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jpegJust a quick heads-up to let you know that the latest edition of Sublime Magazine is out. If you’ve not got around to reading a copy yet, then why not make this one your first. As ever, there are loads of interesting pieces in it, including the story of David de Rothschild’s desire to build and sail across the Pacific Ocean in a boat made from discarded plastic bottles.

For my part, I stayed at home and made an assessment of the progress being made half way to the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals.

REACHING FOR THE STARS

In September 2000, the heads of state of some 180 countries gathered at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Like the rest of us, they saw the millennium as a watershed – an opportunity to leave behind the regrets and unfulfilled promises of the Enlightenment and forge new aspirations. They wanted to tap into the hope that such moments in human history inevitably raise, and to map pathways towards the future that beckoned. What was acknowledged at the meeting was the stark reality that millions of people did not, indeed could not, share the optimism of the millennium. If the 21st century was to write itself a better history, then the world’s poor needed the hope of a future opening up for them. In response, those leaders voted to adopt the United Nations Read the rest of this entry »

End Water PovertyLife can, and does go on in the face of all manner of tragedies and deprivations. But life cannot be sustained without access to water. That’s why one of the most pressing humanitarian issues facing us in the twenty-first century isn’t global economic meltdown, climate change, or HIV/Aids – though such things demand our immediate and ongoing attention – but the fact that 1 billion people worldwide have no access to a clean, sustainable water supply; the most fundamental element of life.

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I just love this idea from TEARFUND:

This year, World Water Day (22 March) falls on the same day as Mothering Sunday.

It’s an opportunity to be reminded that many mothers will spend Mothering Sunday walking for hours to collect water for their families, or caring for children suffering from illnesses associated with poor sanitation and unclean water.

To mark Mothering Sunday, we’re launching a new action. We want to get 500 mothers to speak out and sign our letter to Gordon Brown.

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Unlike the BBC, bloggers don’t have to make editorial decisions based on impartiality. Personally, I think the BBC’s decision demonstrates partiality, after all, many of the other appeals broadcast by the BBC on behalf the Disasters Emergency Committee cut across political, religious and cultural divide, so why make an exception here? It also find it patronizing, suggesting that the audience cannot distinguish between impartial reporting and the need to address human suffering which transcends the issues that concern the editors of the BBC. When the DEC make an appeal you know that there is genuine and pressing need, so please support the DEC and pray that the BBC come to their senses.

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End Water Poverty2.5 Billion people don’t have access to safe sanitation.

‘So what?’ you might ask.

How about:

5000 children die everyday as a result

Half the world’s poorest people suffering serious health problems as a result.

Education is rendered virtually impossible

Economic development of the poorest countries is undermined

Basically, all the key areas of development are compromised meaning you can kiss goodbye to the Millennium Development Goals.

But don’t take my word for it: http://www.wateraid.org/uk/about_us/newsroom/6939.asp

With the revelation that Starbucks are wasting around 23 million litres of water a day, I thought it might be an opportune moment to flag up a short piece I wrote for a new initiative, Earth Abbey, about the global stress our water resources are under.

EarthAbbey will almost certainly be new to you, so to quote from the website;

EarthAbbey is a movement of people helping one another to live more in tune with the earth. We work to promote . . .

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G8 Summit 2008There’s only six weeks to go to this year’s G8 Summit in Hokkaido Toyako, Japan.

Most of us won’t be invited. And many of us will feel powerless to set agendas and influence what goes on behind closed doors. But people power and activism can make a real difference.

Since the End Water Poverty campaign launched last year, we have been lobbying G8 leaders to put water and sanitation on the summit agenda. Last year, despite thousands of messages to the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and concerted lobbying of the then UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, water and sanitation did not make it onto the agenda. BUT . . .

never giving up hope, campaigning continues, with the result that this year Japan has agreed to ensure that water and sanitation will be discussed as part of the G8 Summit.

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DEC logoHope International LogoPlease don’t let doubts about whether donating to help the people of Myanmar will actually result in aid that will reach those in desperate need – it’s only money after all.

Most organisations who are appealing for money will have people already on the ground in Myanmar who can make a real difference with your help.

I know Hope International Development Agency have the capacity to help.

And there are guarantees being made from the Disasters Emergency Committee that donations will be channeled to those agencies who are best placed to intervene.

If you need reassurance check out the BBC’s Website here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7389735.stm

End Water PovertyIt’s World Water Day today, which is especially significant this year as it’s also the International Year of Sanitation. But, rather than me rant on again about the 1.1 billion people who don’t have access to clean, safe drinking water or the 2.6 billion people who don’t have access to sanitation causing disease and death on a catastrophic scale, I thought I’d drop you a link to radio 4 where you can listen to the development expert and writer, Maggie Black, and Lydia Zigomo of WaterAid, talk far more eloquently about this most fundamental of development issues.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/womanshour/01/2008_12_wed.shtml

Dying for the ToiletIf you don’t already know, 2008 has been designated the International Year of Sanitation by the UN. Though it may not sound as glamorous as some campaigns you could get involved in, it has to be one of the most important given that 2.6 billion people worldwide don’t have access to even the most basic sanitation, the ramifications of which impact health, education, economic viability for developing countries, and simple human dignity. In short, sanitation is fundamental to human development and if this global problem isn’t addressed soon, then we can kiss goodbye to the aspirations set out in the Millennium Development Goals.

If you want to now more, and find out how you can make a difference, then why not turn out to one of the upcoming ‘Dying for the Toilet’ evenings being organized by WaterAid, founders of the End Water Poverty Campaign.

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