Saturday, July 21, 2007

Helen's Story - Use a Condom

Helen's Story is a documentary that has been aired on Emtv about an extra-ordinary woman who defies stigmatation and discrimination to "speak-out" and advocate on HIV/AIDS. This story airs tonight also on Emtv and while I have not seen the documentary, I have decided to interview Helen and do my own "Helen's Story" for 3 minutes on youtube.

In this short video Helen encourages young people who are sexually active to use a "condom" for protection as their is no other alternative. "Once you have the HIV virus thats something you will live with the rest of your life.......and if you are going to have sex, please use a condom and there is no other way I can recommend to you".

I meet Helen during a recent BAHA Masters Trainers workshop in Port Moresby. Helen is living with HIV/AIDS and works with Anglicare Stop Aids to advocate for those people who are living in AIDS and also to tell young people about the dangers of HIV/AIDS. Helen's Story is very motivating for those advocating for PLWHA that they are also human and they should be discriminated because of the HIV/AIDS statues.

HIV/AIDS victims have the same rights to living and basis services as you and I and it does not matter what their status is. Discrimination must have no place in our society. If you have a relative that is living with AIDS, make sure you know how best to take care of them. Having basic knowledge on HIV/AIDS helps one to care for thier relative living with AIDS.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Thankyou, Sir Rabbie Namaliu!

FORMER prime minister Rabbie Namaliu is the first high profile MP to lose his seat in the national elections.Sir Rabbie, who is leader of the country’s oldest political party, Pangu Pati, was beaten for the Kokopo Open seat which he has represented in Parliament since 1982. He was defeated by Patrick Tammur, the son of Oscar Tammur, the man he dethroned for that seat.Sir Rabbie, who was attending a gathering at his Raluana village in Kokopo at the time of the declaration, accepted his people’s verdict and thanked them for their support.

Sir Rabbie said he had been expecting a close race because five candidates including the MP-elect were from his LLG area. Despite losing, Sir Rabbie is confident Pangu Pati will get a good number of members into Parliament. He said Pangu candidates were doing well so far. On the leadership of the party, he said, a decision would be made later.

This would be done after all results were completed and declared.Sir Rabbie said he was looking forward to a break from politics adding he would be spending more time now with his family.The break would also allow him to decide on what to do in the future. Asked if this was the end for him in the political arena, he replied: “In politics, you never say never, because the circumstances may change but for now, I am out of politics.”

Sir Rabbie has been contributing alot to the development of Papua New Guinea during his tenure as Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and has held many folios within the government. The last post Sir Rabbie held was the Minister for Treasury which was given to him after Bart Philemon was removed.

He has gain international recognitions for his work and has worked alot with International Agencies such as the World Bank, European Union, Asian Development Bank, United Nations and foreign Embassies.
The last time I meet Sir Rabbie was September 2006 in Singapore. He was there to attend the annual IMF/World Bank meetings which I was also there to attend and witness the launch of the World Development Report 2007: Development and the Next Generation. Sir Rabbie hosted a dinner for the Papua New Guinean delegates and sent an invitation for me to attend.
It's a shame that Sir Rabbie has lost his seat but that is what the majority of people has chosen for the Kokopo Open Seat and I believe, it is their interests in Kokopo that must be taken into account regardless on who is and who is not a good leader.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Free Education - OpenCourseWare

Free Education. That should be the battle cry of voters now that they have chosen their leaders over the next few days. But you can actually get a free education online. This is due to major and prestigious universities offering their courses for free – over the internet!

It’s called opencourseware or intellectual philanthropy. You can actually get an Ivy League college education or even a master’s degree by logging into the websites of these universities, read the lectures, hears or sees the lectures on video, and read the reference books and other materials. There is even a feedback mechanism. Try MIT. It has one of the best free course offerings.

How do you get to these universities? Well, buy a computer, and have a fast connection to the internet. If there are two or more of you sharing the computer, you can split the cost two or three way.

With the universities on the Internet, you have your menu of virtually unlimited options—choose the professors you want, read the books you want and jump from one course to another—journalism to engineering, management to geodetic engineering, back. There is no restriction. You can even specialize in climate change. The only limiting factor is your imagination.

Of course, on the Internet, you don’t need to cheat. If you do, you are fooling yourself. Did you know that majority of students in UPNG cheat? Even in the exams in their ethics class, they cheat.

With Universities and College education here has become so expensive; parents of students need a public office or a similarly remunerative racket (not drugs, please!) just to support their children.

I know can study my Japanese again and take up German language also. Oh…I’m also trying my hands on Electrical Engineering and Computer science!

Anyway, thanks to the world becoming flat, finally, premium education is universal. Accessible to all. For free.

01 Jun 2007 // Logging into learning.
Read more on The Hindu Business Line
21 May 2007 // Top Universities Offer Free Lectures Online.
Read more on KGO-TV
15 May 2007 // State colleges may offer free course materials.
22 Apr 2007 // MIT OpenCourseWare nears completion.
Read more on insidevandy
15 Apr 2007 // MIT OCW named one of America's 100 best for 2007.
10 Apr 2007 // Wanted: Single Standard for Open-Content Licenses.
Read more on eSchool News Online
10 Apr 2007 // Free MIT Course Materials and Supply Chain Seminars.
Read more on EDN
09 Apr 2007 // Public eduCommons Demo.
Read more on Iterating Toward Openness
04 Apr 2007 // Extraction Action.
Read more on The Chronicle of Higher Education
04 Apr 2007 // MIT Courses, Now in Chinese.
Read more on The Chronicle of Higher Education
04 Apr 2007 // UC Irvine launches Free Online Financial Planning Course.
Read more on American Digital Networks
03 Apr 2007 // MIT OpenCourseWare selected as one of the top 300 Political Science Web resources.
03 Apr 2007 // Open Education 2007: Conference Call for Papers.
Read more on Iterating Toward Openness
02 Apr 2007 // Open Content Learning Portal Debuts.
Read more on eSchool News Online

Monday, July 2, 2007

Youth Coalitions

There are alot of youth organizations around the world that is taking up the challenge of airing out youth issues and fighting for their voice to be heard. Some of these youth organizations specificly target certain social issues while others are broad in nature. Some of these youth organizations are donor fundered while others operate for a profit.

Yet...all these youth organizations have one thing in common. And that is to advocate for the rights of young people. Rights that are agreed on by member countries in the UN Charters and Conventions. Some of these groups are Global Youth Coalition on HIV/Aids, Taking It Global and even international organizations like World Bank and United Nations have their own youth section with their department.

Now when I did a posting on Sex Education....I sent a link to GYCA http://youthaidscoalition/ so young people visiting GYCA website can also visit the Yu Tok Blog. Well, I got a quite few visitors and some of those visitors wanted me to write something about their activities. One particular oranization, Youth Coalition wanted to invite me to a Pacific Training. This training is about Youth Sexual Reproductive Rights and it will be staged in Fiji early November 2007.

The interesting thing to note about Youth Coalition is that, unlike most NGO youths they actually have an office and have staffs that are working on contracts. Their office is based in Canada, have a full-time staff on contract and most amazingly...they have annual reports. Now talk about being organized for a youth group.......but thats not the end....they also have sponsors and some of their sponsors are Ford Foundation, Dutch Government and anonymouse donors.

Youth Coalition stands for the following values and principles:
  • Sexual and reproductive rights are human rights, and therefore apply equally to young people.

  • All human rights are universal and must not be limited on the grounds of conflict with religion, culture or tradition.

  • Sexuality and sexual expression are integral parts of the personal identity of all human beings, therefore applying equally to young people.

  • Youth participation is essential to ensure that sexual and reproductive health and rights programmes and policies address the needs of young people.

  • Young people have a valuable contribution to make to society and must be given a voice in all policy and decision-making processes which is recognized, respected and incorporated.

  • Sexual and reproductive health and rights information and education are vital in safeguarding and promoting the life, health, and well-being of young people.

  • Sexual and reproductive health services are vital in safeguarding and promoting the life, health, and well-being of young people.

  • All women, irrespective of age, have the right to medically safe, legal and accessible abortions.

  • The sexual and reproductive lives of young people must be free of coercion or the threat of violence.

  • Funding for sexual and reproductive health and rights programmes must meet the needs of all young people.

Now if you don't believe me.....visit the site yourself and see it.