HEALTH | EDUCATION
LINDA BURNEY The first Aboriginal woman to serve in the House of Representatives.
GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT | VOLUNTEERING Edition 1 Volume 5
CONTENTS FEATURE INTERVIEW
Linda Burney The first Aboriginal woman to serve in the House of Representatives.
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BEATRIC E NJERI weekly from different circumstances. Apart from looking after the children, our primary aim is to reintegrate as many kids as possible back to their families, whether that be immediate or extended families. The children are provided with 3 meals a day, a clean bed and clothes on their backs.
There is so much potential the Centre has and with the help of well-wishers we can attain the goals of changing the lives of these children and secure a bright future for them. My appreciation goes to all PTW supporters and volunteers over the years and we are especially excited for the upcoming project of putting up decent toilets and bathrooms for the children in both the girls and boyâ€™s compound.
asa do Caminho dedicates to positively transform the reality of children, and even men and women around the rural area of Xerem, Rio de Janeiro - Brazil. The organization have been working since 1982 with vulnerable population and right now the main programs are directed at children. We also work with Escola sem Fronteiras: a program that counts on volunteers of every single part of our globe to teach English, Spanish, arts, judo and life path development to children in public schools in the area.
ello all, my name is Samuel Baraza. I used to b mistreate my step mother whe was 9 years old. A fr of mine told me tha can go town and w went, lived on the st surviving with other We ate scraps and full of lice. At the en of last year we were taken by County offi to the rescue Centre
SĂĄbados de Brincadeiras is another of the central programs. The activities th are developed during Saturdays gath together children of the countryside in the only space though for them to play in the previously mentioned are the CDC house.
In addition, three other projects are taking place at the time. The first one is the program of meals with the homeless people which takes place every two weeks. The second is the renovation of organic crops cultivate by and for the community.
TODAYS SUPERHEROES Comic books have certainly progressed over the past 100 years. American educators tried to ban them in the 1930’s by claiming they were a bad influence on students’ reading abilities. Churches, civic and religious groups tried to ban them for addressing ‘immoral’ topics. Psychiatrists tried to ban their sales in the 1950’s for claiming they desensitized children to violence. Historically smeared as poor literature for children and ‘geeks’ is possibly the largest global pop-culture genre today. Jordanian comic creator Suleiman Bakhit created a line of comic books that are now distributed across Jordanian schools to tackle extremism and Middle East stereotypes. Universities now have ‘comic scholars’ to study comic literature. Even the United Nations is creating their own line of comic books to influence children with their views.
The Age of Heroes Prior to 1900 ‘The Argosy’ was introduced to America; a fiction magazine creating stories about everyday Americans turning ‘rags to riches’ and achieving simple and independent feats of heroism and adventure. Even Popeye the Sailor stemmed from this backbone. In the 30’s ‘The Phantom’ pioneered as the first costumed comic-book hero. Although an ordinary human-being, The Phantom was invested in society, fought crime and amazed people with his incredible stunts and acrobatics. Similarly, characters like Flash Gordon were simply humans with great strength, intelligence and morals dedicating time towards fighting crime.
It wasn’t until 1938 that comic books reached ‘The Golden Age’. Amidst World War 2, people were looking for hope in the darkness, and what were once stories of simple humans helping fight simple crimes, soon became a universe of superhumans fighting global injustice. Who led the movement? Superman! It was this idea of merging fantasy into real-world scenarios that led DC and Marvel Comics to become the two most iconic comic names globally. Through the 70’s and all the way into the early 90’s, comic books were declining in sales. At the same time, TV and cinema were booming and taking over popular entertainment platforms. Before 1999 there were only about 110 movies based on a comic book origin. Since 2000, there have been at least 350 movies and TV shows owing their origin to comic books. The Marvel cinematic studios have grossed over U.S$13 billion to-date; making it the highest grossing movie franchise of all time and still growing. So why have comic books had a renaissance? Well, by combining all the elements of their popularity, adapting to modern platforms, focusing on social justice topics; and in a time of unprecedented change and volatility in the world, trying to answer the question the world is asking: ‘what makes a hero?’
Heroes For The Ages Comic book heroes aren’t a new concept though. Humanity has always loved legends, heroes and inspiring tales. Tales of Gods and Goddesses were central to ancient civilizations such as the Mayans, Norse Mythology, the Aryans of India and Ancient Egyptians. Figures in religious texts and even folk tales such as King Arthur have always fascinated humans and transcend cultures and eras. In most cases, the mythologies illustrate the external world, but look inward at ourselves. They present heroes as the ‘best’ versions of humanity that we ought to strive towards. No comic book hero was designed to do this more than Superman. The archetype of Superman has been passed through history and taken many forms. As an almost invincible human-like being that literally fell from the sky into the back of a farm found by a simple and kind couple, it’s not hard to see the parallels to that of Jesus as depicted in the Bible. He runs faster than trains, jumps over buildings and stops bullets in their path with his chest. As a character, Superman was created as a symbol of hope, freedom, justice and virtue. Though he is virtually invincible and stronger than anyone on earth, he still lives a humble life. Superman could easily command humanity to his own will and force people to live as he please. Yet Superman shows incredible restraint on his part to let the world progress and unfold on its own terms. He lets people speak freely and have choices on its transformation, rather than dictate human progress. As his human alter-ego Clark Kent, this super being is more than happy to live most of his life pretending to be scared, weak and ordinary. Superman even goes as far to accept being downtrodden, understanding that this does not define him. Instead of using his powers and strength to further himself, Superman uses these to defend the vulnerable from violence, danger and harm whilst enduring the hardships of an everyman; gaining him respect not only for his ideals of justice, but also ideals of humanity, humility and compassion for all. Despite his superhuman strength, the comic books emphasize that his heroism lies within his human nature, rather than Godly nature.
When Hero becomes Heroes Despite how super Clark Kent is, even he couldnâ€™t save everyone all the time, nor was he perfect in every attribute, nor did he have all the tools to improve our complex world for all. What do you do? Collaborate. The Justice League in DC is perhaps the most iconic team of all time. A team of individuals, all striving towards a common goal, but from very different backgrounds with very different perspectives. In more recent years, comics have explored the internal relationships of comic book heroes more than the simple good vs evil story. Whilst the team might have common goals, the individuals are seldom unanimous in their methodology, ideologies or visions. With different backgrounds comes exceedingly different personalities leading to different beliefs. In the Justice League, Batman and Superman disagree with killing under any circumstance, whilst Wonder Woman believes it a possible necessity. Superman and Wonder Woman believes in working within the law and under authorities to maintain justice, whilst Batman believes it is essential to be a separate entity. Whilst the team clash and debate with each other, exposing each otherâ€™s weaknesses, they always work to each otherâ€™s strengths to triumph evil. They understand that their differences when played right with mutual respect, work to their advantage. When the team cannot work together, it often leads to worse outcomes than those imposed by any villain.
â€œWe have seen so much evil in the collapsing of worlds... But now we will see something truly wicked. What's worse than facing villains with the fate of your world hanging in the balance? Facing heroes.â€? Black Panther
Chink In The Armour? Marvelâ€™s Civil War storyline brings interhero politics front and centre when the government urges The Avengers to champion legislation for a Superhuman Registration Act which would monitor and control all superhumans in America. Superhumans were divided on the morality of this legislation, and whilst there were two main parties led by Iron Man and Captain
America who were for and against this legislation respectively, it brought out a mix of complex clashes: idealists vs pragmatists, liberal vs conservative, activist vs pacifist, code of conduct vs justified means. What made these inter-hero conflicts interesting is the alliances continuously changed and shifted. At times the liberal and conservative heroes united in their agreement of a pragmatic approach. Other times those striving to fight for
“I don't know which one of us has been more blind... you, in your refusal to adapt to a changing world... or me for following you this far down your well-intentioned path” Wonder Woman
their ideals united irrespective of the means used.
heroes simply trying to ‘win the fight’ to prove they were ‘right’.
Almost all characters of the Civil War were heroes. As the clash developed, flaws in all the heroes were exposed; bringing out the worst in our heroes. All the heroes believed they had the best intentions for ‘the people’. Yet, as the conflict escalated, the original goal which was to bring trust, security and safety to society was lost. Slowly this goal was lost to the pursuit of
The desperation ‘to win’ reaches a low point when heroes from all parties began to utilize criminals and villains to ‘win the fight’ and engage in combat in the city streets. In the final clashes, both sides ultimately ‘lost’ as death and destruction came to civilians and the city from the actions of people labelled as heroes who felt they were fighting for the right cause.
Social Justice Heroes In Action Whilst our heroes often get involved in politics and law enforcement at the top, dealing with social justice on the ground has become the modern arena of popular heroes. One of the greatest comic book to explore this is ‘The X-Men’. At its surface it is a colourful exploration of people known as ‘mutants’ learning how to control their individual and unique superhuman abilities such as walking through walls, controlling the weather and reading people’s minds. These abilities which are coded in their DNA can cause different physical appearances. Some are born with blue skin, with wings in their back and some have the appearance of a demon or beast. All are part of the one mutant community, but all are dramatically unique. The X-Men series always asks the question: Is the grass greener on the other side? Due to their differences, the characters are constantly discussing how they would rather be someone else or ‘normal’. They feel burdened by their unique differences and struggle to control or understand their abilities. Their mentors and teachers are the X-Men who highlight that their powers are gifts, but it’s hard for young mutants to be positive when mutants are constantly given negative images in the media and seen as a problem by governments. Instead of inflaming the feelings of victimization, the X-Men provide a safe space for the mutants to understand themselves, empower them through education and instil values and understanding of others. We all have differences which not everyone will understand or appreciate; and in some cases,
even fear. The X-Men teach the students to stay noble even when society isn’t, and pressures them to be otherwise. The fear and intolerance of difference is a theme that plays a strong narrative within the X-Men realm. The mutants live in secret amongst the ‘ordinary human’ majority. As an oppressed, abused, outcasted and silent community without representation or protection within the law, their pursuit for justice echoes many minority group stories.
Just as there is incredible diversity between mutants, there is incredible diversity in perspectives and beliefs. Even in the pursuit for equal rights and freedom, there are internal ideological disagreements amongst the mutants. The two big ideologies are personified by the stance of Charles Xavier, Professor X; and Erik Lehnsherr, Magneto. It won’t take long for any reader to realise both these characters are based on Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X respectively. Eric is ultimately filled with hatred and resentment to humans. As a Jewish boy living in Nazi Germany, he was a victim of the Holocaust and suffered abuse and horror at the hands of the Nazis. Unlike Erik, Charles was fortunate to a more privileged background though not without personal tragedies. He eventually met Erik and the two debated about how humans would respond if mutants revealed themselves to the world. Basing his views on his experience as a child, Eric paints all ordinary humans as ‘the enemy’ of mutants. For Erik, it is not enough that mutants should have rights. He feels ordinary humans should also be suppressed in fear that they will try to re-oppress the mutant minority group as humans historically have. He has experienced the worst of oppression and sees the world through his lens of hatred and resentment. He refuses to believe there is any good in humanity or that mutants and humans could ever live harmoniously. Erik chooses the path of violence, defiance and division. Charles acknowledges Erik’s
“Another man’s evil does not make you good” Daredevil
concerns but chooses a different path. Through his ability to read minds, feel other people’s emotions and literally put himself into the bodies and thoughts of others, he has a greater appreciation and understanding for humans and their behaviour. He understands people’s fears but also sees humanity’s ability for peace under the right circumstances. Charles chooses the path of peace, cooperation and understanding. In Erik’s vision of a liberated mutant community, it disregards any other humans with the sole aim of seeing mutants living in peace and prosperity. Charles’ vision of a liberated mutant community involves all species living together in peace and prosperity. What makes Charles and his team of X-Men incredibly heroic, is that they are willing to stand against Magneto and his brotherhood of mutants even if Magneto fights for the rights of Charles and the X-Men. If the cause he cares about brings harm to others, Charles is willing to stand against ‘his own’. For Charles and the X-Men, the peace and prosperity of others comes with their own. That’s not to say Charles and the X-Men don’t fight to be embraced in society, they simply only use methods of peace and account for others.
Distinguishing Villain from Hero On reflecting Civil War and the X-Men, what is the difference between a hero and a villain? Comic books like to play with this idea by presenting ‘anti-heroes’. These are individuals who can have social justice causes but use very unjust means of carrying out their bidding, such as The Punisher who goes around mass-murdering criminals. Some only be a hero when it’s to their advantage or have something to personally gain, such as Deadpool. Bloody Nasreen is a comic character who goes around violently killing human-trafficking cartels with guns and swords on the streets of Karachi, Pakistan. She fights evil and injustice, but why is she considered an anti-hero and not considered a hero? The other approach is to present villains who are the ‘evil version’ of the hero. In the Marvel cinematic universe, the Black Panther movie gave Erik Killmonger, the antagonist who was viewed by many people as the real hero. What has gained Killmonger’s following is his social justice cause. He wants to claim the powers of Wakanda, full of both technological and military power to liberate ‘black’ communities worldwide. Erik Killmonger’s stance and background in the cinematic world is very understandable and has subsequently pulled the emotions of the African American community and by some extension all nations which have experienced colonial ruling. The story of an underdog wanting to undo the effects of oppression and racism is typically a hero’s story.
So why isn’t he the hero? There are several elements that undo his good intentions. He believes in a racial liberation executed through racial profiling and extremist ideologies. More profoundly, he is instigating mirroring actions to the colonial oppressors he feels oppressed by. Wakanda itself is an independent self-reliant country. Killmonger, who as a person is far closer to American culture, orchestrates an invasion of this African country, overthrows its king and takes the throne to force the native community to his agenda, tries to destroy local traditions and takes the local resources. His reasoning is to help oppressed communities, but his methods and vision are no better than the agents of oppression he hates.
What makes a hero? It’s probably easier to identify a villain than a hero. Most villains fit a certain bill: they are inward and cause suffering or ill will to others for their own benefit. What makes a hero tends to be more diverse and dynamic. T’Challa, The Black Panther, is no Superman, nor Wonder Woman or Professor X. All these heroes are almost incomparable. Yet they are all heroes for different reasons. T’Challa is a character born and brought up in East-Africa but schooled in Europe and America; making his views are quite worldly. He is aware of the history of oppression and colonisation that other Nations have suffered and is aware of the invaluable resources that the world wants from Wakanda. In the comics, T’Challa invites the Fantastic Four and The Avengers to Wakanda, believing and wanting to prove they are enemies of Wakanda. He spies and learns about his supposed enemies. In doing so T’Challa has a shift in his views. He sees the potential to work with these specific groups rather than clash on a historic pretence. Killmonger refused to change his beliefs, adapt or learn from T’Challa. In contrast, T’Challa accepted what truth there was in Killmonger and adapted his work and actions as the Wakandan King to improve the issues that Killmonger was fighting for in the way T’Challa felt was just. Wakandan Kings before him were criticized by the likes of Killmonger for their leadership choices. T’Challa follows many Wakandan traditions, yet he doesn’t let his ancestors or the past define his choices. T’Challa works to wrong their errors and challenge his own teachings. He doesn’t ignore his past but focuses on today and the future. He doesn’t see history, ethnicity or gender as definitions; rather, people’s actions.
Each hero has their own story. T’Challa’s ability to acknowledge but transcend history to maintain his own country’s prosperity whilst help others outside his own community on the frontlines and as a global leader makes T’Challa an inspiring hero for all. Not all characters have needed the power, wealth or rule of a king to be heroes. During Marvel’s infinity gauntlet series, when the universe was facing unstoppable death and destruction, it seemed futile to try and fight back. Yet Black Widow, a former Russian agent stood for one of the oldest ideals: never give up. Whilst others might throw in the towel when millions of people were being killed worldwide, Black Widow went around her city and was willing to sacrifice herself to save even a few dozen lives. She did everything she could to minimize the damage and took a large hit in the process. Black Panther and Black Widow might be completely different, but they are equally considered superheroes. So, what makes a hero? Fundamentally, the title of hero is not given to anyone with special abilities, but to those who earn the title. Society tends not to base heroism on a person’s physical strength, abilities or power. When observing the popularity of different heroes amongst society, it’s clear that the more a person is conscious of their potential impact on others, the more selfless they act, and the more they sacrifice themselves to further others, the higher they sit on society’s rank of heroism.
The Legion of Heroes, the Legion of Volunteers: The Birth Of Heroes: So how do heroes rise? Almost all comic book heroes are made from their experiences, and almost all comic book heroes have their paths forged in their youth. Bruce Wayne’s path to Batman began after a thief murdered his parents. Peter Parker, Spiderman, had values instilled by his Aunt and Uncle who served as his foster parents. He was told by his uncle ‘with great power comes great responsibility’. Diana Prince, Wonder Woman, exhibits this more than anyone. As a young girl she was taught about the virtues of being a hero and taught that man was innately good but corrupted by one of the Gods. After entering man’s world, she found that man was not innately good or virtuous as she was led to believe. Diana felt betrayed. Yet Diana’s instilled values from a young age to defend any good that existed led her to support good wherever she could see it. She saw a truth that ‘man’ can be good with support, compassion and kindness. She doesn’t fail the world, even if it fails her. If we are to create a new generation of superheroes like Diana, we will have to foster the values in our children and provide them with the experiences to express them.
This is in no way an exhaustive analysis of heroes and all these characters can be considered heroes, anti-heroes or villains from different perspectives. Although the list of heroes is as diverse as it is long, there is one reality to all true heroes- they all volunteer in the pursuit of helping others and our world. It is true, you can help others by being paid. So too do many of these heroes in their ordinary professions. Bruce Wayne is a billionaire whose company Wayne Enterprise creates medical technologies and advances the best research in clean energy amongst other initiatives. Wayne Enterprise even has 3 foundations for helping orphaned children, health and education. This helps make the world a better place. What makes them turn from great people to heroes is their devotion to helping others through voluntary acts. They voluntarily devote their time, lives, resources and even their own identity to the helping of others. Bruce Wayne ultimately sacrifices himself as a person and believes that simply dedicating his business power and resources to helping others is not enough. No amount of money in the world will be enough. So, he steps in at the front line, serving justice directly.
Unleash the Hero Within: What we have learnt from the comics, is that you shouldn’t force people to fight for a cause or to take sides. Do everything in your power to inspire them to help make the world a better place, but never force or use negative pressures. To create a true hero, it must come from within and from a true sense of belief in the cause detached from any political, media or social expectation. Most heroes struggle more in their cause than they do in their everyday jobs. Yet, the heroes persist for the good of others irrespective of the difficulty and commitment it brings to them, and shows in their voluntary acts. With that in mind, I speak to all when I say, bring out the superhero in you, and take up the call to volunteer if you truly want a positively transforming world. ■
Chirag Lodhia, Editor in Chief
“We need heroes. As many as we can get to help keep the peace. But they have to be volunteers -- no forced conscription or registration this time.” Captain America
HOW DOES PTW WORK?
PTW aims to bring effective and long-lasting impact in health and education on the foundations of ethical charitable means alone.
Developing: We build on the knowledge that is provided online in ou workshops and events and vice versa, to develop a deeper and broader understandin of key areas in health and education.
Open and inclusive of anyone around the world
Supporting: Children in disadvantaged communities have their voices heard and their health and education questions answered by PTWâ€™s group of academics and professionals. The two levels work together to ensure learning content is valuable and also available to a global audience inclusive of disadvantaged and developing communities.
Empowering everyone to have positive impact in their own community
We provi education c and re access arou
Completely run and operated through 100% Skilled-Based volunteering
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We run events and workshops that improves the health and education of participants. Some workshops are provided for free to disadvantaged groups within the community.
ide free health and content, information esources that are sible to everyone und the world.
Fundraising: Money raised in events and workshops are only used to provide resources and infrastructure needed in our grassroots projects. The two levels work together to ensure fundraising is effective, individualised and purposeful.
Governed by PTWâ€™s innovative â€˜Holistic Development Modelâ€™ of Ethics
We work in projects to provide free health and education support, services, infrastructure and resources to disadvantaged children in low-income and developing communities.
Funded and supported by partners and sponsors sharing our aims and objectives
Photo credit: Geir Dokken
DEEYAH KHAN is an Emmy and Peabody award-winning documentary film director and founder of Fuuse, a media and arts company that puts women, people from minorities, and third-culture kids at the heart of telling their own stories. In 2016, she became the first UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for artistic freedom and creativity. She has received many honours for her work supporting freedom of expression, human rights and peace including the Ossietzky prize, the University of Oslo’s Human Rights Award and the Peer Gynt Prize from the Parliament of Norway. PTW’s Chirag Lodhia spoke to Deeyah Khan four years ago about Deeyah’s inspirational story and her work founding Fuuse. Since then, Fuuse commenced their project ‘Sister-hood’: an online magazine and a series of live events dedicated to to spotlight the voices of women of Muslim heritage. PTW decided to touch base with Deeyah and see what she and Fuuse have achieved over the past few years.
A CONVERSATION BETWEEN
DEEYAH KHAN AND CHIRAG LODHIA Since we last spoke in 2014, Fuuse has expanded from its initial platform. What new vehicles has Fuuse used to project voices around the many Human Right issues Fuuse aims to address? Sister-hood has always had two goals. The first, more visible one is to share the ideas and perspectives of women of Muslim heritage, and by so doing to challenge the stereotypes in the media that surround our lives. Too often women of Muslim heritage are portrayed as weak and oppressed or extremists, or are entirely defined by their faith or their clothing. We aimed to expand the understanding and show the real diversity in the community, to shine a light on the debates going on within this community from an insider’s perspective. There are a lot of conversations about the position of women in Islam, and these conversations are going on often without including women, particularly those who don’t fit the stereotypes. There’s also a need to look at the experiences of Muslim women across the world – to see what women are doing and thinking and learn about feminists working in the Muslim world, confronting all the challenges of repressive states, unfair laws, male violence and discrimination. So that was the main objective – to shatter the stereotypes around women of Muslim heritage, and increase the diversity of voices out there. But there was a second ambition contained within that – and that was to a sense of community between diverse women of Muslim heritage. Often, there’s a sense of isolation that comes with having progressive ideas within a conservative culture or community. Women are also dealing with racism, with the effects of ‘honour’ culture, with the rise of new and rigid forms of Islam, and with all the potential and anxieties of this very diverse world we live in. So this was the second aim – to let women of Muslim heritage know they are not alone and to create a platform that would bring them together. To encourage and support more of them to come forward and speak out.
The topics that Fuuse tackles often receives strong opposition to the changes being advocated. What are some of the strategies you use to bridge these divisions with those opposing it? If I have to sum up Fuuse’s topics I would say that they are all about diversity. We’re living in a world that is more interconnected globally than ever before. Most of us are living in societies that are more culturally diverse than they have ever been. But there is also – from Trump to Brexit – an increasing sense of polarisation. This presents massive challenges – and massive potential. I want Fuuse to look at the challenges of diversity honestly, and to explore the huge potential that diversity presents. Fuuse works to develop frank intercultural communication on some of the most important issues of our times: of violence against women, of extremism, of freedom of religion. These are some of the questions we need to address so that we can move forward together. Photo credit: Fuuse
The arts are a popular medium for advocating, exposing and motivating change. How important do you feel it is for artists of all platforms to be socially responsible? I think the arts have a great deal of potential to address social problems in a way that is immediately accessible to our emotions. There are several methods of bringing about change: the press, activism, via the media, but I think art has a role, and one that’s often not valued as highly as it should be. There is a tendency to think of art as something which is trivial, and to see journalism and activism as more serious means of effecting change. But art is also a means of activism, from street art to protest songs, and it’s often one that is very impactful. Repressive states fully understand the subversive potential of art. This is why we see so many artists around the world imprisoned and harassed, persecuted and censored. Art always tells us something about who we are, whether it’s intentional or not. This is why I think it’s important to pay attention to representation, to look out for damaging clichés and stereotypes, to make sure that the stories we are telling about ourselves are true to the society that we live in, and that we would all want to live in.
Why was it important to make Sisterhood made by women and girls exclusively of Muslim heritage? There’s a lot of conversations about women of Muslim heritage that are going on without our voices, and policies and attitudes are being shaped through so-called community leaders who don’t really represent anyone but themselves, and through conservative, male-centred organisations. Women of Muslim heritage are the most frequent victims of anti-Muslim prejudice, and of rising extremist forms of Islam. We are stuck in the middle of this massive cultural conflict and still no-one listens to us. sisterhood hopes to give women of Muslim heritage a platform to talk about these experiences and hopefully to affect the public opinion, to make them more aware of the vast diversity of Muslim women and shatter a few of the stereotypes.
The issue of Honour-based violence was a topic we spoke of extensively in our last interview. What are some of the strategies you’ve been working on to tackle this issue and end the practice? I’ve been working with NGOs that work at a community level to confront ‘honour’-based violence. It’s very important that this work is done by women, working in their own communities, who understand the issues intimately. It’s also important that authorities and their services understand the nature of ‘honour’-based violence and know how to respond effectively – and doing that means they have to listen to women – the victims, and those with the NGOs who work with them. A lot of agencies don’t deal with violence against women very effectively, and have particularly poor understandings of forms of violence like ‘honour’-based violence, forced marriage and FGM. So they need to learn to listen to minority women. This can sometimes go against the grain particularly when agencies have been working with male community leaders who minimise the extent of violence in their communities. The problem of male violence has to be understood through listening to women.
Human Rights abuse, trafficking and honour killings often happen in low-resource communities who can’t reach out to help or authorities. What are some of the current strategies to help connect these victims who don’t have access to good communication tools? The internet is spreading widely – you don’t need a computer these days, you can just use a mobile phone. But again, men tend to monopolise what resources that are available, and there can be taboos against women using technology. Some parents fear that girls could use technology to contact men and ‘dishonour’ themselves. So even with the spread of technology there are areas where there’s no option but to work in the community, and to support women’s organisations who work on the ground in their communities, or who travel from village to village and town to town raising awareness about various issues and working directly with women. These projects desperately need to be supported.
You are part of a very large and robust set of projects around human, cultural and gender right. Are there any areas of global development outside of this that you want to engage more within?
Photo credit: Geir Dokken
Yes, I’m also very conscious of the problem of inequality and how globalisation has often led to poverty for some of the most marginal groups in the planet. When people can’t feed themselves or their children then that’s a problem that’s going to take up their time and attention, and make it hard for them to think about making cultural changes. We have to think about human rights through economics as well – not just through culture.
You yourself are from Norway, and the World Economic Forum Reports that the top 4 countries with the highest level of equality are the Scandinavian countries. What is it about your home country and the societies in Scandinavia that create such gender equality? I feel really lucky to be a Scandinavian. It seems to me that we have a culture that’s about cooperation, where there’s a strong sense of society based in the welfare of the population, rather than the competitiveness of America or other Western countries. I think naturally, when there is this culture of welfare and support, it allows for the development of all of its citizens. So, we have more female politicians and therefore female-friendly policies that support women and children and this allows women to express their potential. It’s a virtuous and productive circle for all of society.
For you personally, what are the key objectives in justice and peace you want to change or achieve within 2017? I think it’s important to recognise that freedom of speech is the bedrock of human rights. If we cannot speak out, we can’t identify injustice, raise awareness, or organise to demand our rights. So for me, this is primary. And we are living through a time when there are many different forms of censorship and states disrupting freedom of expression: Turkey or Russia, and Trump’s attacks upon the press are the clearest examples, but from conservative Muslims to college students, there’s a chilly atmosphere for freedom of speech. I think that re-affirming a commitment to the right of freedom of expression is the most important act at this moment in time.
For you personally, what changes do you want to make this year to help improve your own health and education? As someone who works in the field of culture, I’d dearly like to find more time to experience more art, music and theatre. It’s a terrible irony that the more work I do to promote culture it feels like the less time I have to enjoy it. But I’m going to make a concerted effort to do more.
BECOME YOUR INNER
" With great power comes great responsibility. " Spiderman
Volunteer & channel your inner hero Source: Marvel Comics
Providing hope through after school proagrams
unsar Maya (SuMa) afterschool program (ASP) is the first of its kind in Nepal, offering children the opportunity to explore their own ideas, create through art, connect through music, dance, and play games, and most importantly be with people and educators who treat the children as special, unique, and of tremendous worth. Currently we are running two after school programs, one in Jorpati, Kathmandu and the other in Sano Gau, Lalitpur, Nepal. Sunsar Maya (SuMa) ASP in Joparti provides 55 children and youth with progressive
education, medical care, and nutritional support, in a caring and safe environment. The program serves students, ages 3-17.SuMa ASP in Lalitpur provides the same enrichment and supports 60 students, ages 5-12. All the kids coming to our program are either orphans or vulnerable ones, who come from extreme circumstances with no proper food, care, guidance and social interaction. Hence we work to create the world of love, where every kid feels safe, loved, cared and encouraged to explore the brighter side of their lives and guide them towards positive life choices. Sunsar
Maya is the world of love, where kids learn and explore their limitations and work to overcome those, through hands on activities and practical approach. We have been working to develop physical, emotional and academic aspects of kids through our after school programs. Since opening our doors in November 2014 we have already seen incredible changes in our kids. They are healthier, more engaged and motivated, and most importantly more joyful. Bishal Tamang, who has a hearing impairment since birth, has been the most happy of kids with the start of our After school program in his community. Often ignored by school teachers and bullied by
school friends due to his hearing impairment simply spends his school hour staying out of classroom, playing and drawing. He used to be missing from the school most of the time as he couldnâ€™t hear and speak but has been regular to school once we have started after school program for them. He is very creative and even though he canâ€™t listen, can follow the instructions very clearly. Coming to the after school space and making various stuffs like electric cars using motors, prototype planes , boats and many more has been the part of his daily life. The after school space has been the place for showcasing his creativity. We are so glad to see him get engaged in our program and surprising us with his diverse creative
skills as if he was looking for the similar kind of platforms for long. Sunsar Maya has been a new hope for him and a safe place where he can learn and grow.
in the afterschool and has been learning new things. She hopes to better her life through education and hopes to groom herself through after school program.
Roshma shares, â€œ I have been going through so much of emotional hardship as I have been seeing my family struggle for meeting basic needs after my father left us to live with my step mom. After school program has been a best place for me to get distract from all the family problems. It has been a place where I can share my feelings and problems.â€? Roshma has been one of the most responsible kid
Kids like Bishal, Kajal and Roshma are representatives of the 115 kids we work with and each of the 115 kids have stories to share, stories of hardships, stories of struggles and stories of transformations. We, Sunsar Maya After school program, aim to reach out to more kids like Bishal, Kajal and Roshma, who are in need of help. And we continue to look for help as well, which will enable us to help kids in need.
I normally didnâ€™t like to read but ever since I have come to this after-school [program], seeing the good looking library and exciting books, I have started to read books and it has been like a habit for me, which has helped me in my school as well. I have so many friends here and I have so much of fun with them. I love coming to the program.
~ Kajal Thapa, SuMa After-School Student, Jorpati
y name is Beatrice Njeri, the manager of Eldoret Rescue Centre in Kenya. We receive and care for vulnerable children, mainly orphans from the streets who have been mistreated, abused (sexually, physically and emotionally), abandoned and lost. The children are rehabilitated through counselling and given psycho-social support then they are reintegrated back into the society or families. The Centre offers a place of security, refuge and solace for the rejected and needy of our society. We focus on individual nurturing of talents, team building activities, spiritual nurturing and general education. We currently have 127 children under our care and we continue to receive many more
BEATRIC E NJERI weekly from different circumstances. Apart from looking after the children, our primary aim is to reintegrate as many kids as possible back to their families, whether that be immediate or extended families. The children are provided with 3 meals a day, a clean bed and clothes on their backs. There is so much potential the Centre has and with the help of well-wishers we can attain the goals of changing the lives of these children and secure a bright future for them. My appreciation goes to all PTW supporters and volunteers over the years and we are especially excited for the upcoming project of putting up decent toilets and bathrooms for the children in both the girls and boyâ€™s compound.
H SAMUEL BARAZA
ello all, my name is Samuel Baraza. I used to be mistreated by my step mother when I was 9 years old. A friend of mine told me that I can go town and we went, lived on the streets surviving with other kids. We ate scraps and were full of lice. At the end of last year we were taken by County officers to the rescue Centre
where we were received well by the staff. Some of us were very sick and were taken to hospital. We were given clean clothes and shoes, and delicious food. We play ball and are being taught good behavior and given direction. I am now 15 years old and I am now living a very good life at the Rescue Centre. God bless you all.
Linda Jean Burney is the first Aboriginal woman to serve in the Australian House of Representatives. She was also the first Aboriginal person to serve in the New South Wales Parliament. She represented the south western Sydney region of Canterbury for the Australian Labor Party since 2003 and served as the Deputy Leader of the Party from 2011. From 2007 to 2011 she served as a Minister in the Labor government in a range of portfolios, including Community Services.
Before entering politics, she began her career teaching at a public school in western Sydney in 1979. She has been involved in the NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group since the mid-1980s and has participated in the development and implementation of the first Aboriginal education policy in Australia. As a role-model, leader and game-changer in education and social justice, PTW sat down with Linda to find out her views on the current political and social climate in Australia.
Conversation with Linda Jean Burney and Chirag Lodhia
This gave me the determination and mindset that I wasn’t going to tolerate other people being bullied or hurt by anyone. I wanted to stand up against the bullies.
What was your education like growing up and how important did you feel education was to you whilst you were at school? I grew up in an incredibly small country town and my first school comprised of 3 teachers in a place called Whitton, down in the Riverina district of New South Wales. The town was too small to have a secondary school so I, along with all the children in Whitton, did secondary schooling at Leeton High School. It was a very long bus ride every day to-and-from high school up until year 10. I then completed my final two years of school at Penrith High School after my Great Aunt and Uncle passed away, who were raising me until that point. I then lived with my natural mother and step father for the final two years of secondary school. I loved school and was always a good student. I spent many hours during school holidays playing at school and I had the great gift of literacy given to me at a very young age by my Great Aunt and Uncle, and so books were always part of my life. I still read every night before I go to bed. That’s been something I’ve done since I was a very young child. There were very difficult parts of my experience going to school including racism and bullying.
I went to school in the late 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. The curriculum back then was woeful to Aboriginal people. I had an experience at the age of 11 or 12 when I was given the example in class that Aboriginal people were the closest example to stone-age man on Earth today and I was made to feel incredibly ashamed as an Aboriginal child. I think that spurred me on to pursue a career in education. My schooling experience was mixed. I loved school in some ways, but I also hated school in other aspects and like other kids I wanted to leave school in year 9; but I was convinced by the principle to stay on and I’m glad that I did. Today I enjoy reading any part of literature that is not to do with work. I like historical novels and autobiographies and books that are not too heavy. I deal with enough heavy-weight topics at work and when I go home and go to bed I want to read something that’s not too harrowing and something that has a good storyline.
What inspired you to become a teacher and what did you want to achieve as a teacher? I was very fortunate to become a teacher. It was something that opened so many doors for me. The two years I spent in the classroom environment was in a very disadvantaged school in Mt Druitt in the early 80’s. I felt I learnt much more from the children than what I taught them. What I did give each of them who were coming from disadvantaged backgrounds was a love of music, poetry and reading. What did it mean to you and your family to be known as the first Aboriginal Graduate from Charles Sturt University and what did this mean to the Indigenous communities of Australia? I don’t think I was the first. I am sure other aboriginal students graduated from that university before me. I do thank Charles Sturt University, which was known as the ‘Mitchell College and Advanced Education’ in those days. They awarded me an honorary doctorate in education in the year 2000 in response to my work and the impact I had in the Aboriginal education space. I was very honoured to be recognized in that way. There were very few of us who were graduates. It was really the beginning of showing the Aboriginal community and young people that universities do have a house for their pathways. We were very much the vanguard of breaking down that notion that universities were a serious place where Aboriginal people shouldn’t go.
Indigenous Australians have always had education as part of the culture and upbringing in a different approach to the institutionalised education of today; how has this transformed over the past few decades and has this made it difficult for Indigenous Australians to maintain their own heritage of teaching and teaching methods? It's very difficult to answer that, but yes of course it’s been difficult. It’s not so much about the education system itself but more-so the destruction of Aboriginal communities, the culture and the languages. That’s what has made 2-way education so difficult for the Aboriginal community. There is a very strong understanding from the community that education is not just about what happens in the classroom. The instruction between teachers and cultural education is incredibly important. Aboriginal people continue to do that and continue to fight very hard to maintain that. I get annoyed by the idea that nothing is happening to adapt to Aboriginal learning, and it does to a remarkable extent, right across Australia. Schools with high Aboriginal populations have staff from Aboriginal backgrounds, Aboriginal languages being taught in Aboriginal studies and there are Aboriginal curriculum perspectives. Go to any school assembly now and they begin with acknowledgement of country, celebration of Aboriginal culture and Aboriginal languages and the Aboriginal flag is flown. There’s a lot happening and it’s wrong to assume it isn’t. There’s always room for more Aboriginal people to be employed and include more Aboriginal cultural content in the mainstream. It’s also not just about Aboriginal children; it’s wrong to assume that. The most important thing that the education system can teach is teach the truth, and this applies not just to Aboriginal children but to all students. I think universities can do a lot more in the space of life-long learning too.
What inspired you to go into politics rather than stay in education as a teacher and what did you want to achieve as a politician that you felt you couldn't do as a teacher? I left classroom teaching after two years in 1979 and 1980. I worked in a variety of different roles in education, but not strictly-speaking in the classroom itself. I still considered myself a teacher. In 1999-2000 I became a bureaucrat and went into the NSW parliament and now I have been in the Federal parliament for just over 12 months. There are different aspects of my very long career. I started working when I was 20 and I’m now 61. In all those times I’ve worked either outside the system trying to effect change there, or within the system and trying to effect change from within. That’s what politics is. It’s a very simple answer- parliament is where big decisions are made. It’s where laws are determined. The legislation becomes law. I’ve been very clear about this and I hope it’s clear in what you write- I am an Aboriginal person. That’s my identity; but I represent the seat of Barton which is made up of people from all cultures from all parts of the world including Anglo-Australians. It’s important to me to demonstrate and be a good representative. That’s what my job is. People vote you in to represent them and carry their aspiration into the parliament. I also want to make sure there’s a very strong aboriginal perspective on what my party does and what my party says. I want to be a small part in making sure that takes place. I want good policy and good practice.
What do you miss about your previous work as a teacher?
both of these women; it’s very important for me.
Even though I taught a very long time ago, you always miss teaching because of the personal relationships you make with the children. That’s what you miss most.
There are more Aboriginal individuals in this parliament than there ever have been. I never set myself apart. I like to be part of the team. Obviously not just this parliament, but in general there are 3 reasons I ran for parliament in any contexts is: my Aboriginality, the fact that I’m a woman and the fact that I’ve worked my entire life in social justice. That’s really the answer to why I was motivated. I don’t take personal grandeur in these titles or statements about me. It’s about what it symbolizes and what it means to other people. My election as the first indigenous woman into the house of representatives has meant an enormous amount to the nation, my friends and family, to my colleagues and importantly to this parliament.
You are also known for being the first Aboriginal woman to serve in the House of Representatives in Australia's Federal Parliament; what did this mean to you and for both gender and cultural inclusion into the Australian Parliament? Please make sure this is known in the interview- the first Aboriginal woman elected to parliament was a woman called Nova Peris, and while I was elected to the Parliament, another Aboriginal woman was elected to the Senate named Malarndirri McCarthy. I want to recognize
Do you feel society and the general community will make a significant difference in social justice on their own in Australia, or do you feel systemic change will not happen without government policies and legal structures in every aspect of society? I think it’s both. Government’s responsibilities are to provide good leadership, good law and good decisions; but so is true for the opposition party. When you’re in opposition, your goal is to win the next election and be the governmentthat’s obvious. Yet you are here at the grace of the community. It’s the community that elects you but expects leadership from you. It’s a combination of policy making with legal structures; and also, society has a responsibility, as does civil society, the media and faith groups. It’s a combination. The government’s responsibility is primarily to provide leadership in these areas. Looking at the present landscape and climate of democratic governance, do you see limitations or weaknesses in democratic systems when it comes to being progressive, fair, inclusive and understanding of a national and global population and representing the interests of the country and international community as a whole? What do you feel can help overcome some of these hurdles? That’s a very complex question. I think we are very grateful and lucky to be living in a democracy. I think democracy is the best form of government. It’s the responsibility of the democracy and that democratic government to be progressive, fair and inclusive, and to know your place in the global community; which is why I allude back to the previous question on leadership. They are the things
you must understand as a federal member of parliament. There is a lot more to it than that though; there are civil responsibilities and there are budgetary responsibilities that you must understand as a politician. There’s also the realistic understanding of what’s possible in the make-up of democracies. Not everything is possible. Sometimes there is progress at a slow rate; look at this marriage equality debate in Australia. It has come about over years-and-yearsand-years of work. The same goes with the role of women in society. There’s no science to this except hard work, and patience with your work. From my perspective and the party that I represent, listening out to those who are the most vulnerable from our communities is essential in any democracy.
There are many ways of looking at populations: age, health, culture, geographic, socio-economic, circumstantial and many more. In a complex democratic society like Australia, when we analyse the population, people might shift from being part of the minority to the majority (and vice-versa) depending on the lens we place. How does a Government go about ensuring that population groups are not disadvantaged based on "majority" and also ensure that all population groups from different perspective are looked after and treated equally? Wow that is the longest question I’ve ever been asked. There’s so much in that question. The best way to approach this, is to make sure parliaments are as representative of the community in Australia. Currently they are not, but they are getting better at it. It’s important that the diversity of Australia is represented on the floor of the government. That’s the beauty of democracy and that’s the responsibility we all must uphold- this range of selection in parliament. Both the government and opposition must have at the front of our minds the complexity and diversity. That does happen because we represent diverse and complex communities. Our job is to ensure we are representing everyone in our communities in the parliament irrespective of the circumstances. I think we must be vigilant that it’s not just about majority rule because that means those who are not part of the majority will be more-and-more marginalized. It is a constant you must always remind yourself and always act on. Do you feel that there are some aspects of the society which we have progressed far and at the same time let other parts regressed? You make a good point, but it’s a complex answer. There have been
areas where enormous change has come and enormous steps forward, but there are also areas where there have been only little change or regression. Two aspects that are very disturbing are the incarceration rates of both young people and adults; and the number of children who are still being removed and put into care. Those statistics are just outrageous and there must be a better way of tackling these issues. Where Australia has really moved forward is the awareness and education in the general community about Aboriginal issues, Aboriginal Australia and the Aboriginal situation. It is the highest standard it has ever been and that is making a difference. I think in terms of health and education standards, I think it’s very important that the states governments who run the schools and hospitals pursue targets; whether it be cardiovascular or literacy. Of course, for Aboriginal people, even with progress we are at the bottom rung of all aspects of social society. That is an unacceptable situation for a first-world country. We cannot continue this way because it is inexplicable to people from overseas that this could be the situation that we have in Australia. Where do you see yourself in the next few years and what do you hope to see change over the next few years? Where I see myself over the next few years is to be part of a strong Labor government. That’s where I put my personal aspiration. ■
What is a positively transforming world to you? To be a bit broader about the question; when we talk about a positively transforming world to me, it is where we have genuine equity, where greed and corruption do not rule the day as it does in some places, and where everyone has respect and their stories are told.
really affect our sleep? I am definitely a person who probably uses technology way too much. Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram- I have them all. And with the introduction of new apps, I can easily spend a few hours in the night binging on Netflix or playing Candy Crush right before bed. I know this is bad for mebut is there actual evidence to suggest that technology has a detrimental effect on sleep? A study completed on 1508 Americans by the National Sleep Foundation in 2011 demonstrated that 9 out of 10 Americans used a technological device before bed. These devices included TV, mobile phones, computers and laptops and video game consoles. Those who used electronic media devices before bed were shown to have trouble falling asleep and having unrefreshed sleep. Interestingly, the more interactive the device used before bed is, the more adverse effects were likely to happen.
The mechanism of action between technological devices and sleep problems is not clear. A few theories include the fact that the blue light emitted from the screen can suppress melatonin, which affects the sleep cycle if exposure to screen lights happens in the evening. Technology can also stimulate and keep your brain awake, contrary to the popular opinion that electronic media device use can calm you down. Finally, technology may interfere with sleep by preventing a full night’s sleep or by disturbing slumber through the night with chimes of late night notifications on
smart phones, emails or reminders. Using technological devices in bed may also cause physical discomfort, such as muscle pain and headaches. It is very important to have a healthy amount of sleep each day, as poor sleep has been linked with an increased risk in a variety of medical conditions like depression, anxiety, weight gain and potentially cardiovascular disease. So how can we break this electronic media device use at night? ■ Jeenal Patel, PTW Health Promotion Officer
Here are some helpful tips:
• Try putting electronic devices in another room • Turn off notifications from mobile phones and iPads before you sleep • Try different apps and software programs for computers and laptops which reduce the amount of blue light emitted from the screen • Try to restrict the amount of electronic media device use to a certain time frame • Try to complete more stimulating activities on technology earlier in the evening • Avoid using electronic devices in bed • Have a technology free period prior to bedtime. Instead read a book, or another relaxing activity
AN AGING SOCIETY Everyone is born, and if fortunate, will live to grow into old age with time. Biologically speaking, the accumulation of damage to the molecules and cells of one’s body is what results in aging. As these molecules and cells go through changes from damage over time, a decrease in physical and mental ability and an increase in susceptibility to disease occurs. No one can avoid this process,
but it is evident that not everyone experiences aging in the same way; someone who is 50 years old can be bedridden and struggling, while someone at the age of 75 can still be playing tennis and going on trips with her family. So if we all age, what causes these disparities? How can we stay alive longer? What does the impact of increased age in the population mean for the future?
Quality of life is something that everyone tries to maintain as they become old, but the process of aging ultimately results in some difficult and inevitable mental and physical changes. When we talk about ‘the elderly’ we are talking about people over the age of 65 (even if they don’t connect to being old). Some common conditions developed by people in old age include:
• • • • • • • • • • •
HEARING LOSS VISION LOSS MUSCLE AND BONE PAIN LOSS OF BONE DENSITY HEART DISEASE LUNG DISEASE DIABETES URINARY INCONTINENCE THINNER SKIN DEMENTIA DEPRESSION
Relax! Not everyone develops all of these when we get old, but the older we get, the more likely we are to develop these conditions. The elderly are also at a higher risk of falling, and tend to heal at a slower rate to their younger selves. What makes managing the health of the elderly particularly challenging is that the elderly are likely to experience several of these conditions at once, so multiple medications and lifestyle changes also become a major factor. Ageing is not doom-and-gloom though! Quality of life in the elderly can be enhanced by beginning and continuing healthy behaviors from a young age. Creating good habits that are carried through life such as eating a balanced diet, participating in regular physical activity, and refraining from tobacco use all reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases and improve both physical and mental capacity in our older days; and remember- it’s never too late to start making these habits! By engaging in strength training we can maintain muscle mass. By developing good eating habits around nutrition and portion sizes, even cognitive functions like memory can be preserved better. Combining healthy habits in multiple areas of health, we can remain independent and free to live our lives for longer, and some cases, frailty can be reversed! Whilst it’s important to maintain our health and wellbeing for as long as possible, it’s also important that a supportive environment is available when we age and issues such as cognitive decline occurs. Having supportive friends and family, safe and accessible public buildings and support services, and reliable and accessible transportation all contribute to our abilities to live freely, independently and be able to participate in a normal lifestyle when we are on the older side of life.
One aspect that can never be understated is our need to maintain physical health as we age, but some areas of health that are often overlooked are the mental and social implications manifested in the ideation of ‘ageism’. Ageism is the discrimination and stereotypes given to a person based on their age, which can be detrimental. Those who are older are often overlooked for employment opportunities because they are assumed to be incapable of hard work. An elderly person is seen as frail and dependent, even before assessing their capabilities. If an older person forgets something, family members are quick to believe one has dementia or is developing Alzheimer’s Disease, rather than considering everyone occasionally forgets information. These stereotypes can make older people feel that they are a burden to society and that their lives are less valuable, which can then lead to depression, social isolation and the belief that it is time to give up on dreams, aspirations and activities in old age. In fact, some research suggests that older adults with negative attitudes about aging may live 7.5 years less than those with positive attitudes. It is especially important in this day and age to keep the implications of aging in mind, as the global population overall is aging and more people will live past the age of 65 than ever before. According to the WHO the rate of population aging is occurring much faster than it has in the past: between the years 2015 and 2050, the proportion of the world's population over 60 years old will nearly double from 12% to 22%! The number of people aged over 60 is expected to outnumber children younger than 5 years old by the year 2020. Also by the year 2050, 80% of these older people will be living in low- and middle-income countries. Hence, aging will significantly impact families, communities and health care in the future.
Ageing does not have to be dreaded. With age we gain experience, understanding, new friends, new opportunities and new possibilities. In the modern world we live in, we also have new technologies, new medicines and better infrastructure available to handle the difficult aspects of ageing. If we are conscious of our own future, prioritise exercise and healthy eating, and focus on developing good mental health throughout our lives; with a positive and determined mind, perhaps we can make 60 the new 30! â– Alyssa Bolter, PTW Health Promotion Officer
The Magic Room The Magic Room, is a space created by Teach For India fellows, where kids can reach their potential through independent learning and remedial classes.
Magic Room has helped me in many ways. I was weak in many things but when l came in magic room l observed that those things have improved. This is because l need some extra attention and some extra help of teachers which l got in Magic Room. I enjoy a lot in Magic Room. One thing that l improved in Magic Room is my English. When l took lectures and classes in English l observed that my English is slowly improving. I love magic room because every day l learn new things in the Magic Room by playing, by studying or by doing something else.
In the magic room we are not known by our marks. We are known by our behaviour. Magic room will help us in many ways, if we have skipped or not understood anything in the classroom we can learn that in the Magic Room. In the future if teachers will not help us in anything we will not get panicked because we have Magic Room where we can solve our queries and doubts. These things l love most about Magic Room.
~Sonia, Year 9 student at the Magic Room
We have learnt many things at school. For instance, how to develop a connection between unknown persons. For example, the first time a teacher and their students meet, they are unknown persons to each other. A teacher still maintains coordination in the class, how to handle the students in the class by teachers is something we learn too. Magic Room provides us, the students, many types of books. It also creates memories most precious to us with our friends and teachers too. Magic Room has helped us in many ways such as if any student skips or misses any concept in the class because of suffering or any other cause. The Magic Room provides that help in teaching these skipped or missed concept to the student. Magic room has helped us in many ways such as
participating in different types of activities, and the magic room motivates us always in education as well as in sports and other activities outside of school. The efficiency of the students increases by the help of Magic Room. I like the Magic Room because it helps in many ways such as providing education skipped in the school syllabus, creating corporation in students and discipline in the class. The magic room can help us in our futures by increasing our general knowledge and making us independent. I want to achieve for myself the option to step into any field and career in which I will give my best. It means my 100% effort will be there and no matter the obstacle will reach out to me or not.
~Devika, Year 10 student at the Magic Room
CASA DO CAMINHO Comunidade Rural Casa do Caminho (CRCC) is a nonprofit association from Brazil, operating in the State of Rio de Janeiro. Since 1982, its main mission was housing children and teenagers at social risk.
asa do Caminho dedicates to positively transform the reality of children, and even men and women around the rural area of Xerem, Rio de Janeiro - Brazil. The organization have been working since 1982 with vulnerable population and right now the main programs are directed at children. We also work with Escola sem Fronteiras: a program that counts on volunteers of every single part of our globe to teach English, Spanish, arts, judo and life path development to children in public schools in the area.
Sรกbados de Brincadeiras is another of the central programs. The activities that are developed during Saturdays gather together children of the countryside in the only space though for them to play in the previously mentioned area, the CDC house. In addition, three other projects are taking place at the time. The first one is the program of meals with the homeless people which takes place every two weeks. The second is the renovation of organic crops cultivates by and for the community.
The third project is named MutirĂŁo and aims to improve the adequacy of community family houses with the communities of children that Casa Do Caiminho supports. Many of these houses donâ€™t have water or electricity. The population that have been reached by these programs during the last year is estimated to be 315 people including 100 children, 300 homeless people, 15 adults.
Casa do Caminho takes your soul and enriches it. It does it to the point that you feel it gvives to you even more than everything you can offer or give in return. As a volunteer, with experience in different type of social giving programs, I believe that Casa do Caminho is unique. CDC transforms the life of those kids and adults but also that of those whom take part of the project.
Lorena Perdomo Charris, Volunteer PolitĂłloga y Economista, Universidad de los Andes
PTW Melbourne Project Update
Over the last few months PTW volunteers have been active in Melbourne participating in the South Sudanese Australia Youth United after-school program ‘Bounce Back’, keeping children who attend active in a fun and inclusive environment. Volunteers joined the games and had a chance to share learning with children aged from six to eighteen. The Melbourne group have also been busy putting plans together for the PTWorld Cup, which will be a day of friendly soccer competitions while raising funds for PTW’s grassroots projects. PTW’s director, Chirag Lodhia, was also overseas visiting communities across Nepal and India, exploring opportunities to improve health and education globally. As the world of PTW grows, so does our Melbourne base, where PTW recently announced a new partnership with the Big Issue in Melbourne, an independent not-for-profit dedicated to creating work and social opportunities for homeless, marginalised and disadvantaged people. PTW will be providing support and education to assist the Big Issue with the great work that they do all around the Melbourne community. PTW are always looking for other volunteers in Melbourne and the global community. If you are keen on joining and putting your skills and experience towards improving health and education with your own community, contact us today!
World Wide Whip Around What is 1 objective PTW are working on in each of our projects around the world?
Developing new educational workshops and activities for the children in the Casa Do Caminho project
Eldoret, Kenya: Building clean and sustainable bathrooms and toilets in the Rescue Centre project
London, England: Recruiting volunteers to create a new PTW community engagement base and bring health and education workshops to the people of London
Delhi, India: Developing a learningabroad program and tutoring program for the students of The Magic Room project
Kathmandu, Nepal: Developing video conference learning workshops on health in the Sunsar Maya project
Melbourne, Australia: Running a responsible consumption information night and mental health workshop for the community in June and July whilst running new workshops with the South Sudanese community and homeless community
These are just 1 of the many objectives and priorities that PTW has in each of our many projects but we need your help! PTW are always looking for new volunteers, sponsors and supporters. If you would like to support PTW and get involved, enquire today! Contact us at www.ptworld.org and be part of the change!