Friday, 19 August 2011
Wednesday, 20 July 2011
14th July saw the Government suspend their general budget support for Malawi, this aid is suspended indefinately.
Malawi is one of the poorest counrties in the world with 72% of people on less than $2 a day.
This morning, I had the pleasure of going to the House of Lords to listen to the oral questions. One of the questions was on this issue of aid:
Thursday, 14 July 2011
This is the story of how they got their name.
OUR NAME IS HER STORY
"The number pinned to her dress was 146..."
In 2002, the co-founders of Love 146 travelled to South East Asia on an exploratory trip to determine how they could serve in the fight against child sex trafficking. In one experience, a couple of our co-founders were taken undercover with investigators to a brothel, where they witnessed children being sold for sex. This was their experience. This is the story that changed our lives.
"We found ourselves standing shoulder to shoulder with predators in a small room, looking at little girls through a pane of glass. All of the girls wore red dresses with a number pinned to their dress for identification. They sat, blankly watching cartoons on TV. They were vacant, shells of what a child should be. There was no light in their eyes, no life left. Their light had been taken from them. These children...raped each night... seven, ten, fifteen times every night. They were so young. Thirteen, eleven… it was hard to tell. Sorrow covered their faces with nothingness. Except one girl. One girl who wouldn’t watch the cartoons. Her number was 146. She was looking beyond the glass. She was staring out at us, with a piercing gaze. There was still fight left in her eyes. There was still life left in this girl...
“Because we went in as part of an ongoing, undercover investigation on this particular brothel, we were unable to immediately respond. Evidence had to be collected in order to bring about a raid, and eventually justice on those running the brothel. It is an immensely difficult problem when an immediate response cannot address an emergency. Some time later, there was a raid on this brothel and children were rescued. But the girl who wore #146 was no longer there. We do not know what happened to her, but we will never forget her. She changed the course of all of our lives." -Rob Morris, President and Co-founder
We have taken her number so that we remember why this all started. So that we must tell her story. It is a number that was pinned to one girl, but that represents the millions enslaved. We wear her number with honor, with sorrow, and with a growing hope. Her story can be a different one for so many more.
This is a video recently released by them which is definately worth a watch.
Wednesday, 6 July 2011
Fashion show, music concert, designers, celebrities...
Come along and see what you can do to raise awareness!
Fashioned for Freedom
Friday, 1 July 2011
Southern Sudan will become one of the poorest countries with incredibly low human development indicators.
Over the next week please be praying for a peaceful independence chang-over and for a good leadership to be in place. This has the potential to be incredibly violent, but let us pray that it will be as peaceful as possible.
Also, please keep in mind what will now be Northern Sudan. There is increasing tension in the leadership there and with the split the tension could increase greatly.
Thursday, 5 May 2011
A bad guy for sure... but death?!
I know it sounds crazy to most people, but I just can't get justify his murder.
I still to this day believe he was a crazy guy with some very twisted thoughts and very disturbing actions (for example, using his wife as a human shield in the last moments of his life, and of course 9/11).
But I can't justify his killing...
Does it not make us just as bad? And who are we to decide when and if a life can be taken?
I'm aware this is a touchy subject, so please don't hesitate to comment...
Friday, 22 April 2011
bad policy choices will be made,
the people would have neither voice nor power,
and the economy may likely deteriorate.'
Friday, 8 April 2011
Monday, 28 March 2011
Saturday, 26 March 2011
This programme follows a woman going to the Congo after leaving when she was three, she visits her family and then moves on to visit the war-stricken East.
This programme has stunned me.
I've been utterly shocked at the inhumanity of some human beings.
One woman told her story of when soldiers broke into her house; she explains how her husband was attacked with a machete - they cut off his limbs, then his intestines, and he was still pleading with them until they cut out his heart - she was then forced to chew and eat his penis before being laid onto him and raped by 12 men.
Another woman's story was shared of how she was raped and impregnated with twins. When they were 3 years old she was raped again, one of the twins were murdered, and the other also raped. Children as young as 6 months have been raped in the DRC.
When a woman is raped, due to the stigma carried with rape, she is sent out of her home, unwelcome everywhere.
I don't understand how we can sit back and allow this to happen. Civil war has been in the DRC for over 10 years, and yet the UN hasn't intervened.
With such brutality, something must be done...
Thursday, 24 March 2011
This meant that the UK were saying 'no' to placing an increase of difficulties on traffickers. They were showing a lenient stance toward human trafficking. This would have been a grave problem with the Olympics arriving in 2012.
Thankfully, due to increased pressure from civil society groups, the UK have decided to opt-in to the EU Directive. Requiring the UK to place a tougher stance against human trafficking, to provide adequate support for those that have been trafficked (especially children), and to provide better training for those dealing with trafficking situations (police, prosecutors, care workers).
Thursday, 17 March 2011
It is a piece by a missioner in Rwanda.
One passage I think is incredibly vital:
"The Church in Rwanda failed to plead their cause perhaps because, in the Anglican Church at least, the leadership was exclusively Hutu. It raises the issue as to whether the Church should speak up for any group treated unjustly or only when the Church's interests are threatened? In our own context, if a Muslim minority is being discriminated against and treated unjustly, do we protest on their behalf or remain silent because we see Muslims as in competition with us for the religious allegiance of our people?"
"There has been a failure to see that abuse of human beings, created in the image of God, is a very serious issue that the Church cannot ignore if it is to be true to its Lord"
This is such an important thing to remember; as human rights abuses are seen on a global scale, the Church must act, even against those "in competition with us".
Tuesday, 22 February 2011
The oppressed and persecuted are much more than just statistics;
they are real people with individual faces, voices, hopes and dreams.
No one should be forgotten. (HART UK)
In the midst of the current crises around the world, especially in the Middle East and North Africa, we must remember those facing oppression and persecution.
We need to remember also that there is conflict elsewhere that isn't being reported on our news.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo has been in a state of conflict for several years now and there have been over 5.5million deaths since 1998 and there have been thousands of mass rapes.
There is so much going on that we are unaware of all over the world, in countries that are currently on our TVs and in countries that aren't. We must be responsible to not forget those oppressed and persecuted. The 'real people with individual faces, voices, hopes and dreams'.
Thursday, 17 February 2011
It has been shocking to see the amount of corruption in Kenya, it seems to be inherent in the culture and society.
Wednesday, 9 February 2011
In the shadow of the events in Egypt, the Wiki Leaks trials, university fees and police protests, we have in our world a new country. Born out of civil war.
Nearly 99% of voters were in favor of the split.
After 6 years of civil war the people of Sudan have what they wanted. Over 3million people voted for the split.
They are due to declare formal separation on the 9th July.
On Monday night as the votes were revealed there was much celebration. Many young people have grown up during civil war, so this news is one of pure joy.
Now to the building of a new nation!
Wednesday, 2 February 2011
The events in Egypt at the moment are of much interest to a lot of people.
Although I didn't have (and still don't) a vast knowledge on Egypt and its political state, my interest in the situation there has not been removed.
I have several concerns:
Firstly, the things we aren't hearing about.
Egypt has had its internet removed and phone communication to the West (where I am now, not a comment on West-East relations). This fact immediately makes me wonder 'what is there to hide?!’ International.Onmynews.com has an article/blog regarding Egypt and the lack of internet access. One this article/blog there are several links to photographs of people that have been killed. I am unsure as to the legitimacy of the source, but it does make me question what is happening in Egypt at the moment.
I do also question our 'sheltering' of the events in Egypt due to the BBC and other British organisations. The Al-Jazeera web page seems to show much more of the events, giving a clearer understanding.
Secondly, the effects that change will have between the West, MENA (Middle East and North Africa), and Egypt's relations with Israel. Again, I do not have an in depth understanding of Egyptian politics and its history, but I do understand that Egypt is a key player in MENA. Egypt has had a profound role with regards to relations with Israel and Palestine and this role has been one of peace keeping; this is an asset to international relations as a whole and I would be concerned to see this change. Also, Egypt has had a strong factor in supporting peace and relations between the West and MENA. I think that this is so vital to have in the global climate; please note I am not implying that I agree with all decisions and actions that are made by the West in MENA.
However, Egypt is fighting for democracy, a 'right' that we take for granted in the West. We enjoy a freedom to elect our representatives for government and often we can take it for granted, with so many not taking advantage of the opportunity/ability to vote. The ‘right’ to democracy is an admirable one and I cannot agree with the notion that a people cannot vote on who should be their sovereign, who should lead their state in government.
While Mubarak’s position in Egypt has been one that has seen positive effects on the international level, it is clear to see that the people of Egypt have not been happy with his leadership. Although I am concerned about the possible changes in both a regional and international level that a change of leadership in Egypt could see, I think that the ability to elect a political leader is highly important.
Thursday, 27 January 2011
- Thomas Paine
Issues surrounding the hurt, the injustice, the impoverishment of another rarely doesn't strike a chord; as human beings we feel.
Human rights as a movement encourages justice, equality, provision, freedom.
However the idea of human rights can be abused. Lawyers use the idea of human rights to undermine laws as well as argue their client's freedom (whether rightly or wrongly, for both the prosecution and the defendant). The idea of human rights is used to win an argument, to abuse rights, and to demand a questionable right. Basic human rights are not just the right to food and shelter, it's the right to the best food, the best housing, the best car, a computer, a phone, designer clothing. Whatever the individual wants at the time, they demand as a basic human right.
While these 'basic' human rights are being claimed, across the street there are those in hunger, without substantial clothing, without a roof over their heads.
While we can demand the best, we are seemingly unaware of those without even the worst.
Thursday, 13 January 2011
My dad used to say this when I was little. A short rhyme that has stuck with me ever since.
"Grow up big"
Why my dad chose to say "grow up big" is beyond me.
Did he want me to grow up fat? Did he want me to grow up tall? Or maybe big in character? Was I to 'fill a room' when I entered it? Or was it simply to make the rhyme?
I guess it probably was added with the intention to make the rhyme. I, however, have used it in terms of character. Not to be 'small' and insignificant, but to be 'big', to be noticed, to be important. Not to hide away when I have something to share, not to cower in conflict, not to allow myself to be looked over.
"Tell the truth"
This, quite simply, reminds me of the importance to be truthful. It seems to have been added/included as the main focus point. So why the emphasis on truth?
Truth not Lies
When thinking about truth, lying comes to mind. The damage that can be done when lies are spoken. I think about English lessons and the idea of a 'web of lies'.
"O' what a tangled web we weave,
when first we practice to deceive"
(Sir Walter Scott)
A quote I'm sure we have all come across at least once in our lives; in English lessons, in reading, in a film, in a song.
The damage that can be done by lies is immense; one small word spoken, one small action made, can have major repercussions. For example, thinking about the financial scandals in government - one seemingly small lie, one major outcome.
Maybe "tell the truth" was spoken in a sense of prophetic language.
Jesus says "I am the way, the truth and the life" (John 14:6)
Did my dad add this in the hope that I would share the good news of Jesus Christ?
The Truth that Jesus is, is the only truth. Therefore is it not the Truth that should be spoken.