Goodbye 2016 – Some positive news – Yes I did say POSITIVE!

Saturday 1230  –  31.12.16

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I am writing this on the final day of 2016 and what a year it has been.  Brexit in the UK, Trump in the USA, the deaths of so many inspirational people, continued Global Warming and the horrors of war in Syria and the Yemen; with apparently only 10 countries in the world completely free of conflict (1). 

So I could have written about any of these but instead I am choosing to write about something Positive. I know ! Radical for me isn’t it…  

I am a supporter of WaterAid an organisation dedicated to bringing clean water to every citizen of the world. 

I recently had some correspondence from them and here is a copy of the front page so you can read this good news for yourselves

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Just read those fantastic headlines – for the FIRST time EVER the percentage of people who urgently need clean water has dropped below double figures to 9% yes that’s NINE PERCENT . Of course that is still way to many but it is proper measurable progress..

Just ONE fact for you –  “Collectively, women from Sub-Saharan Africa spend about 40 billion hours a year collecting water”  (2)  It is a fact that women and girls spend much more time than men and boys on collecting water and wood; between 2 and 8 times as much time. Imagine what they could be doing instead – getting educated, working, keeping healthier because of the clean water and enjoying life more.

Here it is again below –  WaterAid is part of the global push to get to Zero by 2030. It is VERY doable.

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I am very proud to be a tiny part of this. 

You too could be a tiny, but vital part, in making sure everyone in the whole world has access to water.

You see I told you positive news!  🙂  

You can see contact details for WaterAid the UK in the photo above or here – http://www.wateraid.org/uk 

Wherever else in the world you are,  you can help too –  

Go here http://www.wateraid.org/  and hover your curser over the global sign at the top and you will see what countries WaterAid works in, as well as the countries where you can donate or help in other ways.

Also if you google “Increasing access to water” you will find more reading on the subject and other organisations who are helping.

References –

(1) – http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/global-peace-index-2016-there-are-now-only-10-countries-in-the-world-that-are-not-at-war-a7069816.html

(2) – http://www.un.org/womenwatch/feature/ruralwomen/facts-figures.html

Your thoughts are very welcome as ever.

I wish you all a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful 2017 .

My New Year’s resolution is to try to perform one Random Act of Kindness every day, even if it’s only a smile to a stranger.

What’s yours ?

Saturday Girl signing off.. 

Take a look at my photography blog Photomania by clicking here 

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” – Desmond Tutu

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Saturday 1358  –  26.07.14

If you are new to my blog take a look at my About page here

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Please don’t just flick past and think this is just another post about Palestine.. It is but it is so very important to read about what is happening, as the worlds governments seem to be standing by apparently disinterested. Please read right to the end. Thank you.

I’d like you to think about something for me, especially if you have children, elderly parents, someone disabled in your family, a husband, wife or other loved one. Yes in other words all of you.

I want you to imagine that you’ve had leaflets dropped in the area where you live telling you that you need to get out of your house because the area in which you live is going to be bombed.

Now your phone is ringing and you’re being told you have 15 mins to get out of the house. What do you think ? This is my house, all my things, my life savings have gone into this house.

Then I want you to imagine that there is an explosion on your roof, enough to shake the house violently and do some damage or maybe even kill anyone at the top of the house. ( the Israelis call it a “tap on the roof”)

Next feel the fear of knowing that explosion on your roof is a warning that your house is going to be bombed and you need to get out fast. What would you bring with you? Food, clothes, medicine, money, the dog?  Would you have time? Would you run?  How can you when you have an elderly grandmother with you ? Where would you go when you don’t know which other houses are going to be bombed? 

Would you go to the beach? Would you be safe there?

Would you go to a UN run school? Would you be safe there?

Please don’t stop reading now but instead watch this video here. 

Imagine this was your house…..

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All gone…

Forever.  

Along with any dreams and hopes you might have had for the future.

I hope you managed to get your family out in time.

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These are some of the names and ages of the children killed in the last 2 weeks. They didn’t get out in time

Names and ages of some of the children killed in Gaza in the last 2 weeks

Names and ages of some of the children killed in Gaza in the last 2 weeks

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On this Saturday  I attended a 1 hr vigil for the people who have been killed in the Gaza strip, Palestine, in the last 2 weeks .The vigil, organised by the Cambridge Palestine Forum was held in the centre of Cambridge whilst in London upwards of 45,000 people marched calling for an end to the terrible bloodshed, to the blockade of Gaza by Israel and for a boycott of Israel.  

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Reading the names of the dead

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On 22.07.14 a vote was held in the United Nations on a resolution ensuring respect for international law in Palestine  – 

on the 23rd July  –

The Human Rights Council concludes Special Session on the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Establishes Independent, International Commission of Inquiry for the Occupied Palestinian Territory

“The Human Rights Council today established an independent, international commission of inquiry to investigate all violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and concluded its Special Session on the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.

In the resolution, adopted by a vote of 29 States in favour, 1 against and 17 abstentions, the Council condemned in the strongest terms the widespread, systematic and gross violations of international human rights and fundamental freedoms arising from the Israeli military operations carried out in the Occupied Palestinian Territory since 13 June 2014 that may amount to international crimes, directly resulting in the killing of more than 650 Palestinians, most of them civilians and more than 170 of whom were children, the injury of more than 4,000 people and the wanton destruction of homes, vital infrastructure and public properties.

In the resolution, the Council decided to urgently dispatch an independent, international commission of inquiry to investigate all violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, particularly in the occupied Gaza Strip, in the context of the military operations conducted since 13 June 2014, and to report to the Council at its twenty-eighth session.

Please look carefully at the result of the vote below. The United States of America voted AGAINST the resolution and Europe, including France, Germany, Austria, Ireland , Italy and the UK abstained. In other words they were silent and proved again that when the USA says jump they say how high !  I am ashamed of my government here in the Uk. They did not vote in my name !

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” – Desmond Tutu

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Please read this and consider signing https://secure.avaaz.org/en/israel_palestine_this_is_how_it_ends_loc/?slideshow

Or you might like to write to the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs ,Phillip Hammond directly and tell him what you think. You can do that here https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/page/speakout/israel-gaza

So what can you do about it apart from signing petitions. You might like to consider boycotting companies that have strong links with Israel. 

More information: –

here http://www.boycottisraelnetwork.net/ .

and here http://www.boycottisrael.org.uk/

Finally I would ask you to watch this video here by Jon Snow. One of the few journalists around these days who is really doing his job.

Please don’t turn away. These children need us.

you don't need to be a muslim to stand up for Gaza

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I have written about the cost of war and associated issues before –

https://hellenjc.wordpress.com/2013/09/01/save-lives-talk-peace/

https://hellenjc.wordpress.com/2013/04/07/the-human-cost-of-war/

https://hellenjc.wordpress.com/2012/10/14/naming-the-dead/

https://hellenjc.wordpress.com/2012/09/23/is-this-what-we-want-for-our-sons-and-daughters/

https://hellenjc.wordpress.com/2012/03/18/white-feather-caught-in-thorns/

https://hellenjc.wordpress.com/2012/08/05/guns-what-are-they-good-for/

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As ever I welcome your thoughts.

Saturday girl signing off til whenever.

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You can find my photography blog Photomania here 

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