Why aren’t we protecting our children?

From a basement in Austria to impoverished communities in Asia to convents around the world, child abuse is happening again and again.

In the wee hours of the morning or the dead of night, it goes on and on, over and over.

What can be done? When will it ever stop? Will adults ever realize that we only borrow the world from our children? That the damage brought about by just a single act of child abuse could not be undone?

That each and every act of child abuse is larger than life itself?

In the Philippines, the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB), the government’s statistics agency, recently released the latest figures on child abuse.

The statistics are stark, disturbing, alarming, heinous and telling.

The number of cases of child sexual abuse and child labour handled by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) remained major problems in the country from 2009 to 2010, even as the total number of child abuse cases declined during the period, the state agency said.

In its report, ‘Abused Children’, NSCB said the number of cases handled by the social welfare agency declined from 2009 to 2010 but noted that cases of certain types of abuse have gone up.

Child abuse cases, as defined by the government, are those where the child is ‘abandoned, neglected, sexually abused, sexually exploited, physically abused, maltreated, victims of child labour, victims of illegal recruitment, victims of child trafficking, victims of armed conflict and emotionally abused.’

The number of child abuse cases served by the government went down to 4,749 cases last year from 6,524 cases in 2009.

But the government can’t rest on its laurels just yet.

According to the report, cases of sexual abuse are still the second most common cases handled by the social welfare department, next to neglect and abandonment. These cases accounted for 27.3 per cent in 2010 from 29.6 per cent in 2009.

Despite the Anti-Rape Law of 1997 – the country’s anti-rape legislation – the most common sexual abuse during the period is still rape, followed by incest and acts of lasciviousness.

‘Rape victims are predominantly female – 97.6 per cent in 2009 and 90.5 per cent in 2010. One wonders whether the prohibition under Republic Act 9346 in 2006 of the death penalty originally possible for convicted rape offenders under certain conditions has contributed to this social problem,’ the statistics office said in its report.

Alarming, too is the fact that under types of sexual abuse, the number of incest cases has gone up to 37.5 per cent of total abuse cases in 2010 from 32.9 per cent in 2009.

The problem calls attention to the breakdown of the family as a social institution.

Tracing the roots of the problem, the social welfare department also found out that most sexually exploited children are either victims of prostitution or cyber pornography.

The numbers increased to an alarming 52 per cent and 31.5 per cent last year, respectively from 48.5 per cent and 33.8 per cent in 2009.

Child prostitution cases went up to 66 in 2010 from only 63 in 2009, statistics also showed.

In the area of child labour, the statistics office said there were five cases of child labour in 2009 and this increased to nine cases in 2010.

Some of the victims are only five to 10 years old.

The facts and figures speak for themselves. It’s heart-wrenching, to say the least. Image


The following is an article that appeared in the “Environment” section of “The Caymanian Compass”
on 1 December 2000. 

“Nusa Dua, Indonesia (AP) – Ever wondered why some of the tropical salt-water fish you bought at the pet shop died so soon?
Chances are, a diver in Indonesea or the Philipines caught them by first squirting cycanide into the water, which stuns the fish and allows them to be easily scooped into a net.
After a few days, a fish usually appears to recover. It is then exported to the United States, Europe and elsewhere to be sold in pet stores for anything up to US$400.
After a month or two, though, traces of cyanide in the fish’s system often attack its liver, eat away at its digetive tract and corrode its respiratory system, until it dies.
But not only does cyanide irreversibly poison the fish it’s used on, the toxin also damages the ocean environment, killing other marine life.
So widespred is the problem that 1,000 environmentalists, marine biologists and pet-fish collectors have set up a worldwide organisation – the Marine Aquarium Council – to try to eradicate the illegal practice.
Up to 20 million tropical salt-water fish are sold in the United States every year, said Paul Holthus, head of the Honolulu-based group. Not all are poisoned, but many are, he said.
‘Fish buyers are unknowingly contributing to the destruction of coral reefs and marine ecosystems,’ he said.
Marine scientists meeting on Indonesia’s tourist island of Bali warned recently that more than a quarter of the world’s coral reefs had been destroyed by pollution, global warming and poor fishing practices, including the use of cyanide.
They said that unless urgent measures are taken, the remaining coral reefs may be dead within 20 years.
Mark Erdman, a San Franscisco marine biologist who has long worked in Indonesia, said almost all aquarium-bound fish caught in Indonesia are poisoned.
Fishermen often store the cyanide in cans on the ocean floor to escape detection by authorities. They then dissolve a cyanide tablet in water in a plastic bottle. The deadly mixture is then squirted at schools of fish living around coral outcrops.
Holthus said cyanide is also used widely in the Philippines.
Aquarium fish from the two cuntries account for much of the tropical salt-water fish imported by the United States and Europe, he said.
The international aquarium fish trade is worth about
$1 billion a year, experts said.

In two warehouses on Bali, hundreds of brightly coloured fish float in small dirty tanks, waiting to be packaged in water-filled plastic bags and flown out of the country. Clown tiger fish, with bright yellow lips, sharp teeth and pink dorsal fins, lie on their sides seemingly comatose from cyanide.
Holthus said the use of poison is limited to only some tropical salt water varieties. More popular fresh water fish mostly come from commercial fish ponds and are chemical-free.
He said that by reforming the salt water segment of the industry, the welfare of marine life could be improved and healthier fish would be provided for collectors.
Walt Smith, a businessman from Los Angeles who exports live fish from Fiji, said the problem is not as widespread as some fear. He said all the fish he sends to the United Sates are caught without poison.
The marine council plans to start monitoring fish exported from various parts of the world to ensure tht they have not been caught by divers using cyanide and that they are handled professionally. Fish buyers in the United States and Europe will be able to look for Marine Aquarium Council-certified fish in certain pet shops by the end of next year.
“We will test everything from the reef to the retailer,” Holthus said.
Mike King, a pet-fish retiler from Grand Rapids, Michigan, said everyone will be a winner if environmentally sound fish-collection prctices are observed.
“Most consumers want to do the right thing for the environment and the fish,” he said. “They are prepared to pay a little more for it.”‘Image

We must unite and protect our coral reefs from destruction! 


What are enzymes?

Living cells and tissues require basic nutrients and essential substances to divide, grow and perform their normal activities. Most of these substances are synthesized from components of ingested food, water, and other nutritional supplements, or from breakdown products of tissues. The biochemical reactions to synthesize the basic elements required by living cells depend on a steady supply of energy from these sources. Ordinarily, this energy is supplied by a step-by-step oxidation of food components. In addition, the biochemical reactions themselves sometimes release energy. During times of stress or disease, there is am increased demand for the nutrients and essential supplies required by cells. Without very special helpers and at normal body temperature, it would be impossible for the cells and tissues to perform all the essential biochemical reactions required fast enough to meet the basic needs of the body. Fortunately, very specific and remarkable helpers initiate, accelerate and terminate these biochemical reactions. The helpers are highly specific organic substances which have evolved in living organisms and developed the capacity of performing these accelerated tasks to perfection via remarkable and specific catalytic actions. These remarkable substances are called enzymes.

Enzymes are catalysts. They make things work faster. For example, the chemistry of the body is all about utilizing one substance to produce another. Let us call it turning chemical A into chemical B. The biochemical reaction to do this may require energy or release energy, depending on whether molecules A or B contain their own energy.

Regardless of whether energy is required or released, the reaction time is shortened by its specific enzyme, without the enzyme being used up. The reaction is accelerated through the use of enzymes. This acceleration without consumption is the nature of a catalyst. For practical purposes, most biochemical reactions require enzymes since the reaction A to B might take hundreds of years without them.

It seems that enzymes are the fountain of life. Enzymes serve as the labor force to perform every single function required for our daily activities and are required to keep us alive. Digestive enzymes are only a part of the total amount of enzymes in the body. There are about 3000 known enzymes. They are responsible for all the functions of every organ system in our bodies.  At the same time they are most important in supporting our body defenses and immune system to protect us from harmful forces and specific dangers to our health. The immune system depends heavily on enzymes to conduct its protective function. In addition we require enzymes not only to eat, digest and absorb our nutrients, but also to see, hear, smell, taste, breathe and move. Enzymes are required for our blood and coagulation system, cardiovascular functions, kidneys, liver, elimination of toxic products, excretion, reproduction, etc. They are required even to think, dream or for sexual excitement. When enzyme activity stops, life stops and the person or organism dies!

There are two major enzyme systems in the human body. One is digestive and the other is metabolic. The digestive enzymes help break down all of the food that we eat so that it can be absorbed by the body. The metabolic enzymes help to run all of the systems of the body from respiratory system to the nervous system.

The seven categories of food (digestive) enzymes and their activities are:

  • Amylase: breaks down starches.
  • Cellulase: breaks down fibers.
  • Lactase: breaks down dairy products.
  • Lipase: breaks down fats.
  • Maltase: breaks down grains.
  • Protease: breaks down proteins.
  • Sucrase: breaks down sugars.


Health Issues

Enzymes are extremely important to our health. When enzymes are short in supply, or become inactive, the body will suffer. As the body is built from the food we eat, paying attention to what we eat is one of the most important things we can do. Unfortunately we do not eat what our instinct and common sense tells us to do. We do not eat the right quantities of the right foods at the right times and in the proper manner. The results can include digestive disturbances, deposition of fat, and becoming overweight. These findings can be associated with further health problems including disorders of the circulation which lead to more severe cardiovascular disease and disorders of the heart. The reducing diets often recommend generally provide only temporary weight loss and many of them may be even more detrimental to health in the long run.

We should all eat properly and follow a balanced diet  containing a substantial amount of fresh foods in each meal. We should also avoid highly processed foods and high levels of preservatives, additives or chemicals. We can also take natural digestive enzymes in order to support the digestion of processed or cooked foods. Every food that has been cooked, boiled, heated, grilled, baked has lost its enzymes and is a burden to our organs which have to supply the digestive enzymes. As almost nobody in our modern age is willing to eat everything raw, you can take digestive enzymes with your cooked, etc., food. (An informative site about raw food is Living and Raw Foods) It is also good to stay away from processed foods as they often contain enzyme inhibitors (to prolong shelf life), chemicals, and sugar (white sugar is destructive to our bodies, and contributes big time to obesity).


Information about Enzymes

The European scientific community has generated great excitement in the field of enzymes, which can be used preventively to prevent illness and give us a longer, healthier life. However in the United States the average person does not know much about enzymes and their importance.

Enzyme supplements

After you have read all about enzymes and why they are so important to our health, the next question is “what can I do about it? We will focus here only on digestive enzymes. Ideally you should eat everything raw. As raw food contains all the necessary enzymes to digest the food, our body does not have to deplete its organs of their necessary enzymes. And thus our body stays healthy. But in this modern age, who can eat everything raw? Make sure you eat enough raw food, but for the rest, supply your cooked or baked food with enzyme supplements.

There are several enzyme supplements on the market, but one of the best supplements is Dr. Howell’s N-Zymes, the enzyme supplement we ourselves are using. Dr Edward Howell was an enzyme pioneer who questioned the use of cooked, processed food for human consumption. He found that heating food to 118°F (47.78°C) for more than 15 minutes destroyed all the enzymes. Obviously then, heating foods at higher temperatures for shorter periods also destroys enzymes. Dr Howell wrote two books reporting his life’s work: Food Enzymes for Health and Longevity and Enzyme Nutrition.

N-Zymes is made by the National Enzyme Company, and distributed by Enzymes Inc, Parkville, Missouri. The digestive enzyme supplement we are using is called “Genuine N-zymes, Dr. Howell’s Original Formula“. The capsules contain the enzymes protease, amylase, lipase and cellulase). N-Zymes is available through health food stores. For their other enzymes products, visit Genuine N-Zymes.


Advice on Taking Enzymes

When taking enzyme supplements, remember to

  • open the capsules and sprinkle the enzymes on your food (not too hot please). This way they can start working. Otherwise it will take time for the capsule to dissolve in your stomach.
  • also drink water with your food, as enzymes are only active when water is present.
  • One also needs to chew one’s food well because the digestive enzyme cellulase is trapped inside the fiber itself and must be liberated in the chewing process—otherwise, one experiences the gas and bloating.
  • Eat plenty of fresh raw fruits and vegetables to maximize your enzyme intake.
  • Raw seeds or raw nuts, contain enzyme inhibitors which will neutralize some of the enzymes your body produces. In fact, eating foods with enzyme inhibitors causes a swelling of the pancreas. All nuts and seeds contain these inhibitors. Raw peanuts, for example, contain an especially large amount. Raw wheat germ is also one of the worst offenders. In addition, all peas, beans and lentils contain some. Potatoes also have enzyme inhibitors (concentrated in the eyes of the potato). In eggs the inhibitor is contained mainly in the egg white. There are two ways to destroy enzyme inhibitors. The first is cooking; however, this also destroys the enzymes. The second way, which is preferable, is soaking, rinsing and germinating or sprouting. This destroys the enzyme inhibitors and also increases the enzyme content from a factor of 3 to 6. Taking extra enzymes is the third way to neutralize the enzyme inhibitors in ungerminated or unsprouted seeds and nuts.
  • Fermentation also removes the enzyme inhibitors and it has other benefits too. Fermentation neutralizes unhealthy chemicals found in grains and beans. Second, it adds a host of beneficial micro-organisms to food, making them more digestible and increasing the healthy flora in our intestinal tracts. Grains and beans all contain an acid, myoinositol-hexa, or phytic acid. Phytic acid blocks the absorption of calcium, phosphorus, iron and zinc. A diet high in unfermented whole grains can lead to mineral deficiencies and bone loss. Fermenting grains and beans before eating them neutralizes phytic acid. It also neutralizes enzyme inhibitors and breaks down gluten, sugars, and other difficult to digest elements in grains and beans. The simplest way to lacto-ferment grains and beans is by adding whey and water, and letting them stand for at least seven hours. Beans should ideally stand for twelve hours or more. Yogurt can be added instead of whey, which is a by-product of cheese-making and is commercially available as a powder (sold in health food stores).
  • Make sure you also read our article about Kefir, a special culture used in the fermentation of milk that adds a lot of enzymes in the process. It is very easy to make kefired milk and it is very healthy! It also is a way of making excellent whey for fermenting your grains and cooked veggies.
  • Salt is an indirect enzyme inhibitor, so use it sparingly.


Other Sources of Enzymes

There are four major types of proteolytic enzymes: trypsin, chymotrypsin, papain, and bromelain.

Chymotrypsin is a proteolytic enzyme crystallized from an extract of the pancreas gland of the ox.

Trypsin is a proteolytic enzyme also crystallized from an extract of the pancreas gland of the ox.

Papain is derived from the green papaya fruit.

Bromelain is extracted from the pineapple. Because of the relative value of the fruit, the difficulty of processing the juice, and the improvements of methods to extract bromelain from pineapple stems, the source of most bromelain is the stems.

Proteolytic enzymes are enzymes that help you digest the proteins in food. Although your body produces these enzymes in the pancreas, certain foods also contain proteolytic enzymes. Papaya (the unripe fruit) and pineapple are two of the richest plant sources. Papain and bromelain are the respective names for the proteolytic enzymes found in these fruits.

The primary use of proteolytic enzymes is as a digestive aid for people who have trouble digesting proteins. However, proteolytic enzymes also appear to reduce pain and inflammation, which has made them popular in Europe as a treatment for sports injuries and as an aid in recovery from surgery. Supplemental proteolytic (protein-digesting) enzymes also enhance immune function, helping to destroy pathogens; and proteolytic enzymes seems to be good for people with pancreas problems.  Digestive enzymes are classified as a food by the FDA., but if you want to take proteolytic enzymes you should discuss this with your doctor.

Another source of enzymes is brewer’s yeast which stimulates enzyme activity in the intestines. There are also enzyme preparations available from the pharmacy for digestive disorders. Fermented foods are full of enzymes, like yogurt, sauerkraut, soy sauce and kefir.


Small Business Ideas

If you are aspiring to start a small business, one of the first things that would come to your mind is what business to do, how much investment will be required and what would be the skills that should be learnt. In these uncertain days of layoffs and panic, it is good to have a backup plan in life, so that one can remain unaffected. Taking the first two points into consideration, I have put together a collection of small business ideas, some of which can be started from home and most requiring low investment. This list also makes sure that one need not have a formal degree or education to get started; most of these skills can be learnt quickly. Thus everyone can use their capability & talent to start one, without worrying about having to spend a couple of years of their life in college and spending the next decade paying education loans.

Senior care services;

In many countries the concept of joint families still exists. Sons usually stay with their parents after getting married. Sometimes such a situation arises where they would need to stay in a different country or state for working and might not be able to take their parent along with them because of factors like availability of passport, cost factor and climate. While some of them turn to relatives to take care of their parents and other elderly persons in the house, not everyone has that luxury. Hence the senior care services come as a boon to the travelling employee. It involves setting up a homely atmosphere for elderly people, having all the amenities from medicine to food to entertainment. If one has a spacious house or apartment, they might want to start such a center. The charges can be collected on a monthly basis from the customer (either the senior persons themselves or their sons or daughters). One also needs a couple of employees for managing the house, taking care of the senior people, giving them medicines if required and keep them happy. This business also gives repeat income every month and can also be expanded to other parts of the city if the demand is more. Since the absolute investment required can vary depending on the country, only a list of things to be bought and list of expenditure is given below. Using this list you can arrive at an approximate start-up capital required and the monthly list of expenditures.

  • House or flat or apartment (can be rented)
  • Beds, cots, furnishing
  • Kitchen items required for cooking for many people
  • Money for advertising in newspapers and on the internet
  • A cook or chef
  • A few employees for cleaning the house, running errands etc.

If you are aspiring small business

If you are aspiring to start a small business, one of the first things that would come to your mind is what business to do, how much investment will be required and what would be the skills that should be learnt. In these uncertain days of layoffs and panic, it is good to have a backup plan in life, so that one can remain unaffected. Taking the first two points into consideration, I have put together a collection of small business ideas, some of which can be started from home and most requiring low investment. This list also makes sure that one need not have a formal degree or education to get started; most of these skills can be learnt quickly. Thus everyone can use their capability & talent to start one, without worrying about having to spend a couple of years of their life in college and spending the next decade paying education loans.

PHOTO BLOG: The state of girls’ education around the world

Originally posted on World Education Blog:

To tie-in with the release of the Gender Summary of the Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2013/4 published by UNESCO and events taking place to mark International Women’s Day, this photo blog tells the story of the state of education for girls and young women around the world. 

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The Gender Summary of the 2013/4 Education for All Global Monitoring Report highlights the serious gender imbalance in global education that has left over 100 million young women unable to read a single sentence. The summary, launched for International Women’s Day in partnership with the UN Girls’ Education Initiative, calls for equity to be at the heart of new global development goals after 2015 so that every child has an equal chance of learning through quality education.

Half of the 31 million girls out of school are expected never to enroll or have the chance to learn. Despite some progress, in…

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I’ve just seen petty arguments of Atheists, and some Muslims and specially Muslimahs using obscene language to counter retaliate and it has really made me sad… 

So I will give you some tips about how a mind of Atheist works, and how they should be more rather pitied then be fought with. I hope you will take that as a reminder, for verily Allaah loves good manners, and this is our Manhajj, to preach and propagate and even defend Islam, with peace, love and wisdom and good exhortation.

Atheist… Hmm.. These Atheists used tags #quran   #islam  #muslims  that is why i am able to see there posts here everywhere around.. but why would a atheist make his every day life all about provoking people who believe in God? Isn’t that a primary Question?

Let’s analyse.. (smile)

Atheist trolls use religious tags and topics and give their opinions so they can deliberately generate conflict because it fills a void in their lives…. Since they are utterly powerless in the real world, their internal coping mechanisms must find some way to deal with the weight of their insignificance.

At the most fundamental level, these atheists want recognition, and so you see them uninvited giving out their opinions.

From their point of view, recognition, whether for good or bad reasons has a direct correlation with self-esteem. And  any growth of their self-esteem has an immediate impact on their sense of well-being.

Normally, this recognition would not be an issue secure people know that recognition from anonymous sources has little or no impact on their daily lives. They will continue to go to work or school, whether this recognition materializes or not.

This is not so for the ‘intellectually sophisticated’ Atheistic trolls on Google Plus because of their general lack of a sense of well-being. Since they tend to be socially retarded, they don’t know how to get recognition in the normal way. So, in short you gather some sense of accomplishment from what you perceive as the chaos they created for religious people by quoting extracts out of context of a conversation which was if presented along with its context and pretext …

So the best is to talk to them with knowledge and wisdom or merely block them, who perhaps will cry over their life, under the basement in which they’d probably live and just have merely this ‘cyberworld’ to conform happiness for their pitiable lives.