Category Archives: For a good cause

Why Barangay officials should encourage out-of-school youths to get into sports

I wrote about this six years ago and haven’t made a follow up yet. But I hope Barangay officials in our area are keeping up with it now. In a related development, kudos to our hard working local officials for keeping and maintaining peace and order in our barangay.

barangay sports activities for the youth

Local officials in our barangay are doing a good job for implementing a curfew for minors. This move will lessen incidents of petty to serious crimes involving young people. They should also sponsor more sporting events to encourage young people particularly out of school youth to get into sports such as basketball and chess or music for those with musical inclination. Activities like these would keep young and older kids off the streets at night. I hope barangay officials will continue to provide worthwhile activities for out-of-school youths to make them more productive individuals.

Plantable pencils, anyone?

Have you heard of pencils that can be planted?

A young company based in Cebu called Eco Hub Cebu has innovated the plantable pencils. The development of the pencil that can grow into plants was realized to help lessen global warming and raise awareness about the environment.

advocacy

Eco Hub Cebu said one can grow plants from pencils by simply placing the stub on moist soil.

They explained the product is no different to regular pencils, except that its tail end is a “gelatin capsule” that contains plant seeds instead of an eraser enclosed in a metal case.

The capsules of each pencil are preservative-free, non-genetically modified organism (GMO) allergen-free, and gluten-free.

The pencil, which is lead-free, is made up of sustainable wood, graphite, clay, and non-GMO seeds.

It also comes in variety namely tomato, sunflower, carrot, citronella seeds, and basil, which is their fastest growing plant, germinating between five to ten days after planting.

Eco Hub Cebu also offers other sustainable products such as reusable straws and utensils.

Source: Manila Bulletin Online, Flying Ketchup

Myths and Realities in Disaster Situations

Sharing an informative snippets from the World Health Organization about Emergency Humanitarian Assistance (myth versus reality). This was originally shared and posted from my other blog – www.mumkhal.com.

Myth # 1:

Foreign medical volunteers with any kind of medical background are needed.

Reality:

The local almost always covers immediate lifesaving needs. Only medical personnel with skills that are not available in the affected country may be needed.

Myth # 2:

Any kind of international assistance is needed and it’s needed now!

Reality:

A hasty response that is not based on an impartial evaluation only contributes to the chaos. It is better to wait until genuine needs have been assessed.

Myth # 3:

Epidemics and plagues are inevitable after every disaster.

Reality:

Epidemics do no spontaneously occur after a disaster and dead bodies will not lead to catastrophic outbreaks of exotic diseases. The key to preventing disease is to improve sanitary conditions and educate the public.

Myth # 4:

Disasters bring out the worst in human behaviour.

Reality:

Although isolated cases of antisocial behaviour exists, the majority of people respond spontaneously and generously.

Myth # 5:

The affected population is too shocked and helpless to take responsibility for their own survival.

Reality:

On the contrary, many find new strength during an emergency, as evidenced by the thousands of volunteers who flock to the disaster site, looking for ways to help.

Myth # 6:

Disasters are random killers.

Reality:

Disasters strike hardest at the most vulnerable group, the poor – especially women, children and the elderly.

Myth # 7:

Locating disaster victims in temporary settlement is the best alternative.

Reality:

It should be the last alternative. Many agencies use funds normally spent for tents to purchase building materials, tools, and other construction-related support in the affected country.

Myth # 8:

Things are back to normal within a few weeks.

Reality:

The effects of a disaster last a long time. Disaster-affected countries deplete much of their financial and material resources in the immediate post-impact phase. Successful relief programs gear their operations to the fact that international interest wanes as needs and shortages become more pressing.

Source: Emergency Humanitarian Assistance, World Health Organization, Regional Office for the Western Pacific. Action, Preparedness, Collaboration Fact Sheets. Manila: WHO-WPRO. 2005.