HEGYESHALOM, HUNGARY Along the border between Hungary and Austria, Rosala Holzschuh stands in the midnight darkness as thousands of refugees flow past her on their way toward Western Europe. As a cold wind swirls around her, Holzschuh looks for children with no shoes, and when she spots one, she grabs their parent and steers them toward a pile of donated socks and shoes.
As Europe faces its largest refugee crisis in decades, government agencies and charitable groups simply cannot fill the enormous humanitarian gaps. Holzschuh, a Catholic from Vienna, is one of tens of thousands of volunteers spread across several countries, shepherding the multitude of refugees and migrants crossing their lands.
While the chaos that accompanies the student protests over fees hikes at a number of our major universities has caught the media’s attention, the underlying causes seem woefully under-examined. In a nutshell, the problem comes down to money: most students can barely afford existing fees let alone fee increases, while universities cannot afford not to increase fees.
Academic fees for tertiary education are very high in South Africa for most students, particularly those who come from underprivileged backgrounds. The average estimated cost per year of study is way beyond the means of the poor, the working class and even sections of the middle class. Even though the NSFAS bursary scheme is in place, many complain that it is haphazardly administered, excludes students whose family incomes are slightly over the fund’s means test and is frequently insufficient. Many potential students simply cannot afford tertiary education. Continue reading South Africa: Looking behind the barricades→
News of Mugabe’s Chinese award sparked fury among opposition groups in Zimbabwe and ridicule among human rights activists.
The chairperson of an award dubbed China’s Nobel peace prize has defended the decision to honor Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean president, for supposedly “injecting fresh energy” into the global quest for harmony.
Mugabe, who has been accused of using systematic violence and torture to maintain his 35-year grip on power, recently became the latest recipient of China’s Confucius peace prize.
NAIROBI and HARARE, Oct 21 2015 (IPS) – Kenya has made tremendous steps towards ensuring that the elderly population does not slide into extreme poverty, hunger and, consequently, premature death.
This comes a midst concerns that due to the breakdown of sociology-cultural safety nets, Africa’s senior citizens aged 60 years and above are often falling deeper and deeper into poverty and destitution.
Government estimates places the number of Kenyans aged over 60 years at two million out of a total population of 45 million people.