Posts Tagged ‘Development’

Help Haiti!

I’m going to assume that if you’re connected to the internet and reading this post, that you have probably already learned about the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that took place in Haiti yesterday. Sadly, it is suspected that nearly 100,000 perished in the quake while the prime minister mentioned that the death toll may be even higher. The country is in desperate need of hospitals, medicine and doctors to assist with the crisis at present.

Read the whole story here.

With all of this happening to our fellow human beings in Haiti, this is, indeed, a time to step up and help people in need. Courtesy of MSNBC, here is a list of charitable organizations that are active in the nation that you can help:

Action Against Hunger, 877-777-1420
American Red Cross, 800-733-2767
Beyond Borders, 866-424-8403
Direct Relief International, 805-964-4767
Doctors Without Borders, 888-392-0392
Haiti Children, 877-424-8454
Haiti Marycare, 203-675-4770
Haitian Health Foundation, 860-886-4357
Hope for Haiti, 239-434-7183
International Relief Teams, 619-284-7979
Mercy Corps, 888-256-1900
Oxfam, 800-776-9326
Rural Haiti Project, 347-405-5552
World Concern, 800-755-5022
Yele Haiti, 212-352-0552

Also, click here for some information from CNN on how you can Impact Your World.

Let’s make a difference!

Lots of love and prayers going out to the families that have been affected by this tragedy,


Welcome to Lent Term!

I’m sitting in Cafe 54 on campus, sipping some coffee (only one cup — one of my NY resolutions is to cut back on caffeine consumption) and watching the hordes of people that are back on campus… it was so nice being here just a week ago when the majority of people were sleeping their lives away in their homeland. Now, once again, it’s packed and I have to use physical force to find an outlet. In any case, my first seminar of this term is done and though my brain was only 60% on, it was good to get back into the groove of things! I have a busy week ahead: on campus today from 930A to around 6P, with Tuesday and Thursday shaping up to be very similar. I’m still trying to decide on my last class for this term, so I’m sitting in on three lectures, hoping one will really stand out (Public Management of Development, African Development and Globalization & Social Policy — if you have insight, leave me a comment)!

This term is going to be a rough one, but now that I’m back in an intellectually stimulating environment, I feel much more prepared to take on assessed essays, dissertation proposals, exams, job applications and the like. I’ve also made it my goal to go to at least one LSE public lecture or partake in some cultural experience each and every week. Also, exciting (for you LSEers out there), my lovely flatmate, Lindsay, has her own radio show (‘Brunch Buffet’ on Pulse Radio) this term! If you’re an LSEer and want to show a peer some support, you can join her facebook group here!

In other news, I have a load of guests coming to visit in the next few months: my cousins are coming for a jaunt over from Malta next week; my sister & dad are coming in April (yay!) and my cousin from San Diego is coming over for a couple of months in the summer! My (overly ambitious) goal is to have my dissertation mostly completed by the first week of July so that my cousin and I can do a bit of traveling while I put the final touches on my thesis. Here’s to hoping! Send some positive energy my way <3.

Now back to work!

Development Dilemma

I try to follow the international development happenings as well as humanly possible. I subscribe to a number of briefing newsletters to keep posted on what’s happening in the developing world.  Due to the fact that there are so many developing countries, I typically focus on the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) area since that’s likely where I will end up focusing my efforts after graduate school. Quite frankly, there are just too many developing countries in Asia & Africa and if I try to keep up on EVERYTHING, I keep up on nothing because it all becomes a big pile of thoughts! In any case, I found an old issue of Time (April 10th, I think) tucked away in my car yesterday and started reading it when I got home. The issue was jam-packed with LAC happenings, specifically with ordeals in Mexico and Colombia.

One of the articles detailed the happenings in Juarez, Mexico due to crazy drug trafficking. In that city alone, 10 people a day were being murdered until a major cartel leader was captured, lowering the death toll to five per day in Juarez. In Colombia, there was a story about a child army. If you’ve seen Blood Diamond, you can effectively visualize what I’m referring to. It’s amazingly disturbing to think about 9 – 15 year old children brainwashed into being killing machines. In my naivete, I truly thought that that was nearly isolated to Africa. I really didn’t realize that this was happening in South America as well. Blame it on the drugs, maybe. That seems to be the primary reason for the ridiculous amount of warfare that has plagued the continent. Much of the money comes from cocaine, marijuana and arms. One of the men who made the  TIME 100 Most Influential People list is a cartel leader who reigns in billions of dollars working in this industry (if that’s an appropriate term) — he’s been on a number of lists aside from this: wealthiest billionaires and the government’s “got-to-bring-this-guy-down”/Most Wanted list (whatever the official name for that might be). Much like what was seen in Blood Diamond, some of these kids are abducted and brought into this army (kids as young as 9 have been noted), and some actually volunteer to join the “cause.” Many want revenge on the government after family members have been executed and they feel that joining this regime will allow them to fight back. A 17-year-old kid was quoted as saying that he had killed many people and ordered the killings of many people, including 13 politicians. He had since left the army and he’s being helped (along with a number of other kids, around 3000) by an Amnesty group interested in reintegrated these people back into society with a semi-normal life.

Now, I mention these things for a couple of reasons. One: I really didn’t realize how awful things were in this region. I think we often focus so much on African happenings and are so closed off to many parts of the world, people don’t get this kind of information. Maybe we don’t want it. Secondly, I felt the weirdest sense of nervousness and fear yesterday. I’ve wanted to work in the policy and development arena to make a difference with these people. My boyfriend discouraged working in Africa because, quite honestly, it was a scary thought. We hear about the warfare in Africa — killings, pirates, tribes — and my boyfriend, naturally, wanted me to be as far from there as possible. I have since been interested in Latin America because a) my grandmother hails from El Salvador and b) it has always come off as an underdeveloped, but slightly safer arena in which to work. The stories, however, seem to prove me wrong. I’m actually a little scared to work in some of these areas! I know that after schooling and taking classes on safety in development, my fears will be somewhat assuaged, but still… I’m afraid that reality will be a hard pill to swallow. The world is not as nice as we sometimes would like to believe.

Sorry for the heaviness — have a good weekend & a Happy Mother’s Day!

Saintly Slip-ons!


I love shoes.

In fact, I recently had to make a promise to myself to stop buying shoes so I could save my money to fund my impending journey across the pond (education > fashion, I guess…) In any case, I have recently (thanks to a friend) discovered a way to give back to the world through investing in new shoes! Thusly, I feel duly justified in adding to my closet! There is a fantastic company, TOMS Shoes, that sells vegan and canvas shoes for men, women and children. On top of the fact that they’re vegan– this is the best part! — they run an ongoing campaign called One for One which provides a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair of shoes that is purchased! So far, they’ve given 140,000 pairs of shoes to children in need with the help of consumers like us. It’s an amazing thing, and every pair purchased will help a child protect their feet from wounds and potential infection. Help a child (and your closet!) out by visiting TOMS Shoes online and snagging a pair for yourself and your family. Best of all, you’ll know that you’re doing something amazing for a child in need — is there anything better than that?

You can check out the video here and see how your purchase can help those in need!