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From Iraq Veterans Against the War: In the past 48 hours, armed militants have taken over cities all across northern Iraq. Today, Navi Pillay, the top UN human rights official, expressed "extreme alarm at what she termed summary executions, rape, reprisal killings and shelling of civilians.

Hundreds of human lives have been lost, and thousands of people have been injured. More than 300,000 people have been displaced - in addition to the 500,000 that have already been displaced since January after fighting broke out in Anbar Province.

Read more... )MADRE is collecting emergency donations for OWFI to help them relocate the residents of their women's shelter to safer places.You can make an emergency donation now by clicking here: https://app.etapestry.com/hosted/Madre/OnlineDonation.html?fund=ContributionsIndividual&campaign=Emergency%20and%20Disaster%20Relief&approach=2014%20Iraq%20Emergency%20Eappeal&title=Support%20Women%20Facing%20Violence%20in%20Iraq&cc1=2080

This emergency relocation effort will cost $25,000; OWFI cannot help these women meet their immediate needs without your help. Please consider making a donation today, and please share this email with your contacts. The safety of these women and their children depends on people like us.

Thank you in advance for your generosity.

In Solidarity,

Joyce, Matt, Maggie, Julia
IVAW Staff
sunlit_music: (esmeralda by heartilly)
http://theconversation.com/as-a-high-court-challenge-looms-are-there-alternatives-to-australias-indefinite-detention-policy-14498 From "The Conversation" newspaper's website:

The UK was dealing with people against who there was compelling evidence of their terrorist involvement (often with al-Qaeda) and of direct danger to UK citizens. There is no indication that Australia’s refugees with suspected Tamil Tiger links pose an equivalent threat.

If control orders are not possible for some individuals (for example, if the intelligence is too sensitive) there are other means to apply any necessary restrictions. University of Sydney’s Professor of International Law Ben Saul has noted that:Read more... )
sunlit_music: (esmeralda by heartilly)
Hi all,

Here are two simple ways to support ill children and homeless people:

STREAT http://www.streat.com.au/about STREAT trains young homeless people in cooking and hospitality to help them get off the streets. When you buy food or drink from STREAT cafe, all the money goes towards supporting young people who are living on the streets or at risk of becoming homeless. They make a ripping good Earl Grey tea, for tea lovers out there. :) 

STREAT is based in Melbourne, Australia. It has cafes located in Melbourne Central Station (ground floor, near the escalators to the trains), Flemington (305 Racecourse Road, Flemington) and 5 McKillop Street, Melbourne. I've been to the one located in Melbourne Central Station. Their stall has a table shaped like a roadsign saying, "Stop homelessness the delicious way." You can't miss it. There's a small pole near their stall with several handwritten signs. The one saying 'Coles' is upside down, which I found funny and adorable.The menu at the Flemington cafe changes seasonally. The STREATS food cart at Federation Square is relocating to Melbourne University.

At Sydney Domestic Airport: When you enter the food court, there's a Donut King section with a donation box. The money goes to Starlight Children's Foundation (to help sick children in hospital). :)

Throughout Melbourne Tullamarine Domestic Airport there are boxes where you can donate to Vision Australia and the Guide Dogs Association.
sunlit_music: (esmeralda by heartilly)
Hi everyone,

Here's some information on charities below:

Below are the websites for organisations where you can volunteer or donate to support children around the world:

http://www.savethechildren.org.au/ Save the Children Australia. Save the Children also works in different countries around the world.  You can also donate here to support people whose lives have been devastated by Typhoon Bopha in the Philippines.

http://www.avert.org/aids-projects.htm    AVERT is a UK based charity that raises money to help people around the world to raise awareness and respond to HIV and AIDS. You can donate at their website. This link has information on how their projects help educate people about AIDS, their legal rights and addressing sexual violence.

http://child-aid.org/ Child Aid raises money to train teachers, deliver books and teach children how to read.

If you can't donate, you can always raise awareness - which makes a huge difference. Thanks so much! :)

Edited to add: I have found information from raremedium.org http://raremedium.org/2007/10/31/charity-navigators-vital-mission-hides-flawed-rankings/ that Charity Navigator has flaws in gathering / interpreting information and deciding which charities are accountable, transparent and spend the most money on the people they assist. I do apologise for putting up information on Charity Navigator before.

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Here's a terrific Youtube video showing a capoeira class for children with disabilities. The music is gorgeous too. I'm afraid the subtitles are small and blurred, so you'd have to click on the full screem button on the bottom right hand corner of the video. Capoeira is a beautiful martial arts practiced in Brazil. It has fluid, smooth movements and looks like dancing. It's pretty awesome how the capoeira teacher has taught children with different disabilities, including Down's syndrome. She has faith in her students and believe that they can do brilliantly, despite other people telling her what she's doing won't work. Some of the students are also interviewed, and it's great to see that they're so motivated and enthusiastic. :)
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http://www.care2.com/causes/boy-with-cerebral-palsy-runs-inspiring-race-video.html Though spastic cerebral palsy makes running a major challenge for Matt, he opts to run in the Field Day at Colonial Hills Elementary School. Part way through the first lap, he loses steam. His gym teacher and best friend, Mr. Blaine, comes up to offer encouragement and stays with him through the rest of the race.

That would already be touching, but his fellow students do the same. First one, then a small group, then the whole gang of students surround him. They chant, “Let’s go, Matt, let’s go.” They clap... cheer, and together they encourage him across the finish line.

This is really sweet and awesome. I was smiling the whole way!

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http://www.chilout.org/blog/13496366 article: Latest Victims of ASIO free reign are 6 and 8 year old boys.

ASIO made an adverse security finding against Ranjini which leaves her and her boys with no visa status and no way out of their predicament. Like 46 other refugees in Australia's immigration detention facilities, Ranjini cannot challenge the findings made against her, neither she nor her lawyers can even know what the claims against her relate to. Like other children at VIDC, this means indefinite detention for Ranjini's young sons.

"Perhaps there are issues of national security, but perhaps there are not. Agencies have been known to get things wrong, including ASIO; remember the case of Dr Haneef? Shouldn't the basic principle of innocent until proven guilty stand? Courts can manage sensitive information, lawyers can adhere to court guidance, there has to be a reasonable way for Ranjini and the 46 others in her position to have access to a fair trial and to natural justice. Surely there are degrees of 'adverse' findings? Not every adverse finding indicates someone is a terrorist. Surely arrangements around living in the community and reporting to authorities can be reached in some cases?"

- Sophie Peer, Campaign Director, ChilOut

How you can help:

- write a letter to Federal Attorney General Nicola Roxon. Address: Parliament House, Canberra 2600. Ph : (02) 6277 7300 Fax: (02) 6273 4102. Email: nicola@nicolaroxonmp.com

- write a letter of support to Ranjini at http://lettersforranjini.com/

Thank you all so much for your help. One seventeen year old with an adverse security finding against him has attempted suicide several times. Another detainee has suffered a mental breakdown from being imprisoned. These people deserve a fair trial. They should not be detained indefinitely in limbo and cut off from the outside world - *especially* not children. Children are the most vulnerable members of our society.
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I'm sure nearly all of us want to strengthen and nurture our relationships. Humans are social to some extent. Nearly everyone wants to resolve arguments and understand people who are different from us. We've all been there. So I was really happy and excited to find great advice from this website.

This is not a magic pill. But I believe that it will drastically improve how you can problem solve relationship issues on work, relationships and parenting. The Keirnsey Temperament website looks at the different personality types (based on the Myers Briggs Personality Types). There are tests you can take to find out which one you belong to, what makes you tick. And best of all, how to understand and help others. Understanding each person is the key to showing care and respect, and working together as a team to solve challenges in work, school, or relationships. 

I was disturbed by how the site treats faults and abusive or neglectful behaviours of the types too lightly at times (understanding someone does not mean that you should let someone off when they're being vindictive, and obviously you shouldn't ignore someone being incompetent or cruel just because they're your boss). I am impressed by how it shows understanding and respect of the different personality types' strengths though.

Change your life and how you communicate with people here:

http://www.keirsey.com/personalityzone/wz14.asp (Click on the topics/articles on the right hand side of the web page). Topics of articles: Acing the Job Interviews. Dealing with work related stress. How to deal with people of different personality types acting out. Applying Jobs. When to leave a job. Finding the right career path for you. Taking new jobs in the city or country. How to avoid getting fired. Network to keep your job (how to network and socialise at work with different personality types).

http://www.keirsey.com/personalityzone/lz51.asp (Click on the topics/articles on the right hand side of the web page). Topics of articles: Personality types / temperaments and relationships. Dating. Marriage/long term relationships. Fair fighting. How to argue / debate fairly and respectfully with each type. How to communicate with and understand each of the types. Parenting together with personality types (making a great team). Separating from each type. Affairs/infidelity. How to show care, respect and love towards each type/temperament.

http://www.keirsey.com/personalityzone/cz1.asp Temperaments and school. Roommates. Your academic strengths. Sporting careers. College vs Technical Degree. Balancing work and school. Changing subjects/degrees. Failing Classes. Helicopter parents. Perfection trap. Professors. Internships. Professional organisations. Home for holidays. Double Majors/Degrees.
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 Excerpt from the fact sheet How PTA leaders can prevent bullying: "Before the meeting, work with your principal to conduct an anonymous student survey about the presence of bullying behavior at your school. Present these data at the beginning of the workshop to get everyone’s attention. Some of the findings can also be used in promotional materials. Invite community leaders, school decision makers, teachers, and students, and provide them with the opportunity to make brief comments about the ways they have, or plan to, address bullying in your community. After the meeting, follow up with a thank you to those who attended. Consider inviting members of the local media. If you are not satisfied with the response, after the meeting is over you can also write a letter to the editor of your local paper to let them know what happened and why it is important.

If possible, have a few members spend some time at the school observing the areas and times when bullying likely occurs, such as lunchtime in the cafeteria, in the halls between classes or near the buses at the beginning or end of the school day. Have them report back to this committee about what they noticed. If they are not able to become a permanent part of the committee, make sure that key personnel such as counselors, social workers, secretaries, nurses, janitors, librarians, media specialists or cafeteria workers and students are invited as special guests to your meetings.

 A group of students (from diverse backgrounds - different cultures, gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender, foster children, children with disabilities, children from poorer backgrounds etc.) can help you design outreach materials and give you honest feedback on your approach. Be aware that this group might possibly consist of both bullying victims and perpetrators, and not all students that have been selected may feel comfortable participating. With the help of school personnel, invite each student through a separate one-on-one meeting where you discuss what their involvement would entail, and who else might be a part of the group. Give them the opportunity to decline the invitation, or find an alternative way to assist your efforts".

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http://www.pta.org/bullying.asp This website has factsheets on:

 How to Plan a Connect for Respect Event
How PTAs Can Host a Conversation on Bullying in Their Community (pdf)

What You Can Do As a PTA Leader
Three Ways PTA Leaders Can Prevent Bullying (pdf)

Best Practices in School-Based Bullying Prevention
Ways schools can fight bullying.

Best Practices in Community-Based Bullying Prevention
How community leaders can act on bullying prevention.
Bullying prevention efforts seem to work best if they are coordinated by a representative group from the school. This coordinating team (which might include an administrator, a teacher from each grade, a member of the non-teaching staff, a school counselor or other school-based mental health professional, a school nurse, and a parent
 Roll out an anonymous questionnaire/survey on bullying (when and where it happens in the school, what kind of bullying, whether there was adult supervision in those areas etc). The benefits of conducting a survey of students are:
  • Findings can help motivate adults to take action against bullying;
  • Data can help administrators and other educators tailor a bullying prevention strategy to the particular needs of the school; and
  • Data can serve as a baseline from which administrators and other educators can measure their progress in reducing bullying.
All staff should be able to intervene effectively on the spot to stop bullying (i.e.., in the 1–2 minutes that one frequently has to deal with bullying). Designated staff should also hold sensitive follow-up meetings with children who are bullied and (separately) with children who bully. Staff should involve parents of affected students whenever possible.
Bullying prevention efforts seem to work best if they are coordinated by a representative group from the school. This coordinating team (which might include an administrator, a teacher from each grade, a member of the non-teaching staff, a school counselor or other school-based mental health professional, a school nurse, and a parent.
Bullying tends to thrive in locations where adults are not present or are not vigilant. Once school personnel have identified hot spots for bullying from the student questionnaires, look for creative ways to increase adults’ presence in these locations.
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http://beastaralliance.org/resources The Be A Star Alliance is nation wide campaign working to prevent and fight bullying in the US. This site has a list of anti bullying websites and resources, and anti bullying organisations (including ones run by children, parents and teachers). The Stomp Out bullying has spreadsheets that do not provide much information on stopping or recognising bullies. However, they have a free and confidential chat line, which is valuable.

http://www.pta.org/2885.htm The National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) is the largest child advocacy volunteer organisation in North America.

This site has fantastic resources on:

- Learning how to form a strong, loving bond with your teenage children. This is crucial to spotting and combatting bullying.

- Discussing hate and violence with children. It also includes Spanish factsheets on TVsafety/onlinesafety/music/movies/cellphone (mobile phone) bullying.

- You can sign up to free wireless AMBER alerts in Spanish. This service helps you notify law enforcement quickly if your child has been kidnapped. It is free, and there's no fee for signing up. You can cancel/unsubscribe whenever you want.

How wireless Amber Alerts are sent: http://wirelessamberalerts.wirelessfoundation.org/howwirelessamberalertswork.htm

Frequently asked questions on Wireless Amber Alerts:


To report a missing, abducted or lost child in USA, please call your local law enforcement agency or National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST.

http://www.thetrevorproject.org/survivalkit The Trevor Project has a survival kit, with 25 Youth brochures, 25 Wallet cards, 1 List of Books and Films for LGBTQ Youth,1 Educator Resource Guide, 1 copy of the Academy-Award winning film Trevor, and 5 Stickers with information for The Trevor Lifeline

The Trevor Project’s staff regularly provides technical assistance training on how to best use the Survival Kit through a one-hour teleconference and webinar training. If you are interested in participating in a free, quarterly webinar on how to best use your Survival Kit, please email Guide.

You can also find your local mental health/spiritual/accommodation/legal/community centres/under 13 /bisexual/transgender resources by using this site. Just type in your country, state, zip code. This site lists resources in America, Canada, Ireland and the United Kingdom: http://www.thetrevorproject.org/youth/local-resources

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Hello everyone,


ChilOut is an Australian advocacy group that campaigns for the release of children from immigrant detention. It's unthinkable to believe that children are still being locked in detention (many are locked up for years) and yet it is still happening now.

There are now at least 628 children in detention sincee September 2010.

The Gillard government has announced that they'll be moving more children into the community. This is a huge step. However, there are still many children that are locked up in 'alternative accommodation'. In immigrant  residential housing children are monitored by CCTV, and accompanied by a security guard on the rare occasions that they can leave. Few refugee children can attend school, and excursions are rare. Housing tends to be cramped, and 150 Afghan boys haven't been released from Darwin Lodge since April 2010.

Read the Myths Vs the Facts here: http://www.chilout.org/index.php?p=1_10

You can also read the stories that these children have to say. It is simply heartbreaking and appalling: http://www.chilout.org/index.php?p=1_17 Many of these children have seen hunger strikes, fires and riots, in which tear gas and water cannons were used. There are refugee children who have been diagnsed with PTSD. They've fled from conflict, war and persecution - and their experiences in detention only worsen their distress.  
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Hi everyone,

Check this out! http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/ltrs.index.htm 

This website has valuable information about special education law, education law, and advocacy for children with disabilities.

It has free flyers and resources, too. Wrightslaw is US based, but has some information on letter writing and communication that is priceless for anyone.

If you check the menu on the left hand side of the website, there's links on assistive technology (technology that helps people with disabilities), law, advocacy, ADHD, mediation, juvenile justice and more. You can also discover upcoming seminars and search for topics in alphabetical order (just look at the top left hand side of the website, under the heading "Wrightslaw").  

There's also a section on how to write letters to stand up for and represent children with disabilities here: http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/ltrs.index.htm

Please feel more than free to let me know of any other legal resources for children or people with disabilities! And pass this on! It's more useful if more people know about it. You never know who might need it one day.
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From the website:

TEEN LINE is based on the premise that when teenagers encounter problems, they usually turn first to their peers for advice. Many teens think their parents can't possibly understand what's happening in their lives and that their friends might laugh or abandon them. TEEN LINE provides a safe, confidential place to talk things out with another teen.



It offers email help, online chat, message boards, resources and information.


CALL: (310) 855-HOPE (4673) OR (800) TLC-TEEN (852-8336) (toll-free in California only)

SCCC in LA: http://www.sccc-la.org/ Phone: (323) 937 1344

 From the website:
The Center's founders, Psychologist Hans Hoffman and Psychiatrist Ben Weininger, believed that no one should be denied counseling because of poverty. Client fees are based on a sliding scale in an effort to make counseling affordable to all income groups.

Read more... )


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