Amidst the social rancor and mixed feelings unfolding in Liberia as a result of the burial of Ebola-infected bodies in or near communities, nerve-racked residents of Boys’ Town Junction in Margibi County have confirmed that there have been at least two nightly cremations so far of dead bodies believed to be the remains of victims of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).Making the disclosure to the Daily Observer earlier this week, the residents said the first batch of dead bodies, totaling 12, were cremated at about 9 p.m., August 3, while the second batch, totaling eight, were cremated at about the same time on August 4, 2014.Describing the atmosphere under which the dead bodies are being cremated, a resident, Moses Dayuegar, said on Sunday, August 3, a team of security personnel including, police officers and Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) personnel, accompanied by health authorities and some government officials, escorted the first batch of deceased to be cremated.Dayuegar said he and some members of the community were hired to assist the team in cremating the dead. The community assistant team basically helped to scatter the wood over the dead bodies in preparation for cremation.Describing the scene, Dayuegar explained that all of the dead bodies were sealed up, and all members of the team were dressed in protective gear. He added that all of the community members who were hired to assist the team were also given protective gear. “After the corpses were set on the pyre with wood, a butter-like substance and gasoline were poured on the corpses and set on fire,” Dayuegar divulged. “All of the protective gear were thrown in the fire to be burnt along with the dead bodies.”The cremations were carried out at a crematorium managed by Honorary Consul General of India, located one mile off the Robertsfield Highway leading towards Marshall. The crematorium was established in 1986 to facilitate the effective disposal of the bodies of Indian nationals and other people who see cremation as a preferable way to dispose of dead bodies.oThe area in which the Crematorium is located is fast being engulfed by residential homes. There is visible fear on the part of residents, who are apprehensive about the cremation of Ebola victims in their community.A resident who requested anonymity complained that the team disposing of the dead bodies descended on their community to cremate the bodies without first sensitizing the residents. He said when they accosted the team, they were told that the team would return at a later date to discuss the issue with them. “We are still waiting to have that vital conversation, which would help allay the fears of the community members,” he said.Rico Harvey, a youth leader on the Boys’ Town road, echoed the sentiment that the government should sensitize the locals properly prior to cremating the Ebola victims in their neighborhood. He was worried that owing to the high level of illiteracy in the area, the locals are now fraught with phobia and are harboring the notion that the cremation exercise could pose a health risk for them.Efforts to have the Honorary Consul of India accredited near Monrovia comment on the matter did not materialize, as the voice at the other end of the phone said the Consul General was out of the country.However, it can be recalled that last Thursday, July 31, the Indian Community offered the Liberian Government its crematorium for the cremation of all corpses of victims of the Ebola Virus Disease.The Indians’ overture came on the heels of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s announcement to the nation on Wednesday, July 30, indicating that the Ministry of Health and relevant agencies are to consider the cremation of all victims of the deadly virus.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Commander of G Division (Essequibo Coast, Essequibo Islands) Khali Pareshram has assured residents and the business community living in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) and the neighboring islands that security will be top priority for the Guyana Police Force (GPF) during the festive season. Pareshram was at the time giving a presentation on the Division’s Christmas plans and how ranksCommander of G Division, Khali Pareshram (right), along with Head of the Traffic Department–Essequibo Alfred Parks (centre) and officer Fazal Mohammedintend to safeguard the region for the Christmas holidays.Addressing ranks, representatives from the Region Two administration, Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDC) and other stakeholders during the unveiling of the Division’s Christmas plans, Pareshram said it is the Police’s intention to minimise the activities of criminal elements hence ensuring safer neighbourhoods.In this regard, he said the Division also intends to reduce traffic congestion and road accidents, create a crime free atmosphere as well as to continue with the Social Crime Prevention Plan and Team Policing.With that in mind, he said ranks within the division will remain vigilant for the season.“We need to work together to reduce traffic congestion, reduce accidents, create a crime-free environment and foster a high degree of public confidence,” the Commander said.He said during the season, statistics have shown that there is usually a high influx of visitors returning to Guyana from various foreign destinations; and as such, assurance is given that they will be well protected. He further explained that systems and methods will be put in place to ensure that ranks placed at various communities display a high sense of professionalism. There will also be the monitoring of activities at all the port of entries along the Essequibo Coast.Pareshram during his presentation gave a synopsis of the Police work in the region, adding that the Division recovered one firearm and arrested 61 persons for the offences of trafficking in narcotics. He said this was a direct result of intelligence-led policing, continuous roadblocks, increased stop and searches, execution of search warrants at suspected drugs houses, social crime prevention programmes, the introduction to team policing and bicycle patrol.Residents, he assured, can also feel safe when conducting their shopping, especially in the nights, since there will be an increase in mobile and marine patrols, roadblocks and raids and heightened of vigilance and intelligence gathering.Ranks will also be dispatched to all banks and post offices to ensure tighter security. Foot patrol will be deployed at strategic areas, such as Charity, Suddie, Anna Regina and Supenaam. Assuring the smooth flow of traffic, Inspector Alfred Parks said ranks within the department will ensure that there is a reduction of congestion by promoting good road safety habits. In doing so, Parks said there will also be rigid traffic enforcement and traffic education. In relation to crime, officer in charge of that department Fazal Mohammed said CID will effectively manage the Division using necessary strategies, ensuring the business community and residence are safe and at ease during the festive season. (Indrawattie Natram)
Photo: A Pacific Coastal Airlines Grumman Goose, crashed on northern Vancouver IslandA plane carrying 7 people from Port Hardy to Chamiss Bay on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, crashed into rough terrain, killing 5.- Advertisement -The Grumman Goose, owned by Pacific Coastal Airlines Crashed minutes after take off. RCMP Constable Sarah Beckett says even after making cell phone contact with one of the survivors, it was a challenge to find the crash site. “There was approximately 50 foot trees in the area, so it was very difficult for search and rescue to actually see the crash site as it was. i guess at some point the caller could see the plane go by, like over top of them, and they couldn’t see them because the brush was so thick.”The plane went down near Alice Lake, just north of Port Alice. The names of the 5 peope who died have not been released. Several agencies are involved in the investigation. A Canadian Forces Buffalo scheduled to participate in the Dawson Creek Airshow today, was called away to help in the search for this plane.
1 Piotr Zielinski [right] in action for Poland at Euro 2016 Napoli are ready to step up their pursuit of Liverpool target Piotr Zielinski after giving up on a move for Axel Witsel.The Italian club had wanted to sign Belgium midfielder Witsel but reports in Italy have suggested that his wage demands are too high.And that means they have now turned their full attention to completing a deal for Zielinksi ahead of both Liverpool and AC Milan.It has been suggested that Napoli have already had a bid accepted by Udinese for the 22-year-old midfielder and they must now agree personal terms.Zielinski impressed on loan at Empoli last term, scoring five goals in 35 Serie A outings, and Udinese now seem resigned to losing him this summer.And Liverpool will have to act fast if they are to prevent the Poland international from completing a move to Napoli.
NOTICE: It is an important day for Donegal GAA both on the playing field & on the streets in Clones this coming Saturday.Please support the collection for our new Training facilities for all our teams in Convoy.The bucket collection on Saturday will give all supporters a chance to support the new training centre. Please give generously. Is mise le measGrainne NiBhaoillCisteoirC.L.G. Dhún na nGall GAA: CLUB DONEGAL STREET COLLECTION AT CLONES was last modified: June 24th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:GAA: CLUB DONEGAL STREET COLLECTION AT CLONES
A LETTERKENNY man who threatened to shoot gardai and cut their throats has an “irrational” anger towards the force, his lawyer has said.Myles Connors, from Neil T Blaney Road, appeared at Letterkenny District Court on a number of charges relating to offences in the town on September 7.The court heard Garda O’Mahoney was on patrol in the Canal Road area that night when a bottle was smashed in front of his car. Gardai entered Connors’ home and found him drunk in a living room.The accused man then threatened to shoot gardai before threatening to “knife them in the jugular” using a broken beer bottle.He then threw a bottle at a garda patrol car, damaging a door.Connors has previous convictions for public order offences and has failed to appear in court on a number of occasions.His solicitor Frank Dorrian said Connors has “issues and demons that he struggles with.”Mr Dorrian went on: “He is irrational towards gardai and had unfortunate irrational anger and the language used was of a very exaggerated nature.”Judge Paul Kelly adjourned the case for a probation report.LETTERKENNY MAN HAS ‘IRRATIONAL’ ANGER TOWARDS GARDAI, LAWYER TELLS COURT was last modified: October 8th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:LAWYER TELLS COURTLETTERKENNY MAN HAS ‘IRRATIONAL’ ANGER TOWARDS GARDAI
DDTV: A SPECIAL music tribute to the 400,000 Garth Brooks fans who were ticket holders for the shows that never came. Written, sung and recorded on his iPhone 5 by Donegal Bay Waterbus Crew member Diarmaid Drumm, it might even make it to iTunes.Enjoy and share with other Garth Brooks Fans. DDTV: GARTH BROOKS SUNK BUT DONEGAL WATERBUS CREW LAMENTS FOR 400,000 SOULS was last modified: July 16th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:concertCroke ParkDiarmaid Drummdonegal bay waterbusdublinGarth Brookssong
Two Donegal men enjoyed big wins last Saturday on Winning Streak – with one spinning the grand prize wheel!At the end of a sensational season for Donegal winners, a sheep farmer living in Donegal but originally from Co. Down spun the Winning Streak wheel and won a total of €76,000, while Letterkenny native Brendan Boyle scooped €36,000 on the same show.John Heaney, who has been living in Carrigans for the past 18 years, won €35,000 on the iconic Winning Streak Grand Prize wheel. Add this to the €38,000 in cash and a holiday to Slovenia, worth €3,000, this brought his winnings from the show up to a total of €76,000.John Heaney from Carrigans, Co. Donegal has won €76,000 and a holiday to Lake Bled in Slovenia on last Saturday’s (25th May 2019) Winning Streak Game Show on RTE. The winning ticket was bought from Ton Up Ltd., Milford Co. Donegal. Pic: Mac Innes PhotographyJohn found out he had a place on Winning Streak two Thursdays ago when a knock came to his door. It was a neighbour asking if it was John who got pulled out for Winning Streak on RTÉ’s Today Show. John put on the TV to see his full name and address was revealed. He was stunned and delighted at the same time as he completely forgot that he had a ticket in.He has lived with partner Rhonda for the past three years in Carrigans. She was there to cheer John on from the RTE audience weekend alongside other friends and family.John was also be supported by his mum Marie, his sister Margaret and three brothers: Tommy, Peter and Shane while his other brother James watched online from his London home. John has Rhonda to thank for his Winning Streak appearance as she was the one who sent his ticket in for him. He has no plans for any winnings just yet but will be sure to enjoy his haul of €76,000!John wasn’t the only lucky Donegal person on the show this week as Letterkenny man, Brendan Boyle, who has been living in Balinteer, Dublin for more than 10 years, won €33,000 in cash on Winning Streak as well as a holiday to Madeira in Portugal worth €3,000.Brendan Boyle from Letterkenny won €36,000 including a holiday to the Island of Madeira, Portugal on last Saturday’s (25th May 2019) Winning Streak Game Show on RTE. Pic: Mac Innes PhotographyBrendan didn’t find out about getting drawn to appear on Winning Streak until National Lottery officials contacted him. He went online straight away to watch the draw where Sinead Kennedy pulled his name out, just to be sure. All week Brendan was on cloud nine leading up to his appearance on the show.Brendan has been married to wife Rachel for the past 11 years. The couple have three children: Finn, Fia and Noah. Finn, the eldest, was cheering dad on from the audience while the youngest two were watching from home.Brendan works in graphic design but is also a keen painter in his spare time and gets to exhibit work at various exhibitions occasionally.There was an excited crowd from Donegal cheering him on from the audience on Saturday, which included his parents Paddy and Patricia, two of his siblings Christine and John as well as other members of family and close friends. He has a brother and sister living abroad who watched via the RTE Player. They are Michael, living in Dubai and Anne Marie living in Melbourne, Australia.Brendan has no firm plans for his winnings from the show but says he has a few home improvements that need doing so he will tackle them.This was the final Winning Streak National Lottery game show of the current season. A remarkable number of Donegal winners had unforgettable moments on the show this year.In total, more than €5.3 million was won by Winning Streak players in this season alone. Double the luck! Two more Donegal men scoop Winning Streak prizes was last modified: May 27th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:gameshowlotteryWinning Streak
Iapetus, that black-and-white moon orbiting Saturn that has mystified astronomers for 338 years, may finally be understood. The dark material did come from outside – not inside. The exogenic theory has won. It’s been coated with dust from outer moons, but that’s not all: uneven heating has moved the ice around on the surface, accentuating the contrast between light and dark areas. This combination of processes explains the yin-yang appearance of this moon, with its ten-fold brightness dichotomy that was noticed by Jean-Dominique Cassini, its discoverer, in 1671. Two papers published ahead of print on Science Express explain the latest theory.1,2 Jet Propulsion Laboratory issued a short press release about the models based on data from the Cassini orbiter. A more detailed press release was posted by Southwest Research Institute (SwRI). PhysOrg presented a summary with graphs. See 10/16/2007 bullet 3, 05/05/2008, and 10/07/2009 for previous CEH entries about the mysteries of this moon’s surface. (Note: the current papers do not address or explain the mystery of the equatorial mountain ridge; see 03/01/2006 and 02/06/2006.) Iapetus is a victim of a “runaway feedback loop, operating on a global scale,” the SwRI press release states. Infalling material, probably from the Phoebe ring (see 10/07/2009), accumulates on the leading side of the moon. Like many moons, Iapetus always keeps one hemisphere facing the planet. By analogy, if you saw dust on your windshield but not on your rear window, you would assume you were moving forward through a field of dust without spinning the car. Iapetus thus has a “leading hemisphere” and a “trailing hemisphere.” The leading hemisphere is the dark one. But simple infalling dust is not enough to explain the extreme differences in brightness. All existing spacecraft images of Iapetus from Voyager and Cassini can be found at JPL’s Planetary Photojournal. Images PIA08375 and PIA08374 are especially striking. Because Iapetus has a slow orbit around Saturn (29 years), the dark portions are exposed to sunlight longer than on inner Saturnian moons. This creates just enough temperature difference in the dark areas to cause the water ice to sublimate. Then, the low gravity on Iapetus makes the water molecules bounce toward the poles and the cooler trailing hemisphere, leading to a pile-up of bright ice on one face. The dark material on the “windshield” get darker over time. A similar process may explain subtle brightness dichotomies on other moons, such as Oberon and Titania at Uranus. The situation at Iapetus, though, is extreme. Critical observations by Cassini that led to these conclusions included the shallow depth of the dark material, the segregation of material on crater walls and extremely sharp boundaries of dark and light material in places, temperature measurements, spectra of the dark material, and observations of infalling material from the outer moons, especially Phoebe (06/14/2004, 02/28/2005, 10/07/2009). The scientists then modeled the behavior of ice under those conditions. The papers gave some clues about the age of the surface. Bright floors of some craters show that the dark material is only meters thick at most – probably quite a bit less than one meter, according to radar measurements. Because of the absorbent dark dust, the bright ice heats up and moves around quickly. Spencer and Denk said, “Because of the extreme temperature dependence of sublimation rates, mean sublimation is determined largely by maximum diurnal temperature rather than mean temperature, so ice on Iapetus with the low albedo of the leading side has by far the highest sublimation rate of ice on any Saturn satellite, equivalent to over 100 meters of sublimation in a billion years if unimpeded by the formation of a lag deposit.” In their computer model, they assumed deposition rates of 3 and 0.3 cm per billion years. Their resulting maps matched the actual surface dark-light boundaries pretty well. The rate of sublimation, however, is very short:A strong prediction of this model is that the dark material of Iapetus’ Cassini Regio [the dark hemisphere] should be essentially ice-free. On Iapetus’ dark terrain, with 129 K peak daytime temperatures, 1 mm of ice should sublime in only 8,000 years. Cassini Regio shows both a weak H2O absorption edge at 160 nm, and a strong 3 [micrometer) H2O band, but these features may be due to bound water rather than H2O ice. The weaker 1.5 and 2.0 [micrometer] H2O bands typically seen in planetary water ice are not seen in Cassini Regio, so if ice is present it must be in micron-sized grains. However micron-sized ice grains should sublime away in decades at these temperatures.The fact that Cassini still sees a faint signature of water ice in the dark material seems to argue that the surface has not been undergoing this runaway segregation for billions of years. In addition, the second paper by Denk et al noted that bright young craters should darken quickly: “If a new crater has excavated icy material that is ~10X brighter than the dark Cassini Regio coating (and thus about as bright as icy parts of the trailing side), it is only about half as bright ~10,000 years later.” Yet Cassini Regio (the dark area) is punctuated by bright areas, as the latest high-resolution map indicates. One of the largest impact basins, a crater named Malun 75 miles across, is completely dark. “Despite its relative youthfulness,” the authors commented, “its surface is completely dark, arguing for a darkening process that continued after Malun formed.” Spencer and Denk pointed out also that impacts will excavate and mix ice into the upper layers, exposing it to sublimation. This process, called “impact gardening,” should accelerate the darkening of the leading hemisphere. If thermal segregation has been going on for billions of years, why are any bright features left on the dark side? By making certain assumptions about impact rate, they produced a graph (Figure 3C in the Denk et al paper) that shows some bright craters as old as 400 million years (less than 1/10 the assumed age of Iapetus); the majority are far younger. All these, however, should have been darkened completely in the rapid thermal segregation process. Crater Escremiz in particular is extremely bright and still has prominent bright rays extending from the impact. Unless they can believe most of these bright young craters were produced in the last 90% to 99% of the assumed age of the solar system, thinking about the age of this moon’s surface seems poised for fresh excavation.1. John R. Spencer and Tillman Denk, “Formation of Iapetus’ Extreme Albedo Dichotomy by Exogenically Triggered Thermal Ice Migration,” Science, Published Online December 10, 2009, Science DOI: 10.1126/science.1177132.2. Denk et al, “Iapetus: Unique Surface Properties and a Global Color Dichotomy from Cassini Imaging,” Science Express, Published Online December 10, 2009, Science DOI: 10.1126/science.1177088.For those of us who have followed this mystery since the Voyagers in 1981 failed to resolve it, there is a mix of satisfaction and wonder at the solution. Who would have thought of this answer before we had the high-resolution images that forced it? It’s an illustration of how observations – data – are vital for constraining theories, models and speculations (like those of Arthur C. Clarke in 2001: A Space Odyssey, who made Iapetus the Stargate of the advanced aliens; Wikipedia explains). Yet there is also a strange sense of schizophrenia in the scientific papers. On the one hand, the authors cannot avoid the evidence that many of these features look young. On the other, though, they cannot and will not ever admit that they are too young to fit into the billions-of-years paradigm. The papers go strangely silent on that point. It’s bizarre. The assumed Age of the Solar System (A.S.S.) is, in planetary science, a Law of the Misdeeds and Perversions that cannot be altered. The solution is to either ignore the problem, or to change the subject: i.e., H2O on Iapetus? Maybe there could be liquid water under the crust – maybe there could be life! (Examples: 03/26/2008, 07/12/2007, bullet 1, PhysOrg.) Remember that it’s more reasonable to set an upper limit on age than a lower limit. Why? Because the observation-to-assumption ratio is lower. We only have a few centuries of observation of Iapetus – only a few decades of spacecraft observations, the best observations within the last 4 years from Cassini. Extrapolating what we know or can reasonably infer back in time by a few decades or centuries or millennia may be acceptable, but not billions of years. These papers indicate that impact gardening, sublimation and thermal segregation will darken a crater within a few thousand years. With very liberal assumptions they can stretch some of the bright craters into a few tens or hundreds of millions of years – but not billions. It’s probably far less, due to the fact that the ice is lost to space each orbit (see 05/05/2008). But even the most generous upper limit is far less than the time needed to keep Iapetus 4.5 billion years old. Lower limits, on the other hand, constrain the upper limits and pull them back closer to young ages. (The absolute lower limit is Voyager’s arrival year of 1981, when observations of the surface began.) Suppose a meteor swarm caused a larger number of impacts within the last 10,000 years. Suppose further that impacts on Phoebe sent extraordinary amounts of dust hurtling toward Iapetus within that time period. Phoebe, the reputed source of the dark material on Iapetus, is, after all, riddled with large craters showing exposed ice; one is 62 miles across (see Photojournal). We don’t know how much material from Phoebe and the other retrograde outer moons of Saturn landed on Iapetus, or when it did, or whether it arrived episodically or in steady state. The large Phoebe craters suggest episodes of heavy deposition occurred. The presence of the huge Phoebe Ring (10/07/2009), furthermore, suggests that material could pile up quickly on Iapetus – yet only a meter or less is seen today. Other observations militate against slow-and-gradual accumulation over billions of years: the rapid loss of carbon dioxide ice, the amount and extent of bright material in Cassini Regio, the quick darkening of young crater Malun, and the incomplete segregation in the bright areas. They certainly make it hard to believe in billions of years. But if we rule out billions of years, it raises a whole new set of questions the evolutionists dare not entertain. What they do, therefore, is tweak their models to preserve the A.S.S. Spencer and Denk, for instance, assumed dark material deposition rates of 0.3cm and 3.0 cm per billion years. Why? Because those rates produce the Iapetus-like pattern in billions of years. How convenient. It locks the A.S.S. right into the model (this is known as circular reasoning). This way, their resulting graphs match the observed pattern in 2.4 billion years (whoops; that’s only half the assumed age of the moon; oh well, close enough?) A quick look at their model parameters chart in the Supplementary Material shows they considered a faster deposition rate of 25 cm per billion years, with the comment, “Faster dark material accumulation rate.” Since that setting produced the pattern in just 300 million years, it was quietly dismissed with this comment: “Model E shows the effects of increasing dark material accumulation rates. For this model, darkening of mid-latitudes on the trailing hemisphere happens more quickly than sublimation can brighten them, resulting in much greater darkening of the entire leading hemisphere than is seen on Iapetus, in just a few hundred million years.” Well, then, maybe it could produce the observed pattern in a lot less than a few hundred million years. They left themselves some leeway due to the “crudeness of our model.” Models by definition are only simulations of reality. Other plausible models with variable deposition rates and impact rates might produce the observed pattern in orders of magnitude less time. A rigorous examination of the assumptions used in these papers, constrained by observations, might rule out the billions of years evolution requires. Here’s an opportunity for creation scientists to tighten the upper-limit belt for the processes on Iapetus, and cause some impact on the evolutionary A.S.S.(Visited 179 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Sakha Ingomso Lethu’s flagship programme aims to give access to quality education to those in rural South Africa. (Image: Wikipedia)Access to education is one of the defining differences between urban and rural youth – with opportunity far more easily available in cities than in the countryside.Sakha Ingomso Lethu, which means “building our future” in isiXhosa, aims to address this inequality. The NGO has a flagship programme, Sakha Ulutsha Lwethu, which means “we are building our youth”, to provide information and tools for rural and township youth to be able to access institutions of higher learning.It is the work of Simamkele Dlakavu, a social activist who has represented young people in various youth summits around the African continent and the world. In 2013, she was recognised by the Moremi Initiative, a Ghanaian NGO, as one of 28 of Africa’s Most Outstanding Emerging Women Leaders for 2013.Dlakavu holds a BA degree in international relations and political studies as well as an honours degree in political studies from the University of the Witwatersrand. In 2014, the Mail and Guardian newspaper named her one of South Africa’s Top 200 Young South Africans.“There are many reports that show the challenges facing rural and township youth attending school in these areas which include lack of infrastructure, lack of trained teachers, no facilities such as libraries or computer labs, amongst many well documented challenges,” Dlakavu wrote on SA Goodnews about the project.“What is often missing in such reports is the resilience and hunger that many of these youth have to get an education, which still remains one of the gateways to class mobility in South Africa.”Sakha embraces South Africa’s National Development Plan or Vision 2030, which seeks to improve the outcomes of the country’s rural development and education. In terms of the plan, South Africa is working to ensure people are not disadvantaged because they come from disadvantaged or rural areas.PARTNERSHIPSThe NGO held workshops in June 2015, during the school holidays, in Venda, in Limpopo. The province suffered serious educational challenges in the recent past when textbooks did not reach learners in time.“This year, in June/July, Sakha Ulutsha Lwethu partnered with Duke University and the Organisation for Tropical Studies, South Africa office (OTS) to run workshops for rural youth in HaMakuya, in Venda in Limpopo,” Dlakavu explained.“The workshops were focused on exposing the learners in HaMakuya to various study options for post-high school career options. The University of Cape Town, Wits University and the University of the Free State provided application forms, prospectuses and various other informational packages to help the students make the best choice proper fit career option.”Her group spoke to the learners about various funding options as many of them came from low income families. The area also had a very high unemployment rate, she explained, and many households were dependent on government grants and “piecemeal”, or temporary jobs.“OTS has been working in the HaMakuya area for a number of years now on various programmes such as the Global Health course run with Duke University, and as part of the programme a number of American (mostly) undergraduate students visit the area for about 10 days, three of which are spent on ‘homestay’ with the families in the area,” she said.“Yet the organisation realises the importance of not just taking from the community, but being able to give something back to the area and hence the partnership with Sakha was important.”Sakha held the workshops during the June school holidays but the turn out impressed Dlakavu. “Although it was still school holidays at the time of the workshops,” she said, “the students came out in numbers to listen and interact as some were in ‘winter school’, revising and already preparing for the final matric exams.“We heard the students want to pursue careers in engineering, medicine, the arts, law and many other careers. Yet, there were many other challenges such as uncertainty about where they would source funding for higher education, as well as uncertainty about the National Benchmark Tests some universities run.”