hello

Greetings to each and everyone of you.


This section for English-speaking viewers –
and all those enjoying the culture –

has developed over the months and is now offering materials of all kinds:

texts, images, poems, videos, etc.

It will continue to provide you with rich contents week after week.

 

International Day against Nuclear Tests -29 August

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day against Nuclear Tests brings public awareness and education about the effects of global nuclear weapon tests. The day aims to end nuclear testing and to promote peace and security.

Background
The history of nuclear testing began on July 16, 1945, when an atomic bomb was used at a desert test site in Alamogordo, New Mexico, in the United States. More than 2000 nuclear tests were carried out worldwide between 1945 and 1996. Nuclear weapons tests are generally broken into different categories reflecting the test’s medium or location:

  • Atmospheric tests.
  • Underwater tests.
  • Underground tests.

Over the years, there have been calls to ban nuclear test to ensure the protection of people’s lives and the environment around them. The UN approved a draft resolution in late 2009 for an international day against nuclear tests to raise public awareness about the threats and dangers of nuclear weapons.  It was also hoped that UN’s member states would move towards the idea of nuclear disarmament.

The International Day against Nuclear Tests was declared to be annually held on August 29, which marks the closing of one of the world’s largest nuclear test sites (in Kazakhstan) in 1991. The day is devoted to enhancing public awareness and education about the effects of nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions. It also promotes the need for a nuclear weapon-free world. The day’s first official observance was marked for August 29, 2010.

Source: Text: timeanddate.com Image: Abolition 2000

21st Sunday of Year B

Making choices, taking decisions…
Not easy when the choice is … Someone, and when the decision is for a lifetime!

This is the situation we see in the 1st reading of this Sunday (21st Sunday of Year B – Jos.24:1-2.15-18)
where the people of Israel are told by their leader, Joshua, to make such a choice and take such a decision.
What prompts them to answer without hesitation?
They look back, they remember, they recall what happened…

“Was it not the Lord our God who brought us out of Egypt…
who worked those great wonders before our eyes…
and preserved us all along the way we travelled
and among all the peoples through whom we journeyed?

In other words: the past is a guarantee for the future –
If God has cared, sustained, protected in the past, how could he fail to do so in the future?

I pause and think of my own experience: I, too, look back and recall…
Before making the next important, life-changing decision…
I will make a list – a list of what the Lord has done in my own life.

That should be enough of a guarantee for me!
What about you?…

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/21e-dimanche-de-lannee-b/

Source: Images: iStock   Bullet Journal

International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition – 23 August

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition is annually observed on August 23 to remind people of the tragedy of the transatlantic slave trade. It gives people a chance to think about the historic causes, the methods, and the consequences of slave trade.

Background
In late August 1791, an uprising began in Santo Domingo (today Haiti and the Dominican Republic) that would have a major effect on abolishing the transatlantic slave trade. The slave rebellion in the area weakened the Caribbean colonial system, sparking an uprising that led to abolishing slavery and giving the island its independence. It marked the beginning of the destruction of the slavery system, the slave trade and colonialism.

International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition was first celebrated in many countries, in particular in Haiti, on August 23, 1998, and in Senegal on August 23, 1999. Each year the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) reminds the international community about the importance of commemorating this day. This date also pays tribute to those who worked hard to abolish slave trade and slavery throughout the world. This commitment and the actions used to fight against the system of slavery had an impact on the human rights movement.

Source : Text : timeandate.com Image : Breaking Buzz

 

World Humanitarian Day – 19 August

Every year, thousands of men and women the world over put their lives in danger working in Humanitarian causes all over the world. Working in the most poverty and illness stricken third world countries the world over, often in areas of great social violence, these dedicated heroes put their lives on the line, and sometimes lose them in the pursuit of their goals. World Humanitarian Day is when we remember these heroes and their sacrifices.

History of World Humanitarian Day
World Humanitarian Day was established by the United Nations General Assembly to commemorate the death of Sergio Vieira de Mello and 21 of his fellow humanitarians in a bombing of the Baghdad headquarters of the UN. Sergio had worked at great length attempted to pull together the Draft for the official designation of World Humanitarian Day.

Sergio was born in Brazil, and worked tirelessly over three decades to help those victims of armed conflict by easing their pain and making sure the world did not forget them. Awareness was a vital part of his campaign, trying to ensure that those in First World Countries and places of peace remembered that there was more to war than the deaths of combatants and conflicts between governments. These people struggle every day to survive against odds that were created in spite of their desire to just live in peace and safety.

World Humanitarian Day was officially established to recognize Sergio and the thousands like him who work every day to make the world a better place for the less fortunate, the underprivileged, and those living in places of war, starvation, and pestilence.

Source: Text: DAYSoftheYEAR Image: Askideas.com

20th Sunday of Year B

Going through the readings of this Sunday (20th Sunday of Year B),
I am surprised at the number of… recommendations… injunctions… commands…
we are given to take into consideration!
I note but a few and I find them… quite demanding…

“Leave your folly and you will live,
walk in the ways of perception.”     (1st reading: Proverbs 9:1-6)

“Proclaim with me the greatness of the Lord…
Listen to me, I will teach you the fear of the Lord…
Never yield to evil, practise good,
Seek peace, pursue it.”     (Response: Ps.34:23,10-15)

“Be careful about the sort of lives you lead…
Recognise what is the will of the Lord.
Be filled with the Spirit…
Sing the words and tunes of the psalms and hymns…”   (2nd reading: Eph.5:15-20)

I make a summary for myself and it comes to this simple formula:
“Recognise what is the will of the Lord.
Be filled with the Spirit…

Enough there for… a lifetime!

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/20e-dimanche-de-lannee-b/

Source: Images: seton.com

International Youth Day – 12 August

The theme for International Youth Day 2018 is Safe Spaces for Youth.

Youth need safe spaces where they can come together, engage in activities related to their diverse needs and interests, participate in decision making processes and freely express themselves. While there are many types of spaces, safe spaces ensure the dignity and safety of youth. 

Safe spaces such as civic spaces enable youth to engage in governance issues; public spaces afford youth the opportunity to participate in sports and other leisure activities in the community; digital spaces help youth interact virtually across borders with everyone; and well planned physical spaces can help accommodate the needs of diverse youth especially those vulnerable to marginalization or violence.

Ensuring that safe spaces are inclusive, youth from diverse backgrounds especially those from outside the local community, need to be assured of respect and self-worth. In humanitarian or conflict prone settings for example, youth may lack the space to fully express themselves without feeling uncomfortable or unwelcome. Similarly, without the existence of safe space, youth from different race/ethnicity, gender, religious affiliation or cultural background may feel intimidated to freely contribute to the community. When youth have safe spaces to engage, they can effectively contribute to development, including peace and social cohesion.

Source : Text : UNDESA Image : unhabitat.org

 

19th Sunday of Year B

There is… dreaming and dreaming!
When we are asleep, our unconscious has its own ways to bring to our slumber pictures and scenes that come unbidden.
But many of us also practise the art of… daydreaming and it is quite interesting what can come out of it!

A fertile imagination can place before us wonderful situations that we could only dream of.
While indulging into fancying successful activities, rewarding expeditions, and fascinating adventures of all kinds, most of us remain aware that it is purely that: fancying, imagining…

But, what if our wildest dreams turned out to become realities?
What if these things we hardly dare to picture were suddenly becoming REAL?

These thoughts came to me as I read the gospel of this Sunday (19th Sunday of Year B – John 6:41-51).
In that text, we hear Jesus speak astonishing words.

He says: “Everybody who believes has eternal life.”

Notice the verb is NOT in the future tense but the present.
Jesus is not promising something that will happen only later, only when certain conditions will have been met.
We want go on living, we dream of remaining alive, enjoying life… without end.

And, amazingly, Jesus assures us that this happy situation is… already ours!
What he proclaims is not something that belongs to daydreaming or fancying.
It is not wishful thinking, it is REAL, here and now.

Reading this, many will shrug their shoulders saying: ‘How can we be sure of this?’
Of course, it is a reality that we cannot see or touch.
We cannot assert its truth with our human ways of ‘proving’ things.

The only way we can be… ‘sure’ of it is by trusting the one who said so – there is no other way!
But it is a ‘sure’ way indeed.

Note: Another reflection is available in French on a different theme at: https://image-i-nations.com/19th-sunday-of-year-b/

Source : Image : Gostica.com

International Day of the World’s Indigenous People – 9 August

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day of the World’s Indigenous People is observed on August 9 each year to promote and protect the rights of the world’s indigenous population. This event also recognizes the achievements and contributions that indigenous people make to improve world issues such as environmental protection.

Background
The International Day of the World’s Indigenous People is celebrated on August 9 each year to recognize the first UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations meeting in Geneva in 1982. On December 23, 1994, the UN General Assembly decided that the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People should be observed on August 9 annually during the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People.

In 2004 the assembly proclaimed the Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People (2005-2014). The assembly also decided to continue observing the International Day of Indigenous People annually during the second decade. The decade’s goal was to further strengthen international cooperation for solving problems faced by indigenous peoples in areas such as culture, education, health, human rights, the environment, and social and economic development.

In April 2000, the Commission on Human Rights adopted a resolution to establish the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues that was endorsed by the Economic and Social Council. The forum’s mandate is to discuss indigenous issues related to culture, economic and social development, education, the environment, health and human rights.

Source: Text: timeanddate.com   Image: yyccies.blogspot.com

 

18th Sunday of Year B

In the text of the gospel of this Sunday (18th Sunday of Year B – Jn.6:24-35),
We hear a question that possibly many of us have secretly asked at one time or another:
“What must we do to do the works of God?”
 
And Jesus’ answer is short and to the point:
You must believe in the one sent by God.”
 
Simple and clear, is it not?
Perhaps… too much so… we may miss the point, precisely.

We are asked to believe:

  • NOT a list of ideas
  • NOT a set of articles
  • NOT a collection of themes
  • NOT a group of subject matters

but a PERSON – God’s messenger, God himself among us, one of us.
The One who is REALLY REAL.
Yes, it is as simple as that, but as demanding as that.

Recognizing him for who he is,
Accepting him as such
Surrendering to him all that we are and experience from day to day.

Not some purely intellectual assent to truths – no matter how inspiring,
Not only the acceptance of defined dogmas,
but trusting that Man: Jesus of Nazareth – the Christ,
relying on him in all situations,
and clinging to him… as if one’s life depends on it, and it does indeed!

As simple as that, yes, but… once you try to live this… you will see!

Note: Another reflection is available in French on another theme at: https://image-i-nations.com/18e-dimanche-de-lannee-b/

Source: Image: jesushippy.blogspot.com

World Day against Trafficking in Persons – 30 July

On the World Day against Trafficking in Persons, the UN aims to create awareness about human trafficking and worldwide efforts to defeat this scourge.

In 2013, the UN member states adopted a resolution which designated July 30 as the World Day against Trafficking in Persons. They declared that such a day was necessary to “raise awareness of the situation of victims of human trafficking and for the promotion and protection of their rights.”

The Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons was adopted in 2010 and urges governments worldwide to take coordinated and consistent measures to defeat human trafficking in all its forms. The UN plan calls for integrating the fight against human trafficking into the UN’s broader programs to boost development and strengthen security worldwide.

Many Children Are Trafficked
Almost a third of all human trafficking victims worldwide are children, according to the Global Report on Trafficking in Persons released in December 2016 by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Women and girls comprise 71% of human trafficking victims, the same report states.

According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), around 21 million people are victims of forced labor globally, and of these, a significant number are also trafficking victims.

The UN plan calls for integrating the fight against human trafficking into the UN’s broader programs to boost development and strengthen security worldwide.

Serious Threat to Human Dignity
The UN resolution also states that trafficking in persons, especially women and children, constitutes an offense and a serious threat to human dignity and physical integrity, human rights, and development. Despite sustained measures taken at the international, regional, and national levels, trafficking in persons remains one of the grave challenges facing the international community, which also impairs the enjoyment of human rights and needs a more concerted international response.

According to the 2016 UN report, women and girls tend to be trafficked for marriages and sexual slavery, while men and boys are typically exploited for forced labor in the mining sector, as porters, and as soldiers. It also states that refugees from war and persecution are particularly vulnerable to becoming victims of human trafficking.

Source: Text & Image: TimeandDate