Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
It might surprise you, therefore, to learn that across the world today more than 27 million people are living in slavery, and human trafficking, or people smuggling, has become one of the most profitable forms of organised crime, up there with arms and drugs dealing.
And I know you're now thinking I must be talking about impoverished
people groups and war-torn or under-developed nations. Well, those sectors of society are certainly extremely vulnerable, but the truth is that, according to the United Nations, every single country on the planet is affected in some way by human trafficking.
Some nations are targeted as a source for slaves, some are destinations, others serve as a crossroads, which victims transit through. Some countries figure in all three roles.
The networks controlling this modern-day slavery are vast and menacing. They operate in the shadows and every year they smuggle hundreds of thousands of victims across international borders and into a life of cruelty and bondage.
Forget those old images of shackles and chains, modern-day slavery takes many forms. It includes women and children being kidnapped and forced into prostitution, it encompasses forced labour in sweatshops and factories, it involves the tragedy of child soldiers made to fight an adult war and it extends to domestic helpers living in the unpaid service of ruthless and violent households. It may shock you to know that Europe and North America are major trafficking destinations.
Such is the reach of this crime, that the United Nations this year produced a global report examining every country's efforts in tackling it. Some are doing better than others. Many have developed special government and police task forces to focus on the problem and have welcomed the help of charities and independent organisations in rescuing and supporting victims.
Others treat the victims as criminals, labelling them illegal immigrants and charging them with crimes like prostitution. Often, the public imagine these victims have chosen their own path in life, we enjoy such freedom that it’s hard for us to believe and accept that slavery exists. But would a 10 or 12-year-old girl really choose a life in the sex trade? Would a mother really cut off ties with her family to toil in a sweatshop earning a pittance – wages which are often taken straight back by her employer as payment towards some imaginary debt?
But there is some good news in all this. The United Nations considers that
raising public awareness about human trafficking is its number one weapon in fighting this escalating crime. And that's why we're telling you about it today.
Don’t be fooled, this does happen in our own backyards, but by increasing our knowledge about it, we can be the key which sets these prisoners free.
The information we've shared here today only scratches the surface. If you want to know more, there are stacks of websites you can visit. Some of the leading ones are:
The scale of this problem can feel overwhelming, but don’t be discouraged. If our heightened awareness ultimately keeps just one vulnerable person safe, it will have been worth it.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
In celebration of the season, Easter Sunday lunch was always a grand affair. Family and friends gathered for the traditional roast which, without exception, was a mouth-watering leg of lamb accompanied by mint sauce and all the trimmings.
These days, I live in the southern hemisphere, where Easter brings a welcome chill to the air after a sweltering summer, and Sydney’s spectacular blue skies provide a beautiful backdrop to the browns, reds and golds of autumn.
Australian chef Bill Granger’s slow-cooked Greek lamb is a favourite in our family and a perfect celebration dish whatever the season. Its long, slow cooking time fills the house with delightful aromas and the meat is so tender it virtually melts in your mouth.
It does take a very long time to cook, but the end result is worth the wait. We usually leave out the olives and serve the dish with a crisp Greek salad or extra roasted veggies, depending on the weather.
2kg leg of lamb on the bone, trimmed
Freshly ground black pepper
Small handful fresh oregano leaves
Juice of 1 lemon, plus 1 lemon, quartered
3 tablespoons white wine
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 large potatoes (such as desiree), peeled and cut into chunks
1 cup large green olives
Preheat the oven to 220°C. Put the lamb in a large roasting tin and season well with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the oregano and pour over the lemon juice and wine. Drizzle with the olive oil and roast for 20 minutes, or until the lamb is browned.
Add 125 ml (½ cup) of water to the roasting tin and cover the tin with foil. Reduce the oven to 160°C and roast the lamb for another 1½ hours. Arrange the potato and lemon quarters around the lamb and return to the oven for another 2 hours, turning the potatoes at least once during this time and basting the lamb with the pan juices. The lamb should be very tender.
Remove the lamb from the tin and set aside to rest before slicing. Increase the oven to 220°C. Add the olives to the tin with the potatoes and return to the oven for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are golden. Serve with the lamb, with some pan juices spooned over the top.
Monday, April 06, 2009
Take care and please remember to jump on and listen to our radio show this week we have GREAT stuff lined up for you. Lastly, don't forget 'to the world you may only be someone, but to someone you may be the world'.
Say hello to your family for me.
Friday, April 03, 2009
Thursday, April 02, 2009
- 24.1% of teens have thought seriously about attempting suicide.
- 17.1% have made specific plans about suicide.
- 8.7% of students have attempted suicide.
- 2.8% have made an attempt that resulted in medical attention.
- *Suicide claims more lives in North America than homicide*
- Teen Suicide is the 6th leading cause of death for kids between the ages of 5-14
- Teen Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for kids between the ages of 15-24
- Teens having the highest risk include perfectionists or overachievers
- Teens who have been through a life altering event, such as divorce, pregnancy, loss of limbs or sight, or loss of a loved one are also very high risk.
- Teenagers with a conduct disorder, or who have a mental disorder, such as clinical depression, schizophrenia, or eating disorders have a high risk.
- Another high risk group are teens who are victims of bullying or domestic abuse.
- Drug/Alcohol use
- No sense of humour
- Changes in social interactions
- Change in eating and sleeping habits
- Loss of interest in activities normally enjoyed
- Drastic weight loss or gain commonly attributed to specific eating disorders
- Complete or near-complete withdrawal altogether from peers and social contact
- Persistent boredom, difficulty concentrating, or a decline in the quality of schoolwork
- Mood changes (especially if the teenager acts increasingly angry about life in general)
- Quietness, especially if the teenager used to confide in the parent and suddenly no longer does
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
To jazz up your table, you could light a couple of candles and decorate with green and red chillies, either in decorative bowls or just scattered down the middle of the table. If you wanted to go the extra mile, you could buy a few banana leaves from the florist and serve your meal on them rather than plates. Something fun and just a little different.
I have used prawns in this version, however if prawns aren't your thing then substitute with chicken or fish. I have added a number of vegetables to the following recipe as options, but you can keep it simple and serve with just the sauce and rice if that works better for you. I like to use brown rice with this dish ~ it adds that lovely nutty flavour plus gives that great boost of fibre we can all use.
I hope you enjoy this simple yet delicious treat.
Prawns – at least 8-10 per person
1 can baby corn (optional)
½ cup thinly sliced red capsicum (optional)
Handful of green beans (optional – leave the ends on for look)
Green curry paste (you can buy this in the supermarket and it usually has very few additives which is GREAT!)
1 can coconut milk (I use lite)
A dash of fish sauce (if you have it) for taste. If you don't have it, a sprinkle of salt will do
Heat the coconut milk and add the green curry paste. Bring to a rolling boil
Add the baby corn, beans and prawns
Boil gently, the sauce will thicken on its own
Add the red capsicum, serve and enjoy