Vlaamse Journalisten Vereniging (Flemish Journalists Association) Celebrates Golden Jubilee

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The Mayor of Antwerp, Bart De Wever, delivering his speech yesterday. Standing close is the Chairman of the Flemish Journalists Association, Mr. Walter van den Branden. Photo copyright @ Joel Savage.

It’s an exciting time for the Vlaamse Journalisten Veregniging, as the association holds its end of year press conference on Saturday, December 5, 2015,  at the District House, the main official building of the mayor of Antwerp, Mr. Bart De Wever.  

The association, which continue to grow, remain always adaptable, motivated and responsive, end of year’s press conference coincided with the celebration of the association’s golden jubilee.

At 12.00 pm, the chairman of the Flemish Journalists Association, Mr. Walter Van Den Branden, welcome all the members of the association into the office. After a quick refreshment, Bart De Wever was received by the chairman.

After giving his speech, he gave the platform to the mayor. Like always he shows his experience as a powerful and motivational speaker. He sheds light on his work as a politician, that many are displeased which caused a little laughter.

Like every formidable association, the Flemish Journalists Association, in the past fifty years, works and maintains close relationship with its members, in the fields of freelancing, media entrepreneurs, cartoonists, newspapers and radio journalists.

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Members of the Flemish Journalists Association. Photo Copyright@ Joel Savage.

The Flemish Journalists Association, also maintains close contacts with local authorities, engages in training  and carry out essential qualities needed to journalists to maintain successful careers.

From the mayor’s office, further activities of the association and dinner, took place at the Hotel Ramadan in Antwerp. I have attended many end of year press conferences of the Flemish Journalists Association, but this year’s occasion was exceptional.

After dinner, some of the members retired to bed in the hotel and others left home with free parcels distributed by the association’s secretary Hilde Van Gool.

Choosing A Wholesome Entertainment For Children

 

Ban dangerous games on the television

The love for money has encouraged companies to manufacture dangerous games for children

Very often psychologists and psychiatrists trace the cause of our present day ailments to homes.  Homes have straightforward stories to tell. The set up of our homes, immediately convey the message to a visitor the nature and character of those dwelling there and the sort of training or life being acquired from it. 

Living in an unsafe community, low-quality child care, lack of resources, broken homes, divorces etc; are some of the causes affecting children. Even though entertainment is said to enhance children’s education, it is said to be one of the major factors which affect children’s behavior. What programs are children watching on the television or what kind of games are they playing?

Unsafe, violent and crime games, are yearly produced by ‘Games Manufacturing Companies’ for children. Those companies called them ‘entertainments’ for children. The strong desire for money prevents them to see the harm they are doing to children. Staying hours playing these violent games continue affecting and shaping the lives of these children.

When a child starts cursing, using bad words at home or school is the time the child needs admonition from parents or teachers. They often learn those bad words from the programs they watched on the television or the games they play. The next thing is asking for fake or toy guns for their birthdays. A mother who loves her child will do everything to make him or her happy.

However, buying a toy gun for your son on his birthday, because he wants it, is a way of training your child to be a gun lover. The reason in the United States of America, many children are involved in juvenile crimes, relating to shootings. Yes, some children indulge in entertainments that graphically portrays immoral behavior.

Think, for example, movie and radio stations. Some movie stations feature only violent movies and some radio stations play sadistic and demonic music. Violent hip-hop or rap music, become some children’s favorite music. They don’t only sing, but they do the violent things the songs preach. When violently erupts, it doesn’t only sweep along those that called for it, but also innocent victims. That’s the sad part of it.

People are confused about religion. Islam, they say means ‘Brotherhood, Togetherness, and Peace, but what we see now is terrorism engulfing our neighborhood, discouraging parents to speak to children about the Gospel or to embrace Bible principles. Religious violence shouldn’t prevent mothers to encourage children to adhere to educating and inspiring Biblical principles.

Education starts at home and what parents teach children from early childhood, become part of someone’s personality and characteristics. Therefore, the things kids learn from their parents have a lasting impression on people. Thus; parents should be careful about teaching their kids the moral values and responsibilities to the society.

The Reason Educational Certificates From Africa Are Given Less Recognition In Europe

EllenSABC board chairman Ellen Tshabalala had a BCom degree from the University of South Africa and a postgraduate degree in Labour Relations, but Unisa denied Tshabalala was awarded a degree. Parliament has instituted proceedings to suspend her with immediate effect over allegations that she lied to the institution about her qualifications. Photograph by: PUXLEY MAKGATHO

If Africa’s development is very slow, doesn’t mean that the continent hasn’t any qualified doctor, engineer, pilot etc. Our educational and professional institutes are filled up with qualified teachers, yet when African comes to Europe with his certificate or diploma, those credentials are given a second look.

An African can’t get a qualified job with his certificate in Belgium, unless he follows a similar education or training of what he studied in Africa, because Belgium is one of the European countries that considers Africa’s educational system very weak and shows much concern to fake certificates circulating in many African countries.

“About 600 from 12,000 graduates from Makerere University, Uganda, didn’t meet minimum requirements,” reports BBC Africa, on February 11, 2015. William Tayeebwa, the head of Makerere’s journalism department, told the BBC that one student had failed an exam with 44%, only to have her mark altered to 71%.

The educational institutions in Europe, including Belgium, make money from foreign students studying in Belgium. African students or individuals who can sponsor their education, can study in any Belgian institution with their credentials from Africa, but can’t work with that credentials in Belgium. An African with a welding certificate can never get employment in Belgium, until he undergoes another training as a welder for a recognized welder’s certificate.

Imagine if ‘The Mail & Guardian’ newspaper could publish an article, “Why do South African children perform worse than those in poorer countries”then what will Europeans think about Africa’s education? How do we expect Europeans to view our certificates and diplomas, when foreign embassies in Africa, especially in Nigeria, in the past have detected false credentials in visa applications?

Investigation reveals that it is very easy to purchase any professional certificate or diploma you are looking for on the streets in Africa.

The writer’s opinion and conclusion

In my native country, there is a proverb which says “If you wash your hands well, you will end up eating on the same dining table with the king.” Whatever article I write, whether it is problems Africans are facing in Europe or crimes involved, shouldn’t be taken as a disgrace to Africans or I’m washing dirty linen of Africans in public. It’s for our own good. If no one writes about them, how would Africans know?

These are some of the reasons, I don’t feel bad over negative comments some readers make against me. Once you are prepared to write, you must be prepared as well to take every ‘Delicious and distasteful comments.’ That’s what keeps me strong. Using fake certificates in looking for jobs, is a universal problem, taking place also in many advanced countries, but it is a problem which has overflow its banks in Third World Countries, especially in Africa and Asia.

This a problem African governments need to tackle, to lift up the image of Africa, which is still recovering from all kinds of diseases, including underestimation and discrimination.

Gallery: People who’ve been found out to have fake qualifications.

http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/2014/09/17/gallery-people-who-ve-been-found-out-to-have-fake-qualifications

The State Of The European Union And The Impact Of Television On The Society

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Joel Savage interviews Sergi Vicente, the Director of Barcelona Televisio.

Apartheid bowed to democracy in South Africa, the Berlin wall came tumbling down and the Soviet Union collapsed. Globally things were financially, economically and politically falling apart, when the European Union was formally established on November I, 1993, to share free market and single monetary policy for over more than 300 million citizens.

Many Europeans, including Belgians, argue that things were better and life more comfortable, before the European Union was formed. For example, the past and present turmoil in other European countries, including Greece, reveal the European Union is unstable and steering into stormy waters.

My recent visit to Barcelona, I called on Mr. Sergi Vicente, the director of Barcelona Televisio, to give me his views and opinion on the present state of the European Union and the impact of the television on the society. Below are the excerpts of the interview.

Joel: There are thousands of Europeans, especially Western Europe, who aren’t satisfied over the formation of the European Union, because the pattern of lives changed, as prices of commodities escalated, affecting, the economy and the standard living of Europeans, leaving many unemployed. Let’s take Greece for example. What do you think?

Vicente: I don’t see the unification of the European Union as a failure. There are advantages and disadvantages in everything but in regard to the Union, the best has been achieved. Transparency, Communication, integration and the growth of successful free market, are some of the achievements. Besides, the EU has thrived to develop liberty, justice,  education, prosperity, peace, security, the protection of the environment and health, thus; helping to disseminate basic human values at the global level.

Joel: Lack of employment, is a situation many Europeans are facing today. What’s the employment situation in Spain?

Vicente: As you just said, it’s a crisis many Europeans are facing, yet the problem has led to the creation of new jobs in other fields to reduce the unemployment rate. Unemployment may be long or short term, but things will improve.

Joel: Journalism is rapidly losing its credibility, that’s the way many feel, because a lot of the media hide the truth and facts from the public. What’s your opinion?

Vicente: As a journalist heading an institution, we try our best to give the right information to the general public. This is the reason readers and viewers have favourite newspapers or television stations. Being transparent is one of the tools to build a good reputation. So I don’t see the reason the media should mislead people.

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Mr. Sergi Vicente, Director of Barcelona Televisio.

Joel: Barcelona used to be a city for drug addicts and peddlers. Is there any change?

Vicente: You’ve already seen that there is a dramatic change in the city, since the country is one of the most visited tourists attraction in the world. The mayor, police and other officials had worked hard and still relentlessly working hard to make the city  healthy and  safe for tourists.

Joel: Television is a great source of entertainment and education, yet many believe it’s responsible for crime and immorality which have plagued and crippled our society.

Vicente: I can’t say television is responsible for crime, even though I agree that it has both advantages and disadvantages.Children are protected and cared by adults, thus, it’s the responsibility of parents to control what children watch on the television. Controling children is part of the training and caring for children. Bad friends can also influence children. As a matter of fact, television educates more than influencing children negatively.

Joel: Mr. Vicente, thanks for the interview.

Vicente: You are welcome.

Street Children: Is Bringing Up A Child Tougher Than Child Delivery?

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It is only a woman that can tell the pain she goes through during child delivery. Some women take rings off from finger to throw at husbands, because of the pain they go through during childbirth. After delivery, they take back the ring and put on the finger again. Giving birth to a child isn’t easy, yet there are so many motherless and fatherless children roaming the streets, especially in Third World Countries, including Africa.

If one does not really need a child, why should parents bring them into the world to suffer? Training and caring for children, in terms of feeding, clothing, education and health care, have never been a simple task. It is better for parents to prevent an unwanted pregnancy than to give birth to a child to become a menace to society. How can a child learn how to read when he or she is far from the classroom?

An Eastern University in America conducted a study on the impact made on children by various forces in the society. The study revealed that 31 percent of the influence on a child was attributed to his years, 16 percent came from his school and other organizations. While 53 percent of the impact on his life came from his home.

The duty of bringing up a child is surely the toughest task in the world and quite frankly, it takes knowledge and wisdom to raise up a child. The inability of parents to take proper care of their children has caused many children roaming the streets. The neglected children sometimes grow up to be juvenile criminals and delinquents.

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One of the roots to lack of reading in Africa is child labor

Parents that did not get the opportunity to be educated, may feel education is a waste of time, and therefore the child should be engaged in parents trade. In Africa and Asia, hundreds of children are said to be under bondage, working as slaves to defray the debts of their parents. Under some hardships, children are even forced to sell part of their body parts, such as kidney, to raise money for their parents.

In Brazil, children are sprayed by bullets, for the government to come and carry the dead youths from the street to reduce the child menace population. Is this a logical way to help a country to reduce street-child explosion? It shouldn’t be a sort of embarrassment to Africans when someone says that “The reading standard in Africa is poor.” It should rather be a challenge to us to remove that illiteracy affecting the growing children.

When children are thought how to read from the initial stages, they become interested in books. However poor a child’s reading ability is, his interest in reading would improve his knowledge. Things go wrong for children these days like people don’t know their value in this world. The world must help together with the United Nations to alleviate them from slavery, poverty, and oppression, for they are assets to national development.

Child 4

Another problem which has triggered lack of reading among children in Africa is ‘Child Soldier.’

Child Soldiers: Children Who Don’t Know What Classroom And Education Are

Child soldier 4

Young boys are often lured by some African leaders to fight for ‘freedom’

Third World Countries are plagued by crisis. Among the most critical is poverty, which has taken hundreds of children out of the classroom. Children are the world’s greatest resource, future leaders, and assets to national development, thus; it is, therefore the right of every child to be educated; unfortunately, worldwide many children aren’t aware of what education is, instead serving as slaves under child labour and serving as child soldiers in fields and wars.

As a child growing up in Africa, I find myself in an environment witnessing how many parents struggle to educate their children. Every weekend, I go hawking as a trader with banana, eggs, and bread, just to make some extra money to help my parents to keep me in the classroom. In the early hours of the morning a friend of mine sells newspapers as a vendor, before coming to school at 8 A.M. Despite the global assistance and benefits from advanced countries, many children in poor countries have no access to education.

There are no words to describe the plight of children roaming the streets in Africa, Asia, and South America, due to poverty. In the rural areas, imagine a school without a roof, as children sit and learn under shady trees. Imagine a child who carries his table and chair to learn and after school carries them back home. The classrooms haven’t any tables and chairs thus; the parents struggling to educate their children must provide those tables and chairs, with difficulties sometimes of buying textbooks.

Poverty hasn’t only taken children out of school but has also brought misery, sickness and exposing them as prey to physical or sexual abuse, having a devastating impact on families and communities. Due to poverty parents engage children in child labor, in order to improve their chances of attaining basic necessities. Extreme poverty statistics in parts of Africa, Asia, and Latin America has pushed many children there to become child laborers.

How the European Union is making a difference in Somalia

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, once told a Georgetown University student that he experienced racism as a young Asian-American growing up in Iowa, but that he learned the true meaning of his identity when he began working to end poverty in Haiti, one of the world’s poorest nations. The stride to end or alleviate poverty is a costly and long-term process; it has therefore become illusion than a reality and also loan was given to poor countries to fight poverty, often lands in the pocket of corrupt government officials. However, many foreign agencies, foundations and private associations are supporting and financing educational projects in Africa.

In Somalia, the European Union and its member states are collectively the largest donors in its educational development. The country has the weakest educational structure in the world and will not achieve any of the Millennium Development Goals on education by 2015. The European Union support focuses on creating primary and secondary education opportunities, vocational training and boosting employment.

The United Kingdom as part of the donors assisting Somalia launched Girls Education Challenge, worth £21.3 million to get girls into school and ensure that they receive the quality education and the new government-run program called Go2School  to give a free elementary school education, has been successful putting  at least 1 million children into the classroom.

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Women In Body Building: Why Are They Given Less Recognition?

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It is often said, “Whatever a man can do, a woman can do better.” Yes, don’t underestimate women. There are women engineers, pilots, captains and host of others occupying high positions in various professional institutions, but how do we view a woman training her body to be Mrs. Atlas?

Even though there are many female bodybuilders, they are given less support and recognition than men. As a matter of fact, women have certain things which attract them to men.  Men like women with great smile, smell good, yes a lady’s perfume can sweep a man off his feet, soft and tender body, set of beautiful white teeth etc.

I can therefore understand why many men don’t like women following bodybuilding careers, because all the attractiveness and beautiful feminine features are now masculine features. The question is if women athletes that participate in sports, run, swim, throw javelin etc, what’s wrong if a woman involves in bodybuilding?

Many people are suffering from sicknesses such as obesity and diabetes, due to lack of training. To me, a woman who takes care of her body by training enjoys very good health than a diabetic patient or someone suffering from obesity. The body of a female bodybuilder may not be attractive to some people but they are very healthy.

This is the reason I think people should give them the support instead of hate, after all many female bodybuilders don’t do it for men, but because they love it. Research reveals that resistance training  help strengthen weak muscles, thus; eliminating shoulder, knee and back pains. Eating daily without training leads to many ailments, especially when getting older, it worth therefore to live a healthy life.

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