President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has extolled the government and people of Kenya for their selflessness in supporting Liberia in the fight of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).According to a dispatch from Nairobi, President Sirleaf was speaking at State House when she led a high-level delegation for bilateral talks between the two countries. President Sirleaf said Kenya indeed proved to be a true friend to Liberia when the East African nation sent medical staff to assist Liberia in the fight against the deadly Ebola virus disease. “You will always know your genuine friends when passing through tough times,” she told the Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and delegation, adding passionately, “Kenya stood with us when we were confronted. We will always remain indebted to you.”In his response, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said the State Visit by President Sirleaf provided an opportunity to rejuvenate the enormous potential between the two countries, build on a foundation of common values of mutual cooperation and interests.He said the level of engagement between Liberia and Kenya, particularly in trade, has been very low but holds much promise. As a manifestation of the two leaders’ commitment to forge closer cooperation, they signed an agreement for the establishment of a Joint Commission for Cooperation and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Political Consultations.Acting Foreign Minister, Mr. Elias Shoniyin, signed on behalf of the government; while Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Amina Mohammed, signed for Kenya.Acknowledging the signing, President Uhuru Kenyatta said it will provide the necessary legal and political frameworks for enhancing mutual beneficial commercial, cultural and diplomatic exchanges. He challenged both countries and their delegations to “move with speed, identify potential sectors for cooperation and develop strong and sustainable frameworks in order to accrue tangible benefits for our citizens.”Meanwhile, both leaders also signed a Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) to revitalize the air transport connectivity between the two countries. The Kenyan leader also singled out agriculture as one area where his country can share its experiences with Liberia. “Kenya,” President Kenyatta said, “can leverage its vast knowledge, particularly in the livestock sub-sector, to provide capacity building, share best practices in disease and pest control and cooperate in research and technology transfer.”President Kenyatta said Liberia, which is home to the second largest maritime registry in the world, has a wealth of experience in maritime affairs that Kenya could benefit from. He then thanked Liberia for its decision to join the World Trade Organization (WTO), the main decision-making body in the global trade system. “Kenya,” he said, “looks forward to working closely with Liberia and other African countries within the WTO to ensure that the needs of the continent are addressed.”Also making remarks during the bilateral talks, President Sirleaf said she was in Kenya to attend the WTO meeting and to make her country’s voice heard at that world body. She conceded that the time was ripe for Liberia and Kenya to explore new areas of engagements to benefit their citizens. Madam Sirleaf cited great strides Kenya has made especially in the education sector, adding that this is one area of cooperation Liberia was keen to develop. Kenya, she observed, has excelled in providing quality education to its young people and as such Liberia intends to borrow a leaf from Kenya.Later, President Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta hosted a luncheon in honor of the visiting Liberian Head of State and high-powered delegation at State House, Nairobi. In a related development, President Sirleaf and delegation were later taken on a guided tour of the flower farm at Karen on the outskirts of the capital, Nairobi, and the Kazuri Beads Project. The flower farm exports natural flower to several industrialized nations including the United States and Germany. The Kazuri Beads Project aims to empower women through sustainable employment opportunities. The project began as an initiative by Lady Susan Wood and two African women and soon discovered that there were many other women in villages around Nairobi, most of who were single mothers, who were in great need of regular employment. Driven by the desire to provide such opportunities, Kazuri has grown and today has a large workforce skilled in the manufacture of handmade jewelry. Kazuri Beads is specialized in the design and production of pottery ware, which reflects the culture and wildlife of Kenya.Meanwhile President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was presented Kenya’s highest award – Chief of The Order of The Golden Heart of Kenya (CGH) – at a colorful ceremony held at State House in Nairobi, Kenya. She was given the topmost Kenyan award at an Investiture Ceremony following elaborate celebrations marking the East African country’s 52nd National Independence Anniversary, in ardent recognition of her enormous undertakings in both private and public life spanning over national and international careers.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Lilongwe Wildlife Centre has announced Joss Stone as their new ambassador.Video: Joss Stone visits the Lilongwe Wildlife CentreThe singer visited the centre when she passed through Malawi during her Total World Tour.“Wildlife welfare is a cause very close to my heart, and to see the awesome work of the rescue team and the volunteers at the Wildlife Centre was truly inspiring,” she said. “But what’s also amazing about Lilongwe Wildlife Trust is the sheer scale of their work, which ranges from helping orphaned and injured animals and inspiring communities to protect their wildlife through to putting big ivory traffickers behind bars. I’m thrilled to be able to do my bit in support of Malawi’s wildlife and I would urge you to do whatever you can to help too.”Lilongwe Wildlife Trust’s works to protect Malawi’s habitats and wildlife through: • ADVOCACY & ENFORCEMENT initiatives that influence decision makers and help to bring wildlife criminals to justice. • WILDLIFE RESCUE & RESEARCH programmes that support the well-being of individual animals, the survival of species and the conservation of habitats. • CONSERVATION EDUCATION that inspires humans to live in harmony with nature.Lilongwe Wildlife Trust was established in 2008 when their first project – Lilongwe Wildlife Centre – opened as a wildlife rescue, rehabilitation and education facility supporting the Government’s work fighting wildlife crimes.Since then their rescue and education remit has expanded nationally and in 2014, they started work to combat serious wildlife crime, in particular ivory trafficking. Today, their projects support high level wildlife crime investigations, wildlife justice programmes for prosecutors and courts, and revisions to wildlife policy and legislation.Find out more here.
The Humane Society of the United States honored Sidewalk Angels Foundation, founded by Grammy Award-winning artist Rob Thomas and his philanthropist wife Marisol Thomas and luxury beauty brand Moroccanoil last week at the 2017 To the Rescue! New York gala at Cipriani 42nd Street.The evening raised $3 million for HSUS’ animal rescue efforts.Actress Malin Akerman presented the Thomases and their Sidewalk Angels Foundation with the HSUS Compassion in Action Award for making real change in helping those who have no voice. In her speech, Akerman praised the Thomases for their immediate reaction to animals in need during the tragic hurricanes that swept the U.S. this year.In their acceptance speech, Rob and Marisol Thomas thanked The HSUS for the honor and praised the organization’s unwavering dedication to helping animals out of harmful situations across the country.Marisol and Rob said: “This is a group effort. We need to all join forces to make real changes in this country and all over the world.”After accepting the Compassion in Action Award with his wife, Rob grabbed the mic to perform Matchbox Twenty’s classic hits, “Smooth,” “Little Wonders” and “Lonely No More.”The HSUS honored Moroccanoil with its Corporate Consciousness Award for making animal welfare and social responsibility its cornerstone.Caring for thousands of animals each year, The HSUS and its global affiliate Humane Society International deploy responders across the country and the world to help animals at risk or suffering in puppy mills, dogfighting rings, large scale-neglect cases and natural disasters.Guests enjoyed a three-course vegan meal prepared by Chef Chloe Coscarelli, a live auction, and exclusive entertainment by Thomas. Actress Kate Mara and Dylan’s Candy Bar founder Dylan Lauren co-presented the Animal Rescue Team portion of the program.Additional supporters in attendance included Nigel and Cristen Barker, Wes Gordon, Nicky Hilton Rothchild, Cathy Kangas, Joe Kernen (CNBC “Squawk Box”), Ariana Rockefeller, Sadie Sink, Jack Welch, and Paul Wesley.This year’s gala was chaired by David Brownstein and Suzy Welch, along with Co-Hosts Georgina Bloomberg, Amanda Hearst and Stephen Read.Moroccanoil sponored this year’s gala. The event was produced in partnership with Celebrity Event Planner Liron David of Eventique
(Bernie Williams is pictured in this Facebook photo.)Kathleen Martens APTN NewsTwo self-proclaimed “street sisters” and advocates for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls took to the microphone this week to talk about themselves for a change.“I thought that nobody loved me,” said Gladys Radek. “I went in search of love, a sense of belonging.”Radek, a household name in the fight to bring attention to the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, testified before the national inquiry Friday.Her “sister” Bernie Williams helped open the five-day event in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday.At this, the inquiry’s second stop in B.C. after Smithers last fall, Radek got personal.“The first time I did heroin I OD’d and was put in the hospital for three weeks…at that point I was 14,” she said.She ran away from reform school to the Downtown Eastside (DTES), she said, “where I met a lot of my street sisters and a lot of my own relatives.“I was really angry when I hit the DTES because of all the violence I was subjected to as a child.”Radek was drinking and didn’t stop until about 10 years ago.“It was actually my niece Tamara that made me realize I couldn’t do the work that I’m doing for our missing and murdered women if I was drinking.“When Tamara went missing in 2005 it didn’t take long for me to realize that there was lots of other Tamaras out there that were missing.”Tamara Chipman vanished near Prince Rupert, B.C., along Highway 16, also referred to as the Highway of Tears because of all the disappearances along the route.“So many of our young relatives have been murdered for no reason,” said Radek, wearing a t-shirt with her niece’s smiling face on the front.“Because they were society’s throwaways.”Like Radek, Williams also lost relatives to violence – her mother and three sisters were murdered. The pair founded Walk4Justice and, as part of their lobbying, called for a national public inquiry.“When Tamara went missing I couldn’t take it anymore because all these years I watched my friends disappear, I watched my relatives disappear…up in northern B.C. where nobody wants to talk about it,” said Radek, who now lives in her missing niece’s home of Terrace, B.C.Williams has been on a few awareness-raising walks with Radek and stood behind her Friday as she testified before the inquiry.“I thought Gladys was crazy. I still feel that way,” she said with affection.“The last walk we did with the commissioners last year…that was one of the hardest walks we ever did.”The two now want to memorialize the women missing from northern B.C. with a totem pole Williams will carve with a group of women.“Terrace is the hub with about 80 reserves around it. They’re all affected by the loss of a loved one,” Radek said.Williams agreed, and called for safety recommendations developed by Indigenous families in 2006 in Prince George to be revisited. She said only one recommendation – erecting billboards along the highway – was fulfilled.“So we’re sitting here 12 years later and nothing is done. Women are still going missing,” she said. “Those 32 recommendations need to be revisited.”[email protected]