Local, migrant women share stories

first_img24 August 2011 In an attempt to build bridges between local and foreign women, the City of Johannesburg and the Department of Home Affairs recently held a women’s dialogue where issues of xenophobia and language difficulties were tackled. Held at Diepkloof Welfare Centre on 19 August, the theme of the dialogue was “Working together to enhance women’s opportunities to economic empowerment”. It was open to local women and foreign migrants living in Joburg. From Joburg, the member of the mayoral committee for health and human development, Nonceba Molwele, was there to spend the day with migrant women from various countries, such as Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Angola and Somalia.Breaking down barriers According to Molwele, the dialogue was held to seek to break down the barriers that kept migrant and local women from connecting. These barriers were language difficulties, xenophobic community attitudes, fears about immigration or residency status, and physical and cultural isolation. She said the dialogue was the first of its nature. “It is indeed a great initiative by our deputy minister that should not stop here but should be a start to an ongoing plan that will lead to concrete a joint programme that addresses the challenges of women as a whole.” August was chosen for the dialogue as the month was dedicated to honouring and celebrating the courage, tenacity, resilience and victory over adversity of women in South Africa, she explained. “Migration has always been a human rights issue throughout human existence, and Joburg has been a destination point for migrant communities since 1886. “In recognition of the challenges that are brought by human motilities, the City of Joburg has over the past 10 years been actively engaged in the pursuit of finding creative and sustainable responses to this phenomenon,” said Molwele.Sharing experiences as women Issues raised by migrant women at the dialogue included being mistreated at health institutions and being called nasty names by South Africans in public transport because of language barriers. Women, who came dressed in their traditional clothes, showcased traditional dances and explained their cultures to each other. The deputy minister of home affairs, Fatima Chohan, who spent the day listening to the women’s queries, urged them to unite despite racial, ethnic and cultural differences. “We are here to share our experiences as women and by coming together we can come up with the solution to what is bothering us as women,” she said. “If women can join hands, exchange ideas, then we will have a community that is at peace with itself.” By joining hands, women could achieve much more. “We want to create this opportunity for women from different parts of our continent to talk to each other so they develop friendships,” she added. Rebecca Khamba, who comes from Congo, was one of about 300 women at the meeting. She said the programme was a good initiative. “I would like to thank the City of Joburg for giving us a chance to join hands and create unity with our South African sisters. I hope most South Africans will understand why we are here and stop calling us names and mistreating us in public places,” she said. Source: City of Johannesburglast_img read more

South Africa’s CSIR displayed advancements at Scifest

first_img10 March 2016The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) showcased its work at the 20th annual national science festival, Scifest, which took place from 2 to 8 March at the 1820 Settler National Monument in Grahamstown.The festival aims to promote public awareness, understanding and appreciation of science, technology and innovation (STI).Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor attended the opening. “The main purpose of Scifest is to introduce young people to the exciting world of science and technology and to encourage them to choose to be part of this community of science and innovation,” she said.Minister Pandor commends Scifest for making science acessible to young people https://t.co/sVUPywTT7L via @dstgovza— SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY (@dstgovza) March 5, 2016CSIR at Scifest“The CSIR always participates at Scifest because we believe in making a difference and improving the lives of ordinary South Africans and contributing towards a competitive economy using science and technology,” said Tendani Tsedu, CSIR media relations manager.“To be able to do this, highly skilled people are required, which is why we are always looking for bright, passionate people to join our organisation.”He said Scifest provided the perfect platform to be able to interact with youngsters to entice them into a career in science.The organisation participated in six workshops:Biopharming: Biopharming is the use of genetic engineering to insert genes that code the useful pharmaceuticals into host animals or plants. This is done in order to produce large quantities of the useful pharmaceutical such as antibodies or vaccines over a short period of time and at very little cost. Inundu pods: Inundu (moth) is an airborne electronics test, evaluation and training pod for missile and radar programmes as well as electronic warfare training. See how the pods work: Radar: Radar is an object-detection system that uses radio waves to determine the range, angle or velocity of objects. The CSIR provides contract research, technology development, operational testing and evaluation support, acquisition support, performance requirement studies and expert consultation in the field.  Sensors: Nanomaterials that can ultimately be used in an array of sensors, such as gas sensors, which could greatly improve the safety of miners through a gas leak early warning signal. Pupils from Love Dale Kids College listening to #CSIR researcher talking about #sensors and #nanotechnology #Scifest pic.twitter.com/p4KNSlP3sD— CSIR (@CSIR) March 3, 2016 MultiCAM: MultiCAM is a state-of-the-art multi-spectral imaging system that can detect and visualise UV discharges and infrared thermal gradients to expose electrical faults, and then overlay the images to give the user a comprehensive picture of the state of high-voltage equipment and installations.  Polymer nano-composites: New and advanced materials can be developed through the incorporation of nanotechnology. Nanotechnology in polymer science is used to improve the mechanical properties of plastics with a particular focus on the beneficiation of South African nanoclays. The think-tank also provided attendees with information about bursary applications and internship programmes.Building a great countryPandor implored schools to initiate science activities that would help learners do well in maths and science.“You, the learners present here, have time to work hard and to succeed in science technology and engineering,” she said. “You live in a time in which there are immense possibilities for all young people. I hope you will use the festival to learn about science careers and to think about contributing to building a great South Africa.”SouthAfrica.info reporterlast_img read more

Harvest continues Between the Rows

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Jevon Rockwell, Erie CountyWe’ve been really moving along now. We have 800 acres of beans off. The first beans we cut were in the mid-40 range and those were our worst. Since then we have been in the mid-60 range and we did have a 45-acre field average 84 bushels and those were weighed across the scale.In some places on the lighter ground or gravel ridges it seems like the beans died off and then started re-growing. The beans themselves are dry but some of the stems are green. I think those beans got too dry and stalled out for a while then started re-growing. These late rains and nice weather we have had, though, helped them even out and they are easy harvesting now.Either today or tomorrow we are going to get wheat planted. Sitting in line at the elevator has been eating up my schedule as far as getting wheat planted. Probably tomorrow I’ll get it planted.We have not touched any corn yet. We have been cutting about 200 acres of beans a day so in about three days we’ll be done with beans. We’ll go right into corn. A lot of it is starting to break over. I was next to a corn field yesterday cutting beans and you could see corn down pretty bad. It is time to get going with the corn.We have been moving right along. It is good to have nice weather.For the rest of this week’s reports, click here.last_img read more

Rash of new clubs in Kolkata takes over from traditional ones with style and panache

first_imgLIVING IT UP: The pool-side barArchana Agarwal’s children work as hard as her. Since the HR manager at Tata Tea in Kolkata keeps busy, she has enrolled her children in a school-cum-creche. Guilty, Agarwal decided to join a club, hoping her children could catch up on some outdoor activities.She tried,LIVING IT UP: The pool-side barArchana Agarwal’s children work as hard as her. Since the HR manager at Tata Tea in Kolkata keeps busy, she has enrolled her children in a school-cum-creche. Guilty, Agarwal decided to join a club, hoping her children could catch up on some outdoor activities.She tried three of the city’s best places, but didn’t make it. While two clubs told her they were too full, the third informed that her membership might take a decade. “I can’t wait that long,” she says. “My children will grow up by then.”Entrepreneur Ravi Arora had a different experience though he is in the same boat. When he wanted to join one of the better known clubs in Kolkata, a member of its managing committee promised to push his application for a generous fee.”I was asked for Rs 1 lakh even though the membership fee is a little over Rs 50,000,” says a disgusted Arora. Like Agarwal and Arora, there are at least 10,000 people who have been waiting long to get into one or the other of Kolkata’s 10 best clubs, a recent IMRB study reveals. Some of them have been on the list for over a decade. The good news is that a rash of new clubs are cashing in on this lopsided demand-and-supply situation and are fast weaning away the wannabes. While Agarwal is now a member of Ibiza, a new country club 25 km from the city, Arora is part of The Circle, which opened in 1999.A month into operations, Ibiza has notched up 300 takers, each paying Rs 60,000. The Space Circle, which has not even opened yet and has a steeper membership fee of Rs 1.1 lakh, already has four times that number on its rolls.advertisementThere’s also the highway-skirting Lake land Country Club, besides some others in the pipeline: Princeton, another venture by the group which owns Ibiza, and Country Roads, a farmhouse complex with a club, which will be operational by the year 2003.The billiards room at IbizaThe well-heeled Kolkatan, for whom clubbing is a colonial hangover, couldn’t have asked for more. With fewer watering holes than other metros, the club is an essential hangout in Kolkata for taking the family out for a Sunday lunch, entertaining prospective clients or getting sporty on the weekend. “Wherever the British set foot, the first thing they did was to set up a club,” writes novelist Budhadev Guha.The penchant for clubbing is so strong that membership of one or more of the city’s prestigious clubs has come to dictate one’s social standing. Most of Kolkata’s turn-of-the-century clubs had been the preserve of the Brown Sahib till the 1960s.Now everyone wants to be a part of that charmed circle, forcing the clubs to tighten membership norms. While Bengal Club targets only the top company executives, Calcutta Club bars women and under-30s as members.The Calcutta Cricket and Football Club, the Royal Calcutta Golf Club and South Club prefer entrants with a sports background. Others cite legal reasons. According to air commodore (retd) K.B. Menon, managing member of the Tollygunge Club, the club’s charter forbids more than 1,500 permanent members. “And rightly so,” he adds. “A club is an extension of my home. I would like only the people I could bring home to be around me at the club.”That leaves a huge chunk of young people – teens, yuppies, middle-level executives – with virtually nowhere to go. “The new clubs recognise this and are cashing in on it,” says A.K. Dutt, former president of several of the city’s traditional clubs.The facilities they offer reflect this. Space Circle is investing big money in a 7,000-sq ft indoor cricket ground, rollerblading and ice- skating rinks and a two-storey practice rock for mountaineering buffs. The Circle already has never-before perks like an art gallery and a huge children’s room equipped with nannies. Glossing over TraditionThe Calcutta ClubOld HauntsAdvantages: A home away from home, the colonial clubs have an old-world charm about them.Drawbacks: Hemmed in by financial and space constraints, they offer few facilities and fewer memberships.New EntrantsAdvantages: With never-before features like indoor cricket grounds, ice-skating rinks and jacuzzis they are raking in new members.Drawbacks: Located in the suburbs, they rank low as status symbols.At Ibiza, members get to try their hand at sports like angling, boating and pool. They could use a kilometre-long, specially designed jogging track that has a cushion of sand and hollow bricks, or a mini driving and putting range.While traditional clubs would balk at the idea of a full-time disco on their premises (most are content with a special “nite” or two), the new clubs can’t imagine life without a dancing floor. Some of this is admittedly gimmicky – like the submerged pool-side bar and open-air jacuzzi at Ibiza – but members are lapping it up.While a ceiling on members seems fair, change makers feel the traditional clubs need to do some soul searching.”If the older clubs don’t move with the times, they will lose out to the new ones,” says Dutt. The picture already looks grim.advertisementMany of the better-known clubs are hamstrung by shortage of space and finances. Most of these clubs are housed in heritage buildings in the city and cannot expand or change at will.Nor do they have the funds to do so, even though members pay a monthly subscription ranging between Rs 300 and Rs 450. The Saturday Club, for instance, has an annual turnover of Rs 3.5 crore. But till April, it was spending Rs 1.75 crore on staff salaries every year. When officials suggested a cutback, a violent union forced the club to shut down for three months. Similarly, the Calcutta Club, which gets about Rs 1.5 crore from its 4,000 members every year, has to spend almost Rs 2 crore on staff salaries annually.Recently, when some members proposed a three-tier underground parking system to generate money, the idea was shot down: it would be against the philosophy of the club to go “commercial.Children’s Hall at The CircleThe new clubs have no such qualms. “Money’s not the important thing,” says Sushil Mohta of Ibiza. “I offer my members a club and four-star hotel rolled into one.” In other words, he runs it like a business.But does it matter? Deb Kumar Bose, who recently signed up at a new country club, believes the “old-world charm of the traditional clubs” doesn’t sell anymore. “I don’t care for it,” he says.”My children will care even less.” That’s a warning call to some of the older clubs, says a committee member of Tollygunge Club. “They have to shape up if they have to fend off competition,” he says. “If a club is a home away from home, no one wants an outmoded dwelling.”Least of all the wait listed.last_img read more