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first_imgLast year when we launched “the dollar for peace campaign” to strengthen and expand the peace clubs in schools and communities initiative, no one thought of the Ebola epidemic that stunned the people and economy of the country.The news of the Ebola outbreak, as we were rounding up our fundraising campaign, did not resonate with most Liberians and again, no one within Messengers of Peace (MOP)-Liberia knew we were actually raising funds for Ebola prevention and control activities.The MOP takes a rear view look at our 2014 report card, the challenges, achievements and impact of our programs. As you have noticed from our weekly column, we have worked hard with the Liberian public and communities to enhance the contents of our programs.We didn’t commemorate the International Day of Peace, as we wanted to because of the Ebola crisis. The focus of so many of our efforts, during 2014, continued to center on the epidemic. While we did not get to expand our peace clubs into other counties and schools due to the closure of schools, we were able to engage many young persons in the fight against Ebola.MOP-Liberia mobilized over 100 young volunteers in and around Montserrado for community education outreach program. We produced several information and educational materials on Ebola. We helped in the distribution of Ebola awareness materials, raising promotional items and training hundreds of children in the techniques of basic hand washing.In post-Ebola recovery, MOP-Liberia’s priority for this year would focus on the campaign “Ebola Educates,” to deal with EVD myths, issues of false information, stigma and discrimination and conspiracy theory of source of infection.There is an urgent need to improve the coordination of efforts and the sharing of information. We need to prepare the next generation of young people for future outbreak and finance, according to Joachim von Amsberg, a Vice President at the World Bank, “…can be a strong driver of preparedness”. We can no longer be seen to be tardy and sluggish in our approach to disease outbreaks. We must learn from our past mistakes, document our success stories and educate generations on how our resilience and tenacity paid off.Building on last year’s debut and as the fight to burn out the EVD continues, amid hopeful signs of the disease receding, MOP-Liberia hopes to raise additional funds to tell the stories of how it all began; how we managed to cope with the deadliest disease of our generation and how survivors were re-integrated into the society.The purpose of the MOP-Liberia is to build and strengthen the support we need to sustain our peace advocacy efforts. Thanks to you for your support during the year 2014. Even though we lost a significant few of our partnership during 2014, we would like to take this opportunity to thank our strategic partners, Daily Observer, Liberia Peacebuilding Office (PBO), The Carter Center Liberia, Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa, Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP), Shirley Ann Sullivan Educational Foundation (SASEF), UNMIL, board-members, volunteer peace messengers and Friends of MOP-Liberia that stood with us through our very difficult and happy moments. We owe our growth to you.We hope that as we launch our next fund raising campaign, it will stimulate us all to better collaboration in 2015.Until next week, when we come to you with another article on: “Ebola Educates”, Peace First, Peace above all else, May Peace prevail on earth.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgBaldwin stresses that it’s not about anyone being less equal – it’s about acknowledging and enjoying the differences while moving to hot music. “There’s things that are just as true for the dance as they are in life,” Baldwin says. “The time we live in now, it’s about me, me, me. Where this is like, no – it’s not about you. It’s about your partner.” Talk like that makes me think salsa training should be required of every citizen, much like mandatory military service is in other countries. Chivalry could use a little CPR, and if done right, it’s bound to get ya some good mouth-to-mouth. In his Friday beginners class at Mama Juana’s Latin Lounge in Studio City, Baldwin lines up the men and women, one of them being me, on opposite sides of the floor. After a brief salsa tutorial, he tells the men to grab a partner. There is an awkward moment of motionlessness, as if time zapped a Taser gun. “I don’t want to see this,” Baldwin says as he waves over an invisible woman with a cool-dude gesture. “No! Go ask her! Take the lead.” The music begins, and Baldwin doles out some tips for the women. “First, ladies, give up control. Give us four minutes of the song to lead. Guys, you do those four minutes well, and she’ll give you four more minutes,” he says with a twinkle. Salsa king Baldwin then approached me, having noticed my untrained shoulders’ rogue movement during a basic turn. I was perfectly eager to give him more than four minutes to lead my limbs, but I’d take the few quick spins I got before he was off to tame other feral newbies. The goal of the dance is for two people to move as one. Spicy! Baldwin says once they master it, like with any good couple, it’s no longer about who’s leading and who’s following. It’s about little signals they send to each other in order to keep the dance going. “Don’t just do a step. Bring her along with you,” he says. Without getting some structure to support the sensuality, count on being salsa roadkill. But it’s OK to stumble when you’re learning the right moves. What’s sexier than wanting to improve, on or off the dance floor? It’s tougher for the guys, who have to lead. “Certain things are expected of the man, and if you don’t do it, the dance will collapse. The same with relationships,” Baldwin says. Later that night, the salsa king asked me to dance, putting his feet at risk of being trampled. Once I had the basics down, he gently took my wrist and raised it above my head, then guided my hand to brush over my face and down my neck. “Feel it,” he instructed, with a firmness that I trusted was there only to make me better. He did it again, and smiled when I “felt it” properly. And mmmm … it felt good – I’d like to feel it all day. Salsa ain’t no tap dance. It’s about passionately committing to the moves with your partner, even if you’re nervous about where that might take you. Seems like a good way to dance through life as well. Amy Tenowich is a freelance writer, finishing her master’s degree in journalism at USC. Write to her by e-mail at amytenow@aol.com160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! COURTSHIP is a boat that has long since sunk. Romance has morphed into “hooking up,” and the playing field is like a crowded dance floor in a dank nightclub. There’s no shortage of dancers who will grind haphazardly on one another, moving from one gyrating body to the next. Without so little investment as eye contact, it’s convenient to dance away mid-song and into the gravitational field of another swiveling pelvis. The dancers don’t even have to be skilled to secure partners, and DWI – dancing while intoxicated – is seen as completely acceptable. Sober up, boys and girls, and get a taste of the salsa dance. Something long lost in male-female relations is revived in only a few steps and twirls. You’ll be saying “caramba” before your hips are even fully unleashed. “The dance addresses our most primitive natural instincts,” says Ken Baldwin, who’s been dancing and teaching salsa for 10 years. “The way this dance works is the man has to think and the woman has to feel. Can you imagine leaving it up to the man to do the feeling? There would be no dance!” last_img read more

first_imgLATEST: A DONEGAL man battered to death near his home in Glasgow at the weekend had been “picked on” by local gangs, neighbours said today.There is shock in Malin Head today after the murder of Willie McKeeney, 57, as he walked home from a chippie in the Scottish city early on Sunday.Today John Robertson, 43, a neighbour of the victim for more than a decade, said he was “absolutely shocked” by the incident. He said: “It is quite a quiet neighbourhood, we would never expect anything like this.”Another neighbour, who asked not to be named, said they thought Mr McKeeney had experienced trouble with gangs.He said: “I think he had had trouble with a group of young Asian men. They had slashed the tyres on his car.”Pollokshields councillor David Meikle said: “It is important that all aspects are looked into, including the possibility that it may have been a racially motivated crime.” Strathclyde Police said both suspects were of Asian appearance. One is 6ft 4in and thin-built, and was wearing a light-coloured hooded tracksuit top and light grey tracksuit bottoms. The second man was of average height and build and wore a navy tracksuit.At the Seaview Tavern in Malin Head where Willie’s partner Annmarie had once worked as a chef, there is shock at the murder.“People are just numb,” said one local man. “This is just dreadful news. Willie was a lovely fella who would never get involved in a fight.“His brothers and sisters are wonderful people and all our prayers and thoughts are with them at this time. God help them all.”One brother – Henry – who lives in Boston, was told the news of the murder yesterday. Our earlier story is here:https://www.donegaldaily.com/2012/01/16/donegal-man-stabbed-to-death-in-vicious-attack-in-glasgow/DONEGAL MAN’S GLASGOW MURDER: GANGS HAD ‘PICKED ON HIM’ was last modified: January 16th, 2012 by BrendaShare 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 Headmurderlast_img read more