Fighting Ebola – A Test to Our Patriotism

first_imgHmm! This is how far the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) has come. We can’t even imagine how far it is going. When the EVD hit just one county, we advised our leaders to take some actions but they really didn’t take heed. Now, see how far the virus has raged. What is our fate like now?Thank God we now have a National Task Force to battle this virus. But like the chair of the Task Force has been calling, I also think we all must join in the fight against Ebola. It is very worrisome waking up every morning to hear about a new victim of the Ebola virus. Reading the regular updates from UNICEF and other organizations is not exciting because the documents themselves are not exciting and I am sure experts who prepared them themselves do not feel excited writing such reports.Also, going through the various dailies and online sources and the headlines, all are saying Ebola, Ebola, Ebola and fear keeps developing.Besides, this virus has interfered with our normal way of life – we no longer feel safe to even shake hands; which is one of the most common things in our society. Why? Because we are being advised not to do so–talk of hugging and other forms of greetings. The fear of the disease is even making us to look like strange human beings – we dress differently, wear gloves and other forms of protective clothing, take bath with clorax and other detergents, only because we want to feel safe and live on.The Fear of Ebola has also interfered with the way we even care for our sick friends and relatives and how health workers care for their sick patients. As a result of the fear of the virus, we isolate ourselves from our sick friends and family.  We call authorities on them as if someone is reporting that health workers are refusing to take in some patients.  People are being stigmatized only because we fear Ebola.One cherished part of our Liberian culture is how we honor our dead. But in the wake of Ebola, your dear departed will not be given that degree of honor, particularly if authorities say they died of Ebola. We are being strictly prohibited from going close to the dead person. This is terrible! This is a cherished part of culture and doing away with it is terrible. How long will this persist? For how long will our people die from Ebola?Who knows whether it is still safe for us to go to our places of worship.Let us be more serious in the fight. Let all of us get on board. We need to stop politicizing this thing. In fact, I think the National Elections Commission (NEC) needs to pause her preparations for this year’s senatorial elections as some of us have done to our events and gatherings as we join the fight against this menace that is waging war on us. Since Ebola has declared war, let us fight back.I saw that the NEC has released 139 names of people who want to be senators. To all 139 of you I say, pause your political activities, go out to those people whose votes you want. Tell them to play safe to stay alive come October this year. Tell them Ebola is real and has no cure. Tell them to tell others to play safe.Go back in your communities and districts. Go to places where you play in and places where you pray in. Tell the people you meet there that Ebola is in Liberia and the best place to treat sick people is the hospital. Make it very clear to them in whatever way or language and dialect you can that hospitalizing the sick is the only way to stop the disease. Keeping sick people in homes and other places would not do the situation any good but harm.Tell your people that Ebola is not just bleeding. It develops over a very short period of time and by the time the person starts to bleed, the situation has become fatal. Tell them not to wait for bleeding. Beg them, if you must.To me, this is what true leadership is about. It is not just about fighting to occupy an office or occupying an office. It is about reaching out to people. It is about serving your people. This year, this is how we will identify our true leaders – people who care for us.Government’s honest priority too should be to try to stop this outbreak. We need to be vigorous and proactive. We need to put hold on the things that matter to us and fight to save the lives of the people we govern – the people who have  entrusted us with the mantle we are wearing, the people whose confidence we have. We need to be there for them more than ever before. We need to show our people that we love and care about them.Some of us have lost the confidence that was entrusted unto us. This is an opportunity to restore it. This is an opportunity to restore hope. This is an opportunity to rebuild broken bridges and relationships. This is an opportunity for you to reconnect with your people and their welfare.Do this individually if you must. This is not one of the times when you need your colleagues to endorse your actions. Move out as the leader and see if people will not follow you. Engage with the people who are already championing the cause. Ask them how you can be of support. Don’t wait for them to come knocking on your doors calling ‘honorable, honorable’. Reach out to them.With all the measures we are putting in place, we must pray. We must call on God to intervene. We must renew our trust and continue to trust that He alone is God and He will deliver us from this terrible menace. Let us ask Him to heal our land. He did it in the past and He can do it again because we know that He is the same God of yesterday, today and forever.Fellow Liberians, let us know that God is God and He is still on the throne. He does not have a successor (and He will never have) and neither does He have a predecessor. If we trust in Him, we shall not me moved. We shall be like Mount Zion which is neither moved nor shaken. We will be still and watch to see the salvation of the Lord our God.We must save the state. In light of the increase in the cases of Ebola, our main concern at this time should be to ensure the safety and security of ourselves and the people around us. We must do our best. This is because our best is Liberia’s best.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Encounter with a Genie

first_imgKonah, a sixteen year old boy did not listen to his poor mother, Madam Kaymah, each time she told him, “My son, let us go on the farm.”Konah would always tell his mother, “Mama it is too early to go on the farm. You may go ahead mother, when the sun rises, I will come to you later.”Instead of paying heed to his poor mother’s advice, Konah would always remain behind each time his mother and the rest of the children were about to go to the farm. Even when his father, Mr. Kolleh encouraged him to go along, he would not heed his call.Konah’s obstinacy soon reached a point where no one ever bothered him to go to the farm. Not even his mother or older folks in the town who often would advise younger ones to obey their parents would pay attention to him.All they probably thought was that Konah was a man of his own and who would not listen to any advice.Konah continued this way until one day; he soon experienced the harsh reality of how it normally did not pay for children not to listen to their parents!Not knowing the reason why Konah had always refused to go along with his parents, it apparently had something to do with the presence of a certain genie from the mountains who usually sat at the middle of the pathway leading to the farm.Konah’s father Kolleh did not have any idea of the genie’s presence and as a result never consulted Old man Nanmo, now hairy with age, who was by then the only one who knew about the legacy of the town since the latter’s great grand father was the founder of the town.So when Mr. Kolleh completed his farm, Old Man Nanmo gave him the go ahead to harvest the crops on the farm before his efforts went in vain; but the old man kept this strange revelation secret. This particular genie was also noted for feeding on human beings. The genie would be at the middle of the path waiting for anyone traveling that route to devour.Konah one fateful day decided to journey to the farm when he encountered the genie.The carnivorous genie said to him, “Where are you coming from and where are you going?”Konah braced his courage and answered, “I am coming from town and going on the farm to my parents.”The genie retorted, “Yes, indeed you are going on the farm to your parent, my dear child; but unfortunately for you sing a nice song that may amuse my listening ears!”The genie’s ears looked more like fanners. He was rather ugly and had a funny appearance. And besides being ugly, there was something quite peculiar about the genie that Konah felt disgusted.With that instruction Konah started to cry, as he raised the song, “My mother told me let’s go to the farm; but I told her, mother go ahead and when the sun rises, I will follow. Oh, mother come for me; if only I had listened to my mother!”As Konah sang, the genie became impressed and told him to continue to sing. Konah sang and sang; then the genie, having an ulterior motive wanted to get raid of Konah, said, “Oh, what a beautiful song! Indeed, come closer my dear, stand on my feet and sing some more so that I may hear your sweet voice quite loud and clear.”But as innocent as Konah came to be, he did not know exactly what the clever genie was up to, and therefore, Konah did exactly as he was told by standing on his feet and he began to sing again.The genie said, “How wonderful of you my child, now climb onto my lap and sing some more of your fine song.” And Konah did as he was taught.The genie further said, “You will definitely become a very good vocalist some day my dear; but just climb into my hands and sing some more.”Konah did as he was told even though he was becoming hungry. Then the genie said, “Well done my dear, but just come to me and do me the last favor by standing on my lips and sing the last stanza of your fine song, then you may go.”At that, Konah soon became happy, as a flicker of hope was now visible on his innocent face! He probably thought that he would soon be released by his captor. And so, Konah hurrily climbed on top of the mighty genie’s gigantic lips.Barely did Konah climb atop the greedy and hungry genie’s sizeable lips than the hungry genie swallowed him within the twinkle of an eye! How happy the hungry genie might have been be then, having gone hungry for some them now, once no one would easily tread its path!Yet, though Konah was a stubborn boy, he was also smart, too! Konah always traveled with his penknife down into his pocket! And so, no sooner did Konah descend into the mighty genie’s sizeable stomach than Konah reaching out for his penknife, as sharp as tow-edges sword! Thus, Konah immediately opened the genie’s stomach wide apart and off he hurriedly ran away to his parents on the farm to tell them the news about his recent adventure with the genie.Once on the farm, Konah asked for a cup of water to quench his thirst before narrating his ordeal! He explained what happened to him on his way to the farm and what he had learned from it, as a lesson.Konah’s parents could not believe him because they felt his narrative was a mere fantasy! And so, they converged on the scene of the incident later only to behold the sizeable corpse of the mighty genie lying on the ground, face down!It was then that they believed him and immediately sent for everyone from far and nearby towns and villages to come and see what Konah had done!Everyone that came on the scene was amazed and glad all the same for what Konah did was seemed unbelievable, taking into account the size of the dead genie, as they carried Konah on their shoulders, chanting, “Little Konah the giant killer! Little Konah, our young hero.”“A small axe has cut down a big tree,” observed elderly folks in the village.But who knows? If God had not been on Konah’s side he would probably nor survive that grave adventure! So, it is best for children to listen to their parents’ pieces of advice rather than to have that experience of Konah.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Samukai Holds Talks with Ghanaian Soldier

first_imgDefense Minister, Brownie J. Samukai lauded the government and people of Ghana for their immense support, which he said has positively impacted Liberia’s defense sector reform, when he held talks on Wednesday with Ghanaian Vice Air Marshall, Issifu Kadri.“The close ties subsisting between Ghana and Liberia have an enriching partnership value that has expanded the network of cooperation between the militaries of both countries,” Samukai told the Ghanaian solider.He then paid a glowing tribute to the men and women of the Ghanaian Armed Forces who, he said, sacrificed in the spirit of West African solidarity during the days of ECOMOG, a sub-regional peace monitoring group of soldiers sent to Liberia in the 90s when the Liberian nation was engulfed in civil war. “I must admit that the qualities of Ghanaian officers seconded through the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to soldiers of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) are individuals who conducted themselves in an exemplary manner worthy of emulation by our young officers,” said Minister Samukai.He made the assertions when Vice Air Marshall Kadri, the head of a six-member Ghanaian delegation visiting the country, paid a courtesy call on him at his Barclay Training Center office in Monrovia.For his part, Kadri expressed gratitude to Minister Samukai and his staff for the warm hospitality accorded the Ghanaian delegation. He assured Samukai that in the spirit of regional solidarity, the Ghanaian military will close ranks with their Liberian counterparts in the area of capacity building.In another development, authorities at the Ministry of National Defense said it noted “with utmost dismay” a story captioned: “AFL Gets Tough Order Again!” published in the Wednesday, October 28 Vol. 4, No. 39 edition of the Liberian Nation newspaper. In the portrayal of what constitutes “toughness,” the Ministry said there is a photograph depicting an unidentified individual being dragged while several uniformed security personnel followed. The picture showed one of the uniformed personnel holding an unidentified object in his hands as if to be used on the victim. Another personnel captured in the picture looked as if he was about to step on the victim.For the Ministry, and from all indications, analysis of the photograph established that the security personnel in the photograph are foreign and have no links to Liberia or the AFL.“The photograph in question,” the Ministry said, “has got no historical bearing on the deportment of soldiers of the AFL.”The Ministry said that to insinuate that Defense Minister Samukai’s charge to steer the affairs of the cabinet while the President is out of the country is tantamount to authorizing the AFL to exercise excessive actions not ascribed to it by the Constitution is a further misstep in the judgment of the paper’s editorial staff.“Samukai’s mandate to chair the cabinet presupposes consultations with other members of the cabinet and national stakeholders to ensure tranquility within the (domain) of the law through the length and breadth of the country,” the Ministry said in a statement yesterday. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Crystal Cup Registration closing tonight

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Today is the final day to register for the Crystal Cup. Registration packages need to be completed along with payment and are to be dropped off at Ernie’s Sports Experts by 6 p.m.The tournament is being held February 12-14 on Charlie Lake. Aside from the actual tournament itself a number of other things will be going on including various children’s events all day on the 13th, live music Friday and Saturday night, a pancake breakfast Saturday morning, and there will be toboggan hills on site.Making an appearance at the tournament will be Fort St. John alum Mark Hartigan. His professional playing career spanned 11 seasons and included Stanley Cups with the Ducks and Red Wings.- Advertisement –last_img

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Peace Liard Regional Arts Council searching for an Alaska Highway Celebrations theme song

first_imgThe Peace Liard Regional Arts Council has enlisted musician Roy Forbes and writer Caroline Woodward with the duty of finding the best new theme song for the 2017 Alaska Highway Celebrations.The songwriter whose constructed the chosen song will receive a $1,000 prize.This contest is one of several initiatives being carried out by the Peace Liard Regional Arts Council, in support of the Alaska Highway anniversary milestone celebrations taking place in 2017.- Advertisement -In addition to a song being selected by Forbes and Woodward, one will also be selected for a People’s Choice award.The deadline for submissions is November 30th of this year.Songs can be sent in audio format by email to PLRAC Executive Director Donna Kane, at dkane@pris.ca.Advertisementlast_img

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Man Utd fighting to be second best – Mourinho

first_img0Shares0000Jose Mourinho says that, after the loss to Tottenham, United are fighting to be the “first of the last” © IKIMAGES/AFP/File / Ian KINGTONMANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Feb 2 – Jose Mourinho effectively conceded the Premier League title to Manchester City on Friday, admitting that his Manchester United side are competing to be “first of the last” in the table.United lost in midweek at Tottenham, allowing their local rivals to open up a commanding 15-point lead, with just 13 games remaining. But Mourinho insisted that there is still plenty for his team to play for in the league this season, with second place and qualification for the Champions League his primary focus.“It makes me feel that they are doing so, so well that they are not letting the others come close to that, as simple as that,” said Mourinho when asked how City’s dominance made him feel.“With the number of points and improvement we have in relation to last season, in normal conditions the distance would be a distance that leaves the fight open.“And, at the moment, the fight is open for second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth but it is practically closed for the first.”However, the Portuguese insisted that falling short to Pep Guardiola’s rampant City, who have dropped just seven points all season, shouldn’t be classified as a failure.“If you tell me all six want to be champion and only one will be champion and the other five fail, I think is too pragmatic a way to look at it because you can do positive work and not win the title,” added Mourinho.“I cannot say that we are doing bad or Tottenham is doing bad or Chelsea is doing bad because the number of points we have are a very reasonable number of points.”Mourinho was talking ahead of the home Premier League meeting with Huddersfield, where United will mark the 60th anniversary of the Munich air disaster that falls on Tuesday.The United manager paid his respects to the tragedy that shaped his club’s history but insisted that it is also vital that they return to winning ways.“It’s not because of this Munich disaster that the game becomes important for us,” he said. “The game is important because we need points to be the first of the last, we have to try to finish second.”– Better than last season –And Mourinho challenged his players to shrug off the after effects of defeat at Spurs to continue their upward curve in the league this season compared his debut campaign at United last year.“We were first for a few weeks and then we were always second, I don’t remember us being fourth, fifth or sixth, we have been there since the beginning of the season, better than last season in every aspect – points, position, number of goals scored, conceded, better in everything.“So we have to try to stay there and is not easy because there are very good teams. Chelsea is champions again, (had a) fantastic (transfer) market, Liverpool is a great team, Arsenal improved a lot in the market, Tottenham is a fantastic team and they are five points behind us.“So we are doing quite well, with some negative moments, Wednesday was one. It is very important to do better than last season and try to win something, and, if not, do better.”United look set to be without midfielder Marouane Fellaini for several weeks due to a knee injury, but Mourinho had more positive news on Eric Bailly and Zlatan Ibrahimovic who he hopes can both return before the end of the month.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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Mourners recall teenager’s will to live

first_imgShe had sparkling blue eyes, a captivating smile and a strong will to live despite her struggle with leukemia. Nataline Sarkisyan – the 17-year-old Northridge girl whose death last week sparked a renewed call for health-care reform after she was twice denied a prescribed liver transplant – was buried Friday following an emotional funeral. “Though she is no longer with us physically, she is now resting peacefully in the presence of God,” said Archbishop Mousbegh Mardirossian, western prelate for the Armenian Apostolic Church of America, who presided over her funeral. “She is the foundation and hope for tomorrow.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan ClarksonNataline died Dec. 20 just hours after Philadelphia-based Cigna HealthCare reversed two prior decisions to deny her a liver transplant despite the pleadings of doctors. The insurance company, which deemed the surgery experimental, stated it would pay for the procedure “in this rare and unusual case” after loud public protest. Nataline’s case has drawn national attention among health advocates and Armenian groups calling for reform. “What happened here is a glaring example of what happens when you let the insurance companies decide who lives and who dies,” said Geri Jenkins, co-president of the California Nurses Association, before she attended the funeral. “We’ve put the insurance companies in the driver’s seat – and that needs to change.” “We’re here because of an insurance failure, not being able to get a patient in time,” added Berdj Kasbarian, president of the Hye Riders Motorcycle Club, among two dozen Armenian bikers attending the service. “We should change the health-care system to a European system where everybody is covered.” More than 800 mourners in black packed the ornate St. Mary’s Armenian Apostolic Church in Glendale. They wore ribbons of pink, her favorite color. And they wiped their eyes before the white and gold casket bearing the Granada Hills Charter High School student. Family members recalled the curly haired teen who had leukemia at age 14, saw it duck into remission, then strike again over the summer. On Nov. 21, her brother Bedig had donated his bone marrow. But because of her failing liver, doctors recommended a transplant. On Dec. 11, Cigna denied a liver transplant for the girl, despite the pleadings of physicians at UCLA Medical Center where she was treated. The Sarkisyan family has retained attorney Mark Geragos, who expects to file a lawsuit. “The last 31/2 years were extremely difficult, filled with doctors visits, hospitals and pain,” said Jeanette Sabonjian, the girl’s aunt. “(Yet) she had elegance, beauty and strength. She had wisdom and life and courage. “She never forgot how to live.” But despite, her charm, she bore a deep inner sadness, according to her statements written three years ago and published for the funeral. “At this moment my life has changed,” she wrote. “No wonder I cry day after day, I am lonely without a friend, I feel locked up in a den, life is tragic I don’t know why.” One ER physician said he’d seen patients die because insurance companies denied to fund care recommended by doctors. Said Dr. Raffi, who declined to give his last name, of his cousin’s death: “This is going to be the catalyst for change.” dana.bartholomew@dailynews.com160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Miss Whittier crowned at scholarship pageant

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsKaty Brown, a Fullerton College student, stepped down as Miss Whittier for 2005 and Courtney French, a La Serna High School student, relinquished her title of Miss Teen Whittier for 2005. Navarro is an honor student who hopes to attend either USC or UC Irvine to take pre-med courses. Miss Whittier and Miss Teen Whittier each have courts consisting of the first and second runners up in their respective categories. First and second princesses to Miss Whittier are Sarah Willie, Cerritos College, and Cassey Ho of Whittier College. Miss Teen Whittier princesses are Alyssa Barrios, Sonora High, and Brittany Griffin, La Serna High. Pageant officials presented their annual “Whittier Outstanding Woman of the Year” award to teacher Lisa Kazakos for her work teaching dance to groups of young girls. Teta Smart, founder of the pageant in 1983, directed this year’s event with emceeing assistance by entertainer Ron Galarze. – From staff reports160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Jeanette Flores, 17, a senior at Whittier High School, is the new Miss Whittier for 2006-07. Christina Navarro, 15, a student at Whittier Christian High School, is the winner of the title of Miss Teen Whittier. Both were selected from a field of 19 contestants by a panel of judges at the Miss Whittier Scholarship Pageant 2006, attended Sunday by more than 200 people at the Radisson Hotel in Uptown Whittier. “I was so happy for her,” said Flores’ mother, Yolanda Flores. “She’s been involved in so many things for years. I’m so proud things are going well for her. … She deserves this.” last_img read more

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GAA NEWS – MALIN CLUB NOTES

first_imgMENS FOOTBALL:The Senior team are expected to take on St. Eunan’s on Saturday 1st of June in the first round of the championship. Please see the clubs Facebook page and club messages for updated information on this fixture.LADIES FOOTBALL: Expected friendly game away to Urris on Wednesday at 7:30pm, Ladies Football training continues on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s between 8pm- 9pm.GIRLS FOOTBALL:U16/U14 Girls continue to train on Wednesday’s at 5:15pm. U12 Girls continue to train on Wednesdays at 4:15pmU10/U8/U6 continue to train on Saturday mornings at 11:15am till 12:15, all sessions are €2.BOYS FOOTBALL:U6 age group continue to train within the Club Gym on Sunday mornings from 10am -11:15am.The sessions are based on GAA Fundamentals; a Croke Park initiative based on research aimed at bettering your child’s coordination (including hand eye) balance, agility and basic fitness in a fun filled environment. It is also an introduction into the basic skills of Gaelic games. All children are welcome to attend.U8 age group continue to train on Sunday mornings at 11am to 12:30pm, also within the Club Gym. All underage sessions are €2.U10 age group continue train on Sunday’s from 12:30 to 1:30pm. U14 Training takes place on Monday from 5-6 and on Thursday from 4.30 to 6.00.U10 Girls that took part in the U10 Go Games Blitz againstCarn on Wednesday Evening in Malin”.HURLING:U10/U12 Boys and Girls Hurling continue on Friday Evenings from 6pm-7pm. All equipment provided €2 per session.GO GAMES: Last week saw three sets of successful Go Games taking place for the Boys U12, U8 and U10 Boys and Girls age groups. This week sees both Boys U8 age group playing Moville at home on Saturday, and the U12 team will be away to Burt. Please see Club Facebook page for updates. All support welcome to each of these matches to cheer on the Club’s young players.SPORTS:The Club will be running an Annual Sports Day on Sunday the 2nd of June, starting at 2pm. All proceeds will be in aid of Malin GAA and Relay for Life. The Sports are guaranteed to be a great day with usual events taking place including track field events.MR & MRS:The Club would like to thank all those involved in the Mr & Mrs Competition. Firstly, to all the people who bought and sold tickets, to those who worked behind the bar, and those who help to decorate and set up beforehand. We would also like to thank those who sold raffle tickets on the night, to Fergus for the photos, the organisers and the MC Kevin Gallagher who did an outstanding job. Finally, the night would not have been possible without our Six fantastic Couples who provided many laughs and a Great Nights Entertainment, you all did an excellent job and thank you. Money that has been raised by the Mr & Mrs competition will go towards purchasing new equipment for the new Club Gym.WELL DONE:The Club would like to acknowledge the outstanding job that Declan and his Donegal Teammates did on Sunday to win against Tyrone. Well Done Declan once again you did you did the club proud.LOTTO:There was no winner of this week’s lotto jackpot of €950. The €50 winner was Shaun Monagle, Malin Town with Lily’s Bar, Malin receiving the €20 seller’s prize. Winning sequence was 3-2-7-5-1-6-4. Next week’s lotto jackpot stands at €1,000 and we thank the local community for their continued support of the weekly draw.PRO:Any items for the notes should be forwarded to Martin Doherty on 0861585880 or alternatively send an email to the new club email address pro.malin.donegal@gaa.ie at no later than 9 o clock on the Sunday evening. Please note the new club email address.GAA NEWS – MALIN CLUB NOTES was last modified: May 27th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Malin GAA Club noteslast_img read more

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Volunteer tends Romanian tots

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Most of the babies were abandoned by their parents who couldn’t afford medical care. Many will live inside the Tutova facility in eastern Romania for two to three years. Then they’ll head to foster care. Some will return home. “They were used to seeing teams come in,” she said. “When the toddlers saw us in the lobby, they got so excited that they started walking toward the door and waving hello.” Many of the patients, from newborns to age 3, suffer from malnutrition and anemia. Almost all have special needs with language or sensory delays and problems with their motor skills, Chang said. As an occupational therapist, 32-year-old Chang works with infants and toddlers who have special needs. She hoped to do the same with patients in the clinic. But bottle feedings and diaper changings overrode that idea because there were many children in need. In fact, many are dependent on bottles. They resist regular food because they don’t have experience with it. With a regular staff of five, there isn’t time to teach the children how to eat another way. VALENCIA – The image of the babies, their arms outstretched, wanting to be held, weighs on her mind. There were about 35 in all. Some in cribs. Some trying to walk. All in need of help. And that was Abby Chang’s job. For two weeks, the Valencia woman and 15 other volunteers, tended to sick children and those with special needs living at a failure-to-thrive clinic in Romania. Meal time often looks like an assembly line. Children are lined up to eat oatmeal and fed from just one bowl with the same spoon, Chang said. But there were triumphs as well. Such as the little boy who took his first steps after Chang practiced walking with him down a hallway. And a young girl who reached for a spoon and fed herself. “This is actually a very good facility,” she said. “At the same time, it makes me sad because most of the children there have developmental issues, and the two weeks there won’t make a dent in anything.” Problems for Romania began under the ruling of former dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, who took power of the then Communist country in 1965. Large families were encouraged. Birth control was outlawed. Although Ceausescu was overthrown and executed in 1989 and Communism ended there in 2000, birth control still has not caught on with Romanians, Chang said. The volunteer program in Romania began in 1999 after people learned of the clinic and contacted Global Volunteers, a nonprofit that sends volunteers around the nation and to 19 countries on short-term programs. “They asked us to send volunteers because there are some very great needs there with these vulnerable children,” said Barb DeGroot, media relations manager of the Minnesota-based organization. Volunteers pay between $2,295 to $2,495, depending on their length of stay in Romania. Fees include meals, lodging and transportation to the site. Participants stay in a hotel on the outskirts of Barlad and take a bus to the clinic. Chang will return to Romania in 2007. Sue Doyle,(661) 257-5254sue.doyle@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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