I read this article today, and it really upset me. So I wanted to share it.
This is what I came home to on Monday:
I’m sure you’ve seen the commercials…children with cleft palates and other facial deformities. As with similar commercials that tug at the heartstrings, sometimes it’s easier to change the channel than to sit through and watch it. But, the reality of it is still there. Aimee Cornell realizes this and is joining an organization that is taking action to help children with facial deformities. She’s going with Uplift Internationale, on their annual Operation Taghoy in the Philippines. Appropriately enough, “Taghoy” is a Philippine word for “whistle”!
- 1 of every 350 live births is estimated to be at risk of having a facial deformity, more than twice the incidence noted in developed countries
- Children born with a deformity do not always receive timely care and are at greater risk of frequent upper respiratory infections, hearing deficits, speech impediments, as well as misaligned teeth and jaws
- These facial deformities rob children of many things we take for granted, like the charm of a smile or the pleasure of a whistle
- Municipal hospitals, institutions mandated to provide care to the impoverished, are typically ill-funded, poorly equipped and understaffed so as to prioritize care to emergent before elective problems
- Less than 1/2 of the total hospital beds are located in rural communities where nearly 70% of the population resides
I’ve written and translated before regarding the case of Cristina Siekavizza. Today I came across another piece that I felt compelled to translate and share with everyone. I’d like this to be a companion piece to a future blog entry on violence against women in Latin American countries.
Wow, I can’t believe it’s been a year since I wrote a comprehensive summary (is it grammatically incorrect to put those two words next to each other? ) of the books I’ve read. I’ve mainly been avoiding this because I wanted to do a grandiose post on what I thought of each book, with quotes, summaries, deep thoughts, etc. I’m realizing that might never happen, so something is better than nothing.
- “Thirty years of nutritional advice have left us fatter, sicker, and more poorly nourished.”
- “…the processing of foods typically robs them of nutrients, vitamins especially.”
- “By breaking the links among local soils, local foods, and local peoples, the industrial food system disrupted the circular flow of nutrients through the food chain.”
- “Foods that lie to our senses are one of the most challenging features of the Western diet.”
- “…and Americans are consuming a diet that is at least half sugars in one form or another–calories providing virtually nothing but energy.”
- “It’s hard to believe that we’re getting everything we need from a diet consisting largely of processed corn, soybeans, rice, and wheat.”
- MY FAVORITE: “[y]ou now have to eat three apples to get the same amount of iron as you would have gotten from a single 1940 apple, and you’d have to eat several more slices of bread to get your recommended daily allowance of zinc than you would have a century ago.” INSANE (emphasis added).
- “It took Haiti 125 years to pay off the debt to France (estimated at a value of $21 billion today with interest and inflation calculated in), and the effects on the society were devastating.”
- “Iwas relieved to be back in the States, where the comforts and convenience and abundance overflowed. But at the same time, I felt nauseated.” A feeling that’s easily relatable for those who have traveled to similar places, I’m sure.
- “Normally, I planned out every detail of a business trip, complete with a typed agenda neatly placed in a folder.” I was just relieved to see that someone else does this.
- A topic Reuben and I have frequently discussed is religion, and how religion seems to be more abundant in poorer areas: “‘God is the first and last resource here. We feel God’s presence more and more, because there is nobody else some days who can sustain us to allow us to survive. It’s only God sometimes…Because the neighbor doesn’t have enough, the friend’s don’t have anything, so we’re praising God. God makes miracles. So we live by miracles, and as we live by miracles, we need faith. Our faith sustains us.'”
- “This led to the importing of heavily subsidized U.S. rice, which was cheaper than Haitian rice. After a few years, Haiti’s peasant farmers could not compete and most went out of business.”
- “Haiti is thethird-largest importer of rice from the U.S.–240,000 metric tons per year. Until the 1980s, Haiti was self-sufficient in rice production.” Crazystatistic.
- “Or maybe because I was discovering more and more how unfair the world is, how cruel it can be. The disparity between my life and the lives of everybody I met in Tiplas Kazo weighed on me all the time.”
- “[D]eveloping countries are littered with failed income-generation projects that have generated little more than loss and disappointment. While there has never been a lack of bright ideas and good intentions among aid agencies, there has too often been a surfeit of amateurism that, combined with money, can be deadly.”
- “It is a sad commentary on countries in Europe and North America that provide foreign aid with one hand–dispensed with lashings of advice about how poor countries must liberalize their economies and eschew subsidies–while simultaneously undercutting the world price of grain, dairy products,and other goods through generous subsidies to their own producers.”
- “Generally, increasing the average amount of education in the labor force by one year raises GDP by 9 percent, a statistic that holds for the first three years of education.”
- “‘The role of education in reducing absolute poverty is decisive. Many research studies…[have] concluded that rising levels of education in a society were often accompanied by a sharp decline in absolute poverty. When poverty levels were correlated with such variables as mean years of schooling, adult literacy, and gross enrollment rates, it was clearly established that absolute poverty declines as education increases.'”
- “‘More weight is still given to the crime of stealing a thing than to the crime of stealing a person.'”
- “…21% of Ghanian woman reported…that their sexual initiation was by rape; 17% of Nigerian women said that they had endured rape or attempted rape by the age of nineteen; and 21% of South African women reported that they had been raped by the age of fifteen.”
- “The United Nations Population Fund has estimated that there are 5,000 honor killings a year…”
- “‘It has probably become more dangerous to be a woman than a soldier in an armed conflict.'”
- “In just the Congolese province of South Kivu, the UN estimates that there were twenty-seven thousand (27,000) sexual assaults in 2006.”
- “One of the great failings of the American education system, in our view, is that young people can graduate from university without any understanding of poverty at home or abroad.”
- “The equivalent of five jumbo jets’ worth of women die in labor each day, but the issue is almost never covered…Some 99 percent of those deaths occur in poor countries.”
- “The World Bank estimated that for every one thousand girls who get one additional year of education, two fewer women will die in childbirth.”
- “‘Women are not dying because of untreatable diseases. They are dying because societies have yet to make the decision that their lives are worth saving.‘”
- “Another study suggested that it would cost an additional $9 billion a year to provide all effective interventions for maternal and newborn health to 95% of the world’s population…Suppose that the estimate of $9 billion per year is correct. It pales beside the $40 billion that the world spends annually on pet food…”
- “To deny women is to deprive a country of labor and talent, but–even worse– to undermine the drive to achievement of boys and men.”
- “If we believe firmly in certain values, such as the equality of all human beings regardless of color or gender, then we should not be afraid to stand up for them; it would be feckless to defer to slavery, torture, foot-binding, honor killings, or genital cutting just because we believe in respecting other faiths or cultures.”
Today, I got up early to stand in line at the DMV by 7:30 a.m. No matter how early you think is early enough for this mission, it never is. There was already a line of about 12 people in front of me. It’s ok though, I made it out by 8:30 a.m., license renewed, eye exam and photo taken. Not gonna lie, I was a little nervous about that eye exam…but they have really low standards, so I was fine (not sure how safe that makes me feel though).
First of all, it’s not what you think. I’m not suing anybody.
In the famous words of a local All Hands Volunteer, “today was a good day.”