As the Greek crisis continues, so does discussion over the dangers of ‘easy money’ and what happens when you put its power in the wrong hands. Greece may be the most high-profile case of this at the moment, but it’s worth nothing that it is far from the only example.
Foreign development aid is another case to consider, especially in terms of Africa. The continent is more dependent on foreign aid than any other and in most instances has had little choice about whether to accept it or not. A lot of ‘first world’ countries feel that they are helping by throwing money at it, but while it may salve colonial consciences, in truth it works against Africa’s best interests.
My wife and I were in Italy recently for a couple of days and during our visit we had some interesting conversations about the current immigration situation there. Italy is on the frontline of the current surge of movement of people from North Africa and the Middle East trying to come to Europe across the Mediterranean – most arriving on its shores after horrendous journeys on crowded boats run by people traffickers.
The European Union encompasses some 500m people, and has wealth, political freedom and stability. OK, it might have deteriorated slightly because of the imposition of monetary union on members when it doesn’t really fit (as American economist, Milton Friedman once said “you cannot have monetary union until you have political union”). But together with the US it is still generally the most developed and prosperous union across the board. And yet we have people coming here who are desperate, and I believe entitled to safe haven, and we are – in the main – refusing them asylum.
Sometimes when celebrities take part in charity events or campaigns, I don’t mean to be cynical, but it can come across as a publicity stunt. When someone famous is visiting a children’s hospital, or has flown to a third world country to help provide aid, it’s not a coincidence that they are followed closely by a film and camera crew. However, there was one celebrity that caught my eye this week and I couldn’t help but feel I huge amount of admiration for her.
Angelina Jolie co-chaired the End Sexual Violence in Conflict global summit in London this week. The summit managed to gather together over 100 representatives from all over the world – which is an astonishing achievement in itself. What strikes me about Jolie’s role in such an event is that she seems to have a great wealth of knowledge and passion on the subject. Too often you hear famous people talking generically about issues they clearly have no real familiarity or understanding of.
A surge in the South African illegal wildlife market
Although I’ve said in the past that I would never choose to live in South Africa again, I do think back on my memories there with fondness. I will always have a soft spot for South Africa. Despite the countries somewhat turbulent social, political and economic past (to put it lightly) there are still so many things I love about South Africa. The scenery and landscapes found across the country are completely breath taking. The wildlife largely contributes to the vibrant environment and the fact that there are so many endangered species in South Africa, and Africa as a whole, is extremely saddening to me. It’s a country full of natural beauty, all the problems there come from the people. Unfortunately, that opinion was cemented this week with a breaking news story.
The illegal wildlife market in South Africa has always been a terrible problem. One that the government and other organisations are continuously trying to tackle. Although anti-poaching efforts have received an increased amount of funding over the last few years this sort of crime as risen rapidly. And with South Africa being home to the majority of the world’s rhinos this is especially worrying.
Black rhinos living outside of conservation areas are basically extinct now. But even those living within the confines of national parks are critically endangered. This week over 40 rhino horns were stolen from a provincial park, investigations aren’t ruling out that it may have been an inside job.
The dehorning of a rhino is an incredibly traumatic and can have an effect on the entire body of the animal. With poachers taking little care when hacking off a horn rhinos can often bleed to death or it is very common for them to experience overheating, cardiac distress, respiratory depression, increased blood pressure and miscarriages in pregnant females. As well the physical effects rhinos use their horns for defence, to protect their eyes and to assert status within their crash.
I’ve been reading through the health pages of the news lately and I just came across an article on The Independent about an initiative called Project Daniel, which was started by an American entrepreneur, Mick Ebeling, in November 2013.
With the civil war in South Sudan escalating, media coverage on the issue has increased. While a lot of people probably skip through these articles, some people are particularly struck by them. This is what happened to Ebeling. Continue reading →
If you’ve read my previous blog post about the Help for Heroes rally you will know it was rather traumatic! Since then we’ve recovered and Lorna and I are ready for our next big charity adventure.
At present we’re thinking of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, because the physical training is great and we love to keep active. When we finished the Sahara trek we felt flat. We came home and we were like “oh what now?” because for a few months leading up to that event wherever we went we were doing hours of walking each day in preparation. Even when we were on holiday on the Greek island of Mykonos we were doing 8 hours of walking a day to try and prepare. We kept saying it’s just footsteps! Never mind where you go just get the footsteps in and it will make all the difference.
Last month, Lorna and I took part in the London Rally for Heroes, a rally which raises money for the military charity, Help for Heroes. We had a fantastic time over the entire weekend (19-20 May) and I’ve got a few photos that I’d like to share with you. But, first let me tell you how it went.
The entire Peires family believe in giving to charity. It’s something we try and make a priority in our lives. I must admit, this mind set has grown on me with age and I’m a bit of a late bloomer in that sense. As I’ve grown older I’ve become more and more passionate about giving to charity.
Lorna and I thought long and hard about which charity we’d like to become involved with, and it wasn’t a decision we took lightly. We want the money we raise to go to a cause that we really believe in and that will truly make a difference. For this reason, we support Help for Heroes.
I was looking through some old photos and found this one, a particular favourite of mine. It was taken during a trek Lorna and I did through the Sahara in 2011 to raise money for Help for Heroes. We hope to raise a lot more money for them in the future. It was a real physical and mental test for us and we are so proud that we made it to the end and were able to raise a good sum of money for the charity.