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Rescooped by Elizabeth Allen from Geography Education
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BBC: Development-How bottles bring light to world's poorest

BBC: Development-How bottles bring light to world's poorest | Geography 400 at ric | Scoop.it
A simple initiative in the Philippines is bringing a bit of brightness into the lives of the country's poorest people.

 

This clip is brimming with classroom potential.  Development is a key component to this clip, but it could also become a service learning project as students adopt a great project to help others in more difficult financial situations.  Learn more about the project at: http://isanglitrongliwanag.org/

 

This technique using an empty soda bottle, piece of metal, water, and a little bleach is affording communities to have light.  Of course it is a great recycling practice as well.  60 watts for under a dollar is priceless in most Phillipine neighborhoods.  More importantly,this new technique is being used in schools as well. This is truly amazing to see how innovative cultures can be. While they cannot afford electricity due to the high prices, they still have found an inexpensive alternative. Now with the mimicked lighting, people in poor areas of the Phillipines can still go on with their daily life uninterrupted.  Elizabeth Allen


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Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, December 17, 2014 11:31 PM

This is very innovative as people in the Philippines have found a way to light their homes with just a plastic bottle. Using bleach and water and a piece of metal, there is temporary light for many people who would otherwise live in darkness. Starting with just 1 bottle in 1 home, this homemade product's total is now 15,000 units. I was very impressed that something as simple as a bottle filled with water can cost just $1 to make and give off even more light than an average light-bulb. I predict that this mini invention will become even more widespread as more poor countries catch on to this new, resourceful idea. 

Bob Beaven's curator insight, April 26, 2015 3:45 PM

The solution to a problem in this video owes itself to geographical factors, had this been a problem in the US, the solution would have been different.  Having said this, the "American Way" to solve problems isn't always the best way to do so.  The Philippines is a collection of islands and they are ravaged by hurricanes, so to put above ground powerlines would be highly expensive, and to connect the whole nations infrastructure would require the nation running very expensive powerlines underneath the ocean.  What the man does in this video is ingenious given the location and the solution to the problem.  Since the Philippines are a warm country and the houses only have a single roof layer, by cutting a whole in the roof taping a coke bottle into the whole (filled with water and a bit of chlorine) allows a cheap and effective source of light.  By doing this, the people will not have to spend a great deal on electricity (if it is in their region) and if they do not have electricity then they still have a source of light. 

Gene Gagne's curator insight, December 1, 2015 9:26 PM

what a genius! of course as mentioned in class this works in the Philippines because of the tin roofs and the climate. You could not do this in cold places because the water would freeze. but this is just another sign that communities figure out ways to survive. What works in one place isn't always good for others but this sure works here.

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A Life Revealed

A Life Revealed | Geography 400 at ric | Scoop.it
Seventeen years after she stared out from the cover of National Geographic, a former Afghan refugee comes face-to-face with the world once more.

 

The original cover is one of the more famous National Geographic photos of all time, and yet the woman in the photograph has not lived a life as though millions of people could recognize her eyes.  This is her story. 

 

This certainly is a life revealed. Between the pictures and the years you can get a sense of what her life was like and what it lacked. An affectuous story, it is always amazing to see proof of history's changes. And how a picture can tell a thousand words.  Not only has Sharbat Gula's skin withered, but so has her soul.   Elizabeth Allen


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Jacob Crowell's curator insight, November 3, 2014 1:58 PM

You can see in this woman's face that the years have been hard for her living as refugee. Although this seems like National Geographic giving themselves a pat on the back it is important to remember that this women became a national symbol for refugees and yet her life did not improve and furthermore she had no idea that her picture was so well known.

David Lizotte's curator insight, February 27, 2015 6:36 PM

I never would have imagined the "Afghan girl" being alive. It's amazing how National Geographic was able to catch up and speak with her and photograph her. This demonstrates the pure professionalism and global outreach national geographic has. 

One of the things I am most thankful about is that I do not live in a war torn society. Being separated from my family, forced to flee and become a refugee is a horrid way of life that I know I would struggle to endure. Some Afghanistan people have been doing this for over twenty years. 

One time I was having a discussion with my friend. We talking about America and the westernized part of the world. He and I agreed how lucky we were to be born in America. We were born white males in the United States of America. We could have been born a woman living in Iran or Iraq, or even as a little rural Afghan boy whom would eventually be taken and abused by theTaliban. We kept going on with different scenarios and different countries. 

Want I want for people to realize is how advanced the United States of America is. Yes, we have our problems... but non comparable to other nations. Look at nations such as Afghanistan, Iraq, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Uganda. These are first world nations which have war torn regions occupied by terrorists of all sorts. They also have little to no functioning government, although Afghanistan is improving. Even second world nations, although developing at a steady pace are plagued with an exponential amount of violent crimes and corruption. South Africa would be a prime example. 

Its amazing to read about the "Afghan girl"(s) or better yet Sharbat Gula. After all she has gone through she still has hope for her younger children. After enduring such a life of foul experiences she is still able to place all her faith into Allah and hope for the best for her children. It is also neat to see her place such a high level of importance on education. Education is the foundation for all development. 

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 20, 2015 6:58 AM

These two images are rather striking. They depict seventeen years in the life a young female Afghani refuge. They depict seventeen years of hell. The woman in this photograph has lived a hard life. Seventeen years probably feels like fifty years to her. On her face, you see the effects of living a life as a refugee. A life of not having a true home or place that you can count on. A life of living in deplorable refugee camps. It is the shame of the world, that people are forced to live like this. Unfortunately this women's story is an all to common occurrence in Afghanistan. Thousands have suffered similar fates in refugee camps. We must never forget the suffering of these people.

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In Venezuela Housing Crisis, Squatters Find 45-Story Walkup

In Venezuela Housing Crisis, Squatters Find 45-Story Walkup | Geography 400 at ric | Scoop.it
An unfinished skyscraper occupied by squatters is a symbol of Venezuela’s financial crisis in the 1990s, state control of the economy and a housing shortage.

 

This skyscraper that was once a symbol of wealth, in an incredible paradigm shift, has now become is occupied by squatters. The lack of a vibrant formal economy and more formal housing leads to a lack of suitable options for many urban residents--especially with problems in the rural countryside. A complex web of geographic factors needs to be explained to understand this most fascinating situation. The video link "Squatters on the Skyline" embedded in the article is a must see.

 

Truly amazing. People and businesses occupying an un-safe government owned building. I give them credit for what they have achieved in attempt to survive. The government is obviously falling short in the promise to supply low-income housing. This building was to symbolize "mettle" proving Caracas to be a courageous capital, now it describes the people left to live there. It is sad to see the deplorable conditions that the people are left to live or in, or even worse, to die in. 

Elizabeth Allen


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Maegan Connor's curator insight, December 17, 2013 5:34 PM

The video we watched of the squatters living in an unfinished skyscraper was unlike anything I've ever seen before. In a country with such high population rates and a housing shortage, people have gotten creative and made homes in this 45 story building where they share what would have been office spaces and bathrooms.  Over 2,500 people have moved into the dilapidated skyscraper and made a home out of it for their families. They have rigged electricity that the government does not provide for them and built small stores on almost every floor.  The people have not been evicted because the government of Venezuela knows of the housing shortages, yet does not fix it.  

I feel ashamed that a country with so many oil resources has such high rates of poverty and no one is fixing it.  It shows the corruption in the government through an extreme although innovative example.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, February 17, 2014 10:46 AM

The problems in Venezuela with housing and the lack of response to the problem by the government has led people to become squatters.  The using of the abandoned buildings was a good idea by the original squatters.  The vacant buildings can house many of the countries it is a shame that the government did not think of this solution to the housing problem and vacant building first, if they had, they could have made sure they were safer for the residence.  The idea of a vertical city springing up in this building is also an interesting one.  Not only are squatters living in these buildings but creating businesses and other services for the residence.

Jess Deady's curator insight, February 18, 2014 1:02 PM

In life, I constantly find myself comparing situations with what I read and what I know. Imagine this skyscraper is the Prudential in Boston. How could something meant to be so great fall to its death (and to peoples literal deaths)? One day there is a massive financial building occupied with bankers and lavishness. The next day there is a skyscraper in the form of a house. Housing shortages are happening everywhere and Venezuela is being hit hard in this situation. Imagine visiting this country and asking where someone lives? "Oh, I live in the Tower of David, which used to mean a whole lot more."