Finally Good News http://finallygoodnews.net Your dosage of good news and positive perspectives from the frontline Wed, 15 Feb 2017 13:23:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.2 http://finallygoodnews.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/cropped-finallygoodnews-logo1-32x32.png Finally Good News http://finallygoodnews.net 32 32 Joining Forces Environmentalists Work to Save Mangrove Forests http://finallygoodnews.net/2017/02/15/joining-forces-environmentalists-work-save-mangrove-forests/ http://finallygoodnews.net/2017/02/15/joining-forces-environmentalists-work-save-mangrove-forests/#respond Wed, 15 Feb 2017 13:13:02 +0000 http://finallygoodnews.net/?p=2749 Don’t Give up on the Mangrove Forests, There Is Hope for them Yet! Mangrove forests are groups of trees and shrubs that grow along waterways, primarily […]

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Don’t Give up on the Mangrove Forests, There Is Hope for them Yet!

Mangrove forests are groups of trees and shrubs that grow along waterways, primarily in brackish or saline waters, and they are slowly dying out or being destroyed. There are approximately 80 different species of mangrove trees, serving as a buffer between the sea and land. Mangroves play a vital role in protecting coastlines from erosion, a problem that has increased in recent years due to rising water levels and severe storms.

However, in spite of the critical contributions that mangrove forests make to the ecosystem, they are facing extinction. According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and other environmental groups and activists around the world mangrove forests are the most endangered of all tropical ecosystems. They estimate that in excess of 35% of the total mangrove forests in the world have already been destroyed, and in certain regions, such as Vietnam, the Philippines and India, up to 50% of mangroves have been cleared away or have died due to environmentally insensitive practices.

No part of the world is immune. Even in the US, mangrove trees are being torn down to make way for other priorities such shrimp farms, or commercial, tourism, and industrial projects. The active destruction of mangrove forests is not the only problem, pollution is also killing them off indirectly. Overuse of fertilizers, pesticides and other toxic chemicals dumped in seas, rivers and streams, are suffocating the trees and killing the animal inhabitants of the groves.

Saving Florida’s Mangroves

Let us take Florida as a case study, the trees of Florida’s mangroves are all native to the state. They are able to survive in the salty water of the southern coastal zones because they block the salt as it comes up through the roots or, alternatively, they secrete the salt out through their leaves. It is estimated that south Florida has roughly 469,000 acres of mangrove forests. The vital role they play in protecting the south Florida ecosystem cannot be overstated. Mangrove trees protect a number of shellfish, crustaceans and fish, they provide food for dozens of marine creatures and their roots offer safe shelter to various land animals and birds. If mangroves are destroyed or die out, these species also face extinction.

The good news for mangroves and wetlands preservation and restoration projects is that the call to action has been heard and environmental activists are responding. Wang Wenliang, for example, is an international businessman and entrepreneur who has been working to protect wetlands in his home country of China, and supporting the restoration of a mangrove plantation in Naples, Florida. Thanks to his funding and involvement the Florida project is expected to grow and the system used to restore the plantation will be implemented on additional distressed mangrove trees. Wang is not alone, there are several environmental activists and philanthropists who are racing against the clock and working together to save the world’s mangrove plantations from extinction. On this specific project he worked with Robin Lewis, who designed the restoration plan and is leading its implementation, and Ted Venners of China Green who connected between the two.

Coming Together to Protect our Protectors

Creative and determined environmentalists are key to the success of preservation strategies. These projects rely upon funding, environmental and social awareness, knowledge and initiative. Government agencies, nonprofits and private individuals are united in an appreciation for the invaluable role that mangrove forests play in the ecosystem and are proactively engaged in restoring and protecting them. Sri Lanka has launched a national mangrove preservation project aiming to protect and restore more than 10,000 hectares of mangrove forests across the country. Environmental Foundations like the Global Green Grant Fund and Seacology offer financial support and guidance for international mangrove preservation initiatives. And their are many more who are joining forces to fight the depletion of mangroves, they are among the main protectors of our delicate world after all.

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Google Classroom’s New Chromebooks http://finallygoodnews.net/2017/02/14/google-classrooms-new-chromebooks/ http://finallygoodnews.net/2017/02/14/google-classrooms-new-chromebooks/#respond Tue, 14 Feb 2017 12:34:41 +0000 http://finallygoodnews.net/?p=2740 Google Classroom Launches the Next Generation of Educational Technology A 21st Century Approach to Raising Student Achievement Educators know that raising student achievements has much to […]

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Google Classroom Launches the Next Generation of Educational Technology

A 21st Century Approach to Raising Student Achievement

Educators know that raising student achievements has much to do with getting them truly invested in learning. They also know that student engagement is significantly aided by personalized learning. But when teaching a heterogeneous class of 25 students at best, this proves to be a major challenge. Google Classroom makes it easier for teachers to provide individualized class work that takes differentiated learning styles into account.

What is Google Classroom?Google Classroom

Launched in August 2015, Google Classroom, is a free teaching platform used by more than 20 million educators and students worldwide. For teachers, it acts as a user-friendly dashboard that helps them keep track of their students’ progress, offer tailored assignments and learning resources, and provide personal and group feedback. For students, Google Classroom is an opportunity to share ideas, collaborate on projects and communicate freely and safely with their peers and teachers. It is a part of the broader Google Apps for Education suite which is changing the face of education and bringing teaching, learning and the general school experience into the 21st century.

Reaching Each Student

Recent Google Classroom updates open up even more opportunities for students to personalize their educational experience and engage in a two-way learning paradigm. Educators are now able to offer assignments specifically to an individual student or group of students, based on previous choices the students have made about how they want to access information or conduct their class work. The new technology also enables teachers to reach students who are struggling with the material.

By creating teaching materials that fit each individual’s pace of learning, teachers can diminish boredom and frustration, two key factors in student failure. If a student needs more help, he or she can receive it discreetly. The teacher can provide an easy remedial project, the student quickly regains footing with the class and there is no embarrassment or fear in asking for help. The same goes for students who are ahead of the class, they can easily receive more advanced materials without disrupting the learning rhythm of the rest of the class. Students can also work together by sharing screens and documents whether they are in the same physical space or not. Interactive and collaborative learning are know to increase learning engagement and improve the quality of learning.

How Does It Work?

It’s very simple. Students receive in-school email accounts and with them gain access to the Google Classroom system through which they get various assignments from their teacher using the Google suite apps. Student work and responses to assignments are posted online, thereby providing an open environment for teachers to monitor, assess and provide feedback. One of the Google Classroom perks that is proving to be very valuable to teachers is the ability to observe their students’ work patterns and gain insight on their learning habits. Parents can also follow their children’s Google Classroom activity, stay regularly informed about their progress and understand how they can best help at home.

In Google Classroom, there is no command to turn off digital devices. Instead, the very technology that today’s kids love has become the tool to create equal opportunity for educational success.

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The Climate Reality Project http://finallygoodnews.net/2017/02/02/climate-reality-project/ http://finallygoodnews.net/2017/02/02/climate-reality-project/#comments Thu, 02 Feb 2017 13:40:47 +0000 http://finallygoodnews.net/?p=2728 Rising temperatures across the globe, increasing intensity of storms, drought conditions proliferating, rising sea levels—the evidence of global climate change is clear for all to see. […]

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Rising temperatures across the globe, increasing intensity of storms, drought conditions proliferating, rising sea levels—the evidence of global climate change is clear for all to see. The good news, though, is that the global community is not content to merely read the statistics. They have geared up for action. An example is the Climate Reality Project, founded by former Vice President Al Gore in 2006.

The Climate Reality Project is a group of impassioned individuals from across the globe and every walk of life who believe that climate change is the most pressing problem facing the world today. Members of the Project include politicians, educators, storytellers, business owners, and community activists, who are combining their energies and resources to create a world-wide awakening, a call to action to save the planet for the generations to come. Former VP Al Gore serves as Chairman of the Project.

Changing the Paradigm

The Project promotes the use of alternative energy sources, such as wind, solar and biofuels as an easy and affordable way to reduce harmful carbon emissions. Uniting advocates, activists, educators, and ordinary citizens of the world, it strives to change the paradigm of thinking and behavior across all spectrums of life.The Climate Reality Project runs several initiatives in pursuit of its mission and objectives, among them:

• 24-Hours of Reality, an annual, web and digital broadcast program that is aired to audiences around the world. This year’s event: “24-Hours of Reality: the Road Forward,” aired on December 6, 2016. The program featured VP Al Gore along with a host of celebrities including Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bon Jovi, Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and others. Focus was brought to the 24 countries in the world emitting the highest levels of Co2. The objective of “24 Hours of Reality” is not merely to be informative. It seeks to be a catalyst for advocates and concerned citizens to demand real change in behavior from the nations contributing the most to global climate change.

• I am Pro Snow, a movement of stakeholders impacted by healthy snowfalls, or the lack thereof. The movement includes ski resort owners, professional and recreational skiers, boarders, mountain hoteliers and farmers whose livelihoods depend on snow. The collaboration not only brings attention to the facts on the ground, it is also demands a shift to renewable energy and away from fossil fuels. Members of the collaboration pledge to become 100% committed to the movement. By taking the pledge, they promise that their business will use only clean fuels, or that they will only support entities that are committed to clean fuels. For instance, Aspen, Colorado made the commitment in 2015 and retrofitted their power facilities to become 100% renewable electricity. The city is utilizing primarily hydropower and wind, in addition to solar and biogas from landfills. As a result it has already experienced measurable reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, while keeping the cost of electricity affordable for its residents.

The mission of the Climate Reality Project is, “to catalyze a global solution to the climate crisis by making urgent action a necessity across every level of society.”, and so far it seems Al Gore and his partners are taking impressive, creative and effective action to this end.

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2016 Was an Impressive Year for Renewable Energy Projects http://finallygoodnews.net/2017/01/22/2016-impressive-year-renewable-energy-projects/ http://finallygoodnews.net/2017/01/22/2016-impressive-year-renewable-energy-projects/#respond Sun, 22 Jan 2017 11:45:13 +0000 http://finallygoodnews.net/?p=2626 Renewable Energy Initiatives Take Off Around the World Renewable energy, once the jargon of environmentalists and dreamers of a green world, is rapidly becoming mainstream as […]

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Renewable Energy Initiatives Take Off Around the World

Renewable energy, once the jargon of environmentalists and dreamers of a green world, is rapidly becoming mainstream as governments and citizens across the globe reach the zenith of their ability to tolerate the effects of climate change and toxic pollutants in the atmosphere. What was once perhaps a luxury or experiment is now becoming a necessity as municipalities deal not only with the pollution but also the costs of a fossil-fuel based energy sector. According to a report in Futurism, as of last year, solar energy has become more affordable than fossil fuels for the first time.

The year 2016 witnessed an impressive string of renewable energy accomplishments, such as the first offshore commercial wind farm installed by the United States, solar roof tiles by the icon Elon Musk and a new invention by a young adolescent that would harness vibrational energy from wind, sunlight and precipitation to create power that not only is clean but affordable. Even Google is going renewable, targeting 2017 as the date by which all of its data centers will be powered by renewable energy.

Harnessing the Ocean Winds—Floating Windmills

Floating Windmills (photo by inhabitat.com)

All of this is very good news not only for the future of the renewable energy industry but for the planet. Here is a brief look at some very interesting renewable energy projects underway or on the drawing board.

Solar Powered Irrigation

Europe’s largest solar-powered irrigation system came on line in 2016 in Croatia. A total of 363 photovoltaic modules are powering six water pumps that are bringing water to agricultural land in Knezevi Vinogradi. Previously the water pumps were powered by diesel fuel. It is estimated that approximately 48.44 tons of carbon dioxide will be saved each year by the solar system. After six months of operation, the results are already very positive, not only reducing carbon emissions but also improving water management.

The World’s Largest Solar Power Tower

In the Negev, Israel, renewable energy developers are constructing what will be the tallest solar power tower in the world. The tower will be 820 feet high and will sit in the midst of a 121 megawatt power complex that will, when completed in 2017, provide clean energy to around 120,000 homes. The project has a few mega-partners, including General Electric, Bright Source and Megalim Solar Power Ltd. More than 50,000 mirrors, or heliostats, controlled by computer, will track the movement of the sun, collect its rays and bring that power to a boiler that will sit at the top of the tower. The boiler will take that energy and turn it into extremely hot steam which will be fed into a turbine which will generate electricity.

Using the Sun to Power Trains

The Renewable Energy Traction Project is a network of scientists, activists and private businesses who are creating a unique project of utilizing solar energy to power UK’s vast railway network. Currently, UK rail operators are working vigorously to meet a 2050 goal of massive carbon reduction through the implementation of electrified power grids. But there are parts of the vast UK rail system that run through Wales, England and Scotland, where there is sufficient sunshine to perhaps install solar collecting panels on the side of rail cars to power the trains. The idea would be to replace the third rail electrified line currently connected to the electric grid with a line that would draw power from the solar panels. The Project is slated to begin next month, February 2017 and should have its findings by the end of the year.

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Developing High Technology Solutions for Kids with Disabilities http://finallygoodnews.net/2017/01/19/high-technology-solutions-kids-disabilities/ http://finallygoodnews.net/2017/01/19/high-technology-solutions-kids-disabilities/#comments Thu, 19 Jan 2017 08:02:26 +0000 http://finallygoodnews.net/?p=2619 Six percent of children living in the UK are dealing with disabilities, meaning that a significant portion of the overall population is at risk of being […]

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Six percent of children living in the UK are dealing with disabilities, meaning that a significant portion of the overall population is at risk of being marginalized from mainstream society, unable to access the tools that will provide them with economic and social security. In response, Small Business Research Initiatives (SBRI) Healthcare in the United Kingdom (UK) is funding nine companies who are innovating technologies to improve the quality of life of disabled children and adolescents, with a particular focus on those that will open pathways to self-sufficiency and full participation in society. Funded companies were also recognized for their emphasis on technologies that take into account a child’s growth and development.

The good news for children with disabilities in the UK is that a number of very impressive high-tech companies are focused on their needs and on developing real-time solutions. Nine proposals were chosen to be funded.

Here is a brief glimpse at five of the winners:SBRI

  1. Open Biotics is one of the pioneer tech companies in the world developing wearable 3D printed medical devices. They are developing a multi-grip robotic prosthesis for children with upper limb impairments. The prosthesis will address the complex needs of children and adolescents in the areas of physical, social and psychological development.
  2. Innerstrength is addressing the challenges of treating children with cystic fibrosis. Innovators are seeking to create a new model of care that will focus on self-management and thereby reduce the burden of care that is the natural byproduct of new life-saving therapies.
  3. ADI, Ltd. is developing a product called “Let Me Show U”, a digital platform that will securely store the health history and specific needs of children dealing with disabilities. ADI is addressing the challenges of getting caregivers up to speed as quickly as possible. The data files, which include audio, video and animations, can be accessed by the child’s family and caregivers via a special app that is compatible with a smartphone device or tablet.
  4. Project Andiamo, Ltd. is also utilizing 3D imaging technology to develop a unique back brace for children with cerebral palsy. The device addresses the problem of spinal deformities which is common in these kids. It will provide support for the torso, alleviating pain and discomfort, lessening the need for surgery, increasing the child’s mobility and enhancing quality of life.
  5. XIM, Ltd. is developing “Here’s Looking at you Kid”, a digital platform focused on children with asthma. The platform uses a mirror to measure a child’s heart rate, blood pressure, heart rate variability, SpO2 and respiratory rate, vitals that are critical to ensuring that a child with asthma gets the immediate medical attention he needs or alternatively, avoids an unnecessary trip to a medical center.

SBRI was founded in 2009. The concept was to develop a partnership between healthcare practitioners, businesses, technology companies and government agencies to create solutions to healthcare problems. SBRI provides 100% of funding to innovators who are addressing unmet health issues, and founders retain full ownership over their intellectual property. To date, SBRI has funded the creation of more than 30 new products and technologies and more than 100 companies.

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Project Nigeria part 3: Nigerian Billionaire Unveils US$100 Million Program http://finallygoodnews.net/2017/01/02/project-nigeria-part-3-nigerian-billionaire-unveils-us100-million-program/ http://finallygoodnews.net/2017/01/02/project-nigeria-part-3-nigerian-billionaire-unveils-us100-million-program/#respond Mon, 02 Jan 2017 09:32:39 +0000 http://finallygoodnews.net/?p=2613 Project Nigeria – Nigeria is one of the countries in Africa that has a true need for good news and support. Our project will showcase 3 extraordinary events […]

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Project Nigeria – Nigeria is one of the countries in Africa that has a true need for good news and support. Our project will showcase 3 extraordinary events in this country that support making it a better place.

Previous  Projects in Nigeria:

  1. Benedict Peters  – Aiteo Group Saving Lives in Adamawa State
  2. Nigerian Women Shifting African Philanthropy

 

African Entrepreneurs Will Benefit from Elumelu’s Latest Programme

Billionaire and philanthropist Tony Elumelu loves his country and does his best to aid its development and its people. In 2016 he launched an entrepreneurship program that makes US$100 million available to African and African/American entrepreneurs throughout the United States and Africa.

Who is Tony Elumelu?Project Nigeria - Tony conference

Tony Elumelu is a Nigerian entrepreneur, philanthropist and economist. He is the founder, CEO and chairman of several companies including United Bank for Africa, Heirs Holdings and Transnational Corporation of Nigeria. Elumelu’s business interests cover a wide range of industries including financial services, oil and gas, power generation, real estate, hospitality and agriculture. He is also the founder of the philanthropic organisation The Tony Elumelu Foundation, and is well known for the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme.

It’s all About Nigeria to Tony Elumelu

Although he is not an internationally known figure, Tony Elumelu is quickly achieving recognition for the work he is doing to improve the lives of the citizens of Nigeria. Despite the country’s economic challenges, Elumelu remains positive about the country and is urging investors from all over the world to invest in Nigeria. According to the billionaire Nigeria plays an important role in Africa because whatever is invested in the country spills over to dozens of neighbouring countries.

Creating Opportunity for Africans

In 2014 around 100 African and African/American business leaders attended a summit in Washington DC which was co-hosted by Tony Elumelu. The goal of the summit was to provide a platform from which the economic stance of Africans and African/Americans can be accurately ascertained, so that opportunities of advancement can be created.

Envisioning a Massive Business Explosion

Elumelo’s ultimate vision is to help 10,000 entrepreneurs to create 10,000 startups over a period of ten years through The Tony Elumelu foundation and this initiative. The hope is that this will send Nigerian and other African business people on an upward trajectory while creating significant opportunity for wealth and employment, and at the same time solidifying a mutually beneficial collaboration between Africa and the United States.

What Elumelu Says about his Ambitious Plans

Like many of the other rising African philanthropists, Tony Elumelu believes that home-grown African philanthropy is what should be creating the itinerary for the development of Nigeria and the African continent. He launched this initiative with the goal of tackling some of the issues faced by African entrepreneurs. Elumelu also hopes that his actions will encourage other high net worth Africans to follow in his footsteps, and also give support. The goals of the foundation and the initiative are as follows:

  1. Identify 10,000 African entrepreneurs or startups with bright ideas that have potential for success
  2. Help the businesses grow with mentoring, skills training, seed capital funding, and membership to a continent-wide network
  3. Assist with creating businesses that can generate a minimum of 1,000,000 new jobs while also generating at least US$10 billion in revenue over a period of ten years.Considering the large-scale success Elumelu has already achieved as a businessman, one can rest assured that this initiative will also be successful.

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Project Nigeria part 2: Nigerian Women Shifting African Philanthropy http://finallygoodnews.net/2016/12/24/nigerian-women-shifting-african-philanthropy/ http://finallygoodnews.net/2016/12/24/nigerian-women-shifting-african-philanthropy/#respond Sat, 24 Dec 2016 11:41:30 +0000 http://finallygoodnews.net/?p=2602 Project Nigeria – Nigeria is one of the countries in Africa that has a true need for good news and support. Our project will showcase 3 extraordinary events […]

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Project Nigeria – Nigeria is one of the countries in Africa that has a true need for good news and support. Our project will showcase 3 extraordinary events in this country that support making it a better place.

Previous  Project in Nigeria: Benedict Peters  – Aiteo Group Saving Lives in Adamawa State

 

Female Philanthropists Making an Impact

For hundreds of years philanthropy around the world has been dominated by a distinct group that mainly comprised of white males. Think about the good that Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and Bono have all done, especially in Africa in countries like Nigeria. Although this support is well received and continues to make a huge impact on the continent, a new breed of philanthropist is emerging in Nigeria. As the country’s economy is undergoing steady growth, female locals are becoming more involved with the social and economic development of Nigeria.

African Philanthropy is Shifting

There are many ways to support Africa. While Western benefactors often seek out technological advances as solutions to pressing problems, African women altruists have a unique approach to getting the job done. Females take a more focused attitude to philanthropy by funding grassroots initiatives. Three of Nigeria’s most notable female philanthropists are Folorunsho Alakija, Amina Oyagbola and Olajumoke Adenowa.

 

  • folorunso-alakija - Finally good newsFolorunsho Alakija
    Folorunsho Alakija (known as Funso) is a Nigerian business magnate known as the richest woman in Africa, and the richest black woman in the world. Funso is the CEO of the Rose of Sharon Group, a foundation that provides business subsidies to widowed women and orphans. She believes that Nigeria is the so-called ‘land of milk and honey’ and that it’s a country rich in opportunity. Funso’s goal is to help Nigeria achieve its potential.

 

 

  • oyagola - Finally good newsAmina Oyagbola
    Amina Oyagbola is not only a veteran Nigerian business woman in the telecoms industry, she is also the founder of Women in Successful Careers (WISCAR), which is a not-for-profit initiative aimed at gender empowerment. Amina and WISCAR provide mentoring opportunities to professional women and are revolutionising the status of females in positions of power in Nigeria.

 

 

  • olajumoke adenowo - Finally good newsOlajumoke Adenowa
    Renowned Nigerian architect Olajumoke Adenowa provides funding, entrepreneurship summits and mentorship programmes to help women start their own businesses.
    While these women are making valuable contributions to the country, the problem is that even with the best intentions – philanthropy in Africa is not always easy, especially for locals.

 

 Roadblocks for Philanthropists

It is not easy for locals to get funding in Nigeria. So unless African altruists are billionaires, it is almost impossible to get financing for projects. There are also no tax incentives in Sub-Saharan Africa. This means that it is cheaper for foreign millionaires to donate to Africans than what it is for locals to help their own people.

Overcoming Obstacles

Despite the stumbling blocks, Nigerian female philanthropists are doing their utmost to support Africa. Their aim is to transform local communities by being closer to the ground. They have the advantage of a unique understanding of problems in Africa because they are immersed in these issues in their daily lives. Because they live where they give, local philanthropists are held accountable for their philanthropic achievements. Perhaps the future of philanthropy in Nigeria should involve foreign philanthropists working with locals to make the ultimate positive change a reality.

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Project Nigeria part 1: Benedict Peters’ Aiteo Group Is Saving Lives in Adamawa State http://finallygoodnews.net/2016/12/18/benedict-peters-aiteo-group/ http://finallygoodnews.net/2016/12/18/benedict-peters-aiteo-group/#comments Sun, 18 Dec 2016 12:11:47 +0000 http://finallygoodnews.net/?p=2592 Benedict Peters – Helping Internally Displaced Persons in Adamawa, Nigeria   Project Nigeria – Nigeria is one of the countries in Africa that has a true […]

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Benedict Peters – Helping Internally Displaced Persons in Adamawa, Nigeria

 

Project Nigeria – Nigeria is one of the countries in Africa that has a true need for good news and support. Our project will showcase 3 extraordinary events in this country that support making it a better place.

 

According to the UNHCR, there were 40.8 million internally displaced persons at the end of 2015. Five countries accounted for 60% of this worldwide total: Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Syria and South Sudan. Internally displaced persons (IDPs) are people who were forced to flee from their homes, but remained within the boundaries of their own country. While they are sometimes referred to as refugees, they do not meet the international definition of the term, making them particularly vulnerable.

There were more than 2 million internally displaced persons in Nigeria at the end of 2015, 136,100 of them in the northeast Nigerian state of Adamawa. Most Nigerian IDPs are the victims of insurgency attacks by extremists, communal violence and natural disasters.Benedict Peters - Finally Good News
The living conditions in IDP camps are very poor and unsanitary leading to fast spreading disease. Due to extreme poverty, the crime rate in the camps is very high and basic infrastructure such as water, sewerage and power are grossly inadequate if at all existent.

Local government has declared the IDP situation a severe emergency and requested members of the community to get involved, but up until November 2016 no serious donations had been made. One of the reasons may be the concern that contributions would not reach their destination. However it seems the government has managed to establish secure and effective delivery channels to the people of the IDP camps.

 

Aiteo Group Supports IDPs in Adamawa State

 

Witnessing the humanitarian crisis unfolding in the northeast IDP camps of his country, Benedict Peters, founder and CEO of Aiteo Group, felt he had to take action. In early November, as part of the company’s corporate social responsibility activity, Aiteo Group made a generous donation to the Adamawa State Emergency Management Agency.

The donation package was designed to adress basic needs and consisted of large quantities of emergency supplies like salt, sugar, rice, noodles and cooking oil, washing detergent, bathing soap, sanitary towels and diapers. It also included 100 mattresses, 1000 mosquito nets and 1000 exercise books. All items donated cam to an approximated worth of 30 million Nigerian Naira.

Muhammdu Umaru Jibrilla, the Governor of Adamawa, thanked Aiteo and Peters for their generous donation and encouraged other able Nigerian individuals and companies to join in the effort to ease the suffering of the people in the IDP camps. Aiteo representative Mallam Babangida Nuhu, said that Benedict Peters believes strongly in helping people in need and plans to continue contributing whenever and wherever he can.

About the Aiteo Group

Aiteo Group is an integrated energy corporation, committed to sustainable energy development. Its activities include oil and gas exploration and extraction, production, marketing, trading and shipping.

Benedict Peters is the Founder and CEO of the Group. He has been involved in the energy field since the early 70s with decades of direct experience in the oil and gas industry. He founded Aiteo Group in 2000.

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Marijuana is now legal in more than 50% of the US http://finallygoodnews.net/2016/11/14/states-rights-trumps-federal-criminalization-marijuana/ http://finallygoodnews.net/2016/11/14/states-rights-trumps-federal-criminalization-marijuana/#comments Mon, 14 Nov 2016 10:19:19 +0000 http://finallygoodnews.net/?p=2579 Trump Was Not the Only Big Winner on Election Night Political pundits around the world see the outcome of the 2016 US Presidential election as a […]

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Trump Was Not the Only Big Winner on Election Night

Political pundits around the world see the outcome of the 2016 US Presidential election as a complete repudiation of the establishment. There was another repudiation as well—a rejection of the decades old federal criminalization of marijuana. Voters in Massachusetts, California, Nevada and Maine approved ballot measures that will permit the use of recreational marijuana. Anyone over the age of 21 will be able to smoke pot. They join Colorado and Washington, where voters passed measures to legalize marijuana in 2012.

Medical marijuana initiatives were approved in North Dakota, Florida and Arkansas. Montana voters approved a measure that will relax existing medical marijuana laws. Florida’s measure passed by 71%, a very healthy majority and a victory of states’ rights over federal enforcement.

Marijuana Legalization in the US

A New Cottage Industry

The California victory is a big one as 12% of the total US population lives in the state and it offers the largest market for marijuana products. Proponents of the measure were not simply looking to provide residents with more opportunities to get high, they see marijuana as a legitimate component of a healthy economic engine. Legalization will enable California entrepreneurs to develop a variety of cannabis based products that go beyond smoking. Licenses are not expected to be issued before 2018, quite a time away, but this has not dampened the euphoria. Measure advocates are looking forward to a new cottage industry and revenue that will enable the state to pay for a long list of social, educational and environmental projects.

Marijuana as an Economic Engine

The Colorado precedent has demonstrated to other states that they can enjoy a new, stable source of revenue, create new jobs, save money on law enforcement and reduce crime. In fact, according to a report by the Marijuana Policy Group, the legalization of recreational use in Colorado has resulted in the creation of 18,000 full-time jobs and added $2.4 billion to the state’s coffers in 2015.

Legalization advocates also cite the failure of the national war on drugs, noting that the federal effort has cost billions and has disproportionately impacted minorities. They believe legalizing marijuana will cut down on the drug trade, especially from Mexico and Latin America.

Expanding Medical Use of Marijuana

Confident farmer checking hemp plants in the field during a sunny summer day, agriculture and herbal medicine concept

Florida’s ballot measure will establish one of the most liberal medical marijuana laws in the country. It will not be limited to HIV, cancer and PTSD, but will also be available to patients suffering from other medical conditions that have a similar impact and for which a physician believes marijuana would help ease the suffering. And Florida is not alone, the North Dakota medical marijuana measure also allows a physician to prescribe its use for a number of conditions in addition to cancer and HIV.

Bipartisan Support

Legalizing marijuana seems to have bipartisan support and the number of proponents within both parties is on the rise. This is primarily due to new research that proves that marijuana has few side effects while offering significant health benefits. In addition, legalizing marijuana takes the profit out of the hands of an underground industry and brings it to municipal and state treasuries. These are realities that both parties can get behind, and in the current political atmosphere, many people may find cross-party agreement of this sort to be soothing and encouraging.

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Beyond Trump and Clinton – Ballot Measures as True Change Agents http://finallygoodnews.net/2016/11/08/beyond-trump-clinton-ballot-measures-truly-change-agents/ http://finallygoodnews.net/2016/11/08/beyond-trump-clinton-ballot-measures-truly-change-agents/#respond Tue, 08 Nov 2016 12:57:42 +0000 http://finallygoodnews.net/?p=2557 While US Elections Capture Public Attention, Important Issues are Being Decided Locally Ballot Measures: The Ultimate Power Play Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, WikiLeaks, FBI, emails, at […]

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While US Elections Capture Public Attention, Important Issues are Being Decided Locally

Ballot Measures: The Ultimate Power Play

Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, WikiLeaks, FBI, emails, at times it seems like the 2016 US Presidential election has become as surreal as a movie script. In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising if Hollywood was already working on its next election-themed blockbuster.

The US Presidential election has become one of the most contentious elections in American history. Former friends have become enemies; family members are engaged in a mini civil war and each side is threatening to “burn down the country” if they lose. It is enough to make a US citizen want to pack up and head out to some exotic, deserted island until the dust settles. However, if we consider the 157 ballot measures awaiting approval, we can still catch a glimpse of the eternal flame of self-determination that has shaped America since its founding.

Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump

Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump. (Image: Caricatures by DonkeyHotey on Flickr through Creative Commons)

Potentially Life-Changing Ballot Measures

1. Marijuana
In 2012, Colorado and Washington were the first states in America to legalize recreational marijuana. The results have been hugely successful, especially in Colorado which reaped so much in tax revenue that the state had to turn to the voters once more to decide how to allocate the excess funds. This year, Maine, Arizona, Massachusetts and Nevada will seek to join the ‘legalization club’, and North Dakota, Arkansas, Montana and Florida will ask voters to approve the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes. If all ballot measures pass, recreational or medical marijuana will be legal in a total of 25 states, half the country.

2. Carbon Tax
While various nations continue to argue and make declarations about how to save the environment, Washington may become the first state to actually implement its own carbon tax. As proposed in this ballot, companies would be taxed according to the amount of carbon dioxide they emit. Surprisingly, this ballot measure isn’t sailing through smoothly, which is odd for a state known for its commitment to environmental sustainability. The difficulty seems to be centered around the question of how to spend the tax revenues, an issue which has created more opposition than support.

3. Animal Rights
The US Humane Society, as well as local animal rights activists have devoted considerable amounts of resources to ensure the passage of a specific Massachusetts ballot measure. This law would essentially ban farm operators from confining animals and fowls by requiring the provision of a basic minimum space for each animal. According to this proposal, each animal should have enough room to move around, lie down, stand up and turn around. To many, this may seem like a minor issue, but producers and manufacturers are fighting the measure, claiming that it will make food more expensive.

Taking a Closer look at the Big Picture

While the tension between political candidates and parties is reaching its peak, and stress levels are running high, it’s important to remember that the ‘big picture’ is made up of smaller details. These details too can be influenced by US citizens and affect their everyday lives.

 

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