Garden of Hope for HIV/Aids

first_imgThe colourful mural symbolises the liftingof the secrecy that still surroundsHIV/Aids today.(Images: Sanbi)  The recently opened Garden of Hope in the Free State National Botanical Garden has been thoughtfully designed to challenge the stigma surrounding HIV/Aids and offer a tranquil haven for those living with it.More people are affected by HIV/Aids in South Africa than anywhere else in the world.The garden was officially opened in December 2009, with many dignitaries and special guests in attendance. These included representatives from the Botanical Society of South Africa and the South African National Biodiversity Institute, the provincial Department of Health, and a number of UN employees from branches dealing with HIV/Aids.The event was marked by exuberant music, dance and song provided by the botanical garden’s choir, young violinists from Joe Solomon Primary School, and petite dancers from http://www.namibian.org/travel/namibia/damaraland.htm.The garden’s curator Peter Gavhi, and Zaitoon Rabaney, operations director of the Botanical Society of South Africa, performed the ribbon-cutting ceremony while garden staff lit candles.A chorus of vuvuzelas, South Africa’s noisy but popular plastic trumpets seen at all football matches, sounded for a minute at noon in recognition of those who live with HIV/Aids, and those who have already died from it.Soothing environmentA number of special features make this a place of relaxation and serenity for all visitors, not only those who are HIV-positive. These elements are designed to offer a sensory experience that uplifts and heals.The central water feature stands as a symbol of life and renewal, and is especially significant for the African continent given its frequent droughts and heavy reliance on the precious resource.Three pillars rise from the water. The faces carved into them symbolise the millions of people living with HIV/Aids. Surrounding the circular water feature are two rings of sandstone slabs, which represent the journey of life, and also unity and infinity.Grass surrounds the central area, its lush growth symbolising love, empathy, compassion and support for those living with HIV/Aids.A path of sandstone encircles the grass, signifying life’s hardships and the rocky ground on which people often find themselves.Finally, the garden’s perimeter is divided into two. One half consists of a colourful mural, to bring HIV/Aids out into the open. While there is secrecy there is no hope, and only when the falsehoods and rumours are stamped out can positive action be taken.The other half is a semicircle of honeybell bushes (Freylinia densiflora). This hardy fynbos plant, one of nine Freylinia species all occurring in South Africa, attracts birds and gives off a sweet fragrance that represents the beauty of life.HIV epidemic peakingFigures released in 2009 by the Human Sciences Research Council reveal that in 2008 about 5.2-million South Africans were living with HIV/Aids. The report also revealed that more than 250 000 people died of Aids in that year.While prevalence averages around 11% nationally, the epidemic has peaked, according to national youth HIV-prevention programme loveLife, which released its second annual publication on the status of HIV in South Africa in November 2009.Some groups are more vulnerable than others – prisoners, disabled people, Aids orphans and commercial sex workers are at particular risk of contracting HIV.However, in the past five years the prevalence of HIV among 15- to 24-year-olds has dropped. This also indicates that the rate of new infection has decreased.Haven for flora and faunaThe Free State National Botanical Garden, opened in 1969, is part of the South African National Biodiversity Institute’s network of gardens around the country.Covering 70ha and situated in Bloemfontein, the capital of the Free State province, the garden is open every day of the year.About 400 species of plants make their home here. Most species are indigenous to the surrounding areas of the Free State, Lesotho and Northern Cape, such as species of the genus Rhus or karee, white stinkwood (Celtis africana), the magnificent Orange River lily (Crinum bulbispermum), white and orange wild dagga (Leonotis leonurus) and many medicinal plants.The vast area provides shelter for 124 bird, 54 reptile and 49 mammal species.The garden also contains an interesting fossil tree trunk of the species Dadoxylon arberi, which flourished in the Harrismith district and is estimated to be between 150- and 300-million years old. D. arberi is an ancient member of the extinct Cordaites genus of trees that were the forerunners of today’s conifers and ferns.More examples of this extinct specimen can be seen in the Petrified Forest of Damaraland in northern Namibia.last_img read more

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Sun, Sand, and Software: Why Miami is Fired-Up for Tech

first_imgPeople who say Austin is the “next Silicon Valley” have obviously never been to Miami.Miami has its tropical climate, world-class art scene, and ample business crowd, technology companies have found a new home-sweet-home, leaving locals wondering what took so long?Perhaps still best known for the bright colors, sandy beaches, and Art Deco made famous by the late great Miami Vice, the city has embraced its roots. The heritage and symbols of Miami have used their hearts to lure in entrepreneurs, developers, and new businesses. Here are just some of the advantages precipitating the influx of entrepreneurs to the Miami area.Extreme liveability.Priced out of up-market locales like Boston and Silicon Valley, fledgling entrepreneurs view the cost of living in Miami as a significant factor in where to set up shop. It’s easier to recruit talent in markets with a lower cost of living, and it’s certainly easier to pay them an attractive wage than it would be in higher priced cities. Case in point: according to BestPlaces.net it’s 55 percent more expensive to live in traditional tech hubs like San Francisco, Boston, and New York than in Miami.But not only will a Miami address save you some dollars, but it’s more fun and more relaxed. How many other leading U.S. cities can brag of white sand beaches, turquoise water, and stately palm trees? Not to mention the vibrant (if not legendary) social scene.Just ask Albert Berdellans, Head of Marketing and New Media for Ultra Music Festival. Berdellans says, “There’s never a dull second in Miami — from the restaurants to the people to the events. The city is alive with contagious energy.”A gold-star economy.Miami’s healthy economy also makes it attractive to entrepreneurs. According to the Miami Urban Future Initiative, the city’s GDP ($288 million in 2016) is growing ar three percent; almost double the national average. Last year, the city took top honors for the Kauffman Index; a scale common among economists and tech pioneers which measures startup activity, beating the other top 39 metro areas in the US.Perhaps more telling, last year Miami-area startups received $1.3 billion in venture capital funding, placing the city eighth on the list of U.S. cities in terms of VC activity — right between Seattle and Chicago — two cities with large tech ties.“Miami is at an exciting moment in which both startups and VCs are growing in numbers, which makes it an exceptional time to be here,” says Olivia Ramos, founder, and CEO of Deepblocks, a technology company using artificial intelligence to optimize real estate development. “With the current momentum, we look forward to continuous growth.”While some entrepreneurs may consider founding companies in San Francisco or Austin, Caribu CEO Maxeme Tuchman never did: “I made a business decision to keep Caribu in Miami, and there are a lot of reasons we haven’t picked up and moved to San Francisco. This ecosystem is incredible, and its network will help us grow. We have this squad of women in Miami who are so collaborative. We all feel super responsible for each other.”Established tech companies are starting to take notice of the city’s stellar economy, too. “We’re extremely impressed by what we’ve seen there,” says Enrique Ortegon, SVP of SMB Sales at the tech giant, Salesforce. “Not only with the number of new businesses popping up, but with the level of innovation. It’s put Miami squarely on our radar.” Salesforce comes to Miami next week to host a Growth Camp conference on March 14. Anyone curious about using technology to start a business, grow a company, and serve customers can attend for free.A culture that values diversity.Miami has always valued its multi-cultural roots. Although the business value of diversity has become something of a buzz across the country, Miami is a market where diversity isn’t just a goal — it’s a lifestyle.Entrepreneurs can find a wealth of Latin American resources in the area — in terms of both human and financial capital; traditionally those resources have been invested in entertainment and other industries, but these days are more drawn towards tech.Mónica Black, Partner at TheVentureCity, a new growth acceleration model that helps diverse founders achieve global impact says, “Diversity is everywhere here — and that’s a great thing because companies with diverse leaders are driving the economy and commanding top dollars from funders and partners.” Companies like TheVentureCity use Miami’s diverse population to put Miami on par with other rising tech areas, demonstrating the advantages that come from an array of backgrounds.Silvina Moschini, President of TransparentBusiness, CEO and Founder of SheWorks!, agrees that it’s a positive, adding, “Transparency and technology are key for building inclusive and diverse organizations and break the barriers that separate the talent from the opportunities. Fortunately, Miami has been very forward-thinking in that regard.”Female entrepreneurs specifically are on the rise, smashing that storied glass ceiling in Miami faster than anywhere in the country. The Miami Herald recently reported that Florida ranked #1 in the nation for the growth of women-owned businesses.  “Women are on the rise in Miami’s business scene, and I love it,” says Carla Curiel, Founder & CEO of Mundo Lanugo. “Do I feel like I’m breaking barriers? Sometimes yes, sometimes no — but I am happy that my twins can see a woman who’s committed to family, career, and culture. It can be done.”Sun, sand, and software: Miami as a tech kingpin.Miami has always loved its work-hard-play-hard moniker. While it’s always been a stomping ground for big business, tech companies and entrepreneurs have realized there’s a lot to like about the city. Is Miami poised to join the top tier of tech hubs? All signs point to the affirmative. Maybe that free Salesforce Growth Camp conference can help you get in on the action. Tags:#Miami#Miami lifestyle#Miami nightlife Brad AndersonEditor In Chief at ReadWrite Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at ReadWrite.com. He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at readwrite.com. How OKR’s Completely Transformed Our Culture What Nobody Teaches You About Getting Your Star… Trends Driving the Loyalty Marketing Industry China and America want the AI Prize Title: Who … Related Posts last_img read more

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Prayer should be offered in mosques instead of public places, Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar

first_imgFollowing instances of disruption while namaz (prayer) was being offered in open spaces in the National Capital Region over the past few days, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said on Sunday that it should be offered in mosques or ‘eidgahs’ instead of public places.“We are of the view that namaz should be offered at mosques or ‘eidgahs’… In case of shortage of space, it should be offered at a personal place. These are issues which should not be put for public display… It should be avoided at public places for the convenience of all,” he told journalists here.Mr. Khattar said directions had been issued to officials to take precautionary measures to ensure harmony. Some organisations had submitted complaints regarding namaz at public places, he added.Mr. Khattar said his government ensured law and order in the State so that the people could live peacefully. “…no criminal can escape after committing any crime.”The Chief Minister said Haryana Police Cadet Corps, on the lines of the National Cadet Corps, was being set up, involving students from Class XI to graduation.Mr. Khattar urged the Punjab government to join hands with Haryana to check wasteful flow of Ravi waters to Pakistan because of the unprecedented water crisis looming in both States.“I have written to Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh to direct the officers concerned to take up the proposal in right earnest. Quoting from the letter, he said: “More and more blocks of Haryana and Punjab have anyway been slipping into the category of over-exploited blocks even as our hard-working farmers toil in the face of a stressed farm sector. I think the time has come when we must join hands in checking the wasteful flow of Ravi waters to Pakistan.”Khattar’s statementIn a late evening statement, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar clarified that in his statement regarding offering Namaz at public places, he had never said anything regarding stopping anyone from offering Namaz.He said if anyone had any problem regarding offering Namaz at public places, he/she could inform the administration and the police. “It is the responsibility of the administration and police to maintain law and order and the state government is bound to maintain peace,” he added.PTI adds:Hindutva organisations have been trying to stop Friday prayers in Gurgaon over the last two weeks alleging that some people were trying to grab land in a bid to merge it with a mosque. There were disruptions caused at Wazirabad, Atul Kataria Chowk, Cyber Park, Bakhtawar Chowk and at South City, the police said.last_img read more

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Ind vs Eng: Reports of Team snub to envoy baseless, says BCCI

first_imgThe Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Wednesday called reports of Team India missing the Indian High Commissioner to UK, Nalin Surie’s reception for the players as “baseless”.In a media release, the BCCI clarified its stand saying that the team had committed itself for “another function on the same day, six months in advance”. “The BCCI had accordingly communicated the same to the Indian High Commission, and suggested that the reception be organised on 25 July 2011 instead.””However, the Indian High Commission authorities said that there were other engagements scheduled on the 25th. They also informed the BCCI that they would get in touch with the Indian team management after its arrival in the UK, and fix up a date for the reception. The BCCI agreed to this,” the release added.Meanwhile, in a face-saving measure, the BCCI has drafted its team manager Anirudh Chaudhry to hold talks with the officials of the Indian High Commission and it is learnt that the reception may be organised in August, when the Indian team returns to London.last_img read more

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Lady Eagles book return flight to Finals

first_img“I’m just an instrument; the most important thing today is the team’s heart,” said Almadro. “From the No. 1 player down to No. 14, they really worked hard, pushed each other up.”Kat Tolentino led all Ateneo scorers with 19 points.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue Forced to burn a twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four, the Lady Eagles shook off the challenge of the Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws in a 25-20, 21-25, 25-23, 25-14 victory in their rubber match Wednesday at Filoil Flying V Centre.“We’re not finished yet, we will trust in the Lord, but we will work harder,” said coach Oliver Almadro.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“There’s one more job to do but we’re thankful we got here,” said Ateneo skipper Bea De Leon. “We didn’t entertain the thought that this would be our last game.”It wasn’t. The Lady Eagles will now face University of Santo Tomas—which earlier dethroned last year’s champion La Salle in the other Final Four pairing—in the best-of-three title showdown starting on Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPayback. Redemption. Validation. Fetch whatever buzzwords you want, but for the Ateneo Lady Eagles, it was about making sure they weren’t exiting UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball.And hear them out: They aren’t done yet.ADVERTISEMENT Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Garcia eyes another surprise The Lady Tamaraws forced the decider with a heart-stopping 10-25, 23-25, 22-25, 12-25, 15-8 victory over the Lady Eagles last Saturday.This time, Ateneo used a steel-nerved performance in the third set to knock the fight out of FEU.“We didn’t even treat an early exit as one of our options for today,” said Maddie Madayag, who had 12 points.Almadro thus towed Ateneo to its seventh finals appearance in eight years. The Lady Eagles missed the Finals last year after losing to, well, FEU in the semifinals.Almadro and his wards got payback for that.ADVERTISEMENT PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krausscenter_img Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles MOST READ Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew View commentslast_img read more

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