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It was a week to contemplate world hunger and food security. Some people fasted in solidarity during World Hunger Day. We are doing it today – for the one in 5 South Africans feeling likewise right now.

Of course this can be done any day, but it’s essential to tap into the feeling if you are always perfectly nurtured, if not over-fed. And then during this walk in unfamiliar moccasins allow your heart to link to the enormity of this issue and offer her guidance for the way forward.

What happens to me today? First the pain, my abiding partner that walks with me throughout. Water helps for a few minutes only. Then my brain starts departing, concentration gone. This is important, as you will see in this issue of the Green Times, where we cover hunger from a couple of angles, like the unborn foetus and young child’s arrested brain development. This reduces this person’s employability for life.

A large portion of our 11 million hungry citizens are children, battling to focus at school. There is no energy to play or work. Then headaches arrive as the blood sugar plummets. Moods drop, aggression or lethargy as patience departs. Memory gone too. This is a trap which cannot be escaped from the inside, as the resources are absent. The handle of this cage sits on the outside, where you and I find ourselves.

Hunger kills more people than Aids, Malaria and TB combined. Linked to the land grab, forcing small farmers, who feed most of the world, out of their livelihood. Catch the Food Dialogues on Monday evenings and join the conversation.

Join our Hunger Challenge and share your insights for our next issue.
Elma and the team

The Bird Ascends: RIP Maya Angelou


maya-angelouWhen a writer dies where do the words go? No more words, yet the words that exist begin to glow as they speak from that echo we leave behind us. Last week Maya Angelou flew away at age 86. In Saved by a Poem, Kim Rosen recollects meeting Mayo Angelou at a Woman and Power Conference in 2005. Angelou recited poems by heart in “a wide river of sound.”
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South Africans urged to help fight hunger


Gift of the Givers aid hunger africaRepresentative of the Gift of the Givers, Emily Thomas has urged South Africans to join them in fighting against hunger in the country. World Hunger Day, which is being observed on Wednesday, is aimed at finding sustainable solutions to ending extreme hunger and poverty.
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One in 5 people go hungry daily in SA – 11 million


World Hunger DayAs the world marks World Hunger Day, South Africa still grapples with massive inequality that’s left many hungry, or at risk of going hungry. Globally, one-in-eight people go hungry every day and live in extreme poverty and many only survive on less than R14 a day.
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Small farmers’ loss of land increases world hunger


TOPSHOTS Indian farmers sow a paddy  inThe world is increasingly hungry because small farmers are losing access to farmland. Small farmers produce most of the world's food but are now squeezed onto less than 25 percent of the world's farmland, a new report reveals.
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Landfill gas increases by 72% leading to climate change


World Environment DayWorld Environment Day (WED), the United Nation’s (UN) vehicle in promoting the importance of looking after the environment, annually takes place on 05 June. The Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) supports the views of the UN and its plight to reduce factors contributing to climate change.
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Indonesian forest fire solution far from reality


Indonesian forest fires haze wave1dProtecting Indonesia’s carbon rich peatlands is key to reducing the chance of fires responsible for the Haze Wave, but there is still no legal protection of all peatland and forests. New mapping analysis from Greenpeace shows that fires are five times more likely to occur on peatland, while 75% percent of peat fires are located in Riau province alone.
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Birthplace of rhino reservation under threat


Hluhluwe-iMfolozi park rhino threat miningThe world’s greatest rhino sanctuary is under threat. Plans are underway to build an open-cast coal mine just 40 metres from of the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi park. Rangers fear it will destroy the wilderness and clear the way for poachers, who have butchered nearly 400 rhinos in South Africa this year alone, but we can stop it if we act now.
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Australia experiencing winter heatwaves


Australia's winter heat waveWith the exception of May 3, no daily maximum at Sydney's Observatory Hill has been below 20C. So far, May's daily maximum temperatures have averaged just under 4C above normal. May 25 was an exceptional 8C warmer than normal. These anomalously warm conditions are not confined to Sydney either – much of eastern Australia has experienced heatwave conditions during May, relative to the usual conditions.
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World Hunger Day: can social media end world hunger?


Social Media Site TwitterMany charities have promoted the initiative by tweeting and posting images of their meals on instagram. However, with social media increasingly becoming an integral part of campaigns, how useful is it as a tool for change? Can tweets and facebook "likes" help end world hunger?
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Striking mineworkers receive medical treatment in Marikana


Marikana medical aidGift of the Givers has provided some families of striking mine workers at Marikana in the North West province with medical assessments and treatment. Doctors and nurses, who work in partnership with the Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), were dispatched to Wonderkop in Marikana on Saturday.
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Mysterious disease rides on Pacific winds


dandelionClimatologists don't often end up working on a cardiovascular disease that affects children. But that is exactly what Xavier Rodó from the Catalan Institute of Climate Sciences has been doing: trying to find what causes the mysterious Kawasaki disease and understand how it spreads at unusual pace within Japan and the US.
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Inspiration and effort recognised in KZN


Nikki Brighton KZN Midlands2At the KZN Conservancies Association AGM held recently, Nikki Brighton received a certificate for outstanding commitment and contribution to the natural environment of KwaZulu Natal, in recognition of her efforts to promote the cause of conservation in the province. Despite being relatively new to the Conservancy movement, Nikki has had a big impact. Dargle Conservancy was instrumental in setting up the Midlands Conservancies Forum (MCF) a few years ago.
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