Saturday, 11 July 2009

From the Conference in Barnsley

At the conference "Global Perspectives in Adult Learning" which was held at the Northern College in Barnsley from 3.-5.July, Brian Lewis held a session about "A Book in 8 Minutes" to which all the participants contributed a brief segment that they could write down within 8 minutes.

After collecting all the input from the participants, Zeraslasie Shiker sent this out to each participant on behalf of Brian:

Letter to participants of Global Perspectives' Book

Dear friends,

Pam is currently working on the book on 8 minutes document and we expect to send that out very soon, possibly today. Brian and I have received text from several people and since the piece from Paul Smedley is about right length we are sending that to you. Some of you might want to write additional material??.

Deadline as soon as possible but definitely not later than Thursday, 6 August 2009.

Some people are experimenting for instance Anila from Scunthorpe has sent a very interesting poem on global poverty. I have also adapted a small section of my current manuscript Eritrea: rivers, wells and water (Z. Shiker).

Additional material.

A new idea. If you can thing of a person who is alive or dead and exemplifies the idea of one world. Or a world movement which exemplifies a one world approach. Send us an example.

To illustrate this Brian takes as the man he admires and exemplifies a one world view as the Emperor Akbar a contemporary of the Queen of Elizabeth I of England. Brian writes approximately one 100 words.

“I like the Emperor Akbar because he was a great unifier. Illiterate – we think he suffered from an advanced form of dyslexia he spent more money on commissioning books than he did on his army. He practised tolerance and in his India all religions (and people with no religion) were acceptable. One of his favourites wives was a Hindu princesses who was encouraged to practise her religion. Akbar knew that religious intolerance is a great evil.”

I take Barak Obama because he showed the world that human beings regardless of their colour and background can work towards world unity. He will lead by example as he is the President of the current only super power country in the World. He appreciates global issues that factors world peace, security and cooperation. He will work across cultures. But I am not naive from my experience that people (politicians) might not live as to your expectation.

Who would be woman or man, historical or living who you admire and who's views would advance the one world order?

An example of a newly arrived text which describes a current problem and how it related to Paul's work and what changes he would like to make.

The issue of child protection is often raised as a major issue after a tragedy strikes. All too often politicians and bureaucrats wring their hands and pontificate when “the system” fails yet again and another innocent and voiceless life is destroyed.

In global terms unachievable aspirations such as the Millennium Development Goals are held aloft as propaganda to give the appearance of “doing something” and to win votes. Other European nations, particularly the Scandinavians, have a far more enlightened perspective in dealing with vulnerable children. They do not criminalise youth and when intervention is necessary it is far more effective. The proportion of children who enter the care system in these countries is far lower than the UK and there is clear evidence that those who do go on to achieve the majority of the outcomes we have set for our own children under Every Child Matters.

In my work I can only hope that practitioners I teach can make their voices heard above the political double-speak bureaucratic incompetence and criminal negligence. The ethos of “The Best Interest of the Child” is the correct one but in an effort to achieve targets, budgets and other politically motivated criteria, the practical application is lost. The fear of being judged, castigated and ridiculed by a flawed system and some sections of the media often restricts practitioners in enabling vulnerable children achieve the safety and security they deserve.
Educating children, their families and those charged with the duty of their care more holistically, will promote an environment where more meaningful progress can be made.

Paul Smedley

Zeraslasie takes on environmental programme which is affected by politics.

Eritrea is a small mountainous country located in the North-east of Africa. It has a territory of about 124,345 square kilometres, coast line of 1500 kilometres in the Red Sea, and 135 small Islands inside the Red Sea. In the North-west it is bound by Sudan, in the East by the Red Sea, in the South-east by Djibouti, and in the South by Ethiopia.

The Eritrean people liberated the country, after thirty years of armed struggle, from Ethiopian colonial rule in 1991. On 24 May 1993 following United Nations supervised referendum, in which 99.8% of its population voted for independence, Eritrea obtained independence. Until late 19th century Eritrea was not unified but the territory was ruled by local rulers. From the 16th to the late ninteenth century outside powers: the Turks, Egyptians, and Ethiopian Kings occupied parts of Eritrea taking over from the local leaders.

In 1890 Italy, a late arriving colonial power, declared the formation of present Eritrea and ruled the country until 1941. During World War Two Britain took-over Eritrea and ruled the territory until 1952. The following 10 years Eritrea was federated with Ethiopia. In 1962 Ethiopia desolved the federal arrangement and colonised Eritrea for 30 years until 1991.

Some of Eritrea's modern dams, bridges that cross major rivers, and water diversion schemes were constructed by Italy. None of those who ruled the country after Italy had selfless coordinated genuine initiatives. Rivers and water were not a priority agenda.. For the Eritrea people the agenda was a political one, self-determination while for Ethiopia's political elites it was ensuring their continuity in the country wide control.

Though there is a potential to construct hydropower stations and viable modern farms near the rivers of Eritrea, politics did not allow that to happen. Eritrea contributes water to the Nile River. Yet the people had acute problem of access to drinking water. For me this is a global issue because of politics the environment deteriorated because of non- environmental factors.

This is a world wide phenomena.

Brian/ Zeraslasie

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