25 November 2014

Rio de Janeiro's Militarized Zones

When the Brazilian military began invading Rio de Janeiro's notoriously dangerous favelas, the national news praised the strategy and glorified the soldiers. Scenes of drug traffickers and their minions fleeing the favelas were widely-broadcast as evidence of the success of this approach. Though some measure of peace has come to many such communities, it comes at a price. Residents there have to deal with 4 armed groups: the military, the militias, the traffickers and the police. None of these forces are clearly the "heroes," and the video below shows vividly how one child in particular has suffered from the violence in the place he calls home.

See Also:

24 November 2014

Brazil's Street Kids

This past June, just prior to the 2014 World Cup, people from Happy Child International assisted a reporter investigating drug use and sexual exploitation among street children in Recife, Brazil. This is a serious social problem that simply isn't going away on its own. Fortunately, there are some very dedicated people in NGOs and government agencies working to rescue those they can. So much needs to be done.

Be sure to check out the links below after watching this report.

See Also:

23 November 2014

Sunday Assembly Conference 2015: May 28th - 30th

Big news from Sunday Assembly! The following arrived in my email this past week. Passing it along here in its entirety.

Sunday Assembly Conference 2015

Atlanta Here We Come!

Hello everyone,

We have great news. The second ever Sunday Assembly Conference will be in Atlanta on from May 28th - May 30th 2015 and we would LOVE you to be there.

Whether you are a seasoned Sunday Assembly organiser, an enthusiastic new team, or a curious onlooker this conference will have something for you. Great talks, wonderful workshops and, above all, an opportunity to meet the amazing folk who make up this world changing movement.

If you are keen please express your interest here - then share that link all over the world and the internet! We will let you know when the EARLY BIRD TICKETS go on sale, and keep you up-to-date on information.

Seriously, we are going to create an INCREDIBLE event. It will leave you turbo-charged, mega-motivated and ready to move mountains. Here's what one person said about this year's conference:
"I think the general conference was probably the most moving thing I have participated in. I really feel that we are at the beginning of a game changing new idea that will shape the world in years to come." - Tara, 29, London.
We can't recommend the conference highly enough. Meeting fellow organisers suddenly changes your perspective on the work that you're doing, as you see you are part of a big globe embracing movement.

We would love you to be there. Please save the date.

All the best,

Sanderson and the Sunday Assembly Team

ps. We will be looking into ways to make the conference as affordable as possible - don't despair if you think it sounds great but is far. Our thinking caps are on!

22 November 2014

The Application Period for the Humanist Service Corps is Now Open

The following came into my email this week. Passing it along here as it's a good cause and a great service opportunity.

The application period for the Humanist Service Corps is now open. Click here to apply.

In 2013, Foundation Beyond Belief sponsored Pathfinders Project, a yearlong international service trip in search of the best location to launch the Humanist Service Corps. The Pathfinders spent a month in each of 10 project locations, contributing no less than 6,000 hours of service with community-centered partner organizations on education, human rights, poverty abatement, and water sustainability projects.

Through Pathfinders Project, the volunteers put humanist theory into practice while evaluating the partner organizations in each location. Equipped with the lessons learned by the Pathfinders, Foundation Beyond Belief selected Northern Ghana as the location for the launch of the Humanist Service Corps.

Beginning in the summer of 2015, the Humanist Service Corps will support Songtaba and other Ghanaian human rights organizations working to restore dignity to women who have been accused of witchcraft and banished to "witch camps." Although the women are relatively safe from violence once they are in exile, the living conditions are deplorable. They do not have access to basic education and health care, and they are unaware of or are unable to exercise legal protections under Ghanaian and international laws.

Humanist Service Corps volunteers will work alongside locals to design and implement projects with the short-term goal of improving the standard of living in the witch camps and the long-term goal of eliminating the dynamics that lead to death or forcible and violent exile of women from their communities.

Applications for 2015 will be accepted through December 15. For more information, visit http://humanistservicecorps.org.