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June 16, 2013

Bring Back Social Clubs

We need to bring back social clubs with activities such as dancing, drama, and sports. There should also be local, provincial, and national competitions among social clubs across the country in each of these activities. These clubs really made a huge difference for people growing up in the 80’s.

We need to make it compulsory for pupils to participate in at least 2-3 sports activities which would be available through the social clubs. This kind of involvement would definitely assist in combating drug abuse and pupils just wandering around the streets. It could also help to reduce teenage pregnancy.

We need to involve governmental departments such Arts & Culture, Education, Sports and Finance in an effort to bring back the social clubs. These departments need to work together to offer young people activities that will motivate them to create hopeful futures for themselves.

Richmond Seleka

South Africa

 

June 4, 2013

Living Ubuntu

A number of years ago, I was introduced to the book “God Has A Dream”. The concept of Ubuntu resonated with me. Ubuntu embodied the essence of a Divine or “Christ’ spirit; an all-loving, all-acknowledging; all-accepting intention of the magnificence of God. The effect has been profound and instrumental in my life since then — truly understanding that our humanity is affirmed by acknowledging the humanity of others.

 

May 26, 2013

Reflections on the Meaning of Memorial Day

The intention of Memorial Day is to honor all who died in America’s wars, not to celebrate militarism or bless war.

Instead of letting the holiday be co-opted to perpetuate militarism, let us resolutely focus on honoring those who have given their lives in our nation’s conflicts.

This Memorial Day is an opportunity to consider: given the cost in these precious lives, we must find a better way, not just repeat the past again and again. War–and those whose lives are snuffed out or haunted by it–gives us every indication that we have not yet explored or employed our best intellectual, spiritual and material resources for preventing or addressing conflicts.  [Read the full post]

April 11, 2013

Musical Cover Contest Tribute to Jyoti Singh Pandey – Delhi gang rape victim.

Jyoti Singh PandeyFollowing the tragic rape and murder of the Delhi Gang Rape Victim, Jyoti Singh Pandey, The Pixel Project dedicated our Valentine 2013 YouTube Cover Carnival contest to honour Ms. Pandey’s courage and strength in fighting for her life until the bitter end.

Ms. Pandey’s death is a tipping point that triggered a major backlash against Violence Against Women in India and worldwide and we hope this collective musical tribute will be a positive way of keeping the momentum of the activism going.

The Pixel Project is a global, virtual, volunteer-led 501(c)3 nonprofit working to raise awareness, funds and volunteer power for the cause to end Violence Against Women using the power of the internet, social media, new technologies and popular culture/the Arts.

We are joined and supported by an all-star panel of judges including:

  • AHMIR (also The Pixel Project’s YouTube Music Ambassador)
  • Ali Brustofski
  • J Rice
  • Lisa Lavie

Our YouTube Cover Carnival Contest is open to all up-and-coming YouTube artistes. Contestants have a choice of 2 songs to cover:
“Little Things” by One Direction
“Greatest Love of All” by Whitney Houston

Music For Pixels Music Campaign
YouTube Cover Carnival Contest:
http://is.gd/YouTubeCoverCarnival

Artists Submission page:
http://music4pixels.thepixelproject.net/the-youtube-cover-carnival-about/youtube-cover-carnival-submit-a-youtube-cover/

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
MUSIC FOR PIXELS CAMPAIGN:
music4pixels@thepixelproject.net http://music4pixels.thepixelproject.net

GENERAL INFORMATION:
inf2013 YouTube Cover Carnival contest

 

The Pixel Project – It’s time to stop violence against women. Together.
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Blog: http://www.thepixelproject.net/blog

March 19, 2013

To Young Leaders of Tomorrow—You Will See Global Peace in your Lifetime if You Start Today

ubuntu logoThroughout the course of my research, I have found several things about Desmond Tutu’s philosophy to be relevant for my peer group of young people in their late teens and early twenties in 2013. At a young age Desmond Tutu discovered the term and philosophy of Ubuntu, which essentially describes the relations we have with each other. Desmond Tutu applied this philosophy to his work later in life when he had to choose between revenge or restorative justice when he was affiliated with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on the issue of apartheid in South Africa. Desmond Tutu saw revenge as the “natural reaction,” but knew from his experience with conflict resolution at that time, and from the philosophy of Ubuntu that very simply, two wrongs do not make a right, and it is better to act more morally and with justice than it is to just take revenge.

Everything that Desmond Tutu has expressed in his life as an activist for global peace is relevant to young people today. Even though it seems that our world is filled with people just resorting to violence every day without any logic, there are still many good people striving to make the world a better place for all.  At times it seems that violent reactions happen for the sole purpose of making perpetrators look superior in some way within peer groups or certain communities. Violence may also be chosen as the easy way out for some because they have not learned how to express their thoughts and emotions in a civilized manner.

handshakeMany people around the world have become accustomed to “immediate gratification.”  Negotiation, whether within the family, between friends, among citizens in a given community or among nations, takes time and patience.  At the top level of government that effort is called diplomacy, and fewer and fewer officials in governments around the world seem to choose sticking with the path of diplomacy, opting instead for the “instant violent conflict” solution.  It is for that very reason that all people must learn how to resolve conflict within themselves and among others in a non-violent way.

desmond tutu - truth and reconciliation commissionIn a time like this, it is best to reflect on Desmond Tutu’s philosophy to not only strengthen the relationships we have with each other, but make this world a better place to live in by valuing human life above all else. These recent outbreaks of violence we hear about every day on the News are appalling, and they call out to all of us to apply the wisdom and philosophy which aided Desmond Tutu to succeed in his role within the struggle to end apartheid in South Africa.

We see much too much of the violent ways conflicts are handled, but we almost never see the stories about successful acts of nonviolent conflict resolution led by prominent figures as well as their many followers who apply nonviolence to their everyday lives. There is no sense of balance in the messages we receive about how people handle conflict.  Sure, we learn about great nonviolent leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, and Desmond Tutu in textbooks, but we seldom ever really learn how to apply those acts and beliefs in our own daily lives.

helping each otherDesmond Tutu did what only a few others would have done which solidified his acts of peace. There are good people in this world and everything they do is pertinent to what prominent figures have done as well, and we should hear more about the efforts of those people. Let us seek out Desmond Tutu’s philosophy of Ubuntu which will ensure that we become champions of nonviolent conflict resolution. What Desmond Tutu has set forth to do—to make global peace a reality—is based on the idea of learning from birth from the family into which we are born and raised to see others as we see ourselves, which subsequently leads to more right than wrong.


Editor’s Note:  Go to the inspirational site of Combatants for Peace http://cfpeace.org/?page_id=2, a coalition of former Israeli and Palestinian enemies who used violent methods to attack each other over years but came to the conclusion that nonviolent methods of conflict resolution would be more powerful in getting to an understanding of each other and peaceful coexistence.  This organization is proof positive that the goal of global peace is, indeed, attainable.  They exemplify Ubuntu.

February 14, 2013

Valentine’s Day is for Peacemakers!

It’s too bad we’ve trivialized “Valentine” to baby-faced-winged-cherubs of myth – when a factual human of history is at the heart of today’s historical core.

The real historic person, the Saint – of St. Valentine’s day –  lived as a peacemaker, embodying love for others demonstrated in allegiance with his Christian piety & care.  The Saint lived to embody relational, reciprocal love between humans that stood in opposition to warfare, violence, enemies, empires or allegiance to nationalistic overlords.

St Valentine“Not much is known about St. Valentine. He lived in the third century, was a priest in Rome, and was martyred in the final years of the Emperor Claudius II’s reign. Stories about Valentine have him ministering in various ways to persecuted Christians. But the story that best expresses what the saint stands for has it that he secretly married dozens of young Christian couples during a time when Claudius had forbidden male youths from marrying because he wanted them as unencumbered soldiers for his legions. Valentine was discovered officiating at one such wedding and was hauled in chains before Claudius. Once there, he tried to convert the emperor. Enraged at the priest’s presumption, Claudius had him beaten nearly to death and then beheaded.”

From:  a wonderful new book by Kerry Walters and Robin Jarrell—Blessed Peacemakers: 365 Extraordinary People Who Changed the World.

Today – let’s celebrate a Peacemaker who valued love for others.  St. Valentine was willing to die for his commitment to love as testimony to how he understood God’s love for the world.

 “St. Valentine’s feast day has fallen on hard times. It’s become an annual occasion marked by mawkish verse, images of fat cupids shooting arrows into hearts, and binge spending (in 2011, U.S. consumers blew nearly $16 billion on Valentine cards, candy, flowers, and jewels). Even the Roman Catholic Church contributed to the day’s decline by taking if off the General Roman Calendar in 1969. But despite all the marketing hoopla that’s almost swallowed up the day, peacemakers ought to remember it, because at its best it’s a commemoration of the nonviolent power of love.”  (Same source as above.)

Saint Valentine valued human-reciprocal love more than earthly allegiance to warfare and violence, the militarism of his day.