Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Circumcision Gains More Acceptance in AIDS Fight
By Kathryn McConnell | Staff Writer | 23 December 2011
Men standing in line outside door (Courtesy of Jhpiego)
Men and adolescent boys line up
to get circumcised at a health center in Tanzania.
Washington — Growing acceptance of male circumcision, in Africa especially, is having a dramatic and positive effect on the fight against HIV/AIDS.
AIDS has killed 30 million people around the world since it was first reported in 1981, but according to a Johns Hopkins University affiliate, for men and adolescent boys, the one-time procedure of circumcision can mean a lifetime of reduced risk of getting HIV, the virus that can lead to AIDS.

The good news is that “in some areas, it’s becoming a social norm to be circumcised, particularly among adolescents,” said Kelly Curran, director of HIV and infectious diseases at the Hopkins affiliate Jhpiego. In sub-Saharan Africa, the region of the world most devastated by AIDS, Kenya and Tanzania are making the most progress in reducing HIV infections, she added. Jhpiego implements HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention programs funded by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the U.S. Agency for International Development.

The fight to stop new HIV infections accelerated in 2007, when the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the World Health Organization began to scale up voluntary medical male circumcisions to reduce transmission of the virus. According to Curran, the groups that year also endorsed three surgical methods for performing the procedure following successful trials in South Africa, Uganda and Kenya. Since then, 1 million men around the world have been circumcised. Three-fourths of the procedures were funded by PEPFAR, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said November 8 while stressing that the U.S. goal is to see a global AIDS-free generation. Clinton has noted that about 34 million people still live with the disease.

“Virtually every other strategy we have to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS depends on people doing things that are not easy,” Curran said. She cited behavioral changes such as remembering to use a condom, reducing the number of sexual partners and learning the HIV status of partners. (Jhpiego offers circumcision to men and adolescents as part of a package of services that includes teaching the correct use of condoms, testing and treating sexually transmitted diseases, promoting safe sexual practices and offering antiretroviral therapy for people who are HIV-positive.)

Circumcision is a safe and simple procedure done by well-trained and -equipped medical providers that takes 20–30 minutes, she said. There is compelling evidence that circumcision reduces the risk of sexual transmission of HIV by 60 percent, according to UNAIDS. Circumcision also has been shown to reduce urinary tract infections.

Men wearing T-shirts reading 'Male Circumcision' in a Tanzanian language (Courtesy of Jhpiego)
Three men wear T-shirts reading "Tohara ya Mwanaume,"
or "Male Circumcision" in a Tanzanian language.
Male circumcision benefits women because it reduces the transmission of other sexually transmitted diseases such as herpes and the virus that causes cervical cancer, according to Curran.

Curran said taking HIV prevention services close to where people live has been a successful strategy. In Tanzania, for instance, Jhpiego works with a nonprofit group that uses mobile health centers so men don’t have to walk long distances to be circumcised. Jhpiego also uses radio programs and short text messages to communicate information about HIV/AIDS prevention methods to targeted groups.

In order to help other countries reach the success levels that Kenya and Tanzania are experiencing, UNAIDS and PEPFAR announced December 5 a five-year plan to expand male circumcision services for HIV prevention in 14 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The plan was developed by the two groups along with the World Health Organization, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Bank, in consultation with the national ministries of health of those countries.

If 80 percent of men in the 14 countries are circumcised, 3.4 million new infections could be averted and $16.5 billion in HIV/AIDS treatment costs could be saved, Curran said. Reaching 80 percent would entail performing 20 million circumcisions on men ages 15–49 by 2015, according to UNAIDS.

The 14 targeted countries are Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The joint plan to scale up voluntary medical male circumcision is on the UNAIDS website. More information about PEPFAR and Jhpiego is on their websites.

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Monday, December 19, 2011


As we celebrate the Holiday or Chrismas and New Year, we at CALD International would like to wish you all a blessed celebration filled with joy.

May you all be blessed now and always.

May the spirit of the Holidays or Christmas bring you peace.

The gladness of the Holidays or Christmas give you hope.

The warmth of Holidays or Christmas grant you love.

May we always remember the enormous blessings we receive daily and in return reach out to those in need in our communities and beyond.

May peace be your gift for this Holiday or Christmas and the blessing of the Almighty be with you and the world to help us all make this world a better place. To make it a Holiday or Christmas day everyday of the year

Let us raise a loving cup of Peace on earth, goodwill to men And make them do the washing up.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The University of Edinburgh seeks Applications for Global Development Academy Master’s Scholarships
University of Edinburgh is one of the world-leading centres of academic excellence which aims to create and disseminate knowledge for the people. The university offers the best quality learning environment for the greater well-being of the students. The university also wishes to enhance its position as one of the world’s leading research and teaching universities.
The University of Edinburgh is currently inviting applications for Edinburgh Global Development Academy Master’s Scholarships from eligible candidates in select countries. The University will offer 2 Master’s scholarships covering the overseas rate of fee for students from less developed countries and 2 Master’s scholarships covering the “home” rate of tuition fee for UK/EU students for eligible Master’s programmes offered by the University.

Scholarship Provisions

Each scholarship for students from less developed countries will cover the overseas rate of tuition fee, while further two scholarships will cover the UK/EU rate of tuition fee only.

Programs of Study

Scholarships will be available for students pursuing one of the following Global Development Academy programmes:
  • MSc Africa and International Development
  • MSc Environment and Development
  • MSc International Development
  • MSc Science, Technology and International Development
  • MSc South Asia and International Development

Eligibility Criteria

The scholarships covering the overseas rate of fee will be awarded to students who are accepted for admission onto an eligible Global Development Academy programme at the University of Edinburgh. Applicants must be both nationals of and resident in the countries eligible.

Eligible Countries

Countries listed above are defined as least developed nations by the United Nations Composition of macro geographical (continental) regions, geographical sub-regions, and selected economic and other groupings.

Selection Criteria

The scholarship will be awarded on the basis of academic merit. Candidates must have, or expect to obtain, a UK first class or 2:1 Honours degree at undergraduate level or the international equivalent.
Last date for submitting the applications is April 2, 2012.
For more information, visit this link.

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North-South Centre of the Council of Europe seeks Grant Applications for Africa Europe Youth Cooperation Program
The Africa Europe Youth Cooperation Program is an initiative of North-South Centre of the Council of Europe that aims to raise awareness about issues of global interdependence and solidarity in Europe. This program also aims to promote cooperation and human contacts between Europe, the southern Mediterranean and Africa. One of the main objectives of the program is to provide training and capacity building for young people and youth organisations as well as to facilitate policy action on youth in development policies.
North-South Centre of the Council of Europe is currently inviting grant applications for Africa Europe Youth Cooperation Program. This grant allocation, or seed funding, is intended to promote Africa Europe youth exchanges, networking and political participation of nonstate actors. It aims at funding initiatives which provides the possibility for youth leaders, youth workers, experts and trainers to participate in Euro African Youth activities and youth exchanges projects.

Grant Provisions

The grants are of a maximum 2000 € per project/organisation.

Program Activities

  • five sub-regional seminars on youth policies and African youth charter;
  • Africa-Europe training courses for youth organisations, and training opportunities for African Diaspora in Europe;
  • mapping exercise of Africa-Europe youth cooperation/work, leading to the creation of an Africa Europe Youth Cooperation on-line resource centre.
  • providing seed funding for pilot youth NGO exchanges;
  • the establishment of the Africa Europe Youth Platform and institutional follow up, monitoring and implementation with key youth actors from Africa and Europe, and representatives of implementing agencies and institutions of the Africa-Europe youth strategy;
  • African University on Youth and Development.

General Conditions

  • The application should be submitted by a youth organisation, network or nonstate actor at local, national, (sub)regional or international level that is active in promoting Africa Europe youth cooperation.
  • Priority is given to projects presented by organisations coming from Africa and/or from the African Diaspora Living in Europe, and organisations/networks that submit projects which will allocate the grant support for African youth participants in the project and/or participation of African Diaspora in the project.
  • The participants in the project benefiting from the grant should be under 35 years of age.
  • Innovative projects with an experimental approach are encouraged to apply.
  • Projects that respond to the thematic priorities, such as: youth rights; youth participation; climate change, food security and youth entrepreneurship would be priorities in this call.

Eligibility of Expenses

The following costs are eligible for the grant:
  • International travel
  • Local transport
  • Board and lodging
  • Visa expenses
  • Fees for experts (i.e. trainers, facilitators, speakers, etc)
The organisation which receives a seed funding grant will be notified at the latest 4 weeks after submission of project description and will thereafter sign an Administrative Arrangement with the North-South Centre for the execution of the financial support. Two (2) months after the implementation of the project (end of eligible period) the beneficiary must submit a narrative (of the results and main outcomes of the project) and financial report of the project to the NSC.
Last date for submitting the applications is January 29, 2012.
For more information, visit this link

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Applications invited for Chevening Scholarship Program from Young Professionals in Select African Countries to pursue PG studies in the UK

British Council is currently seeking applications for the Chevening Scholarship program from young eligible and outstanding professionals in select African countries viz. Botswana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, South Africa, South Sudan, Uganda, and Zambia who are already experienced in their chosen profession and would like to further develop their career with a postgraduate course in the UK.
The Chevening Scholarship Program is a prestigious awards scheme that funds international postgraduate students who want to study in the UK for one academic year.
Funded by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office and administered by the British Council, the scheme operates in over 150 countries and annually provides funding for over 2,300 scholars.

Fields of Study
Economics, Finance, Banking, Law, Human rights, Public administration, Management, Project planning, Media, Political science, International relations, Diplomatic training, Environmental studies
Although applicants for other courses (as varied as counter-terrorism, religion and energy/climate change) may be considered. You are expected to show a commitment to return to your country, where you will contribute to the country’s socio-economic development using the new skills and knowledge acquired during your stay in the UK.
You can apply for a Chevening scholarship if:
  • You are a postgraduate student who can prove your academic success and who has already begun a career in your chosen field.
  • You have between two and five years working experience (depending on the country you are applying in), with an excellent track record illustrating your achievements and your potential to use the skills gained during your scholarship to make a difference in your country.
  • You have achieved an excellent mark for you undergraduate degree and can provide a transcript of your academic record. Specific academic requirements are available from the British Council offices in your country.
  • You are 21 years or older (there are upper age limits for specific countries so please ensure you check this during your applications process).
  • You are a resident in your country when you apply and provide your birth certificate (with translation).
  • You must have good English language skills (most UK Higher Education institutions require a minimum IELTS of 6.5 for admission into postgraduate courses).
Application Deadlines
Applications are only open at certain times of the year and differ per country.
For more information, visit this link

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Applications are invited for Africa Initiative Graduate Research Grant Program
The Africa Initiative (AI) is a Joint program of CIGI and Makerere University (MAK) and was started to contribute to the deepening of Africa’s capacity and knowledge in five thematic areas—conflict resolution, energy, food security, health, migration and climate change. The program includes field-based research, strategic partnerships, and online collaboration and focuses on supporting innovative research and researchers.
Applications are currently being invited from interested candidates for Africa Initiative Graduate Research Grant Program. This program has been designed to support innovative, policy-relevant research on Africa conducted by graduate students enrolled in a Canadian or African university. The grant is offered to up to thirty recipients each year. Each recipient spends as many as three months in Africa or Canada conducting research funded by the program.

For Students Enrolled in a University in Africa

The Africa Initiative Graduate Research Grant program supports short-term academic placements for students enrolled in a Master’s or PhD program at African universities. The program offers grants of up to CAD$10,000 each to fifteen students per year to conduct research for up to three months at Canadian universities. As part of their application for the grant, applicants are expected to self-identify professors and experts they would like to work with at universities in Canada and are required to submit an official letter of support from the university where they wish to be based.

- Eligibility Criteria:
  • must be a Master’s or PhD student enrolled in an African university
  • must be in good academic standing (with at least an overall B standing, or equivalent)
  • proposed research must be original and timely, and must focus on one or more of the thematic areas of conflict resolution, energy, food security, health, migration, and climate change.
- Program Requirements: Participants are expected to author three backgrounders for the Africa Portal during their placement and write one major research paper.
- Major Research Paper: Participants will produce one major research paper based on their research at the conclusion of their placement. Topic selection is the responsibility of the participant, with the expectation that the topic aligns with one or more of the Africa Initiative’s thematic areas and the topic offers a policy-relevant angle.

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Wayan Vota Joins the VSO International Board

Picture a dusty, hot Saturday afternoon in Kaduna, Nigeria, the buzz of cheap Chinese motorbikes filling the air. In the backroom of a small community foundation, I introduce myself to the two people told to me as the "hardest working loan officers at Fantsuam Foundation." Bent over their laptops, sweat dripping on their brow, two Kenyan VSO volunteers are doing intricate financial modeling in their role as loan officers for the foundation.
This was my first introduction to of Volunteer Service Overseas (VSO) volunteers in the field and I was immediately impressed with them and VSO in general. Peace Corps volunteers work hard (I was one, briefly) but not on Saturdays. And to see Africans volunteering in Africa gave me great pride and renewed hope

For more information follow the link - 
Graduate Research Assistantship in Geography

One NSF-funded master's level graduate research assistantship is available in the Department of Geography, Miami University beginning fall 2012 for the project 'Short Term Dynamics in Changing Environments: A Geospatial Analysis of Seasonal Forest Response and Extractive Resource Entitlements at Mt. Kasigau, Kenya' co-directed by Drs. Kim Medley and John Maingi.

As part of a collaborative research project, the selected student will focus on a past analysis of land-cover change at Mt. Kasigau and ecological change in forest community types. The GRA includes travel support for field research in Kenya. For more information, please contact Dr. John Maingi at Miami University, Department of Geography, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

We seek applicants with the following skills/abilities:
  • Bachelor's degree in geography, forestry, environmental science, or a related discipline
  • Interest in remote sensing, forest ecology, and environmental change
  • Experience and/or some background in image processing and analysis
  • Ability to work independently and commitment to publish research in peer-reviewed journals
  • Proficiency with ArcGIS and/or statistical analysis software
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Enthusiasm to conduct fieldwork in southeastern Kenya

Interested applicants should first send a cover letter that summarizes their research interests and academic and professional background, a resume/CV, copies of their transcripts (unofficial copies acceptable at this point), and names and contact information for two referees.

These materials should be emailed to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with the subject 'Graduate RA Application' in the subject line. Students interested should contact Dr.Maingi as soon as possible, but no later than January 18, 2012.

Once an applicant is selected for the assistantship, instructions will be provided for the formal application process to the Department of Geography and Miami University Graduate School.
First diaspora conference in Kenya to woo investors
Posted Monday, December 12 2011 at 19:56

The Kenyan government is stepping up its efforts to woo Kenyans living abroad to invest in the country by hosting the first ever Diaspora Homecoming conference.

“The new Constitution has for the first time recognised the diaspora through dual citizenship and we want to bring them on for nation building,” said Diaspora Affairs Advisor at the Prime Minister’s office, Mr John Maina.

Remittances from the three million Kenyans living abroad account for billions of shillings in annually, rivalling the nation’s biggest earners— tea, horticulture and tourism.

Last year, doaspora remittances totalled Sh51.6 billion. Despite the immense potential for development that these funds pose, a poor policy environment is making it hard for Kenyans abroad to send money home for investments.

“We have never had a structure before to address diaspora investments. That is one of the things we want to explore at the conference,” said Mr Maina.

He added that a blueprint for an amicable policy environment had already been created but that the government needed the input of stakeholders to develop it further.

The role of the diaspora in development has been emphasised in the last one year with the ministry of foreign affairs adopting diaspora diplomacy as one of its key pillars.