The Refugee Crisis

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This crisis is affecting regions throughout the continents most especially in Africa, Europe and Syria. Residents are fleeing their hometown due to the violence that’s erupting on their front yard. The conflict in Syria continues to be by far the biggest driver of the migration. But the ongoing violence in Afghanistan, abuses in Eritrea, as well as poverty in Kosovo are also leading people to look for new lives elsewhere. There are approximately over 366,000 refugees in Europe but

As more and more migrants cross over, the hosting countries try to keep their economies in check and are consequently more reclined in closing off their borders. Though there are others that have shown some leniency to them and have accepted to aid them in several ways; like in the UK, they have accepted to grant asylum to 4000 migrants annually, Germany provided jobs and homes and even their football club, Bayern Munich would donate 1 million Euros to charity for the refugees, Chelsea donated one pound from every ticket sold in a match to charity Plan International. Real Madrid also pledged 1 million Euros to migrants entering Spain, and set up football camps for the refugees.

While the European refugee crisis has garnered so much attention, there are still other forgotten refugees who have resulted to casualties and deaths in Africa. Countries such as South Sudan in which the civil war has left over a million internally displaced and about 750,000 refugees in neighboring countries. Ethiopia hosts about 200,000 refugees, of which a large percentage — mostly women and children in which the Ethiopian government allocated land and security for 23 camps around which currently accommodates over 630,000 refugees. In May, an estimated 3.8 million people were facing severe levels of hunger in South Sudan.

In Nigeria, violent clashes between government forces and the Islamic sect, Boko Haram in northern Nigeria have triggered large waves of internal displacement and refugees. At the beginning of 2014, over 17,500 refugees had fled Nigeria for safety in neighboring countries Cameroon, Niger, and Chad leaving over 1.5 million internally displaced people in the Nigeria as of April 2015 and with the sect’s recent attacks on IDP camps, there is bound to be an increase in the number of refugees and displaced people, coupled with food insecurity.

In Somalia, The fall of the Siad Barre regime in 1991 led to the ongoing civil war in Somalia, which has been fueled by inter-ethnic clashes, famine, and religion has claimed over 300,000 lives, and conflicts between radical Islamists and the government.

 

Somalia’s endless war has made it one of the top-ranking sources of refugees in the world today with over a million IDP’s and over a million refugees who have fled to other countries like Kenya, Yemen, and Ethiopia.  By the end of this year, an estimated 70 percent of refugees in Kenya will be from Somalia, with South Sudanese and Ethiopian refugees filling out the remaining 30 percent.

Conflict and humanitarian crises in the DRC has resulted in over 5 million deaths, close to 3 million IDP’s, and over half a million refugees  as of December 2014 who have left to neighboring  countries like Burundi, Uganda, Rwanda, and  Tanzania.

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Abortion, right or privilege?

 

 

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Various countries have debated whether to legalize abortion so as to ease on the restrictions. Should we protect the mother so that she can be able to do as she pleases as it is he
r own body so it should be her choice or should we protect the right to life for the unborn baby? That’s the question that’s guiding the activists both for and against abortion throughout the world.

 

According to US News world report, a Northern Ireland judge and the Amnesty International think it is and are encouraging others to see that as well. This comes as a shock as it was known that Northern Ireland was headstrong for banning abortions unless it was to save a life and health of the mother and those who would perform would be sentenced to life imprisonment and the patients would be sentenced to up to 14 years behind bars. He justifies his claim by stating that to deny women that carry fetuses with fatal abnormalities or victims of rape or incest represented a “gross interference” with her personal autonomy.

I realize that it is a very sad and depressing fact that most courts in most parts of the world including the USA presume that the unborn child is not yet a human being and therefore does not assume human rights consequently not worth fighting for.

The Look Up Generation

I have 422 friends, yet I am lonely.
I speak to all of them everyday, yet none of them really know me.

The problem I have sits in the spaces between,
looking into their eyes, or at a name on a screen.

I took a step back, and opened my eyes,
I looked around, and then realised
that this media we call social, is anything but
when we open our computers, and it’s our doors we shut.

All this technology we have, it’s just an illusion,
of community, companionship, a sense of inclusion
yet when you step away from this device of delusion,
you awaken to see, a world of confusion.

A world where we’re slaves to the technology we mastered,
where our information gets sold by some rich greedy bastard.
A world of self-interest, self-image, self-promotion,
where we share all our best bits, but leave out the emotion.

We are at our most happy with an experience we share,
but is it the same if no one is there.
Be there for you friends, and they’ll be there too,
but no one will be, if a group message will do.

We edit and exaggerate, we crave adulation,
we pretend we don’t notice the social isolation.
We put our words into order, until our lives are glistening,
we don’t even know if anyone is listening.

Being alone isn’t the problem, let me just emphasize,
that if you read a book, paint a picture, or do some exercise,
you are being productive, and present, not reserved or recluse,
you’re being awake and attentive, and putting your time to good use.

So when you’re in public, and you start to feel alone,
put your hands behind your head, and step away from the phone.
You don’t need to stare at your menu, or at your contact list,
just talk to one another, and learn to co-exist.

I can’t stand to hear the silence, of a busy commuter train,
when no one wants to talk through the fear of looking insane.
We’re becoming unsocial, it no longer satisfies
to engage with one another, and look into someone’s eyes.

We’re surrounded by children, who since they were born,
watch us living like robots, and think it’s the norm.
It’s not very likely you will make world’s greatest dad,
if you cant entertain a child without a using an iPad.

When I was a child, I would never be home,
I’d be out with my friends, on our bikes we would roam.
We’d ware holes in our trainers, and graze up our knees;
we’d build our own clubhouse, high up in the trees.

Now the parks are so quiet, it gives me a chill
to see no children outside and the swings hanging still.
There’s no skipping or hopscotch, no church and no steeple,
we’re a generation of idiots, smart phones and dumb people.

So look up from your phone, shut down that display,
take in your surroundings, and make the most of today.
Just one real connection is all it can take,
to show you the difference that being there can make.

Be there in the moment, when she gives you the look,
that you remember forever, as when love overtook.
The time you first hold her hand, or first kiss her lips,
the time you first disagree, but still love her to bits.

The time you don’t need to tell hundreds, about what you’ve just done,
because you want to share the moment, with just this one.
The time you sell your computer, so you can buy a ring,
for the girl of your dreams, who is now the real thing.

The time you want to start a family, and the moment when,
you first hold your baby girl, and get to fall in love again.
The time she keeps you up at night, and all you want is rest,
and the time you wipe away the tears, as your baby flees the nest.

The time your little girl returns, with a boy for you to hold,
and the day he calls you granddad, and makes you feel real old
The time you take in all you’ve made, just by giving life attention,
and how your glad you didn’t waste it, by looking down at some invention.

The time you hold your wife’s hand, and sit down beside her bed
you tell her that you love her, and lay a kiss upon her head.
She then whispers to you quietly, as her heart gives a final beat,
that she’s lucky she got stopped, by that lost boy in the street.

But none of these times ever happened, you never had any of this,
When you’re too busy looking down, you don’t see the chances you miss.

So look up from your phone, shut down those displays,
we have a finite existence, a set number of days.
Why waste all our time getting caught in the net,
as when the end comes, nothing’s worse than regret.

I am guilty too, of being part of this machine,
this digital world, where we are heard but not seen.
Where we type and don’t talk, where we read as we chat,
where we spend hours together, without making eye contact.

Don’t give in to a life where you follow the hype,
give people your love, don’t give them your like.
Disconnect from the need to be heard and defined
Go out into the world, leave distractions behind.

Look up from your phone, shut down that display,
stop watching this video, live life the real way.

Dinner or Dignity: Expecting the Poor to Remain Moral

Are we righteous by moral decision or is it because our circumstances make it easy????

KINFOLK KOLLECTIVE

A few days ago my son and I went grocery shopping. As a general rule, I do not take my baby with me to grocery shop because as any mother of young children – my son turns seven next month – will tell you, a trip for groceries with the children turns into an event laden with begging, tantrums and running through the aisles. This day, however, I wanted to be close to my boy for no other reason than the fact that I adore him, so I let him tag along.

Standing in aisle 5 as my son grabbed oatmeal, an older black woman approached selecting a box of oatmeal, then looking at the price, and finally replacing it. She walked away turning back to advise me, “If you have a car, you need to go to Walmart. Their prices are way cheaper.” I started to say, “I know…

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Making Choices: The Moral Aspects of Policing

In Kenya people percieve the police as morally bad people
This article can teach us a lesson on how to remove the bias and view the acts the police engage in as they should.

Improving Police: A Necessary Conversation

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Being moral is to make good choices between right and wrong or good and bad actions.

It applies to both individuals and organizations. With regard to the police function, a citizen cannot expect the police to operate only legally — but that they must also act morally. For without moral considerations, policing would become both ineffective and unbearable in a free society.

Permit me to explain, police officers, of necessity, daily exercise moral choices called “professional discretion” in deciding whether or not to make an arrest. The proper use of this discretion requires police to be educated and well-trained in order to make sound and professional judgments in the course of their duties. These decisions involve a number of factors (but not limited to) the seriousness of the offense, whether an arrest will aid in resolving the problem, the existence of competing priorities for police resources, the availability of…

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Standing out.

The mistake we make is the immense fear we have to go against the current.
The first step to being a moral individual is the acceptance that you may stand out from the crowd. However that shouldn’t cause us discouragement. Instead we should allow ourselves to keep on this path even if it the path least taken.

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Image from Pinterest

Whose problems are bigger?

Some days bad things just happen.
You spent your weekend locked in doors because your salary was delayed.
For breakfast you only had a cup of sugarless strong tea and one of those 5 bob mandazis and you know that for that day that is the only meal you will get.
It is hot outside. Annoyingly hot. The kind of hot that already has your creased white shirt stained with a large sweat patch and it is barely 9 am.
You are late to work. But you have no money for a bodaboda so you are doing that terribly long walk from your little bachelor pad in Langata to your office in UpperHill.
You are walking. Fast. But your mind is racing even faster. End month cannot get here any quicker. You think of all your problems. The electricity was cut this morning and you are running out of candles. You have been playing Cat and Mouse games with your landlord and you are one bounced cheque away from having a huge padlock placed on your door. Your girlfriend has been acting weird, keeps referencing some new guy at her work place. You did not get her anything for her birthday and you know she is going to hold this one over your head for a while.
But then your phone vibrates.
You think about ignoring it. It could be your landlord. It could be your boss. You really hope it’s not your girlfriend.
The vibrating does not stop.
It’s your mother.
You pick up.
She starts with the usual formalities.
But something about the way her voice is shaking makes you stop suddenly.
She tells you your sister had an accident.
That they need to wheel her into theatre urgently because she is losing so much blood.
The words ripple through your body like a wave and you find yourself dropping the folder you are carrying.
But even before you get to ask your mother for more details a lady bumps into you as you reach out to pick the papers splattered across the dusty road.
You curse at her but she seems so preoccupied she barely even turns to apologize.
Your mother is telling you she needs that money urgently and your mind is working overtime trying to think of who owes you a favor. But you already exhausted those resources the previous month. If anything you are certain the very same people are about to call you asking for you to pay them their debts.
Things are hard.
But you do not know how to tell your mother this.
She spent way too much educating you. It would not make sense if the one time she needs you, you are unable to come through for her.
You continue walking.
Maybe take an emergency loan from work?
But just as you are about to continue your walk you trip on a big brown envelope similar to the one you left the house carrying.
Your mother is still on the phone. Telling you details that only cast a cloud on your already dark day.
Your envelope feels a little heavier than you remember, so you open it.
And out drops a letter.
And the answer to all your problems.
A couple of crisp notes.
An admission letter to a university.
You look ahead and see the lady that bumped into you disappear into the crowd.
You whisper an Amen thinking that the Lord finally answered your prayers.
But then just as you are about to slip those notes into your pocket another letter catches your eye.
And you realize that maybe the original owner of the envelope needed that money too.

So what do you finally do?
Maybe the answer to that lies in answering the question whose problems are bigger.