Thursday, October 23, 2008

ASAP Invited to Teach Africa

Saturday, November 8th, social studies and language arts educators from all over the state of Georgia are set to enhance their knowledge of global issues, and ASAP Africa has been invited to speak concerning their expertise. Elizabeth will be speaking on behalf of ASAP Africa and could not be more excited to do so. The Teach Africa conference will be presented in association with the Africa Society of the National Summit on Africa and the Discovery Channel Global Education Partnership, with funding coming from the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Educators will be enlightened in advanced techniques for teaching Africa in the classroom, a territory that is still largely untouched, even after elementary school.

ASAP will be among international delegates including Faida Mitifu, Ambassador from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Edith Ssempala, Acting Senior Vice President for External Affairs, the World Bank and former Ambassador of Uganda to the US, who are opening the conference. The day will be filled with cultural enrichment events in the areas of geography, history, government, health and more, which will enable these teachers to inform students of the opportunity and optimism seen in Africa today, rather than the desolate stereotype many believe as truth. The theme of the program is “Africa in Transition”, which is also a theme at the core of ASAP’s work. All of the ASAP staff is enthused by this invitation which shows that we have many allies in our fight to end poverty.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day 2008- Blog Against Poverty

October 15th has been dubbed blog action day by the internet community. The topic about which to blog varies by year, and ASAP decided to get involved when we found out we’d be writing against poverty in 2008.

It’s not that posting a paragraph defining poverty and pitying the developing world will change anything overnight; it’s the inspiration that will be presented in reaction to millions speaking out against social issues most of us cannot comprehend. It is the fact that we are using the technology many take for granted to inform or educate the masses and perhaps open minds to a world they’ve never seen.

Living on $2 or less a day is not the beginning or end to poverty. One must ask why so many people are indeed living this frivolously, and then decide how to change it. Looking at statistics, 3.8 billion people out of the 6.5 billion in the world are surviving in moderate to extreme poverty. This is a reality that many look at and decide is too large to overcome. In short, however, poverty cannot be characterized as the lack of funds, only as the lack of access to funds and necessities to life such as water, shelter, and health care. For the developed world to act and problem solve we need to first recognize that poverty can not be fixed by giving money to those in need. We must help others help themselves through education, inform those of simple business practices, teach them to protect themselves against disease, and make sure that the developed half of the world has not written off the half that is full of opportunity and untapped success. Once single mothers previously uninformed of how to even go about making and saving money are taught to use their intrinsic skills to start small businesses, one family is lifted out of poverty. Her children are now able to drink clean water, eat healthy meals, even attend schools to develop their own minds and never be forced to live on $2 a day again.

Simply stated, this blog did not solve poverty, but there are organizations working to educate men, women and children and assist in acquiring sustainability. Thanks to blog action day, the word is getting out and it will not be long until the figure of 3.8 billion has rapidly shrunk.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Malawi drops HIV cash hand-outs

According to an article in the BBC, Malawi civil servants with HIV, who used to receive an extra $35 a month to help them buy more food, are now to get a food handout instead. Malawi is one of the countries worst affected by HIV/AIDS, with 7% of the 13million population affected.

To read the article click here.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Good Karma Coffee

ASAP is incredibly enthused to report updates of recent events. In conjunction with students at Olivette Nazarene University that are working with the SIFE program, ASAP is closer than ever to launching the Good Karma Coffee Project.

SIFE, Students in Free Enterprise, is an organization which holds competitions for university students eager to use their business and economic knowledge for the betterment of the world. Students work in teams and create and implement business models in areas with little industry to prove that their ideas are practical and effective, and can preserve cultural heritage while bringing societies into the 21st century.

ONU students are looking at the financial aspects of Good Karma Coffee and working vigorously to ensure the program’s functionality. Once the programs business aspects are finalized ASAP will begin working with small but optimistic coffee farms in Central and Southern Africa. The coffee will be grown naturally without fertilizers and sold at a fair price. The Good Karma Coffee project aims to teach men and women alike business practices and improve situations for the present and for generations to come.