Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Holidays!

"Dollarisation in Zimbabwe has brought back the good old days for some. The pictures taken yesterday show Xmas preps are in full gear in Mutare. Such scenes had long disappeared and had become long pipe dreams for most residents of Zimbabwe in the last few years." Regai Tsunga, ASAP's Country Director shared these photos today of Mutare, Zimbabwe's version of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.

Last year the holiday season in Zimbabwe was dismal for many with inflation of 400,000,000% gripping the country! It seems a lot has happened in a year. Even that terrible inflation is now under control. But the rural folks are still suffering.
ASAP has much to do and your help is greatly needed to help us continue our good work.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Obama Awards Zimbabwean Women

This evening President Obama presented the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award to Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA). ASAP congratulates WOZA and hopes this award will draw attention to the plight of all the women struggling to survive in Zimbabwe today - tenacious, hardworking women enduring unspeakable hardships to provide for their families.

It was the first time in the award’s 24-year history that Senator Kennedy did not present the honor in memory of his brother. “Ted knew that Bobby’s legacy wasn’t a devotion to one particular cause, or a faith in a certain ideology — but rather, a sensibility,” Mr. Obama said. “A belief that in this world, there is right and there is wrong, and it is our job to build our laws and our lives around recognizing the difference.”

Click here to read more about the ceremony.

Click here to read more about ASAP's work to empower rural women in Zimbabwe during these tremendous times of hardship.

Monday, November 16, 2009

ASAP Africa photo is a winner!

Congratulations to Kirsten Sorenson for creating the award winning poster using this photo, taken by ASAP Africa in rural Zimbabwe.
The poster was created to promote the 20th Annual Cascade Festival of African Films in Celebration of Black History Month at Portland Community College Cascade Campus in Oregon. To read more about the festival click here.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The New Wave of Farming in Africa

As we plan our Organic Fertilizer Project at ASAP Malawi, I came across this interesting story.

ILA GORONGOSA, MOZAMBIQUE - When he started tending this field, not long after the end of his country's long civil war in 1992, Joao Jongue's neighbors thought he was foolish, even crazy.

He didn't burn the cornstalks at the end of the season, but left them on the earth to rot. He mixed tomatoes and peanuts in with the corn. When mice started eating the decomposing vegetables, rather than clear the field, he brought in cats.

"My partner, he didn't agree with this sort of farming," says Mr. Jongue, smiling in the shade of his wide-brimmed straw hat. "So I did it myself."

Now, 15 years later, the soil of Jongue's machamba (small field), is still moist brown, and the corn reaches toward the cobalt-blue sky. His neighbor's plot is dusty and red, but Jongue's yields are still large enough that he can sell half of his crop at the outdoor market in this sunny, brightly painted town. Meanwhile, representatives of international development projects are coming to visit – asking how, in this overly farmed region, he's had such success.

Jongue's plot is a model of what many local aid projects would like to repeat across this region: organic farming, African style.

For many Americans, the idea of "organic food" is connected with high-end grocery stores. But here, "organic" has a different face. A growing number of development experts, as well as local agriculturalists, see organic farming as a way to achieve food security and slow deforestation – two big challenges in rural sub-Saharan Africa.

(The above article was written by Stephanie Hanes of the Christian Science Monitor)

Monday, November 09, 2009

No ban on Zimbabwean diamonds

Zimbabwe is not suspended as was proposed, a joint work plan was adopted by this plenary meeting, said outgoing chair of the Kimberley Process (KP) and Namibian deputy mining minister Bernard Esau on Thursday.

Click here
for more details.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

24 HOURS LEFT TO ACT: Ban Zimbabwe Blood Diamonds – AVAAZ Petition

Lobbying group AVAAZ are calling on people to sign a petition that they can deliver to diamond regulators meeting in Namibia this week. We have only 24 hours to gather as many signatures as possible. Please sign the petition and then use the AVAAZ tool on their website to send the petition link to as many of your friends and relatives as possible. The diamond regulators meeting in Namibia this week will decide whether to suspend Zimbabwe and stop Zimbabwe from selling blood diamonds on the world market.
Click here to sign the petition
Click here to read more

Monday, November 02, 2009

DRC President Visits Zimbabwe in Regional Mediation Effort

Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) President Joseph Kabila is in Harare today, where he is expected to try to mend the widening cracks in Zimbabwe's unity government. To read more click here.