Active Citizens

Silent Struggles: Unraveling Korea’s Startling Elderly Suicide Surge

Growing up in a culture that values respect for elders, I was acutely aware of the importance of caring for our aging population. However, my journey to understanding the gravity of this issue truly began with a personal anecdote. I watched my grandmother, a pillar of strength throughout my childhood, gradually withdraw from the vibrant world in which she once thrived. The cheerful twinkle in her eyes began to dim, replaced by an eerie sense of isolation.

Choose Humanity: Make the Impossible Choice Possible!

We have arrived at the point of no return. At this very moment the world is witnessing the highest level of humanitarian needs since World War Two. We are experiencing a human catastrophe on a titanic scale: 125 million in dire need of assistance, over 60 million people forcibly displaced, and 218 million people affected by disasters each year for the past two decades.

Mauritian Farmers Go Smart

Fifty year-old Prem Kanoosingh rages against his peers who excessively apply chemicals, mostly pesticides and fertilisers, to their crops. "They make cocktails from several products and they use them on their crops. They are criminals", he shouted at a function where the Food and Agricultural Research and Extension Institute launched a bio-farming project in early March 2016.

Unsung Heroes of Rural Resilience

In scorching heat, Ellen Kacha, inspects her almost failed maize crop, which now looks promising after a rare occurrence this season -- normal rainfall for at least two weeks.

HIV Time Bomb Ticks On

Radhika Banarjee, a 24 year-old CSW, listened carefully at an advocacy gathering in the heart of Dhaka, Bangladesh’s capital.

Champions of Hygiene

Lydia Abuya, a tenant living in the Kaptembwa informal settlement west of Nakuru town, leaves one of the six on-plot toilets. She returns with a pail of water to splash away the waste.

Not So Smart Idea

As Bhubaneswar experiences scorching heat of 43.2 degrees Celsius in early April, 5 degrees above normal, 44-year-old Prasanti Behera barely sleeps at night. Two summers ago, a fire charred 50 homes in her slum and burnt in seconds US$600 she had painstakingly saved over two years for her daughter’s marriage.

Conserving the Hilsa

Bangladesh has decided to set up a Hilsa Conservation Trust Fund (HCTF) to protect this fish from over-exploitation due to population growth and effects of climate change.

Ethiopia’s Smoldering Oromo

The Ethiopian government's most serious domestic political crisis in more than a decade began over a scruffy football field appropriated by local officials for development.

OPINION: Why South Africa Must Not Lose Plot on Civil Society

South Africa celebrated human rights month this March with President Zuma recalling the “heroism of our people who stood up for their rights.” However, this same month which commemorates the sacrifices of those who took part in the struggle against apartheid and those who died in the Sharpeville Massacre of 21 March 1960 was not a happy one for today’s civil society activists and organisations engaged in defending human rights. Two shocking incidents raise troubling questions for the future of civil society in the country.

Temple Tantrums

Women comprise nearly half of India's 1.2 billion population, yet gender bias and patriarchal mindsets continue to plague them well into the 21st century. Even holy places -- temples and mosques -- it seems aren't free from discriminating against the fair sex.

The Arab Spring: Five Years On

Five years ago the Arab world blew up, and the flames are still raging. What at first had been euphoria quickly turned to chaos. What cannot be denied, though, is that the uprisings were the spark of an epochal change.

Saving Children’s Lives Through Drones

The first successful test-flight of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or drone was an unhindered 10 km journey from a community health centre to the Kamuzu central hospital laboratory in the capital Lilongwe. Local community members watched with excitement as the drone rose into the sky, after being launched by the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and government of Malawi at the area 25 health centre.

Tree Regeneration Restoring Hope

Maurice Kaduka Lukaro, 54, is a farmer in Oljorai, an area with short grasses and small-scattered bushes in Nakuru county in Kenya’s Great Rift Valley. Crop production has declined tremendously in this region. Like the rest of the arid and semi-arid lands (ASAL) in the Sub Saharan region, Maurice Kaduka Lukaro, 54, is a farmer in Oljorai, an area with short grasses and small-scattered bushes in Nakuru county in Kenya’s Great Rift Valley. Crop production has declined tremendously in this region. Like like the rest of the arid and semi-arid lands (ASAL) in the Sub Saharan region, Kenya hosts a population worst hit by the reality of climate change. Kenya hosts a population worst hit by the reality of climate change.

Reaping the Gender Dividend

For the first time, an all-female flight crew recently operated a Royal Brunei Airlines jet from Brunei to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. Such a feat certainly appears noteworthy in a country where gender segregation is pervasive. When women are still not permitted to drive a car; where there are separate entrances for men and women in banks, is there a possibility of an all-female crew operating a Saudi Airlines plane from Jeddah to Brunei? Not immediately, as there are disturbing signs that the limited gains on the gender front might face reversals.

Myanmar’s Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis

The persisting humanitarian crisis of the Rohingya minority in Myanmar has been a global concern after two bouts of organised mass violence against them in 2012. While the Rohingya persecution has been going on for nearly four decades, Myanmar’s reforms launched in 2011 facilitated the international media’s coverage of the mass violence.

Turkey’s Crackdown on the Press

On the evening of March 4, heavily armed police forced their way into the headquarters of the Turkish daily Zaman. The hundreds of protesters that had gathered in front of the building in an Istanbul suburb in solidarity with their newspaper were violently dispersed.

Palestinian Refugees from Syria

In the safety of his sister's bare flat in Beit Hanoun, Gaza, 42 year-old Iyad Yusef still shakes his head in disbelief when he recounts the journey that from war-torn Syria, brought him and his family to the relative safety of the blockaded strip.

Public Primary Boarding Schools in Pastoral Communities

Jonathan Tipapa is a nine year-old boy whose daily journey to and from school exposes him to many dangers that have seen him come close to dropping out of school -- like many of his friends who can be seen running after cows even on school days. He attends Enkutoto primary school in the expansive Narok South Constituency in the Rift Valley region, approximately 70 miles from the capital Nairobi.

Anti-Mining Protests in Turkey Book Temporary Victory

Over the past weeks, thousands of people across Turkey have protested against the planned construction of a gold mine in Cerattepe, close to the town of Artvin in the northeast of the country. Protesters fear that the mine will cause irreparable damage to the unique natural environment of the region.

Schools are in for Summer

“We are extremely jubilant over the rebuilding of our school that the Taliban destroyed it in 2013, due to which we used to sit without a roof,” Mujahida Bibi, a student of 8th grade in Government Girls Middle School North Waziristan Agency, told IPS.

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western civilizations brief fifth edition