Bloggers to fight hunger in Africa

first_imgA double storey classroom for delightedpreschool children. The proud and happy graduates of the firstCans4Skills development course. A container classroom renovated byBreadline for foreign nationals at theSoetwater refugee camp, set up after theoutbreak of xenophobic-related violencein May 2008.(Images: Breadline Africa)Janine ErasmusThe ingenuity of an African NGO is raising international awareness for the plight of Africa’s millions of starving people, and harnessing the power of the internet to drive its newest project.Cape Town-based Breadline Africa is an NGO that aims to give Southern African communities the means to break out of the trap of poverty. The organisation is involved in many community-based projects in three main categories – skills development, assisting youth and children, and health and nutrition.Breadline Africa launched its latest initiative in October 2008. Using the power of consumer generated media – posts made in all kinds of online media such as blogs, wikis, discussion lists and forums – the World Blogger Bake-Off is a global call to bloggers to join the fight against hunger in Africa by collectively raising R11-million ($1-million).Bake bread or give doughBreadline Africa’s partner in the World Blogger Bake-Off is Quirk eMarketing, responsible for the NGO’s e-marketing strategy. Quirk is known for its involvement in projects such as the recent Google Earth layer for South African Tourism.The World Blogger Bake-Off encourages bloggers from all over the world to get involved in Breadline Africa’s fight against poverty in various ways. These range from promoting the initiative by blogging about it, pledging and challenging fellow bloggers to do the same, hosting bread and cake sales in their areas to raise funds, uploading a bread recipe, and generally spreading the word amongst the online community.Non-bloggers may also become part of the campaign by uploading their favourite bread recipe into one of three categories – most nutritious, most unusual and best traditional recipe.The blogger responsible for the most money donated will receive an Amazon voucher worth R5 600 ($500) and will have a container kitchen named after them or their blog, while the most popular recipes in each of the categories will receive Amazon vouchers to the value of R2 800 ($250).Bread was chosen as the project’s theme because it is the staple food of millions of people in Africa and around the world. Many of these people live below the poverty line and have to endure the associated problems of unemployment, hunger, disease, violence and despair. By supporting charity projects run in the heart of communities, and helping them to reach a level of sustainability, Breadline also helps to reduce the need for welfare.Sustainable community projectsBreadline Africa works by gathering and disbursing funds to convert old shipping containers into functional, sustainable, community-uplifting projects such as soup kitchens, classrooms, and nursery schools. Not only do the containers provide an essential service in disadvantaged areas, but they also offer a platform for skills development in communities.With offices in both South Africa and the United Kingdom, the organisation acts a bridge between the needy in Africa and donors in Europe and the UK. Since its inception in 1993 it has supported over 130 projects in Southern Africa through annual grants. Breadline also participates in the Multi-Agency Grants Initiative, which aims to bring donor partners together to share resources and thus more effectively support community based organisations.Project manager Edna Titus says that the organisation sometimes struggles to find containers, as they are not that easy to come by and shipping companies are strangely unwilling to freely donate old containers, however battered, rusty and unusable they may be. This forces the NGO to use some of its funds for purchasing.“Shipping companies only seem to donate directly to communities,” says Titus. “This ties our hands somewhat because they often retain ownership of the container and that hampers us even from renovating it on the community’s behalf.”Old shipping containers are often found in communities masquerading as anything from telephone booths and hair salons to spaza shops. The Breadline difference is that they are completely renovated and are no longer merely cold, drab, windowless boxes. “We beautify the containers and make them user friendly,” says Titus, “and even their bright colours give the area a boost.”While community projects may use the containers for as long as they remain successful and sustainable, if they should fold the container reverts back to Breadline who will then pass it on to another worthy project. “But this happens very rarely,” says Titus. “We scrutinise our potential projects very carefully and choose the ones which we believe will succeed.”Skills developmentBreadline Africa also runs a very successful poverty alleviation and skills development programme called Cans4Skills, centred on the container renovation and working on the principle that people become independent by learning to help themselves.Skills development in South Africa is a cause espoused by many organisations as well as government, as it is one of the main factors in the country’s unemployment rate.Cans4Skills takes its name from the communities’ name for containers, and Breadline Africa uses containers, or cans, to provide opportunities for people in informal settlements to hone trade skills such as plumbing, bricklaying, woodwork and painting – practical skills which can be passed on for the benefit of the community. The company also teaches basic domestic tasks including cooking, ironing and using a washing machine.The containers are cleaned and spruced up with a floor, windows and doors and a coat of paint, transforming them into classrooms for those who cannot afford to attend a college or don’t have transport to get to one. Bringing the classroom to the people and teaching them in their own environment, says Titus, is an effective way of giving them a kick-start in earning an income.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Janine Erasmus at [email protected] linksBreadline AfricaWorldwide blogger bake-offBlogger bake-off Facebook groupMulti-Agency Grants InitiativeQuirk eMarketinglast_img read more

Zuma highlights need for victim support

first_img26 November 2013President Jacob Zuma visited the Ikhaya Lethemba Centre in Johannesburg on Monday to mark the start of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children campaign.The centre accommodates, counsels, rehabilitates and prepares rape and abuse victims for their court cases.The President spoke to victims and staff, and highlighted the need for support for victims of rape and abuse in order to reduce the trauma they experience.“It must be very devastating and intimidating for rape victims … to walk into the court and to be looked at by everybody,” Zuma said.“If I was a victim I would go through a terrible experience, and justice has to be done for the perpetrator to be convicted. Then I have to re-live it again in such an environment.“Legally, we need to find a way where we lessen the trauma,” he said.Zuma was taken on a tour of the centre’s library, computer training section, and justice preparation section, where victims are prepared for court appearances in a room designed to look like a courtroom.Zuma also spoke individually to residents, many of whom had fled from abusive partners.He was accompanied on his visit by Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane and Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau.Source: read more

Brand South African partners with Mandela Trilogy in Dubai

first_imgA musical based on the early life and revolutionary awakening of Nelson Mandela, The Mandela Trilogy, was performed at the Dubai Opera House in November 2017. All three shows were sold out. Brand South Africa partnered with the organisers to reach out to South Africans living and working in the United Arab Emirates.Promotional poster for The Mandela Trilogy, performed at the Dubai Opera House, UAE, on 9-11 November 2017. (Image: Cape Town Opera)CD AndersonThe musical, The Mandela Trilogy, (formerly known as African Songbook: A Tribute to the Life of Nelson Mandela) was first performed by the Cape Opera in 2010, followed by sold-out performances in the UK and Germany.Written and produced by composers Peter Louis van Dijk and Mike Campbell with librettist Michael Williams, the musical uses original South African music, fusing traditional Xhosa songs, classical music, jazz and modern songs, to complement the three-part journey of a young Madiba’s early years maturing from a rural farm life to lawyer and freedom fighter.In an interview in 2014, Williams spoke about the high international standard of musical theatre the show upheld, while remaining uniquely African. He called the show “a bright, bold and brassy show that pulls together all the musical traditions of South Africa”.In 2016, The Guardian newspaper called the musical – which had a run at the Royal Festival Hall in London – a “successful and original retelling of a story told many times before… using compelling storytelling techniques and powerful cast”.The musical has been popular with many South Africans living abroad. The idea behind its debut in Dubai, in particular, as spearheaded by the Dubai Opera CEO, South African-born Jasper Hope, who saw an opportunity to bring the story to the relatively large South African community in the UAE.Hope told the Gulf News website: “I’m delighted Dubai Opera is able to collaborate with the fantastic Cape Town Opera to share the story of Nelson Mandela’s heroic and inspirational life, presented in this brilliantly colourful production with its intoxicating mix of opera, jazz and Xhosa sounds and rhythms.”Following discussions with the Opera House, for Brand South Africa, the three performances – held between 9 and 11 November 2017 – were a perfect occasion to promote the nation brand and engage with the South African diaspora in the Gulf.The Mandela Trilogy performances were used to strengthen brand advocacy for South Africa’s brand identity, image, competitiveness and value proposition.According to reports, the Dubai performances were a hit with South Africans, and they played to full houses of up to 2,000 seats, on all three nights. The evenings inspired many to talk to fellow compatriots and UAE residents to present a positive global image of the country’s history and culture to the region, just as Mandela himself had intended.Source: Gulf News website, Cape Town Opera House, Brand South Africa Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Ohio Ag Weather and Forecast, March 6, 2019

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Partly sunny skies will be in over most of the state today, but we still can’t shake the cold over the region. Temps will again be a couple of degrees warmer than yesterday, but by no means are we approaching normal or any above normal temps. The threat of lake effect snow lingers today in far NE Ohio, but with winds not as strong, it should be less of a factor.  Tomorrow clouds increase, but we still see no significant precipitation threat over the northern half of the state. From I-70 south, we can see some scattered snow showers perhaps as early as late afternoon, but more likely overnight tomorrow night into early Friday. There is not a lot of moisture to work with, but we could see the potential for a coating to an inch of the white stuff.Friday turns out partly sunny from midday on, and we should start to see temps turn milder. That milder push will come ahead of our next significant weather event. Clouds increase through the day Saturday, and then rain develops from Saturday evening through sunrise Sunday. We are pulling our rain totals back just a bit, but are still looking at some good moisture potential. Right now we expect .3”-.9” over 100% of the state. The map at right shows precipitation potential for the event. The rest of Sunday turns out partly sunny as clearing settles in, but the winds really ramp up on the backside of the event. West winds will blow at 15-30 mph, after a strong south wind Saturday. Monday and Tuesday are partly sunny and chilly.Our next system is still on track for midweek. Clouds spread in overnight Tuesday night and rain is develops in NW Ohio Wednesday morning. This is expected to be a minor wave to start the event, then better rains and even thunderstorms come from Wednesday evening through Thursday morning. Rain totals from the two waves combined will be from .5”-1.25” with coverage at 90%. The rest of Thursday will feature a mix of clouds and sun. Friday can be partly sunny, but flurries can remain with minor coverage.  Even though we see the rains stretched out over a longer period, we likely do not see much of an increase in moisture totals, with our projections at .25”-1”. That is a small increase on the top end, but we are leaving the bottom end of the range alone this morning. We turn colder with partly sunny skies next Thursday to finish out the 10 day window, although some models are trying to keep with a later arrival of the system and therefore a slower exit. We will watch the developments closely.For the extended period, is trending less active this morning. The weekend features plenty of clouds, but so far nothing more than flurries. Monday and Tuesday, the 18th and 19th should bring partly sunny skies, but another cool push, and then we have some rain coming into the state next Wednesday, the 20th, but it stays over the southern third, mostly from US 50 south. We look to finish out the extended period with partly sunny skies and a cold afternoon for Thursday the 21st.last_img read more

25 Personal Finance Improvement Strategies

first_imgBy Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, [email protected] first month of the new year is a great time to help service members develop New Year’s resolutions; a.k.a., financial action plans. Take the time to review their progress toward future financial goals and make recommendations to enhance their overall financial security. Below are 25 personal finance improvement strategies to discuss with military families:Set Specific Financial Goals– Determine what you want, when you want it, and how much it costs (e.g., $14,000 for a car in 2020). Once the goal is specific, divide the time frame into the dollar cost to determine the required savings.Calculate Your Retirement Savings Need- Use a tool such as that includes factors such as age, life expectancy, sources of retirement income, and the value of existing savings (e.g., IRAs).Increase Retirement Savings– Save at least the amount of employer match and more, if possible, up to the IRS limit. Matched savings is “free money.” Savings of 1% more of pay can grow to thousands of additional dollars later.Live Below Your Means- Spend less than you earn and use the difference to reduce debt and/or save and invest for emergencies and future goals. Track expenses to see where money goes and adjust spending to free up cash.Build Liquid Cash Reserves- Calculate a liquidity ratio, a measure of the adequacy of emergency savings, by dividing liquid assets (from a net worth statement) by monthly household expenses. The ratio should be 3:1 or better.Pay Yourself First- Treat savings and investments with the same priority given to a mortgage, rent, or car loan payment. Save and invest automatically through an employer retirement savings plan and other automated deposits.Invest for Long Term Growth- Put history on your side. Past investment performance data show a higher return in stocks, or growth mutual funds that invest in stock, than for any other asset class (e.g., bonds) over the long term.Harness the Power of Compound Interest- Calculate the number of years to double a sum of money by dividing 72 by the rate of return (example: 72 ÷ 6% = 12 years). The longer and more frequently money compounds, the better.Keep It Simple– Consider a “total stock market” mutual fund that tracks U.S. companies and a “total international” fund that provides exposure to companies overseas and the TSP lifecycle (L) fund for “low maintenance” investing.Develop an Asset Allocation Strategy– Split money among asset classes. An example is 50% stocks, 30% bonds, and 20% cash assets. Keep the portfolio close to its target allocation and rebalance when target weightings shift.Keep Good Financial Records- Prepare a file folder for each stock or mutual fund owned. Save annual summary statements that list deposits and investment earnings to help calculate your capital gain or loss when shares are sold.Review Your Insurance- Contact an insurance agent to make sure you are adequately covering “big ticket” risks, such as liability, disability, health care expenses, loss of a breadwinner’s income, and destruction of your home.Revise Your Tax Withholding- Consider revising your W-4 form to increase take-home pay and minimize potential tax refund delays resulting from identity theft. Use the extra income to save and/or reduce debt.Maximize Tax Breaks – Consider strategies such as deposits to tax-deferred retirement savings plans, tax-free municipal bonds, tax credits and deductions, and long-term capital gains taxes on investments held more than a year.“Bunch” Itemized Tax Deductions– Shift payment of tax deductible items (e.g., charitable donations) from one calendar year to the next to be able to itemize every other year if you are close to the standard deduction limit amount.Calculate Your Net Worth– See where you stand financially at year’s end with a net worth statement. Subtract the amount that you owe (debts) from the value of everything you own (assets). The difference is your net worth.Take the Wealth Test- Use the formula from The Millionaire Next Door with two key factors: age and gross income. Multiply these numbers together and divide by 10. The result is what your net worth should at least be equal to.Shop Smart- Question your motives before spending money. Ask yourself “Do I really need this?” When you purchase a product or service, follow the “Rule of 3” and get price quotes from at least three stores or professionals.Borrow Smart- “Shop” at least three lenders before applying for credit. Compare the annual percentage rate (APR), various fees (e.g., late fee), and other features (e.g., rewards programs) and repay the amount owed quickly.Check Your Credit– Review your credit report annually from the central site that allows consumers to request free credit reports from the major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion): Educated About Money- Take time to learn about personal finance. Suggested learning methods are briefings, webinars, financial books or magazines, CNBC, and financial Twitter chats and websites.Plan Your Estate– Prepare key documents including a will, living will, and power of attorney. Remember that everyone has an estate plan: either one they prepare themselves or one established by their state of residence.Develop Financial Resilience – Build financial resilience with adequate savings, low household debt, marketable employment skills, and a social support system. Resilience is the ability to “bounce back” when bad things happen.Take Care of Your Physical Health- Practice good health habits (e.g., diet, physical activity) to decrease the frequency of having to spend money on doctor visits, prescription drugs, and other health care expenses.Think Positive- Believe in the saying “if it is to be, it’s up to me.” Positive people generally experience greater success than “naysayers” because they see a connection between what they do today and what happens in the future.last_img read more

3 Approaches for Time-Remapping in Adobe Premiere Pro

first_imgRate Stretch Tool1. Select the Rate Stretch Button or click the ‘R’ button2. Click and drag the in-point/out-point of your clipThe speed and duration will match any adjustments you make to the clip. It’s that simple. What method is your favorite for adjusting speed/duration in Premiere? Share in the comments below. Here are a few easy ways to adjust speed/duration in Premiere Pro.Whether you’re wanting to artistically manipulate time, or simply want to change the speed of a clip, the following 3 methods are an easy way to manipulate clip speed in Adobe Premiere Pro. All 3 methods take only seconds, but each one has it’s own benefits and disadvantages.First let’s tackle some of the semantics of time remapping:What is Speed?Speed is the rate at which a clip plays back usually displayed in percentages. For example, a clip that plays back at 200% is twice as fast as an unaffected clip.What is Duration?Duration is a measure of time from the in-point to the out-point. Whereas speed deals with playback, duration only deals with how much time a specific clip takes up in the timeline. Just because you adjust a clip’s duration does not necessarily mean you are adjusting the clip’s speed and vice-versa.The Speed/Duration Command1. Right-click your clip in the timeline & navigate to Speed/Duration.2. Select your desired command.3. Click okThe Speed/Duration Command consists of a few very easy to understand parameters and checkboxes. When Speed/Duration is linked, a speed percentage of less than 100% will slowdown playback and increase duration. Alternatively a speed percentage of more than 100% will speed-up playback and shorten the duration.You can link/unlink speed and duration by clicking the chain icon in the viewer. You can reverse clip playback by selecting reverse speed. Instead of having your audio sound like The Chipmunks (or the Tree Ents from Lord of the Rings!)  you can select ‘Maintain Audio Pitch’. Premiere will try to make your audio sound more natural when played back at a different speed. By selecting ‘Ripple Edit, Shifting Trailing Clips’ your adjacent clips will be moved in the timeline to match your changes.center_img Use Time Remapping1. Right-click on your clip and select ‘Show Clip Keyframes>Time Remapping>Speed’2. Increase your speedSimply drag the ‘Rubber Band’ on your clip up and down to increase/decrease the clip duration. You can Command+Click on a Mac or Control+Click on Windows to set keyframes. There are actually a lot of really cool ways to manipulate clip speed using this feature. The video tutorial below outlines a few helpful ways to use the Time Remapping Tool.3. Time-remapping can be keyframed in the Effects Panellast_img read more