“I see humans but no humanity“
People talk about what has happened in their favorite sports .People talk about Prince William’s new haircut. People talk about which name Kim Kardashian West gave her daughter. But the issue people do not talk about which has been going in Myanmar since August 2017. A situation which many of us would describe as the probably fastest progressing emergency situation of refugees in the world. In Myanmar Muslim Rohingyas have been hunted and discriminated against over decades. Although they have lived there this whole time, the government amongst others refuses to give them citizenships. The conflicts between the majority of Buddhists and the minority of Muslims escalated at the end of August, when Rohingya rebels attacked soldiers and police. They also killed lots of security forces. The army responded to this with violence, hundreds of people were killed and their houses were set on fire.
This has happened in the federal state of Rakhine from wehre more than 640.000 Rohingyas have fled to Bangladesh since August 2017 because the army burnt down their houses, killed their family members in front of their eyes, raped girls and women and destroyed everything that they have built in their lives. The UN classified this course of action done by the army as ethnic cleansing.
People risk their lives and cross dangerous roads with the hope for safety and shelter. As soon as they reach Bangladesh they face new problems like a lack of sanitary facilities, no access to water or food and nearly no help from human rights organizations because these organizations are held back by laws and limitations. Also, some people, who live near the area where Rohingya go to in Bangladesh try to take advantage of their situation by taking lots of money from the Rohingyas to transport them into camps or safe areas.
Human rights organizations criticize the country and government of Aung San Suu Kyi, the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. She is seen as a hero and global icon for non-violent battles, democracy and liberty.
Due to this huge ongoing problem we have to think about on what kind of earth we would really like to live. A place of equality, appreciation and peace is much better than knowing that on the other side of our world people have to flee because of their faith or their affiliation to a certain section of the population. So what we can do is not just to listen to the news and then go back to normal. We should try to change something even though it might seem like a problem we cannot influence. Human rights organizations try their best to support the Rohingya but laws and limitations prevent these organizations to help in the way people in refugee camps and elsewhere need so badly.
In conclusion we can say that the Rohingyas and what they have to experience right now is a symbol for the way minorities and people with other opinions, religions and other lifestyles are still treated in our world, and how humanity is still missing in our developed world.
LEO-Club of Neckar-Franken,
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In the last few weeks the news of harassment in the show business has been released and they have created movements like #TimesUp and #MeToo, which aims to raise voice against the sexual harassment and at the same time the people who have suffered it can feel identified and realise that they are not alone.
But what is the meaning of sexual harassment? If we can investigate, we can find several definitions according to the situation, but the general definition is as follows:
It is intimidation or coercion of a sexual nature, or the unwanted or inappropriate promise of rewards to change of sexual favours."
At times somebody has whistled you, they have given you sexual compliments, where they have followed you so insistently or they simply intimidate you or blackmail you in exchange for sexual favours on the street, at work, in clubs, even relatives in some cases are not excluded, among others.
We can rightly say that in the course of history of humanity, it has been possible to observe and know the various achievements that the human being has had, just as we have been able to know the atrocities and abuses that have occurred for reasons and / or wrong attitudes and among those abuses is sexual harassment.
It should be noted that for centuries this type of abuse has been very common, mainly the abusers are more in people who have some kind of power and because of that position they are at the authoritative level and abuse those under their command or the most fragile (women and children), no matter who it is. This abuse can be suffered by anyone, regardless of age, sex, culture, work, social class or religious and scientific beliefs.
It is important to know that the first time the term Sexual Harassment was used was in 1973 in the report "The Saturn Ring phenomenon," written by Mary P. Rowe, then the President's Special Assistant on women and work at the Technological Institute of Massachusetts on the various forms of harassment related to gender. However, the term was widely unknown until the early 1990s, when Anita Hill testified and denounced sexual harassment of Clarence Thomas, nominee for the United States Supreme Court. After Hill's testimony in 1991, the number of sexual harassment cases reported in the US and Canada increased by 58 percent.
The foregoing makes clear that the complaints of sexual harassment have increased since the victims have dared to speak and mainly because there are already laws that support them in comparison with the past where there was no legislation and in most cases, women had no existing rights to support them.
Despite the legislation, every day we can find more complaints and even then there is still a minimum percentage of the complainants, because many of the victims prefer to keep silent or simply ignore the situation, and why does it do so? For the simple reason that they do not want to get into trouble, for fear of the abuser or what they will say, or because they are accustomed to being frequent and simply prefer to ignore.
Do not forget that most of the cases that are reported are of women, but also men are victims, but they do not denounce because society can come to judge them and be frowned upon.
And we return to the question: Why do they not denounce? Why do they judge men who suffer abuse? Why is it so frequent? Why do they judge women? Why….? It is the most frequent question that will be heard. From small the harassment can occur but it is not identified or it is not given the importance, for example, in the case of children many parents see it as a funny attitude, for example, in the cases of Latin America can be children under 10 years dancing Reguetón in an inappropriate way with a girl or singing songs that have a sexual mention and that he can tell a girl of his age or a woman and can come to see it as grace and not as harassment.
In the case of the men who do not denounce, it is because they can be mocked by family members, friends, even the authorities themselves, because society has created the ideology of machismo, which means that man must be strong, with character and command, and among more women this more man is; If a man reports that he was harassed by a woman, he ends up being considered a lesser man, affecting his self-esteem and morals and prefer to remain silent before reporting. Additionally, machismo encompasses judging women by what they say, see, do and mainly as they dress, to the point of humiliating and denigrating them.
The feeling of insecurity, limitation of freedom, fear and discomfort are usually present in the victims. In the American continent, every 8 of 10 have been victims of some type of sexual harassment. Not only are campaigns enough, you must work hard on the education that is the class to reduce sexual harassment, some of them are:
Finally, worldwide, marches, campaigns and movements of people who fight against sexual harassment in different continents have been carried out. It is time to stop judging and start changing our mentality, these campaigns that have been launched, for example, Times Up, is not the first but it will not be the only campaign against sexual harassment, it is one of the many realized worldwide and that little by little is helping more victims to feel supported and confident in order to raise their voice and denounce.
Leo Natasha Barragan
Leo Club of San Francisco,
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The Sri Lankan elephant population is now largely restricted to the dry zone in the north, east and southeast of Sri Lanka. Elephants are present in Udawalawe National Park, Yala National Park, Lunugamvehera National Park, Wilpattu National Park and Minneriya National Park but also live outside protected areas. It is estimated that Sri Lanka has the highest density of elephants in Asia. Human-elephant conflict is increasing due to conversion of elephant habitat to settlements and permanent cultivation.
The size of wild elephant populations in Sri Lanka was estimated at
Elephants and humans are not getting along and in Sri Lanka, it is more apparent than anywhere else.
The Human Elephant Conflict is a term that defines a growing problem in Asia. Habitat is shrinking daily and humans are encroaching on the territory of elephants. At the same time, many poor farmers haven't changed their daily lives for hundreds of years but their crops and villages are being threatened. As urbanization takes hold, the elephants have nowhere else to go and end up in fields searching for food.
In villages, elephants are considered as pests; as huge and dangerous pests. They raid crops and devastate and entire year's harvest. Like any wild animal that is losing its habitat, elephants are becoming more aggressive and people are losing their lives.
The human elephant conflict dates back centuries, as historical records by Robert Knox reveal. According to data gathered by the Elephant Conservation Unit of the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC), around 2,844 elephants were killed by farmers and 1,138 people were killed by elephants between the years from 1991 to 2010, while a total of 3,103 homes in Sri Lanka were destroyed by elephants (from 2004 to 2007).
Because of these statistics Sri Lankans are mobilizing and fighting back. Elephants are being shot, poisoned and electrocuted. As many as 100 – 150 elephants are being killed each year and it doesn't seem as if anyone can come to a solution. Some statistics have stated that over 200 elephants were killed in Sri Lanka in 2009.
Sri Lanka is home to 10%, 20% of the Asian elephant population, more than any other state in this region. A land area of nearly five square kilometers per elephant is needed to ensure that the natural balance that exists between the elephant and its dry zone habitat is not disturbed.
According to this data, the current population of 3,500 elephants requires around 17,500 square kilometers or 27% of total land mass while the protected areas in Sri Lanka cover only 12.5% of the land (or 8,200 square kilometers). This indicates that nature parks and reserves are unable to ensure the sustainable conservation of these beings. Long term solutions are sorely needed and political will is the deciding factor.
These numbers of Elephant deaths are heartbreaking. The elephant is endangered and it is illegal to kill them, but villagers are desperate. Sadly elephants are dying in other ways as well, they are being hit by trains, falling into wells, blown up with explosives and have become casualties of years of conflict.
Recently the famous tusker, “Dala Puttuwa” of Galgamuwa was killed by poachers, renewing the public discussion around the ongoing human -elephant conflict in Sri Lanka. Investigators found that “Dala Puttuwa” was killed to sell its tusks and for coveted ‘elephant pearls’ as they are known.
Reasons for the Conflict
With a 1.1% of a population growth makes so many thing complicated as human are in a big challenge to survive. Demand for the food has been increased due to population growth so the harvesting new lands are a must. Construction of new areas and urbanizing also demands the need of wooden products and it will deprive elephants of their habitat, forcing them to roam about in search of basic needs such as food and water. These elephants then have to face various violent deterrents put in place by the villagers to protect their paddy, ranging from gunshots to poisonous pumpkins.
Matara highway, for instance, has progressed through the MER. Many factories, including solar power generation plants have been constructed within MER, with the result that the human-elephant conflict is worsening day by day, as the land allocated for elephants shrinks.
To fulfill the demands of human being forests are rapidly decreased. We have taken the lands which were belonging to the wild life. Recently human were set up in a part of Wilpaththu national park, government should have a national view on conserving the remaining forest areas and make the biological stabilization in the country.
Steps to Reduce the Human Elephant Conflict
What we need is a sustainable solution for this matter but to achieve a sustainable solution implementing short term and long term plans is what governing bodies must do.
We must preserve the remaining forests in order to maintain the required land area for wild life. Electric fencing is a method of dividing the areas where elephants live. As an alternative to electric fencing, Practical Action came up with an innovative, low cost, sustainable bio-fencing technology to protect elephants and humans.
As a solution to minimize the killing of elephants enforcing the law or strengthening the remaining law should be done and destroying the remaining forest by human should not be taken as a small issue. Law must be implemented to fine the muggers.
Human should have well-planned towns, villages, reservoirs and transport system. At last we should keep in mind that this world belongs to every living creature.
Leo Saliya Pathmabandu
Leo Club of Colombo Host, Sri Lanka
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As a member of NGOs for more than 8 years and working in the finance sector at the same time, in this article I wanted to share my observations on the financing of the NGOs and the economy.
I had to be in charge of financial structures because I had been a presidential candidate and treasurer for CSO several times. The first thing I noticed here is the situation that I want to draw attention to; $1 in an NGO's fortune is very valuable from $100 in my pocket because this money may have been forgiven by a donation, maybe a lot of effort spent on it. More importantly, every dollar of money in this coin will be used for a social purpose.
For this reason, the NGO finance structure that we are talking about has a much more sensitive and important structure and needs to be managed in a very good and completely transparent manner. We can start by examining three different funding methods of NGOs to examine this sensitivity. These; donations, dues and activity revenues.
Subsidies the NGO is one of the most important income sources of profit. It is a constant power and can be predicted and calculated more clearly. Thanks to this structure, it is very important to meet the fixed costs. As an example of fixed costs; if there is an office of an NGO, if there is a rented, invoiced, salaried employee of this office,
Another source of finance is the activity-activity revenues that we Leo use the most. Meals, kermes, tournaments, and any other kind of income that may come to mind are available. These revenues can be used for project-based activities or for funding large long-term social projects. Funding is indeed very important for large-scale projects. It provides a very great service with little small contributions. Lions and Leo draw attention as an NGO that has created this funding structure in a very accurate way.
Donations and sponsorships can be the greatest source of funding for NGOs, but they are the most difficult and sensitive part. For a donation or sponsorship, you must first have a well-prepared progeny or campaign with every detail. This donation or sponsorship from one or more persons or a company is conveyed unexpectedly without any material provision. For this reason, they want to make sure that they are transmitted rightly and correctly. It is necessary to transparently demonstrate at every stage that these donations are used in the most functional and beneficial way. At this stage in the beginning, we will talk about the value of $1 in our pocket, $1 in our donation, and the liability can even exceed $100.
In most of the NGOs, it is observed that the required fundamentals are shown in this finance structure. In some of the forms we mentioned, it is seen that the financial resources provided to the voluntary people are used very inefficiently. In order to prevent this situation, a good finance team needs to create the supervision system with great care. I think that it is necessary to raise awareness of the financial structure of each NGO member in order to prevent the great efforts being made due to finance from falling in efficiency.
Leo Ahmet Yukselbaba,
District 118-R President,
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Welcome to the New Year!
“Never confuse movement with action.” ― Ernest Hemingway
Even though historically the passage of time is commensurate to the progress of society, this past year, we have declined- the slave trade in Libya, threats of another World War and repealing the accessibility of the most necessary means of communication, education and information in the history of society- none of which fit into the norms of the 21st Century. Keep in mind, our celebrations are still merited because our role as a community, is to not waive indifference. To begin that journey, let’s first understand these issues:
From its inhumane inception in the 15th Century, through continued efforts of the world’s nations, most countries had eradicated slavery by the 19th Century, with the official abolishment conducted by the United Nations in 1948. However, 70 years later, refugees in Libya are still being auctioned off like items, to be used like objects and treated like filth. Following a disruptive end to Muammar Gaddafi’s reign over the country in 2011, the interim Government failed to implement its authority and establish law; leading to a civil war with the country fragmented into militias, tribes and gangs who find the trade of other human beings to be a “lucrative” industry. These sub-Saharan migrants, fleeing from the economic ruins and armed conflict they faced in their native lands, deserve the opportunity they sought when they left their homes. Recognizing the atrociousness of this situation, UN officials, EU leaders and government representatives from Chad, Niger, Morocco, Congo and Libya decided methods to break down this human rights disaster. However, what flared this resolution was the reaction to CNN’s images and videos of live auctions seen only a month ago even though the original reports surfaced in April. Protests around the world severely pressurized global authorities to finally take action; showing the power of a communal voice.
This same communal voice however, has been held to a thoroughly helpless role as we watch tensions flare between the American and Korean leaders, Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un, who have both been the most disruptive leaders of their respective nations in the last few decades. Kim Jong-Un has tested 84 missiles in his reign- twice as many as both his father and grandfather- leading to the strongest sanctions ever imposed on a country to be authorized by the United Nations to constrict North Korea’s ability to stockpile Weapons of Mass Destruction. The negotiated armistice of the Korean War seems to be repealed as Donald Trump has been having a cold war of sorts on Twitter by posting highly controversial threats. This child-like back and forth is epitomized by the events which transpired when President Trump tweeted that “any more threats to the United States” will be met “with fire and fury like the world has never seen.” As a response, North Korea threatened to fire four missiles near the American territory of Guam in the Pacific Ocean. Rather than being the bigger man, this threat was also retorted and tweeted by Donald Trump who said that “military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely.” This vain, egotistical game of (a lack of) wits has pushed the world onto the brink of another world war; a nuclear war led by egos and selfishness. One possible resolution could be the impeachment of President Trump set forth by the Democrats but in a Republican-led Congress, it is a long-shot.
A vote that did pass however, was the vote to repeal Net Neutrality- which disallowed Internet Service Providers from discriminating between content for their own gain; making the internet an even playing field with everyone being allowed the same access, control and opportunity. However, after Trump-appointed FCC Chairman Ajit Pai successfully repealed it on December 14th with a 3-2 vote, Internet Service Providers now have total control over our usage of the internet; giving telecom providers the power to decide what we see- choosing the content- and how we see it- proportioning the bandwidth based on usage. This allows large corporations to invest heavily in these providers and prejudice them into raising the required bandwidth for accessing their rivals’ websites, making the internet a battlefield for companies to fight, rather than a platform for people from all places and backgrounds to provide themselves the opportunities they are otherwise restricted. Furthermore, this makes it almost impossible for start-ups to gain users on their websites as they will not be able to pay up to get their content delivered faster. In today’s world where: the world’s largest accommodation provider, Airbnb, owns no real estate, the world’s most popular media owner, Facebook, produces no content and the world’s largest taxi-company, Uber, owns no vehicles, connecting people has become has become the new landscape of business and every one of these founders would not have been able to achieve everything they have and provide everything they do without the access to a free, equal rights internet. This commercial discrimination could thwart the ability of future entrepreneurs, and subsequently disturb global development because regardless of it’s political disruptiveness, the United States remains the hub of business, trading and trends and its deterioration would inadvertently affect global advancement.
Our hope remains us. If the critics’ prediction of the outcomes of Net Neutrality hold true, the vote can be fought in court and that requires the one key that has the ability to undo all of these messed- consideration. These issues are not native to all of us, but they will affect us regardless. These issues might not involve us, but if they depreciate our world, we mustn’t look at borders. Most of us have the fortune of being residents in democracies where the majority goes, where the voices of the masses matter. Now what are we going to do with that opportunity?
“People shouldn't be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people.” ― Alan Moore
Leo Aakash Nair
Alpha Leo Club of SVKM International.
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