Toddlers at the celebrations in Swellendam,Western Cape province, get stuck intoopening their gifts.(Image: Santa Shoebox) Thousands of pairs of willing hands havepacked Santa Shoeboxes according to aset of guidelines, and with more than adash of love and care, for South Africa’sneedy children this Christmas.(Image: Fiona McRae)MEDIA CONTACTS • Janie van der SpuyFivestar PR+27 21 462 1677Fiona McRaeThanks to an innovative community project, some of South Africa’s underprivileged children will be able to experience the joy of Christmas.In a heart-warming display of the festive season spirit of caring and sharing, a plethora of presents and a whole lot of love have been carefully packed into shoeboxes to provide almost 32 000 needy children with a gift this Christmas.The Santa Shoebox Project was established in Cape Town in 2006 by Dee Boehner, director of the public benefit organisation then known as From the Children, To the Children.The organisation has since changed its name to the Kidz2Kidz Trust, but its principle of providing privileged children with an opportunity to do something for their not-so-fortunate peers, thereby teaching them the importance and the joy of giving, remains the same.The project’s first outing five Christmases ago saw 180 personalised gift boxes pledged, packed and delivered for distribution to needy youngsters. The following year’s total reflected a strong growth to 2 000 boxes, which burgeoned to more than 8 000 in 2008.Last year’s donations grew even more to see Santa’s bags at collection points around the country stuffed with more than 16 000 beautifully decorated shoeboxes, which were distributed to more than 200 children’s homes, childcare facilities and places of safety.The target for 2010 was initially set at 16 000 boxes but strong support saw this figure revised upwards to 28 000.In a thrilling indication of how the project has captured the imagination of a caring nation, a phenomenal 31 663 boxes were eventually pledged and have been dropped off at the 15 collection points around the country.This year, for the first time, the project is also extending into neighbouring Namibia, with a collection point in Windhoek.Spreading the spiritOne of those who took part this year for the first time was Lauren Collier of Port Elizabeth. She heard of the initiative from friends in Cape Town who had previously supported it.While Collier was wondering how she would be able to get her box to one of the drop-off points in the Mother City, she learnt that the project was coming to Port Elizabeth this year for the first time thanks to the initiative of local co-ordinator Kim Keen. After also learning of the venture while on a visit to Cape Town, Keen was determined to see it implemented in her home city.And the response has “completely blown me away”, she says.She started her planning with a very conservative and, she hoped, reachable target of 150 boxes. Within a week of online pledges opening nationally on 1 September, all of these Port Elizabeth boxes had been snapped up and Keen was inundated with calls from would-be donors eager to deliver.As word of the project spread rapidly, local pledges kept pouring in until there were 1 125 boxes, enabling Keen to increase the initial list of four beneficiary facilities in Port Elizabeth to 18. Supporters even drove in from the neighbouring centres of Grahamstown and Port Alfred, more than 100km away, to drop off their boxes, she says.But it did not end there. East London, some 300km further up the Eastern Cape coast, got wind of the project and collected 60 boxes for its needy children – despite having no official co-ordinator. Keen roped her mother, a Buffalo City resident, in to help. “She didn’t know what had hit her,” she laughs.Another Eastern Cape town, the surfing mecca of Jeffreys Bay, collected 70 boxes, while a supporter from George, on the Garden Route, approached Keen to volunteer as co-ordinator for next year, to see the project also implemented there.An easy way to contributeBut what is it about this particular project that has caused an interested South African public to so generously open their hearts, and their wallets, for the country’s children?“I always like to do something for those less fortunate at Christmas, and this seemed an ideal way to contribute,” says 23-year-old Collier, who has just completed her studies as a primary school teacher.What especially appealed to her were the very clear guidelines for packing a box, which she found on the project’s website“This makes it so much easier than trying to figure out what is appropriate to give – and all the children at any one facility then get more or less the same sort of things, making sure no one is disappointed when they open their box.”Another aspect that appealed to Collier was the personalised gift-giving. Project supporters can select the age and gender of the child (or children) for whom the box is intended, and receive a gift label with the child’s name to be attached to it. They also know the organisation through which the child will be reached.Keen agrees that this is one of the project’s most appealing aspects – that supporters can know exactly where their donations will be going and who will benefit. However, generic boxes are accepted when the number of boxes donated exceeds the number of children whose names have been provided by the beneficiary organisations.The project, on its website, explains that many people want to contribute to their community or do their bit for charity, but often do not know where to start.“The Santa Shoebox Project takes pride in channelling all that positive energy and goodwill into something that is credible, achievable, makes a real difference in a specific child’s life and leaves the donors feeling really good about themselves,” it says.Gift guidelinesThe website indicates a list of items that must be packed into each box – and those to be avoided. Boxes are required to contain a toothbrush and toothpaste, soap and a facecloth, an item of clothing, educational supplies, sweets and a toy. This carefully thought-out list ensures the child gets something to use, to wear, to do, to eat and to love.Gift ideas for each category are provided, with further ideas for boxes for babies and teenagers. All gifts must be new and age-appropriate. The organisation also warns of items which should not be packed into the box, such as fragile objects, electronics, medicines or violence-related toys such as guns or soldiers.Creativity is encouraged in both gift selection and decorating of the boxes, which can then become special keepsake boxes for the children – many of whom might never previously have had anything they could claim as exclusively their own.Volunteers at the designated drop-off points receive the boxes for distribution – this year to about 350 child-care facilities throughout the country, usually at Joy of Giving celebration parties.And Keen found plenty of local businesses only too happy to come to the party this year – all of Port Elizabeth’s celebration events have been sponsored by local companies, further enhancing the children’s Christmas experience.For her, being involved in “this amazing project” has been a humbling experience, Keen says. “It has been absolutely fantastic to realise how many genuine, caring and wonderful people filled with humanity there are out there.”And she has indeed seen the joy that both giving and receiving can bring. “Parents have really encouraged their children to get involved and make this project their own,” she says. “So youngsters have arrived beaming and proudly bearing their boxes – to be given to ‘a little boy’ or ‘a little girl … just like me’.”And the excitement and joy that opening a box holds for the receiver are something to behold, she says. “We had one young boy of about 10 who nearly went into orbit with delight when he unpacked his box to find a really cool Ben 10 t-shirt inside.”So, while it might not yet be the night before Christmas, Santa’s ever-growing band of helpers is already out there, hard at work delivering the goods.Swellendam Santashoebox Celebrations
14 May 2014 Construction work has begun on a R60-million multi-purpose training and development centre at the Agricultural Research Council in Roodeplaat, Pretoria. The facility will boost the government’s drive to reinvigorate black commercial farming in the country. Speaking to SAnews after the sod-turning ceremony on Tuesday, Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti said the objective was “to rekindle that class of commercial farmers destroyed by the Native Land Act.” The event coincided with the handing over of certificates to 2 000 graduates who successfully completed a programme in vegetable and livestock production at the Roodeplaat training facility. According to Nkwinti, the new facility will complement the department’s flagship programme for young South Africans, the National Rural Youth Service Corps (Narysec). The Narysec was established in Thaba Nchu in the Free State in 2010 to give young people in rural areas the skills they needed either to find employment or to start their own businesses. More than 14 000 people are enrolled in Narysec. “We are creating a class of black people who are going to run the country’s economy over the next decade,” Nkwinti said. “It will actually anchor them, because scientific training will be done here. They will go to Thaba Nchu to implement the theoretical part they have learnt at the new facility.” Nkwinti said the biggest challenge facing South Africa was the threat to food security. “We don’t seem to appreciate the challenge because we can go to the market and buy whatever food we want to eat. However, there are many people who cannot afford it. I’m talking about people who go to bed without having a meal. “We need to produce young farmers who can grow vegetables, produce meat, and those who can also look after the environment to ensure that the environment around us can carry us through the next 100 years. “Again, if we continue to import food that we can also produce ourselves – then it means we will be exposing ourselves to a serious challenge of food security for the next 50 years. As [the] government, we want to reverse this,” he said. The centre will be built through a partnership between the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform and the Agricultural Research Council (ARC). Council CEO Shadrack Moephuli said: “As the ARC, we do research and development for new scientific solutions and technologies. Part of our challenge is finding the best ways in which we can deliver these technologies, the information and the data to the people who are going to use it. “We saw it appropriate that we contribute towards the success of agriculture, particularly land reform,” Moephuli said. “We will provide them with the training so that they can be productive themselves, understand the use of technology, how to respond to the needs of consumers, but also how to ensure to identify the diseases at their respective farms and solve the problems on their own.” Source: SAnews.gov.za
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Suzie McMullen of Pickerington has been named Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s organization director for Fairfield, Hocking, Perry, Pickaway and Ross counties. In her position, she will be a liaison between the county Farm Bureaus and Ohio Farm Bureau. She will assist county groups with program development and implementation and enhance their ability to serve members and affect positive change in their communities.Previously, McMullen was a sales representative for Dow AgroSciences and an intern for Ohio Farm Bureau Executive Vice President Jack Fisher.She graduated from Ohio State University in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture education and minor in production agriculture. She was named a top 20 senior in Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
This is “Cinematic Atmospheres.” A collection of over 80 extremely versatile music textures and sounds for your films and editing.Finding music is easy (especially when you have a PremiumBeat account, wink wink). What can be a lot more difficult is finding the right tones and sounds to fill the spaces in between. Sometimes you just need a little bit of an emotional tone or texture to give your quieter moments more depth.Sometimes, you want to score your film with just emotional tones and sounds that give your scenes more weight without being overly distracting. Well, if you’ve ever run into this problem, then this collection is for you.This is an extremely dense collection that, frankly, we shouldn’t be giving away for free. “Cinematic Atmospheres” includes over 80 sound files that you can layer and use and extend in ways that will allow you to completely score your project with lush emotional sounds and tones that will bring your audience to the edges of their seats.These five suites offer 80+ free cinematic sounds.Download ALL 5 Genres and StylesThis collection is so large we had to split it into 5 different downloads. Each download contains a different style and sound for a different feel or genre. Each download includes a fully mixed file and the samples we used to create it. On top of that, you’ll find loops, so you can extend and control the tones and sounds the way that you like them for as long as you want. Everything is fully controllable and customizable.With this sound collection, you can make your own scores.These sound files are free to use in any personal or commercial projects. By downloading, you agree not to resell or redistribute these free assets. The “Beach Sunrise” suite is for all your heartwarming, beautiful sound needs.Suite 1 — Beach SunriseHopeful/BeautifulThis suite is the perfect complement to a beautiful moment. A hopeful sound. The sun rising, nature, slow-motion footage, stunning drone shots — this sound is perfect for those moments that you can’t quite put into words.Included: 1 Fully Mixed Track, 8 Loops, 8 SamplesDOWNLOAD Beach SunriseThe Endless suite is for ambiguous or mysterious situations.Suite 2 — EndlessHeavy/EmotionalThis suite is for moments with emotionally ambiguous tones. These are scenes and shots that you want to put some weight behind, without feeling particularly sad or happy — just important. This suite is for the important moments when you want to make sure your audience is paying attention.Included: 1 Fully Mixed Track, 8 Loops, 8 SamplesDOWNLOAD EndlessFuture Rain offers the sounds of dystopia.Suite 3 — Future RainDystopian/Sci-FiThis suite is the sound that you want for your Blade Runner-style dystopias. It has dense textures and a melancholy and hopeless feel. Like an empty and abandoned city. There are many layers and tones to choose from and build the perfect sound.Included: 1 Fully Mixed Track, 8 Loops, 8 SamplesDOWNLOAD Future RainThe Serial suite is for those moments when you want the audience to know something’s about to happen.Suite 4 — SerialDark/OminousThis is the type of tone you want when you want your audience to feel uncomfortable, or like something is lurking in the distance. Something is about to happen. Uncertainty. This suite has everything you need to create a Fincher-esque moment of dread and make your audience wish, if only for a moment, that they weren’t about the see what’s going to happen.Included: 1 Fully Mixed Track, 8 Loops, 8 SamplesDOWNLOAD SerialThe Stitches sound suite is pure horror.Suite 5 — StitchesHorror/GhostlyThis suite of sounds is pure horror. You use these sounds when you have a jump scare right around the corner. You can use these sounds when you have a murderer lurking in the shadows or a passive ghost floating in the distance. This portion of the collection in particular yields interesting results with you mix it with the other portions. You can get some really creepy and asynchronous tones.Included: 1 Fully Mixed Track, 9 Loops, 9 SamplesDOWNLOAD StitchesHow to Use This CollectionSo, once you’ve downloaded all these files, how do you use them?Well, the way to break it down is that there are Full Tracks, Loops, and Samples.Full TracksThis is pretty self explanatory, but these tracks are fully mixed, curated, and ready to go. You can just cut them to the length that you need and work them into your edit, and you’re ready to go.LoopsThe loops allow you to mix and create your own versions of the full track — but at the length and with the customization you want. For instance, if you want one part of the track to play for an extended period of time, and then eventually have everything swell up in a particular moment, the loops are the best tools for the job. Here, you can create your own score.SamplesThe samples are one-hit sounds that you can just throw in at your own discretion. These sounds all stand on their own perfectly well, and you can really use them however you like. They are the sounds from the loops, just non-looping. With these, you can just quickly add a little touch of sound here and there.Looking for more free video production assets? Check these out.51 FREE Eye-Catching Accent Animation Motion Graphics21 FREE Hand-Painted Brush Stroke Motion Graphics191 Free Motion Graphics, Sound Effects, Action Elements, and More17 Free Anamorphic Lens Flares for Your Videos and Motion Graphics15 FREE Lower Thirds for Your Next Project in Premiere ProNeed more music and sound elements? Check these sources too:Free Music on PremiumBeatOnline Music Subscription on Shutterstock Music
Aug 31 • iPhone XR vs. iPhone 8 Plus: Which iPhone should you buy? Post a comment 19 Photos Tim Cook Apple Tim Cook says Apple isn’t a monopoly. CNBC Apple CEO Tim Cook says he’s tired of the perception that all tech companies are cut from the same cloth, especially from vocal figures in Washington who have called for his company to be broken up.”I’m frustrated that tech is painted as monolithic. Tech is not monolithic,” Cook said Monday during an interview with CNBC, comparing the idea to the notion that all restaurants are alike. The suggestion that tech giants need to be broken up was floated by Sen. Elizabeth Warren in March. The Democratic presidential candidate said tech companies such as Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook have too much influence over our lives and would like to see them broken up.In Apple’s case, Warren says Apple’s App Store gives the company too much of a competitive advantage.”Apple, you’ve got to break it apart from their App Store. It’s got to be one or the other,” Warren said. “Either they run the platform or they play in the store.”Cook, unsurprisingly, doesn’t see things the way Warren does.”I don’t think anybody would call us a monopoly,” Cook said. “We’re geographically in the same location as a lot of tech companies, and that is about the extent of the commonality.”Warren sees tech companies gaining too much power over the economy, society and democracy. She’s also suggested passing laws that prevent large e-commerce platforms (with global annual revenue of $25 billion or more) from owning both the platform and any sellers on it.”They’ve bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit, and tilted the playing field against everyone else,” she wrote in a blog post about the tech titans. “And in the process, they have hurt small businesses and stifled innovation.”During his CNBC interview, Cook also sought to distance his company from the waves of data privacy scandals that have flowed through the tech community. “We don’t traffic in your data,” he said, defending how the company curates its platform. “We’ve always curated … we don’t get wrapped up in a pretzel about saying, ‘No, that doesn’t go on our platform, no that app doesn’t work, and therefore it’s not going in the App Store,'” he said. “I know that that has opened us for criticism.”But it’s a part of being a shop owner or whatever. If you own the shop on the corner, you decide what goes in your store.” 18 Apple products that changed the world Tags Apple Tech Industry Politics Aug 31 • Best places to sell your used electronics in 2019 Share your voice • 0 Aug 31 • iPhone 11, Apple Watch 5 and more: The final rumors reading • Tim Cook says keep Apple out of tech breakup talk Aug 31 • Your phone screen is gross. Here’s how to clean it See All
Map of SylhetTwo unidentified young men crushed to death under the wheels of a train at Sylhet railway station on Saturday night.The age of the youths is around 20 years, said Jahangir Alam, officer-in-charge of Sylhet GRP police station, reports UNB.The duo fell down while trying to board Dhaka-bound ‘Upoban Express’ around 10:00pm while it was leaving the platform and crushed to death under the train’s wheels.The victims used to push rickshaws on the Keane Bridge area in the city, the OC added.
jahangirnagar universityA faction of Jahangirnagar University teachers on Monday staged a token ‘sit-in’ programme in front of vice chancellor’s office demanding academic council election for unelected and date-expired posts, reports UNB.The teachers under the banner of ‘Shommilito Shikkhak Shomaj’ also demanded the election of Jahangirnagar University Central Students’ Union (JUCSU) after ensuring congenial atmosphere on the campus.They took up positions in front of the VC’s office at 11am and staged the ‘sit-in’ until 1pm.Leader of the anti-VC alliance, professor Kamrul Ahsan said, “According to the university act, VC is compelled to hold elections of different unelected posts. VC professor Farzana Islam earlier decided to hold the elections within 6 May after discussing with the authorities. But, now she is delaying process by showing cause of her sicknesses.”Addressing the function, convener of the teachers’ unity and president of Jahangirnagar University Teachers’ Association (JUTA) professor Ajit Kumar Majumder said they want that the university authority would ensure the congenial democratic atmosphere on the campus and would follow the university acts.”We are not demanding the resignation of JU VC,” he added.Professor Jamal Uddin Runu, JUTA secretary professor Sohel Rana, professor Shamsul Alam Selim, professor Koushik Saha, professor Farid Ahmed, professor Khabir Uddin, professor Kamrul Ahsan and professor Mafruhi Satter, among others, spoke at the programme.Another faction of teachers backed by the VC – ‘Bangabandhur Adarsher Shikkhak Parishad’, termed the demands as inhuman and illogical.JU VC professor Farzana Islam has been on leave since 6 March due to illness.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi waves to the crowd as he arrives in Medininagar on 5 January 2019, during a campaign sweep through Jharkhand state to inaugurate development projects. Photo: AFPIndia prime minister Narendra Modi’s government announced plans Monday to set aside a quota of government jobs for poorer members of India’s upper caste, months before what looks set to be a challenging re-election bid.India already “reserves” jobs for impoverished and disadvantaged lower castes for civil service jobs and college places, but this has caused resentment among other communities, who say it is unfair and freezes them out.Modi’s plans would help households with an annual income of less than $11,000, the Press Trust of India news agency reported. The change would require a change to the constitution, which caps the number of reserved jobs and college places at 50 per cent.The plans were approved by Modi’s cabinet on Monday. They require approval from both houses of parliament.Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) swept to power in 2014, but late last year it suffered painful defeats in three key state elections to the opposition Congress party led by Rahul Gandhi, scion of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty.Abhishek Singhvi, a Congress spokesman, said on Twitter that the latest move was an “election gimmick” and “proof positive” of Modi’s “fear” of losing power in the vote, which is due to take place by May.Caste-based quotas are meant to provide equal opportunities for India’s poorest and most marginalised groups. Nearly one in four Indians still lives on less than $1.25 a day.Demands for quotas for highly sought-after government jobs and university places have escalated in recent years as unemployment has risen and conditions in rural areas have worsened.In 2016 at least 10 people were killed when thousands of Patidars, a relatively well-off caste of farmers and traders, took to the streets in the western state of Gujarat to demand they be included in those quotas.Similar protests by upper caste groups have been witnessed in other states including Maharashtra and Haryana.
Share Currently, a federal injunction is keeping TPS in effect for people from El Salvador and Haiti, but not Honduras. Those three countries make up 94% of immigrants with these protections. If parents can’t stay in the United States legally, some will leave their families and return to their home countries, according to the report’s author Nicole Svajlenka.“We know that separating children from their families has a lot of repercussions ranging from emotional distress to economic turmoil and all of these are really lasting for young children’s development,” said Svajlenka.She said other parents may opt to stay in the country illegally and could be deported at any time, which would also cause emotional stress for children. Svajlenka also said Texas children have the most to lose if TPS is ended.“Texas is actually the state with the largest number of US citizen children that would be impacted,” she said.TPS has allowed hundreds of thousands of people escaping natural disasters or conflict to work and live legally in the United States for decades. TPS holders from El Salvador, Honduras and Haiti have lived in the United States an average of 22 years. More than half of the 49,000 TPS holders living in Texas from those three countries live in the Houston area. X Listen Photo courtesy of Teodoro Aguiluz (CRECEN)Joel Gómez (right), with the Center of Central American Resources (known as CRECEN by its acronym in Spanish), assists Martir Velasquez (left) with his paperwork to re-register as a recipient of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS).A total of 49,000 Texas children have a parent with Temporary Protected Status from El Salvador, Honduras or Haiti, according to a study by the Center for American Progress.The parents of those children could lose their immigration status if federal courts side with the Trump administration’s decision to end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for the vast majority of those protected. 00:00 /00:59 To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:
The Baltimore City branch of the NAACP is regrouping with a new agenda and new leadership. The local branch will host a delegation of the city’s civil rights organizations in a meeting with new Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa next week and has announced a comprehensive economic inclusion agenda in cooperation with the organization’s national headquarters.“We’re taking the lead in bringing local civil rights organizations to a meeting on the 16th of this month. We’re going to be talking about his conversation around plain clothes units. We’re going to be talking about the consent decree,” said Anthony McCarthy, newly appointed executive director of the Baltimore branch.Anthony McCarthy, newly appointed executive director of the Baltimore branch.“The Baltimore NAACP, The National Action Network and the Urban League all plan to be intimately involved in moving forward with the implementation of the consent decree,” said McCarthy, who is a former spokesperson for Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh. McCarthy also served in the administrations of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Mayor Sheila Dixon. In addition, he is a former editor with the AFRO.McCarthy was appointed executive director by the chapter’s executive committee in January. Ronald Flamer became president of the Baltimore NAACP after the controversial departure of long-time president Tessa Hill-Aston last Fall.Flamer believes the reinstatement of the executive director’s role will strengthen the chapter and return the Baltimore branch to its core advocacy work with an increasingly complex local civil rights agenda, which includes the Baltimore Police Department’s (BPD) consent decree and continuing the work of moving Baltimore’s economic, educational and public policy agendas forward.“We are excited to have someone of Anthony’s caliber take on this leadership position with the Baltimore City NAACP. He has a strong history of social justice advocacy and brings decades of experience in public service and media to the job,” Flamer said.The Baltimore branch will take the lead in connecting with city government on recommendations in the NAACP’s 2018 Economic Inclusion Plan for Baltimore released Feb. 6 jointly with the organization’s national office and Maryland State Conference.Specific recommendations for jump starting economic viability in Baltimore include vacant land transfer to community land trusts and a local government-enforced crackdown on predatory lending practices that continue to negatively impact home ownership for African-Americans in Baltimore, according to the report.“We now look forward to utilizing these strategies for economic inclusion in our work with the community to truly make a difference,” said Edsel Brown, economic chair, NAACP Maryland State Conference.Collaboration is a key theme for both the Baltimore Branch and the NAACP national office this year. The national headquarters recently experienced a shake-up in 2017 as well, dismissing Cornell Williams Brooks in the spring and replacing him with Derrick Johnson in Aug. 2017.Johnson quickly kicked off a “listening tour” in several cities, including Baltimore, amid the city branch’s turmoil and ultimate change in leadership. The listening tour served as the impetus for the Economic Inclusion report.Finally, McCarthy said the local chapter has adopted a legislative agenda and plans to issue support letters on issues ranging from legislation in support of the city’s two HBCU’s (Coppin State and Morgan State Universities) to HB-687, proposed by State Delegate Antonio Haynes requiring security services at Baltimore’s senior housing sites.The Baltimore Branch of the NAACP was placed under administrative receivership last Fall after Hill-Aston’s departure. The national organization appointed NAACP State Conference Director Gerald Stansbury as branch receiver. The Baltimore branch will hold elections for permanent officers this Fall. Flamer has not yet announced whether he will seek the presidency for a full term.In the meantime, McCarthy plans to prove the value of hiring full-time staff to support the Baltimore Branch through service. “I’m committed to serving this organization. I am going to work diligently every day and earn my keep,” McCarthy said.