Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

An interesting article here with links to a variety of organizations that are working to provide technology and educational opportunities to those who typically do not have access. Thanks to Mercedes Bell for passing this along; content from OnlineUniversities.com.

Here is the article – enjoy!

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Greetings from Cambodia!

We are delighted to send you some updates from Tra Peang Veng village’s water project! In March, READA’s Project Manager (Sineng Yoeun) and I conducted a monitoring visit to assess the impact of the water filters you donated to the village. You will find more information on the water progress in the village in READA’s report (attached)

As part of the monitoring visit, we were invited to Mrs Krot Thuk’s home. Mrs Krot Thuk lives in the village with her husband and her 4 younger children. Before Mrs Krot Thuk received a water filter, the family used to drink directly from the nearby well and pond (the pond was used during the dry season when the well had run out of water) and family members would suffer from waterborne diseases on average 2 or 3 times a month. Mrs Krot Thuk explained to us that she did not like going to the local commune clinic as she had never seen any positive result. She would instead try to go to Siem Reap hospital as much as she could (Siem Reap hospital is situated approximately 70 km away) which could cost the family between $25 and $75 a month.

Mrs Krot Thuk who has been using her water filter since August 2012, explained to us how the filter has impacted the family who no longer suffers from chronic waterborne disease. Family members are now confident about the quality of the water they drink and are even drinking more water as a result. They also take the filtered water with them when they go and work in the fields. Mrs Krot Thuk commented on the fact that the water no longer had a smell and candidly asked us why.

Mrs Krot Thuk is part of the water saving scheme (money saved to replace the clay component of the filter every 2 years). She was delighted to tell us that she now has extra cash which she is using to buy supplementary food for the family.

Mrs Krot Thuk wants to thank everyone who has contributed to her water filter and wishes us all a long and healthy life!

Warmest Regards,

Sandra Berard
Lotus Trust/Hilfe Country Co-ordinator
On behalf of Lotus and READA

April 5, 2013 update from Cambodia on the impact we made with the funding of water filters for rural villagers.  What great news!  A huge THANK YOU to the great team at READA, Sandra, and our fabulous Peace Train supporters.

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I am delighted to let you know that the water filters provided by Peace Train were … distributed to 19 families in Tra Peang Veng village on Friday 24th August!! READA’ s Field Officer, Sineng Yoeun, provided the community members with training on water hygiene and water filters maintenance. As part of this initiative, a saving scheme was also set up to enable families to keep maintaining their filters and to promote ownership.

On behalf of the Tra Peang Veng community, READA and Lotus, I wish to thank you and the Peace Train team for your hard work and great support!

It has been quite some time since we updated the website last!  After PeaceFest 2011, the team took a break and went about the rest of our lives for a while.  As many of you might know, Peace Train is an all-volunteer, distributed organization of people with shared interest in making a positive change in the world under the large and encompassing banner of ‘peace’.


These women are in a small village in Cambodia and are among the recipients of water filtration systems (and the training on how to use / maintain them).  PeaceFest contributions in part went to support this effort.  Notice the sign that the woman on the left is holding!  Many many thanks to Sandra Bérard and the team at READA for following up with us.  I am going to copy in below part of the message I received this week from them.  In addition, please see the link here to the full set of photos from the training and filter distribution.

Truly inspiring work these people are doing!

UPDATE:  Please check out the video here!

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2012 is right around the corner – the holidays of this time of year are speeding along it seems. A quick update: The funds from IMAGINE PeaceFest have been distributed to two of the 3 organisations (RAWA and OLPC); and I am still working on the transfer to Cambodia for the READA group. I’ll post an update when all is completed! Feels great to close the loop and to get the help to those who need it – thank you ALL for your support!

If you are thinking about other worthy causes, here is work that one of our Peace Train members Erica d’Aquila is doing in Suriname in her capacity as Peace Corps volunteer. I’ll paste in her message below, and have added a couple of photos she has sent. It would be terrific to help her and her village reach their funding goal for such an essential and basic need.  If you’d like to hear an interview with Erica and see more photos, click here.

From Erica:

Give the gift of clean drinking water

As many of you already know, I am still trying to raise the funds to resolve the lack of clean drinking water in the village, Pempe, where I am currently serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Suriname. Together, we have already raised 4,000 USD; however, the project still needs an additional 6,000 USD before it can be implemented.

The funds from this project will purchase 43 rain water catchment systems. These catchment systems will provide clean drinking water to the 140 men, women, and children living in Pempe year round.

Currently, the only water available to the village for drinking has been tested and shows the presence of E-coli and other harmful bacteria. As a result, water borne illnesses are amongst the most common health problems in the village. Water borne illnesses are often the cause of malnutrition in children, and prevent adults from traveling to their farms to harvest food for their families.

Please take the time during this holiday season to give the gift of clean drinking water to the men, women, and children of Pempe. I ask that you also encourage your families, friends, parishes, and colleagues to join us, so that together we can make this project a success!

Donations can be made my clicking on the following link:


This project must raise the full 10,000 USD by February 2012 or else it will not be happen, so if you can think of any way of getting the word out there, please help us out! Your donations and support will be making a huge impact in the lives of all of the adults and children living in Pempe, and it is greatly, greatly appreciate. NO donation is too big or too small!

Have a wonderful, merry, happy holiday season!

Love from Suriname,




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Profiles in Peace

Starting a series of interviews!  They will be featured here, and I wanted to include the latest interview with a Peace Train member and Peace Corps worker, Erica d’Aquila.  Check it out!

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Thank you!

One week ago we began IMAGINE PeaceFest. We set ourselves a goal to raise awareness about peace-building organizations in the world, and to gather a few funds to give to them. To do that – you, the artists, performers, organizers, poets, singers, bands, attendees and donors – you all came out to join us. Thank you all!

A few updates:
http://ireport.cnn.com/topics/1307 Many thanks to that marvelous avatar-reporter Any1 Gynoid for her contribution this year.

IMAGINE Networks blog updates.  Many thanks to Ms. M. Chevalier and Mr. J. Stockholm for their steady spirits and collaboration!

Our interview with READA Cambodia’s Sandra Bérard.  Thanks to Ms. W. Whiteberry for her guidance, patience and skill!

To the gentlemen interns at Old Dominion University – Mr. T. Norton and Mr. G. Selden – thank you for getting us into the social media realm and organizing the spoken word event!

I will post more details on the summary collections and links to pictures from the events once I return from travels – travels that unfortunately took me away from the last day of the event.  I hear it was great!

More soon.

Yours in peace –


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Art Auction in Second Life at the Dafthouse

The schedule has been updated with links to locations.  A big thank you to all the performers who are lined up for IMAGINE PeaceFest – those great people at ODU!  And all those great people wherever they are who are giving their time and talents to help people who could really use a hand.  Thanks also to the Nordic Virtual Worlds Network for giving us a shout!  There are many others to thank – Beverly Botsford, John Steed and the very talented Russ Corvey for their fantastic talents in the videos produced.  The list goes on.

If you want to help, please do.  The women in Afghanistan will be helped, the kids with new connections to the world will be helped, and the villagers in rural Cambodia will be helped.  Thank you.

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Imagine PEACEFEST Spoken Word Event!

What: Imagine PEACEFEST Spoken Word Night
When: Sunday, November, 13, 5 – 7 PM
Where: House of Blues at the Webb Center at ODU.
Why: The Imagine PEACEFEST Spoken Word Night is a charity event featuring local artists from Norfolk. The charities we’re supporting this year are One Laptop Per Child, The Rural Economic and Agricultural Development Agency: Cambodia, and The Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan. While the Event is free to all those who want to come we’ll be collecting donations all night for these charities and sharing a little bit of information for you about who they are and what they do.


Poetikk Justice

Tonya ” Poetikk Justice” Shell was born in New England (Boston Massachusetts). Tonya has been grounded in the  Performing Arts since the age of two. This Host, Classical Harpist, Visual Artist, Poet, Television Host and Author is affectionately known as “Poetikk Justice”, founded Renaissance Woman Productions in 1999. She is a graduate of Norfolk State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology. Poetikk is the holder of multiple Masters Degrees to include a Masters in Business Administration (MBA). Poetikk is a known Playwright throughout the Hampton Roads area. Some of her most popular and memorable productions include Men Who Wear Pink Socks”, Women Who Wear Blue Genes”,Oilsheen: the Musical stage play“, ” Damaged Goodes” which previewed at Old Dominion University, Norfolk State University and The Attucks Theater this past summer.Poetikk Justice’s newest project of monologues ” MY Favorite D.R.E.S.S.S“:(DEDICATED women RAISING  EXCELLENCE through SACRIFICE and SHARING STORIES), features local Indie Female Artist(s), Poets and Musicians. The Male perspective “My Favorite T.I.E” (Telling HIStory through IRONY and EXPERIENCES): the Monologues will kick off 2012. Stay tuned for other Renaissance Woman Productions upcoming productions ” Her Dollhouse Blues: the Musical Stage Play”, ” Two Wrongs Don’t Make It Wright: the stage play”, ” Family MeAtings: the stage play” and a host of short indie film and documentary projects. You can follow Poetikk Justice on Facebook and poetikkjthehost on Twitter.

Cassandra isFree

Cassandra Renee Spruill, aka Cass, is an up and coming Spoken Word artist in the 7-cities area. She has been a  feature poet in a variety of events including Comments for the Cure, Last Tuesdays, Bean There Cafe, and Mic Fiend. Cassandra was most recently featured as the alumni representative for the homecoming pre-show slam for the Honors Cafe at Norfolk State University, where she received her BS in Sociology. She currently works as a Case Manager for Portsmouth Public Schools, where she has helped enforce the “Read Aloud to a Child” program in her school. Cassandra has a great love for poetry and is currently working on a cd and book of her work.

Neisha Purvis

Neisha Purvis aka ‘Beautiful Disaster’ is a New York born, Jersey raised, Virginia residing Poet/Spoken Word artist. Writing since the age of ten, Neisha began performing at local open mics within the last two years, adopting the name ‘Beautiful Disaster’ along the way. With her big, infectious smile and shy demeanor, many are left surprised by the passion, love, pain and aggression of which she speaks during her performances; but all leave with a newfound understanding of just what it means to be a beautiful disaster.
Twitter: @beauTfuldisaztr
Email: iambeautifuldisaster@gmail.com
YouTube channel: DisasterB126

Also we have:

Nita Hurt
Dani-DoWrite Green

Members of the Flowetic Movement.

Come out and support Imagine PEACEFEST and the great charities we’re supporting!

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Peace Train Info Video!

If you guys like what we’re doing then tell your friends to hop on board. Change starts in the smallest of places so lets all work together and make a difference! Make sure to share this video all around to help support people in need!

For more from Peace Train follow us here:

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This past Sunday, September 25, 2011, the world lost an amazing advocate for peace when Wangari Maathai died during treatment of her Ovarian cancer in Nairobi. Wangari worked tirelessly to help spread both economic prosperity and environmental awareness and change across Africa.

Wangari was born in Kenya and studied there until her college years, from which she was sponsored by a committee of John F. Kennedy to represent Africa and travel to America to attended Higher Education in America. During her studies Wangari focused on Biology and German and during her time witnessed the first hand effects of Environmental Restoration in Pittsburgh. She pursued her education to a Masters Degree in Biology.

Wangari was soon promised a job at a Univeristy in Kenya and when she traveled back to claim the job the offer had been withdrawn. Wangari believed that this was because of her gender and tribal bias. After a few months Wangari found herself work in Germany as an assistant researcher of microanatomy at the University College of Nairobi. Here she met her future husband and continued her studies to become the East African to obtain a PhD in Anatomy.

After her extensive Education Wangari sought out a political life and fought for equal rights rights for women working at her university. She began to fight and advocate for democracy in Kenya as well as pursuing official office. However even without actual government holding she worked to make Kenya an equal and thriving democracy.She finally achieved her position and fought hard in parliament before not being re-elected. However even after her loss she continued to serve as an Assistant Minister for Environmental and Natural resources under Mwai Kibaki until her removal for her radical policies.

In 2004 Wangari became the first African to obtain the Nobel Peace Prize for, “her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace.” What contributed the most to her award was most probably her work in Green Belt, an organization which under Wangari helped higher women to plant trees across Africa for meager wages. This idea grew into creating tree nurseries and gained international attention. Wangari soon found herself escorting delegates and international figures to her work to raise awareness for her cause.

While there isn’t much that hasn’t been said about this incredible woman yet I believe it’s worth saying that there aren’t many women as bold, brave, intelligent, or cunning as Wangari Maathai. Her work helped define and grow a region and her impact will always be remembered. I ask that we all take some time out to look over her work, which can be summed up (if possible) in her extensive wikipedia page. Let your friends know and pass this around. Although her death is an unfortunate thing I believe her legacy should inspire everyone, including those here at Peace Train, around the world to do something positive and daring in our communities.

For more from Peace Train follow us here:

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