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Posts Tagged ‘Help’

Killings and spread of disease

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2013 at 08:07

Growing risks for aid workers

While humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and operational independence may seem unthreatening, aid workers have found themselves caught up in political, ethnic and religious tensions.

The Foreign Office official told IRIN: “Militants’ fear that NGO or health workers could be spies, may be spreading into other realms,” an allegation that predates 2011, but which was reinforced by the death of former Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden in May of that year.

In 2011 Shakil Afridi, a government-employed doctor, collected DNA samples from a residential house in Abbotabad which helped the US Central Intelligence Agency identify the whereabouts of Bin Laden, who was killed in a US raid. It is alleged that Afridi, since sentenced to 33 years in jail, masqueraded in his native Khyber Agency as a polio vaccinator in order to collect the samples.

Ehsanullah Ehsan, a spokesman for militant group Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, told IRIN: “Afridi was a traitor and naturally people now suspect all anti-polio workers of being US agents.”

Health worker Shahida Bibi, 40, who works in the Mardan District of KP and has regularly participated in anti-polio campaigns, told IRIN: “this is certainly a factor in recent attacks on polio workers.”

She also said other notions, like the “myth sometimes spread by clerics that polio drops cause sterility and are a `Western conspiracy’ to reduce Muslims in the world”, sometimes accounted for hostility and refusals by parents to have children vaccinated.

Security concerns look set to hamper efforts to deliver aid, and eradicate polio in particular. In 2011, Pakistan had 198 cases – more than anywhere else in the world, according to WHO.

Race against the tide: Bravery of young mother who stayed by her horse’s side for THREE HOURS after getting trapped in mud ‘like quicksand’ .

In Uncategorized on August 30, 2012 at 13:56

Exhausted and mud-splattered, Nicole Graham clung to her trapped horse Astro for three hours keeping his head high in a race against the tide.

The 78-stone show horse had sunk into quagmire-like mud and was facing the prospect of drowning as the water rose around them…

Miss Graham stayed at her horse’s side. She courageously clung on to his neck, terrified that he would not be freed before the tide came in.

After three ‘terrifying’ hours, rescuers managed to pull Astro and Miss Graham from the mud.

Miss Graham, who owns more than 10 horses and runs an equine dentistry business, told the Geelong Advertiser how a peaceful afternoon’s ride had turned to terror.

She said: ‘It was terrifying. It was also heartbreaking to see my horse exhausted and struggling…

A local helicopter was put on standby as a last resort at pulling Astro from the mud.

The combined rescue effort paid off. With minutes to spare before the water reached him, Astro – who had been sedated by vet Stacey Sullivan – was dragged from the mud with the aid of the farmer’s tractor.

‘It was a race against the tide and fortunately we won,’ said Lieut Buckle, who praised everyone efforts, including those of Miss Sullivan whose work in sedating Astro made it easier to pull him free.

Miss Sullivan said Astro was dehydrated but had coped well.

In Uncategorized on September 18, 2011 at 08:04

Wright’s motorcycle burst into flames in the wreck on Monday, as did the BMW that struck him in Logan, a Utah college town roughly 90 miles north of Salt Lake City. A group of about a dozen bystanders lifted the car off of him in a dramatic rescue … Wright, who hasn’t yet spoken to any of his rescuers, said they need to get used to being called heroes.

“That car could have blown up at any time,” Wright said. “They’re very brave.”

Man pulled from burning wreckage thanks ‘heroes’

Al Shabaab and the humanitarian aid

In Uncategorized on August 10, 2011 at 08:26

There is a famine in Lower Shabelle and Bakool regions and near-famine conditions throughout southern Somalia. Al Shabaab, which has al Qaeda ties and controls most of southern and central regions of the country, has historically banned international aid agencies from operating within territories under its control. The group has enforced this ban with violence: militants raid local offices, destroy foodstuffs and medical supplies, and kidnap aid workers. Al Shabaab has, in fact, contributed to the humanitarian disaster many Somalis now face through these tactics.

Al Shabaab ordered the closure of the offices of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the United Nations Department of Security and Safety (UNDSS), and the United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS) for engaging in activities “hostile” to Islam.  The offices of the International Medical Corps and CARE had already been closed. Immediately following the issuance of the ban on the UN agencies in Somalia, al Shabaab militants raided UN offices in Baidoa in Bay region and in Wajid in Bakool region. The UN was forced to suspend its operations in those two cities. Al Shabaab administrations throughout southern and central Somalia targeted select humanitarian organizations and attempted to prevent these organizations from operating.

Strict restrictions on aid activities and food distributions severely impacted humanitarian assistance operations in areas under al Shabaab control. In early November 2009, al Shabaab leader Sheikh Mukhtar Robow Ali, also known as Abu Mansur, accused the World Food Program (WFP) of destroying the local agriculture market by distributing aid during harvest time. He also banned any aid with the American flag on it. At the time, the WFP was one of the few aid agencies permitted to operate in al Shabaab-controlled territory. On November 25, 2009, al Shabaab issued an English-language statement ordering the WFP to purchase food from local farmers and to empty all warehouses by the end of the year, and warning local contractors to cut business relations with the aid agency by January 1, 2010. The WFP announced on January 5, 2010 the suspension of its activities in southern Somalia due to a lack of security. A March 1, 2010 al Shabaab statement claimed that following the suspension of WFP activities, the population became increasingly self-sufficient. By mid-September 2010, at least six other aid agencies were banned from Somalia, including Mercy Corps, Med-Air, and Horn Relief.

Somalia is one of the most hostile environments for humanitarian activities. Al Shabaab’s attacks on aid workers and agencies’ offices have made most of southern and central Somalia inaccessible. The WFP reports that since 2008, 14 of its employees have been killed by al Shabaab. Al Shabaab has used the presence of aid agencies to its advantage. In some instances, the group has benefited financially through fees extracted for security assurances or from ransom payments from the kidnapping of aid workers. In other instances, the families of al Shabaab militants have registered as refugees in camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs), where they receive food rations. Further, in some instances, access to the camps themselves is controlled by militants. Humanitarian aid organizations with established operations in pro-government or government-controlled regions of Somalia remain at risk.

The severe conditions in southern Somalia have driven families to seek assistance in areas outside of al Shabaab’s control. Some reports indicate that al Shabaab has prevented some of these families from leaving its territories. Al Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Ali Mohamed Rage, also known as Ali Dhere, refused the entry of banned humanitarian agencies into famine-afflicted regions, saying that the declaration of a famine was part of a political agenda.

Mother Teresa

In Uncategorized on August 10, 2011 at 07:58

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mother Teresa was a Catholic nun, who founded the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, India in 1950. For over 45 years she ministered to the poor, sick, orphaned, and dying, while guiding the Missionaries of Charity’s expansion, first throughout India and then in other countries.

In the 1970s, she became well-known internationally for her humanitarian work and advocacy for the rights of the poor and helpless.

She began her missionary work with the poor in 1948. Mother Teresa spent a few months in Patna to receive a basic medical training in the Holy Family Hospital and then ventured out into the slums.  Initially she started a school in Motijhil (Calcutta); soon she started tending to the needs of the destitute and starving. In the beginning of 1949 she was joined in her effort by a group of young women and laid the foundations to create a new religious community helping the “poorest among the poor”. Her first year was fraught with difficulties. She had no income and had to resort to begging for food and supplies.

the Missionaries of Charity began as a small order with 13 members in Calcutta; today it has more than 4,000 nuns running orphanages, AIDS hospices and charity centers worldwide, and caring for refugees, the blind, disabled, aged, alcoholics, the poor and homeless, and victims of floods, epidemics, and famine.

In 1952 Mother Teresa opened the first Home for the Dying in space made available by the city of Calcutta. Those brought to the home received medical attention and were afforded the opportunity to die with dignity, according to the rituals of their faith; Muslims were read the Quran, Hindus received water from the Ganges, and Catholics received the Last Rites.

Mother Teresa soon opened a home for those suffering from Hansen’s disease, commonly known as leprosy. The Missionaries of Charity also established several leprosy outreach clinics throughout Calcutta, providing medication, bandages and food.

As the Missionaries of Charity took in increasing numbers of lost children, Mother Teresa felt the need to create a home for them. In 1955 she opened the Children’s Home of the Immaculate Heart, as a haven for orphans and homeless youth.

The order soon began to attract both recruits and charitable donations, and by the 1960s had opened hospices, orphanages and leper houses all over India. Mother Teresa then expanded the order throughout the globe. Its first house outside India opened in Venezuela in 1965 with five sisters. Others followed in Rome, Tanzania, and Austria in 1968; during the 1970s the order opened houses and foundations in dozens of countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and the United States.

The Missionaries of Charity Brothers was founded in 1963, and a contemplative branch of the Sisters followed in 1976. Lay Catholics and non-Catholics were enrolled in the Co-Workers of Mother Teresa, the Sick and Suffering Co-Workers, and the Lay Missionaries of Charity. By 2007 the Missionaries of Charity numbered approximately 450 brothers and 5,000 nuns worldwide, operating 600 missions, schools and shelters in 120 countries.

Mother Teresa’s philosophy and implementation have faced some criticism. Catholic newspaper editor David Scott wrote that Mother Teresa limited herself to keeping people alive rather than tackling poverty itself.

She has also been criticized for her view on suffering. She felt that suffering would bring people closer to Jesus.Sanal Edamaruku, President of Rationalist International, criticised the failure to give pain killers, writing that in her Homes for the Dying, one could “hear the screams of people having maggots tweezered from their open wounds without pain relief. On principle, strong painkillers are even in hard cases not given. According to Mother Teresa’s bizarre philosophy, it is ‘the most beautiful gift for a person that he can participate in the sufferings of Christ’.”

The quality of care offered to terminally ill patients in the Homes for the Dying has been criticised in the medical press. The Lancet and the British Medical Journal reported the reuse of hypodermic needles, poor living conditions, including the use of cold baths for all patients, and an approach to illness and suffering that precluded the use of many elements of modern medical care, such as systematic diagnosis. 

Dr. Robin Fox, editor of The Lancet, described the medical care as “haphazard”, as volunteers without medical knowledge had to take decisions about patient care, because of the lack of doctors. He observed that her order did not distinguish between curable and incurable patients, so that people who could otherwise survive would be at risk of dying from infections and lack of treatment.

Colette Livermore, a former Missionary of Charity, describes her reasons for leaving the order in her book Hope Endures: Leaving Mother Teresa, Losing Faith, and Searching for Meaning. Livermore found what she called Mother Teresa’s “theology of suffering” to be flawed, despite being a good and courageous person. Though Mother Teresa instructed her followers on the importance of spreading the Gospel through actions rather than theological lessons, Livermore could not reconcile this with some of the practices of the organization. Examples she gives include unnecessarily refusing to help the needy when they approached the nuns at the wrong time according to the prescribed schedule, discouraging nuns from seeking medical training to deal with the illnesses they encountered (with the justification that God empowers the weak and ignorant), and imposition of “unjust” punishments, such as being transferred away from friends. Livermore says that the Missionaries of Charity “infantilized” its nuns by prohibiting the reading of secular books and newspapers, and emphasizing obedience over independent thinking and problem-solving.

In 1982, at the height of the Siege of Beirut, Mother Teresa rescued 37 children trapped in a front line hospital by brokering a temporary cease-fire between the Israeli army and Palestinian guerrillas. Accompanied by Red Cross workers, she traveled through the war zone to the devastated hospital to evacuate the young patients.

The spending of the charity money received has been criticized by some. Christopher Hitchens and the German magazine Stern have said Mother Teresa did not focus donated money on alleviating poverty or improving the conditions of her hospices, but on opening new convents and increasing missionary work.

The Archbishop of Calcutta, Henry Sebastian D’Souza, said he ordered a priest to perform an exorcism on Mother Teresa with her permission when she was first hospitalized with cardiac problems because he thought she may be under attack by the devil.

A Mystery Hero

In Uncategorized on August 8, 2011 at 15:25

by mrs.joweaver

A Mystery Hero in Water Rescue by Vera H-C Chan A slip, a scary splash, then a scream. It took just seconds for a two-year-old girl to fall 20 feet into New York’s East River waters. Many reacted quickly to rescue 2-year-old Bridgette Sheriden, but two men reacted even faster: Bridgette’s father David Anderson and a still unknown French tourist who, after helping in the rescue, walked way and took a cab to destinations unknown.

No Wallet

In Uncategorized on August 8, 2011 at 14:03

“This morning I dropped my wallet between the car seat as I was dropped off at the train station by my girlfriend. I had no cell phone and no money. On my own, I would have had to wait the whole day for her to finish work before walking across the city back to her place. Three random acts of kindness in about an hour got me back on my feet again. Since my girlfriend’s cell phone would be long distance, I couldn’t use the phones at the train station. A complete stranger offered me to use his phone, without me asking. Unfortunately, I didn’t get an answer. I had my laptop so I asked for directions to the nearest Starbucks. The friendly manager was more than willing to let me use their free wireless service, even though I was not a customer. He brought me a complimentary tea while I texted my girlfriend online to be able to get back to her house. I figured out the bus schedule and had asked my girlfriend to have her landlord provide me with a spare key. Although I didn’t have any money, the bus driver let me ride for free. It saved me a couple hours worth of walking. We are so dependent on money and technology. When we are unexpectedly without it, it seems like we are completely lost. Three random acts of kindness helped me to get back home safely. I can’t wait to pass them on to the next person I meet who is in need.”

Гааз, Фёдор Петрович

In Uncategorized on August 8, 2011 at 13:36

Ф. П. Гааз, член Московского тюремного комитета и главный врач московских тюрем, посвятил свою жизнь облегчению участи заключённых и ссыльных. Он боролся за улучшение жизни узников: добился, чтобы от кандалов освобождали стариков и больных; упразднения в Москве железного прута, к которому приковывали по 12 ссыльных, следовавших в Сибирь; отмены бритья половины головы у женщин. По его инициативе были открыты тюремная больница и школа для детей арестантов. Постоянно принимал и снабжал лекарствами бедных больных. Боролся за отмену права помещиков ссылать крепостных. На благотворительность ушли все его сбережения.

“В документах комитета есть 142 ходатайства доктора о помиловании или пересмотрении дела. Председателем комитета был митрополит Филарет, всемогущий иерарх, перед которым дрожала вся Москва. Был он крутого нрава, не терпел возражений. Председателю надоедали постоянные ходатайства Гааза о помиловании “невинно осужденных”.

— Вы все говорите о невинно осужденных, — сказал митрополит, — таких нет. Если вынесен законный приговор и человек подвергнут надлежащей каре, значит, он виновен.

— Да вы, владыко, о Христе забыли! — вскочил доктор.

Повисла тягостная тишина, все ждали вспышки. Однако митрополит опустил голову, минуты шли тягостно — никто еще не решался так дерзить митрополиту. Наконец, тот поднял голову и сказал:

— Нет, Федор Петрович, не я забыл о Христе. Это Христос забыл меня…

Доктор не останавливался ни перед чем, для него не было злодеев и душегубов, а лишь люди, которые нуждались в помощи. “Необходимо, — говорил он, — справедливое отношение к виновному, сострадание к несчастному, призрение больного”.

В 1839 году он собрал 11 случаев отказа рассмотреть его ходатайства Комитетом и написал прямо к царю. Ему ответили, что обращаться надо “куда следует”, а не к персоне государя. А через некоторое время Московский тюремный замок посетил Николай I. Тому сказали: доктор Гааз самовольно задерживает приговоренных к ссылке, а это “против правил”. Царь, любивший во всем порядок, резко упрекнул доктора. Гааз ответил непочтительно. Николай нахмурился. Тогда доктор пал на колени. Николай Павлович, знавший Гааза, поднял его: “Полно, Федор Петрович, я на тебя не сержусь”. “Не за себя, государь, хлопочу, а за семидесятилетнего старика, который по дряхлости не может идти в Сибирь. И за двух сестер, молодых девушек, ссылаемых туда же. Они неразлучны, но одна заболела, ее оставляют, а другую ссылают. Больная просит, чтобы и ее отправили, лишь бы не разлучаться”. Теперь император бросил гневный взгляд уже в сторону свиты…

“Тюремный доктор” был бесстрашен перед царями. Но был бессилен перед вязкой бюрократической волокитой, которая губила все его начинания. И ему приходилось жертвовать всем, чтобы нести добро людям. Он добивался ремонта больничной палаты при тюрьме, ему отпускали 400 рублей, но работы обошлись в 470. И ничто не могло подвигнуть начальство на покрытие разницы — доктор докладывал свои…

В преступнике, сколько бы тяжкие дела он ни совершил, Федор Петрович видел человека, больного душой. Не сумасшедшего, а именно больного. Тесно общаясь с ними, доктор видел, с какой жадностью эти отверженные тянутся к слову Божьему. Он пошел с ходатайством к церковным властям о печатании и раздаче ссылаемым Евангелия и брошюр духовного поучительства. Церковные власти, конечно, приветствовали это, но ничего не делали. Гааз на собственные средства стал покупать книги, вовлек в это дело богатых купцов. Только один из них на 30 тысяч рублей купил 54 тысячи азбук и 11 тысяч Евангелий. За свой счет Гааз издал в 1841 году книжку “А.Б.В. христианского благочиния (А.Б.В. — азбука) и об оставлении бранных слов и выражений”…

И понятно, почему быстро исчезла карета с белыми лошадьми, с молотка пошла суконная фабрика, продано процветающее некогда имение и пришлось хоронить одинокого доктора-чудака за счет полиции…”

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