Give $10, feed a child. This is a common campaign tagline among aid groups and charities especially those that work amidst the food crisis in East Africa. But does this one-liner oversimplify the complex issues in crisis areas particularly Somalia? In an article on The Guardian, the head of an international medical charity accused aid groups of misleading the public on the real situation in Somalia. "There is a con, there is an unrealistic expectation being peddled that you give your £50 and...


A Tale of Two Storms

Posted September 5, 2011 no picture Kristine

As Hurricane Irene hit northeastern United States on the last weekend of August, northern Philippines was also being battered by Typhoon Mina (international code name: Nanmadol). Storms forming in the Atlantic Ocean are called hurricanes while those from the Pacific Ocean are known as typhoons. Different terminologies, same destructive power. As Irene and Mina made landfall, the powerful winds and strong rains ravaged towns and cities, destroyed homes and livelihoods, and caused injuries and cas...


Youth and the Rebirth of a Nation

Posted August 26, 2011 no picture Kristine

The rebels have taken Tripoli, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has gone into hiding and Libyans have begun celebrating. Gaining control of the country’s capital was a crucial break for the opposition after six months of fighting. As the Arab Spring swept through the Middle East and North Africa, the ouster of long-time leaders in Tunisia and Egypt earlier this year gave much hope that even someone like Gaddafi, who has been in power for more than 40 years, is not invincible. While gunfights are sti...


The Youth in a World of Contradictions

Posted August 17, 2011 no picture Kristine

What does the future hold for the youth? And does the present give us something to hope for? At the risk of literary triteness, I would have to quote Dickens on this one. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothi...


“What is wrong with British youth?” This headline came out on The Telegraph in 2007 after a study of the Institute for Public Policy Research said that teenagers in the UK are among the most ill-behaved in Europe. They were more likely to engage in alcohol and drug abuse, have underage sex, join gangs and get into fights, the research said. Four years later, riots and looting are breaking out across England and young people are identified as prominent participants. It is difficult not to...


The Problem with Food Aid

Posted August 8, 2011 no picture Kristine

The food crisis in East Africa has been reported with the utmost sense of urgency, literally as a matter of life and death. In contrast, food aid delivery is still marred with delays and inefficiency, trapped in the sluggish grind of bureaucracies and regulations. “In general, food aid is still far more costly and less efficient than it could be because major donors continue to tie their aid in various ways,” Kimberly Ann Elliott, senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, told V...


Bullies, Victims and Bystanders

Posted August 3, 2011 no picture Kristine

Her height and her voice made her different. Karen* was the tallest girl in her high school class, even towering over most of the boys, and had a deep baritone voice that stood out from the cacophony of other teenage girls’ high-pitched blabber. These qualities that set her apart also made her a target of bullying. Her classmates called her a horse. Some of the mean boys made a game of tugging at her bra straps or raising her skirt to expose her underwear. Most people in her class just laughed...


Famine in the 21st century is immoral and unnecessary, said Stephen Devereux, a development economist and fellow at the Institute of Development Studies. The United Nations declared a famine in parts of southern Somalia as malnutrition and mortality rates have gone up to alarming levels and more than a thousand people are arriving daily in refugee camps. Just as in the previous food crises that hit eastern Africa, international assistance has mostly been emergency response and not so much on ins...


On a flight to Surigao City in southern Philippines last year, I met a group of young Caucasian girls. They were giggling and chattering in a language I couldn’t understand. They seemed very excited about their trip and could barely sit still. One of them was seated beside me so I ventured to make conversation and ask where they were from. “We’re from Norway,” she answered, smiling. “Wow, you’re a long way from home. What brings you here?” I said. She then turned to her friend...


show more
  • Kristine


    Member since March 18, 2011


    53 Posts