An innovative way to prepare for Iraqi elections:
A new United Nations-supported blog site just launched in Baghdad is the latest initiative to engage voters in the nascent democracy and motivate them to go to the polls on 31 January 2009 during the country’s provincial elections.
The blog, called “Vote for Iraq” can be found on http://voteiraq.maktoobblog.com and was launched with the support of the UN-led International Election Assistance Team (IEAT).
Voters will just have to make sure not to get too much purple ink on their keyboards.
Among all the holiday shopping deals, online and in stores, the one gift that never changes in price or impact is a $10 donation to send a bed net to protect children in Africa from malaria. The United Nations Foundation’s grassroots campaign Nothing But Nets is always trying to send nets and save lives, but for this holiday season, the need for nets is more urgent than ever.
The recent violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo has caused thousands of people to flee to neighboring Uganda and settle in refugee camps there. Already crowded camps and the current rainy season in Uganda means even more nets are needed every day for children and their families.
As always, Send a net. Save a life.
At NothingButNets, you can donate a net in someone’s honor and send an eCard, or sign and print a card we’ve made especially for the holidays!
Congratulations to our friends at Chasing the Flame!
Great news from Utah: The Sundance Film Festival has selected the upcoming HBO documentary on Sergio’s inspiring life and tragic death to be included in this year’s documentary category. Directed by Greg Barker (“Ghosts of Rwanda”) and produced by John Battsek (“One Day in September”) and Julie Goldman (“Devil’s Playground”), the film tells the inspirational story of Sergio Vieira de Mello, a UN legend who spent a lifetime in pursuit of security and dignity for the downtrodden. The film charts Sergio’s extraordinary 34-year career, from his inspiring leadership in conflict zones from Africa to Southeast Asia to the Middle East, to that fateful day in August 2003. With testimony from a select handful of his closest associates, ‘Sergio’ is a story of hope and disappointment, success and tragedy.
Way to go! And while we are on the subject, congrats to Nick Kristoff who is also heading to Sundance. Along with War Child’s DC premiere on Friday, this has been a great week for inspirational humanitarian films!
For those of us in the United States, Thanksgiving is a time for reuniting with family over an enormous feast. It is also a time to think of those less fortunate. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo right now, over 200,000 people have been recently uprooted from violence. Day to day survival is a struggle and a peace process so far is elusive. Fortunately, international organizations like the World Food Program and UNICEF are fighting to keep up with humanitarian demands. It is an uphill struggle, but without their involvement the situation would be much, much worse. If you are looking for ways to help, the World Food Program’s Fill the Cup campaign is a good way to get involved.
A great initiative (and good use of technology):
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today called for people from all walks of life to join its online “virtual wall” to fight hunger, an initiative that will provide free meals for nearly 60 million children worldwide who go to school hungry.
For a small donation “The Wall Against Hunger” allows individuals to post their picture on a website – which several celebrities and sports personalities have already pledged to join – and email their wall images to friends as well as bookmark them to their social networking websites.
The SG: In Ethiopia over the weekend, the SG is now in the United Arab Emirates. Today he met with Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashed Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, where the two discussed developments in the region, including Syria, Iran, Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan, and in the Middle East Peace Process.