Today is Red Hand Day. This relatively new day was organized for the first time in 2002 as a coalition to stop the use of child soldiers in wars and armed conflict. The red hand has been used all over the world by many protesters and organizations to say ‘no’ to child recruitment. The goal of the celebration is to draw attention to the issue of child soldiers, thus, on Red Hand Day various public protest and demonstrations take place. As an ongoing public statement the organization is collecting red hand prints. Over the past years more than 350,000 hand prints have been collected…
Today is Universal Children’s Day, a day to remind people across the globe of the rights and welfare of children.
The day was first established in 1954 by the General Assembly of the UN as a response to child labour. The day highlights the inhumane aspects of child labour: the long hours, dangerous work conditions, and denial of education.
In most countries, the situation of child labourers has improved drastically since 1954, but there are still over 215 million child labourers around the world today. The UN is worried about the current trends because it seems that the number of child labourers is on the rise in poorer countries. The UN has therefore declared to eliminate child labour by 2020. This declaration fits into the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which all have a target date in 2015. Although the MDGs are for all human kind, they are primarily about children.
“We were all children once,” is the message from the secretary general on Universal Children’s Day. “We all share the desire for the well-being of our children, which has always been and will continue to be the most universally cherished aspiration of humankind.”
Happy Universal Children’s Day everyone!
Halloween Day is celebrated as a festival around the world.
Especially celebrated by the younger generation, this festival of All Hallowes comes about as a practice followed among the Christian population and has its origins as a Pagan Celtic festival – Samhain. It’s celebrated the night before the Christian Festival of All Saints Day. Adults create laterns for their children made from large pumkins which have been made into ghoulish faces. Children play ‘trick or treat’.
However, in the Nordic countries this is the evening when friends and relatives who have died are remembered. People often go to the cemetary and place lit candles in the snow. The sight of hundreds of candles burning in the dark, illuminated by the white snow is quite a sight.
“Wherever men and women are condemned to live in extreme poverty, human rights are violated. To come together to ensure that these rights be respected is our solemn duty.” Joseph Wresinski, the founder of ADT Fourth World
Today is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Nearly half of the world’s population (that’s three billion people) live on less than $2.5 a day. 1.1 billion people have inadequate access to water and 2.6 billion people live without basic sanitation. Approximately 790 million people in the developing world are still chronically undernourished, almost two-thirds of them residing in Asia and the Pacific. 18 million deaths a year, one third of the world’s deaths, are caused by poverty.
All the more shockingly, an average cow in the European Union receives more than £1.40 a day in subsidies, which is more than the amount that half the world’s population survives on.
This year’s theme for International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is “Ending the Violence of Extreme Poverty: Promoting Empowerment and Building Peace.” Just like the quote above by Joseph Wresinski, this theme recognizes poverty as a human rights violation, rather than simply as a low income level.
It is estimated that 60% of chronically hungry people are women and girls. Today is International Day of Rural Women, a day that recognizes the vital role of rural women, including indigenous women, in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty.
The day is purposefully held a day before World Food Day in order to highlight the role rural women play in food production.
The International Day of Rural Women was first observed at a significant time in October 2008. 2006, 2007, and 2008 were the years of the global food crisis when prices of staple foods rose dramatically around the world. Although prices declined slightly right afterwards they spiked again in 2010 and have been high since. UN Women Watch writes that food prices are “likely to remain high and volatile over the next decade.”
Black History Month (BHM) is held every October in Britain and every February in USA and Canada.
Its aims are to:
- Promote knowledge of Black History and Cultural Heritage
- Disseminate information on positive Black contributions to British Society
- Heighten the confidence and awareness of Black people to their cultural heritage.
The origins of BHM go as far back as the 1920s, when Carter G Woodson, editor of the Journal of Negro History established Afro-Caribbean celebrations in America. Black History Month is for all of the African Diaspora. In Britain now, BHM has over 6,000 events!
There are many events about Black history and culture, including theatre performances, concerts, art exhibits, and film screenings. Entertainment highlights for Black History Month this year are FELA!, a musical of Africa’s most legendary figures; Home Grown, an exhibition on the evolution of British hip hop culture; and Picture This, a photo exhibition of 30 inspirational portraits of black Britons by John Ferguson.
2003-12 has been designated the ‘Literacy Decade: Education For All’
by the United Nations. Creating literate environments is essential to ensuring sustainable development, gender equality and poverty eradication. The UN believes that literacy is a human right and a means for social and human development. One in five adults is illiterate and of the illiterate population, two-thirds are women. Read about my experiences and see my photos of my time in Ghana teaching literacy to a group of engaging women.
To honour the spirit of the Olympics 2012, 204 poems from around the world, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, have been collected from each of the 204 participating countries by the Scottish Poetry Library.
Here is the second set of ten from Africa. Enjoy!
- Egypt: Socks
- Equatorial Guinea: from Minitopography of Santa Isabel
- Eritrea: Unjust Praise
- Ethiopia: The Road to Nowhere
- Gambia: Parachute men say
- Ghana: Tin Roof
- Guinea-Bissau: Regresso
- Ivory Coast: The Death of Old Men
- Kenya: from Poem to her Daughter
- Liberia: Nyanken Hne, My Husband
The poems selected are often not by the most notable poet a country has produced. Some of them are funny or light-hearted. Often they are snapshots of lives rather than grand narratives. And some of the choices may be controversial. However, they all give a glimpse of lives in countries spanning the globe. Together these poems depict a world united not only by sport, but by emotions that are universal and need no translator other than the heart.
You will find the first set of ten here: Africa
To honour the spirit of the Olympics 204 poems from around
the world, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, have been collected from each of the 204 participating countries by the Scottish Poetry Library.
Here are the first ten from Africa. Enjoy!
- Algeria: At the water’s edge
- Angola: Build my house…
- Burkina Faso: Cattle Count
- Burundi: Come and live with me
- Cape Verde: Prelude
- Chad: from Yet the Infanta of Salamanca
- Comoros: My high powered sailing boat
- Congo: The Village
- Democratic Republic of Congo: A year of Grace
- Djibouti: Desire
The poems selected are often not by the most notable poet a country has produced. Some of them are funny or light-hearted. Often they are snapshots of lives rather than grand narratives. And some of the choices may be controversial. However, they all give a glimpse of lives in countries spanning the globe. Together these poems depict a world united not only by sport, but by emotions that are universal and need no translator other than the heart. Enjoy!
Ramadan is the holy Islamic month of fasting. During the month,
Muslims will fast during the daylight, in all conditions and break their fast at nightfall with family and friends. Many of us wonder though, what can it be like to fast for an entire month?