Archive for World News

Children’s Rights Advocates Share Nobel Peace Prize

On October 10th, 2014 Malala Yousafzi from Pakistan, along with Kailash Satyarthi from India, won the Noble Peace Prize for their advocacy for children’s rights and education. Satyarthi, advocating against child labor and slavery, has saved approximately 80,000 children from slavery through his organization Bachpan Bachao Andolan. Yousafzi, the now 17-year-old young woman, is the youngest Nobel Peace Prize recipient in the history of the award. She has advocated for the rights of women and children throughout her own childhood. At the age of 11 she blogged about the life of oppression she led while living under Taliban control for the BBC under a pseudonym. On October 9th, 2012 Yousafzi was shot in the head on her way home from school. The Taliban later took credit for the shooting. Miraculously, Yousafzi survived and she has continued her advocacy. To watch Malala’s acceptance speech, click here.

British-Iranian Woman Goes on Hunger Strike

By: Venessa Owsley

Editor’s note: This article was written a couple weeks ago but due to editing difficulties and Fall Break was not published in a timely manner.  Information might be outdated but the story was important enough that we decided to post it anyway.

A British-Iranian woman, Ghoncheh Ghavami, age 25, is being held in Evin Prison, Tehran’s most infamous prison. Ghavami has been charged with alleged “propaganda against the regime” following her attempt to attend a men’s volleyball match. To mark her hundredth day of her detainment (fifty of which were spent in solitary confinement) Ghavami went on a hunger strike. Ghavami has not eaten for five days and her health is deteriorating. Originally Ghavami was held in custody on June 20, interrogated for four hours, and then released. She was arrested again only a few days later. There is a petition calling for Ghavami’s release. The petition, set up through Change.org, now has approximately 527,000 signatures. The charge against Ghavami could potentially result in a sentence lasting several years and with her medical stability on the line, Ghavami’s family is appalled by her plight. This anxiety is heightened by the fact that Ghavami has had only minimal contact with her family. Susan Moshtaghian, Ghavami’s mother, told The Guardian “I am restless since I heard about this and I have also gone on hunger strike. I stayed silent for 82 days in the hope that my daughter comes back home safely. Now I am worried about her life and will not stop until she’s free.”

Colombian Cross Cultural Students Help Victims of Cali, Colombia

Last week, Bluffton students who participated in the Colombian cross cultural experience in May held a coffee and hot chocolate sale. The proceeds benefited 42 families who were left homeless by a fire in Charco Azul, a marginalized neighborhood in Cali, Colombia.

Virgelino Cordoba, whom the group met while in Colombia, notified Bluffton associate professor of Education Paul Neufeld Weaver about the great need. Weaver, who served as faculty adviser for the trip, greatly enjoyed the strong Colombian coffee while the group was there, and brought some back. He suggested that the students hold a coffee sale in Centennial from 7:45-11 a.m. each morning the week of September 22.

The Columbian group was comprised of 10 students and three adults. They left for the South American country on May 8, 2014 and returned on May 29. While they were there, the group stayed in Bogota, the largest city in Colombia, and learned a lot about the conflicts of the past and the current non-military struggles facing the Colombian people.

Cordoba, who is an English professor at a school in Cali, allowed the Bluffton group to talk with his students. The school, CAU (Colegio Americas Unidas), is Mennonite-affiliated, and is in the same area as the Charco Azul neighborhood. Cordoba and his wife know people affected by the late-August fire, and started garnering support for the cause in any way they could.

To find out what you can do to continue the support for the victims, contact Paul Neufeld Weaver.