Archive for the 'Advocacy' Category

Kenneth Cole Awearness blog features global changemakers

Lucky me, I got to be one of them!

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The folks at Kenneth Cole Awearness approached me several months ago, after viewing some of my Cambodian photography on Flickr. The photograph they chose to feature is one that means a great deal to me. It was taken during one of my first field visits to speak with women participating in our micro finance program and this woman’s particular story (and the image that was burned into my memory) kept me awake at night. Like so many other Cambodian women (and women globally), this grandmother has lost her daughter to HIV/AIDS and is now primary caregiver for several grandchildren. She is overburdened physically and financially and is trying to keep hope alive where there is virtually none. The work that Pact’s WORTH program was doing in Cambodia offered this woman possibility - a chance to lift herself out of poverty. I’d love to go back and find her to see if our work had an impact. I’m praying it did.

The Awearness blog is a great place to get inspiration on a daily basis. View my full Awearness blog posting here, and thanks again to Kenneth Cole!

Free Burma


Free Burma!

Help Free Burma too.

More on Myanmar…

It only took a day after I wrote my last post before the ruling junta in Myanmar shut down the internet and disabled several cell phone networks to prevent the free-flow of messages, video, and photographs streaming out of the country.

According to the Guardian:

The Burmese government apparently cut internet access today in an attempt to staunch the flow of pictures and messages from protesters reaching the outside world.

An official told the Agence France-Presse news agency that the internet “is not working because the underwater cable is damaged”.

In Bangkok, in neighbouring Thailand, an official at a telecommunications firm that provides satellite services to Burma said some internet service inside the country had been cut.

The London-based blogger Ko Htike said: “I sadly announce that the Burmese military junta has cut off the internet connection throughout the country. I therefore would not be able to feed in pictures of the brutality by the brutal Burmese military junta.”

Mr Htike said he would try his best to feed the Burmese junta’s “demonic appetite of fear and paranoia by posting any pictures that I receive though other means … I will continue to live with the motto that ‘if there is a will there is a way’.”…

But people are still talking about Burma - probably even more now that most of these message channels have been disabled. Webpages are plastered with articles, videos fill up pages on youTube, and several of my colleagues and friends are wearing red shirts in support of the Burmese dissidents.

Empowering Myanmar, one blog at a time

In 2002 when I was in graduate school, I did research on “hactivism” in Myanmar - the expanding practice of using internet channels to promote political ideology in opposition to the ruling totalitarian regime. You can download this paper if you want to read more.

Back then, the focus was on getting information into Myanmar through peer-to-peer networks - using connections to bases like Napster to transmit controversial and banned information on the state of the country, including international reaction. Burmese expatriates the world over secretly gathered in chat rooms to determine their messaging, and then used creative technology to educate and empower those activists in Myanmar who were quietly and secretly waiting for signs that the regime was growing weaker or for a specific call to action.
Continue reading ‘Empowering Myanmar, one blog at a time’