Good News Agency – Year XI, n° 188
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.
11 June – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has
Ban welcomes decision to reinstate Honduras into Organization of American States
2 June – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed the reinstatement of Honduras into the Organization of American States (OAS), which had expelled the Central American nation two years ago after a military coup d’état ousted former president Manuel Zelaya. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, headed by former Guatemalan vice president Eduardo Stein, was set up by Honduran President Porfirio Lobo after his election in November 2009 to investigate events leading up to the coup that took place in June of that year.
World Refugee Day - June 20
A day to reflect on the scope of the refugee problem (there are some 19 million refugees under the care of the UN High Commission for Refugees); the immense personal, family and community suffering experienced by refugees; and the opportunities which the refugee crisis presents all peoples to act on their sense of interdependence and compassion.
resumes repatriation of Liberian refugees from
May – The United Nations refugee agency said today it has resumed the
repatriation of Liberian refugees who had been stranded in
25 is International Missing Children's Day and on Wednesday evening
This was followed Thursday by a conference aimed at raising awareness about the European hotline for missing children - 116000 - which is operational in 15 EU countries and should be introduced in the others this year.
UN Agency launches new initiative to boost crops and protect environment
The agency notes that there is no option but to further intensify crop production in order to feed a world population projected to reach 9.2 billion by 2050. To eradicate hunger and meet demand by 2050, food production needs to increase by 70 per cent in the world and 100 per cent in developing countries, it adds.
“The key to meeting the challenge lies in sustainable crop production intensification, or Save and Grow,” FAO stated, referring to the new approach that is outlined in a book by the same name and published by FAO’s Plant Production and Protection Division. The Save and Grow model “applies external inputs at the right time and in the right amount – no more and no less than plants need,” says the agency.
The new approach draws partly on conservation agriculture techniques which do away with or minimize ploughing and tilling, thus preserving soil structure and health. The new approach, the agency also points out, will require significant support to farmers so they can learn the new practices and technologies, while governments will also need to strengthen national plant-breeding programmes and overall domestic and foreign investments to the agriculture sector need to be increased.
Urban horticulture in DRC reaps $400 mln for small growers
City malnutrition drops as more affordable fruit and vegetables available
This compares to 148 000 in 2005/2006, an increase of 122 percent over a short period of five years. Less than 10 percent of the vegetables produced by the project are consumed by beneficiaries. The remainder, constituting more than 250 000 tons of produce, is sold in urban markets and supermarkets, for up to $4 a kilo for the major vegetables produced: tomatoes, sweet peppers and onions. .
As well as food, the programme has also helped provide employment and income for 16 000 small-scale market gardeners, all linked in to the programme and to 60 000 people more that form the links in the horticulture chain from field to table.
The FAO project in the DRC is a flagship model of how to help cities grow their own nutrients and micro-nutrients to keep pace with growing demand.
Mattel announces sustainable procurement policy
Mattel's sustainability strategy is focused on helping the company minimize its footprint throughout the value chain and across the organization, and emphasizes the importance of personal commitment in business as well as everyday actions.
First, by "designing it" with the end in mind, Mattel is focused on exploring opportunities for sustainability in the design of products and packaging; "making it" with eco-efficiencies that allow the company to identify opportunities to reduce environmental impacts through the manufacturing and distribution of its products; and by "living it" with personal commitment through employee-inspired grassroots initiatives.
Paraguayan farmers receive crucial post-harvest technologies
USAID program strengthens rural livelihood, promotes community stability
June 2 – Farming in
For example, the governor of
Weekly ICT initiative provides local news on food security, natural disaster preparedness
June 1 – Knowledge is power
ACDI/VOCA uses information communication technologies (ICTs) like radio in its development programs to improve results for beneficiaries. The radio show efficiently informs large numbers of Southeast Department listeners about the latest local development activities and provokes their interest in participating. In addition, it reinforces lessons from area trainings.
The Ministry of the Environment and ACDI/VOCA host the program, which is broadcast from Jacmel’s Radio Hosanna: 102.3 FM Stereo. ACDI/VOCA staff share updates about development initiatives from around the department either in person at the station or by telephone from their respective communes.
aid for 100,000 people in
10 June – Caritas members in
Caritas members will work together in partnership with the local Catholic Church under a joint programme of $7.6 million (€5.7 million) running up till July 2012. The work will focus on repair and rehabilitation of water, sanitation, health and education facilities and the provision of shelter, food and other aid assistance.
Caritas will work with those returning to their homes, the internally displaced and other vulnerable people. All the work will have strong community ownership with projects being handed over to the local population to maintain and run in the future.
Organization's 12th annual IMPACT Day highlights long-term commitment to pro bono service
New York, June 10 - Today, against the backdrop of its 12th annual national day of volunteer service known as IMPACT Day, Deloitte is celebrating the fulfilment of its three-year, $50 million pledge to Billion+ Change, a federal initiative to encourage American businesses to champion pro bono work by complementing their philanthropy with the contribution of in-kind services. Nearly three-quarters of the organization’s personnel, which numbers more than 50,000 in total, are setting aside their work to volunteer at more than 800 events nationwide.
As part of IMPACT Day and to commemorate its pro bono accomplishment, Deloitte is hosting pro bono forums in several major markets across the country, including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Hundreds of civic leaders, nonprofit executives and corporate philanthropists will be on hand at Deloitte’s offices to discuss how the business community can help address social issues through the contribution of skills based and professional talent.
Since 2008, Deloitte has expanded its approach to community involvement by offering its business knowledge to help nonprofits address strategic, operational and financial issues that may limit their ability to achieve their social missions.
Currently ADRA Japan has provided more than 750 meals over the period of a week to staff members and registered volunteers of Yamamoto city's Department of Social Services (DSS), and will continue to coordinate with the DSS for future appeals of aid. The agency also continues their food and emergency non-food distribution to various retirement centers in the Miyagi prefecture. In addition, ADRA Japan is procuring household materials and furniture for delivery and installation to more than 140 shelter homes in Yamamoto city.
In light of the aftermath from the damaged nuclear reactors, many high school students are now left with no other option but to travel further distances to schools in neighboring towns, as their schools have been temporarily shutdown. In coordination with the Education Committee of Fukushima, ADRA will be providing 400 bicycles for high school students to help ease the longer commute. http://www.adra.org/site/News2?news_iv_ctrl=1141&page=NewsArticle&id=11377
USAID looks to private partnerships
June 7 – Last week, USAID announced
a new corporate volunteerism program, the
USAID will partner with IBM and CDC Development Solutions to establish the virtual center, which should be self-sustaining at the end of the two-year pilot period. The center will liaise between corporate members and local governments who are willing to work with corporate volunteers.
In an article in The Nonprofit Quarterly, InterAction's
president & CEO, Sam Worthington, said, "The new face of
Another hope is that formalizing the process in one place, instead of each corporation undergoing the same trial-and-error in planning their programs, will help to replicate successes more easily.
Geneva/Abidjan, 31 May – The
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Red Cross Society of
Roads in the Bangolo area, in the former "confidence zone" dividing the northern and southern parts of the country, are often almost impassable. "This area is somewhat forgotten, as access is difficult and local people are rather wary of international organizations," said Mr Castella. "But the need for humanitarian aid is considerable."
Over 220 tonnes of rice, 45 tonnes of beans, 22,000 litres of oil, 2,300 kilograms of salt and 3,000 kits containing such essential items as tarpaulins, sleeping mats, soap, kitchen utensils and buckets will be distributed over the next fortnight. In addition to this emergency aid, the Red Cross is also providing around 100 tonnes of rice seed, 50 tonnes of maize seed and 6,000 hoes to help enhance food security.
Council extends mandate of UN peacekeeping force in
In a resolution adopted unanimously, the Council urged the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot leaders to “intensify the momentum of negotiations, engage in the process in a constructive and open manner, and work on reaching convergences on the remaining core issues in preparation for their meeting with the Secretary-General in July 2011.”
Benghazi/Geneva, 8 June – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), in a joint operation with the Mines Advisory Group, today started destroying hundreds of unexploded devices in the eastern Libyan city of Ajdabiya. ICRC specialists began clearance activities in the city in early May, removing unexploded ordnance from houses, schools and other structures to safe areas and marking objects that could not be moved.
"This is the first time
we have destroyed such devices in
In addition to the clearance activities, the ICRC is conducting a campaign together with volunteers of the Libyan Red Crescent to raise awareness among displaced people – especially children – that unexploded munitions put their lives at risk.
On Peacekeepers’ Day, UN honours those serving and fallen heroes
27 May – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the United Nations family today paid tribute to the more than 120,000 military, police and civilian personnel serving in peacekeeping missions across the world and honoured those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace. Almost 60,000 UN personnel are today actively engaged with national counterparts to help rebuild, renovate and strengthen the foundations on which criminal justice systems are built, according to Dmitry Titov, the Assistant Secretary-General for the Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions.
Time to ramp up the fight against polio
By Dan Nixon
Rotary International News, 14
June - The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) has made significant
progress since the launch of its new strategic plan and the bivalent oral polio
vaccine last year. In
In addition to the gains made
Among those countries is
The report also referred to an estimated US$665 million funding gap through 2012 as the “single greatest threat to the GPEI’s success.” To help address the gap, the Gates Foundation has awarded two grants totaling $355 million to Rotary in support of its work. Rotary has responded with Rotary's US$200 Million Challenge, which will be completed on 30 June 2012; to date, Rotarians have raised $173.2 million. (...)
Lauding immunization pledges, UNICEF says they will save millions of lives
Despite significant progress in reducing childhood mortality, nearly two million children still die each year from vaccine-preventable diseases, UNICEF said.
Launched in 2000, the GAVI Alliance is a global health partnership of private and public sectors comprised of, among others, developing world and donor governments, private sector philanthropists such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the financial community, developed and developing country vaccine manufacturers, research and technical institutes, civil society organizations and multilateral organizations including the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and the World Bank.
Advances made while running aggressive polio eradication activities.
1 June –
The results of the National Immunization Coverage Survey (NICS), conducted in October 2010, indicate that 52% of Nigerian children aged 12-23 months are reported to be fully immunized, compared with just 18% in 2006. In 2003, when the first baseline study was undertaken, the corresponding figure stood at just 13%.
The study results clearly
demonstrate how routine immunization services can be improved in a
polio-endemic country even during frequent supplementary immunization rounds.
UNICEF makes vaccine prices public in move likely to have major impact on developing country market
June 13 - As part of the Obama Administration's efforts to improve commercial building efficiency 20% by 2020, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced a partnership with The Appraisal Foundation that will help expand access to energy efficiency and building performance information for commercial buildings and help American businesses to reduce energy waste. Under the new partnership, the Department of Energy and The Appraisal Foundation will work to ensure that appraisers nationwide have the information, practical guidelines, and professional resources they need to evaluate energy performance when conducting commercial building appraisals. This will help enable investors, building owners and operators, and others to accurately assess the value of energy efficiency as part of the building's overall appraisal.
Dow Jones marks completion of major solar power system
A publisher of news and
business information around the globe, Dow Jones maintains a 200-acre campus on
U.S. Route 1 in
Dow Jones & Company is a global provider of news and business information and a developer of technology to deliver content to consumers and organizations across multiple platforms. (…)
By David Appleyard, Chief Editor, Renewable Energy World International
The development of a commerical large-scale CPV project is helping to establish the performance credentials of a technology that offers significant opportunities at the power plant scale.
7 June, London, UK -- With a
150 MW project planned in San Diego and a 25-year PPA in place, CPV has at last
entered the commercial arena. Standing in the
May 25 – Bank of America today announced a $55 million program to encourage energy efficiency in older buildings by providing low-cost loans and grants to community development financial institutions (CDFIs). The Charlotte, N.C.-based bank will select up to 12 CDFIs that specialize in financing energy efficiency improvements and have the most effective solutions for funding.
The $55 million includes $50 million in low-cost, long-term loans to CDFIs with innovative energy efficient retrofit programs that finance the upfront investment costs for building owners to make energy efficient improvements. The energy cost savings realized over time will create cash flow to repay the loan. An additional $5 million in grants will also be awarded to help with staffing, training, reserves, and marketing needs associated with the implementation of the programs.
Once CDFIs have made loans to property owners, Bank of America will work with them to collect pre- and post-retrofit data in order to measure program outcomes, including impacts on energy and water usage and associated financial savings. EnergyScoreCards, a subsidiary of Bright Power, Inc., will be the third party consultant for data collection and analysis.
World Environment Day - June 5
2011 theme: Forests: Nature at Your Service
Observed since 1972, World Environment Day is "considered by many to be the most important event on the environmental calendar". UNEP reports that the Day "inspires action by governments, individuals, non-governmental organisations, community and youth groups, business, industry and the media to improve their environment, including clean-up campaigns, tree planting, street rallies, exhibitions, green concerts, essays, painting and photographic competitions, recycling efforts and much more".
Internet-based applications, particularly the emergence of social networks, user-generated content, and micro-blogging have enabled nearly every Internet user to be a potential broadcaster with the ability to rapidly create, modify, and share digital content and knowledge with millions of other users both locally and globally.
This year's Day is linked with the International Year of Forests.
May 31 - June 3
Heads of State and senior
officials from more than 35 countries covering the world's major rainforest
regions will meet in
The Amazon Basin of South
Island: New species discoveries in
The significance of the flora
and fauna of
Download report: http://assets.panda.org/downloads/madagascarspeciesreport_en.pdf
World Invocation Day - June 15
On World Invocation Day groups and individuals around the planet unite in prayer and meditation to invoke energies of Light, Love and Spiritual Will, using the Great Invocation. World Invocation Day has been observed annually since 1952.
The intention to express human unity is growing daily within the hearts of people everywhere. In the birthing of a just, interdependent global society we need, above all, more light, love and spiritual will. On June 15 people of all faiths and spiritual backgrounds will invoke these higher energies by using a world prayer, The Great Invocation.
An extended (6:11) video entitled, “The Great Invocation in the Six Languages of the United Nations” was recently created and posted on YouTube—in observance of World Invocation Day, http://www.youtube.com/user/AquarianAgeCommunity
World Week for Peace in
The World Council of Churches sponsors this annual week of prayer, education and advocacy to seek justice for Palestinians so that both Israelis and Palestinians can finally live in peace.
During the most recent World Week for Peace in
1. Praying with churches living under occupation, using a special prayer
2. Educating about actions that make for peace, and about facts on the ground that do not create peace, especially settlements in occupied territory.
3. Advocating with political leaders using ecumenical policies that promote peace with justice.
Vocational training teams give kids an edge
By Dan Nixon
Rotary International News, 2
June – Vocational training teams from
“Both areas face similar
hardships of poverty, disintegrating families, poor health, and low parental
and childhood literacy,” says Barbara Welles-Nystrom,
associate professor of early childhood education at Fairfield University in
Connecticut, who led the U.S. team’s visit to South Africa in January. The
South African team traveled to the
The teams of early childhood
educators, both sponsored by Future Vision pilot districts, learned firsthand
about the challenges of teaching young children in rural villages near
Rustenburg and in urban
Bulgari’s campaign for Save the Children selected as one of top cause marketing campaigns of 2010
For its 125th anniversary in 2009, Bulgari launched a cause marketing program to support Save the Children’s Rewrite the Future initiative, an effort to improve the quality of education for the neediest children worldwide, especially those in conflict-affected countries. In its first year, Bulgari raised over $9 million to support education programs and teacher trainings in 10 conflict-affected areas around the world.
Building on the success of the 125th anniversary jewelry, a new silver and ceramic ring was designed to celebrate the continued partnership with Save the Children. The ring debuted in October 2010 and supports Bulgari’s commitment for 2010-2011 of an additional $7.4 million to support classroom education, art education and therapy (Healing and Education through Arts or HEART), teacher training, and other related programs in 12 countries, including the United States.
launches new youth program in
program will provide 12,000 rural out-of-school youth, ages 14–25, in four
regions—Sikasso, Kayes, Koulikoro, and Timbuktu—with improved basic education, work
readiness and technical training, social and leadership development, as well as
assistance with livelihood activities. A key focus is agricultural enterprise
development, with training in agriculture and animal husbandry, to help youth
create successful agro-enterprises to respond to the
The five-year program has a
unique implementation strategy: it will be delivered through a volunteer corps
made up of Malian youth who have received a formal education and earned a
diploma from secondary school, trade school, or university. Two hundred
educated youth will commit two years to the project as participants. Their goal
will be to prepare other young people for jobs or self-employment across
welcomes the opening of new schools in rural parts of
The school is one of six
prototype Transitional School Structures, built to varying designs that are
being set up in
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Next issue: 8 July 2011.
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chartered in Italy in 1979 The Association operates for the development of
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