The difference between creationist and evolutionist projects on the National Mall could hardly be more stark.Christians, who affirm God as Creator and Jesus as Lord, will be gathering this week in Washington DC for 24-hour prayer for the nation: bowing humbly in prayer to God for healing of our divisions, for repentance and for revival in the spirit of II Chronicles 14:7. Called ‘Awaken the Dawn’ 2017 from Psalm 57:8-9 and Psalm 108:2-3, the event will feature a tent for every state in the union where people can gather for prayer, worship, and national confession at all hours of the day and night. Organizers at the EventBrite page hope that this gathering will be the start of a new Jesus movement and national revival. We are calling the nation to the National Mall in Washington DC on October 6-9, 2017. We will gather from all backgrounds, not around speakers, but around the presence of God and the worth of Jesus. We will gather around the invisible God knowing that he will respond.In addition to the tents on the Mall and outreaches across the city, the event concludes with A massive gathering on the final day of worship and prayer, preaching the gospel with healing, and a commissioning to send thousands of youth to carry the gospel and complete the Great Commission!Our Evolution?A very different event is planned on the Mall afterward. This one features the installation of a 45-foot statue of a nude woman (see United Press International). The organizers are raising $90,000 to transport and erect the statue, where it will stand near the Washington Monument, lit up at night in lavender lights for four months. Ostensibly, the sculptor wanted to make a statement about the abused status of women, showing how a woman feeling completely safe would look. Its placement facing the White House, though, gives it a not-so-subtle political message.The statue was first installed at the Burning Man Festival in the Nevada desert, an annual orgy of radical self-expression where people wear outlandish costumes (or nothing at all), in unrestrained activities often with pagan overtones. What’s most telling about the occasion, though, is not just the nudity of the art (since nude statues are not that uncommon in city parks and art galleries, even around Washington). Some who honor the Bible might, after all, celebrate the intelligent design of God’s creation of the human form in a manner reminiscent of Eden. The statue shows the woman just standing – nothing more. In those respects they might tolerate the event in spite of its in-your-face, larger-than-life dominance of this national public space.No, what is most telling about the project is the name the artist gave to it: R-EVOLUTION. This can be read as either ‘Revolution’ or ‘Our Evolution’ in contrast to the “re-” words in the Christian event (repentance, revival, renewal). The Catharsis on the Mall project page makes it very clear that the organizers are cultural radicals who want a revolution for evolution:In bringing R-Evolution to the National Mall, Catharsis organizers hope to inspire dialogue among women, and people, of all bodies, ages, races, religions, genders, abilities, and sexual orientations about the role of art and community in nurturing the heart and healing, and in turn creating lasting social change. It’s difficult to see, though, how this artistic statement will help women by saying that they don’t exist. For explanation, see essay by Dr Everett Piper, president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University.As it was in the days of Elijah, so it is now. We have God-fearing people on one side, and Baal worshipers on the other. God-fearing people humble themselves in obedience to their Creator, but Baal-worshipers follow after their own lusts. Today, Baal is known by the name Darwin. How long will you halt between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him. If Darwin is god, follow him (I Kings 18). Just don’t be lukewarm about your commitment (Revelation 3:14-20). (Visited 433 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
22 June 2012 South Africa’s emerging and commercial farmers will benefit from financial assistance after the African Development Bank (AfDB) approved a R1-billion line of credit to the Land and Agricultural Development Bank of South Africa on Wednesday. The support will be also used to assist agricultural co-operatives and agri-related businesses; it will help mobilise financial resources, ultimately contributing to job creation and income generation. “The line of credit from the AfDB will be dedicated to the agricultural sector which is generally labour-intensive,” said the AfDB’s private sector and micro-finance department director, Tim Turner, in a statement. “Its benefits are expected to emphasise low-skilled workers, especially with the Land Bank’s focus on emerging farmers.” Turner said that the projected 2 700 loans to be given to emerging farmers are expected to generate some 14 000 jobs, while the financing to the commercial farmers, cooperatives and agri-related businesses is expected to create at least 2 000 jobs. “This will have multiple positive inclusive growth effects by targeting underserved populations such as rural communities, women and black emerging farmers,” he added. The credit also includes a technical assistance component for capacity building at Land Bank and will enable the government to support, promote and facilitate the development and transformation of the agricultural sector in South Africa. As one of the most employment intensive sectors of the South African economy, agriculture’s potential impact on empowerment and poverty relief is much larger than its actual weight in the economy suggests. While the primary agricultural sector contributes about 3% to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), it represents about 7% of formal employment. If the entire value chain of agriculture is taken into account, its contribution to GDP actually reaches 12%. SAinfo reporter
Wise Wayz Water Care (WWWC) programme is based on the South Coast of Durban- in the communities of Folweni and Ezimbokodweni. It is there where the desire grew from two community groups at grassroot level – to restore and manage the communities’ dwindling natural resources and build a sustainable project for future generations to come. The programme stemmed from humble efforts by the local citizens to empower themselves in order to mitigate the social, economic and environmental challenges that confronted them.As South Africa is a water stressed country and has been experiencing droughts and low water levels, this stimulated the community to protect the aquatic ecosystems, such as the wetlands,rivers and streams of Ezimbokodweni and Folweni.It was community members like Desmond Malgas, who is now a project coordinator, who went knocking for assistance and support from corporates and organisations, to endorse their project and indeed, the AECI Community Education and Development Trust jumped onboard. This is how the WWWC programme was born.Since its inception in 2016, the programme has been able to bring hope to the lives of the downtrodden communities of Folweni and Ezimbokodweni and has allowed them to think beyond their circumstances. Mr Malgas, alludes to how the project has personally helped him to develop and improve himself in terms of learning about governance, and the skills that he has acquired through the training he has received. He further extols that it has also allowed him “to grow, find full expression through uplifting his community and changing his mindset to see a better future”.Its three-tier model encompasses the different levels of donor, implementer and beneficiary. This project, funded by the AECI Community Education and Development Trust and implemented by i4WATER – has been able to build synergy between corporates and the community, by introducing interventions that develop sustainable livelihoods through impactful and practical measures. Some of the interventions include water conservation, food security, solid waste management, alien plant management, aquatic assessment and monitoring as well as Sinqonqozela Ulwazi (which aims to educate the community and create awareness around waste management).The Wise Wayz Water Care team with members of the AECI Community Education and Development Trust and Brand SA representatives at the interactive site visit.The programme has had a huge impact on the members who have also become beneficiaries of the project in several ways. It has been able to give the youth and elderly members a stepping stone to realising their future prospects through providing skills and knowledge on a basic, intermediate and advanced level. It has also trained and supported the commercial agriculture start-up of the project’s food security intervention by supporting community gardens. The food garden component has yielded a supply of vegetables for consumption by the community. The project recently won its first contract to get profits from their Invasive Alien Plant clearing start-up.Although they have faced several challenges, it is their vision to upscale the piloted model and continue successful sustainable change throughout the country. This keeps an implementer such as Ntswaki Ditlhale of i4WATER committed to the values and vision of the project.For more information on the Wise Wayz Water Care programme, click on the link below:You can also contact them on the following platforms:E-mail: kirsten@i4WATER.org or ntswaki@i4WATER.orgTwitter: @wwwczaFacebook: Wise Wayz Water CareWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
The Top 50 South African brands have been announced by Brand South Africa and Brand Africa Finance. These brands are said to contribute not only to the country’s economy, but to the image they portray when doing business internationally.Pratiksha Jekison-Singh of MTN (in middle) receives the award for Top Most Valuable Brand in South Africa on 15 September 2015. She is pictured with Thebe Ikalafeng of Brand Africa Finance and Kingsley Makhubela of Brand South Africa. (Image: Melissa Javan)Melissa JavanA brand’s performance, its relationship with its customers, and the money the brand spends on equity, were the key pillars of success, Thebe Ikalafeng, the chief executive officer of Brand Africa said yesterday at the announcement of the country’s Top 50 Brands of 2015.Brand South Africa and Brand Africa hosted the breakfast announcement, which took place in Houghton, Johannesburg.It was the third annual study undertaken by Brand Africa, said the organisers. The study found that the top 50 corporate brands in South Africa were valued at approximately R1.5-trillion, with many of these companies also contributing to national priorities such as uplifting identified and targeted communities.Retail group Woolworths and First National Bank are the strongest brands in South Africa for 2014/2015. The cellphone network MTN is the Top Valuable Brand in the country.Brands are assetsIkalafeng said brands had become more than just a logo or slogan. “They are now seen as corporate assets which are amongst the most valuable that an organisation can have. By extension, national corporate brands also contribute to a nation’s assets in terms of the value they add to the country – both in terms of (gross domestic product) as well as reputational impact,” he said.“The brand managers and executives who oversee and manage these brands therefore play their part to contribute to corporate profitability and visibility and we at Brand South Africa and Brand Africa Finance salute you.”Sydney Mbhele, divisional executive: group marketing at Nedbank, and Peter Mancer, chief executive officer of the company Diversity Management, were among the guests at the event. Nedbank is ranked seventh on the Top 50 SA Brands list. (Image: Melissa Javan)Faye Mfikwe (on right), chief marketing officer of First National Bank also received the Top Strongest Brand award for her company. Here she is with Ashraf Garda of SA FM Radio, another guest at the breakfast. (Image: Melissa Javan)Zukiswa Modisakeng, Vuyelwa Nyakaza, and Busi Dziba are entrepreneurs who attended the event to support their favourite South African brands. (Image: Melissa Javan)Brand South Africa’s chief executive officer, Kingsley Makhubela, stressed that while developing, strengthening and maintaining a nation’s brand was a multifaceted task, there were a range of factors that could help to position the nation positively.“These factors, if based on a solid foundation, can help the nation brand weather the storms posed by the global political and economic environment. One of these factors (is) national corporate entities,” said Makhubela.“Your excellence in the corporate field contributes immensely to the strength and positive reputation of the South African nation brand. Your brands are sometimes the first point of contact between consumers and the South African nation, especially where corporate brands have an international footprint.”The Top 50 Brands’ product quality, customer service and ethical framework, he said, contributed to perceptions about South Africa’s spirit of ubuntu, its innovation, and “the values that the country drives”. “South Africa’s corporate sector is therefore critical to enabling Brand South Africa to position the country as an attractive inward destination of choice.”Customers, the focusKate Fordyce of Woolworths says the retailer’s Top Strongest Brand award is the result of the passion and hard work of staff. She is pictured with Thebe Ikalafeng of Brand Africa Finance and Kingsley Makhubela of Brand South Africa at the Top 50 Brands announcement on 15 September 2015. (Image: Melissa Javan)Pratiksha Jekison-Singh, the senior manager of brand communications and media at MTN, welcomed the win, especially following the recent strikes and structural changes within the company.“Our customers are the core focus, the centre of our business,” she said. “We’re driving to what’s best for them, looking at their behaviour and educate them on what is best suitable for their needs.”The Top 50 Brands were a prestigious event. “The brands are competing in the same industry, markets and fields. Yet with competing, we have the same respect for each other, and our goal is to achieve what is best for the country as a whole,” she added.Kate Fordyce, the head of agency at Woolworths, said the retailer was very proud and honoured to receive this award from Brand South Africa. “This award is testament to the passion and hard work of our people and the loyalty of our customers.“The Woolworths difference is brought to life by our values such as quality, integrity, energy and sustainability. These same values inform everything we do – from our customer service to our interactions with suppliers and our contribution to the communities in which we operate.”Click on the image below for a larger view.Sources: Brand Africa Finance and Brand South Africa Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
For people interested in getting involved in philanthropy, actor Matt Damon suggests becoming the student first.If the experts are asking questions and constantly learning, why shouldn’t the uninitiated? “Once you give yourself permission to not know [everything], that’s when life gets exciting again.”That’s what Damon said in a recent interview with Philanthropy Age as he described his own learning curve in his efforts to bring clean water and sanitation to areas of Africa and Asia where it was lacking.Damon already knew that millions of people die each year from water-related illness, and that a child dies every minute due to inaccessibility to clean water. That’s why he created H20 Africa – to provide funding to NGOs and small projects that were doing good work in bringing clean water to remote areas.“People talk about the global water crisis and what’s coming down the road,” Damon said in the interview. “[… but] for 748 million people, the crisis is already here.”But Damon wanted to do more, to have a greater impact than what H20 Africa was achieving. In 2009, he merged H20 Africa with Gary White’s WaterPartners to create Water.org. An expert in the field, Gary White had established a successful record in a world where half of all water projects fail. And so began Damon’s real education in how to help well.With a mission to solve the water crisis in our lifetime, Water.org has a stronger focus on larger, more innovative solutions with the potential for success in the long term. “One idea we pioneered is Water Credit,” says Damon. “Water Credit is a small loan for a family or community to get a water connection or a toilet. We convinced banks to make loans that weren’t being made by sharing the financial risk with them. This brought new funds to people in need. The idea works. Water Credit is taking off around the world because it benefits more people, faster. That makes it a solution critical to ending the crisis. ““More kids are dying from this than from AIDS, measles and malaria combined,” says Damon. “It’s the most serious problem out there.”Copyright ©2014Look to the Stars