måndag 17 januari 2011

Martin Luther King day

"We must learn to live together as brothers or we will perish together as fools" - Martin Luther King jr.

Today the 17th of January is a special holiday in America. It’s a holiday in memory of one of the greatest persons i know of - It's Martin Luther King-day.

Martin Luther King jr. was a pastor, an African American civil rights leader and one of the greatest speakers throughout history. The most famous speech that he held is probably the one in 1963 when he organized a march to the capital, Washington – “I have a dream”. Dr. King used nonviolent methods to claim rights that African Americans were deprived of. In his speech his goal was to make American values colorblind meaning, rights should be for all to hold not just a certain group. Racial segregation and discrimination, of which he received the Nobel peace prize in 1964, were also other goals Dr. King had.

Unfortunately this great man was assassinated in 1968.

This day makes me think of not only segregation in America but all kinds of violations of civil or human rights in Africa, Latin America, Europe Asia... practically every corner of the world have a dark history of rights violation.

People like Dr. King who take a stand when rights are being violated are remarkable. They are courageous and smart and it’s just this kind of people the world needs more of.

It's sad that he didn't live to see his dream come through but let us remember his great work and how his actions have lead to rights being respected no matter what color or race people are.

onsdag 12 januari 2011

Just give it a thought...

I was thinking of all the posts that I’ve posted on this blog so far and I got to realize something
Our world is full of misery, political or armed conflict, poverty and corruption is an everyday experience for some people.
I know it’s nothing new because we constantly hear about this on the news. If it’s not poverty, it’s conflict and if it’s not that there’s always something else that’s negative. If you take your time and think of everything it really is sad.
The population of our earth is not living by the same life standards. If we all would have to live by the same equal standards that would mean that a great amount of the population would have to lower their high life standards. Are people ready to do that? Are people ready to give up their fancy lifestyle in order to give other people on earth a chance for a better life?
That is what is required in order to give other people a chance. I think that will be a very difficult project, to pursue millions of people to lower their standards, especially because they’re so used to that type of life.

It’s difficult to make such a drastic change in your lifestyle but I believe it’s worth it. I mean, think about it. A person in a poor country may not live on more than a dollar a day, while people in rich countries use a dollar for chewing gum or sweets. Can you imagine? One dollar is used to support an entire family.

A dollar has such different meaning in different parts of the world.

That’s unfair.

tisdag 11 januari 2011

Haiti - one year later

Yesterday was exactly one year since the earthquake killed and destroyed many lives in Haiti.

The earthquake stole more than 23.000 lives and more than one million of Haitians are still living in camps and the disaster is still affecting the people of Haiti.
With such disasters such as the earthquake in Haiti diseases, criminality, and homelessness becomes a common problem. The corrupt system in Haiti doesn’t make the situation better either. UN forces and other nongovernmental organizations are now in Haiti to keep a somehow stabile situation. The question is what the future bears for Haiti.

Problems that Haiti is facing are many and it will take time to restore the country. Education, water, hygiene, nutrition, health, protection from criminality and poverty are serious issues today, one year after the catastrophe, issues that affect their rights, the human rights. The need for help is huge.

Knowing this we also know that rights such as civil rights, social and cultural rights, children’s rights and women’s rights are being violated and these rights are just a few of those that are being violated. Restoration of the disaster is going to be a long process, also because the country itself before the disaster was and still is corrupt and the life is of poor standard.

A fact is that out of the population a great number of them are children, children who died at school or at home. Our children are our future. What I believe is one of the most important issues is how the children can be given a chance of a decent future, a future where they fulfill their dreams and hopes.

I saw a news segment on TV about Haiti which showed me that there must be some hope for the children in Haiti. Schools have been built which is great.

The change that Haiti really needs if you ask me is to get rid of the corruption. In fact the corrupt system in Haiti is also a link to the crumbling of the buildings. Corrupt construction workers use material of poorer quality when constructing buildings, for a certain amount of money. This makes the constructions non-resisting to natural disasters like earthquakes.

Haiti is also one of the 192 countries who have ratified the convention on the rights of the child, which means that Haiti has an obligation of protecting children’s rights which they haven’t done.

To criticize Haiti is also difficult since they have suffered a history of conflict and poverty which makes it even harder to support and protect the rights of the population, but that still is not a legitimate life for anybody.

During the year, people have been vaccinated against the most dangerous diseases, schools have been built and restoration is on the way, but much is still to do to restore Haiti.
The situation is still rocky in Haiti but there still is a gleam of light in the country.

tisdag 4 januari 2011

Making changes !

I just watched the first part of a documentary on TV (Swedish) called “Drömmar om ett leende” (Dreams of a smile). The documentary is about a project called Operation smile which started in 1982 by an American plastic surgeon and his wife who is a nurse and a social worker. Their goal is that no child in the world should have to live isolated or feel violated because of a facial deformation that could easily be treated.
Many of these children are outcasts in their community because of their condition, which truly is horrible. All people no matter what condition they are in have the right not to be discriminated.

I think the project “Operation smile” is so wonderful because it’s life changing for those who get the opportunity to do the operation. Many who suffer from this condition are often bullied or believed to have some kind of curse over them and just imagine what bad self-confidence those children have because of that. Discrimination is also a daily experience for many because of this condition which in the future doesn't allow them to live a normal life or to get a normal job.

The documentary follows a group of volunteers(doctors and nurses) from all over the world who have the goal of doing a hundred operations in one week which is awesome!!The project now takes place in different parts of Ethiopia.

I advise everybody to watch this on TV it’s interesting and you can even donate a little something as support for the great work. Note that it could even help for more operations than planned. I know I will anyway :)

For more information about the project and what they do you can visit their international website: http://www.operationsmile.org/

Make a change in somebody else’s life! :)

Stay tuned for next post !

måndag 3 januari 2011

Terrorist threats - Still an issue?

I read an article about terrorism which brings me back to my first post "First post :)", about the negative effects of globaliszation.

September 11 and the bombings on London underground 2005 shook the whole world. I couldn’t hear anything else on the news anyway. That terrorism had become globalized was then a fact and lots of people feared travelling because of that. The years after, we heard a little about bombings on the news but not as serious as those past horrific attacks.
Anyways, what I want to say is that it seems that we’ve forgotten about that, and people are now calmly travelling around the world. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to say that people shouldn’t travel, but I would be cautious because I believe informal violence such as terrorism seem to have become more organized in these days.
For example last month about 5 kinds of terrorist activities around the European and African continent were reported and about 30 people were arrested for criminal activities. It seems like criminal activities are taking more and more advantages of the tools that come with globalization which is quite scary.

That brings me to another thing. This should be taken seriously. Seriously as in higher security and so on, but then again nothing serious has happened, yet. That’s for us to see, but for now I think threats about terrorist attacks still is an issue, just as it was back in 2001. Especially because there is some kind of anger growing towards the Western countries. It’s some sort of anger that has grown with, for example the invasion of Iraq, Afghanistan or any attempt of controlling the Middle Eastern countries.
The reason for that may be that the Middle Eastern countries might feel some sort of threat of imperialism going on with the invasions. That anger later on results in globalized crime such as informal violence with the West as their target.

This is not the latest news, but it is scary news. As I said I believe terrorism still is an issue.

Stay tuned for next post : )