Thursday, December 08, 2005

a truly secular country

i had the opportunity to hear a man from senegal speak today. he is here getting his PhD in social work, and discussed a number of social issues that social workers in senegal deal with. i had some difficulty when he discussed gender, it can be really hard for me to see from a different enough perspective to not feel the feelings i felt, like some anger, lots of discomfort, and a feeling that must be akin to how a guy feels when his best friend gets kicked in the groin...

that aside, i was impressed with senegal's ability to deal with the HIV/AIDS crisis. i had already been aware that the french discovered the virus (saw 'and the band played on' at least ten times), but i was not aware that a sengalese? sengolian? sengae (like it would be in latin) anyhow, a doctor from senegal had been involved. he immediatly flew home and addressed the government. warned them about the possible crisis and said 'we have to take action!', and so it was .

two things above all are amazing in this man's story. first, this is the PREVENTION approach. imagine how many lives, and how much money were saved by taking these measures (take a look at the other areas of africa). second, despite the heavy influence of religion in the country (95% muslim, the iman's play a huge role in community decisions), there was no resistance when the government made the choice it did. its as if they know that not everyone believes in god, and understood that denying children, teenagers and adults access to affordable education and protection (and they do make these things available to anyone who wants or is having unmarried sex) was signing their death warrant.

i am going to look into this more.

Song of the day: i am still sad and it is still Cedar Tree

No comments:

Locations of visitors to this page
adopt your own virtual pet!