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Fighting Malnutrition in Rwanda With Music

Rwanda’s top musicians King James, Miss Jojo, Riderman, Tom Close, and Urban Boyz join the fight against malnutrition in Rwanda with a YouTube music video. The video is also available with Swahili subtitles.

Paraguayans Share a Delicious Jopará to Shoo Poverty Away

Every year on October 1, Paraguayans prepare a traditional dish named jopará or yopará, stew type broth made out of different kinds of maize with beans and plenty bovine and pork meat, vegetables, sausages, amongo other ingredients.

It's costumary that October is a feared month, the harvesting is over, the sowing has ended and everybiody has to wait until the next harvest. If the individuals haven't been provident enough and haven't saved food, they can have a hard time. That's what author Dionisio González Torres writes in his book, “Folklore of Paraguay.”

According to the tradition, Karai Octubre (Mister October), a short, bearded old man, shows up on that day with his straw hat, a bag and a long rebenque (some kind of whip) to flog all those who haven't a prepared karu guasu (big meal), as González Torres explains.

The old man goes over all the houses and takes a look at every pot with the lunch of the day. If there is little food, he takes out pains and disgraces from his bag for all those who live in that house. If there is plenty of food, the old man just walks by and the family will be safe for the year:

Daily special menu: Yopará so Karai octubre walks by!

All over my homeland you can already feel the scent of delicious Yopará to shoo ‘Caraí Octubre’ away.

So [Mexican communications mogul] Carlos Slim and [American owner of Microsoft] Bill Gates will be poor men for not eating Yopara? Or how does the myth go?

Locusts Invade Madagascar's Capital City

Twitter and Facebook users from Madagascar's capital city, Antananarivo, have posted several photos of locusts invading the city. Locust invasions are not unusual in Madagascar, especially after tropical storms, but they are very uncommon in larger cities. Locusts can have a devastating effect on crops, especially in a country that has struggled with bouts of famine in past years.

Clashes After an Attempted Theft of 450 Cattle Leaves 15 Dead in Madagascar

Armed forces and dahalos (highwaymen in Malagasy) clashed in Amboasary Sud in the southern region of Madagascar on Aug. 15 over a theft of humped cattle (Zebus), a type of domestic cattle with a fleshy hump on their shoulders. Thirteen Dahalos and two members of the armed forces died during the clashes. Official reports states that 450 Zebus were stolen by about 90 armed thieves when authorities intervened.

PHOTO: Crowds Outside a Cairo Liquor Store

A photograph showing crowds outside a popular Cairo liquor store is making the rounds online. On Twitter, Tom Gara shares it with his 27.9K followers:

Egypt, with a liberal alcohol policy compared to other Muslim countries, bans the sale of alcohol to Egyptians during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which ended yesterday. This explains the scene Gara tweets.

Humanitarian Associations in Burkina Faso Campaign for Revenue Sharing from the Mining Industry with “Just 1%” Hashtag

Bobo Vendors in Burkina Faso - Public Domain

Bobo Vendors in Burkina Faso – Public Domain

A new hashtag is trending in Burkina Faso online networks: #Justeunpourcent (Just 1 Percent in English). The hashtag refers to a campaign initiated by local NGOs to the Parliament that requests that 1 percent of the mining revenues be shared with humanitarian associations to fight poverty in Burkina Faso. Nadine Kone from Ouagadogou kickstarted the campaign on twitter :

Just 1 Percent: To all the Members of Parliament in Burkina Faso, this is a way to help communities against poverty.

Rooftop Farming in Hong Kong

"Go Green Hong Kong" discussed the benefit of rooftop farming in Hong Kong.

“Go Green Hong Kong” discussed the benefit of rooftop farming in Hong Kong – Green roofs can help reduce three of the four top problems facing the society in the next 50 years: energy, water, and environment.

An Entrepreneur Rewarded for his Innovative Healthcare Work in Cameroon

Mr. Petsoko et son prix - avec sa permission

Mr Petsoko being awarded his prize – with his permission

 The curtain has just come down on the tenth “Positive and Winning Africa Oscars”, held at the Hilton Hotel in Yaoundé, the political capital of Cameroon. This year, the event organised by the NGO “Positive and Winning Africa” rewarded Cameroonian Clément  Petsoko for his innovating healthcare projects. For a decade now, sponsor Hervé Mba and a jury made up of a dozen public figures to award prizes to African personalities whose innovative projects could help the progress of the African continent.

The Golden Oscar for Man of the Decade was presented to Clément  Petsoko, PDG of the Morgan and Wilfried laboratories. The jury rewarded Petsoko for “his capacity to overcome the numerous difficulties he has faced in recent years”. As he was awarded his prize, the happy winner stated:

 Je voudrais que mon prix serve d’enseignement à la jeunesse du monde qui doit  intégrer dans son vécu quotidien  le dicton qui selon lequel : « le pont qui mène au succès est fragile » et qu’il faille allier courage, abnégation et détermination dans l’atteinte de ses objectifs.

I want my prize to serve as a lesson to young people around the world, who should remember the saying “it's a rocky road to success,” and that achieving your aims requires courage, self-sacrifice and determination.

 
Dr Clément Nossupuwo  Petsoko is a homeopath by training. Already awarded the prize for Man of the Year 2013 in Cameroon by Mosaïques International, Petsoko is also active in the community via his weekly newsletter promoting foreign communities, decentralised local authorities, tourism and general information.
In his thank you speech, Petsoko spoke of the fragility of success. And in fact, his journey has encountered many hurdles and controversies. Earlier in his career, Petsoko was accused by Cameroonian health authorities of “leading a huge publicity campaign on local TV channels, in violation of the legal restrictions on advertising medication.” Following these accusations, the distribution of his flagship slimming programme was banned in Cameroon. On 14 November 2013, the Cameroonian government lifted the ban on selling the programme. Petsoko has also suffered setbacks in his personal life. Divorced from his wife Christelle Yameni several years ago, she took Petsoko to court in 2008 for committing indecent acts on minors below the age of 16. The couple was married since 18 December 1998. On 24 March 2010, the Mfoundi High Court in Yaoundé decided to dismiss the case.
 

Should Women Starve Their Babies for Fear of Public Breastfeeding?

Olivia Kidula explains why breastfeeding in public should not stop:

A friend of mine recently gave birth to her first baby girl and is still getting the hang of motherhood. I began to notice she breastfeeds only when no men (besides her husband or father are around) and when she can “comfortably” hide away in a small space. When I mentioned to her that there should be no shame in feeding and nourishing her child in front of anyone, she responded,

“society would rather she starves than look at my breasts.”

The more I thought about the implications of her words the more upset I became. Who would want a child to starve? Who would truly want to deny a child nourishment and comfort at the chest of his mother?

Biofortified Bananas for Beta Carotene Deficiency

Félix Moronta Barrios is a Venezuelan biologist who spreads scientific culture among Spanih speaking community. He recently explained the researches and biotechnologic findongs about transgenic bananas in Uganda and the United States.

The banane cultivated in Uganda has no A vitamin. That's why its modification is necessary. Moronta Barrios warns the skeptical:

Antes de que piensen cosas como “natural es mejor”, “otra vez los científicos jugando a ser dios”, “lo modificado genéticamente es malo malísimo”, etc, etc, etc. sepan que la transgénesis también ocurre naturalmente, como expliqué aquí. Que el plátano, banana o cambur que consumimos hoy en día es un invento humano, tal como explica Ciencia de Sofá en “El oscuro pasado de los plátanos“. Y para que no termine ahí la sorpresa, les cuento que es un alimento radiactivo por su alto contenido en potasio; tanto, que camiones cargados de plátanos hacen saltar las alarmas en algunas aduanas. Incluso hay una unidad de medida al respecto, la dosis equivalente a un plátano.

Before you think of things such as “natural is best”, “again scientists playing God”, “genetically modified is not good”, etc, you better know that transgenesis goes on naturally, as explained here. The bananas we eat are human creation, as stated by Ciencia de Sofá on “The dark past of bananas“. And for more surprises, let me tell you this is a radiactive fruit, due to its high content of potasium. So much that banana trucks start the alarms in some customs control. There even is a measuring unit about that, the dose equivalent to a banana.

For updates about biology and biotechnology by an expert written in Spanish with a simple language, visit the blog by Felix Moronta or follow his tweets on morontafelix.

This post was part of the eleventh #LunesDeBlogsGV (Monday of blogs on GV) on July 14, 2014.

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