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Female survivors of war: How homeless, ousted women in Uganda rebuilt their lives
This incredible woman helped a community of women turn their lives around in the course of just a couple of weekends.
Agnes Igoye is committed to establish a rehabilitation center for victims of human trafficking in Uganda. In partnership with the International Organization for migration, Agnes will create a center for 20 women and girls that will provide schooling and vocational training for survivors, and will also train over 1,000 law enforcement officers on how to recognize and combat human trafficking. Agnes aims to produce a documentary about human trafficking in Uganda to be distributed internationally, and hopes to expand her program to serve more women.
Agnes Igoye: One thing about making commitments of action is, I keep telling people: don’t make it cast in stone.
When you go to the field keep asking questions. And I remember I was responding to the children who were abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army. I was in northern Uganda and then I just kept asking questions.
Then I asked, “What happened to the women who went through the war?” Because there was a lot of, you know, rape, as a weapon of war.
And the local concert chairman told me okay, there are 15 women. So I took a bus to meet these 15 women because some of them were raped, homeless.
So I just went to meet with them and I just started asking questions.
First of all I said you are fifteen people, you have one man in the group. How is that? And they told me that this man knows how to read and write, so that’s why they have him in the group. Because when they talk about their issues and all that there’s somebody who can read and write.
So for me, that was already communication—that the women do not know how to read and write.
So I thanked the gentleman for being part of the team and I asked them which villages they come from. That’s when I started hearing stories of homelessness. One woman told me how her husband was abducted and then the rebels used him to come and kill his own people. So in retaliation, his people sent her away with her six daughters.
So you can imagine, every night they have to look for where to sleep, to stay. And woman after woman told me how they are homeless. So then I asked them a question: what does it take to have a house? Because those are, you know, grass thatched houses.
And then they started to tell me it takes grass, it takes water, it takes this.
I’m like, where can we get those things? And then they started to tell me—so it’s them actually getting their own ideas.
Then I told them, what do we require that needs money? So it came to nails, you know, things like wood to make the doors and stuff like that.
But most of the things, the materials would come from their own communities. And for me I remember that day I said okay, I’ll leave money for two huts—because those are the houses.
And I say okay, in which order are we going to get this housing?
So they also knew which woman was more desperate. “Okay, this one who has more children and this one doesn’t have anything.”
So they made their own decisions. And then we started dividing roles:
“Okay, this is the money I have, so who will keep this money?” So we already got an accountant. We had somebody in charge of water. We had somebody in charge of cooking food while the others are building. And the next weekend —because it was urgent—it dawned on us that some of the women did not have land. And we said okay, who can we ask for land? Who has land in this village? And they said oh, there’s a church.
So we went to see the head of the church. We said okay, we need land.
So great enough so he offered some land for women who didn’t have.
I started going back over weekends and actually building the huts and through that mud while others are collecting water. So it was a scene in the village.
And so when the men saw us do that they got embarrassed, and they would come and join us as volunteers. As we built we’re talking about issues of peace. We’re talking about issues of HIV Aids, which were affecting them. And then through the discussions—because I wanted to find out: are the children going to school, now that we have land?
That’s when it came to my mind that okay, I’m going to offer to buy an ox plow and then we can lend that to people who have the cows, the cattle.
And then they can also lend us the cows in turn so that they can pull the ox plow and we plow our gardens in turns and collectively.
So when they do that and then they grow the crops, so these crops can be sold and money used for medicine and taking children to school. That’s how the Huts for Peace program was born. I didn’t plan it, but at the Clinton Global Initiative they teach us to be creative.
You meet very many people in this network and you’re made very inspired.
So that’s how the Huts for Peace program was born and I’m really happy about that. Because it is their project. Even as I sit here they continue building! And they build communities and women knowing that the power is in their hands.
And when women are given sources of responsibility, before you know it they start campaigning in the village and become village leaders. So that is growth, and you see children going to school, and you see involvement happening by the people themselves.
Agnes Igoye works as Uganda’s Deputy National Coordinator for Prevention of Trafficking in Persons. She also initiated the Huts for Peace program with the Clinton Global Initiative. Here, Igoye tells us about the start of the idea: visiting a community in Uganda where 15 women had become homeless because of brutal acts of war in the region. She helped the women get organized and build huts on church land, turning their lives around in the course of just a couple of weekends. Through the Clinton Global Initiative University, Igoye is committed to building care centers for survivors of human trafficking and training law enforcement to better recognize and combat the illegal activity.
Join multiple Tony and Emmy Award-winning actress Judith Light live on Big Think at 2 pm ET on Monday.
Frequent shopping for single items adds to our carbon footprint.
- A new study shows e-commerce sites like Amazon leave larger greenhouse gas footprints than retail stores.
- Ordering online from retail stores has an even smaller footprint than going to the store yourself.
- Greening efforts by major e-commerce sites won't curb wasteful consumer habits. Consolidating online orders can make a difference.
A pile of recycled cardboard sits on the ground at Recology's Recycle Central on January 4, 2018 in San Francisco, California.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images<p>A large part of the reason is speed. In a competitive market, pure players use the equation, <em>speed + convenience</em>, to drive adoption. This is especially relevant to the "last mile" GHG footprint: the distance between the distribution center and the consumer.</p><p>Interestingly, the smallest GHG footprint occurs when you order directly from a physical store—even smaller than going there yourself. Pure players, such as Amazon, are the greatest offenders. Variables like geographic location matter; the team looked at shopping in the UK, the US, China, and the Netherlands. </p><p>Sadegh Shahmohammadi, a PhD student at the Netherlands' Radboud University and corresponding author of the paper, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/26/tech/greenhouse-gas-emissions-retail/index.html" target="_blank">says</a> the above "pattern holds true in countries where people mostly drive. It really depends on the country and consumer behavior there."</p><p>The researchers write that this year-and-a-half long study pushes back on previous research that claims online shopping to be better in terms of GHG footprints.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"They have, however, compared the GHG emissions per shopping event and did not consider the link between the retail channels and the basket size, which leads to a different conclusion than that of the current study."</p><p>Online retail is where convenience trumps environment: people tend to order one item at a time when shopping on pure player sites, whereas they stock up on multiple items when visiting a store. Consumers will sometimes order a number of separate items over the course of a week rather than making one trip to purchase everything they need. </p><p>While greening efforts by online retailers are important, until a shift in consumer attitude changes, the current carbon footprint will be a hard obstacle to overcome. Amazon is trying to have it both ways—carbon-free and convenience addicted—and the math isn't adding up. If you need to order things, do it online, but try to consolidate your purchases as much as possible.</p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>
Building a personal connection with students can counteract some negative side effects of remote learning.
- Not being able to engage with students in-person due to the pandemic has presented several new challenges for educators, both technical and social. Digital tools have changed the way we all think about learning, but George Couros argues that more needs to be done to make up for what has been lost during "emergency remote teaching."
- One interesting way he has seen to bridge that gap and strengthen teacher-student and student-student relationships is through an event called Identity Day. Giving students the opportunity to share something they are passionate about makes them feel more connected and gets them involved in their education.
- "My hope is that we take these skills and these abilities we're developing through this process and we actually become so much better for our kids when we get back to our face-to-face setting," Couros says. He adds that while no one can predict the future, we can all do our part to adapt to it.
Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.
- The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
- The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
- It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
The Red Sea area where Neom will be built:
Saudi Arabia Plans Futuristic City, "Neom" (Full Promotional Video)<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c646d528d230c1bf66c75422bc4ccf6f"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/N53DzL3_BHA?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Chronic irregular sleep in children was associated with psychotic experiences in adolescence, according to a recent study out of the University of Birmingham's School of Psychology.