Archive for July, 2006

So from my last post you know I watched the World Cup… this might be the greatest clip from it, except maybe the penalty kicks…

What was he thinking??

there were others, but they got removed b/c of copyright infringements so I apologize if this one gets removed as well.

Ok, so I really only watched today’s penalty kicking shoot out between Italy and France, but I did feel some of the excitement as Ghana got past the first round and other suprises like that. And looking forward to 2010 when South Africa hosts the World Cup, what a great privelege and honor for that country. Beyond “football” and headbutting people to the chest, some really neat things have come about b/c of the World Cup and soccer in general.

Here are a few good examples:

EU & FIFA sign deal

European Union Presdient Jose Barroso said: “The idea is to use the huge power of football for specific purposes such as fighting Aids, tuberculosis and malaria, helping in growth and development, fighting racism, xenophobia and all forms of discrimination and helping with post-conflict reconstruction and nation-building.”

The EU and FIFA will spend almost US$32 billion on development programs in Africa, Caribeean, and Pacific Islands over the next 4 years. Louis Michel, the EU Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid explains, “What we are doing is using the power of football to realise projects in the African, Caribbean and Pacific regions.”

as reported by the BBC.

Mercy Corps has grasped this idea too:

“From Africa to Central Asia to the Balkans, Mercy Corps is harnessing the power of the world’s most popular sport to bring people together, spark community reinvestment and teach young people about HIV/AIDS. The agency sponsors tournaments, provides seed money for sports clubs and, thanks to a strong partnership with Nike, outfits teams and equips schools and athletic leagues.”

After the ethnic cleansing in Kosovo:

How do you start rebuilding when there’s nothing left?

For hundreds of devastated villages including Grabovc, humanitarian organizations intent on restoring post-war Kosovo rushed in to fill the void. While these efforts admirably rebuilt houses, schools, hospitals and other infrastructure, they left one glaring need: the restoration of community spirit and cooperation.

“We decided on a soccer field because the local school didn’t have one anymore, not since before the war,” Mjeku explained. “We also thought that it could serve the other villages around here, not just Grabovc.”

Indeed, since the soccer field was completed in August 2005, the village has held two sports tournaments for the area. The last event brought in 30 teams from surrounding villages, as well as throngs of spectators. It was one of the biggest gatherings of neighbors around here since the war ended.

With the success of these recent tournaments, Mjeku has an idea on how to continue much-needed village improvements: Grabovc will collect small entry fees from each team that participates in future tournaments. The community council plans to undertake more sweeping infrastructure projects, such as asphalting the road and installing a community-wide water system, with the new funds they’ll receive.

Teaching about HIV/AIDS

Mercy Corps’ “YES to Soccer” program is based on a curriculum designed by Grassroot Soccer that combines young people’s passion for the sport with drills, role plays and discussions about HIV/AIDS. Currently, 3,000 Liberians between the ages of 16 and 30 participate in the program.

“The idea behind ‘YES to Soccer’ is to use role models who young people trust – like soccer players and coaches – to confirm what they’re hearing about AIDS and integrate it into their behavior,” says Jessica Quarles, Mercy Corps HIV/AIDS program officer. “Grassroot Soccer has combined social theory, public-health methodologies, rigorous evaluation and a huge dose of passion. It knows that behavior change takes skills and practice, and its curriculum reflects this.”


Grassroot Soccer
is an organization completely devoted to using soccer to teach lifeskills.

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I would have to agree with the Indy Star on this one… not sure what we can do to help, except raise the children you have well and helping to educate parents on the importance of education and focus some concrete energy into youth development.

June 28, 2006
Today’s editorial
Children deserve better than this
Our position:
Report on well-being of state’s children is a harsh reminder of the challenges Indiana faces.

How much do we value our children? Not just the ones we call sons and daughters but also the kids living down the block, across the city or on the other side of the state?
How can we as Hoosiers explain why Indiana ranks 32nd in the nation in the well-being of the state’s children, as measured by the Annie E. Casey Foundation? Are we embarrassed that our neighbors in Illinois, Ohio and Michigan all fare better?
How can we tolerate being 50th — the absolute worst in the nation — in the percentage of teens who drop out of high school?
Or 34th in the nation in the percentage of teens who neither attend school nor hold down a job?
Does the fact that Indiana ranks 34th in infant mortality and 31st in the rate of teenagers giving birth and 22nd in the percentage of low-birth-weight babies illicit a shrug or a scream?
Are we comfortable with these numbers? Are we resigned to accepting mediocrity or worse? Have we given up not only on our children but on the state we call home?
Do we read that one-third of children in Indiana live in homes without a parent who has a full-time job and then simply turn the page? Are we alarmed to learn that the number of children whose parents didn’t have secure employment grew by 22 percent between 2000 and 2004, a rate seven times the national average?
How do we respond to yet another mirror that shows Indiana not in the soft tones we envision but in a harsh reality that is too often denied?
Do we turn away? Give up? Or begin to demand more of state and local governments, of public and private schools, of churches and synagogues, of community organizations and charities, of our neighbors and ourselves?
Do we finally say enough and begin working to build a better future for our children and our state?

Copyright 2006 IndyStar.com. All rights reserved

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I’m glad somebody is around to answer all the tough questions…

Here is a list of countries without McDonalds: Click here for a map of McDonald’s locations

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burma, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, C�te d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Dominica, East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, the Federated States of Micronesia, Gabon, Gambia, the Ghana (Glad I didn’t miss out on this one), Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, the Holy See, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, the Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mongolia, Montenegro, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

All this helpful information came from Ask Yahoo.

Thanks for asking and answering the tough questions!

It contains local proverbs and folk lore to help interpret the scriptures.

The commentary also addresses contemporary issues such as HIV/Aids, female genital mutilation, refugees, ethnic conflict and witchcraft.

Published by the Evangelical publisher Zondervan, The Africa Bible Commentary gives a section-by-section interpretation of the gospel.”

“It is a weaving of word of the Bible and the word of Africa,” he told the BBC’s Focus on Africa programme.

“We used a lot of African proverbs, a lot of African folk lore and a lot of Africa illustrations and African songs,” he said.”

From the BBC http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/5152234.stm

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