Saturday, 25 September 2010

Humanity Explored - Issue No.2

 Humanity Explored is a series of articles designed to highlight some of the humanitarian news and issues around the world into bite sizes. It is published here weekly in order to raise awareness of the issues and start a conversation about them. Please feel free to comment with your thoughts and opinions and share the stories you have heard or the activities you are involved in that are helping make our world a better place.

 Millennium Development Rights
I recently read an article entitled 'We need millennium development RIGHTS, not just goals' and I was intrigued. To understand where the author is coming form it is important to know what the United Nations (UN) Millennium Development Goals (MDG) are. The UN MDG's are eight international development goals that all 192 UN member states (countires) and at least 23 international organisations have agreed to achieve by 2015 covering everything from reducing child mortality rate and fighting disease to  eradicating extreme poverty and promoting gender equality (read more here).The article calling for millennium development rights therefore is reviewing the progress (or lack there of) in achieving the MDG's since 2000 when they were first set. Considering the countries that are failing to perform and carry out the much needed changes that this radical program calls for and whilst so doing leaving many, particularly women and children is a state of abject poverty, hunger and destitution. I agree that in order to make these noble goals a reality in practice, there needs to be a means of enforcing the change by the UN rather than the current system operated on good faith and promises to act / change from member states and corporations; promises that for many 'lie broken'

'When rights are violated, someone, or some government or some corporation, 
can be held accountable.' 

The Millennium Development Goals (video)

 African Union vision...'another Africa' the advent of afro-optimism.
Dr Bingu wa Mutharika address
The UN General Assembly
During the United Nations General Assembly opening this week the African Union president and president of Malawi, Dr Bingu wa Mutharika talked of a 'new Africa', one which takes control of its own destiny and becomes its own champion in relation to changing its political and economic climate and creating an environment where its people are free from hunger, poverty, discrimination and corruption. President Mutharika said that he is“fully aware that the Africa that the world hears about is that of insensate calamities and natural disasters,” yet there is little reported of the growth and changes being made in many African nations. He went on to say that he had 'come to inform this world body that Africa has decided to shift from ‘Afro-pessimism’ to ‘Afro-optimism.' This bold statement if realised in practice could be just the change Africa needs. The reason for its stagnation and seemingly systemic failure to break free from corruption and poverty that lead to many of the other endemic issues that have and continue to  plague the continent is due to the perspective of the nations and their leaders. A paradigm shift is precisely what is needed to turn Africa around...we can only watch this space and optimistically hope that action follows.

Kuluka Project

Kuluka means"to weave" in Chichewa (a Malawian language). It  is a non-profit development organisation which focuses on the developing community healthcare and welfare in Malawi. Giving blood is so important and yet something that we do not often think about or consider to be a life saving act. There are so many people who die because they have lost too much blood and yet the blood banks are nearly empty and there is no way to access any. Giving blood where ever you are in the world is a life saving act and something that everyone can do. See here the life changing work this organisation is doing by encouraging blood donation in Malawi...Remember, you can be the DIFFERENCE.

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