46664 fires up volunteer spirit

first_img10 March 2004Nelson Mandela’s 46664 campaign is set to reposition itself – from merely raising awareness of the HIV/Aids pandemic to encouraging people to actively participate in the fight against the disease.The first salvo was fired by Mandela himself during a press conference on 6 January, where he spoke of his son Makgatho’s death that morning from an Aids-related illness.Through the launch of the 46664 volunteer campaign, the organisers aim to highlight and revive “the voluntarism spirit”.“The 46664 volunteer campaign is aimed at reviving South Africa’s goodwill spirit, particular in the rural areas where community members have taken it on themselves to help those in need”, says programme manager Merlyn van Voore.“The beauty of this campaign”, says Van Voore, “is that it does not require people to dig into their pockets. Instead, it encourages people to join in the war against inhumanity by showing compassion and by volunteering their time to support those who are infected, because surely we are all affected by this pandemic.”A hotline has been set up for anyone interesting in joining the fight. To find out more, or to volunteer, call 0800 046664, SMS 08388 9429 46664, e-mail [email protected], or visit the Nelson Mandela Foundation website.So far, about 10 000 people have registered as 46664 volunteers, according to Van Voore.First launched in 2003, the 46664 campaign – named after Mandela’s Robben Island prison number – kicked off with a ground-breaking music launch on the Internet and phone networks around the world, followed by an all-star concert in South Africa in November 2003.Now, the campaign is seeking “to build on this foundation and strengthen its impact in the fight against HIV and Aids”; and more specifically “to inspire ordinary South Africans and businesses to take personal responsibility in the fight against Aids.”The campaign is “forming partnerships with business and civil society to mobilise their employees, members and customers”.So far, several businesses – including Absa, Digital Mall and Pick ‘n Pay – have answered the call with social responsibility projects and by encouraging their employees to give of their time.Local and international celebrities have also taken up the cause, with kwaito star Mandoza and actor Will Smith recently being appointed as 46664 ambassadors.Kwaito musicians Mzekezeke, Ghetto Lingo and Bouga Luv recently visited the Ikageng Itireleng Aids Ministry, in Orlando, Soweto, which caters for 139 child-headed families that have lost their parents to the disease. The centre, founded by Carol Dyantyi, provides refuge to more than 300 children orphaned by Aids.“It’s really encouraging to see local youth icons positively using their celebrity status to help influence more people to take personal responsibility in the fight against Aids”, Van Voore says.According to Volunteer South Africa director Joan Daries, volunteering “has to be a lifestyle choice, just like going to work or to a gym. We need to make time.”Source: City of Johannesburglast_img read more

Read More →

Nelson Mandela Bay is smart

first_imgThe Nelson Mandela multi-purpose stadium. The municipality’s listing as one of the most intelligent communities in the world will enhance its status as a 2010 host city. (Image: Nelson Mandela Bay)Janine ErasmusThe Eastern Cape’s Nelson Mandela Bay municipality has made it onto the 2009 list of the world’s 21 most intelligent communities. The list is issued annually by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) on the basis of a community’s capacity in and innovative use of broadband.African communities are starting to make their presence felt in the global broadband arena. Nelson Mandela Bay follows Cape Town’s feat – in 2008 the Western Cape capital was the first and only African city to make it to the Smart21 list.The municipality, which includes Port Elizabeth and the nearby towns of Uitenhage and Despatch, is home to 1 200 000 citizens in around 289 000 households.It was singled out with 20 other communities from 12 nations on four continents, among them two counties and two multi-city metropolitan areas. Nelson Mandela Bay is the only African entrant to have been thus honoured in 2009.ICF development director Louis Zacharilla lauded each nominee for their efforts in improving their environment through innovative broadband applications.“The ingenuity of these communities is exemplified in their investments in the future of the young, the growth and progress of job-creating businesses, and economic security,” he said at the announcement. “An overarching theme of the 2009 honourees has been the dedication to putting people first and building a ‘talent inventory’ that will thrive with technology and innovation.”Industrial hubNelson Mandela Bay is the acknowledged hub of the automotive industry in South Africa, an achievement commended by the ICF in its citation. The municipality is also investing into information and communications technology (ICT) with the goal of establishing an ICT sector built around call centres and ICT outsourcing. This will serve to bridge the current inequality in education and income.The recently developed Nelson Mandela Bay Technology Hub is a project that focuses on providing support to small- and medium-sized businesses in ICT and related industries. An initiative of the Eastern Cape Development Corporation, the Technology Hub plays a crucial role in the growth of these businesses in the province’s burgeoning ICT sector.The municipality has also developed a detailed strategy for the implementation of wireless and fibre-to-the-premises broadband, an initiative which will further narrow the digital gap. Fibre-to-the-premises is a type of network architecture where fibre optic cable is run right into the client’s premises, in contrast with traditional methods which use copper for last mile delivery.The introduction of an e-government programme in 2008 has helped to raise the standard of services in the municipality. The scheme consists of four focus areas – government to citizen; government to government; government to business; and internal efficiency and effectiveness.Among the recently implemented e-government solutions is the full computerisation of six community libraries, complete with office packages as well as public internet and email facilities. All municipal departments are now connected with a cost-saving 100Mb wireless network, and work more efficiently with an electronic document management system.The municipality’s traffic control system is to be improved, with new traffic signals and CCTV screens and cameras. The new bus rapid transport system, which is expected to form the core of the public transport system up to 2020 and is currently under construction, will also be accommodated with priority at traffic signals for buses.Worthy of imitationThe ICT panel concluded that the Nelson Mandela Bay approach is “worthy of imitation, because it creates a bold strategy and high-quality plan but sets realistic expectations for achieving it within the community’s means”.The ICF’s Smart21 list is part of its annual Intelligent Community Awards programme, an initiative that identifies the most technologically-savvy communities on the planet. An intelligent community is defined by the ICF as being a community, irrespective of its size or composition, which views bandwidth as an essential resource, one that is vital to economic growth and public welfare.Nominations are received from hundreds of communities of all sizes and on all continents. Once the 21 smart communities for the year have been named, the list is further shrunk to a shortlist of seven, from which the world’s most intelligent community is selected.No African nominee has yet made it to the final seven, but in light of the fact that two years ago an African city had never been named at all, it is surely just a matter of time. The 2009 winner is Stockholm in Sweden.Nomination to the elite Smart21 group is considered a great honour, as well as a step towards wider recognition as an intelligent community with a bright future in the ever-growing broadband economy. The Smart21 initiative is now in its fourth year of existence.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Contact Janine Erasmus at [email protected] articlesNelson Mandela Bay is the best Wacs cable gets the green lightBroadband in Africa set to soarUseful linksNelson Mandela BayNelson Mandela Bay tourism siteIntelligent Community ForumComputer Society of South AfricaSavant ICT portallast_img read more

Read More →

Major Thermal Bypasses

first_imgErik North, the owner of Free Energy Maine, is an energy auditor and home performance specialist in Westbrook, Maine. He is also the author of the Energy Auditing Blog. Thermal bypasses: the what and whereThe building envelope includes those elements of the building (the floor, walls, and roofs) which separate the comfortable interior from the potentially uncomfortable exterior. Especially today, when it is 98°F out … in Maine. (<— that was the sentence). BLOGS BY ERIC NORTHFlash and Batt InsulationExterior Insulation Is Like Like A Sweater For Your HouseHeat Loss from Air Is No Big Deal, Right?Insulating Stud Cavities in Existing HomesHow to Insulate and Air-Seal Pull-Down Attic StairsHow to Insulate and Air Seal an Attic Hatch First, a bit about my writing: I write in longhand, whenever I have some spare time. Between audits, at lunch, after the gym, when stopping for a coffee. Then I type the notes up. The thing is that I find a lot more spare time in my walking-around day than at the home or office. To say there is a bottleneck getting these notes into electronic form is a disservice to good-flowing bottles everywhere. This is by way of explaining an upcoming sentence.Secondly, “major thermal bypasses” is building-geek speak for holes in your house — holes through which you are losing an abnormal amount of heat. More formally, they are areas in standard construction where flaws in the building enclosure allow air to escape, bypassing the thermal control layer. List of thermal bypass locationsWhen developing their housing certifications, Energy Star put together their list of common thermal bypasses. Thankfully, the good folks at the Department of Energy have collected this info in one place: the Energy Star thermal bypass list:Kneewalls like those found in Cape Cod style housesThe ceilings over porchesAttic hatchesZero-clearance fireplaces (I love these, because the leaks are entirely enclosed and not evident to the naked eye)SkylightsGarage ceiling joists attached directly to the building framingAttic stairs built into exterior wallsBathtubs and showers built into exterior wallsCantilevered floors like those found in Garrison houses.And the hits just keep on coming. Check out Energy Star’s list of thermal bypasses and take a look around your house. Fixing one of these issues can be a real heat saver and money saver. Thermal bypasses and the home buyer’s dilemmaAs I mentioned, thermal bypasses are inadvertent holes in the building envelope. If one were to conceive of a perfectly insulated and airtight house (with an appropriate level of fresh ventilation air … no suffocating), it would be very simple. Make it like a box.Wait, you want to get inside?! OK, we’ll add a door. And you want to see the ocean view you paid an extra $100K for? Well, they have a really lousy R-value compared to walls, but I suppose we can add a few windows. And a cathedral ceiling and recessed lights and a hot tub and a finished room over the garage and a zero-clearance fireplace and a giant hole in the wall for fresh air. (Wait a minute…)You see where this is heading. Home buyers have wants and needs, and they are most often at cross purposes with the aim of having an easily defined building envelope. And the harder the building envelope is to define, the harder it is to keep the uncomfortable outside away from the comfy interior. RELATED ARTICLESAir Leaks Waste Energy and Rot HousesThe Stack Effect: When Buildings Act Like ChimneysQuestions and Answers About Air BarriersAir Leaks or Thermal Loss: What’s Worse?Navigating Energy Star’s Thermal Bypass Checklist A huge part of an energy audit is inspecting the building envelope for problems. And thankfully, as builders have standardized their building practices, they’ve been considerate enough to standardize how and where they make giant holes in the building envelope. Thanks, guys! last_img read more

Read More →

Ask an Expert Series: Serving Dual Language Children and Families

first_imgImage from Pixabay.com, CC0Following our first webinar of 2018 the FDEI team recognized our audience’s desire for quality resources and information related to dual language learners.  We carefully reviewed your questions and comments and reached out to Elizabeth D. Peña, Ph.D. at the University of California, Irvine.   Dr. Peña, a certified Speech-Language Pathologist, is a professor in the School of Education.  She is also an American Speech Language Hearing Association Fellow. Her research focuses include bilingualism, language impairment, language development, and assessment bias & measurement.  In this three-part blog series Dr. Peña hopes to answer your questions and help dispel common myths.What does the literature say about the possibility of a child with a disability becoming confused if they are exposed to two languages? Children learn the language(s) they are exposed to, and the idea that bilingual children with disabilities can become confused from exposure to two languages is a myth. Children with developmental language disorders (DLD) struggle to learn language; and they struggle to learn more than one language. However, they do not struggle more if exposed to multiple languages, than if they were learning only one language.  Encouraging families to switch to only one language robs children of opportunities to learn in one of their languages. It may cause family networks to weaken if individuals cannot communicate with everyone in their lives. Language is the about expression of complex ideas, making connections, and telling your own story.  Exposure to such language is necessary for a child to develop these skills. Thus, if children are encouraged to switch to a language that a parent may not speak well, this may reduce the instances in which children hear rich, complex language. Are language milestones different for dual language learners?Yes and no. In general, milestones such as the age at which children use first words and word combinations, acquire vocabulary, and learn grammar are very similar to monolingual children. Children learn their first words around 12 months, can use approximately 50 words by 18 months and begin combining words around age 2.  Children exposed to two languages show the same trajectory as children who are exposed to only one. It is important to recognize that words in both languages must be counted to determine a sum total of words known by the child.  Therefore, if a child knows 25 words in one language and 25 words in another language by 18 months, this may look delayed if evaluating one language at a time. The total of 50 words however, is on target for their age.  The number of words known in each language is related to how much children hear of each language. They may know 10 words in one and 40 in another and so on. All these combinations are well within the normal range.   It may take a little extra time for children to gain mastery of their grammatical system for a language. This is entirely normal for children who are only exposed to one language and also for children who are exposed to more than one language. However, for children who hear and use more than one language, an increased number of errors in the weaker language (usually the one they hear less of) may occur. Again, this is very typical. DLD are characterized by extreme difficulty learning the grammatical system. If by age 3 or 4 children are making many grammatical errors in both of their languages (especially leaving out forms, like –ed in walked), this is a cause for concern. If they are making many errors in only one language, this is not worrisome.What assessment tools are available that can be effectively used with dual language learners?  Can you provide weblinks to these tools?  In what language should they be assessed?There are a limited number of tools to assess children who are dual language learners. What is important in evaluating a child’s language ability is to test in both languages. It is difficult to know from the outset which is a child’s stronger or better language and often a child can express ideas in one language that he or she does not express in the other. A child’s two languages are not exactly the same. Thus, it is important to evaluate the child’s ability in both languages. Bilingual English Spanish Assessment (BESA)This test was developed by my colleagues and I in the areas of speech sounds and language (including grammar and vocabulary) of Spanish and English.Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals (CELF) Preschool Language Scales (PLS)Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy (DIBELS) and Indicadores Dinámicos del Éxito en la Lecture (IDEL)These assessments are used to evaluate reading and writing.Assessing Spanish-English Bilingual PreschoolersThis recent book reviews many assessments for use with children who are bilingual in Spanish and English.   To jump to part two in this Ask an Expert series click here.This post was edited by Robyn DiPietro-Wells & Michaelene Ostrosky, Ph.D., members of the MFLN FD Early Intervention team, which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on YouTube.last_img read more

Read More →