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.

 

World Day of the African Child – 16 June

Conflict, poverty and gender bias create toxic environments for children

This year the focus is to ‘Leave No Child Behind for Africa’s Development,’ a theme inspired around the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs put emphasis on targeting those left furthest behind first. Children account for half of Africa’s population, so they must be prioritised, empowered and given a say, if development is to benefit all.

A new report launched by Save the Children on June 1st 2018, The Many Faces of Exclusion, reveals how poverty, conflict and discrimination against girls are putting more than 1.2 billion children – over half of children worldwide – at risk for an early end to their childhood. In East and Southern Africa, (120 million) are at high or extremely high risk of missing out on childhood. Childhood should be a time to play, learn and grow.

Save the Children’s report includes a ranking of 175 countries where childhood is most and least threatened as a result of poor health, malnutrition, exclusion from education, child labour, child marriage, early pregnancy and extreme violence. African countries comprise 19 (10 from Sub-Saharan Africa) out of the bottom 20 in the global index.

It is imperative that African governments and other stakeholders put concerted efforts to improve childhoods for Children as the current state of affairs is appalling. In this region the report found out:

13% of children in Somalia do not live to see their 5th birthday. This is the highest rate in the world.

South Sudan is 5th-worst performing country meaning most children are missing out on childhood. It has the highest rate of children out of school in the world (67%) and the second highest rate of displacement globally (31% forcibly displaced). South Sudan is also in the top five for child marriage at 40%.

In East and Southern Africa, one-fifth of girls aged 15 to 19 are currently married or in union.

One third of children in East and Southern Africa (34.4%) are moderately or severely stunted. In fact, the region claims three of the top 5 countries with the highest stunting rates in the world: Madagascar, Eritrea and Burundi, where about half or more of all children under age 5 are stunted.

Harmful child labour rates increased from 21% to 22%.

David Wright, Save the Children’s Regional Director, said that while progress is being made in many parts of the world—including in East and Southern Africa—it is not happening quickly enough.

“More than half the world’s children are being left behind because they are a girl, because they are poor or because they are growing up in a war-zone. Early marriage, child labour and malnutrition are just some of the life-changing events that can rob children of their childhood. Without urgent action, we’ll never meet the promises made three years ago by every country at the UN in 2015 to ensure that by 2030 every child survives, learns and is protected. Children account for half of Africa’s population, so must be a priority.”

Source : Text : https:reliefweb.int Image : gazettadelsud.it

 

11th Sunday of the Year, B

The gospel accounts, especially that of Matthew, offers us many texts on the kingdom of God.
The specialists on those gospel texts discuss among themselves about the meaning of this term:
“the kingdom of God”.
They generally agree that it refers to God’s special relationship with human beings,
his presence and action among us – a presence and action accepted by people to guide their lives.

One of the parables of this Sunday (11th Sunday of Year B – Mk.4:26-34) speaks in this way:

“This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man throws seed on the land.
Night and day, while he sleeps, when he is awake,
The seed is sprouting and growing; how, he does not know.
Of its own accord, the land produces, first the shoot, then the ear;
Then the full grain in the ear.”

A few words struck me in the text: “Of its own accord…”
As if the seed had a will of its own!
Yet, mysteriously, it follows the laws of nature ‘rooted’ – literally – in the depths of itself.

The seed has no will of its own but… we do!
And our will should be … ‘in accord’ with God!
The expression is unusual, perhaps, but it is theologically true!

Our daily life and actions,
our plans and occupations,
our projects and our goals should be according to God’s will.
His presence should be the inspiration of our lives.
And pleasing him should be what we aim at from day to day… of our own accord!
Simple? Yes.
Easy? Perhaps not…
But God’s Spirit in us – the vital energy enabling us to grow – can also enable us to live in this way

Note: Another reflection is available in French on a different theme at: https://image-i-nations.com/11e-dimanche-de-lannee-b/

Source: Images: inkfish.fieldsofscience.com   VideoBlocks

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day – 15 June

The United Nations (UN) has designated June 15 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). World Elder Abuse Awareness Day brings together senior citizens, their caregivers, and governments to combat the problem of elder abuse.

The day aims to focus global attention on the problem of physical, emotional, and financial abuse of elders. It also seeks to understand the challenges and opportunities presented by an ageing population, and brings together senior citizens, and their caregivers, national and local government, academics, and the private sector to exchange ideas about how best to reduce incidents of violence towards elders, increase reporting of such abuse, and to develop elder friendly policies.

Background
Currently, the world is undergoing significant demographic changes. Estimates indicate that by 2050, the global population of people above the age of 60 will exceed the number of younger people. These changes have led to a worldwide recognition of the problems and challenges that face the elderly. Research has shown that elderly abuse, neglect, violence, and exploitation is one of the biggest issues facing senior citizens around the world. World Health Organization data suggests that 4 to 6 per cent of elderly suffer from some form of abuse, a large percentage of which goes unreported.

The purpose of the WEAAD is to encourage communities to recognize the problem of elderly abuse, and for countries to create policies that foster respect for elders and provide them the tools to continue to be productive citizens.

Source: Text: timeanddate.com Images: Global Ageing Network  A Celebration of Women

 

World Blood Donor Day – 14 June

The history of blood donation goes back further than you might expect, reaching as far back as the 17th century. The medical specialists of
the time knew that blood was a vital element in the body and losing too much of it was bound to have tragic consequences on the patient. So it was that experimentation began, and a whole new breed of heroes was born that contribute their blood so that others may live. Blood Donors save lives every day by giving of themselves so those accident victims and those in need of transfusions for surgeries can live.

History of World Blood Donor Day
The first transfusions were done using poorly understood science and resulted in some rather tragic results for the patients. Richard lower was the first one to examine animals and blood circulation and finding ways to stop blood clotting. While he was of course only working with animals, he managed to drain the blood off of a medium sized dog and then transfuse the blood of a large mastiff into the smaller animal. Both dogs recovered with no appreciable ill effects.

So it was that he gained great notoriety for his efforts, and was asked to speak on and teach this technique to the Royal Society. There were some odd beliefs about blood back then, and the first human transfusion involved putting the blood of a sheep into a patient who was suffering from a mild form of insanity. It was thought that perhaps the blood of so gentle a creature as a lamb might help to calm his insanity. The act of transferring animal blood into patients was strongly questioned by the tightly superstitious and morally rigid authorities of the time, and the practice was outlawed. Vanishing for 150 years.

It was an obstetrician that brought blood transfusions back into modern medical technology, starting in 1818. After he saved the life of a woman who had hemorrhaged terribly after giving birth, he started publishing works on how it was done and the study thereof. Throughout his life, he performed 10 transfusions, 5 of which saved the lives of the recipients.World Blood Donor Day celebrates the hard work and daring of these early medical professionals and recognizes the efforts they put into developing a technology that saves so many lives today.

Source: Text: www.daysoftheyear.com Image: iStock

International Albinism Awareness Day – 13 June

June 13 is International Albinism Awareness Day. It is a UN effort to stop the brutalities against people with albinism.

Genetic Condition
Albinism is a genetic condition resulting in little or no pigmentation in the skin, hair, and eyes. In several cultures around the world, and particularly in many African countries, people with albinism live in constant fear of murder. Others experience severe discrimination and bullying.

Murders and Mutilations
Hundreds of albinos have been brutally murdered and mutilated in African countries in the past decades. Local superstitions claim their body parts can bring luck and prosperity. Another widespread rumor is that albinos are evil spirits.

The country with the highest percentage of albinos is believed to be Tanzania. In 2013, an independent documentary called “In the Shadow of the Sun” was released. The film by director Harry Freeland tells the story of Josephat Torner from Tanzania, who has albinism. Together, they spent years traveling around Tanzania to spread information about the widely misunderstood disorder.

The documentary, along with several other films, have been powerful tools in the fight against persecution of people with albinism, which is sometimes abbreviated PWA.

The Right to Dignity
International Albinism Awareness Day was adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 18, 2014. The resolution “encourages UN Member States to continue their efforts to protect and preserve the rights of persons with albinism to life, dignity and security, as well as their right not to be subject to torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and to continue their efforts to ensure equal access for persons with albinism to employment, education, justice and the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health.”

Source: Text: timeanddate.com Image: www.albinism.org

 

 

World Day Against Child Labour – 12 June

Every year on June 12 the World Day Against Child Labor is observed to raise awareness of the plight of child laborers worldwide. Hundreds of millions of girls and boys around the world are affected.

Child labor is especially rampant in many developing countries – but even in industrialized nations many children are forced to work. According to UNICEF, children in the United States “are employed in agriculture, a high proportion of them from immigrant or ethnic-minority families.” There have also been a number of incidents of westerns companies exploiting child laborers in developing countries to save production costs.

In 2011, there were an estimated 215 million child laborers in the world – 115 million of which were involved in hazardous work. To combat child labor around the world the International Labour Organization (ILO) initiated the World Day Against Child Labor in 2002.

Source: Text: timeanddate.com Image: Askideas.com

 

 

10th Sunday of the Year B

It is this time of the year when you can see moving vans on many streets around.
People are moving, changing residence, going to another area.
Some may regret the departure, others may be keen to start in a new location.

Whatever the type of accommodation, an ordinary flat, a posh house, or even log cabin,
probably, what people want is that the new place be truly a HOME.
And, of course, a true HOME is meant to provide comfort, security, enjoyment

The 2nd reading of this Sunday (2 Cor.4:13 – 5:1) ends precisely with the evocation of… moving homes!
The last verse says:

We are well aware that when the tent that houses us on earth is folded up,
there is a house for us from God,
not made by human hands but everlasting, in the heavens.”
 
So, all of us are meant to move one day and… to move for good!
We have been told that our permanent home is not here on earth (He.13:14) –
we know it: we should see ourselves as… pilgrims – people on the move.

But it is not easy to consider ourselves as people on the way to another place –
even if the new HOME has been prepared by God himself.
In fact, writing to the Corinthians, Paul is only echoing the words of Jesus on the eve of his death:

“There are many rooms, in my Father’s house…
I am going now to prepare a place for you,
and after I have prepared you a place
I shall return to take you with me…” (Jn.14:2-3)
 
We can be assured that we will find there all the comfort, security and enjoyment we can dream of.
But, we have to let go – let go of the house which is ours just now…
This human life, here and now, so familiar and… perhaps so ‘cosy’…
The letting go is the difficult part…
It means leaving behind the familiar and moving into the unknown.

But we are expected, the place is ready and…
There is no rent to pay, no mortgage to save for, no insurance to see to.
All has been taken care of for us, promised long ago:
“I shall return to take you with me
So that where I am you may be too…”

Note: Another reflection is available in French on a different theme at: https://image-i-nations.com/10e-dimanche-de-lannee-b!

Source : Images : forksandfolly.com  dom.sanboy.ru  tarriverloghomes.com

World Oceans Day – 8 June

World Oceans Day 2018 – The Scourge of Plastic Pollution

World Oceans Day is held every year on 8th June to raise awareness of the vital importance of our oceans and the role they play in sustaining a healthy planet. A global celebration, it looks to bring people and organisations together across the globe in a series of events highlighting how we can all help protect and conserve the oceans.

Originally an idea put forward by the Canadian Government at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, World Oceans Day has been organised by the Ocean Project group since 2002. In 2008 the day gained official recognition from the UN General Assembly, a boost in raising the profile of the day and its goals. The number of countries and organisations who mark World Oceans Day grows each year in recognition of the importance of oceans worldwide.

In 2018 World Oceans Day aims to focus attention on the scourge of plastic pollution in our oceans. Free resources are available to download to help illustrate the many problems surrounding plastic pollution, plus ideas and tips on how to raise awareness of the subject at your events. From film screenings to art, beach cleans to festivals, events across the world will be held to mark the day.

Source : Text : www.awarenessdays.org Image : temanaotemoana.org 

Will you stop using single use plastic bags, bottles and straws to help our ocean?
Plastic trash is a serious problem for our ocean, and especially all the animals that call it home, but together we can be part of the solution.

Source: Text: www.worldoceanday.org

 

 

World Environment Day – 5 June

« On World Environment Day, the message is simple: reject single-use plastic. Refuse what you can’t re-use. Together, we can chart a path to a cleaner, greener world. »Secretary-General, António Guterres

Humans are both creatures and moulders of their environment, which gives them physical sustenance and affords them the opportunity for intellectual, moral, social and spiritual growth. In the long and tortuous evolution of the human race on this planet a stage has been reached when, through the rapid acceleration of science and technology, humans have acquired the power to transform their environment in countless ways and on an unprecedented scale.

The United Nations, aware that the protection and improvement of the human environment is a major issue, which affects the well-being of peoples and economic development throughout the world, designated 5 June as World Environment Day. The celebration of this day provides us with an opportunity to broaden the basis for an enlightened opinion and responsible conduct by individuals, enterprises and communities in preserving and enhancing the environment. Since it began in 1974, it has grown to become a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated in more than 100 countries.

“Beat Plastic Pollution”
Each World Environment Day is organized around a theme that focuses attention on a particularly pressing environmental concern. The theme for 2018, “Beat Plastic Pollution,” is a call to action for all of us to come together to combat one of the great environmental challenges of our time. The theme invites us all to consider how we can make changes in our everyday lives to reduce the heavy burden of plastic pollution on our natural places, our wildlife – and our own health. While plastic has many valuable uses, we have become over-reliant on single-use or disposable plastic – with severe environmental consequences.

India, the host country
Every World Environment Day has a different global host country, where the official celebrations take place. This year it is India.

Source: Text & Image: www.un.org   1st Image:AllEvents.org

International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression – 4 June

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression is observed on June 4 each year. The purpose of the day is to acknowledge the pain suffered by children throughout the world who are the victims of physical, mental and emotional abuse. This day affirms the UN’s commitment to protect the rights of children.

On 19 August 1982, at its emergency special session on the question of Palestine, the General Assembly, appalled at the great number of innocent Palestinian and Lebanese children victims of Israel’s acts of aggression, decided to commemorate June 4 of each year as the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression. According to the United Nations in China, the statistics of child abuse include:

  • More than two million children killed in conflict in the last two decades.
  • About 10 million child refugees cared for by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
  • In the Latin America and in the Caribbean region about 80 thousand children die annually from violence that breaks out within the family.

Child abuse is now in the spotlight of global attention and the UN is working hard to help protect children around the world. One key factor is the process of international negotiation and action centered around the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Source: Text: www.timeanddate.com  Image: Upcoming cars