BBC Reports by 8JC
Wild at Heart
We say we are the nation of animal lovers, so why are so many animals on the brink of extinction? For instance, the ‘White Rhino’ is the world’s rarest rhino. It is close to extinction as there are only three Northern White Rhinos left in the wild that live under the protection of Kenya’s OI Pejeta Conservancy. People poach rhinos for their horns, which are used in traditional Asian medicines and to demonstrate social status.
The last ever sighting of a White Rhino in the wilderness was back in 2006, before the Rhinos were put under protection. Another reason why poachers want their horns is to use them as ornaments because they are made up of a protein called ‘Keratin’, the same protein in our finger nails, and because of this, prolific poaching happens. It has become unnecessary and the outcome for this is that roughly 1000 rhinos are poached every year just for their horns.
How can you help?
- You can help by supporting charities that are linked to Wildlife Conservations and by adopting a wild animal so that they are given the care that they need.
- You can also help by educating people about why they should not poach and show that not only White Rhinos should be saved but the rest of the wildlife should also live without the suffering and harm that poachers cause.
‘The Kite Runner’
What is ‘The Kite Runner’?
‘The Kite Runner’ is the first novel by Khaled Hosseini, which was published in 2003. It tells the story of Amir, a young boy from the Wazir Akbar Khan district of Kabul, whose closest friend is Hassan. The story is set against a backdrop of tumultuous events, from the fall of Afghanistan's monarchy through the Soviet military intervention, the exodus of refugees to Pakistan and the United States, and the rise of the Taliban regime.
Afghanistan in the 1960s
Afghanistan was the most beautiful and the most eye catching country. Many girls, as well as boys, were educated up to high-school level and had the freedom to even go to schools, universities, and colleges. In their free time, they would meet up, have tea, listen to music and have fun. Everyone was allowed to follow their own religion and culture. They wore their own clothes and no one would judge them. Instead they would mind their own business.
Afghanistan after 1960s
This was when the tragedy began. The Taliban invaded Kabul (capital city of Afghanistan), killed billions of innocent people, prohibited women from working and controlled about two-thirds of the country. This affected everyone in Afghanistan because they lost their jobs, had no more health and care to support them, no money, many families had to move from one country to another just for their safety and many people could not even walk across the street without their hearts filling with fear.
Based on a true story
Adam*, who was working in secret for the C.I.D, was walking home and a strange man dressed in black with a bushy, black, long beard approached him and told him to go home - NOW! Adam was standing there, puzzled and afraid. He ran home as fast as he could. When he reached the front of his door, he saw a puddle of blood on the floor and a man wearing white clothes lying there beside the puddle, covered in blood. That man was his father.
Adam stormed out of the house, raging with anger and tears. Suddenly, a man pushed Adam onto the ground. He determinedly got up and began to fight back, and then from nowhere, three more men came out of a white huge van and began to fight Adam. Whilst Adam was on the floor bleeding and screaming with pain, the men threw him into the back of their van.
As they were driving, Adam was trying to stand up, but it was pitch black. Instead, he began to bang on the walls of the rusty van. The van stopped. A man came and opened the back doors of the van. Adam was trying to open his eyes, but the sun was shining so bright he couldn't. The man came in with a cricket bat and smacked him on the back of Adam's head and made him unconscious.
Eventually, when Adam opened his eyes, he was surrounded by innocent men moaning and groaning with pain. Adam was tied with ropes which were connected to the wall. The men all looked so familiar to Adam. While he was trying to get up, he realised that they were all workers of the C.I.D.
As the hours flew by, Adam was thinking about ways to get him out of this nightmare, but all he could think of was his father and how the Taliban had the guts to kill him.
One of the men near him threw a pocket knife at him and told him to cut the ropes, and as Adam was cutting his ropes, a member of the Taliban came to check up on what they were doing. The member stood right in front of Adam and said proudly: “I was the one who killed your father and guess who's next?"
Adam, raging with fear, ripped his ropes and ran out of the dungeon, but before he did, he kicked the member of the Taliban on the back and said, "You! You are next!"
As he ran, he grabbed his workers and began to run towards their freedom. They saw a man with a donkey beside him. He was Pashtun and was one of Adam's father’s workers, and he enabled the escape of Adam and the workers to Kabul. Safely? Well, that's a tale for another time.
Maybe one day I will write it and follow in the steps of Hosseni. One day.
In the meantime, my home Afghanistan will have to fight to have rights and freedom once again...
(* names have been changed)
Donald Trump vs Kim Jong-un
As we all know, the US President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un are not the best of friends. They’ve been having disagreements involving “nuclear testing”. For some time, North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, threatened to launch nuclear weapons toward the US and stated that he would be able to “destroy the whole of the United States”. President Trump later responded to this by going on to Twitter and calling Kim Jong-un names such as “Rocket Man”. You may have heard that names similar to this has come out of his mouth many times before. However, Kim Jong-un responded to these comments and insulted Trump, and on top of that announced more threats to the US.
Everyone was worried about their safety because if the US and North Korean did go to war, then that would mean that other countries around the world would be affected as well.
However, out of the blue, Kim Jong-un announced this month that he wanted to meet with President Trump, which was a shock for everyone, including Trump, who agreed to meet with the North Korean leader. “The deal with North Korea is very much in the making and will be, if completed, a very good one for the World. Time and place to be determined.”
Kim Jong-un said that the meeting would be held in North Korea. However, some of Trump’s advisors think that they should take more time to discuss matters before meeting in North Korea.
We don’t know what made Kim Jong-un change his mind and want to meet up with President Trump. Maybe he couldn’t afford to make more nuclear weapons, or maybe he just wants to talk to Trump about future plans, but Trump should be aware of what’s ahead of him because anything can happen.
Watch this space, folks!
International Women’s Day
To all the females out there, have you ever wanted a day that just appreciated the female existence? Well, have I got news for you - International Women’s Day is a day to appreciate all the females in your life, whether it’s a relative, a friend or a stranger.
What is International Women’s Day?
International Women’s Day is celebrated in many countries around the world every year on the 8th of March. It is a day when women are recognized for their achievements and accomplishments without looking twice. The first Women’s Day took place on the 28th February, 1909 in the USA. The Socialist Party of America created this day in honour of the 1908 strike against women’s working conditions.
International women’s day around the world
As a French National, I spoke to my mother about International Women’s Day in France and the celebrations of all things women. She said, “I think its great women can fight for things they believe in. I feel like I should have celebrated as well with my friends! It’s awful not everyone does it.” I also spoke to my dad about it: “I, myself, have never been to one, but I think it’s a great idea. I think some men don’t get involved because they’re jealous there isn’t a ‘men’s’ day.” It’s a man’s day every day, Dad!
While there were also marches and rallies on that day, there were also celebrations, parties, flash-mob dances and many happy countries celebrating the rights of women; there were also many arrests, including a young woman in New York after staging a sit in protest while taking part in the day in the life of a women.
Sexism on International Women’s Day
Although celebrating a gender that is usually objectified and treated at times as unequal is great, it does lead to criticism. Many women use this day to focus on racism, feminism, gender inequality and equal rights for women generally. However, when some men see a day like this, they usually think we are not talking about equality, and that women are completely taking over, and making a noise and a fuss, which they view as futile. This leads to many sexist debates on who deserves the most recognition.
In conclusion, this day is for the women out there who don’t get a lot of recognition yet deserve it.
Personally, I think this a great day but I would like to see an International Equality Day where men and women can come together and be encouraged and uplift one another!
Watch this space – it may happen!
Can a child suffer from dementia?
Yes! Dementia can occur in children, too. Many people associate the elderly with dementia, but it can occur in anybody.
Dementia is a group of symptoms (syndrome) associated with decline of brain functioning, causing gradual decrease of cognitive abilities. This includes problems with memory, thinking, problem solving, language and perception, which affects a person’s life very badly and gets worse overtime. Not everybody suffers from dementia, but the chances of getting it increases as you grow older. Some different types of dementia are: Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, mixed dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), Parkinson’s disease and many more.
Dementia is caused by loss of nerve cells progressing, and it gradually gets worse. This is because once a nerve cell dies, it cannot be replaced. As more and more cells die, the brain starts to shrink. This can be seen in a brain scan.
Dementia in children is rare and terminal. In children, the symptoms of dementia are difficult to identify early on so that they can get proper medication and support. Childhood dementia is different for each person, depending on their cause and type of dementia. However, the common symptoms that a parent should be aware of are:
- Memory loss – this is the most common symptom for dementia, but it can happen naturally without any dementia and doctors always look for two different symptoms when identifying dementia.
- Problem with language – children might have some problems with expressive and receptive language skills in general.
Personality change – these include:
- Mood swings
- Confusion with names of people and places
- Lack of personal hygiene
- Screaming, crying, and displays of uneasiness
- Loss of intellectual skills – showing lack of problem-solving ability, and as it gets worse, they stop learning new things
These symptoms depend on which part/area of the brain are affected, for example if the temporal lobe is damaged, you might have language issues.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for dementia presently. However, if it's diagnosed in the early stages, there are ways you can slow it down and maintain mental function.
According to the Alzheimer’s Society, there are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK. One in 14 people over 65 have dementia and affects 1 in 8 people over 80. It is believed that by 2025, the number of people with dementia will increase up to 1 million.
Recently, there has been news about a healthy 2-year-old child having childhood Alzheimer’s, which will descend into dementia. If there is no treatment, she will eventually die in her teens. The genetic condition affects 1 in 70,000 children. Their life expectancy is about 15 years. However, research is still going on and many elderly patients with dementia are donating their brain after death for the research. Researchers are studying the care as well as the cure.
Dementia research centres desperately need volunteers. There is a lack of effort in finding out the new treatments and preventions. Therefore, if you or someone is willing to help, you can sign up online by visiting: www.joindementiaresearch.nihr.ac.uk