In a tour de force of compassionate activism, Inge shows how she has single-handedly made a massive difference in Afghanistan by introducing psychosocial counselling for a population of whom up to 80% are clinically depressed. The average age in the country is 17, and everyone has been damaged by war: they need to feel heard. Inge’s clinics are now part of the public health strategy and they are transforming thousands of lives a year. Humbling.
Yesterday Annie was completely expressed in her singing. Today she’s speaking and the light is not on in the same way, though the cause is just, noble and needs all of our support: her Sing
initiative is supporting Treatment Action Campaign, which aims to eliminate mother-child AIDS transmission by 2015.
There are 300,000 HIV-positive mothers, the vast majority in Sub-Saharan Africa. Untreated, 40% will give birth to HIV+ve babies. But with Preventing Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT), 98% of babies will be healthy. Africa has 24% of thew world’s AIDS cases, but just 3% of the medical professionals, so a new model is being used – based on Western 12-step recovery as I found when I spoke to Mitchell. It uses ‘mother mentors’ – HIV positive women who are living full lives and have given birth to healthy babies – as examples of success and guides who take the strain off the overworked nurses. With 1,600 mentor mothers this system is now treating 230,000 women a month! Fantastic.
Another excellent southern Mediterranean woman singer, this time from Turkey (via Netherlands) and very young. A strong voice and a rousing Turkish folk tune to close.
Aims to reduce waste in restaurants (“the most wasteful industry on earth – every calorie of food consumed uses 10 calories to create”). His London restaurants are zero carbon, and have their own ecosystem with all waste recycled and used in the garden. New supermarket ‘The People’s Supermarket’ is in the same vein. Worthy, but looking at the photos I wouldn’t be able to spend more than five minutes in his Acorn House restaurant because it must be unbearably loud – no sound absorbing surface at all in sight.
Built the Green School in Bali. I was not alone in not getting this one… 160 children from 25 countries pay $10,000 a year and have a great education in a lovely place which was built with great passion (and presumably at great cost) from bamboo. I get his joy and commitment but how is this scaleable to East LA, Detroit or Brixton?
There’s always one session that doesn’t click for me and this was it… but without valleys you can’t have mountains, and we have already had two classics.