World Toilet Day November 19

Top facts

The global sanitation crisis is reflected in the following facts, according to reports from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF):

  • Around 60% of the global population – 4.5 billion people – either have no toilet at home or one that doesn’t safely manage excreta.
  • 862 million people worldwide still practise open defecation – this means human faeces, on a massive scale, is not being captured or treated.
  • 1.8 billion people use an unimproved source of drinking water with no protection against contamination from faeces.
  • One third of schools worldwide do not provide any toilet facilities – a particular problem for girls during menstruation.
  • 900 million schoolchildren across the world have no handwashing facilities – a critical barrier in the spread of deadly diseases.
  • Globally, 80% of the wastewater generated by society flows back into the ecosystem without being treated or reused.

http://www.un.org/en/events/toiletday/

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Character sketches

Having read the first seven chapters of The Kite Runner (2003), you have probably started to get to know some of the important characters. Who is the protagonist? Who is the antagonist? Who is your favorite character and so forth…

A character sketch is a short description of a character based on what the book has told you so far. Remember that you get to know a character not just from descriptions the book makes of him/her, but also through actions, thoughts and conversations this character is shown to have.

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Choose a character from The Kite Runner: Amir, Hassan, Baba, Ali, Rahim Khan, Assef, or someone else, and write a character sketch. Find quotations from the book to emphasize your points.

Example of the beginning of a character sketch. Amir is the narrator of the story. He lives in San Fransisco, but grew up in Kabul in the 1970s with his father, Baba, and servants Ali and Hassan. He has a complicated relationship with his father, “He’d close the door, leave me to wonder why it was always grown-ups’ time with him” (p.4). Amir seems lonely, and it seems like his father wants very little to do with him, or takes little interest in him.” … and then it continues

This is 18 around the world

Recommended reading – although it is mostly pictures – a very interesting piece from the New York Times about 18 girls around the world turning 18. What are their lives like – differences, similarities, hopes, dreams etc.  Take a few minutes and look at the photos and read the few captions here.

Hanna

International Day at Fagerlia

Every year many Norwegian teenagers spend one day working with the primary objective to donate their salary to an organisation working towards helping teenagers living in conflict areas somehow improve their lives. The Norwegian organisation behind this solidarity work is called Operation Day’s Work, and they collaborate with different organisations every year, helping youth in different areas of the world and dealing with different issues every year.

This year, the project concerns raising funds to help Palestinian youth, and through various programmes and activities enable them to deal with mental health issues, practice democratic and non-violent ways of changing society, and promote gender equality.

The day prior to working, the students at Fagerlia participate in a so-called “International Day”, where you meet and participate in activities that raise awareness of problem areas around the world, and what solidarity really means. This year you attend lectures informing you about why this year’s project is devoted to Palestinian youth. In addition, you have the opportunity to meet a range of people involved in solidarity work one way or another, people acquainted with the Middle East because they are from there or have studied there, or you have the opportunity to meet refugees from different areas around the world.

Could you write a blog post on one of your experiences today? You could write about the entire day and your experiences throughout the day, or you could choose what made the biggest impression on you and describe what and why. Whether you write one or three paragraphs is entirely up to you.

Hilde & Ingunn

Ingunn’s students: you will get the first half of class on Monday to write this blog post, before you start working with the film “Shooting Dogs” about the genocide in Rwanda in 1994. Try to finish your blog post on international day in class, and no later than Wednesday night. This is not a graded assignment.

 

 

Diseases and cures…

Write a blog post including the following:

  • After reading the two texts about Goal. 3 we read last week, you will find the links in the post “Good health and well-being”  – what do you think are the  biggest challenges yet to solve in order for this goal to be reached? Explain your answer.
  • Use WHO’s website or other relevant pages you find and look at emergencies. Choose either an area or a disease and do some research – what is going on here? What emergency is being caused by this disease, or what medical emergencies are going on in the area you chose? Read up, and then explain in your own words. Include what is being done, and look up other sources as well to see if you can find more supporting evidence.
  • Reflect: based on your new knowledge about a disease, or an area in medical emergency – what would you say is being done to reach goal 3? What would you say is NOT being done, but should be done? Can you think of any challenges that could hinder progress for this goal? Which and why? Can you think of any solutions for these challenges?

 

We will then watch “Ethical Riddles in HIV research” by Boghuma Kabisen Titanji, and read “MSF: Johnson&Johnson prices keep key TB medicines out of reach” from Doctors Without Borders.

 

Hanna

Good Health and Well-Being

Sustainable Goal nr. 3: Good Health and Well-Being, is the last of the UN Sustainable Development Goals we will work in-depth with, at least for now.

This goal was one of the most cited ones in August, when you were to choose which goals you found most important.

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Start by reading up – what is the actual goal about and what are they focusing on? You will find all this here.

So how is it going? Will we be able to reach this goal by 2030? The latest progress report from the UN is short and informative. In some areas things are going the right way, in others not so much.

Some diseases and epidemics are still causing a lot of problems, such as HIV/AIDS – especially for women in sub-Saharan Africa, Malaria, Ebola – with recent new outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Also, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer and air pollution are huge problems and each cause millions of death every year.

Write a blog post including the following:

  • After reading the two texts about Goal. 3, linked to here – what do you think are the  biggest challenges yet to solve in order for this goal to be reached? Explain your answer.
  • Use WHO’s website or other relevant pages you find and look at emergencies. Choose either an area or a disease and do some research – what is going on here? What emergency is being caused by this disease, or what medical emergencies are going on in the area you chose? Read up, and then explain in your own words. Include what is being done, and look up other sources as well to see if you can find more supporting evidence.
  • Reflect: based on your new knowledge about a disease, or an area in medical emergency – what would you say is being done to reach goal 3? What would you say is NOT being done, but should be done? Can you think of any challenges that could hinder progress for this goal? Which and why? Can you think of any solutions for these challenges?

 

Hanna