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News Behind the News
January 2012

Posted by Naomi Schalm on January 20th, 2012

A summary of news and reports from the field staff and interns of GHNI, Geneva Switzerland.

Volunteers in eastern Ethiopia. Photo by Jennifer McKinney.

Armenia: Poverty rises in the former Soviet country

Poverty levels have continued to rise in Armenia. The most affected subgroup is children. Figures released show that seventy-one percent of families with four or more children are living below the poverty line. GHNI conducted our first Transformational Community Development training in Armenia last November.  We were deeply touched by the vitality of these impoverished rural people.

Bangladesh: TCD training to help the poor

Solar power has recently increased substantially in rural Bangladesh. With most villages disconnected from the national power grid, rural citizens are using solar panels to provide self-sustaining energy to their homes and villages. This has allowed business owners to extend their workday into evening. Recently GHNI India has trained rural workers and plans to use our training to help villages learn about community health, water and food security as well as elementary education.

Chad: Rural farmers impacted by famine

Rural farmers and cattle herders in Chad have suffered with the drought in central Africa. They have not been able to sustain the fields they have used for generations. Furthermore, with the uncertainty of rainfall the herders are experiencing problems in migrating to different fields and territories.  Hundreds of thousands of family animals have died in the last year from Chad to Somalia. We have been teaching Transformational Community Development in Chad and hope to expand this work so that family farms will learn better ways to make their resources more resilient.

Ethiopia: Self sustaining solutions for famine being strengthened

This past year Ethiopia has suffered from a major drought and famine. In the next few weeks a GHNI volunteer team will engage with some villages on the eastern borders who have been learning self sustaining agriculture.

India: Let Your Coffee Do Good

We have some great news to relay. Coffee without Borders, a compassion-based coffee company, has advised us that they will contribute $2 per 7 oz bag of coffee purchased on their website for the entire month of January and February to GHNI. These funds will be dedicated to assisting our efforts in India to drill water wells, bringing clean drinking water to those most in need.  Please tell your friends and neighbors that not only will they be able to enjoy a great cup of Hawaiian fresh roasted coffee, but assist GHNI in providing help and hope to these villages. Check out their website to purchase your coffee!

Japan: Poverty affecting women in Japan

This month Japanese officials released reports saying one third of all single Japanese women live in poverty. The gap between the wealthy and the poor is expanding. In addition, the gap between male and female wealth is expanding rapidly. GHNI has been helping with the Tsunami Relief efforts in Japan and, with our partners, we seek help to start TCD work amongst poor women and others in need in the future.

Libya: Jobs for fighters

The Libyan government has started a program this month to provide jobs for the former rebel fighters. This program is the first major step in disarmament and employment by the government. The work program is scheduled to really take off in January. This month, GHNI is sending a short term team to rural Libya to assess the needs of the unemployed and poor families in the region. The new government continues to seek our help.

Nepal: Human trafficking increases

Human trafficking is increasing in Nepal as women are deceived by prospects of lucrative jobs in other countries and recruited through illegal channels. One of the ways to combat this serious challenge is through education. GHNI’s Think Tank, the Geneva Institute for Leadership and Public Policy, is now working to create an education program for rural Nepali and Indian villages.

North Korea: Grinding poverty driving refugees

The number of refugees leaving North Korea continues to increase. The majority of refugees end up in South Korea. GHNI continues to provide humanitarian relief for refugees in South Korea, including food and medical support for the poorest of the poor.

Syria: Refugees still clamoring across the borders

Violence in Syria continues as government and police forces fire on protestors in multiple locations. With more than 600 killed in the last month, there is no end in sight to Syrian violence. GHNI Jordan Director, Jamal Hashweh, has visited many families who have fled to the Jordanian border. GHNI is seeking more funding for food and winter blankets to help these displaced people.