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Turbulence on the Mekong River

Turbulence on the Mekong River | Classwork Portfolio | Scoop.it
The Mekong River was once a wild and primitive backwater. Today, growing demands for electricity and rapid economic growth are changing the character of what is the world's 12th-longest river.

 

Economic progress for some often entails job loss and environmental degradation for others.  The once isolated and remote Mekong is experiences some impacts of globalization with residents having mixed feelings about the prospects. 


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Michelle Carvajal's curator insight, December 11, 2012 9:04 PM

There must be a better way to transport items and in return save the Mekong river from being degredated. Technological innovations are affecting the life in the river as local fishermen are seeing less and less fish traveling in the river. This is impacting them in the sense that they use these fish for their survival as well as for selling. They fear that in building dams and creating advanced roads over the Mekong will change their enviroment altogether and will hinder their livelihood. This is a beautiful river and I personally feel there could be a better way but there is always something sacrficed when the government choses a location to build on. - M. Carvajal

Emma Lafleur's curator insight, April 30, 2013 8:03 PM

It seems to be a theme that across the bored, people are building things that directly and negatively impact the environment and the local people. There are always two sides to the problem. On one hand, the dam can help with the development of Laos because it will bring in money, but it will also destroy the fish population and therefore many fishermen will lose their jobs and people will lose a food source. It is a difficult problem because Laos needs money because there is a lot of poverty in this rural country and the fishermen do not add a whole lot to the economy, but the people need a way to survive and make money for their families as well. It's a problem that I think will be around for generation to come.

Al Picozzi's curator insight, November 26, 2013 11:35 AM

Seems the price of modernizing will be the local economy that as existed here for centuries.  It is not a small industy either, it is according to the report a billion dollar fishing industry.  However with a growing population and a demand for electricity the river is the perfect source for this power.  This globalization, like all globalization, will help some and will hurt some.  What you have to ask yourself is will it help more than it hurts?  Will it help in the long run, over time?  For everyone involoved in globalization these answeres are never the same everywhere.

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God Grew Tired of Us

God Grew Tired of Us | Classwork Portfolio | Scoop.it

The story of the "Lost Boys" of Sudan is a heartbreaking and inspiring tale of youth caught in cultural and geopolitical conflicts and fored to leave their homes. The film God Grew Tired of Us " tells a moving story of young people overcoming incredible challenges and struggling to improve their own lives and those of family and friends left behind."  Linked here is a lsson plan from National Geographic "to teach students about concepts of migration, cultural mosaics, sense of place, and forces of cooperation and conflict among communities" using this 90 minute documentary.  The film can be viewed online on HULU as well as other media outlets.  

 

Tags: culture, Africa, political, conflict, war, migration, development, APHG. 


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AfriGadget: Recycling

A Cameroonian boy shows the recycled parts used to construct a toy RC car.

 

I originally found this video on Afrigadget. The website seeks to show people "solving everyday problems with African ingenuity." While the developed world lives in a commercial, disposable society, Africans often need to maximize the useablity of all objects. The solutions they come up with can show students that it is not all doom and gloom in Africa, an represent a triumph of the human spirit.


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James Hobson's curator insight, October 30, 9:54 AM

(Africa topic 6)

"One person's trash is another's treasure." I think attention to this video should be guided away from the evident physical poverty and instead to the intellectual, creative, and artistic riches which children such as these possess.

In a world filled with waste and a 'disposable' culture, it is interesting to see how recycling -- or specifically "upcycling" in this example -- is evident in other parts of the world. Speaking ecologically, these Cameroonians have done what those who have thrown away these items have failed to do, and that is to make the most efficient use of what is available. Even small ideas such as this could prove to the spark behind movements which further promote the conservation of the planet and its resources.

Melissa Marie Falco-Dargitz's curator insight, November 3, 12:30 PM

What great thought goes into up cycling . The ingenuity is incredible. These are smart kids with limited resources. This ties into the orchestra from the garbage heaps. The making of instruments, vehicles, toys are all ways for these kids to do something creative and educational with what they have available.

Amanda Morgan's curator insight, November 7, 3:56 PM

This gadget shows that the people of Africa are not just hopeless people as many Westerners assume.  The creation of Afrigadget depicts the creativity and ingenuity of the youth.  Here in America, I do not know many young children who would be capable of putting together something so creative.

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Selling condoms in the Congo

TED Talks HIV is a serious problem in the DR Congo, and aid agencies have flooded the country with free and cheap condoms. But few people are using them. Why?

 

This video highlights why some well-intending NGOs with excellent plans for the developing world don't have the impact they are hoping for. Cultural barriers to diffusion abound and finding a way to make your idea resonate with your target audience takes some preparation. This also addresses some important demographic and health-related issues, so the clip could be used in a variety of places within the curriculum. FYI: this clip briefly shows some steamy condom ads.


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Crissy Borton's curator insight, December 11, 2012 9:45 PM

Marketing is not something I would have thought about when trying to get people in the Kongo to use condoms. Her research into the brands they use and why may save many lives.

Nick Flanagan's curator insight, December 12, 2012 8:27 PM

I was surprised actually that it took this long for someone to think of this, given the fact that the AIDS crisis in Africa is practically a pandemic.However it is a good idea that someone had finally started to do something about it.  

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, November 13, 5:37 PM

This video explains the errors that a lot of NGOs make when attempting to help the developing world. While the NGOs have done a service providing condoms in the DRC, they lack appropriate marketing and merchandising for the product itself. In a way, the organizations need to eliminate their egos in the situation and allow for the product to be marketed appropriately.

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Does democracy stifle economic growth?

TED Talks Economist Yasheng Huang compares China to India, and asks how China's authoritarian rule contributed to its astonishing economic growth -- leading to a big question: Is democracy actually holding India back?

 

This compelling TedTalk explores the links between economic development and governmental style, oversight and influence.  While the speaker mainly discusses politics and economics in the context of China and India, Pakistan, Russia, North and South Korea are all mentioned.      


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Matt Mallinson's comment, November 21, 2012 11:11 AM
Democracy can stifle economic growth. War will definitely stifle economic growth. North Korea doesn't look like they're going to stop fighting South Korea, if only they would combine their lands, they would probably be a much better nation as one.
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NYTimes Video: Apartheid Haunts South Africa's Schools

NYTimes Video: Apartheid Haunts South Africa's Schools | Classwork Portfolio | Scoop.it
Celia Dugger reports from the Kwamfundo School near Cape Town on South Africa's struggling public education system.

 

This poignant clip shows that South Africa may be in a post-apartheid era, but most certainly not a post-racial era as schools are as deeply divided as ever. 


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Ido Lifshitz's curator insight, April 21, 6:40 PM

most of the whites study in private school which they get there better education , and it's very expensive so only few  of the black get the money to study there, however the blacks have Affirmative Action to get to the university after the school

Wilmine Merlain's curator insight, November 5, 1:22 PM

A lot of the issues that the South African education system is facing today resembles that of students living in America who attend underfunded insitutions. A large reason to this is the lack of funding from government officials. Rather than funding education system for those who attend inner city schools, they are spending a lot of the funding in areas that are well off. Another reason why the South African school system is failing for black students is the lack of teacher attendance. Staff have become discouraged at the way the education system treats its students. Students who aspire to learn a skill and return home to save the life of their family, communities, and even their nation. 

Melissa Marie Falco-Dargitz's curator insight, November 23, 12:27 PM

It is a fight for South African children to make it through school. The loss in their lives, the lack of dedicated teachers, and a broken public school system all bring these kids down. The hope and promise seen in the eyes of these kids, who want to achieve great things, is a beacon of better things to come for this nation, if they are willing to invest in the future.

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South African township's solar-powered cafe

South African township's solar-powered cafe | Classwork Portfolio | Scoop.it
Entrepreneur converts shipping container into mobile internet shop powered entirely by the sun.

This 2-minute video shows how a an enterpreneur has made his business (an internet cafe) self-sufficient, not relying much on external infrastruture.  Modern Africa has advanced beyond what many in the developed world acknowledge and is beyond some the old stereotypes of that characterize how people view the 'Dark Continent.' 

 

Tags: Africa, technology, development, video.


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Matt Mallinson's comment, November 5, 2012 2:36 PM
This shop is awesome. Good for him opening this up randomly, from security guard to owning a solar powered cafe. It gives children the opportunity to become more familiar with the internet and how to use it. What a great idea.
Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, March 17, 5:59 PM

In South Africa, a shipping container is transformed into a mobile internet shop reliant on solar power. While the rest of the world is much more advanced in technology, this shows how non-advanced countries are trying to catch up!

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Haiti: Legacy of Disaster

Haiti: Legacy of Disaster | Classwork Portfolio | Scoop.it

"Even before the earthquake Haiti's environment teetered on the brink of disaster. Brent and Craig Renaud report on the country's deforestation problems."

 

What about a disaster is 'natural' and what about the disaster is attributable to how people live on the land?  This video highlights the poverty, architectural and environmental factors that exacerbated the problems in the Haitian Earthquake of 2010.  This is a merging of both the physical geography and human geography.  


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Tracy Galvin's curator insight, February 4, 5:56 PM

This is an example of how civilizations can be hovering on the brink of destruction. The earthquake was the final straw it caused collapse of the whole system. The environment became a wasteland because humans that so not have their basic needs met cannot think about long term consequences of their actions. Need is immediate. If we want to help the country it needs to be in very small doses over many years. Their situation wasn't created overnight and the solution won't happen overnight either.

Jess Deady's curator insight, April 28, 1:49 PM

Natural disasters occur because of two things; the environmental reason and how people react to it. This earthquake was only half the reason Haiti is in a natural disaster state. The people who don't know how to respond to such "natural disasters" are the real reason of problematic changes.

James Hobson's curator insight, September 25, 10:26 AM

(Central America topic 2)

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Or in this case:

Which came first, the deforestation or the disparity?

I believe the answer can be both.

At first such a country's inhabitants might not know what devastating impacts manmade environmental changes such as deforestation can have - or, they might just have no other choice. Here disparity comes first. But unfortunately such effects can be far reaching. Deforestation can 'come back around' and be the cause (not only the result) of disparity: erosion, flooding, landslides, lack of natural resources. These all contribute to further disasters and crises, which continue the repeating trend.

Dr. Bonin has held classes pertaining to this same issue of deforestation, among the other issues which Haitians face. IN addition, the company I work for has been sponsoring a campaign to help humanitarian efforts in the country, and I have worked with people who have lived there.

Lastly, I can't help but notice an uncanny similarity between the deforestation of Haiti and that of Easter Island. I hope Easter Is. will be used as a warning message.