“I believe that the very purpose of life is to be happy. From the very core of our being, we desire contentment. In my own limited experience I have found that the more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being. Cultivating a close, warmhearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease. It helps remove whatever fears or insecurities we may have and gives us the strength to cope with any obstacles we encounter. It is the principal source of success in life. Since we are not solely material creatures, it is a mistake to place all our hopes for happiness on external development alone. The key is to develop inner peace.”—Dalai Lama (via sacred-geometry)
Much to our frustration, now is the time of year when potholes and giant cracks decorate roads and sidewalks. While some might find that filling these cracks with plantings is a good green solution, we also like Juliana Santacruz Herrera’s take on the pothole problem — fill them with bright and colorful strands of yarn!
“May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.”—Irish Blessing (In memory of my grandmother)
On Friday, March 11, 2011, an earthquake registering 8.9 on the Richter scale hit Japan, causing a tsunami resulting in massive destruction. Japanese news sources report a death toll of 1,800 people, and some expect the number could be as high as 10,000. Efforts are underway to assist survivors and begin rebuilding. The Jumo team has been following the updates, and we’d like to highlight some organizations doing important disaster relief work in Asia, as well as provide information on how you can help.
Action Against Hunger is an international humanitarian organization that, while known for its commitment to ending world hunger, has been working with local and national authorities to assist more than 45,000 people evacuate from at-risk areas in the Philippines.
Doctors Without Borders has two three-person teams attempting to reach the worst hit areas in Iwate and Miyagi prefectures, areas that are currently blocked by flooding. Another 25 members of the organization in Japan are on standby to respond upon the assessment of the area.
Give2Asia, a San Francisco-based organization, has set up a Japan Earthquake & Tsunami Recovery Fund in response to the disaster.
Mercy Corps is collecting donations for its overseas partner Peace Winds Japan. Peace Winds will deliver shelters for homeless survivors in Kesennuma.
Operation USA is collecting bulk quantities of health care supplies in addition to public donations. Supplies will be shipped from the organization’s Los Angeles headquarters.
Save the Children has been working in Japan for 25 years and provided relief in other Pacific nations hit by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. The organization is mobilizing forces in Asia as well as accepting donations that will go toward relief work.
World Vision representatives are hard at work in the Asia and Pacific region assessing damage and determining the needs of survivors. They have begun setting-up Child-Friendly Spaces, allowing young victims to play and participate in activities to experience a sense of normalcy following the disaster.
Today marks the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, a celebration of the achievements of women observed around the globe.
Why you should care:
• Women perform 66% of the world’s work and produce 50% of the world’s food, yet they earn only 10% of the world’s income and own only 1% of the world’s property.
• According to the United Nations, girls make up the majority of the estimated 72 million children who are not in school.
• Close to 70% of the world’s 759 million adults who cannot read or write are women.
• 10 million teenage girls marry every year, largely without completing secondary education.
As the stats show, women are not afforded equal educational opportunities. Despite women’s contributions to the world’s work and food production, limited access to education translates to limited economic, social, and governmental power.
The United Nations estimates that the U.S. GDP would rise by 9%, the euro zone’s by 13%, and Japan’s by16% if women’s paid employment rates equaled their male counterparts.
Creating equal opportunities isn’t just about helping women achieve success—it’s about changing existing systems for the benefit of everyone.