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UN launches song to drum up support for the Millennium Development Goals

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The United Nations has mobilized some of the foremost artists of Africa and the airwaves of the world in launching a song and music video to drum up support for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of combating hunger and poverty across the continent.

The 8 Millenium Development Goals

  1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  2. Achieve universal primary education
  3. Promote gender equality and empower women
  4. Reduce child mortality
  5. Improve maternal health
  6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
  7. Ensure environmental sustainability
  8. Develop a global partnership for development

About the Song 8 Goals for Africa

With a catchy tune and rhythm, the song is sung by eight artists reflecting the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – the targets for reducing extreme poverty, hunger and disease, while promoting gender equality, education, and environmental sustainability – that world leaders have pledged to achieve by 2015.

Between the verses a chorus declaims the iconic cry for freedom from the wars of liberation against Portuguese colonialism in Africa: a luta continua, the struggle goes on – only this time against each of the evils that deprive Africans of their human rights to a decent life.

The song, entitled “8 Goals for Africa,” has also been recorded as a video to be screened across all fan parks and public viewing areas at soccer’s World Cup in South Africa next month, an event expected to be watched by hundreds of millions of people worldwide. It will be disseminated free of charge locally and internationally.

“There can be no spectators in the fight against poverty,” UN Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Helen Clark said at the song’s launch ceremony in Johannesburg, South Africa.

UN Information Centres (UNICs) around the world are already calling on media in their regions to report on and air the song and video now.

“This is a great opportunity to raise popular awareness of the MDGs, with the potential to reach millions of people,” UNIC South Africa said. “The organizers are hoping that when the song is played during the World Cup matches, audiences will already recognize the song and be able to sing along with key phrases.”

The eight artists are: Yvonne Chaka Chaka (South Africa), Angelique Kidjo (Benin), Oliver Mutukudzi (Zimbabwe), Mingas (Mozambique), Eric Wainaina (Kenya), HHP (South Africa), Baba Maal (Senegal), and the Soweto Gospel Choir (South Africa).

Hugh Masekela and Jimmy Dludlu (both South Africans) are two of the instrumentalists and the song was produced by world-renowned music producer, Arthur Baker. The music was composed by Mr. Dludlu, with lyrics by Mr. Wainaina.

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South African Teacher Sends Photo To Parents And Gets This Unexpected Reaction

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A teacher at South African school, Laerskool Schweizer Reneke, took this photo and shared it with parents on WhatsApp in an effort to reassure them that their children’s first day of school was going smoothly. However, the teacher did not have the intended outcome as the photo revealed a detail that was unexpected. The students were separated by race in the classroom.

Image: Twitter @nellyn12345

Students at Laerskool Schweizer were sent back home after South Africa’s North West Education Department suspended the teacher,
Ellen Barkhuizen, who is suspected to have separated the children according to race at the school.

Barkhuizen is reported to have taken the photo of the separated children, which is circulating on social media and has gone viral.

According to TimesLive, when parents complained to the school, they were sent a different picture after the children’s break showing that they had been “moved to different seating spaces to ensure they were not separated according to race”.

Pupils in this class at a Schweizer-Reneke school in the North West were moved to different seating spaces after their break on the first day of school on January 9 2019. 

BLACK PARENT REACTS

ALSO READ: School Girls In Kenya Are Asked To Take These Compulsory Tests An Women’s Rights Activits Are Outraged

The school has been suspected of discrimination by parents for some time. One parent had this to say to SABC News.

“I have applied on time, but I was so surprised when they said they can’t accept my child, he is on the waiting list. So, I requested to see the list of the white people. They say there is no waiting list for the white people. That’s where I started to worry. Where are we going to take our kids because they are still young? We didn’t want our kids to go far because we are residents here. I came here in March. They told me I must come on the 1st of May. When I came they say I must bring the documents, I bring them. Eish mama, I feel pain.”

WHITE PARENTS REACT

ALSO READ: Tunisia Becomes Second African Country And First Arab Nation To Outlaw Racism. Here Is What Will Happen If You Break The Law

Speaking to SowetanLIVE, some of the white parents said black parents who are not happy about how the school operates, must take their children to township schools.

 If you are not happy here, take your child to another school, nobody is forcing you. Now they want to make this as if it is racism, everyone just wants to make white people racists. We are not racists, we just want what is best for our children,” said one parent.

“Blacks don’t put their children first, we put our children first, and their safety and education comes first. This is the only white-dominated school in this town. There are over 10 schools in the township. If they are not happy, let them take their children there,” said another parent.

GOVERNMENT REACTS

After meeting school staff and education department officials,
North West education MEC Sello Lehari confirmed that the teacher in question had been suspended.

“As government, we would like to condemn any form of racism, alleged or not, and we deeply regret this unfortunate incident taking place in our country 25 years into democracy,” said a spokesperson for the local government leader, Job Lekgoro.

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Liberian President Weah Opens Church and Delivers Inaugural Sermon

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Liberian president, George Weah, has proven that he is not only a former soccer legend but one with another mission – to be a preacher.

The 51-year-old, whose footballing career played a huge role in his landslide election victory, recently opened his own church and gave an inaugural sermon.

On December 31, 2018, during a watch night service to usher in the new year, the Liberian leader held a service and dedication ceremony for the church – The Forky Jlaleh Family Fellowship Church.

The ceremony was attended by a host of government appointees, including the Speaker of the country’s Legislature, Bhofal Chambers and the Senate Pro-Tempore, Albert Chie, Liberian media, Front Page Africa reported.

In his first sermon on the theme: “Life is a business; what you do with your life will make you profitable or unprofitable”, President Weah encouraged his congregation to be committed and passionate about their objectives in 2019.

To his officials, the former football legend urged them to show commitment to their roles and abstain from sabotaging his administration.

“You work with government then you want to sabotage the government. You are a Minister in the government but you want to sabotage the government. You are an executive then you want to sabotage the government. You want to sit right here so that government work. You are also part of the government”.

“Let’s forget about all the setbacks in 2018 and focus on the prosperous New Year, what God gave you is enough,” he said.

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Kigali Genocide Memorial Unveils New Digital Education Platform For Genocide Education

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Students from different schools in Kigali use the platform as guests look on. Frederic Byumvuhore.

Kigali Genocide Memorial has unveiled its online educational platform that helps to display testimonies of survivors and witnesses of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

The launch took place at Kigali Genocide Memorial on Tuesday. Dubbed “iWitness,” the digital platform will be used mainly by students and teachers in line with the competency-based curriculum, especially for Genocide related courses.

The Visual History Archive (VHA)and IWitness were developed by the University of Southern California (USC) – Shoah Foundation. Aegis role on VHA was to provide content “testimonies” on the Genocide against the Tutsi, while for IWtness, Aegis collaborated with USC Shoah Foundation on creating the landing page and specific for Rwanda.

Launching the computer lab that will facilitate the public to access the archives, Dr Jean-Damascene Gasanabo, the Director General of Research and Documentation Centre at the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide, said the facility will be a good learning tool.

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