Archive for the ‘ink to think and action’ Category

Two years of bitter conflict in Syria has uprooted hundreds of thousands of people who now have no means to provide for themselves. Food is getting more and more expensive and bread shortages have been reported across the country.

Here are three people doing their best to get through the conflict with help of food from WFP.

A mother who lost her home 

“When I happen to come across a mirror which I don’t even have, I look at my face and cannot even recognize who I am anymore. I don’t look like 27. I don’t feel like 27. My face, body and spirit aged a lot in the last few months. We have all aged»,she says.

Souad fled her home in Deir Ezzor with her husband and 3 year old son and took refuge in the city of Qamishly in Al-Hassake Governorate 8 months ago. Her son has also a development problem and cannot get the proper medication or treatment. At the age of three, he cannot walk on his own or say any words.

A chef who lost his restauraunt

In the  town of Altinozu, former chef and restaurant owner Hossein Mohammad struggled on a crutch to shop with his wife. “We were in a firefight and while we were fighting, all of a sudden I got six bullets in my stomach.»

“I’m selling 700-800 flatbreads a day. I started out by selling them at the camp but now that there’s an agreement with the Red Crescent and WFP, citizens started shopping in the town centre, so local shops have started to earn money and it’s good for business,” he said.

 And here you can see how a family lives in the   dark. 

Success has many names…

Posted: 8 Φεβρουαρίου, 2013 in ink to think and action
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Today in Ethiopia, babies are named at birth. Watch the video below and find out why this is a revolutionary idea!

The Afghan girl sold to be a child bride

Posted: 29 Ιανουαρίου, 2013 in ink to think and action
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«I had to sell my six-year-old daughter Naghma to a relative to settle an old debt,» Mr Mohammad says, staring blankly at the tattered tarpaulin roof of his small mud shelter.

A shy girl with a smiling face, Naghma is now engaged to a boy 10 years older than her. Mr Mohammad says his daughter may have to leave for the boy’s home in Helmand’s Sangin district in a year.

His wife and mother-in-law sob inconsolably as they try to protect Naghma and her seven siblings from the harsh Afghan winter outside.

«Everyone in the family is sad,» says Naghma’s grandmother, who was herself a child bride. «We cry. We are in pain. But what else could we do?» she asks before answering her own question.

«The relatives wanted their money back. Taj couldn’t pay, so he was forced to give them Naghma.»

Silence descends on the small, one-room dingy shelter, one of hundreds at the Qambar refugee camp on the outskirts of Kabul.

The long pause is broken by the hoarse cough of a child.

«To keep my family alive, I took a loan of $2,500 [about £1,600] from a distant relative,» Mr Mohammad says.

Years of war and poverty forced Mr Mohammad to leave his home in the southern province of Helmand and take refuge in Qambar’s mud shelters.

He says he was struggling to come to terms with the loss of his three year old son and an uncle, both of whom died in the cold earlier this month, when the distant relative sent a message demanding his money back.

«He wanted his money back. But I couldn’t pay. No-one would lend money to me,» he says.

«Then a relative suggested that I give my daughter in lieu of money.»

Naghma is too young to understand the ramifications of her father’s decision.

«She only cries when we talk to her about it,» Mr Mohammad says.

«If I can give my relative some money, then I can delay the marriage until Naghma is 14 or 16 years old.»

The legal age for marriage in Afghanistan is 16 for women and 18 for men.

Janan, Naghma’s three-year-old brother, died a month ago

Dost Mohammad, the would-be groom’s father, also lives in the Qambar camp. He agrees it is illegal to buy a child bride.

«The government doesn’t allow it,» he says, but adds quickly: «I consulted the tribal elders and this is their decision.»

Despite the fact it is illegal under Afghan law, the practice of marrying off child brides for money is widespread in many parts of Afghanistan.

No accurate figures exist for numbers of children involved, but human rights campaigners say it is not uncommon for girls as young as Naghma to be sold.

Mohammad Musa Mahmodi, who heads the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), expressed his concern at what he said were «traditions and economic situations that would force families to submit to the practice of selling their children».

Cases like Naghma’s go on all over Afghanistan, but are rarely reported.

Before I leave, Taj Mohammad tells me: «Our eyes are dry – even the tears are not coming to free us from our pain.»

Um Raed, a mom and Syrian refugee at the Zaatari camp in Jordan, describes  the cold conditions she and her family are facing in the camp as winter sets in. But, with food, shelter and security, it’s better than where they came from, she says.


«It only takes a girl»  is an awesome and powerful video about the rights of girls.

According to Barber Conable, former President of World Bank, women are half the world’s population, yet they do two-thirds of the world’s work, earn one-tenth of the world’s income, and own less than one per cent of the world’s property. They are among the poorest of the world’s poor.

So, don’t you think it’s time to change that?

Wars of the future will be fought over water as they are over oil today, as the source of human survival enters the global marketplace and political arena.

Corporate giants, private investors, and corrupt governments vie for control of our dwindling supply, prompting protests, lawsuits, and revolutions from citizens fighting for the right to survive. Past civilizations have collapsed from poor water management. Can the human race survive?

Global Warming is an issue of ‘how’ we live, the water crisis is an issue of ‘if’ we live.

Watch the Award-winning featured documentary narrated by Malcolm McDowell

Bullied into suicide (VIDEO)

Posted: 17 Οκτωβρίου, 2012 in ink to think and action

Amanda Todd, a 15-year-old girl from Canada committed suicide  five weeks after she uploaded a video to YouTube describing years of bullying that drove her to drugs and alcohol.

In the 9-minute heartbreaking  video posted on Sept. 7, Amanda documents her personal hell in a series of handwritten notes that she held up to the camera.