University of Leeds Photographic Exhibition 2017 chooses Rose Charities UK as target charity !

The renowned University of Leeds Photography Exhibition and Competition, has honoured Rose Charities UK for its 2017 beneficiary Charity. With programs implemented for  20 years based world wide, Rose Charities was founded initially to assist in war-torn post conflict Indo-China area of S.E Asia where programs continue in Vietnam and Cambodia to this day The Leeds photographic exhibition this year targets Asia and is known for its high standard of creative talent.

Specific program focus will be the Rose Charities Cambodia Sight restoration and blindness prevention program and the Vietnam Orphanage assist programs (two orphanages (Be Tho  and Thien Phuoc )

(Images above by Megan Ellis (upper) and Rachel Miles (lower)

‘The Khans’ – out of Iran and on into Turkmenistan

Mongolian Rally – Khan Touch This Team
Georgia to Turkmenistan
The team are now sweltering their way through the desert – only one day to get through Turkmenistan on their transit visa which is a tough call.
Last seen in Georgia they had a quick detour into Armenia, back to Georgia and then to Baku in Azerbaijan. A bustling city on the edge of the Caspian with lots of oil installations in evidence. From there to Tehran.
The locals seem friendly as the team were given a melon by a passer-by mid U turn (lost again!).
Then 400km to the world heritage site and city of Isfahan, It flourished from 1050 to 1722, Twice the capital of Persia, even today, the city retains much of its past glory. It is famous for its Islamic architecture, with many beautiful boulevards, covered bridges, palaces, mosques, and minarets.

A 484km drive to Shiraz, (not a bottle of wine) mainly at night to avoid the heat where they visited the ancient City of Persepolis which they found very grandiose. It was the ceremonial capital of an empire that ruled from 550-330BC. It was mostly built by Darius 1 and Xerxes the Great.
Then a long long drive to Mashhad, some 1300km through desert , mostly at night with the main attractions being occasional oases. Near Mashhad, once the capital of Persia, they visited the largest mosque in the world, Imam Reza’s Haram or shrine.

An enormous complex of buildings of religious learning and worship built around seven courtyards.

And so to Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan…

Mongolia Rally – The first three weeks for ‘Khan touch This’

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First three weeks through Europe and Turkey to Georgia 

After leaving the UK the participants re-grouped for another party in a castle near Prague and again on a beach in Romania.  Our three then headed off to Suceava in Western Romania in order to go north around the Black Sea only to find they could not get a visa for Moldovia.  Why? !

They then headed back down the Southern Route via a beach in Bulgaria

pic2Burst a tyre on the way (only five spares left) and then headed off to Istanbul where they finally got their visa for Iran.  They have a fridge but would like the Air Con.

After a no doubt steamy long drive they reached the middle of Turkey investigated the fascinating underground city of Derinkuyu which wasdiscovered in 1963.  It could accommodate 10,000 people, had about 20 underground levels, had its own wells and ventilation system as well as an 8km pic3tunnel to another underground city.

And nearby rock churches and interesting geology

They then went to Georgia and visited a city ‘Batumi’ at the furthest end of the Black Sea before heading for Tbilisi- poor roads and they don’t have a map but they are now off to Armenia.

pic5Meanwhile they have gone (slightly) native and bought the male version of harem pants …in gold.

Jessica Blakes wonderful gift to Rose Charities and Cambodia. ‘The more I see’

Jessica Blake.... writer and singer of 'The more I see'

The beautiful singer and songwriter Jessica Blake has dedicated one of her most lovely songs to Rose Charities.  ‘The more I see’   was written during a visit by Jessica to Cambodia where she was moved by the courage of the poor battling with so much need.  Jessica discovered there of the work of Rose Charities (now around 20 years) in Cambodia and so with huge generosity dedicated this incredible song to Rose work.   Please click to listen to if and, if  you are like it and would like to honour tnd thank Jessica by donating a little to Rose Charities efforts use the donation pageof this site.  The funds will be used to help the poor of Cambodia in one of Rose’s many projects there

The Honeyguide

honeyguide

In Zambia there is a fabulous bird called the Honeyguide. This smart little bird guides people to bee colonies. As a thank you for this you are supposed to leave the grubs behind for the Honeyguide.

Malambo Grassroots is hoping to start up a bee farming project for subsistence farmers in the Southern Province of Zambia – an expansion of our women’s income generating projects in the Monze region. We are very excited by the potential of the project.

I email Zambia about this possibility and receive an enthusiastic response:
“Our forestry department would like to promote bee keeping because then people would not cut trees and burn grass because that would diminish honey production. There are 500 bee varieties in southern province. And our honey is rich and delicious.”

As we do not know bee rearing techniques we need our own Honeyguide! Our potential guide, mentor, and teacher is a local BC business who will help us build up a plan for this project and instruct us on how to tend our bee colonies.

Wish us luck. This project will benefit many lives. And stay tuned for updates on how we are doing! If you would like to help us start up this project please make a donation through Canada Helps. Please select Malambo Grassroots from the drop down menu. Thank-you for your support.

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Makenai-zou: “The resolute Elephant”

Makenai-zou is the the small towel you see in the image. It is made by the survivors of the 2011 Japan Tohoku earthquake and tsunami as well as previous natural disasters, such as the Hanshin-Awaji 1995, and Niigata -Chuetsu earthquakes of 2004. “Makenai-zou” means “We will carry on” in Japanese. The Zou in the compound word also means Elephant, so it rounds out the pun and resolute, yet friendly, image of the elephant moving forwards, despite all.

AMDA Canada has obtained some of these Makenai-zou towels and they will be on sale at the upcoming fundraising Rutsuko Yamagishi Concert in Vancouver Cathedral on 25th April 2012

For ordering such towels please contact ngo@pure.ne.jp or see www.pure.ne.jp/~ngo/

Cancer in developing countries surging…

Cancer incidence in developing countries is increasing at a staggering rate. The disease now kills more people in those countries than malaria, AIDs and tuberculosis combined.   But a Global Task Force  on Expanded Access to Cancer Care and Control in Developing Countries  (GTF.CCC) released a report in November (2011) showing that by using affordable and readily available drugs, more than 2.4 million lives could be saved each year.

While medical effort have increased survival from infectious diseases in developing countries, this has not been the same for cancer where  the increased survival has meant a greater predisposition to contracting the illnesses of the richer countries, cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

According to the report of GTF.CCC, 26 out of 29 key drugs that could treat the most prevalent and curable cancers are now off-patient. People could receive a course of treatment for less than $100.

In Canada the survival rate for childhood leukemia is around 90%, In low-income countries it is around 10%. Access to drugs would increase this dramatically.  A couple of  hundred million dollars (the cost of 100 cruise missiles) would treat all of these childhood leukemias.

Screen shots of your dreams, now a reality !

Generating images of  what someone is thinking, shown on screen. It sounds like science fiction, but it is now on the road to becoming science fact.  Already, images have been generated albeit at low resolution bearing definite resemblance to that of the dream.

Achievements have been made both through three methods, two of which rely on raw computing power, and the other on clever experimentation.

Firstly, there was a need to establish whether the brain gives out the same signals for a particular thought or action whether it is awake or asleep. This was achieved by recruiting people known as ‘lucid dreamers’ who are able to both be asleep yet partially awake at the same time to be able to signal that they are dreaming.  Measurements on these volunteers showed that indeed mental signals were the same for the brain whether it was ‘asleep’ or ‘awake’

The second experiment consisted of showing volunteers thousands of film clips of many varied types, and  monitoring their mri (magnetic resonance imaging) responses produced by their brains. A computer looked for correlations between specific images or sequences and the mri responses obtained.   They then fed their computer 5000 hours of You Tube sequences and asked the machine to predict, based on the correlations what the matching MRI response would be.   Finally the volunteers were asked to watch a further two more hours while the computer picked its own sequences based on the new mri signals it received. .  The sequences picked were melded together to produce an estimate of what was being watched looked like.   The results often gave recognizable simulations on screen (see   gallantlab.org )

The third study by Francisco Pereira and colleagues at Princeton University, used a similar method to the one above but successfully attempted to see what topics his subjects were pondering. His method was to examine data conducted in an experiment 4 years previously where volunteers were shown 60 labeled objects. They were then asked to imagine the same objects while they had their brains scanned  Again, a portion of the results were used to program his computer while the other half were used to see what the computer generated itself on being given the scans.   While the accuracy was found not to be at a level to totally identify the object,  it was enough to determine what type of object it was i.e.  it could not distinguish a carrot from a celery stick, but could determine it was a vegetable.

These are early days with studies performed in a fairly limited way.  Both the last two studies however could be repeated at many times greater numbers, which would no doubt increase ‘focus’ considerably.

‘Mind reading’ by machine has thus started and will only become more sophisticated and accurate. While it may have worrying implications in the wrong hands, it also has considerable potential to assist mankind. It may, for example unlock those who have suffered stroke or injury and are locked in their own minds. It  could help the disabled to lead more normal lives.   As with many scientific breaks through it will be up to society to decide their use, controls and limits.

Eye cell tranplants lead way to future sight restoration method(s)

The two, light detecting cell types vital for vision in the eye are the ‘cone’ cells, vital for colour vision and the ‘rod’ cells, highly sensitive to light detection in dim or dark conditions. Ultimately many forms of blindness result from loss of these cells.  Jane Sowden and her team at University College London have been experimenting with the transplantation of these cells into blind mice. The hope is that that eventually human stem cells can be induced to develop into rod or cone cells which can then be transplanted to restore sight in blind people. The experiments have been aimed to establish whether a transplant would be viable.

Most recent results after injection of 200,000 isolated precursor cone and rod cells in the region of the retina showed that in 21 days the new cells settled into the normal photoreceptor (light sensitive) layer which was damaged in the blind mice and grew into proper rods and cones.