IOC’s Bach: Refugees will be honoured at Rio

first_imgATHENS, Greece (AP): A group of refugee athletes will march together in the opening ceremony of the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in a symbol of hope for the world’s migrants, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach said yesterday. On a three-day visit to Greece, Bach also said a refugee would carry the torch during the Greek leg of the flame relay and that the route would include a stop at an Athens refugee camp. The flame-lighting ceremony at Ancient Olympia will take place on April 21. “We want to turn the attention of the world to the fate and the problems of the 60 million refugees in our world and their suffering,” Bach said. He visited the refugee camp in Athens, played football with a group of young men, and met potential candidates who could compete for the first time as refugee athletes at the Rio Games. “They have no hope, no flag to march behind, and no anthem,” Bach said. “We have invited them to participate, and these athletes will march behind the Olympic flag” at the August 5 opening ceremony. Bach said he expected between five and 10 refugee athletes to qualify for the Olympics. He said he spoke to two potential Olympic competitors in Athens, who could compete in shooting events and karate. The IOC has already pledged US$2 million to help refugees, and is asking authorities in refugee camps to identify any top-level international athletes. Three athletes found The IOC said in December that three potential Olympic athletes had been identified so far from among the wave of refugees and migrants. Greece has been hard hit by the migration crisis that escalated dramatically in 2015 when more than 850,000 travelled in dinghies and mostly unsafe boats from Turkey to the Greek islands. Despite growing European pressure on Athens to toughen border controls, Bach described Greece’s assistance to refugees as “really extraordinary” and promised funds for planned sports facilities on the Greek island of Lesbos. Bach praised progress in Brazil’s Olympic preparations despite the country’s serious financial downturn and outbreak of the mosquito-borne Zika virus. “Brazil is in financial and political crisis, and is facing a great corruption scandal,” he said. “And under these circumstances, it is even more remarkable what the Brazilians have done.” Bach said the timing of the games, during Brazil’s winter, could limit difficulties caused by the virus outbreak, and he promised to have consultations with national Olympic Committees on safety guidelines by late today. Before leaving Athens yesterday, Bach said he would visit the marble Panathinian Stadium, where the first modern Olympics were held in 1896.last_img read more

Africare Strategy Tames Malaria, Could Rout Ebola

first_imgChildren across the West African nation of Benin sleep safer at night and live healthier lives because of a modest pilot program to decrease malaria-related deaths.  Directed by Africare, a non-profit organization committed to improving the lives of people in Africa, the pilot program is said to have delivered such outstanding results that it was immediately expanded throughout the entire country by the government of Benin.Benin’s President Boni Yayi , in recognition of the program’s remarkable success, has honored Africare president, Dr. Darius Mans and the organization he leads, by appointing him an Officer of the National Order of Benin, Africare newsletter’s latest edition has confirmed.“It is a privilege to be recognized by President Yayi on behalf of Africare and its Beninese staff who implemented the program to ensure that children, the future of this great nation, are protected from malaria, the number one killer of children under five years old,” said Dr. Mans.The Africare Malaria Prevention StrategyWith financial support from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and in collaboration with the Benin Ministry of Health (MOH) and Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM), Africare launched a pilot program in 2004 to train members of local women’s groups on how to control malaria in their communities.Beginning in two departments, Couffo and Mono, the Africare-trained women shared their knowledge with others on how to protect children under five years and pregnant women from malaria.By 2008, the incidence of malaria dropped 73 percent in the two departments despite a national increase of 65 percent over the same period. More importantly, malaria-related deaths of children under five dropped 84 percent, while the national average only decreased by 18 percent.Benin Picks Africare for nationwide initiativeDue to the program’s success, The Global Fund renewed its support and recommended the initiative be expanded to cover all of Benin. The Benin MOH and CCM again turned to Africare to lead the comprehensive malaria control program.The Africare led nationwide initiative, in addition to training women’s groups on malaria prevention and treatment, also coordinated the distribution of nearly eight million long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets in an effort to reach universal coverage.Africare’s malaria prevention and treatment efforts also included additional benefits such as communities spending fewer financial resources on malaria medicines and an overall decrease in the number of days children missed school.One village elder reported: “Whatever Africare is doing is working because my village is getting crowded. Children are no longer dying as often as they used to.”Africare Approach May Defeat Ebola­“In light of the horrific Ebola outbreak that is devastating neighboring West African countries, the Africare approach of Africans empowering Africans with the knowledge and resources to defeat a deadly disease such as malaria may be applied to other health crises on the continent, including Ebola,” Dr. Mans asserted.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

PRIEST SPEAKS OUT AGAINST CLAIMS OF CHOIR SINGER

first_imgThe priest at the centre of the choir singer row has said he has no knowledge of how the issue has been resolved. Fr Shane Gallagher was reacting to a story by Donegal Daily earlier today that Bishop Philip Boyce has stepped-in to resolve the matter.Fr Gallagher issued the statement through his solicitor in which he said he was not part of any resolution with singer Sara Laughlin. He further adds that he is “hurt and appalled” that a private conversation over the suitability of a song be made public.Fr Gallagher and Ms Laughlin were involved in a dispute over the singing of a song at mass in Lettermacaward last Saturday night.Ms Laughlin claims she was verbally abused – a claim denied by Fr Gallagher.The following is the full statement from Fr Gallagher. “I was happy to learn of the announcement made on Highland Radio at 10.30 a.m. today that this matter has been resolved. I was not a party to the resolution of it and did not in any respect contribute to it, nor did I have any advance notice of it. As of 12.05 pm today, I remain unaware of any details of the resolution announced. I wish to take this opportunity to refute the allegations made against me. I am hurt and appalled that a private conversation with Ms. Sara Laughlin regarding the suitability of a particular song she sang at Communion time, during a Mass I celebrated last Saturday evening for her grandmother and uncle, has been so unfairly distorted and that, in consequence, I have been so vilified and abused in the social media over the past 36 hours. In the interests of the people whom I serve in Leitirmacaward and Doochary, I hope to be permitted draw a line under the matter and, to this end, I will be making no further comment.” PRIEST SPEAKS OUT AGAINST CLAIMS OF CHOIR SINGER was last modified: October 7th, 2013 by StephenShare 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)last_img read more