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Monday, March 10, 2014

Conscious Coffee Sidama Ethiopia (Unwashed) Review

Staff from Specsavers in Ellesmere Port travel to Horn of Africa to give vital aid
Optometrist Alex Whitter from Specsavers in Ellesmere Port during his time in Ethiopia

More than 1,000 people in Ethiopia have received eyecare thanks to an optician and a lab technician from Ellesmere Port.
Optometrist Alex Whitter and lab technician Mike Horsefield, who both work in the Ellesmere Port Specsavers store, travelled to the Horn of Africa where they worked to give vital aid to people without access to eyecare.
They visited villages near the city of Hawassa in the Great Rift Valley to give much-needed eye tests to more than 1,000 people and glasses to those who needed them.
Working with Vision Aid Overseas, the pair also trained optometry students at Hawassa University.
They also set out to teach people to make their own glasses, help the locals become self-sufficient and improve the level of eyecare in the area.
The trip was Alex’s sixth with the charity which saw him leading a group of five optometrists from all over the UK.
Lab technician Mike Horsefield from Specsavers in Ellesmere Port has returned from Ethiopia where he gave much-needed eye tests
Lab technician Mike Horsefield from Specsavers in Ellesmere Port has returned from Ethiopia where he gave much-needed eye tests

On his first trip with Vision Aid Overseas, sponsored by Specsavers, Mike’s role was to glaze and dispense glasses.
Alex says: “It was heart-warming to see the enthusiasm of the group. Everyone who made the journey was determined to help people who are less fortunate.
“In the UK, infections and other problems with eyes can be spotted and treated quickly, but in the developing world people who have no access to that kind of healthcare are at risk.
“Untreated eye infections can lead to blindness and even be fatal in some cases.
“People’s lives can be destroyed by failing sight. This trip really made a difference.”
Anyone wishing to donate old specs to the charity can drop them off in-store.
Source: http://www.chesterchronicle.co.uk/news/chester-cheshire-news/staff-specsavers-ellesmere-port-travel-6792193
Oromo youth in North Norway on March 1, 2014 protested against the ongoing human rights violations, inhuman killings, and the repression carried out by the criminal Ethiopian government, and the Oromo youth urged the TPLF/ERPDF to stop dictatorship with impunity.
It is unjust that the continued sufferings of the Oromo people through systematic human rights abuses by the Ethiopian government are largely ignored by governments around the world. Yet, the heinous crimes of the TPLF/EPRDF government rank high in the catalogue of human right abuses committed by African governments.  Over the past two decades, the TPLF-led Ethiopian government has imprisoned tens of thousands of Oromo nationals; the situation of several thousands of innocent Oromo political prisoners has deteriorated in prisons and secret camps. Many Oromos have been (and are being) cruelly tortured, killed, uprooted, raped and exiled. Others have been abducted in broad daylight, and made to disappear or murdered secretly.
There is no peace and stability, no freedom of speech, no freedom of press, no freedom of assembly and no rule of law in Ethiopia. What truly exists is totalitarianism of one party and gross violations of democratic and human rights. The TPLF-led Ethiopian dictatorial regime’s continuation of targeting the Oromo people through brutal suppression to prolong its grab on power should not be tolerated any more.
The TPLF/EPRDF repressive “anti-terrorism” law, which came into force in 2009, has worsened the condition of Oromo individuals of all walks of life. As repeatedly reported by international human rights organizations, this law is being used by the Ethiopian government as a powerful instrument to crack down on political dissidents, including banning peaceful political demonstrations and public criticisms of government policies. Today, more than any time in the past, the Oromo people are subjected to systematic killings, disappearances, tortures, mass arrests, harassment and imprisonments in villages, workplaces, towns and cities of Oromia. The forced eviction of Oromo peasants from their ancestral farmlands through leasing several millions of hectares of Oromo lands to foreigners under obscure terms, denial of job opportunities and dismissal of employees from their jobs on flimsy excuses – are daily experiences of the Oromo people in Ethiopia.
Oromo’s and Oromia are discriminated against in employment, promotion, education, and other social services. The TPLF regime owns the media, the internet and most communication means. They use the justice system as a tool to torture and demoralize dissidents instead of using it as fair and political-free system. We remember what has happened with the two Swedish journalists; they are living evidences how the Ethiopian justice system is corrupt. The policies and practices of the TPLF/EPRDF regime have forced millions of Oromos to become political refugees in Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Australia, and North America. We remember the recent victim – Engineer Tesfahun Chemeda, the well-known freedom fighter who was deported from Kenya with Engineer Mesfin Abebe in 2007, was killed on August 24, 2013, in the notorious TPLF/EPRDF prison of Qaallittii.
We know that Mr. Bekele Gerba, the Oromo prisoner of conscience and former lecturer at the Addis Ababa University – who was thrown into prison on August 27, 2011, by the TPLF regime – is still suffering with poor health, and his life is in danger due to lack and denial of medical care in Qaallittii prison.
International human rights organizations have extensively documented the tortures, disappearances, extrajudicial killings of Oromo activists and lists of extensive chilling crimes against the politically oppressed Oromo people. With an estimated 25,000 Oromo political prisoners in official and secret prisons – simply because of their nationality and their resistance to injustice, it has been reported that Ethiopia’s overcrowded prisons speak the Oromo language. However, despite its well-documented dismal record on human rights, Ethiopia, a key western ally in the Horn of Africa, is being fueled by the $3-billion it receives annually from the EU and the United States, as reported by Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International (AI). While all of these violations are being committed against the Oromo humanity, it is completely unfair to keep silent and watch the injustices.
Therefore, the objective of the protest was to condemn the current unlawful and inhuman acts of the TPLF/EPRDF government against Oromos, and to call on the U.S. and the EU, and the Norway government in particular, to stop their relationship with the Ethiopian dictatorial regime, to review their strategy towards the oppressive brutal regime, instead to support the genuine struggle of the Oromo and other people’s for freedom and equality which could serve for lasting peace in the Horn African region, to act on behalf of justice for the sufferings of Oromos, and to put the necessary pressure on the Ethiopian government to release all political prisoners, of which the overwhelming majority is the Oromo.
During the event, Mr. Bernt Hauge, who has been known for his activities on human rights for long period of time in Trondheim, and Mr. Kiya Gonfa, a member of the organizing group, have delivered speeches on the ongoing human rights violations in Ethiopia.
Among the slogans raised and chanted during the demonstration are:

- The TPLF/EPRDF government is the most repressive government in Africa!
- TPLF, stop killing, murdering, torturing and kidnapping Oromos!
- TPLF, stop evicting Oromos from their land! Stop selling Oromo lands to foreign and local investors!
- Killing will not be a solution! TPLF, you can kill thousands, but you cannot kill 40-million Oromos! We, Oromos, will never stop our struggle until freedom!
- TPLF, respect human rights!
- Free Bekele Gerba and all Oromo political prisoners!
- TPLF is a killer, a liar, a murderer!
- TPLF is ruling Ethiopia for 22 years – USA, EU, Norway – is this democracy?! Is this respecting human rights?
- TPLF is brutalizing people in Ethiopia for 22 years!
- There are about 25,000 Oromos suffering in Ethiopia – EU, USA, Norway – you know this, but we are wondering why you support these dictators.
- Several thousand Oromos are suffering and dying in neighboring countries and in the Middle East.
At the end of the demonstration, all participants promised to continue to be voices for their voiceless people and to struggle till the freedom of Oromo and Oromia.
Victory to the Oppressed Oromo People!
Getinet Dinkayehu can be reached at  getinetdinkayehu@gmail.com
Read more @http://gadaa.com/oduu/24896/2014/03/10/north-norway-oromo-youth-demonstrates-in-trondheim-against-the-ongoing-human-rights-violations-by-tplfeprdf-regime/
The story of corruption has been spoken and written about for a long time now that most Zimbabweans thought that by now some corrupt government officials would be facing the wrath of the law, but unfortunately, that has not happened.
Sunday View with Kimion Tagwireyi
It appears that only the less powerful are being brought to book while notoriously dirty giants masquerade as clean men. Is anyone above the law?
Delays or failure to curb corruption will eventually ruin Zimbabwe. Corruption causes many political, economic, social and environmental challenges.
A few days before World Anti-Corruption Day in December, the department of Islamic Development in Malaysia, Jakim urged Muslims to combat corruption, saying that it could ruin their nation, “the scourge of corruption can destroy good values, justice, oppress people and ruin democracy.”
Well-said Jakim; we must be reminded that corruption undermines democratic institutions, slows down economic development and contributes to governmental instability.
An organ devoted to fighting corruption in Ethiopia; Transparency Ethiopia says that corruption causes many political, economic, social and environmental challenges. “Politically, corruption impedes democracy and the rule of law. Corruption leads public institutions to lose legitimacy when they misuse their power for private interests.”
There are countless, regrettable effects of corruption which affect innocent lives. The Ethiopian organisation against corruption explains that corruption negatively impacts the society; leading to political intolerance, lack of accountability and low levels of democratic culture. “And economically, corruption leads to the depletion of national wealth as diversion and misallocation of national resources, conversion of public wealth to private and personal use rises . . .”
“Large scale corruption therefore severely hurts the economy and impoverishes the entire population. In social sphere, corruption discourages people from working together for the common good.
Frustration and general apathy among the public result in a weak civil society. Demanding and paying bribes becomes the tradition . . .,” says Transparency Ethiopia.
“Closer home, corruption is said to have been one of the critical factors leading to the downfall of past regimes by way of undermining the legitimacy of the governments and weakening their structures, reducing productivity, hindering development, worsening poverty, marginalising the poor, creating social unrest and then to their downfall…”
Corruption continues to be one of the greatest factors of poverty and internecine conflicts in developing countries. Although Africa is endowed with natural resources, we continue to struggle and scramble for a position in the lower rungs of the United Nations Development index. We keep grappling with the ever-changing trends in global politics, economic and technological advancements due to the debilitating effects of corruption.
One of the greatest impacts of corruption normally rises from the choices and priorities of governments. This happens when real development priorities of a country are often neglected in favour of those that generate biggest personal gains for the decision-makers.
In our case, Zimbabweans are questioning why most of our political leaders become filthy rich when they get into government. What really made our leaders so wealthy, when Zimbabwe was getting so poor? Why is the wealth gap between leaders and the public so big now, if leaders have not been squandering public resources for personal interests?
The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) should be capacitated for it to bring all bigwigs implicated in corruption to book. No one must be spared regardless of political or social standing.
In its 2013 report, the U.S Department of State has put the spotlight on the issue of human rights violations in Ethiopia, notably those effecting women, children and minorities. The report details stringent new accountability requirements directed at the Government of Ethiopia in a new 2014 bill.
Below is an article published by the Ogaden News Agency:
The U.S. Department of State’s 2013 report has revealed the human rights violations in Ethiopia. The reports states that one of the major violations in Ethiopia has been on “Freedom of Speech and Assembly.”The report said the human rights violations included arbitrary killings; allegations of torture, beating, abuse, and mistreatment of detainees by security forces; reports of harsh and, at times, life-threatening prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention; detention without charge and lengthy pre trial detention; a weak, overburdened judiciary subject to political influence; infringement on citizens’ privacy rights, including illegal searches and many others. 

It also found although the civil courts operated with a large degree of independence, the criminal courts remained weak, overburdened, and subject to political influence. Similarly, beatings, stress positions, the hanging of detainees by their wrists from the ceiling, prolonged handcuffing, and the pouring of water over detainees, verbal threats, and solitary confinement have been described. In Somali Region of Ethiopia, there continued to be reports of abuses, including killings, by the Somali Region Special Police.

The Report noted that as of September 2012 there were 70,000-80,000 persons in prison, of whom approximately 2,500 were women and nearly 600 were children incarcerated with their mothers and there also were many unofficial detention centers throughout the country, including in Dedessa, BirSheleko, Tolay, Hormat, Blate, Tatek, Jijiga, Holeta, and Senkele. Most were located at military camps.

For example, on August 8, security forces in Addis Ababa detained more than one thousand Muslims participating in Eid al-Fitr celebrations some of whom have died in prison, it added. 

Recalling that on January 17, authorities arrested Solomon Kebede, columnist and managing editor of Muslim Affairs. They charged him along with 27 other Muslims in April under the antiterrorism proclamation, the Report also detailed the human rights violations against incarcerated journalists and politicians such EskinderNega, ReeyotAlemu, AndualemArage, OlbanaLelisa, BekeleGerba and many others. The human rights abuses on women and children, minorities were also included in the Report. 

Last month The United States House Appropriations Committee included stringent new requirements of accountability from the Government of Ethiopia, in a section of the new 2014 bill. This was in relation to the release of U.S. funds designated for Ethiopian military and police forces to Ethiopia’s implementation of corrective policies that would address the declining state of human and democratic rights in the country, including in the Somali Region of Ethiopia, where access to the area must be given to human rights and humanitarian organizations. The law also prohibits funds appropriated to Ethiopia under the headings, “Development Assistance” and “Economic Support Fund” that are available for the lower Omo Valley and the Gambella region to be used directly or indirectly in the forced evictions of the people. 

The Ethiopian government has not yet responded regarding the new law as of yet.
- See more at: http://www.unpo.org/article/16926#sthash.URyplrvc.dpuf
A serious gender imbalance in global education has left over 100 million young women in low and lower middle income countries unable to read a single sentence, and will prevent half of the 31 million girls out of school from ever enrolling. These are among the main findings of the Gender Summary, which analyses data from the latest edition of UNESCO Education for All Global Monitoring Report. The new summary, launched for International Women's Day in partnership with the United Nations Girls Education Initiative (UNGEI), calls for equity to be at the forefront of new global development goals after 2015 so that every child has an equal chance of learning through quality education.
Despite some progress, in 2011, only 60% of countries had achieved parity in primary education and only 38% of countries had achieved parity in secondary education. Among low income countries, just 20% had achieved gender parity at the primary level, 10% at the lower secondary level and 8% at the upper secondary level.
Girls living in the Arab States are at a greater disadvantage: the share of females in the out-of-school population is 60 %, compared with 57% in South and West Asia and 54 % in sub-Saharan Africa.
On current trends, it is projected that only 70% of countries will have achieved parity in primary education by 2015, and 56% will have achieved parity in lower secondary education. Unless improvements are made, the poorest girls will achieve universal primary completion sixty years later than the richest boys. The new summary reiterates the need for progress in education to be more evenly spread between girls and boys if global education goals are to be achieved.
"It is simply intolerable that girls are being left behind. For poor girls, education is one of the most powerful routes to a better future, helping them escape from a vicious cycle of poverty. Governments must ensure that there is equal access to education to address this shocking imbalance," said Irina Bokova, Director General, UNESCO.
The EFA GMR 2013/4 Teaching and Learning: Achieving Quality for All, shows that it is not enough for children just to enroll in school, they need to learn while there.
Due to low quality education over the years, 175 million young people in low and lower middle income countries are unable to read a single sentence, of whom 61% are female. In South and West Asia, two out of three young people who cannot read are young women.
The Gender Summary demonstrates the importance of investing in girls' and women's education, not just for the individual, but for the whole of society. If all women had a primary and secondary education, child marriages and child mortality could fall by 49 % and 64 % respectively. With just primary education for all women, maternal deaths could be reduced by two-thirds. Educating women can help protect them from falling into poverty as well by helping them find work and reducing the gender wage gap.
"Poor, rural girls are far less likely to be taught by female teachers who can provide them with a role model for their future and help encourage them to stay in school. To address this, governments must consider providing safe housing or financial benefits to encourage more female teachers to work in remote areas.
Alternatively, recruiting locally can help ensure teacher candidates reflect the diversity of the children they are teaching" Pauline Rose of the EFA Global Monitoring Report said.
Girls also need more female teachers, often for cultural reasons, and to provide a role model to keep them from dropping out of school. However, in Sub-Saharan Africa, female teachers make up less than 40% of the total teaching workforce in all countries at the upper secondary level.
Source@ http://allafrica.com/stories/201403102108.html