30 March 2010

Now on Salon...

Open Salon is a free service which may prove to be a better venue for
bloggers looking to engage in critical dialogues. They certainly have a
better brand than Blogger. However, will the rash of wannabe bloggers
on Open Salon be poaching grounds to expand the mother site's online
content? The New York Times already does this with some prestigious
paid bloggers - but as sites scramble for eyeballs and hits, will there
become a bidding war for the most popular bloggers? Is the Huffington
Post's model - "We'll publish any ol' thing!" going to be expanded to
this site? Time will tell, the reality however, will be less. More and
more sites allow multiple publishing, making content repeatedly
available anywhere - despite being "published" only once.

05 March 2010

2010... Here we GO!! PARSA...

I wanted to provide a brief plug for PARSA, my Afghan NGO of choice.  They are working hard to build capability among the Afghan people and restore confidence in their nation, government and themselves.  Stop by their site and see what you can do to help.

From: Marnie Hartung Gustavson [mailto:mgustav@marniehartunggustavs.eliteemail.com] On Behalf Of Marnie Hartung Gustavson
Sent: Friday, March 05, 2010 8:32 AM
Subject: 2010... Here we GO!!

  2010 - Full Speed Ahead Volume I  

Animal Lovers - We NEED You!! 

To all our animal loving friends and families - PARSA needs your help.  After 5 years of rescuing dogs, cats and various other assorted animals from the streets, mountains and trash heaps of Kabul, Marnie and PARSA have decided to start an Animal Shelter at Marastoon.

The Shelter and Rescue efforts will fall under the Healthy Afghan Community Program and will include education of Afghans who are interested in adopting a pet as well as vaccines, spay and neuter services and veterinary medicine for animals.  

We are in dire need of the following items:

  • Medicine
  • Leashes, collars and animal toys
  • Volunteer assistance (a Vet trainee??) 

Please contact us for more information about our new project and if you are interested in the idea of helping some of the most vulnerable citizens of Kabul, let us know. 

We are currently home to over 25 dogs plus an additional assortment of animals from cats to donkeys. 

We'd greatly appreciate any help you might offer.  And that includes adopting an animal either here in Kabul or getting a pet to the States.  

The PARSA Wish List!!

A new regluar feature for the PARSA Newsletter.  You will find our Wish List located in the bottom left side of the newsletter.  

As with all Non-Profit and NGO Organizations, we are constantly in need of a variety of items.  Most notably is FUNDS for our various programs and for our general operating fund.  So fast and SO easy...  writing a tax-ductible check for $1.00 - $1000.00 or more is one of the best items we recieve.  You can be assured it will be out to good use for any of or programs as well as rent, funds to purchase wood to heat our buildings and classrooms and to pay our hard working staff people. 

Other items of need we often wish for at PARSA:

  • Printer Ink - please contact us for types of ink
  • Any Animal related items for our new Project within the Healthy Afghan Community Program - toys, food, leashes, collars, flea and worm medicine
  • Soap and toiletries for orphans

Ph. +93 (0) 799020588
PARSA Afghan Training Institute

To kick off 2010, PARSA has moved into training and working with Afghan people with the Afghan Training Institute. 

We are working with Afghans looking for more higher education opportunities allowing them to become capable and have a better chance to be successful as well as helping other Afghans in their daily struggles. 

The goal of the Afghan Training Institute is to grow the AFghan people and give them the skills they need to help each other.  As a developing country it is important to train the Afghan people to fend for themselves and rely less on the International Aid community. 

PARSA Afghan Training Institute is committed to building the capacity of people in Afghanistan. 

Afghan Scouting GOING Strong in 2010

Afghan Scouts Visit the US Embassy in Kabul

This past Saturday, February 27th, PARSA and our Scouts were invited to visit the US Embassy.  We held a Scout initiation ceremony IN the Embassy.  Attending the event were Ambassador Karl Eikenberry and Mrs. Eikenberry who welcomed 80 children from the National Orphanages, Alluhoddin and Tai Maskan.  The Scouting Program is part of the PARSA Healthy Afghan Child Program and continues to be a big success. 

In addition, Volunteers from the embassy assisted in our ceremony as we completed initiation of the children into the Afghan Scouts program. 

In addition, we welcomed our the new Minister who will oversee the Orphanages in the country and the new National Director as well as several ISAF soldiers, also Eagle Scouts and Scout trainers participated.  Our goal this year is to be able to run Scout programs for all 750 children in the three orphanages where PARSA staff conducts "Healthy Afghan Child" programs.  Please visit our website for more information about the scout program as well as details about this event.

If you are interested in helping the Afghan Scout Program - we are ALWAYS looking for people, individuals, and groups to take on an Afghan Scout troop.  

A Word From Air Commodore Sean Bell

have to say that supporting the Orphanage was the one thing that kept me going throughout my nearly a year military assignment in Kabul - really raised my spirits to be able to support such a worthy cause, and also such a committed team in Marnie and her son and team. Part of the morale development of those under my command is to ensure they remain fit, are happy in their work, and an extra strand is to encourage charitable work. This was simply an extension of that obligation as a Commander. Part of going our project activities was to chat to Marnie, meet the kids and of course, for us to engage others in the fundraising activities (and also ensure that they were all suitably motivated to get stuff done!!) We played football with some of the kids, sat and chatted to them, but avoided giving gifts at the time or risk getting mobbed every time we went. My aim was to support Marnie in a longer-term project rather than the short-termist drop a few goodies off, feel good about ourselves, and then walk away having changed nothing! Discussions with Marnie proved compelling, so it was evident that with financial support Marnie and her team could deliver what we were seeking to do. So I started “Ringing the Change”-to fund PARSA programs in the orphanages. It was hard work getting things set up, and influencing a LOT of folk, but TREMENDOUSLY rewarding to see the effect, and to support such a marvelous group of folk in Marnie and her PARSA team. (click on picture for an article on his project)/p>

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02 March 2010

MP David Tredinnick is Wrong...

The UK's govevernmental Homeopathy Report is a good mix of science and policy recommendations. It takes issue with the irresponsible expenditure of government funds (read UK citizen tax pounds) on ineffective, non-scientific therapies. MP David Tredinnick, a consummate woo-fan, seeks to discredit this well researched and vetted report.

MP David Tredinnick is Wrong about the Homeopathy Report