Lonmin mining communities: A powder keg of inequality

Mail and Guardian

Faranaaz Parker

A leaked report shows that the appalling living conditions of Marikana miners are nothing new to Lonmin, despite its social responsibility efforts.  Prepared for Lonmin and dating back to 2006, the report and its follow-ups detail the abject poverty in Marikana and other communities where miners who work in Lonmin’s platinum mines live. Continue reading Lonmin mining communities: A powder keg of inequality

East Africa: Prostitution in Juba, the Inside Story


By Joyce Joan Wangui, 8 August 2012

Phostine Anyango tossed and turned in her sleep. She was unable to sleep. She agonised the whole night about her future. The mother of four beautiful children was about to make a decision that would dramatically change her life.  Was she willing to abandon her nine-year marriage in search of riches in Juba, South Sudan? Continue reading East Africa: Prostitution in Juba, the Inside Story

The Dark Side of the “Green Economy”

YES Magazine

Why some indigenous groups and environmentalists are saying no to the “green economy.”

byJeff Conant

Everywhere you look these days, things are turning green. In Chiapas, Mexico, indigenous farmers are being paid to protect the last vast stretch of rainforest in Mesoamerica. In the Brazilian Amazon, peasant families are given a monthly “green basket” of basic food staples to allow them to get by without cutting down trees. In Kenya, small farmers who plant climate-hardy trees and protect green zones are promised payment for their part in the fight to reduce global warming. In Mozambique, one of the world’s poorest nations, fully 19 percent of the country’s surface is leased to a British capital firm that pays families to reforest.
These are a few of the keystone projects that make up what is being called “the green economy”: an emerging approach that promises to protect ­planetary ecology while boosting the economy and fighting poverty. Continue reading The Dark Side of the “Green Economy”

The Not-so-Social Gospel

America Magazine

Author: James Martin, S.J.

The Lazy Paralytic

1. When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at his home.

2. So many gathered around that there was no longer room for them, not even in front of the door; and he was speaking the word to them.

3. Then some people came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 

4. And when they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and after having dug through it, they let down the mat on which the paralytic lay. 

5. When Jesus saw this he grew angry, “Why did you wreck my roof?  Do you have any idea how much that cost to install?  Do you know how many tables and chairs I had to make in my carpentry shop to pay for that roof?  The reeds alone cost five talents.  I had them carted in from Bethany.” 

6. The disciples had never seen Jesus so angry about his possessions.  He continued, “This house is my life.  And the roof is the best part.”  The disciples fell silent.  

7. “It’s bad enough that you trash my private property, now you want me to heal you?” said Jesus, “And did you not see the stone walls around this house?”  “Yes,” said the man’s friends.  “Are these not the stone walls common to the towns and villages of Galilee?”  

8. “No,” Jesus answered.  “This is a gated community.  How did you get in?”  The man’s friends grew silent. 

9. Then Jesus turned and said to the paralytic, “Besides, can’t you take care of your own health problems?  I’m sure that your family can care for you, or maybe the synagogue can help out.” 

10. “No, Lord,” answered the man’s friends.  “There is no one.  His injuries are too severe.  To whom else can we go?” 

11. “Well, not me,” said Jesus.  “What would happen if I provided access to free health care for everyone?  That would mean that people would not only get lazy and entitled, but they would take advantage of the system. 

12. Besides, look at me: I’m healthy. And you know why?  Because I worked hard for my money, and took care of myself.”  The paralyzed man then grew sad and he addressed Jesus.  “But I did work, Lord,” said the paralytic.  “Until an accident rendered me paralyzed.”  “Yes,” said the man’s friends. “He worked very hard.” 

13. “Well,” said Jesus, “That’s just part of life, isn’t it?”  “Then what am I to do, Lord?” said the paralytic.  “I don’t know.  Why don’t you sell your mat?” 

14. All in the crowd then grew sad.  “Actually, you know what you can do?” said Jesus. “You can reimburse me for my roof.  Or I’ll sue you.” And all were amazed. 

15. “We have never seen anything like this,” said the crowd. Continue reading The Not-so-Social Gospel

International Paralysis in the face of Growing Levels of Poverty and Environmental Destruction.

Fr. Seán McDonagh, SSC

The most upsetting and disturbing outcome from the Rio+20 Earth Summit in June 2012, was the inability of the human community to respond adequately either to the worsening global ecological crisis and the continued impoverishment of more than one billion human beings.  Thirty leading scientists at the Stockholm Resilience Centre have identified what they call planetary boundaries, which, if breached, will cause irreparable harm to planet earth, and as a consequence will impact in a negative way on the entire human family for the foreseeable future.  These scientists argue that human beings have already exceeded three important  boundaries during the past few decades – climate change, nitrogen loading and the enormous loss of biodiversity.  They warn us that humankind are dangerously close to crossing the other six boundaries which they identify as the increased acidification of the oceans, stratospheric ozone, aerosol loading, fresh water pollution, soil erosion and chemical pollution. Continue reading International Paralysis in the face of Growing Levels of Poverty and Environmental Destruction.

Introducing… Kenya’s dam buster

New Internationalist

Ikal Angelei is winning the fight to save Lake Turkana from Ethiopia’s Gibe III dam.
People call her the next Wangari Maathai, but Ikal Angelei shies away from the comparison. ‘I’m just a young woman who saw a catastrophe about to happen and stood up to speak out and fight,’ she says. ‘Wangari really stood out. She was a symbol across the globe. I admired her because she was willing to do whatever was in her power to make a difference.’ Continue reading Introducing… Kenya’s dam buster

No to a parallel train line

Latin America Press

Judge orders Vale mining company to suspend construction on a railway that threatens indigenous population and ecosystem.  Brazil´s largest mining firm, Vale, must halt plans to build a parallel railway alongside an existing one in the northeast state of Pará, which would have allowed for increased transportation of iron from the Carajás mine to a port in the state of Maranhão. Continue reading No to a parallel train line

Report: “Religions tensions” not only reason for Nigeria’s sectarian violence

EIN News

Although the Boko Haram violence in Nigeria tends to divide Christians and Muslims, the sectarian conflict is driven by poverty, inequality and injustice, according to a high level Christian-Muslim taskforce comprising the World Council of Churches and the Royal Jordanian Aal Al Bayt Institute. The two bodies plan to work together to encourage the understanding of peace and harmony and invite people of both religious traditions to work for the peace and wellbeing of Nigeria. Continue reading Report: “Religions tensions” not only reason for Nigeria’s sectarian violence