An inspiring video of using the "trash" in the landfills of these slums to make life just a little bit better. They have recycled the trash around them to create musical instruments that they then use in music classes that make school and life for the kids a lot better. They are learning to play the violin even though a violin is worth more than their home. It is inspiring to see, and it is interesting to realize how much music has changed these people's lives while many music programs in the US are in danger of getting cut. A great video to watch and to see how an oil barrel with a couple of pieces of wood and some string can sound exactly like a cello!
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.
Both these two pictures and the article illustrate the life of Afghan refugees. There is only a fifteen year difference between the two pictures, and this woman looks as if she has aged much more than those fifteen years. The picture shows the hardships she has gone through, and the article goes more in depth and describes her day to day life, and knowing her life is important. The life of one ordinary person gives great insight into the culture and society of Afghan refugees, and those all around her. However, even without the article, the picture illustrates so much about life as a refugee that words cannot describe. This shows new insights and perspectives of the world around us.
A decade ago, Botswana was facing a national crisis as AIDS appeared on the verge of decimating the country's adult population. Now, the country provides free, life-saving AIDS drugs to almost all of its citizens who need them.
This is a great example, and possibly a template on how to tackle the AIDS/HIV crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa. Botswana was as hard hit as any country, but they fully invested their economic initiatives into tackling this and actively changed cultural attitudes and behaviors that faciliate transmission. Not all is 'doom and gloom' when looking at poverty and disease-stricken countries.
AIDS is spreading rapidly in Africa, and sometimes it seems as though no one is really doing anything to help. Botswana shows that there is a way to help and there is a way to lessen the impact that AIDS has on people's lives through government funded treatments.
Botswana has spent a lot of money on HIV/AIDS research and treatments for their citizens, and the spread of the disease has drastically gone down since they have started their fight against it. They have especially decreased the AIDS tranmission from mother to child, so that the children born in the country have a better chance of surviving, and are not born with a death sentence. Also, people are living longer because less people are getting the disease and the people who do get the disease have access to the treatments that allow them to live longer.
The access of medicine not only has an impact on the health of the country, it has an impact of each an every part. Since people live longer, there are more people working and building the economy and making the country better, and the society and country are more stable because there aren't so many people dying and so much fear about contracting AIDS.
Also, other countries can look to Botswana as an example of how they can help their people, and the spread of AIDS can decrease across the continent. However, Botswana is a richer country because it has diamond reserves while other countries are poorer and may not be able to buy the medicines for all of the people. In addition, Botswanna is in the southern part of Africa and it has not been greatly affected by the Arab Spring. The countries that have had recent revolutions also may not be able to help with AIDS because they need to create stability and build governments first. Therefore, Botswana is a great step in the right direction and is a good model for other countries to follow, but there is a long way to go before the AIDS epidemic slows down.
"As a child growing up in North Korea, Hyeonseo Lee thought her country was 'the best on the planet.' It wasn't until the famine of the 90s that she began to to wonder. She escaped the country at 14, to begin a life in hiding, as a refugee in China. Hers is a harrowing, personal tale of survival and hope."
A sad but also inspiring story and an enlightening video. I see a lot of people who assume that the North Korean government and the people are one and the same, and that is not the case. It is important to realise the harsh conditions of people living in North Korea to fully understand what is happening in that part of the world. It is hard for people to leave their country and their home, but as Hyeonseo Lee explains, sometimes there is no choice.
A United Nations report cites widespread shortages of food, water, electricity, jobs, hospital beds and classrooms amid an exploding population in an area of Gaza.
While most slums are symptomatic of issues that would be addressed by an economic and urban geography analysis, the slums of Gaza are different. Many slum issues are tied to city politics, but in Gaza these slums are also connected to some of the larger geopolitical issues of the region.
Tags: Political, urban, squatter, poverty, MiddleEast, economic, place, unit 4 political, unit 7 cities.
People in the Gaza strip are already fearful Israel around them because of the fighting between the two areas. When people think of Gaza, they think of the Palestine-Israel conflict, but there is much more going on in Gaza. Israel blocks Gaza off from all forms of trade, and although they have a tunnel between them and Egypt, it is not enough. Therefore, there are slums where children do not go to school because their parents cannot afford it, people starve because they have no money to buy food, and people live in small shelters that they built out of some materials they put together and sleep on the ground. This is a squatter community, and, as the article states, there are squatter communities in worse shape, the problem here is that everyone is pointing fingers and no one is trying to fix the problem. Many state that Israel has caused this poverty because of their oppressive control of the area and others state that it is Gaza's government because they are corrupt and new and cannot or do not distribute their food well. This is a problem, but when no one takes the blame, innocent people suffer.
Decades of war, migration and chaotic sprawl have turned the Afghan capital into a barely functioning dust bowl. The city's tired infrastructure is crumbling; water, sewers and electricity are in short supply.
Keeping an urban system running smoothly is a difficult proposition in developed countries that are stable--what is in like a place like Afghanistan? This podcast is a excellent glimpse into the cultural, economic, environmental and political struggles of a city like Kabul. This is urban geography in about a problematic a situation as possible.
Once again, when most people think of the Middle East, they think of war and the dangers of being there. What they don't usually think of is how these wars affect the people. The environment of the Middle East is already harsh with limited access to water, becoming more so with shrinking rivers and lakes across the region. Then you add war to the mix so that governments focus their energy on fighting and have very little time to try to help the people. Consequently, we have places like Kabul that is crumbling and can barely support its people. People can just barely make ends meet week to week, they have very little. This isn't just some city in Afghanistan either, it is the capital. People everywhere are suffering from war and harsh climates, Kabul is just an example.
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