Friday, December 31, 2010

Wishing You a Happy New Year

This night,
A giant wall,
Stripped in day and night,

A new unknown to be born,
Thousands of years ago,

The writers did not know,
What future generations would see,
And feel,
And live.

Together we have changed people’s lives

It’s been quite a year! We’ve worked together on so many issues that it’s difficult to know where to start. Together we’ve helped to improve people’s lives around the world; we couldn’t have done any of this without your support, actions, messages, events and signatures.
Next year we want to do even more, and we want your help too, so please take 5 minutes to let us know what human rights issues we should fight for - have your say on our campaigning for 2011!
Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar's pro-democracy leader was finally freed this year. She acknowledged AI supporters’ contribution to her freedom, but we still have a lot of work to do; there are over 2,200 people unfairly imprisoned inside Myanmar This has been a long-standing action for Amnesty International supporters, many who have been working to see her free for several decades. So far, over 106,000 Amnesty supporters have signed the petition to demand three basic freedoms for the people of Myanmar and many more have uploaded their photo in solidarity with the people of Myanmar. We will continue to work for the unfairly imprisoned who remain..

Aung San Suu Kyi had previously been detained from 1989 to 1995, and 2000 to 2002. © APGraphicsBank
Raúl Hernández: A Mexican indigenous rights activist was released after being imprisoned for over two years following a fabricated murder charge in January 2008. For the last two years, Amnesty activists, members and supporters have been campaigning for his release. In April 2010, International Members of AI around the world held events in their local communities, sent solidarity photos and collected signatures for the petition demanding his release. In August 2010, as a result of this long-standing pressure, Raúl was released!

Raúl Hernández was wrongfully arrested and charged with murder in January 2008 © Amnesty International
The communities living in Orissa, India were protected because India's Ministry of Environment and Forests were convinced to reject a six-fold expansion of the refinery finding that the project violated the country’s environmental laws. Amnesty International’s campaign saw more than 30,000 members writing to the Indian authorities while the organization briefed government experts and engaged in lengthy talks with the company. The protests by the community members along with the joint campaign by Indian activists and international organizations helped stall the refinery expansion plans and changed people’s lives!

Residents argued the expansion would further pollute their land and water © Sanjit Das
10 December 2010: People in over 50 countries celebrated International Human Rights day this year by participating in the Letter Writing Marathon. So far, we have counted over 280,000 letters from Amnesty activists and members around the world demanding that the rights of individuals are respected, protected and fulfilled, and that's just the beginning! AI’s International Members organised letter-writing events in their communities in Bangladesh, India, Ecuador, Bolivia, Brazil, Nigeria and many more countries. Check out some of the best photos here.

Activists and International Members from North Bengal celebrate International Human Rights Day © Amnesty International
We’re also delighted to share the news that Femi Peters, a jailed member of the opposition United Democratic Party in Gambia, was released from jail last week! Femi was one of the cases included on the Letter Writing Marathon, so it’s great to see evidence that letters do work and our activism changes people’s lives! Watch the interview with Femi Peters Junior, talking about how he feels to have his father back.

Femi Peters was arrested during a peaceful demonstration organized by his party in 2009© AI

Have your say on our campaigning in 2011!
Take action Now
It’s been a great year and we hope that you have felt proud to be a part of Amnesty International. We’ve certainly felt proud to work alongside all of you.
Happy holidays and thank you for standing up for human rights this year, and finally, don’t forget to have your say for next year!
See you in 2011!

On Objective Islam, Subjective Islam

You can sort the written and spoken words about Islam into two categories--negative and apologist. Closer observation shows that the negative camp and the apologist camp use different logic, as well as come to different conclusions.

An easy way to see this is to go to a reporting source on the web such as a newspaper that has an article about Islam. Read the comments. The negative comments tend to be more based on ideas taken from the Islamic source material from the Koran and Mohammed. Or they quote a jihadi, a poll or a historical fact.

The apologist comments tend to quote a Muslim friend or establishment expert and attack those who criticize Islam. Critics are called bigots, neo-Nazis, Islamophobes or some other cruel name. In essence, having negative comments or judgments about Islam is labeled as evil. The term hate speech is even bantered about. The critic of Islam is a failed sinner who is shamed and morally condemned. It is all very personal and very much about feelings.

A good apologist will have a second attack on the problem of, "Is Islam good or bad"? Islam must be supported by something besides an attack on the person. There must be with some facts about Islam from other apologists, mainly Muslim scholars and academic types. These experts are authorities who can deliver judgment from on high. But, many times they don’t have facts, only opinions.

If you are to base your arguments on what some expert says, then what "expert" do you ask? What imam or what professor? If you quote a Jew-hating Saudi imam found on MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute) you fail the criteria of the expert the apologist needs, because the "expert" must be a moderate, at all costs. So that fire breathing Palestinian jihadi just won’t do.

If you turn to Google, you can wind up at sites like ReligionLink, a website for reporters. This looks very official, very authoritative; surely you can trust them, but if you are knowledgeable, there are organizations on the site that are associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, such as ISNA, which should raise a flag to the knowing.

It is interesting to take the ReligionLink site as an example of how the Islamic information war works. Go to what seems like a very solid choice of experts recommended on the site: a Naval Academy professor, Dr. Brandon Wheeler. Get his advice on Sharia law and when you line up what he says against what the current Muslim Brotherhood position on Sharia in America today, they match exactly. Dr. Wheeler says that Sharia is vague, not really law, an old idea, very adaptable and no country really follows Sharia. Move along, there is nothing to see here, says the apologist professor peddling the Muslim Brotherhood line.

The facts are that as far as the Kafirs is concerned, the Sharia is very clear. It is also unimportant that Sharia is not an exact analog to our laws. So far as being an old idea, the Koran and the Sunna are even older and held to be absolutely true. It is true that no nation uses the Sharia for 100% of its rule, but the law is so ruinous to women and Kafirs that any application of Sharia is not humane. And all 57 of the Islamic countries use it to some degree.

If you cannot trust a Naval Academy professor of Islamic Studies, then how do you evaluate the source of information? How can we know the true nature of Islam? Are there actual facts that nail everything down?

Islam is supremely logical. Every Muslim agrees that Islam is the doctrine found in the Koran and the Sunna of Mohammed. (Mohammed is the perfect Muslim and his words and actions have been recorded in detail.) All of Islam is founded on Allah and the pattern of Mohammed. Allah is found in the Koran and Mohammed is found in the Hadith (the Traditions of Mohammed) and the Sira (his biography). All of the doctrine of Islam is found in the Koran, the Sira and the Hadith (the Trilogy). If it is in the Trilogy, it is Islam by definition.

The Trilogy is not only an objective source of Islamic doctrine, but it is also the measure of all statements about Islam. We have an objective measure of experts. We don’t need to see what institute gave them the authority to speak as an expert. We need to compare their comments to what is in the Trilogy. If the comment agrees with Mohammed, it is true. If it disagrees with the Trilogy, then it is false.

The question is: why even ask the experts? Why not ask Mohammed and Allah and quote them? Quote the doctrine. Skip the experts and find an objective answer.

The beauty of objective Islam is that you get the same answer no matter who does the work. The subjective method gives any answer you want. So you ask the expert who gives the answer you want. Subjective Islam is garbage Islam. Objective Islam is Islam.

The problem is that no one knows there is objective knowledge about Islam. Everybody has been lied to by the media, the schools, the religious leaders and all those who listen to opinions of experts and do not know a single objective fact about Islam, i.e. doctrine. We have a choice: learn about the Koran and Mohammed or be the fools listening to a good lie told by "experts".

After local officials are criticized, DRC radio journalist is arrested

Authorities should immediately release Congolese radio journalist Robert Shemahamba, who has been held in the eastern city of Uvira since Friday in connection with a political program critical of local officials, the Committee to Protect Journalists said.

Shemahamba, director of the community station Radio Télé Mitumba, was taken into custody by the Congolese National Intelligence Agency (known by its French acronym ANR) after refusing to submit to questioning without a lawyer, the station’s program director told CPJ. Shemahamba has not been charged with a crime.

The case stems from a December 12 current affairs program in which three opposition politicians criticized Uvira municipal officials for alleged mismanagement, according to local journalists. Shemahamba moderated the program. Uvira Mayor Joseph Mbarato and Treasurer Victor Mukubito Chomachoma denied wrongdoing, and their administration ordered Radio Télé Mitumba to take the weekly program off the air, according to local sources.

Dominique Kalonzo, a local journalist who participated in the program, went into hiding after police summoned him for questioning concerning the show, he told CPJ from an undisclosed location.

“It is outrageous that a journalist should be arrested in a democracy for moderating a discussion with opposition politicians,” CPJ Africa Advocacy Coordinator Mohamed Keita said. “Robert Shemahamba should be released immediately and the ban on his radio program lifted.”

Prior to his arrest, Shemahamba had already been questioned for several hours by a local prosecutor and members of a municipal security council, according to local journalists. In an interview with CPJ today, Uvira Mayor Mbarato accused Shemahamba of allowing guests on the program to “insult the head of state,” referring to commentary critical of President Joseph Kabila.

Lambert Mendé Omalanga, Congolese communications minister and government spokesman, told CPJ that he has protested the arrest and called on the country’s interior minister to resolve the matter. “We don’t have a political police in this country,” he added.

CPJ: In Kenya, journalist receives death threats for investigating murder

A Kenyan journalist whose reporting has helped expose and publicize the unsolved 2009 murder of reporter Francis Nyaruri received two anonymous threatening phone calls on Friday warning he could “share Nyaruri's fate,” according to local journalists. The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on authorities to thoroughly investigate the threats and provide Sam Owida, a reporter for the private daily Nation, with protection.

Owida told CPJ that the caller, who claimed to be part of the local Sungu Sungu militia that operates in western Kenya, asked if he was the journalist who publicized the killing of Nyaruri and said they were “on to him.” In interviews with CPJ, local journalists said they believe two suspects in custody for the murder of Nyaruri may be affiliated with the Sungu Sungu. The threats have forced Owida to take precautions and change locations frequently, he said.  

Local police official Naomi Ichami was quoted in news reports as saying that the district criminal investigation officer had launched an investigation into the matter.

“We are alarmed by the threats against Sam Owida and call on the authorities to thoroughly investigate,” said Tom Rhodes, CPJ’s East Africa consultant. “Authorities must ensure Owida’s safety and revive investigations into Nyaruri’s brutal murder.” 

A close friend of Nyaruri, Owida was the first person to identify the bound and decapitated body of the late reporter. At the private Weekly Citizen, Nyaruri had exposed corruption by the local administration in the western town of Nyamira, the victim’s relatives told CPJ. While many journalists were afraid to cover the story, Owida spoke on vernacular radio stations in western Kenya and published reports in several newspapers highlighting Nyaruri’s murder and subsequent investigations.

Bulletin of Jew Hatred November 26 - December 22, 2010

November 26, 2010
Maldives (Hat tip to AtlasShrugs via SavageInfidel)
The Islamic Foundation of the Maldives has called on the government to break off all diplomatic ties with Israel, a day after Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital announced that a team of seven Israeli doctors is due to arrive in the country to treat patients at the government hospital for a week.
November 30, 2010
Vandals target Indiana University Jews; books were torn up and urinated on and rocks were thrown at the Chabad House windows. More HERE.

December 5, 2010
Belgium (Hat tip to and translated by IslaminEurope)
A jihadi cell which was arrested last week in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Austria intended to carry out an attack which would have had more of an impact and victims than the Madrid attack. The possible targets: A train full of NATO soldiers, NATO Headquarters, a packed sports stadium, a sports event, a street full of Jews and trains on routes which Belgian Jews often go on.
December 6, 2010
Dutch MP and former EU Commissioner Frits Bolkestein says there is no future for orthodox Jews in the Netherlands because of "the anti-Semitism among Dutchmen of Moroccan descent, whose numbers keep growing. More HERE. (Hat tip to GatesofVienna translated by VH)
Update HERE.

USA (Hat tip to Savageinfidel)
A Hanukkah menorah at the University of Florida was vandalized during the weekend, said a leader of Hillel, a Jewish student organization.
December 8, 2010
Palestine (Hat tip to Jihadwatch)
A video on official Hamas TV calls for Allah to kill Jews, Christians, Communists and their supporters. The video asks Allah to "count them and kill them to the last one, and don't leave even one."
December 9, 2010
Muslim religious schools operating in Britain are using poisonously anti-Semitic textbooks from Saudi Arabia to teach children as young as six that Jews are descended from "monkeys" and "pigs," and that Zionists are plotting to take over the world.

December 11, 2010
Iran (Hat tip to Savage Infidel)
Iranians threaten to destroy the Jewish shrine of the tomb of Esther.
December 16, 2010
Sweden (Hat tip to JihadWatch )
A US-based Jewish group has issued a travel warning urging Jews to exercise "extreme caution" when traveling in southern Sweden.
December 17, 2010
Palestinians vandalized Joshua's Tomb in Samaria's Timnat Heres with Arabic graffiti overnight Thursday. Hundreds of Jewish worshippers, escorted by the IDF, arrived at the site which is located between Barak and Ariel, and discovered graffiti on surrounding walls which advocated martyrdom.

Middle East
Leading Sunni Scholar Sheik Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi supports suicide bombings in Palestine and declares: "I Am Against the Peace Process." The sheik, revered by the Muslim Brotherhood, also said that the Jews are the most miserly of all people.

December 19, 2010
The body of Christine Logan was found early Sunday morning in the Beit Shemesh-Jerusalem area after police and IDF searched all Saturday night, fearing she had been kidnapped in a nationalistically motivated incident. The search was launched after Kaye Susan Wilson reported being attacked by two Arab men in a forest outside Jerusalem, within the Green Line. Wilson was found with her hands bound and several stab wounds to her chest and back.
December 20, 2010
Russia (Hat tip to IslamInEurope)
The head of a Russian Jewish association accused one of Russia's top Muslim clerics of making offensive statements about Russia's "native population."
December 21, 2010
An anti-Semitic Islamic website police say is operated by Ontario student Salman An-Noor Hossain who is on the run is now back on the Internet after being shut down earlier this year by a Canadian web-hosting provider.
December 22, 2010
The "Gang of Barbarians" who tortured to death Ilan Halimi five years ago were retried due to the lenient sentences given at the first trial. Halimi was tortured for three weeks with the aid of 26 others. He was eventually released naked, blindfolded, gagged and handcuffed, near a railway track and died upon his arrival at the hospital.

Bulletin of Christian Persecution Nov. 29 - Dec. 27, 2010

November 29, 2010
Two Afghans accused of converting to Christianity could face the death penalty, a prosecuting lawyer said on Sunday.
December 1, 2010
Pakistan (Hat tip to Atlas Shrugs)
Muslim extremists are blamed for the murders of five Christians in Pakistan in less than a week.
December 2, 2010
After closing churches in West Java, South Sulawesi, Sumatra, and other provinces, hard-line Islamic organizations are now attempting to stop Christian worship in or near shopping malls.

December 3, 2010
Coptic teenagers were arrested by security authorities because they were working on building a new church which is in violation of Sharia law.
Pakistan (Hat tip to JihadWatch)
A pro-Taliban Pakistani Muslim cleric Friday offered a reward for anyone who kills a Christian woman who was sentenced to death on charges of insulting Islam, in violation of Sharia law.
A Somali teenage girl was shot to death for becoming a Christian.
December 4, 2010
The Islamic terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Toiba and other Taliban groups have launched a fatwa (an official proclamation) against the Pakistani Minister for Religious Minorities, Shabhaz Bhatti, who happens to be a Catholic. Reliable sources in Pakistan confirmed that the minister is now being targeted by militants and has become a "legitimate objective" and "may be killed for being an accomplice to the blasphemy."
December 6, 2010
Iraq (Hat tip to AtlasShrugs)
Iraq's Christian minority took another hit Sunday evening when gunmen shot and killed an elderly Christian couple in their home.
Indonesia (Hat tip to JihadWatch)
US-backed elite Indonesian forces target church members and civilians.

December 7, 2010
NYC - USA (Hat tip to AtlasShrugs)
Historic St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, destroyed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, plans a multimillion-dollar suit against the Port Authority and other agencies for blocking its reconstruction.
December 8, 2010
Palestine (Hat tip to JihadWatch)
A video on official Hamas TV calls for Allah to kill Jews, Christians, Communists and their supporters. The video asks Allah to "count them and kill them to the last one, and don't leave even one."
December 9, 2010
Java (Hat tip to Jihadwatch)
The Archbishop of Semarang, has called the Catholic community "to remain calm" after the explosion of two bombs in the church of Christ the King in Central Java on 7 December. The attack is the latest in a series of attacks on Christian places of worship.

The leader of the Australian Anglican Communion, Archbishop Phillip Aspinall condemned attacks on Christians and Muslims in Pakistan in the December issue of FOCUS, the newspaper of the Anglican Diocese of Brisbane.
December 11, 2010
Bangladesh (Hat tip to JihadWatch)
Police in Bangladesh said they believe at least two Islamic extremists are responsible for a bomb blast in a Catholic church building that killed 10 young Christians and maimed dozens of others in 2001.
Palestine (Hat tip to AtlasShrugs)
Music video from Hamas: "Kill the Christians and Jews to the last one."
December 13, 2010
A Protestant clergyman and three of his parishioners were convicted on the basis of a controversial 2006 law that requires a permit to set up a place of worship. . . According to some observers, this trial against Algeria's Christian minority reflects a crackdown undertaken by Algerian government since February 2006 against non-Muslim religions. Since the 1990s, the country has been targeted by Islamic extremists.

An evangelist is still recovering from burns after six young Muslim men beat him with clubs and belts and set him on fire.
December 14, 2010
Afghanistan (Hat tip to Atlas Shrugs)
The International Red Cross neglects an Afghani man who converted to Christianity.
December 15, 2010
One month ago, Muslim terrorists in Iraq massacred Christians at a church in Bagdad. A three year old boy who witnessed this horror, including the death of his parents, followed the terrorists, saying "Enough, enough," until he himself was murdered.

Kosovo (Hat tip to IslamInEurope)
Christian civilians detained by the Kosovo Liberation Army were allegedly shot to death in northern Albania so their kidneys could be extracted and sold on the black market after the war in Kosovo ended in 1999, according to a report prepared for Europe's premier human rights watchdog.
Background info: HERE and from James Jatras HERE (Hat tip to GatesofVienna) and from a documentary on a jihadi martyr in Bosnia HERE.
December 16, 2010
(Hat tip to JihadWatch)
It promises to be a difficult Christmas for the Christian community in Pakistan. An alliance of radical Islamic groups has called for a large mass national demonstration on 24 December, after Friday prayers, to say "no" to the release of Asia Bibi and any changes to the blasphemy law.
December 17, 2010
Egypt (Hat tip to InfidelsAreCool)
A Muslim convert to Christianity has lost his family and job and has now been arrested and charged with 'defamation of religion.'
December 18, 2010
A group of nine Christians arrested in Hamadan are in prison, after being held in isolation without specific charges.

About 200 demonstrators from hard-line Islamic organizations in West Java on Sunday (Dec. 12) disrupted the worship of a church in Bandung, driving more than 100 worshippers from the building.
December 20, 2010
An Egyptian priest has explained that radical Muslims are trying to rid the Middle East entirely of Christians, who once comprised the largest religious group in the region.

Somalia (Hat tip to JihadWatch)
The jihadi group Al Shabab destroyed a Christian library. They brought Bibles, books, and a/v material to the city center and burned them after Islamic noon prayers.

Middle East (Hat tip to Investigative Project on Terrorism)
Threats and attacks against Christians in the Holiday Season.

Authorities have banned all public activities or celebrations associated with Christmas, including Christmas Mass, at Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church. More HERE.

Attorneys prosecuting the murder of three Christians in southeastern Turkey are making progress linking the knifemen who slayed them to the masterminds who put them up to it.
December 21, 2010
Canada (Hat tip to JihadWatch)
More than 100 Canadian-Arab Christians are listed on an al-Qaeda affiliated website, apparently targeted because of their alleged role in attempting to convert Muslims.

December 22, 2010
Muslims from a banned Islamic hate group have launched a nationwide poster campaign denouncing Christmas as evil.

Iraq's Christian leaders called off Christmas celebrations amid new al-Qaida threats on the tiny community still terrified from a bloody siege on a Baghdad church. Update, December 24th HERE.

This Christmas in Bethlehem, the cross has been banned from souvenirs for tourists and pilgrims in the Holy Land due to fear of retaliation from Islamic militants.

December 23, 2010
Update on the case of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman sentenced for death for blasphemy who is requesting a pardon.
December 25, 2010
(Hat tip to JihadWatch and Atlas Shrugs)
A bomb in a church during Christmas mass in the southern Philippines wounded six people, including the priest, even as Christian leaders highlighted the plight of believers facing the threat of attacks around the world. Update HERE.

In the northern Nigerian city of Kano on Friday, there were bombings during various Christmas Eve services. More on the Nigerian attack that killed thirty one people HERE.

December 26, 2010
Sweden (Hat tip to and translated by IslamInEurope from GP)
The Coptic Christian church in Gothenburg was closed down after receiving an internet threat.
December 27, 2010
Cyprus (Hat tip to AtlasShrugs)
The Cyprus government has protested to the United Nations and the European Union over an illegal act by the breakaway regime in the areas of the Republic occupied by Turkish troops to stop a religious service on Christmas day at a Turkish-occupied village, where Christian Orthodox Cypriot live as enclaved.
West Java
Hundreds of members of Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church celebrated Mass under the sun and in a tent set up in the parking lot of an elementary school due to the hostilities of local Muslims.

Sad to lose Jika Nkolokosa

So sad because, four days before he passed on, I met him at Shoprite Complex in Blantyre, talked with him outside the PEP Store for ten minutes, and parted ways.

I left him standing there- cogitating about what...I don't know. But when I looked back, some eight seconds later, he was still there, outside PEP- thinking about something, evidently.

He caught me looking at him, waved me bye, and went his way- towards Game Store.

Was he meditating? Did he know he was going, for good, and wanted to look at the place once more- one last time- take its complete picture with him, and go with the memories?

I was just wondering.

That is why I was surprised to hear of his death.

That is why I cannot believe it.

That is why I have broken my promise not to add another post this year.

That is because Jika Nkolokosa was a great man.

May his soul rest in eternal peace.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Good bye everybody; wishing you a Merry Xmas and prosperous New Year. This is 2010's Last Post

Atupele Muluzi sad at Lucius' UDF exit

Aspiring United Democratic Front (UDF) Presidential candidate, Atupele Muluzi, expresses his sadness at the resignation of Lucius Banda from active politics, ostensibly ruling himself out of the UDF politics.
Banda, who recently announced his decision to vie for the party's presidency, has not been in good terms of some members of the UDF following his decision to announce his intentions to stand for the party's presidency at a convention yet to be organised.

Atupele Muluzi (Right): Lucius Banda did a lot for UDF
Picture courtesy of Brian Banda Facebook Photos
Old timers took it as a braw, describing Banda as a novice in politics.
But Banda hit back, saying, at 40 years, he was the right 'bridge' for the young and old.
The country then woke up to a shock on Monday this week, when Banda announced his unanticipated bow from active politics.
Among other political positions, Banda served as special assistant to former Head of State and Government Bakili Muluzi in the UDF, apart from serving as member of parliament. He subsequently got arrested for tabling impeachment procedures deemed at the time to have been a dagger against incumbent president, Bingu wa Mutharika.
"I have bowed down to pressure from my music fans, family members and my own conscious," Banda told Zachimalawi on Tuesday.
But Atupele has received the news with disdain, saying Banda's presidential aspirations in the UDF was a motivation to the country's youths.
"I did not expect it; actually, I am shocked. Lucius Banda was a powerful, trustworthy and one of the most reliable members of the party," said Atupele.
He said Lucius' bow from active politics should not discourage youthful members from thinking high.
"Lucius showed us that even young people can play a crucial role in the party and country. We wish him well, and hope that he will live to help the UDF in many other ways as a well-wisher," said Atupele.
On his UDF presidential aspirations, Atupele vowed to press ahead, saying it's people who have asked him to stand, and "I cannot deny them their wish" to contest for the position during the party's convention.

From Fresh Air Fund

Social Media News Release Quicklinks:

Fresh Air News
Summer Highlights
Host a Child

Multimedia Elements
Social Media


The holidays are right around the corner and The Fresh Air Fund needs your help!

Fresh Air News

Summer may seem far away, but NYC children are currently participating in Fresh Air programs, from weekly tutoring sessions to job shadowings to weekend retreats at Fund camps in upstate New York! Our Career Awareness Program serves more than 300 youngsters in middle and high school. We also have new leadership programs for young women to develop their “can-do” attitudes!

No matter the season, Fresh Air children remain involved, excited and forward-thinking. We need loyal friends like you to continue serving thousands of New York City children throughout the year. Thank you!

To make a donation, please click here.

Every year, The Fresh Air Fund gives thousands of inner-city children the priceless gift of fun – and opens the door to a lifetime of opportunities.

Whether it's a two-week trip to the country to visit a volunteer host family, or a fun-filled and educational stay at one of our fund camps, our programs make for unforgettable memories – and open a world of new friendships and fresh possibilities.

Just $10 will send one child on a bus ride to his or her Friendly Town host family.

$24 provides a child with a week of swimming lessons.

$42 provides a day of Career Awareness classes.

A gift of $50 can fund a camp counselor for a day.

If you can give as much as $91, you provide a child at camp with meals for a week.

We are a not-for-profit agency and depend on tax-deductible donations from people like you to keep our vital programs flourishing.

Camp News

Shape Magazine Features the Precious Center for Teen Leadership

After the Precious Center for Teen Leadership opened its doors this summer at Camp Anita Bliss Coler, word of this fantastic resource for young women quickly spread. Shape magazine editors traveled up to camp to share their expertise and dedication to fitness, education and career development with the ABC leadership campers. But there’s even more - Shape editors were eager to hear directly from the girls about their time at camp and meet some of the incredible young women who have the opportunity to live and learn at the Precious Center.

Todrick Hall Visits Camp

An excited buzz filled the air when American Idol’s Todrick Hall paid a visit this past August. Todrick loved Fresh Air Camp so much that he left well past bedtime! Not only did Todrick meet our campers, but he also got to see some of their favorite camp activities, such as swimming at the

waterfront and working on our Model Farm.

After a tour, a group of campers at Hayden-Marks got a special treat – they spent a few hours singing and dancing alongside the star. Todrick’s class focused on improving dance techniques, learning new moves and tips for performing. Todrick’s passion for performing, singing and dancing was so contagious that many of the children continued practicing for the rest of their time at camp. He even showed some of the Hayden-Marks boys how to safely land a backflip!

Over at Camp Hidden Valley, Todrick arrived just in time for their “Event Day” celebrations. Hidden Valley campers had spent the whole day trying to rescue dance, song, beats and soul back from the villains who had descended on camp – and in appreciation for all their hard work at “saving the music,” Todrick performed at dinner and was soon surrounded by autograph requests from every child!

We already knew that Camp ABC campers and counselors weren’t a silent bunch. They sure do know how to show their excitement and enthusiasm! When Todrick unexpectedly walked into the Camp ABC dining hall, the girls broke out in screams of surprise, joy and laughter. We hope it

didn’t scare away the wildlife at ABC!

Fresh Air Fund Host Families

"It is rewarding to see the smile on our Fresh Air child's face as she enjoys the simple things we take for granted..."

Friendly Town host families are volunteers who live in the suburbs or small town communities. Host families range in size, ethnicity and background, but share the desire to open their hearts and homes to give city children an experience they will never forget. Hosts say the Fresh Air experience is as enriching for their own families, as it is for the inner-city children. There are no financial requirements for hosting a child. Volunteers may request the age-group and gender of the Fresh Air youngster they would like to host. Stories about real Fresh Air host families and their New York City visitors are just a click away!

Click here to learn more about becoming a host or call (800) 367-0003!

Fresh Air Children

"We made s'mores and hot dogs over the fire. I've never cooked outside before!"

Fresh Air children are boys and girls, six to 18 years old, who live in New York City. Children on first-time visits are six to 12 years old and stay for either one or two weeks. Youngsters who are re-invited by the same family may continue with The Fund through age 18, and many enjoy longer summertime visits, year after year. A visit to the home of a warm and loving volunteer host family can make all the difference in the world to an inner-city child. All it takes to create lifelong memories is laughing in the sunshine and making new friends.

The majority of Fresh Air children are from low-income communities. These are often families without the resources to send their children on summer vacations. Most inner-city youngsters grow up in towering apartment buildings without large, open, outdoor play spaces. Concrete playgrounds cannot replace the freedom of running barefoot through the grass or riding bikes down country lanes.

Fresh Air children are registered by more than 90 participating social service and community

organizations located in disadvantaged neighborhoods in the five boroughs of New York City. These community-based agencies are in close contact with children in need of summer experiences in rural and suburban areas. Each agency is responsible for registering children for the program.

What do Fresh Air children enjoy?

Playing in the backyard

Laughing in the sunshine

Catching fireflies

Riding bicycles

Learning to swim

Running barefoot through the grass

Gazing at the stars on moonlit nights

Building sandcastles

Making new friends

Simple pleasures of life away from the inner-city

Summer Highlights

The summer of 2010 was amazingly successful thanks to the generous support from all of The Fresh Air Fund volunteers and donors. With your help, next summer will be wonderful too.

2010 Summer Highlights:

Nearly 8,000 children enjoyed their best summers yet

370 students participated in the Career Awareness Program

11 counselors-in-training spent three days on the Appalachian Trail

168 young people were Leaders-in-training

For a more personal take on what a Fresh Air summer means to our campers and Friendly Town children, here are some heartwarming quotes:

“Many people will never truly understand how truly remarkable and critical this opportunity is for a child's development. By experiencing new things and different lifestyles and cultures it broadened my capacity to deal with life in and outside of NYC.” – Lee Coleman (visited Connie Beck and her daughter Laura in Painted Post, NY)

“I’m excited to be in another neighborhood and family. I am only in the Bronx all the time. I’m so happy to go and see what another place feels like.”(Abdou Sarr, stays with Linda & Edward Ryan )

Ellen & Anthony DeLello have hosted Kevin Uzzle (and only Kevin) since 2007. Morris Cty. FT.

“It’s really fun with my host brother, Trevor. We talk during the year too. I love going to BBQs with my family and meeting Trevor’s friends….they taught me how to swim.”

“Everyone knew me as Roberta and Butchie’s daughter. I was never the FAF kid!” - Toneicia Chisholm (visited Roberta & Butch Parker of Clinton, MA)

“They were always loved like they were our own!” – 88 year old host child Sophia Young reminiscing about her FAF summer sisters Sanny and Evelyn (daughter of Ernest & Margaret DeZallia of Crown Point, NY, who hosted Sanny and Evelyn)

-"I just wanted to say that having Justin stay with us is very enriching for our family," Louis said. "Every summer he comes, it's a seamless transition, like a member of our family." (Louis Terlizzi)

“He is an extension of our family; every year we grow along side of him and watch him grow into a young man”- Angelina Bagge (host Mom)

Quotes from Camp (at the farm in particular)

“I like to touch animals, but my mom is scared.”

“I never wanna leave the farm, I’ll sleep here with the rabbit.”

“My favorite thing at camp is the talent show because I get to dance and sing!”

“My favorite thing about camp is the carnival because of all the good food.”

Host a Child

Thanks to host families who open up their homes for up to two weeks each summer, children growing up in New York City’s toughest neighborhoods have experienced the joys of Fresh Air vacations.

More than 65% of all children are reinvited to stay with their host family, year after year.

Fresh Air Fund Host Families

There is no such thing as a "typical" host family. If you have room in your home - and your heart - to host a child, you could be one too.

Learn More

Fresh Air Fund Children

Fresh Air children are boys and girls, six to 12 years old, who reside in low-income communities in New York City and are eager to experience the simple pleasures of life outside the city.

Fresh Air Fund, Fresh Air Children, Friendly Town, Fresh Air Family, Children, New York City, NYC, Summer Vacation, Host a child, Non Profit, Host a Child, Charity, Children's Charity, Kids, Outdoors, Summer Activities, Summer Camp, Sleep-Away Camp, Fun, Inner-City, Child, Volunteer, Non-profit, Vacation, Friendly, Camping

Is India and China in another struggle for Africa?

While countries such as Malawi are deep in land relocation problems, one school of thought suggests that China and India are in another struggle for Africa.
When some people are being moved, or, rather, have been moved from such districts as Thyolo to Mangochi; and, in Mwanza, communities are engaged in a struggle for land with a business tycoon who owned (or the story goes; because the tycoon says he still owns) 900,000 hectares.
Look at this:

However, another school of thought is that the problem in most African countries, including Malawi, is over-crowding and overpopulation in specific areas. They say land is there in abandance.

Mpingwe Motel owner in land despute with Mwanza community members

Disagreements have ensued over 900,000 hectares of land said to be owned by Mpingwe Motel owner, a Chitunga, with community members already allocated land being evacuated by the business tycoon.
The controversial piece of land is located at Chifunga, on the road to Mwanza district.
Chitunga has owned the land since the late 1970s, but government, through a land relocation project, bought some 860,000 hectares of land from Chitunga, part of which land was allocated to community members without any land.

Malawi: facing severe land problems
However, some four years down the line, community members who have been farming and constructing houses on the controversial piece of land are getting the shock of their lives, as they are being unceremoniously evicted from their 'rightful' land.
"We are really shocked and surprised with Mr. Chitunga's behaviour becausae wwe were given this land by the Mwanza District Assembly, in collaboration with the Neno Local Assembly. Now, to evict us from a piece of land we have been farming on is very unfair; the land is ours," said Mariko Savala, one of the community members evicted from the land.
His sentiments were collaborated by Mercy Gambutsi, who said she has owned the controversial piece of land since 2006- "only to be chased unceremoniously by someone who does not own the land".
She appealed for government's intervention.
However, when contacted for comment, Chitunga wondered where this reporter had sourced his phone number, said he was in a meeting and would come back to Zachimalawi, and is yet to call back for his side of the story.
Zachimalawi will, nevertheless, give him the platform for his side of the story should he be willing to do so.
Land has become a controversial issue in Malawi, with the Episcopal Conference of Malawi- a grouping of Catholic Bishops in Malawi- describing it as one of the challenges facing Malawi today.
This is indicated in a Pastoral Letter issued a couple of months ago.
Government has since reacted to the letter, saying the Catholic Bishops took the stance of opposition parties in highlighting issues contained in the said letter.

Wishing you all well

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Joyce Banda undecided on 2014 presidency

Fired Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) First-Vice President, Rt. Hon. Joyce Banda, reveals being pestered by people to stand for president in 2014.

Banda: got the chop from the DPP
But Banda told Zachimalawi in a brief telephone interview she is yet to make up her mind on the issue.
"When the time comes, I will issue a statement," said Banda.
She, however, said she would continue to serve as State Vice-President, adding that her new status (as a non-DPP member) will not "affect my political career".

President Bingu wa Mutharika (right): Chaired the DPP National Governing Council meeting that sacked Banda (back to camera)
"People should expect to hear something pertaining to my 2014 aspirations in 2011, said Banda.
Banda got the chop from DPP, alongside party Second-Vice President Khumbo Kachali, on Saturday last week, allegedly for putting up unsanctioned structures in readiness for the 2014 Presidential and Parliamentary elections.

Life's little lessons

Public positions are temporary.

In deed, times come when former DPP
Turn into Vapasi Papoto!

A story of love

True or false?

Bicycle ambulances: no new phenomenon

Bicycle ambulances, it seems, have generated intense interest over the past two weeks- the most recent example being when Malawian Members of Parliament samples the same this week.

However, the story of these miracle transport modes is not new; in the area of Traditional Authority Nkumba in Mangochi, community members have saved the lives of over 30, 000 pregnant women over the past ten years, thanks to the Centre for Reproductive Health, a department at the College of Medicine.
It all started when Dr. Agness Chimbiri was spearheading the department; now, with Dr. Frank Taulo, the work continues.
Mangochi is an annexe district for the Centre.

Arising issues on Joyce Banda's DPP firing

Zachimalawi has noted that Gender and human rights activists are not coming out clearly on the firing of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) First-Vice President, Joyce Banda.
Take, for instance, Faustace Chirwa of Women's Lobby Group. She was on Capital FM some three days ago, where she condemned the DPP for the unceremonious sacking of Banda while, at the same time, not speaking anything about the fall of DPP Second-Vice President, Khumbo Kachali.
It is clear most Gender activists are propagating feminism, as opposed to gender.
When asked what she (Chirwa) could do if she were in Banda's position, she did not hesitate to say she would have remained royal to the party's leaders- only to turn wolf in 2013 or there-abouts.

There goes the contradiction: Chirwa seems to suggest that Banda committed something wrong or made a mistake.
Now, other gender activists- those who know the difference between feminism and gender- are worried that people like Chirwa may anger the State President, Bingu wa Mutharika, who may end up replacing Banda with a man.
These activists believe that the best thing to (moving from feminism to gender equality and equity) is to implore Mutharika to elevate another woman in the party to the position Banda held.
Their school of thought suggests that gender quality is not about personality (in this case the fired Banda) but issues. If it is women's rights Malawi is fghting for, then, let gender activists propagate the replacement of Banda with a fellow woman.
This, as Zachimalawi can say, is really gender advocacy. Others are propagating feminism.
The bottom line is that there is a thin line between feminism and gender activism in Malawi, and this has bred confusion in rural areas. Even some town mongers don't get this.

Bulletin of the Oppression of Women Oct. 30-Dec. 11, 2010

October 30, 2010


Female circumcision is a growing threat in Belgium.

November 7, 2010

Middle East (Translation by ElderofZiyon and Hat tip to Infidelsarecool)

The 'Virginity Capsule' is now for sale.

November 8, 2010


Authorities arrested two dozen suspects allegedly involved in a sex trafficking ring with connections between Nashville and Minneapolis-St. Paul.

November 10, 2010


The UN rejects Iran's bid for a seat to the board of the new U.N. agency to promote equality for women after fierce opposition from the United States and human rights groups to Tehran's treatment of women. But the U.N. accepted the bid of Saudi Arabia, which is also opposed by human rights groups.

November 25, 2010


A Muslim man has been arrested for killing his teenaged daughter who was in love with a Hindu youth from the same village.

November 26, 2010


The number of incidents of violence against women in Pakistan is increasing.

November 27, 2010

Saudi Arabia

Female nurses feel they are not wanted for marriage.


The ringleader of a Derby gang which raped and abused at least 27 girls has been described as a "puppet master." More HERE.

November 28, 2010


Kurdish government promises more action on honor killings.

November 30, 2010


An Imam rapes a ten year old girl.

December 1, 2010


A survey by the Kurdistan Ministry of Health shows that 41 percent of women have gone under the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM).

December 2, 2010

The Balkans

The trafficking of young girls booms in Bosnia.


A Muslim imam who lectures on non-violence is arrested for wife-beating.

December 3, 2010


A 17-year-old girl in Somalia who converted to Christianity from Islam was shot to death last week in an honor killing.


Muslim imam who lectures on non-violence in Germany was arrested for beating up his wife.


Shahla Jahed, 40, was hanged in Tehran, with her stool kicked away by the son of the woman she was found guilty of killing. Human rights activists believe her confession was coerced.

December 5, 2010

Saudi Arabia

After nearly 10 years of marriage that produced five children, Mufleh Mohammed of Saudi Arabia still has not seen his wife’s face.

The Netherlands

Sex abuse in Muslim families goes unreported.

December 6, 2010


Islamic sharia laws in Indonesia's Aceh province have been used by vigilante groups to harass and intimidate locals.


A thirteen year old girl was kidnapped and murdered.


The marriage of a 14-year-old Muslim girl in a Malaysian mass wedding triggered calls Monday for reform.

December 7, 2010


A Muslim is jailed for abducting and raping a blind woman.

Saudi Arabia

A Saudi woman who wanted to joke with her husband got the shock of her life when she learned her joke has only made him marry again.

December 8, 2010


Economist Shoshana Grossbard admits she was naive when she did her doctoral thesis on polygamy more than 30 years ago at the University of Chicago.

December 9, 2010


An Imam has told his followers that anyone who believes female circumcision is not a recommendation from the prophet Mohammed is "ignorant."


Underage marriages are allowed in Islam.


A Dutch Labour MP has called for an inquiry into sexual abuse in Muslim families.

December 10, 2010


A couple are publicly caned for an extramarital kiss.

December 11, 2010

Iran (Hat tip to JihadWatch )

It is a mystery what has happened to the woman who was to be stoned in compliance with Sharia law.

We can buy peace

This is what I have discovered today.

When you are so disturbed with circumstances you nearly expire, take the cheap way out: Go to a recreation facility to think and not think; forget yourself and live again; pray and play.

So, I decided around 2 O'crock morning today to spend half-day today just to relax- me and nature. Six O'cross sharp, I left home and headed for Namiwawa Park, sat at the lower end, some five metres from Mudi river, and welcomed the morning.

It was a wonderful feeling to spend the first two hours thinking nothing; sure, thinking about nothing. I looked at the green grass without seing grass; the brown soils were not soils but nothing; the waters, black and stinking as Mudi has become, were not water at all, but something crawling without form or legs.

It is what I call regeneration.

After two hours of regeneration came the one hour for thinking; thinking about anything one sees around Namiwawa Park. The green grass, the tall mahogany and other trees, the bamboos, concrete steps, chameleons and more.

There is no better feeling than to know that the trees are watching you sob, and cry, and push back the tears. It may be tears of days that were, and will never be; tears for those that were, and are not; for those that are not, but will be. And the many things that will become what they will, despite being absent in our minds today.

I can say without fear of contradiction that the feeling that prayers (your prayers) have been answered hits you so hard when you realise that the trees are listening, conveying the message to the free air around, and getting responses back to your system through the oxygen we inhale. Of course, it must needs be that carbon dioxide takes our fears away from us, deposists them in the air, and the fears come back as strength- strengthened by oxygen's regeneration power.

That is what I thought today, at Namiwawa Park.

You can't believe it, but I spend the last one hour drinking fresh milk. I went to Metro in Blantyre, bought two-one litre bottles of Dairibord fresh milk (of course, in frozen state) and set for Namiwawa Park.

By the time my frozen milk 'got back to its senses', it was well after three hours.

It was a good thing to do, really; and, being alone at the Park, gave me an opportunity to reflect on the challenges faced during this year, opportunities and the way forward. It has been sad the past two weeks, because something happened inside me.

But the trees, perspiring happily around me, and the grass (courageous enough to survive the trods of men and women) gave me the courage and comfort I have needed the past two weeks, and I am happy to be, again- having overcome whatever happened inside me.

Of course, there was nothing like exercising. You know much as I that it is extra work, and goes against the grain of relaxing and coming back to.

Let life begin for me; the life I was supposed to live.

Today's wise saying from one Paul Somba.

Chibwenzi sichimatha, umatha ndiukwati

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Mwanza in pictures without ellaboration

On Girl friends


life expectancy increased by about 10 years between 1980 and 2010

LILONGWE, 9 November 2010 –Malawians have all reasons to smile following revelations by the 20th anniversary edition of the Human Development Report that life expectancy at birth increased by about 10 years between 1980 and 2010 The 2010 Report, The Real Wealth of Nations: Pathways to Human Development was co- launched today with the National Human Development Report Gender and Human Development in Malawi: Women and the Potential of Achieving the MDGs at Capital Hotel in Lilongwe by UNDP Resident Representative Mr. Richard Dictus and Minister of Gender, Children and Community Development, Honourable Theresa Gloria Mwale M.P.

Malawi is ranked 153 out 169 countries for which accurate and comparable data is available. The report reveals that Malawi just like other developing countries has made significant improvements in key Human Development index (HDI) indicators such education, health and standard of living.

The Human Development Report is the UNDP’s flagship publication that aims at framing debate on some of the most pressing challenges facing humanity. The 2010 Report examines progress in health, education and income over the past 40 years. The first Human Development Report released in 1990 and stated that people are the real wealth of nations.

Country ranking changes in the HDI are now reported over a five-year comparative period, rather than on a year-to-year basis, to better reflect long-term development trends. Due to methodological refinements of the HDI formula, the 2010 rankings are not directly comparable to those in earlier Reports

The 20th edition of the Human Development Report also introduces three new innovative measurements, the Inequality -adjusted HDI, the Gender Inequality Index and the Multidimensional Poverty Index complimenting the Report’s traditional Human Development Index (HDI).

The Inequality- adjusted HDI reduces national HDI values by the degree of inequalities in health, standards of living and distribution of income. The gender inequality index factors in women’s participation in government and the workforce as well as health and education status to reflect disparities between men and women within and across countries, while the Multidimensional Poverty Index identifies overlapping deprivations at the household level-including health, schooling and living conditions and calculates that fully a third of the people in the 104 countries studied live in extreme multidimensional poverty.

For example in the 2010 Report In education, expected years of schooling for school age children replaces gross enrolment, and average years of schooling in the adult population replaces adult literacy rates, to provide a fuller picture of education levels. Life expectancy remains the main indicator for health.

“Between 1980 and 2010, Malawi’s life expectancy at birth increased by about 10 years, mean years of schooling increased by almost 3 years and expected years of schooling increased by about 4 years. Malawi’s GNI per capita increased by 21 percent during the same period,”

“Between 1980 and 2010, Malawi’s HDI value increased from 0.258 to 0.385, an average of 49 percent or average annual increase of about 1.3 percent. With such an increase, Malawi is ranked 20 in terms of HDI improvement based on deviation from fit,” reads the report in part.

Malawi is one of the success stories in combating major diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. The country has managed to reduce the HIV prevalence, introduced the free Anti retroviral therapy (ART), and embarked on prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS. Malawi has also been recognized for bumper harvests. These and other factors have largely contributed to improved and prolonged life of Malawians.

Jeni Klugman, the lead author of the 2010 report said: “Our results confirm, with new data and analysis, two central contentions to the Human Development Report from the outset; human development is different from economic growth and substantial achievements are possible even without fast growth.”

According to latest figures from the Ministry of Finance, Malawi has experienced steady economic growth since 2004. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has averaged 8.2 percent per year. In the next two years, GDP growth is expected to grow by 7.1 percent this year and 6.8 in 2011. There has been a drop in poverty headcount over the same period from 52.4 percent in 2005 to 40 percent.

“UNDP is proud to be associated with the various achievements in Malawi. As a neutral and trusted broker, UNDP has provided up stream policy support to the Government of Malawi which has partly contributed to the various successes,” Commented Mr. Dictus

Through the 50:50 campaign, UNDP and other development partners supported female candidates in the 2009 Presidential and Parliamentary elections that saw the number of women parliamentarians increase from about 13 percent to 24 percent. However, the report says Malawi’s Gender Inequality Index value is at 0.758, ranking the country at 126 out of 138 countries based on 2008 data.

The introduction of the Gender Inequality Index in the 2010 Human Development Report is timely as the 2010 National Human Development Report for Malawi focuses on gender issues.

The report entitled Gender and Human Development in Malawi, Women and the Potential of Achieving the MDG focuses on women and makes comparison with men in the context of overall human development. It also explores the links between microeconomic and other development policies and their differentiated impact on women and men. The report also analyzes the impact (economic, social and other) of gender inequality on the human development situation in Malawi

“Malawi has proved at international level that policies that speak to lived realities may initially be viewed as defying prescribed western models for economic growth, but that they can work based on local situations and with country-based opportunities. This, combined with engagement, commitment and the political will to enforce agreed change should be applied in the quest for gender equality,” reads the report in part.

Commenting on the National Human Development Report, Mr. Dictus said “the Report highlights that human development cannot take place in Malawi when the opportunities of more than half of the population comprising women and girls are restricted. The approach to addressing gender inequality in Malawi needs to recognise and draw upon matriarchal lineage. This requires a home-grown, community driven, local–national approach in preference to an external patriarchal set of perceived solutions,”

Commenting on the two reports, the Minister of Gender, Children and Community Development Honourable Theresa Gloria Mwale said that the themes for both the Human Development Report 2010 and the National Human Development report were relevant to Malawi.

She said therefore the significance of the Human Development reports cannot be over emphasized, adding that human development is central and a prerequisite to rural, national and global development

“The Report will go a long way helping nations including Malawi to reposition them in order to improve the present situation of their people. It is indeed imperative to recognize and respond to new threats that endanger human well being and freedom as the Nobel Prize winning economist Amartya Sen wrote,” she said

Regarding the National Human Development Report, Honourable Mwale said that the Government of Malawi recognizes that development can effectively take place when gender issues are mainstreamed into national policies. “Gender is a cross-cutting issue as it affects any development efforts. For instance, unless challenges of girl child education are addressed, most managerial positions will still be held by men because there will be few educated women due to high drop outs of girls in school. In this respect, gender mainstreaming should be at the hub of every intervention aimed at meeting the targets of all the Millennium Development Goals by the year 2015, “she said

* * *

For information, contact Zainah Liwanda, UNDP Communications Associate on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or 01 773 500 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 01 773 500 end_of_the_skype_highlighting. The complete Press Kit for the global launch of the 20th edition of the HDR is available on

ABOUT THE 2010 HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT: Since inception in 1990, the Human Development Report has provided fresh insights into some of the pressing challenges facing humanity. The Human Development Report is an independent annual publication of the United Nations Development Programme. Jeni Klugman is the lead author of the 2010 Report which is translated in more than a dozen languages and launched in more than 100 countries annually. The Report is published in English by Palgrave Macmillan. Complete texts of the 2010 report and previous Reports since 1990 are available for free downloading in UN major languages on the report website

ABOUT HUMAN DEVELOPMENT: Human Development is the expansion of freedoms that people have to live their lives as they choose. The conception-inspired by the path-breaking work of Nobel laureate Amartya Sen and the leadership of the late Mahbub ul Haq, and known also as the capabilities approach because of its emphasis on the freedom that people have to achieve vital beings and doings’- has been at the core of UNDPs approach since the first Human Development Report in 1990, and is as relevant as ever to the design of effective policies to combat poverty and deprivation. This approach has proved powerful in reshaping thinking about topics as diverse as gender, human security and climate change

ABOUT THE 2010 NATIONAL HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT Gender inequality is one of the biggest challenges facing Malawi today, impeding on the development of the country at large and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).Women constitute about 52 percent of the population of Malawi. Women are the child-bearers and sustainers of the family. They are significant contributors to the country’s economy, comprising the main agricultural labour force. Women are disadvantaged compared to men in almost every sphere of their lives and in every sector of development. This leads to women’s poor access to the benefits of even their contribution to development. Human development can only reach its full potential if the opportunities of women and girls are opened up. For the country to meet its national development goals and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) targets by 2015, the challenge is to place gender equality at the centre of the development agenda; to incorporate gender issues at the core of development analysis, plans and programmes. This Fifth Human Development Report 2010 for Malawi is unique as it focuses on gender throughout the MDGs, giving substantial analysis of the gender-based obstacles and barriers to the achievement of MDGs and also giving clear recommendations on how these can be overcome

ABOUT UNDP: UNDP is the UN’s global network to help people meet their development needs and build a better life. We are on the ground in 166 countries working as a trusted partner with governments, civil society and the private sector to help them build their own solutions to global and national development challenges. Further information can be found at http:/