Saturday, March 7, 2015

Playing in Pollution

Children living in dire circumstances. Get your tissues, you are sure to cry. From PBS News.

BY Ariel Min  February 12, 2015 at 1:30 PM EST
A girl plays with her brother as they search for usable items at junkyard near the Danyingone station in Yangon's suburbs in Myanmar in 2012. Photo by Damir Sagolj/Reuters
A girl plays with her brother as they search for usable items at junkyard near the Danyingone station 
in the suburbs of Yangon, Myanmar, in 2012. Photo by Damir Sagolj/Reuters

Worldwide, more than 340,000 children under age 5 died from diarrheal diseases in 2013 due to a lack
of safe water, sanitation and basic hygiene. That’s 1,000 deaths a day, according to the UN’s statistics.
What’s more, the No. 1 killer of children between the ages of one month to 5 years, pneumonia, can
also be spread through a lack of hygiene.
Although much improvement has been made in the past decade to aid children across the globe, there are still alarming numbers who do not have access to clean water, proper sanitation or even just a way to clean their hands — especially after coming in contact with waste and feces.

“A gram of feces can contain ten million viruses,” said Sanjay Wijesekera, Chief of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene, Programme Division at UNICEF. “Many diseases are transmitted by pathogens going from feces to food and fingers and so on, making children ill.”

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Inspiration and Hope via Turkish Soap Operas

For the past two summers I have traveled to a social home in Bulgaria to conduct painting and socialization programs. The children are seven to 17 years old. We arrive at the end of July when the weather is hot, so in the afternoons the children sit and watch Turkish soap operas on television. Sometimes they also watch shows from India, but the Turkish shows are very popular.

I had wondered what kind values the children would be learning from these shows, thinking of the torrid story lines we have in the US on daytime television dramas, but after learning of the following, I think I need not worry as much. It seems for many women these Turkish soap operas are an inspiration. To many women in the Balkans, as well as North Africa and the Middle East, these stories offer a momentary escape from lives of inequality and harassment and perhaps hope that in the future women's lot will improve.

From Al Jazeera, Kizmet: How Turkish Soap Operas Changed the World.