NGO Reopens Funda Centre

Funda Centre is up and running again thanks to the efforts of Senior Citizens Focus Cooperative, a NGO that has taken over its affairs.

The Senior Citizens Focus Cooperative assumed control of the centre last year and has a 10-year lease. It is already offering 23 skills training courses to the community. About 5 400 people have already signed on for nursing, catering, carpentry and business skills.

Aid Worker Kidnapped in Sudan

International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) in Sudan's Darfur region says armed men have kidnapped a French aid worker.

The ICRC named the kidnapped man as Gauthier Lefevre and said he was snatched in West Darfur state near the border with Chad. The agency said he was travelling in one of two clearly marked ICRC vehicles.

Ditshwanelo Urges Batswana to Vote

Human rights group, Ditshwanelo, has called on Batswana to exercise their democratic right to vote on 16 October 2009.

Ditshwanelo wants Batswana to recognise that by casting their ballot they are exercising a human right enshrined in the country’s law and exercising the right to choose representatives of their choice.

The organisation further urges Batswana to vote consciously. It says voting based on emotional factors is not responsible voting.

Law Bars NGOs from Politics

The Rwandan Lower Chambers of Parliament has approved an amendment to the law that regulates the operations of local NGOs.

The law prohibits NGOs from fundraising for any political party. However, individual members of the NGOs have a right to have political affiliations.

Free SMS's for NGOs Working in HIV/AIDS

Cell-Life has pledged to donate 5 000 free short messaging service (SMS-es) to CBOs and up to 100 000 to national NGOs working in the HIV/AIDS field.

Cell-Life’s Peter Benjamin, whose organisation was part of the Western Cape Emergency Task Team that launched ‘No To Xenophobia’ SMS line across the country after last year’s xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals, says mobile phones are effective tool for conveying messages.

Gates Calls for Focus on Food Security

Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has urged for a greater focus on food security.

Speaking at the World Food Prize in Des Moines, Iowa, the philanthropist has argued that steps need to be taken to help the world’s poorest farmers boost their yields to not only help themselves out of poverty but also out of hunger.

Gates announced nine new grants totaling US$120 million to support small farmers.

Black Sash Hails Ruling on Slums Act

A Constitutional Court ruling against a section of the Slums Act will prevent mass evictions in a clean-up before the 2010 Soccer World, according to rights group, Black Sash.

Regional director for the Black Sash in KwaZulu-Natal, Evashnee Naidu, states that, “I hope this judgment sends a very clear message to all the other provinces that might try to copy this law particularly in their haste to clean up before the World Cup.”

IT Weighs in for Human Rights

More than half of non governmental organisations (NGOs) in South Africa say that information and communications technology has had a major impact on their ability to advance human rights in this country. This is one of the key findings of a report entitled, State of ICT in South African NGOs 2009.

The report, which was sponsored by Microsoft and the National Development Agency (NDA), states that while this figure has barely shifted in the past two years, NGOs are now poised to explore the cutting edge of mobile technology and social networking in pursuit of their causes.


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