring what the rich is giving to the poor without measuring the effectiveness of aid? Take America's effort to combat HIV/AIDS in poor countries for instance. According to USAID, the US has spent almost $6 billion on AIDS programs in 100 countries. A recent renewed commitment entailed $15 billion approved under the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief to benefit 120 nations. The administration is not shy in telling us that...

        The Emergency Plan is the largest commitment ever by any nation for an international health initiative dedicated to a single disease -- a five-year, $15 billion, multifaceted approach to combating the disease in more than 120 countries around the world.


        Fine, but why aren't HIV/AIDS advocates jumping with joy about this initiative? Because the ideologically loaded ABC (Abstinence-Be faithful-use Condom) policy is seen as worsening the problem.

        66% of resources dedicated to prevention of HIV from sexual transmission must be used for activities that promote abstinence before marriage and fidelity. Under the guidelines, at least half of total prevention funding must be spent on sexual transmission initiatives, with the remainder going toward programs that prevent HIV transmission from mother to child or through the blood supply. Many countries last year spent much more than half of their total prevention budgets on sexual transmission programs, meaning that the policy change will increase funding for abstinence programs while "implicitly set[ting] tighter limits on spending for condoms," according to the Sun. (Source: The Keiser Network


        The Center for Global Development’s Commitment to Development Index ranked the US as the second most improved nation in terms of increased aid allocation. By itself, this piece of information is encouraging. However, put it in the context of incompetent policies that accompany aid, then it is a totally different story.
        posted by Fikirte @ 9:54 AM   0 comments Digg!
        Friday, September 01, 2006
        See the world while doing good
        If you fancy volunteering in developing countries, here are some exciting opportunities in Africa, Asia and Latin America with the Institute of Field Research Expedition – a US based NGO. You will not be thrown into the wilderness. You go through a cultural emersion program before you start working, and the organization provide trainings. Good luck!
        posted by Fikirte @ 10:52 AM   0 comments Digg!
        The face of VAW

        Kamilat - victim of acid burning The face of VAW - violence against women. It should and can be stopped with enough commitment. Helping one woman at a time is a start.
        Go to the blog
      • VAW - Do something!
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