Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Arizona's Tough New Law Against Illegal Immigrants

Prejudice rears its ugly head, all in the name of "National Security".  I say it's xenophobia in the Millenium.  More on the story below.

Arizona's Tough New Law Against Illegal Immigrants

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Just Like You

Racism is judging somebody solely on their race, skin color, texture and color of hair, and shape and color of eye.  Judging them to be somehow inferior. Less than.  Unworthy of human kindness and mutual respect. Ultimately, racism comes down to judging people.

In this month we have talked about judging others based on age, ability, gender, and even location. We have talked about the ugly truth of the under belly of predjudice.  I would wager that most who read this will think, "Oh, I hate prejudice people!  How can people be so shallow and insensitive?"  I know because I find myself thinking the very same thing.

Yet, if I were to be honest with myself, I still judge people on a daily basis.  I judge students to be lazy and unwilling to help themselves.  I make assumptions about the slovenly dressed woman at the grocery store with the dirty kids running around, making a ruckus.  I judge grammar-impaired oil-changer at Jiffy Lube.  I sigh in relief that I am not any of "those people".  I am blessed to have a strong work ethic, backed by a college degree.  My kids are clean and (relatively) behaved in public.  And, thanks to my mother, I have excellent grammar skills when I speak.  Yet, I have judged all of these people to be some how inferior, less than, and unworthy of my kindness and mutual respect.  I am culpable of discrimination.

This week was a sobering reminder about how judging appearances is often folly.  I have a student, the General, a very bright "A" student.  He came to my class after leaving an advanced level class of the same course I teach.  He has always been very successful in my class.  Things began to change.  Although the General is passing, he has not done a single assignment outside of class and recently his grade has dropped nearly 3 letter grades.  Finally, I was ready to take care of business.

Last week, I asked to see an assignment, the third one this grading period; of course he did not have it.  I chastised him, demanding to see that assignment and the new assignment by next class.  Come the next class, again he had neither assignment.  This time moved from chastisement to reprimand. Also, the General had to have all three assignments by the next class or his parents would be notified. 

Of course, the next class he did not have a single assignment.  He just meekly apologized, looking at me with my frustration and indignation.  After class, like a Harpy on scent of her prey, I went on a mission to solve this problem.  I spoke to his counselor and his other teachers, all of us agreeing that he was not meeting his potential.  It was, in fact, time to call his parents.  The only working, local number I had ended up finding was his mother's cell.

I called, barely introducing myself, and launched into his litany of sins against education.  It was at this moment the purpose of the call changed.  Mom's tone was somber and I could hear her choking back the tears as she listened, but soon the floodgates collapsed.  Out came the pouring of tears and truth.  She was going through a divorce and the General was hurting.  There is more to the story, but these are private details.  However, as she lay bare her broken life before me, I realized how cruel I had been based upon an assumption.  He was not lazy.  He was not defying me.  He was struggling with the loss of his family.

I tease that I have a jaded heart, that I am an Ice Queen.  But I am not embarrassed to admit, while talking to this woman, I broke down crying.  I wanted to reach through that phone to embrace her to make her lover's heart stop breaking, to soothe the worried mother.  Because I know.  I am divorced woman with two boys.  Every time I look at them and think about the divorce, my heart shatters into a million pieces knowing that because two adults could not "get it together", they will live divided, and in some respects, broken lives. 

This past few weeks I had to re-learn a lesson that I thought I had lalready leared, over and over again, these past 16 years as a teacher:  "Never judge a book by its cover because the story inside just might be unexpected.  I asumed a highly capable student was slacking off, when in fact his heart  and his life were falling apart.

Today, as you go into this world and see the faces and the lives of those who surround you, try to look past race, age, gender, and ability.  More so, look pass the poor grammar, the fashion faux pas', and missing assignments.  Look into the hearts to see the genuine person.  What you might find is someone just like you, with a hurting heart, broken into a million little pieces.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Rabbit in the Moon: Casts a Shadow in America's WWII Victory

Monday, April 12, 2010

Examples of Racism Around the World

  • Australia
"Australia has also had a very racist past in which apartheid has been practiced and where indigenous Aboriginal people have lost almost all their land and suffered many prejudices. In the past, the notorious policy that led to the Stolen Generation was practiced. This was the institutionalized attempt to prevent Aboriginal children (and thus future generations) from being socialized into Aboriginal culture. (This also occurred in various parts of the Americas too.)

Aborigines are the poorest group in Australia and suffer from very much preventable diseases. For more about these issues, you can start at these harrowing reports from John Pilger a prominent Australian journalist who has been critical of many western policies.
The Sydney 2000 Olympics also brought some of Australia’s racist past and present to the fore. (On the positive side, many parts of Australia’s rich diversity in people is slowly helping relieve prejudism. However, some more traditional and conservative politicians are still openly racist.)"  (
  • Brazil
  • Greece
Greece has one of the worst records in the European Union for racism against ethnic minorities, according to the BBC. Anti-immigrant sentiment has long been high, especially against ethnic Albanians, who form the largest minority. Until the 1990s, the BBC notes, Greece had been an extremely homogenous society. With the fall of communism many immigrants from Eastern Europe came to Greece. Albanians especially have been targetted by a lot of racist sentiment. Some hostage taking by a few Albanians in recent years has not helped the situation.
  • India
In India, there has long been discrimination against what is considered the lowest class in Hinduism, the Dalits, or untouchables, as well as sectarian and religious violence. Although it has been outlawed by the Indian Constitution, the caste system was a way to structure inequality into the system itself. And while outlawed, the social barriers it creates is still prevalent in rural areas where most Indians live. It also features in the view of Hindu extremists and traditionalists.  (
  • Race and Racism in the United States

Friday, April 9, 2010

Honoring Those Who Fight the Good Fight (using Langston Hughes' Words)

The heart of racism is fear, hatred, and self-loathing.  It seeks to isolate, dishearten, and obliterate.  Time and time again, those peoples most oppressed have repudiated the power it once held over them.  Across the ages and across the globe, racism has begun to lose it's grasp.  People now are chosing to shed their ignorance as they embrace the truth.  We are all members of the same race, the human race.  We are all brothers and sisters in the same large family called to love and serve one another.

I dedicate these Langston Hughes poems to those who have fought the fight.  To those who envisioned a world as it should be and not as it was.  The dream has dawned. May the reality of change shine down on the world.

Thank you for your valiance. 

I, Too, Sing America       
          by Langston Hughes

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

I'll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody'll dare
Say to me,
"Eat in the kitchen,"

They'll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed--

I, too, am America.

Mother to Son
     by Langston Hughes

Well, son, I'll tell you:
Life for me ain't been no crystal stair.
It's had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor --
But all the time
I'se been a-climbin' on,
And reachin' landin's,
And turnin' corners,And sometimes goin' in the dark
Where there ain't been no light.
So boy, don't you turn back.
Don't you set down on the steps
'Cause you finds it's kinder hard.
Don't you fall now --
For I'se still goin', honey,
I'se still climbin',
And life for me ain't been no crystal stair.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Of Prejudice, Ignorace, and Fear

  • “Prejudice cannot see the things that are because it is always looking for things that aren't."
  • "Prejudices are what fools use for reason.”  -Voltaire
  • “Many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.”  -William James
  • “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” -Mark Twain
  • “Prejudice is the child of ignorance.”  -William Hazlitt
  • “Prejudices are the chains forged by ignorance to keep men apart.”-Countess of (Marguerite Gardiner) Blessington

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


The word race did not appear until the 16th-17th Centuries. The origins of the word are unknown; it is thought that it has its roots in the Italian word, razza--ethnicity or breed. As discussed on the first post of this month racism is defined as:

"the belief that characteristics and abilities can be attributed to people simply on the basis of their race and that some racial groups are superior to others."

 The terms racism and prejudice are often used interchangably. In our world, there are other forms of discrimination other than prejudice based on race. Fear and ignorance are the root system that continues to anchor these prejudices in the modern world, a root system nurturing the fear of the unknown and fear of being "less than". Classifying someone's status as "less than" our own ensures that we are not the "low man on the totem pole," somehow making us superior and those different from us inferior.

  1. Ageism--judgement based on age
  2. Sexism--judgement based on gender 
  3. Geographic --judgement based location/place 
  4. Classism--judgement based upon economic status
  5. Ableism--judgement based upon mental or physical "disability" 
  6. Ethnic--judgement based upon cultural attributes (language, religion, customs/traditions) 
  7. Epidermal--judgement based upon range of skin tones (light skin versus dark skinned)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Children's Book Author or Reviled British Imperialism Poet?

When people hear of Rudyard Kipling, they often reflect happily upon a childhood, filled with the stories of adventure with the characters of the Jungle Book, Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, and The Man Who Would Be King.  But, when you think of Rudyard Kipling, do you think of "racial superiority", racism, or Social Darwinism?  I would wager that most among you are pondering why I would even link the two together, Kipling and racism. 

Perhaps you did not know that Kipling penned the White Man's Burden, a poem that extolled the racial superiority of the "White Man" and the God-given right to go into "exile" in an effort to "civilize" the world for those less fortunate "heathens".  Read for yourself and see what I mean.

White Man's Burden   (by Rudyard Kipling)

Take up the White Man's burden--

Send forth the best ye breed--
Go bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives' need;
To wait in heavy harness,
On fluttered folk and wild--
Your new-caught, sullen peoples,
Half-devil and half-child.

Take up the White Man's burden--
In patience to abide,
To veil the threat of terror
And check the show of pride;
By open speech and simple,
An hundred times made plain
To seek another's profit,
And work another's gain.

Take up the White Man's burden--
The savage wars of peace--
Fill full the mouth of Famine
And bid the sickness cease;
And when your goal is nearest
The end for others sought,
Watch sloth and heathen Folly
Bring all your hopes to nought.

Take up the White Man's burden--
No tawdry rule of kings,
But toil of serf and sweeper--
The tale of common things.
The ports ye shall not enter,
The roads ye shall not tread,
Go mark them with your living,
And mark them with your dead.

Take up the White Man's burden--
And reap his old reward:
The blame of those ye better,
The hate of those ye guard--
The cry of hosts ye humour
(Ah, slowly!) toward the light:--
"Why brought he us from bondage,
Our loved Egyptian night?"

Take up the White Man's burden--
Ye dare not stoop to less--
Nor call too loud on Freedom
To cloke (1) your weariness;
By all ye cry or whisper,
By all ye leave or do,
The silent, sullen peoples
Shall weigh your gods and you.

Take up the White Man's burden--
Have done with childish days--
The lightly proferred laurel,
The easy, ungrudged praise.
Comes now, to search your manhood
Through all the thankless years
Cold, edged with dear-bought wisdom,
The judgment of your peers!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Just Another Word for Hate, Ignorance, & Self-Hatred

Today, April 1, millions of Amercians will participate in the fun and silly tradition of April Fools' Day, a day for michief and naughty little pranks.  However, for The Power of Only One, April 1 signals a change of topic.  I have spent all day trying to come up with a new global issue to address here.  Several different ideas came to mind, but none of them "got the blogging juices going."  So I did what I always do.  I "googled".   Googling Top Ten Global Issues solved the dilema.  There in the search results, I found the answer.  Racism.  Instantly, I knew which direction to go.

April 12th will mark the 149th anniversary of when the American nation was torn into two. The North and the South.  The Blue and the Gray.  This was was a war of economics and government control, with the issue of slavery looming in the background.  But if you read between the lines, ultimately the American War was a war of racism.  Today, on April Fools' Day, I write about the ugly truth about racism.  Racism is neither a joke, nor is it a laughing matter.  Racism is just another word for hate, ignorance, and, in the long run, self-hatred.

Global Issues ( describes racism as:

"the belief that characteristics and abilities can be attributed to people simply on the basis of their race and that some racial groups are superior to others. Racism and discrimination have been used as powerful weapons encouraging fear or hatred of others in times of conflict and war, and even during economic downturns."
I will spend the next month delving into and exploring the issues of race and racism.  We will discover the many ways racism rears its ugly head in cultures across the globe, as well analyzing as the legacy of racism in these various cultures. 

To start this journey, I would like share a video produced by The American Anthropological Association (AAA).  Use the this video to start thinking about race and racism.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Nelson Mandela & His Contributions to African Progress


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

May 7 World AIDS Orphans Day & Essay Contest Part II

New York, March 15, 2010

Press Release
Children Invited to Enter :  2010 World AIDS Orphans Day Contest

To commemorate World AIDS Orphans Day on May 7th, 2010, kids in grades 4-8th are invited to share their stories! Children should submit a letter sharing their views on the following topic:

Millions of kids around the world have lost their parents to AIDS. Write a letter to Albina du Boisrouvray, founder of World AIDS Orphans Day, explaining what you think should be done to help these kids live better lives.

The winning essay will be posted on the World AIDS Orphans Day website ( The author will receive a certificate from Albina du Boisrouvray, international humanitarian and founder of World AIDS Orphans Day, and $200 to be donated in their name to a charity benefiting children!

Spread the word! This is an exciting way for children to express their thoughts and speak out in support of orphaned children around the world!

Entries should be a maximum of 300 words and emailed or attached in Word form to by 5pm Eastern Time on Monday, April 26th, 2010.

For consideration, all entries must have the applicant’s full name, age and grade level and a parent or guardian’s full name and contact phone number or email address.

Additional Rules:

  • Entries due by 5pm on Monday, April 26th
  • Maximum length: 300 words
  • Open to children in all countries in grades 4-8 (or of the appropriate age)
  • The winning letter will be officially announced on Friday, May 7th
  • All entries will become property of and FXB International
Press contact:
FXB USA — Nico D’Auterive — — 1 212 697 3566

Find World AIDS Orphans Day on Facebook:

Sunday, March 28, 2010

May 7--World AIDS Orphan Day & Essay Contest

Children and AIDS

• AIDS has orphaned more than 15 million children around the world. Over 80% of these children live in sub-Saharan Africa.

• AIDS is more likely than any other cause of death to create double orphans – children who have lost both parents. (UNICEF)

• Less than 1 in 10 of these children receives any type of external support or help. (UNICEF)

• By 2010 there will be an estimated 20 to 25 million AIDS orphans. (UNICEF)

• Every 15 seconds, a young adult between the ages of 15 and 24 is infected with HIV. (UNICEF)

• Approximately 2.3 million children under age 15 currently live with HIV. (Global AIDS Alliance)

• Every minute, one child under age 15 dies from AIDS or an AIDS-related illness.(UNICEF)

• An estimated 11 million children under age 5 die each year from preventable or treatable diseases. (WHO)
• Children who have lost one or both parents to AIDS are more likely to suffer from hunger and malnutrition, to drop out of school, to become infected with HIV and to face discrimination, abuse, and exploitation.

About World AIDS Orphans Day

World AIDS Orphans Day, held each year on May 7th, is a grassroots campaign to draw attention to and advocate on behalf of the more than 15 million children orphaned by AIDS. The campaign engages leaders, activists, and young people from around the world in awareness raising and action for AIDS orphans and vulnerable children.

Today, a diverse coalition of organizations, government officials and everyday citizens is standing up to make children a priority in the fight against AIDS. Your voice is their future.

10 Percent for Children
This World AIDS Orphans Day, we are calling on global leaders to take serious action in addressing the crisis of AIDS orphans by allocating at least 10% of overall HIV and AIDS funding to meet the needs of children who are orphaned or made vulnerable by the pandemic.

UNAIDS estimates that at least $4 billion will be needed over the next two years to meet the basic needs of many of these children. Since 2003, the US Congress has pledged to earmark at least 10 percent of all HIV/AIDS funding for children, but it has consistently failed to meet this goal. Increased funding will provide the necessary resources for governments, partner organizations, and local communities to respond to the special needs of children.

Visit to join the campaign.

Spread the word.  Tweet this.  Post on Facebook.  Email this post to family and friends.  Email me at powerofonlyone(at)gmail(dot)com and I can send you the flyers and logos.  Tomorrow's post will feature the essay contest and rules.    (all data from an FXB initiative)

We can all change the world, even with the Power of Only One.

Friday, March 26, 2010

No Infrastructure, No Economic Development

The more developed a country's infrastructure, the more developed that country's economy is. 

  • “Modern infrastructure is the backbone of an economy and the lack of it inhibits economic growth…”
  • “investing more funds without tackling inefficiencies would be like pouring water into a leaking bucket. Africa can plug those leaks through reforms and policy improvements which will serve as a signal to investors that Africa is ready for business.”
In order to develop a nation's economy and to encourage the growth of profit-making industries, there are five major infrastructure systems key to economic success:  power, water, transportation, information and communication systems, along with a well developed educational system.  All of which most African nations lack.

Infrastructure Blog Power Point

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

If Pictures Say a 1000 Words, Political Cartoons Tell A Whole Story.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Africa: In Fact--Life After Imperialism

Africa in Fact BLOG Power Point

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The World's 10 Worst Dictators |

The World's 10 Worst Dictators

Africa has 4 of the world's 10 worst dictators.  Read all about each one of them in the article provided above.  Of the four, Robert Mugabe is one man who should be feared and with whom the United Nations should deal. 

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Mission Possible or Improbable? Depends on the Approach

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."  ~ Albert Eintstein

Solution for the poverty and turmoil in Africa? 
My personal belief after months of research:  investing in and promoting Non-governmental Organizations (NGO's) that empower the people to solve their own problems locally according to the region's unique culture, social norms, mores, customs, and values, not according to those of a wealthy, overfed country. Feed a man a fish, you feed him for a day.  Teach a man to fish and help him to make nets and fishing poles, you feed him for a life time.  Help to educate his sons and daughters, and his grandsons and grandaughters will change the world. 

Friday, March 19, 2010

Genocide: Destroyer of Hope

gen·o·cide (jn-sd)  n.  The systematic and widespread extermination or attempted extermination of an entire national, racial, religious, or ethnic group.
[Greek genos, race; see gen- in Indo-European roots + -cide.]
geno·cidal (-sdl) adj.
geno·cidal·ly adv.

Africa is a continent with rich cultural diversity.  With 53 countries, over 750 ethnic groups, and approximately 2000 languages, this diversity would seem to be the cause of disagreement, conflict, violence, and war.  But it is not the diversity of the people that causes the conflict, conflict that often leads to genocide.  The common factors  in Africa's regions of genocide include:  1)  extreme poverty 2) failed government systems unable to successfully transistion from colony to independent nation, and 3) a dependence upon resources, such as oil and diamonds, often used to fund a war lord's army and campaign. 

However, genocide is more than a definition in a dictionary.  It is more than the discussion as the root cause of such "horriffic violence and destruction".  For millions in Africa, genocide is the reality that the people of any gender, of any age, and of any religious persuasion must endure on a daily basis.  What does genocide look like?  Thanks to the The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, you can see up close just how destructive genocide is globally, particularly in Africa.  Follow the link provided below to bear witness to the violence, the destruction, and even the resilience of those most affected.

Photo Gallery:  Genocide

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Disease Afflicts The People of Africa, More than Just HIV/AIDS

Both selections are not my words and are taken directly from the sources cited within the reading.

Malaria is only transmitted by female mosquitoes of the genus Anopheles. Most female Anopheles mosquitoes are nocturnal feeders (that is, they only bite at night).

Four Nobel Prizes have been awarded for work associated with malaria to Sir Ronald Ross (1902), Charles Louis Alphonse Laveran (1907), Julius Wagner-Jauregg (1927), and Paul Hermann Müller (1948).

The two most effective and potent anti-malarial drugs come from plants with medicinal values recognized for centuries: artemisinin from the Qinghao plant (Artemisia annual, China, 4th century) and quinine from the cinchona tree (South America, 17th century).

When combined with HIV/AIDS, malaria is even more deadly, particularly for pregnant women and children. Read more here.
African Trypanosomiasis (African Sleeping Sickness)

What is African trypanosomiasis (African sleeping sickness)?   African trypanosomiasis, also called African sleeping sickness, is a systemic disease caused by a parasite and transmitted by the bite of the tsetse fly. There are two types of the disease, named for the areas of Africa in which they are found. West African trypanosomiasis, which causes a chronic infection lasting years, is caused by the parasite Trypanosoma brucei gambiense. East African trypanosomiasis, which causes acute illness lasting several weeks, is caused by Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense. Worldwide, 25,000 new cases of both East and West African trypanosomiasis are reported each year; however, the World Health Organization (WHO) says it is vastly underreported.

African trypanosomiasis is confined mainly to tropical Africa between 15 degrees North and 20 degrees South latitude. The greatest risks of contracting the disease occurs in parts of Eastern and Central Africa, including:
  • Uganda
  • Kenya
  • Tanzania
  • Malawi
  • Ethiopia
  • Zaire
  • Zimbabwe
  • Botswana
West African trypanosomiasis can be contracted in parts of Western and Central Africa. Because tsetse flies inhabit rural areas only, living in woodland thickets of savanna and dense vegetation along streams, visitors to urban areas are generally not at risk.

What are the symptoms of African trypanosomiasis?  The following are the most common symptoms of African trypanosomiasis. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently.

Symptoms, which occur within one to four weeks of infection, are often initially nonspecific and may include fever, skin lesions, rash, edema, or swollen lymph nodes on the back of the neck. The infection then generally progresses to meningoencephalitis. As the illness progresses, symptoms may include:
  • personality change
  • weight loss
  • irritability
  • loss of concentration
  • progressive confusion
  • slurred speech
  • seizures
  • difficulty walking and talking
  • sleeping for long periods of the day
  • insomnia at night

If left untreated, death will occur within several weeks to months. The symptoms of African trypanosomiasis may resemble other medical conditions or problems. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.


Monday, March 15, 2010

Why So Much Violence in Africa?

Why is there so much conflict in Africa?  Although there are over 700 ethno-liguo-cultural groups in Africa with an estimated 1000-2000 languages, this rich diversity, these many differences are not the root of ethnic tension, conflict, and all out war in the many countries of Africa.  Conflict comes as a cost to a colonial past with a "divide-and-rule" public policy, as well as high levels of poverty, failed governments, and an over-dependence on natural resources such as oil and diamonds; these resources can finance the rebels' cause and war.  Compared to all other continents on this planet, Africa suffers the most from the ravages of war and internal conflict.  See for yourself.,

Friday, March 12, 2010

And the Chidlren Carry The Burden...

200,000 child slaves are sold every year in Africa. There are an estimated 8,000 girl-slaves in West Africa alone. (sources: BBC 5 October, 2001 & Anti-Slavery Society)

About 120,000 African children are participating in armed conflicts. Some are as young as 7 years old. (source: Africa Children’s Charter)

Children account for half of all civilian casualties in wars in Africa. (source: Africa 2015)

One in six African children dies before the age of five. Most of these deaths could be prevented. (source: Africa 2015)

Nearly one third of children in Sub-Saharan Africa are underweight. (source: UNICEF)

In sub-Saharan Africa, measles takes the life of a child nearly every minute of every day. An effective measles vaccine costs as little as $1 per child. (source: UNICEF)

Between 12 and 14 million African children have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS. (source: World Bank/UNICEF)

Nearly 2 million children under 14 years old are HIV positive. (source: UNICEF)

43% of children in Sub-Saharan Africa do not have safe, accessible drinking water. (source: UNICEF)

64% of children in Sub-Saharan Africa do not have adequate sanitation. (source: UNICEF)

Only 57% of African children are enrolled in primary education, and one in three of those does not complete school. (source: Africa 2015)

For every 100 boys there are only 83 girls enrolled at primary school. (source: World Bank/UNICEF)


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Invisible: Children Living with AIDS

Monday, March 8, 2010

AIDS destroyer of Africa, destroyer of dreams

  • Twenty-two million people in Africa have HIV, representing 2/3 of the total infected population of the world.
  • Seventy-five percent of the world's AIDS-related deaths occur in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • The main mode of HIV/AIDS transmission in Africa is heterosexual intercourse. The second-most common mode of transmission is from mother to child, either during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
  • Many Swazi communities have been destroyed by the AIDS epidemic. Swaziland has been affected most by the HIV epidemic. The country has a 38.8 percent adult infection rate and a life expectancy of only 39 years.
  • In Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe, current estimates show over 1 person in 5 between the ages of 15 and 49 is living with HIV or AIDS.
  • Since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, 83% of the deaths have been in Africa.
  • At least 95% of all AIDS orphans have been African.
  • In 1998 wars in Africa killed 200,000 people. AIDS killed 2 million on the continent.
  • As infection rises in the general population, so does the likelihood of encountering an infected partner early in one's sexual career.
  • In Africa, especially Southern Africa the average life expectancy is only 48 years; this being largely because of the AIDs epedimic. In 2005 the world suffered around 3 million deaths because of AIDs, out of those 3 million an estimated one third were in Sub-Saharan Africa. The cause of this has to do largely with lack of education on the subject, and lack of prevention methods coupled with hard to find quality treatment.

SOURCES (These are not my words.  I cut and pasted the facts & figures directly from the sources listed above.)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Donkeys Bring in Books, The Children Come

To contribute to this program, read below and clink on the link provided for more information.

The Story of Johannes & His Reading Program (taken from Ethiopia Reads)

Yohannes Gebregeorgis, a native of Etihopia, learned to read in his village school - taught by Peace Corps volunteers. He fondly remembers the first book he held in his hands outside of the age of nineteen. Eventually, he came to the United States as a political refugee. He earned a Master's degree in Library Science from the University of Texas.

While working as a children's librarian at the San Francisco Publisc Library, Yohannes was asked to purchase books in various languages for the library. He was surprised to discover that, despite a large Ethiopian population int he area, he was unable to find books printed in any of the Ethiopian languages. Recognizing the importance of reading for children in his native country, he founded Ethiopia Reads in 1998, inspired to make books available to Ethiopia's kids.

As Yohannes worked to develop his project, he contacted American author Jane Kurtz. Jane grew up in Ethiopia, where her parents worked for many years, and has written many books about its land and people. Yohannes' vision caught Jane's attention: she, too believed in the power of books to change lives. She rallied friends, family and her community to raise funds to publish Silly Mammo, the first English/Amharic book for children, which was written by Yohannes and based on a well-loved children's folk tale from Ethiopia.

Proceeds from the sale of Silly Mommo supported Yohannes' dream of opening a free public library for children in Addis Ababa, a city of 3 million people. In 2003, Yohannes moved back to Addis Ababa to formally establish Ethiopia Reads. he and his family lived in the top floor of a small house; on the bottom floor, he began building a library.

On April 7, 2003, Yohannes and Jane cut the ribbon on Shola Children's Library. Established in a poor neighborhood with no safe spaces for play, reading or art activity, the library served thousands of children during its first year of operation. Four years later, the staff recorded 60,000 visits from children! In June of 2008, the library moved from its original location into a larger facility, with more room for books and children. Shola currently offers programs in sanitation, art, theater and dance as well as tutoring and study groups.

Ethiopia Reads believes that education is the key to improving the lives of the next generation of Ethiopians, a country filled with children, and that books are the key to fostering a genuine love of learning. We invite all who love children and books to join us in this endeavor.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

I Saw What I Saw

I saw what I saw and I can't forget it
I heard what I heard and I can't go back
I know what I know and I can't deny it

Something on the road
Cut me to the soul

Your pain has changed me
Your dream inspires
Your face a memory
Your hope a fire
Your courage asks me what I'm afraid of
And what I know of love

We've done what we've done and we can't erase it
We are what we are and it's more than enough
We have what we have but it's no substitution

Your pain has changed me
Your dream inspires
Your face a memory
Your hope a fire
Your courage asks me what I'm made of
And what I know of love

Something on the road
Cut me to the soul

I say what I say with no hesitation
I have what I have and I'm giving it up
I do what I do with deep conviction

Something on the road, cut me to the soul

Your pain has changed me
Your dreams inspire
Your face a memory
Your hope a fire

Your pain has changed me
Your dream inspires
Your face a memory
Your hope a fire
Your courage asks me what I am afraid of
Your courage asks me what I am made of
Your courage asks me what I am afraid of
And what I know of God,
And what I know of God.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

LRA: Army of Destruction and Despair

The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), led by Joseph Koney, is part cult, part army, but entirely the driving force of destruction and despair in the lives of thousands of young African boys and girls.  To better understand the plight and suffering of these Invisible Children please watch the two following videos and refer to the links provided.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

My African Child

So young in heart
He cried for milk
So poor and helpless
Mama weeps in pain

His eyes so red
A week he cried
A month ago,
To the world he came

Mama so young
Papa has run
Under the bridge
They lay their heads

In storm and rain
They search for food
Through man and sex
Mama fed him well

The days went by
Mama health decreased
Only five months old
Mama said goodbye

In rain and cold
He cried so loud
In sun and heat
He wept and wept

Three days gone by
Since mama left
And now he sleeps
To meet with mama

~Toris Okotie (The African Poet) NY~

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

History of Human Rights: Self-Evident Truths or Merely Words?

by:  Youth for Human Rights International

"Youth for Human Rights International teaches human rights education both in the classroom and beyond traditional education settings. We aim to reach people from diverse backgrounds and our materials often appeal across generations. From teaching human rights through conferences and workshops to hip-hop and dancing, the message spreads around the world and reaches onto every continent and into many countries." (About Youth for Human Rights)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Disparity: Waiting to Be Fed


Sunday, February 28, 2010

Passions Revealed

Jack and Aye at Got Passport:  Will Travel, We'll Serve, are encouraging their followers to create a Passion Board to "DISCOVER and UNLEASH your PASSION through ART and CREATIVITY."  For some reason this challenge resonated with me and within minutes I started the project and within a couple of hours I completed the project. 

What does this have to do with the Power of Only One? 
I rummaged through the piles of magazines and family pictures, cutting out words and images.  As I arranged these onto the canvas, I saw of  pieces of my heart and soul and my story-path began to unfold.  It revealed where I had been and those who have helped me to get there.  I can see where I am now, yet, it is clear where my spirit longs to be.  I experienced a "Moment of Conversion."  

I have always loved studying Africa and it's people,  diverse cultures and rich history.  I have been asked often, "Why do you love Africa so much?"  The only way I can explain it is that whenever I talk about Africa or study it, I hear the voice of God.  I was not born in Africa, nor is any of my family from Africa.  I am not even African-American.  I should have no connection to this continent, but I am called to it.  Called to come and to help bring change, called to make a difference there.

For nearly a decade, I have been talking about how I could help the people of this continent.  I have brainstormed and designed programs in my heard to make a difference.  I have talked to my family and friends about what I could do as just one person.  But it was always talk, until January 1 of this year.  This year I fell into my "Moment of Conversion."  This year I started the Power of Only One, armed with the hope and desire to bring change to the world, change for Africa, one post at a time.

Literally, the heart of my Passion Board is Africa.  It is surrounded by my past, my present, and the future for which I hope.  One day, Africa will be both my destination and my destiny.  I will be ready because of the love of my family, past travel experiences and the lessons learned along the way, as well as the the hopes I carry in my heart for the future.

How strange that a blog challenge, an simple little art experiment, helped me to see to see my own life's story and the passions I hold dear to my heart. 

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Chile Needs Our Help, Our Thoughts, Our Prayers

COPIED from USA Today. (Chile earthquake: How you can help and stay safe from tsunamis)

Several international disaster relief organizations have already begun mobilizing resources for the earthquake-stricken region. Here are a few that have already launched campaigns for Chile:

AmeriCares is sending medical supplies and humanitarian aid to Chile. Go here to make a donation to support these efforts.

The American Red Cross has already pledged $50,000 in aid for Chile and tsunami preparedness. You can make a donation through the American Red Cross' International Response Fund, and it will be allocated specifically for Chile relief efforts.

Habitat for Humanity is also seeking donations for Chile rebuilding efforts;
The Salvation Army is also sending personnel and supplies to assist in the relief effort and is in need of donations.

Samaritan's Purse, the international aid and development group headed by Rev. Franklin Graham, is working to help.

Save The Children is sending an emergency assessment team to Chile and is asking for donations to its Children's Emergency Fund to aid these efforts.

World Vision, a Christian humanitarian charity organization, is also working to help children and families devastated by the quake. To learn more about its efforts and to donate, visit itsr website.

Texting to help
Text CHILE to 25383 to donate $10 to Habitat for Humanity
To follow relief efforts and opportunities for aid, you can also follow the Red Cross on Twitter.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Dinner for A Dollar

Half of the world lives on less than $2 a day.  I spend more than $2 on a frivilous "skinny" latte whenever the whim hits.  Half the world lives on $730 a year.  I spend more on my rent in a single month. 

On Monday, I generated a list of things people can do to help fight world hunger.  One of the items on the list I found quite helpful.  I read that sending Tweets about world hunger to educate followers in an effective and easy tool to get the out word about world hunger.  I Tweet, as in nearly 6500 of them in the past year.  So Tweet I shall to help spread the message.

However, one suggestion on the list has haunted me all week.  One website suggested people make a dinner for $1 and invite friends over.  Explain to them that many people must meet the challenge of inexpensive meals to feed the family every day.  I started to think, "What would I or COULD I make for a group of 4-6 for just a $1.  I don't know why, but this challenge has been picking away at my brain all week.  I think I am actually going to try this meet this challenge:  Make a meal for $1 and invite friends over to share the meal and to share the lesson. 

Here is the meal I planned

Pot of ramen noodles (3packages @ .15 cents each) = .45 cents
Cornbread muffins (1 packages Jiffy that makes 6 muffins) =.33 cents
1/2 milk & 1 egg for cornbread = .20 cents

WOW!  Can you imagine?!  Each person gets ONE cornbread muffin and a small bowl of meatless ramen noodles.  I can't describe just how in shock I am right now after trying to plan the menu.  This would only be a challenge to enlighten me and a small group of friends.  This is the reality for millions of mothers and fathers every day, every meal.  What are your thoughts? How do you feel?

I feel selfish. wasteful. fat. greedy.