Sunday, April 29, 2007

The One Campaign and American Idol's 100,000 Challenge

Last Wednesday, April 25, One Campaign supporter, Bono came out in the American Idol to join forces with the show in promoting the fight against poverty and aids.

As of Friday, 75,000 people have added their voices to the fight against extreme poverty. With this strong show of support, the One Campaign made a move to increase the target to 100,000 in one week. And so it was...

To help reach that 100,000, e-mails were sent to ONE members to get one of their friends to join ONE. (I cheated, I sent out 3, lol)

Possible to reach that 100,000 mark in one week? Oh yes!!! It probably has gone beyond that by now.

I find it amazing though not really surprising that the ONE Campaign can move U.S. candidates to support their cause. I'm not going to delve into the political aspect of it since I'm not American nor a political-minded person. But as of today, there are now 50 candidates who have signed-up supporting the ONE Campaign's fight against poverty and aids...just 10 short of the ONE's target of 60.

There are now over 2 million ONE Campaign members worldwide and still growing. With an organization like ONE showing transparency and clear sincerity in its cause, support will always be there. All praises to ONE and its organizers.

Below is Josh Groban with the African Children's Choir singing one of my favorite songs "You Raise Me Up" at the "Idol Gives Back" show last Wednesday...enjoy

Saturday, April 28, 2007


Everytime I visit the United Nations Website and read the Cyberschoolbus, it makes me really appreciate institutions like the United Nations. It not only works for the welfare of the poor and less priviledged in general, but also provides sites like Cyberschoolbus for educators and ordinary readers like me to use as information and resource material.

The Cyberschoolbus has very good reference materials for teachers and offers a variety of curricula that range from peace education, poverty, human rights, work rights, and ethnic and racial discrimination among others. It also provides links to a host of UN-sponsored educational websites.

It has been selected by ISTE author James Lerman as one of the best web sites for teachers on the Internet. ISTE is a nonprofit professional organization with a worldwide membership of leaders and potential leaders in educational technology.

I am not a teacher but have found Cyberschoolbus very informative and useful, mostly because the subjects are what interest me most...

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Child Soldier Prevention Act of 2007

It made me wonder as I scrolled down the list of countries using child soldiers, if the Philippines was among them. I realized though that the documentary I saw on tv was on child soldiers recruited by rebel armies fighting against the government. Nevertheless, it still means that the problem on child soldiers exists in my own country.

The U.S. State Department reported that governments in 10 countries are implicated in the use of child soldiers. It's ironic though that 9 of the 10 countries are being supported by the US through military assistance.

Before the Senate, the World Vision asked the US government to help end the use of child soldiers globally. There is now an estimated 250,000 children exploited as child soldiers in state-run armies, paramilitaries, and rebel groups.

A bill called Child Soldier Prevention Act of 2007 was introduced by Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Sam Brownback (R-S). The bill would put restrictions on U.S. military assistance for governments that use child soldiers.

World Vision urged support for the legislation to encourage governments to prohibit, demobilize, and rehabilitate child soldiers from national forces and government-supported militias.

For the full story, please visit the link of the World Vision site.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Finding My Life's Purpose...a Second Look

I often get affected by touching and emotional stories or blog entries I read. When that happens, my natural reaction is to let my emotions out by writing about it in my blog. At times though, I get too emotional and later find myself deleting or saving them in a private file once I've calmed down.

Today I found myself getting sentimental again when I read an entry from someone's blog. There were a few lines that touched me most because I could relate to them in my own life. It almost brought me to tears as I tried to finish the whole entry.

One read, " Love does not wait. It will wait for some time, but leave when it deems the situation to be hopeless."

And the other, "Take a risk. Life will not and cannot get any worse than with the feeling that you never tried."

They're really the same words once told to me by some friends though just phrased differently. The words made me want to again read an entry that I posted last December about finding my life's purpose when I reacted to a blog entry of Matt. It also made me recall someone's comment to an emotional entry I posted some weeks back (that I also emotionally deleted) which I appreciated so much. He's right...I shouldn't always care what others think, or turn my life around 360 degrees because it would bring me back exactly where I am now (I always end up smiling when I recall this second comment, although I thought of going the opposite direction).

I again recalled a friend who once angrily wrote me an e-mail saying it was time and to make plans, that I was strong enough to make it...that was almost a year ago. He was's time. I've already had regrets in some things I acted on too late. I don't want it that way forever.

All these made me assess myself again at how far I've gone in doing something about my life...of how much I want to give up to gain something for myself. Well, I'm still right where I was before but I have started to take steps...maybe a bit too slowly but I'm starting to move forward.

And oh yes, the French lessons I planned to enrol in. Someone constantly reminded me of my plan to enrol in French class (and I think got tired of reminding me, lol)... yes, yes, I'll get to it and enrol. And the Bali trip, well my friend is keeping the original schedule we talked about. If I have the time by then with all the system conversion going on at the office, I'll just book the flight and fly over there and enjoy a weekend with her and her friends. Or if the plan to send some of my people to Singapore for the branch conversion there pushes through, I may just join them there and have a few days off as well. I just soooo need a break away from it all.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Ashley Judd's Journal Entry from India....

I'm posting a blog entry from the One Campaign website. This one is from actress Ashley Judd's journal. I really admire people who, with all the fame and comfort in life, go out of their way to help the needy and less fortunate.

It makes me wish to do a little more than just what I can right now. But I guess every little bit helps...

For other stories from ONE supporters, click on the link.

Ashely Judd's Journal from India, Day 14
Posted by Jenny Eaton Dyer, DATA
01:30 PM Apr 12, 2007

Actor and humanitarian Ashley Judd, board member of Population Services International (PSI) and Global Ambassador for YouthAIDS, addressed women's empowerment and wrote daily posts for the ONE Blog, during her March 2007 travels through India. This week, she posts her final entries from the trip.

Monday, March 26

The alarm went off. I had naturally awakened slightly before, and was so comforted and relieved to have had a long, deep sleep. I cleaned up and headed out the door to the Saddham Wellness Clinic, which we operate in the Red Light District. I had heard so very much about it, and had a real visual expectation. I assumed it would be sterile, light-filled, modern, technical. Although it is clean and tidy, it was hardly the vision I had been having, and I realized my vision was more of an intuitive sense of the radiance and luminosity of the people who work there. They are kind, loving, empowered doctors, all of whom who could be making a lot more money elsewhere doing much easier work emotionally. They commute to a horrible neighborhood. The 3 clinic rooms are tiny and bare. They provide a range of necessary services, but cannot meet all the sex workers’ and their children’s needs; they refer them to hospitals where they don’t know how they will be treated, or if the women will even follow through.

The process of bringing a Commercial Sex Worker (CSW) to the clinic starts within the brothel, via PSI's counselors regular and faithful visits. By virtue of this consistency, trust is slowly built. Eventually, the traveling brothel doctor, who simply treats all their conditions and doesn't ask questions/make statements about their line of work, will suggest a trip to the clinic, offering a known counselor to escort the woman to and fro. The entire protocol is designed to be gentle, non-shaming, supportive, empowering, humanistic. Although our primary purpose is to prevent pregnancy, STI’s, and HIV, as well as help these women access treatment, we address all their healthcare needs as well as their children's.

I met the pediatrician. He was so kind. The kids come in with a lot of upper respiratory stuff and intense emotional issues, some TB and Malaria. I visited the examination room; the only thing that remotely suggested it was a medical facility was the stainless steel table. In the 3rd and last room, barely a cubicle, I saw where the STI and HIV testing is done. We crowded in, and I asked these doctors how they help themselves, dealing as they do day in and day out, with all they see? The subject of shutting down one’s feelings comes up a lot when I ask this question.

The clinic desperately needs additionally funding. They want to expand their services in a meaningful way, which would help reduce the number of women they need refer to hospitals, where CSWs often don’t follow through for a variety of reasons (discrimination, barriers to admission, cost, time, fear/lack of relationship). The clinic also wants to be able to provide healthcare and support to those who are HIV+. Recently, three of their women died of AIDS, homeless, turned out of their brothels. The last one, they washed her body and gave her last rights literally on the sidewalk along the gutter. The doctor wept as she told me this.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

FC Barcelona Wins Sports award for UNICEF Partnership

(Actor Morgan Freeman listens as Joan Laporta President of FC Barcelona accepts the Laureus Spirit Of Sport Award during the Laureus Sports Awards in Barcelona, Spain. )

One Campaign supporter, Morgan Freeman participated in a ceremony in Barcelona, Spain last April 3, 2007 where sports stars and legends took centre stage at the Laureus Sports Awards to honor the president of football club FC Barcelona, Joan Laporta. Laporta was presented with the Spirit of Sport Award in recognition of the partnership with UNICEF to benefit children across the developing world affected by HIV/AIDS.

The partnership between FC Barcelona and UNICEF was launched in September of 2006 with a commitment of $1.9 million dollars per year over five years to fund UNICEF programs.

Every year, the Laureus World Sports Awards honours the globe’s best sportsmen and sportswomen and celebrates the universal power of using sports as a tool for social change. The Spirit of Sport Award acknowledges those in sports who take action to create a better world.

FC Barcelona’s innovative decision to raise awareness about the values of UNICEF was honoured as a perfect example of how sports can help the most vulnerable children.

It's good to know that an increasing number of sports and movie people have been openly supporting the fight against problems on HIV/Aids, poverty, hunger and abuse by joining or forming alliances with cause-oriented groups like UNICEF, World Vision or the ONE Campaign. Their actions have brought the much-needed highlight and focus on the urgency to address these problems.

I've often said, "Every little bit helps." It's true. We all can help a little bit, be it in giving some of our time, money, effort, even words that can help spread the word around that there is an urgency to act now and do our share in putting an end to many problems that plague the world.

To see the full version of the Laureus Spirit Of Sport Award please visit this link: