Good News Agency – Year XI, n° 183
Good News Agency carries positive and constructive news from all over the world relating to voluntary work, the work of the United Nations, non governmental organizations and institutions engaged in improving the quality of life – news that doesn’t “burn out” in the space of a day. It is distributed free of charge through Internet to 10,000 media and editorial journalists in 54 countries and to 3,000 NGOs and 1,600 high schools, colleges and universities. It is an all-volunteer service of Associazione Culturale dei Triangoli e della Buona Volontà Mondiale, an educational charity associated with the United Nations Department of Public Information. The Association has been recognized by UNESCO as “an actor of the global movement for a culture of peace” and it is a member of the World Association of Non Governmental Organizations.
The 2008 Convention comprehensively bans the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster munitions, sets strict deadlines for clearance of contaminated land and destruction of stockpiles of the weapon, and includes groundbreaking provisions for assistance to victims and affected communities. A total of 108 countries have signed the treaty, which entered into force as binding international law on 1 August 2010. Its historic First Meeting of States Parties was held from 9-12 November 2010 in Lao PDR – the most heavily cluster-bombed country in the world.
3 February – The United Nations today launched an action plan to combat piracy off the Somali coast, calling for greater support from national navies to fight a “global menace” that threatens not only international trade but the world body’s delivery of vital food aid to millions of hungry people. One of the prime objectives of the new plan is “to promote greater levels of support from, and coordination with, navies” off Somalia, where patrols by the European Union, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and UN member states already provide “vital protection” for UN vessels delivering logistical support to the African Union force in Mogadishu, which seeks to help stabilize the war-torn country, and for UN food shipments to the 2.4 million Somalis who urgently need it.
Beyond promoting greater support from navies, the plan’s priorities include boosting anti-piracy coordination and co-operation among countries, regions, organizations and industry, through information-sharing and military and civil efforts; and helping countries to build capacity in piracy-infested regions in order “to deter, interdict and bring to justice” the perpetrators.
Invigorating rural economies: IFAD annual meeting draws to a close with a call for greater youth involvement in agriculture and business growth
In opening the meeting
yesterday, the Fund’s President, Kanayo F. Nwanze, told delegates that IFAD is taking steps to create
more vibrant rural economies, which in turn will propel the agency’s rural poverty
reduction efforts. In his keynote address to the Governing Council, Kofi Annan, Chairman of the
A plenary panel discussion on Saturday, “Feeding future generations: young rural people today – prosperous, productive farmers tomorrow,” moderated by former CNN International presenter Tumi Makgabo, provided an interactive discussion on the critical challenges rural youth face and how their energy can be tapped to help create more vibrant rural economies.
18 February - Education International, working together with other Global Unions, is ready to bring and share their expertise at the UN Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW).
“Access and participation of women and girls to education, training, science and technology, including for the promotion of women’s equal access to full employment and decent work” is the main theme of the 2011 session of the UN CSW. The joint trade union delegation is formed by almost 90 delegates from all regions; out of these, 27 participants from 15 education unions will represent Education International. A joint statement “From the Classroom to the Workplace – Positioning Women for Decent Work in the Knowledge Economy” was submitted to the UN in November 2010.
It will be the first time that gender, education and decent work are included as priority themes in the UNCSW working agenda. Global Unions have been building up this momentum over more than 20 years. Joining trade union forces for advocacy, networking and working in solidarity were raised as key aspects for success at the workshop session “Advocacy: Can UN Women close the equality gap?”, organised at EI’s First World Women’s Conference – On the Move for Equality, which took place in January 2011 in Bangkok. Participants discussed the role of the new UN Women agency and developed strategies for making teachers’ voices heard in the international arena. http://www.ei-ie.org/en/news/show.php?id=1524&theme=gender&country=global
16 February - Education International and its affiliates have participated in workshops on
early childhood education and child labour in western
Africa at the World Social Forum which has been held in
Making their interventions, EI affiliated teacher unionists from SYNESP
(Benin); SYNTER (Burkina Faso); BUPL (Denmark); GEW (Germany); GNAT (Ghana);
NAGRAT (Ghana);SNEB (Niger), FESEN (Togo), joined members of EI’s Senegalese affiliates and EI’s
Africa Region staff to discuss policies to enhance early childhood education,
as recommended by the Education for All (EFA) program and the UN Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs). Participants agreed that
unions in western
Indigenous people wins ruling against Chevron
American oil company Chevron was recently ordered to pay $8.2bn after years of
environmental damage in the Amazon in
By Tine Johansen
16 February – “This is a big
day for the environment and for the rights of indigenous people in the Amazon,”
says Per Ranestad, NPA’s
regional director in
The ruling against Chevron is
the largest relating to oil drilling. According to NPA’s
partner in Ecuador ”Frente de
Chevron has already appealed the ruling. The documentary Crude, which is based on 600 hours of recording, documents how comprehensive and overwhelming the contamination is. (…)
the protection of children and women,
10 February – During a visit
Geneva Call initiated a dialogue in Lebanon on these initiatives, and meetings were held in Beirut and in the refugee camps of Ain al-Hilwah, Mar Elias and Miye Miye with high-level representatives from Hamas, Fatah, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Islamic Jihad, the Coalition of Islamic Forces in Ain al-Hilwah refugee camp, and the Palestinian security forces of the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. There were productive exchanges of views in which all those present acknowledged the need for Geneva Call's work and expressed their willingness to pursue further dialogue on these areas ofhumanitarian concern. Geneva Call looks forward to further productive exchange in due course.
Minister Trinidad Jiménez García-Herrera said the Spanish Food Security Cofinancing Facility Trust Fund will consist of a €285.5 million loan from the Government of Spain combined with a grant of €14.5 million to be committed during the years 2011 and 2012. The loan maturity will be 45 years, including a grace period of five years, with funding to be aligned with the policies and practices of IFAD.
The financial arrangement
between IFAD and
Afghan almonds offer farmers high-value market opportunity
Agroforestry initiative provides 33,000-plus saplings, training to farmers
February 18 – The quality and
taste of Afghan almonds attract a premium price on the world market, especially
IDEA-NEW provided more than 33,000 saplings of four popular almond varieties: Satar Baye, Qambari, Qahar Baye and Zareer Baye. Providing the orchard with four varieties helps ensure good pollination of the trees and better production. IDEA-NEW agriculture staff regularly monitored the saplings’ growth throughout the activity’s cycle to observe progress. Toward the activity’s completion, however, some villages experienced security concerns and monitoring became difficult. Still, staff managed to monitor 76 of the orchards planted on 65.6 ha of the 100 ha planted. Of the 20,792 saplings planted in these 76 orchards, 92 percent of them survived— welcome news for the participant farmers.
ACDI/VOCA implements the USAID-funded IDEA-NEW with partners DAI and Mercy Corps.
provides US$28 million to help boost dairy production and improve herders’
living conditions in
Currently, the high potential of the livestock sector is threatened by external factors such as international market fluctuations, harsher climatic conditions and water availability, low animal productivity, high cost of feed and the underdevelopment of value-added products. “The project promises to achieve important gains in animal productivity, volume of production, quality of collection and processing and market outreach,” said Abdelhamid Abdouli, IFAD’s Country Programme Manager for Syria. The participatory approach to be followed by the project will assist the target group in forming community-based associations, such as farmers’ marketing associations, herders’ associations and village “Sanduq” committees, to provide rural microfinance services, etc. These associations will play a vital role in implementing project activities.
February 9 – ACDI/VOCA will
provide expert training in value chain approaches to financial services at two
regional knowledge-sharing events in
USAID officers will attend seminars that review financial sector fundamentals such as examining enabling environments and financial infrastructure needs through a value chain finance framework. Topics will include information systems, microfinance and nonbank instruments.
ACDI/VOCA experts will collaborate with colleagues at Chemonics to design and facilitate participatory exercises to guide attendees through the process of mapping financial needs in value chains, assessing available finance supply and diagnosing constraints.
USAID attendees will increase
their understanding of strategies and mechanisms to finance food security-related
productivity investments. They also will emerge from the seminars with a
preliminary road map for designing new programs based on specific
ACDI/VOCA is a leader in implementing programs that use a value chain approach to maximize program impact and ensure sustainability of efforts.
Cross helps hundreds of thousands of people affected by
Johnney – IFRC, Communications & Information
17 February – In the most recent wave of flooding 18 people were killed, 22 were injured and three remain missing. An estimated 30,000 homes have been partially or totally damaged and the massive cost of rebuilding infrastructure such as roads, bridges and culverts is still being calculated.
Since the floods first began
four months ago, the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS), supported by the
International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC),
has managed to assist over 800,000 people. Stranded families have been
evacuated by boat, cooked food and dry rations have been distributed, wells
have been cleaned and thousands of flood evacuees have been provided with
medical care and first aid services. “It has been a mammoth task to bring back
a sense of normality to people in the devastated areas” says
On its part, the IFRC launched a 4.62 million CHF Appeal (4.8 million USD, 3.5 million Euros) to provide emergency assistance to over 75,000 people (15,000 families). This also includes cash grants to help restore livelihoods and rebuild damaged homes over the next 12 months. However, so far only 20 per cent of the Appeal target has been met.
Rotary International News, 15 February – The initiative of a Rotaractor and the determination of a past Rotary International director helped secure a donation of US$568,000 from Mercedes-Benz Brazil to support Rotarian disaster recovery efforts in Chile.
Ana Carolina Silvestre da Costa, a Rotaractor and former
Rotary Youth Exchange student, has been working in the internal communications
The Mercedes-Benz donation
more than doubled the amount available to Rotary clubs through the Foundation's
Rotary Chile Recovery Fund, set up after a powerful earthquake in February 2010
devastated parts of
HELP USA & Newark Mayor Cory Booker break ground
Public-private partnership will provide 56 units of rental housing for veterans and low income families
The Clinton Hill facility will include computer rooms, a fitness center, meeting rooms, and community service space. The latter will provide space for programs that will serve veterans, other tenants, and members of the local community. These programs will be operated by HELP USA and by Newark-based service providers. http://www.csrwire.com/press_releases/31624-HELP-USA-Newark-Mayor-Cory-Booker-Break-Ground
To help kick-start agricultural production, Red Cross staff will give each family 20 kg of groundnut seed and a further 20 kg of seed for fast-growing rice. Five hundred other families of fishermen will receive the gear they need to resume their livelihood.
To carry out such a large-scale operation in these circumstances, it has been necessary to get the help of the local population to repair roads and two airstrips. The operation will continue until March, with dozens of flights a day into the area and hard work by a large number of National Red Cross Society volunteers.
helps raise funds for school for the deaf in
Posted by: Karen Matthee
February 14 – CPI organized a
fundraiser event to support a needy School for the Deaf in
The school is a public, free,
Ministry of Education-certified, co-educational facility located in the Khair Khana neighborhood
Closing the school for three
months would certainly have jeopardized the progress of the more than 300
students currently enrolled and create obvious financial difficulties for the
school's highly dedicated teachers (most of whom are women). While the
Subsequently, the staff of the
Cambodian & Thai Red Cross help thousands during cross-border military clashes
Stephen Ryan, Asia Pacific zone office
14 February – Recent
hostilities in the border region between
Thanks to their strong grassroots networks and links with local communities, both National Societies have been able to react rapidly to the needs on the ground and have been working in close cooperation with their respective local and national authorities to ensure the best use of resources, Shelter as well as relief items (food and non-food) have been provided to those in need on both sides of the border. In Cambodia and Thailand, the National Societies’ headquarters sent teams to the affected regions early on to assess the needs of their local branches and evaluate how best to support them.
Rotary India Humanity Foundation, an arm of Rotary International, will pump in Rs.75 crore over the next three years for 5,000 surgeries on under-privileged children suffering heart diseases in the country.Disclosing this at the launch of the Foundation’s programme “Saving Little Hearts”, Rotary International president Kalyan Banerjee said the number of surgeries may also reach 7,500 within the three-year period.“We are committed to doing at least 5,000 heart surgeries over the next three years, and most probably we will take this number up to 7,500,” he said.
The programme has been formulated and designed to ease the suffering and give normal life to children suffering from congenital heart diseases.“Among the children in need for urgent medical treatment, 60,000 to 90,000 need immediate surgery to stay alive. Unfortunately, most of these cases are among those children who are below the poverty line and cannot avail of these expensive surgeries.” he said.“With each of these surgeries costing between Rs. 1,00,000 to Rs. 2,50,000 and the parents generally earning about Rs. 3,000 monthly, the surgeries remain beyond their reach,” he added.
The next three years will witness a fund output of Rs. 215 crores, including the money allotted for the programme “Saving Little Hearts”. “Besides the heart surgeries, we are also concentrating on other areas in healthcare, education, environment, empowerment, disaster management and polio eradication,” said Rotary International director Shekhar Mehta.
Italian Red Cross responds to influx of Tunisian migrants
By Joe Lowry and Giovanni Zambello
14 February – Italian Red
Cross is responding to the influx of migrants from
The migrants are predominantly
young men, over 30 of whom are reported to have
drowned on route. Over 1,000 have been transferred to the mainland, in
A brash hedge-fund manager applies his tactics to philanthropy
By Caroline Preston
February 6 - A few years ago,
Cheryl L. Dorsey was hosting a lunch for Echoing Green Foundation, the
social-entrepreneurship fund she runs, when a man she had never met before
approached her. “If Echoing Green is as good as you say it is, I’ll commit
$1-million and get involved,” she recalls him saying. Not too long after, the
That kind of move is quintessential William A. Ackman. The 44-year old hedge-fund manager is well known in the financial world for his brash brand of activist investing, by which he has amassed a fortune that Forbes magazine last year estimated at $700-million. (Mr. Ackman declined to confirm whether that is accurate.)He’s not yet a familiar name in philanthropy—but that could change. (...)
Through a foundation they created in 2006, Mr. Ackman and his wife, Karen, plan to eventually give away most of their wealth. Last year, they donated $58-million to the Pershing Square Foundation, whose name reflects Mr. Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management, the hedge fund he started in 2004. The contribution, along with $1.3-million they gave to 50 other nonprofits, puts the Ackmans in the No. 17 spot on The Chronicle’s list of the most-generous donors.The foundation is awarding grants at that same fast clip, pledging $84.3-million so far. (…)
Palestinian premier willing to discuss reunification with Hamas
Ramallah, February 21 - Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on Monday said he is willing to travel to the Gaza Strip to discuss forming a unity government with the Islamist Hamas movement. Fayyad last week submitted his government's resignation to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who promptly asked him to form a new government.
Speaking to reporters at his
office in Ramallah, Fayyad said that his initiative
calls for reunifying the West Bank and
D. R. Congo rebel leader abandons armed group under UN demobilisation scheme
17 February - The United Nations peacekeeping force in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have reported that a senior member of one of the most troublesome armed groups in the eastern region of the country has turned himself in under the demobilisation programme run by the mission. Lieutenant-Colonel Samuel Bisengimana, also known as Sam Mutima-Kunda, a village chief and influential figure in the Forces démocratiques de Liberation du Rwanda (FDLR) - formed by Rwandan ethnic Hutus linked to the 1994 genocide - defected this week after year-long negotiations, according to the mission (MONUSCO).
The mission said his defection under the terms of its Disarmament, Demobilization, Reintegration, Rehabilitation and Repatriation (DDRRR) programme dealt a serious blow to the FDLR, which he served as a member of the high command. His defection follows the extraction from the FDLR of three other fighters with the rank of major last month. Last year, 1,881 FDLR rebels, including 64 officers, opted for voluntary surrender and disarmament under the MONUSCO demobilisation programme.
World’s largest security body vows to boost cooperation with UN
15 February – The world’s
largest regional security organization, embracing 56 States stretching from the
Laying out the chairmanship’s priorities, he listed tangible progress in addressing protracted conflicts; improved implementation of media freedom commitments; strengthening OSCE response to trans-national threats; enhancing its role in the area of energy security; and promoting tolerance education throughout the area.
On 10 February MAG’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) experts working in Puntland, Somalia, destroyed more than deadly 380
Anti-Personnel (AP) mines and Anti-Tank (AT) mine fuses – the largest single
destruction of mines MAG has done since starting work in the troubled region in
2008. Senior local Police Commanders handed the mines to MAG’s
Technical Field Managers (TFM’s) during a visit to
the northern coastal town of
The authorities in
9 February - North and
The vote was the culminating point of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) ending two decades of civil war between the North and the South that killed some 2 million people and drove an estimated 4.5 million others from their homes, and Mr. Menkerios noted that “against the odds” the Sudanese Government not only contributed to holding the referendum but accepted its outcome. http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=37501&Cr=sudan&Cr1=
medical volunteers provide lifesaving training to improve care for sick and
The HOPE medical volunteers are training local staff to improve emergency room care, triage, and medical procedures in local facilities that are sometimes hampered by a lack of staff and equipment to treat the critically ill. Patients from infancy to the elderly seeking treatment for fever, malaria and other treatable illnesses will also receive care.
End Polio Now messages heading your way
February 17 – 'End Polio Now' is the call that accompanies the final steps to the eradication of polio. On 23 February, iconic monuments around the world will be lit up with this phrase.
On a small island of the
Throughout the week of 23 February, Rotary clubs and districts will also be illuminating iconic landmarks around the world with the End Polio Now message. The landmarks include the Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy; the parliament building in The Hague, Netherlands; the soccer stadium in Cape Town, South Africa; a gate at the Lantern Festival in Taiwan; Kanazawa Castle in Kanazawa, Japan; the government building in Karachi, Pakistan; the planetarium in Seoul, Korea; the Globe of the Mall of Asia in the Philippines; and the Charminar in Hyderabad, India.
By the time the world is certified polio free, Rotary's contributions to the global polio eradication effort will exceed US$1.2 billion. In addition millions of dollars of 'in-kind' and personal contributions have been made by and through local Rotary Clubs and Districts for polio eradication activities. Of even greater significance has been the huge volunteer army that has been mobilised by Rotary International. Hundreds of thousands of volunteers at the local level are providing support at clinics or mobilising their communities for immunisation or polio eradication activities. More than one million Rotarians worldwide have contributed towards the success of the polio eradication effort to date.
16 February - The Rwandan government plans to
expand its national voluntary male circumcision programme
using a new device, the PrePex system, which
officials say saves both time and money. The PrePex
system works through a special elastic mechanism that fits closely around an
inner ring, trapping the foreskin, which dries up and is removed after a week.
A study conducted by the Rwandan Ministries of Defence
and Health in 2010 found the device to be safe and effective."You
don't need a sterile environment, you don't need anaesthetic,
you don't need to use an operating theatre," Agnes Binagwaho,
permanent secretary in
10 February - A group of artists from the
Goal number 5 of the eight globally agreed
anti-poverty Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
calls for the reduction of maternal mortality deaths by three quarters, and the
attainment of universal access to reproductive health services by the target
date of 2015. The song produced at the end of the Arts and Advocacy workshop
calls on world leaders to pay greater attention to the rights of women and
girls, and urges the people of
10 February – Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)
has mobilized significant resources, particularly human resources, to address
the cholera epidemic that broke out in
This was the first time Haitian health workers had ever dealt with cholera, as the country has never experienced it before. MSF provided training to improve treatment.
Since the epidemic began in late October 2010, MSF teams have treated more than 110,000 patients across the country. Nearly 7,500 Haitians and 430 international employees are implementing MSF's programs in field and are responsible for battling cholera.
World Cancer Day,
An estimated 45,000 new cases
of pediatric cancer occur each year in
Project HOPE is creating ambitious programs to enhance the capabilities of the pediatric oncology program at SCMC.
ADRA’s two-month water trucking intervention will provide safe drinking water to more than 1,290 households, or 7,700 people, in seven villages in Puntland’s Nugaal region, giving priority to infants, children, women and the elderly. This response is intended as a life saving measure to prevent deaths from dehydration, reduce the risk of water-related diseases, and provide for minimal cooking and personal hygiene.
The current drought has turned
the humanitarian situation precarious, and the resilience of the local
populations remains highly threatened, according to ADRA Somalia. Although the
latest drought is affecting most of
Reducing poverty by growing fuel and food
New FAO study shows integrated food and energy crops work for poor farmers
Benefiting the climate - Integrating food and energy production can also be an effective approach to mitigating climate change, especially emissions stemming from land use change. By combining food and energy production, IFES reduce the likelihood that land will be converted from food to energy production, since one needs less land to produce food and energy. Additionally, implementing IFES often leads to increased land and water productivity, therefore reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing food security.
Enhancing IFES practices will contribute to the progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), including MDG 1 to end poverty and hunger and MDG 7 on sustainable natural resource management, FAO said.
DOE (U.S. Department of Energy) announced on February 16 up to $5 million in funding to support Graduate Automotive Technology Education (GATE) Centers of Excellence. GATE Centers of Excellence will focus on educating a future workforce of automotive engineering professionals who will gain experience in developing and commercializing advanced automotive technologies. The funding will help to achieve President Obama's goal of putting 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015, a plan designed to reduce oil consumption by about 750 million barrels by 2030.
The GATE Centers
of Excellence will provide graduate level inter-disciplinary education in
critical automotive technology areas including: advanced combustion engines,
storage systems, hybrid propulsion and control systems, and lightweight
materials. The goal of the GATE Centers for
Excellence is to overcome technology barriers to the development and production
of cost-effective, high-efficiency vehicles for the
Assessing agriculture's potential to mitigate global warming
Norway and Germany support FAO's work to fill data gaps on greenhouse gas emissions, create planning tools
Rome,15 February - The governments of Norway and Germany have committed a combined total of $5 million in support of an FAO programme to improve global information on greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and more accurately assess farming's potential to mitigate global warming. The improved data acquired by FAO's Mitigation of Climate change in Agriculture (MICCA) programme will be made available via an online global knowledge base that will not only profile greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from agriculture but will also identify best opportunities for mitigating global warming through improved farming practices. "Data variations in existing assessments, as well as information gaps, pose a real challenge in terms of making the most of the agriculture sector's significant potential to sequester atmospheric carbon," said Marja-Liisa Tapio-Bistrom, coordinator of the FAO MICCA Programme.
Having access to improved data will give governments, development planners, farmers and agribusinesses a tool they can use to access international funding for mitigation projects and design and implement policies, programs and practices intended to reduce agriculture's GHG emissions, increase the amount of carbon sequestered on farms.
"Climate-smart" farming practices can increase productivity and improve resilience to changing weather and climate patterns while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
3rd Annual International Conference on Religion, Conflict, and Peace:
The Talk To Compassion And Harmony - April 8-10,
An international forum promoting Inter-religious and Intra-religious dialogue
The spiritual experience is both uniquely individual and universal, tapping into our deepest, most inner self, while connecting us to the oneness with all. How each of us chooses our own sometimes quite different path on this common journey can highlight an appreciation for the rich diversity of human sacred practice, while at the same time setting the stage for the potential hazards of elitism, competition, polarity, and even animosity that paradoxically negate the core message of unity, and hamper us on that journey.
marginalization, scapegoating, and related conflict
are not new experiences, whether in the
Understanding how these elements and conditions arise, how they compromise, contradict, and even threaten original spiritual intent, and how they wound relationships between and within religious communities, is essential to learning practical methods for appreciating diversity and achieving harmony and peace in today's rapidly shrinking and increasingly inter-dependant world community. The RCP Conference seeks to create an engaged, inclusive dialogue to consciously explore together both broader historical dynamics, implications, and possible remedies, and more recent specific manifestations playing out around us in society today.
International Mother Language Day, 21 February
Mother language instruction “a powerful way to fight discrimination” says UNESCO Director-General
“We know how important education in the mother language is for learning outcomes,” declared Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of International Mother Language Day, 21 February 2011. “Mother language instruction is a powerful way to fight discrimination and reach out to marginalized populations.”
“Projects on Linguistic
Diversity and New Technologies”, UNESCO’s IMLD information meeting, will
feature debates on ICTs and bilingual education. Amidou Maïga and Papa Youga Dieng, programme
leaders at Department of Education and Training Organisation
Celebrated annually since 2000, International Mother Language Day provides an occasion to recognize the vital importance of languages in education and to mobilize efforts in favour of multilingualism and linguistic diversity.
Communication from the Commission: early childhood education and care: providing all our children with the best start for the world of tomorrow
17 February -
Complementing the central role of the family, ECEC has a profound and longlasting impact which measures taken at a later stage cannot achieve. Children's earliest experiences form the basis for all subsequent learning. If solid foundations are laid in the early years, later learning is more effective and is more likely to continue life-long, lessening the risk of early school leaving, increasing the equity of educational outcomes and reducing the costs for society in terms of lost talent and of public spending on social, health and even justice systems.
The flagship initiative ‘Youth on the Move’ as part of the EU's overarching Europe 2020 Strategy highlights the role of creativity and innovation for our competitiveness and for the preservation of our standards of living in the longer term. Against this background, it underlines that we must offer all our young people the chance to develop their talents to the fullest possible extent. http://ec.europa.eu/education/school-education/doc/childhoodcom_en.pdf
Rebuilt center renews hope for Nahr El Bared Youth
On January 21, ANERA staff,
students and teachers, friends, non-profit partners gathered in Nahr El Bared camp in northern
For 23 years, NAVTSS was a
place of learning and fun, where impoverished and underprivileged youth of the
refugee camp could study and learn like other kids their age elsewhere in
That ended in 2007 when fierce fighting between militants inside the camp and the Lebanese Army left the center and most of the camp in ruins. For the next two years, the center’s students returned to the destroyed skeleton of a building and cleared out some of the rubble, sifting through their personal belongings to find some semblance of normalcy in the chaos. NAVTSS tried to continue its training classes inside the damaged building, but any semblance of a normal education was difficult in the atmosphere of destruction and conflict.
OXFAM, the British-based non-profit, helped kick-start the rebuilding process by making repairs to three of the center's classrooms. ANERA joined the effort by meeting with the NAVTSS directors and together developing a plan to rebuild the entire learning center to its pre-conflict state.
The center’s reconstruction was completed in 2010. NAVTSS now boasts newly equipped classrooms, training courses and activities. Classes include nursing, electrical work, carpentry, car mechanics, refrigeration and heating, nursery teacher training, IT, secretarial skills and carpentry with aluminum.
musicians compete to perform at the World Children’s Festival on The National Mall across from the
Washington, February 14 – Melody Street, LLC of Hollywood, CA and the International Child Art Foundation (ICAF) DC launched an online music contest today for young musicians and amateur groups in the United States and internationally to win the opportunity to perform on the “World Stage” at the 4th World Children‟s Festival (WCF) to take place on The National Mall across from the U.S. Capitol on June 17-19, 2011.
Held every four years as the “Olympics” of children's creativity and co-creation, the WCF has, since 1999, evolved into the largest international children's celebration and a permanent quadrennial event in our Nation's Capital.
The music contest offers young musicians ages 6 to 16 the chance to showcase their talents on a national and global stage. The contest also offers all children the opportunity to select their favorite musicians and music groups and vote for them so they are among the 25 finalists selected to perform at the WCF. The submission of videos by young musicians and voting by their young fans opened today > http://melodystreet.com/icaf/
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Next issue: 18 March 2010.
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