Posts related to 5. Aid and Development
It aims to examine aspects pertaining to the fields of aid and development – how will you contribute?
17 November 2015 - It’s not IS we should fight against – it’s obscurantism
After having published a post yesterday (No more bombs) arguing that the West won’t win peace by dropping more bombs and should instead fight against inequality and injustice, Chris, a follower of Making Sense of Things on Facebook asked if we had “any advice for what people should do to counter [the Islamic State]? Or should it just be allowed to continue? They won’t allow a diplomatic solution, as they believe any negotiation is sacrilegious, let alone voting?” This question is very relevant indeed. How can we negotiate with IS if we can’t even talk with them?
I understand that throwing 20 bombs at the Islamic State, like the French warplanes reportedly did two days after the Paris attacks, sounds the right thing to do. It feels good, we get … Read the rest
16 November 2015 - No more bombs
I now live in Australia but I’m French. I’ve lived several years in Paris where many of my friends and family members still live. Two of the attacks occurred in the same street where by my best friend lives. His partner’s sister was enjoying drinks with her friends in one of the restaurants were so many people got killed on this tragic Friday the 13th. Luckily she survived.I was touched by the outpour of solidarity I have received, my warmest thanks to you all. I read lots of articles and watched heaps of media about the Paris attacks. Yet, I started quite rapidly to feel uncomfortable at the world’s focus on this latest wave of terrorist attacks. I’ve lived and worked in countries where such violence is a daily fact of life, including in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Kenya and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. … Read the rest
08 March 2015 - I’m sick and tired of International Women’s Day
Today is International Women’s Day. I know we should celebrate this event but the truth is that I’m not in the mood for it. I’m a man, and I’m sick and tired of hearing horrible stories whichever part of the world I travel to, about how badly and unfairly women are treated in their respective society.
I’m sick and tired to know that 35 per cent (35!) of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence.
I’m sick and tired that there are fewer women at the helm of top Australian and US companies than men named Peter or John sitting as chief executive and chair positions.
I’m sick and tired that good men all around the world are so much the slaves of their sexual desire that they end up groping, catcalling, lacking respect, hurting, hitting or raping a woman (or … Read the rest
25 July 2014 - Galápagos Islands: remarkable yet preoccupying
We enjoyed last Christmas on the Galapagos Islands, giving ourselves the soulful gift of connecting with nature. We felt incredibly blessed to be in such a unique place on this remarkable planet of ours as animals approached us unguarded, unafraid of humans and as curious about us as we were of them. We wondered at the unique giant tortoises, tame sea lions and abundant bird life.
Our visit was bitter sweet though, as we noticed the effects of tourism and the swell in population on the islands. We wondered if we should really be there, contributing in that way. Locals profess that tourism funds conservation and research but I couldn’t help feel that there would be greater conservation if we didn’t go there at all. My heart felt burdened as I contemplated the magnitude of destruction humans have unleashed on this planet, even in protected areas like this.
People flock … Read the rest
06 March 2014 - Bolivian Story: Diane Bellomy, Artesania Sorata
Soon after we arrived in Bolivia we met Diane Bellomy. Diane’s work was very interesting to me since she owns a Fair Trade business called Artesania Sorata, producing and selling hand dyed and handmade alpaca clothing, accessories and home wares that are generally made by women. Here in La Paz there are very few places that sell genuinely handmade, genuinely Bolivian or genuinely Fair Trade alpaca wear, despite the numerous shops in the tourist street Calle Sagarnaga claiming some of these. So, before long I started volunteering unofficially around 3-4 days a week, for around a year. During this time I met many of the women working for Diane, learnt their stories, deepened my understanding of Fair Trade and helped organise a few aspects of Artesania Sorata.
Diane is the only Bolivian Story we’ll post of a non-Bolivian. She’s American, but she’s been in Bolivia for over 35 years, … Read the rest
18 July 2013 - Exploring the non-stereotypical Bolivia
A journey into the jungle, development projects, stunning art, permaculture and community…
Jean and his colleagues were flying to Santa Cruz to then continue in the Chiquitania region – visiting their projects, meeting volunteers, partners and government officials to discuss their work. I was kindly invited to accompany them and was grateful for the opportunity to see another part of Bolivia, experience rural areas and to be in the tropics again. Nothing feels more like ‘home’ to me than the warmth and humidity on my skin.
We flew to Santa Cruz where the city surprised me. I felt like I was in a different country. In contrast to La Paz it is flat. I mean, really flat. No mounts to be seen, no high rise buildings. Unlike La Paz it oozes modernity with its café culture and trendy Cruceños, yet it remains traditional with its markets selling local crafts, street … Read the rest
01 April 2013 - Reconnecting at the Lazy Dog Inn in Peru
When we arrive at the Lazy Dog Inn near Huaraz in Peru, we feel like we are coming home. Not only do Diana and Wayne run the eco-lodge like their family home welcoming guests, but for us, the way the way they run the property and engage with the neighbouring communities is exactly as we would like our home to be. Following is a little video we have made to share some of our photos with you this unique place; it’s our first time creating such a video, so feedback is welcome… we hope you also enjoy the jazz! We provide more information and pictures about the Lazy Dog Inn beneath the video.
When arriving, we were first stunned by the surrounding Cordillera Blanca mountain range, then welcomed by four friendly dogs and given a hot beverage in a comfortable homely lounge-room by the fire place. We soon felt we … Read the rest
29 August 2012 - Back on line… we have now settled in Bolivia!
It’s been a long time, hey?
Well, Carly and I have had many (nice!) changes in our life lately… We are actually writing this post from La Paz, in Bolivia, where we’ve moved in to our new home. So after more than two years of living from a couple of backpacks, we’ve now settled down for few years… These last two years have been beautiful though, and certainly worth every penny! Spending time with family and friends, building cob houses and natural building in Southern France, volunteering in a farm in Palestine, learning permaculture in Jordan, working in Yemen, Haiti and Central America, hang gliding in Grenoble, celebrating a friend’s wedding in Honfleur, hiking and camping around Switzerland… We feel so grateful for this amazing year and all the incredible people we have met along the way :).
“Great, you may say, but why settling down in Bolivia?”.
Bolivia is … Read the rest
19 November 2011 - Aquaponics – eFISHient food production in Palestine
Aquaponics in the West Bank
During our stay at Bustan Qaraaqa in Palestine, we have been lucky enough to volunteer one day a week with Phil and Lorena from Byspokes on aquaponic systems (their website is where the following information comes from). Aquaponics is a combination of aquaculture, which is growing fish in water, with hydroponics, which is growing plants in a liquid. Since they arrived in the West Bank in July 2010 they have been researching, developing and trialing the FIRST EVER aquaponic system constructed behind the Wall!
They have been developing integrated aquaculture/irrigation systems and aquaponic systems to enhance food security in rural areas of Palestine, where as much as 44% of the population are chronically food insecure. In general, water and space for agriculture here are in short supply, and this is nowhere more apparent than in high density urban areas such as refugee camps. … Read the rest
14 November 2011 - Talking rubbish – Turning trash into treasure
Here at Bustan Qaraaqa they don’t simply sort their recycling, compost their vegetable scraps and put out the rubbish to be collected weekly – they take REDUCE, REUSE and RECYCLE to a whole new level. With no municipal waste management in Palestine, they have adopted a policy of ‘what comes on site, stays on site’, often collecting other peoples waste too! Using permaculture, creativity, knowledge and passion they educate and demonstrate by living sustainably themselves and maintaining a philosophy that there is no such thing as waste – just a failure of imagination. They hope to inspire Palestinians to stop throwing their rubbish down hillsides or burning it on the side of the road and for foreign guests to understand their role in the waste cycle too. What would you do if your council didn’t collect your waste? How would you consume differently? What would you do with … Read the rest