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Jul-14-2011 18:33printcomments

Africa: Faces in Words

New weekly update from the African nations.

Volti d'Africa
Volti d'Africa Courtesy: Flickr

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - Unseen, unheard; no one should be the bearer of these two words. Unfortunately, Africa is often in the forefront of this association.

Our common humanity should change this; we should never look away because it is too distant. Our commitment to one another, to human rights, and the ability to learn should always keep us connected no matter the severity and complexity of problems.

Somali rape survivor rebuilds life - Somalia has been plagued by decades of woes –persistent conflict, waves of natural disasters and drought. While these crises make headlines, the country's embattled people – a quarter of whom have been uprooted – also face personal tragedies that are no less devastating.

Children suffering most in Somalia - UNICEF yesterday airlifted emergency nutrition supplies and water-related equipment to Baidoa, Bay region in southern Somalia, as part of its life-saving interventions to assist drought-affected children in Somalia and more supplies are en-route.

Africa: The struggle for Women to own Land - Even at the best of times, obtaining a title deed from the ministry of lands is a difficult process. But as the minister of lands admitted on Jul. 13 that his office is rife with corruption, the disorganization of this office means Kenyan women are no closer to owning land.

Reflecting on Role of Local Media, as Congolese Journalist Gunned Down - Amid the militia fighting, struggle over resources, and mass displacement of civilians in eastern Congo, there are many heroes whose names we in the West rarely hear. They are the teachers, the nurses, aid workers, and advocates who work thanklessly for peace in the midst of communities that have been ravaged by violence.

In Sierra Leone, widened Access to Health Care saves Lives - Sierra Leone is at the vanguard of a revolution -- heavily subsidized for now by donors -- that appears to be substantially lessening health dangers in what has been one of the world's riskiest countries to be a pregnant woman or small child.

South Sudan gains UN membership - The UN General Assembly has admitted South Sudan as the 193rd member of the United Nations. The vote followed the African country's achievement of independence on Saturday, breaking away from Sudan after more than 50 years of on-and-off war. "I declare South Sudan a member of the United Nations," Joseph Deiss, president of the General Assembly, said after Thursday's vote.

Satellite pics indicate mass graves in Sudan, worrisome signs of Arab attacks on blacks - Sudan activists on Thursday called for the United States and the international community to intervene in a region of Sudan inaccessible to outsiders after a U.S. group released satellite photos of what they said appear to be mass graves.

Zimbabwe: Plight of Street Children in the spotlight - "We need to go back to an organized society that adequately takes care of orphans and vulnerable children." This is the view of a human rights lawyer from Bulawayo, one of many voices calling for urgent reform regarding vulnerable children who live on the streets of Zimbabwe.

Angola: Law on Domestic Violence a step forward for Women’s Rights - Domestically abused women who are financially dependent on their abusers can now report the crime with the assurance that they will be able to get financial and medical support from the state, thanks to the country's new law on domestic violence.

Nigeria: killing by Security Forces in North must stop - Amnesty International and prominent Nigerian human rights organizations have called for an immediate end to arbitrary and unlawful killings by Nigerian security forces in response to bombings by the Islamist group, Boko Haram.

Alysha Atma spends many hours working on projects that support and benefit the beleaguered people of African nations who spend way too much time off the western media's radar. This writer explains that she is a culmination of all her experiences, most importantly knowledge she says, and all that she still needs to learn; lessons of love, laughter and the extraordinary giving of both young and old. She says she has the enormous fortune of learning from the best; every person around her, and the amazing strength and fortitude of those she has never met but will always strive to listen to. "I continue to work and write because I believe in the power of community and the power of one, both contradictory to each other and yet can move together in a very powerful way. I feel a responsibility to use my place, freedoms and connections here in the US to stand up and yell for those who need my voice and actions. I have seen such strength in my fellow humans that I cannot even begin to comprehend, they have traveled distances, have gone without food, water, shelter and safety for days and weeks at a time. I have a responsibility as a fellow human to put our common humanity before anything else. Everyone deserves to look towards tomorrow, to dream of a safe future and to have a peaceful present." You can write to Alysha Atma at:

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Articles for July 13, 2011 | Articles for July 14, 2011 | Articles for July 15, 2011
Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.


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