A Typical Toddle.

These titles are getting to be a bit of a stretch, aren’t they? Haha.

It’s been a hot week for us here in Western Australia. Apparently the north of the state missed out on their hottest day since records began by just 0.2 of a degree. I’m sure the people living there felt the difference! Even here on the south coast it was warmer than usual. I wonder what it will be like in five or ten years, when we’ve completely changed our approach to global warming and are all on renewable, sustainable energy? (Well, I can dream, can’t I?)

Hope your Sunday is an interesting one – I’m off to have a cup of tea and a piece of banana-berry-bread with the Handsome Sidekick!

This is actually a link to a few articles with a common focus on malnutrition. Not for the faint-hearted, it discusses the difficulty of ensuring that education about food and family planning in parts of Pakistan, as well as the problem of a lack of human resources. It’s all very well sending medical supplies to places of need, but if there are no people trained to use the equipment, it’s useless. As sad as I found this to read, it’s a good reminder that even though our world is becoming more affluent and educated, there is still such a long way to go. All parents want their children to grow up healthy and content. I can’t imagine the helplessness of watching my child die from malnutrition and not knowing how to help her.

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When I was pregnant with our Offspring, we found out the sex of each of the babies while they were still in utero. It allowed us to choose a name (no mean feat, believe me), but it didn’t influence our decision about how many babies we would have – or about which babies we would choose to keep. How horrifying that, according the Maneka Ghandi, 2000 female foetuses are being aborted every single day in India. The financial incentive for families to have baby girls is an important first step, but surely there needs to be a cultural shift towards valuing girls and women more highly.

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I’m so saddened by what’s happening on Manus Island. This is where asylum seekers who are trying to reach Australia are taken. They are held in detention until their claims are processed, which often takes months, and many times, over a year. As a result, many are depressed to the point of suicide. It’s appalling that we should hold people in such conditions – and it bothers me that we appear to be outsourcing this to other countries, further distancing ourselves from our global obligations to refugees. I do understand that our government/s want to ensure that refugee status should be only given to those who are in need of it, but we need to dramatically improve both the waiting times and the conditions for these people. Whatever their status – refugee or otherwise – to allow them to suffer like this is inhuman.

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The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation expects that within fifteen years, Africa will be feeding itself. As this article points out, though, this will mean a huge change in how we approach farming and farming assistance. Something which should not have surprised me but did, was that most farmers in Africa are women. When we think of farms, we think of grains grown in large monocultures, but for many families, this does not supply their daily food requirements. This highlights the issue that if we are to help farmers anywhere, we need to ensure that we’re providing assistance based on the specific needs of the farmers and the conditions where they farm. Another fun fact: 2015 is the International Year of Soil. How exciting! (No, I really mean that!)

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