On the night of 1 July 2016, at 21:20 local time five militants took hostages and opened fire on the Holey Artisan Bakery.
29 people were killed, including 20 hostages (18 foreigners and 2 locals), 2 police officers including the 5 gunmen.
The incident was the worst terrorist attack in Bangladesh’s history.
Following the incident the Deputy Country Director of Helen Keller International and San Antonio native, Carlo Nino discovered his friend and colleague Ms. Ishrat Akhond was among the fallen. In light of those events he contacted Farouk Hasan, a mutual friend and acquaintance of Ishrat’s and together they fashioned security doors from scratch in his workshop.
A patron of the arts Ms. Ishrat was a museum curator and was always surrounded by Bangladeshi luminaries, artists, poets and musicians. A fan of Leonard Cohen she had an infectious laugh and wanted happiness for everyone. A local rickshaw artist known in the area came forward and rendered the security doors in beautiful color representing many of the colorful landscapes Bangladesh has to offer. Her name was engraved on every door.
“It was my unspoken promise to Ishrat never to allow that to happen to our staff and colleagues.” Said Carlo Nino. “The gates made of steel and iron couldn’t possibly be stronger than the friendship she offered me and I won’t let her down. A part of me knows, heaven forbid, the moment of truth arrives… she’ll protect us. I really believe that.”
“I pass through those doors each day and I can’t help but look at her name and it reminds me of our commitments to protecting those we care about.”
Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
Government’s objective remains 1000 megawatts by 2017 to increase access to energy in Freetown, provincial headquarter cities and rural areas.
The call to action also reaches cross-boundary… yet another opportunity for ECOWAS cooperation. Countries mentioned were indeed Cote D’ Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea (CLSG) Project funded by the African Development Bank. The project will provide a 225 KV Transmission line across seven districts (Pujehun, Kenema Kono, Tonkolili, Bombali, Koinadugu and Kambia). The CLSG project will also encompass a rural electrification component from which, twenty-six (26) communities, including schools and health centres will be provided with electricity supply. Partners: Africa Sustainable Energy Association, Nigeria Alternative energy Consortium, Southern Africa Alternative Energy Association.
If you haven’t seen a cellphone charger using solar energy then you’ll find these pretty common in rural areas.
Partners: Africa Sustainable Energy Association, Nigeria Alternative energy Consortium, Southern Africa Alternative Energy Association
Survivors of Typhoon Haiyan need your help. But send money, not your hand-me-downs.
As a professional in the field of international aid and development I feel compelled to share some thoughts on the recent Philippines disaster.
There are several schools of thought when it comes to helping out. Some would argue that sending money outright to any developing country will merely be siphoned off by corrupt government officials or worse groups that would do harm to the local population or ourselves. Alternatively others aren’t so certain about which organization they can donate money to with any degree of fidelity lest it be spent on costly over heard or again be used inappropriately and simply wasted.
Slate magazine recently published an article which speaks to some of these concerns and the financial aid dilemma when it comes to assisting neighbors overseas.
Here’s what they have to say:
“Americans are exceptionally generous in the wake of an emergency. After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Americans donated more than $1.4 billion to relief and recovery efforts; they donated $1.6 billion after the 2004 South Asian tsunami. But often these very humane instincts—to help people after a massive disaster—result in inappropriate donations that can actually do much more harm than good.
“Dumping” goods into areas of need also puts local vendors out of business at a time when they need their businesses to recover most. Your son’s old Nikes may put a smile on the face of a child for an instant, but you’ve now undermined his father who sells shoes in the local market, and who is trying to regain his livelihood to help put that same child through school.”
The Conversation is Key.
Except from Gary Kilmer:
What is the primary way we human beings communicate our needs, experiences, preferences, hopes, fears, problems and solutions? It is through conversation — talking with each other. All of the modern technical marvels (email, tweets, blogs and all their kin) only facilitate that conversation. They do not replace it.
In this blog post I will relate my own experiences in using “the conversation” as a development tool in field projects in several countries.
Over the past 10 years, we have implemented 26 health projects around the world. The result? We have helped over 8.2 million mothers and 54.6 million children access better health care facilities #APHA13