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Sep-18-2010 22:34printcomments

Africa: Faces in Words

New weekly update on the breaking stories in the African nations.

Faces of Africa

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - Unseen, unheard; no one should be the bearer of these two words. Unfortunately, Africa is often in the forefront of this association.

Our common humanity should change this; we should never look away because it is too distant. Our commitment to one another, to human rights, and the ability to learn should always keep us connected no matter the severity and complexity of problems.

Important insights from last week, not to be missed:

Widespread Human Rights Abuses Reported Worldwide as UN Council Opens - The U.N. Human Rights Council began a three-week session Monday amid reports of widespread human rights violations around the world and escalating threats against human rights defenders. Human Rights Abuses Reported as UN Council Opens - Voice of Africa

Report: Many Internally Displaced Children Recruited as Soldiers - A new report finds internally displaced children are at high risk of being recruited as child soldiers. The report, prepared for the U.N. Human Rights Council, describes the abuses and injustices experienced by hundreds of thousands of children caught in armed conflict. Internally Displaced Children Recruited as Soldiers - Voice of Africa

Nigeria: Poor Surveillance Helps Spread Cholera - Poor diagnostics and weak surveillance are hampering government efforts to stem cholera in Nigeria says a government health worker. The disease is most severe in the north; as of 8 September 781 people have died and 13,000 cases were reported. Onyebuchi Chukwu, Nigeria's health minister, said Katsina State in northern Nigeria had the highest number of cases - 3,310 infections and 175 deaths. Poor Surveillance Helps Spread Cholera in Nigeria - AllAfrica.com

Boy earns 1 cent a goat in slaughter trade - Eight-year-old Boku knows there is a trick to moving a goat from the market to the slaughterhouse. He knows you must grab behind both ears and pull. After two years on the job he has learned the hard way. Mohammed Hassan, his five-year-old brother, hasn't quite got the knack of it yet. Still, they are thankful they have a job. One Cent a Goat in Slaughter Trade - cnn.com

Ghana: Nation Set to Eradicate Extreme Poverty, Says Study - Ghana is well on the way to meeting the Millennium Development Goal target of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger by 2015, according to a study by Britain's Overseas Development Institute. Gana Nation Set to Eradicate Extreme Poverty - AllAfrica.com

Exiled for life in Somali camp - Dadaab, in north-eastern Kenya, is the world's biggest refugee camp, home to 260,000 people. It was built in 1991 for Somalis fleeing the fighting that erupted with the collapse of Siad Barre's military regime. 19 years on, conflict is still raging and Somalis continue to seek safety there. One of the earliest camp arrivals, Mohamed Nur Hajin, tells the BBC about his life in exile: We fled our home in 1991, when the fighting first broke out. Exiled for life in Somali camp - MedeshiValley.com

Zimbabwe: Gukurahundi Finally Classified As Genocide By Leading Experts - The Gukurahundi massacres that saw tens of thousands of innocent Zimbabweans killed by soldiers loyal to the Mugabe regime in the mid eighties, were on Thursday classified as genocide by the internationally recognized group Genocide Watch. Gukurahundi Classified As Genocide - AllAfrica.com

Malawi: Women Leading the Way on Water and Sanitation Management - It is mid-morning and the workday is underway. People are moving in all directions, going about their daily chores. But it is mostly women who move the fastest, many of them carrying water through the impoverished and overcrowded streets. Women Leaders in Water and Sanitation Management - AllAfrica.com

Flooding in Chad affects 150,000 people, including refugees - Flooding in Chad over the past two months has affected close to 150,000 people, including 70,000 who have become homeless because their homes were destroyed. Refugees sheltering in south and south-east Chad have been hard hit by the flooding and the heaviest rains to affect the country in 40 years. Humanitarian access to affected areas across Chad remains a challenge due to destroyed roads and bridges in areas where populations are in need of help. 150,000 people in Chad Affected b Flooding - alertnet.org

West Africa: Hershey Chocolate Linked to Child Labor - Hershey, one of the largest chocolate manufacturers in the U.S., is lagging behind other companies in taking steps to ensure decent working conditions in its supply chain, charges a new report. Hershey Chocolate Linked to Child Labor in - AllAfrica.com

Alysha Atma spends many hours working on projects that support and benefit the beleaguered people of African nations who spend way too much time off the western media's radar. This writer explains that she is a culmination of all her experiences, most importantly knowledge she says, and all that she still needs to learn; lessons of love, laughter and the extraordinary giving of both young and old. She says she has the enormous fortune of learning from the best; every person around her, and the amazing strength and fortitude of those she has never met but will always strive to listen to. "I continue to work and write because I believe in the power of community and the power of one, both contradictory to each other and yet can move together in a very powerful way. I feel a responsibility to use my place, freedoms and connections here in the US to stand up and yell for those who need my voice and actions. I have seen such strength in my fellow humans that I cannot even begin to comprehend, they have traveled distances, have gone without food, water, shelter and safety for days and weeks at a time. I have a responsibility as a fellow human to put our common humanity before anything else. Everyone deserves to look towards tomorrow, to dream of a safe future and to have a peaceful present." You can write to Alysha Atma at: alysha.atma@gmail.com

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