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Africa

The Gumuz People, their culture.

They live today almost the way they could have lived one or two hundred years ago, and this way differs a lot from that of their neighbours. We look at the main traits of their culture by analyzing the fundamental stages in a person’s life: birth, puberty, marriage and death. Birth. It is remarked with…

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The Religious Universe of the Gumuz.

Travelling around the Gumuz region we did not see specific place for worship. Of course they have explicit acts of worship, but these are few and not particularly elaborate. They do not require a specific place, specific people to carry them out, special clothes or a precisely set ritual. And yet it would an error…

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The Gumuz in front of a changing world.

Changes go very fast. There are many agents responsible for these changes. The first is the government and its laws and programmes of development, which in a society that had been regulating itself by ancestral traditions, has a tremendous impact. The Gumuz have been living so far on their primitive farming of ‘slash and burn’,…

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Africa. The art of food. Ancient flavours and genuine ingredients.

From the Maghreb to Southern Africa, a myriad of flavours, aromas and colours. A journey through past and present tells of the rich traditions in the art of African food. Fonio is an ancient cereal that is resistant to drought. It is one of the oldest crops cultivated in West Africa, from Nigeria, through Benin,…

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Ethiopia. Metema, the loss of all hope.

Each day it is criss-crossed by invisible travellers who arrive after placing themselves in the hands of human traffickers, under cover of darkness, crossing the frontier with Sudan along paths lost in the thick undergrowth. Welcome to Metema, a city in the north-west of Ethiopia, on the Sudan border, the launchpad of the migration routes…

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Ethiopia. The Gumuz. A marginalized People.

We have travelled for 500 kms in northwest Addis Ababa. First, it was along the road which joins the capital with Bahr Dar, up to Injibara (or Koso Berr). Then, in Injibara we turned straight west in the direction of Sudan. After leaving Chagni behind, the last town of the Amhara Region on that road,…

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Herbs & Plants. Acalypha indica. A useful source of medicine.

It is a plant used as a medicine for several therapeutic treatments. The leaf decoction is dropped into the ears to treat earache and infections. The paste made from powdered leaves is applied for skin infections. In some communities leaves are cooked as a vegetable. Acalypha indica (Euphorbiaceae Family) is an erect, often simple-stemmed annual…

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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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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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Niger. A culture of tolerance.

The problem of immigration. Relations with Islam. Education as a means for spreading the values of peace and tolerance; Caritas helps everyone. We speak with Msgr. Laurent Djalwana Lompo, Archbishop of Niamey. Niger is a transit country for migrants. Many come here to try and cross the Sahara. A good number succeed but others are…

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Advocacy

Women’s Resistance to Mining.

Throughout Africa, Asia, and Latin America, there is no dearth of stories where communities have been forced to leave their lands to make way for…

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Baobab

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…

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Youth & Mission

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…

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