Global Briefs ~ World Water Day and more . . .
Mar 14, 2008 10:24PM
The threat of water scarcity looms large in both developed and developing nations as people around the planet mark World Water Day on March 22.Â This year’s focus is sanitation, as recent UN reports estimate that 40 percent of the world’s population lack even basic facilities.
Nobel Peace laureate and former United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, states that “We shall not finally defeat AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria or any of the other infectious diseases that plague the developing world until we have also won the battle for safe drinking water, sanitation and basic health care.” Sufficient water is equally vital to biodiversity, agriculture and energy projects.
The first U.S. Water Voices from Around the World event takes place this month in the Virgin Islands, where the only source of fresh water is rain and all housing starts require a cistern for water collection. Walks for Water in New York, Los Angeles, Seattle and online are scheduled to support that event.
Globalizing Health Care Crossing Borders Slashes Medical Costs
Patients Beyond Borders: Everybody’s Guide to Affordable, World-Class Medical Tourism is the first comprehensive guide for Americans facing long-term financial insecurity due to challenging medical conditions. Author Josef Woodman spent three years researching facilities and collecting patient case studies for everything from dental work and LASIK eye repair to fertilization clinics, cosmetic procedures and major surgery. His book recommends the best hospitals and treatment centers in 22 destinations worldwide.
“Amidst an increasingly bleak U.S. healthcare landscape, medical travel is a viable option for Americans who find themselves priced out of the domestic health market,” says Woodman. For a fraction of domestic care costs, he says, patients can travel abroad to access U.S.-trained doctors in state-of-the-art facilities without extended waiting periods or denial of insurance coverage.
According to Woodman’s book, more than 100 overseas hospitals and clinics now carry American accreditation. Last year, 150,000 Americans reportedly took advantage of these facilities, and that number is expected to double in 2008. Woodman advises that “Good planning is essential to the success of any medical procedure and that goes double for the global patient.”
Next Generation Spin on Meditation Movement Suits Youth
A new-school movement spearheaded by a national SelfCentered Tour aims to inspire 1,000,000 young people to become more authentic, grounded, balanced and self-aware by spending time each day connecting with their inner selves. Max Simon, 22, of The Chopra Center for Wellbeing, created the experiential concept when he noticed that traditional teaching methods were failing to engage his generation. He’s now training “awareness architects” across the country to guide youth in learning how to step away from endless mind-chatter, disconnect from pop-culture buzz, settle into an authentic inner calm and create a better world through service.
“Let’s face it. We live in an intense world,” Simon says. “Just because the whirlwind exists doesn’t mean that we have to get caught up in it.” His solution is a hands-on, do-it-yourself form of inner connectivity supported by events, entertainment and a web community. Tools include signature meditation, breathing styles and body-opening flow, which instill quiet while allowing chaos to exit. The tour launched in San Francisco last month will travel cross-country.
For information visit www.GetSelfCentered.com.
United Voices International Women’s Day March 8
Americans are encouraged to set aside a few minutes on March 8 to mentally unite in our intention to further world progress and peace in celebration of International Women’s Day. Marked annually by women’s groups around the world since 1909, the United Nations first designated this date as the official international holiday in a 1975 resolution proclaiming United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace. The occasion recognizes that securing full enjoyment of fundamental human rights and freedoms requires the active participation, equality and development of women. It also acknowledges women’s vital contributions in these areas.Â
International Women’s Day addresses the centuries-old struggle of women eager to participate in society on an equal footing with men. It’s a time to reflect upon advancements, call for helpful changes and celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of women’s rights.
For information on local events visit www.GatherTheWomen.org.
Cool School Read Across America Day March 3
On March 3, Read Across America Day puts the spotlight on reading material as classic as Dr. Seuss and as contemporary as high school poetry jams.Â The nation’s largest annual reading celebration is sponsored by the National Education Association andÂ honors the birthday of Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss), born March 2, 1904. Kids, parents, educators and librariesÂ around the country can join in to add their own creative spin to ideas and materials shared online. One link lists the top 100 books favored by teachers, another features the top 100 as cited by kids. The Cat-A-Van Reading Tour will also be making stops around the country.
Get in on the action at: www.NEA.org/readacross.
Moses Code: Unlocking the Power of the Ancients
Bestselling author, musician and filmmaker James Twyman announces the worldwide release of The Moses Code, which opens in theaters April 5. It’s the first time that the release of a spiritual film will be accompanied by a worldwide prayer vigil, scheduled for April 6, from 9 to 10 a.m. Pacific Time. Intended to draw millions of people together in 2,000 venues, the film will share tools and time to extend prayers of peace to the Middle East.
In the film, well-known spiritual leaders and bestselling authors discuss the importance of service as a spiritual practice. Real-life examples of modern-day giving and service compellingly remind us how we each have the power to change our world. Speakers include: Cheryl Richardson, Iyanla Vanzant, Sonia Choquette, Gregg Braden, Neale Donald Walsch, James Van Praagh and Debbie Ford, who co-produced the film.
An interactive website also enables viewers to sign up to host a screening in their home. Hay House has announced that it will publish a book of the same title this month.
To learn more visit:Â www.TheMosesCode.com.