Monthly Archives: July 2019

Compassion in the EU Energy Transition.

Energy transition is at the heart of all our efforts to reach the goals set in the Paris Convention in the fight against climate change. One of the champions in this struggle is the EU. The Treaty of Rome on March 25, 1957 established four freedoms for the citizens of Europe: the free movement of…

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European Climate Policy between ambition and disappointment.

Not all news relating to climate change is bad. The EU is on track to meet its emissions reduction target of 20% by next year. In fact, there was a 22% reduction of emissions between 1990 and 2017 while the economy grew by 28% over the same period. The main driver behind the emission reductions…

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The man with seven dogs

Once upon a time, there lived a man called John who was a hunter as well as a magician. John had seven dogs and seven large black pots. The dogs were useful for hunting while the pots protected him from his enemies. John and his wife wanted very much to have a child, but to…

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Philippines. The Tattoo Practitioner of Kalinga.

In a remote village in Buscalan, Tinglayan Kalinga in northern Luzon, Whang-ud, a 90-year-old tattoo practitioner (manbatok) resides and continues to practice an age-old tradition of tattooing (batok). In the Butbut village, Whang-ud would sit quietly in her hut and would greet local and foreign visitors entering Buscalan. One could easily recognize Whang-ud with both…

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Gambia. A bridge for development.

The long-awaited bridge spanning the Gambia River will open in July. The facility, which is set to revolutionise travel and trade in the region, will also improve the relationship between Dakar and Casamance. It took almost 50 years, decades of discussions and a strong contribution from the African Development Bank. But eventually the bridge, which…

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The Future of the Natural World.

We humans, the species on this planet with the large brains, so-called intelligence and abilities and power to change the face of our planet, are doing so with a huge negative impact. We are endangering ourselves, our children and grandchildren and generations of children to come will be harmed by our wasteful and negligent ways.…

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Madagascar. Poverty can be beaten.

Pope Francis is going to Madagascar in September. During his stay he will visit the Akamasoa Humanitarian Association. Its Founder, Father Pedro Opeka speaks about it. With the help of a group of young people, Father Pedro founded the Akamasoa  Humanitarian Association – in the local language it means “The Good Friends” – to help…

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Somaliland. An unrecognized but increasingly supported state.

The unrecognized state of Somaliland is receiving increasingly foreign support partly owed to its stability, its strategic position on the international maritime routes and its oil and fish resources. Diplomacy is a strange game. The state of Somaliland which declared independence on tbe 18 May 1991, after the Somalia civil war, is not recognized, despite…

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Africa. Millions still have no papers.

According to the World Bank, 41% of the inhabitants of the continent do not exist in law. They have no identity documents issued by state civil offices. A problem affecting human rights, it fuels illegal trafficking and slows the economy. According to Unicef (United Nations Children’s Fund), 95 million children born in Sub-Saharan Africa are…

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Rely on one own strength first.

We are in Pikine, a Dakar suburb, Senegal. Father Armel Duteil, is the one telling the story. He is an 80-year-old Spiritan missionary. French by…

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The Water-Buffalo and the Tiger.

Once there lived a hard-working farmer in a small village who had a water-buffalo. Every day, with his plough on his shoulder, he led his water-buffalo…

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Youth & Mission

Nine Challenges Facing Young People in Syria.

For over nine years, violence and displacement have devastated opportunities for youth across the country. Here are nine of the most pressing challenges facing young people…

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