Charlene Smith

To find life, experience death

This year three friends have died and one was murdered. The day after Keith died this week, a friend told me of a member of his congregation who had given up his battle at the same time as Keith, except that he had shot himself after shooting his wife, leaving their two sons. Thank God…

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The silence of the religious in the face of growing injustice

“What we need is a bill of rights that will protect us against predatory governments now and for the next 200 years while we try to adjust ourselves to what freedom means and to resist all attempts to take it away again — which is the nature of all governments however democratically elected they may…

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Six days after this saga began, I again have no cash

When Mastercard sent the emergency card ydy they said cash could not be drawn at an ATM, but at any bank. Last night Mastercard supervisor Michael Monk phoned to apologise for the lack of service I had received and said I would have no problems with the card. Today before my Italian class at 8.30…

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The lies they tell: Banks and travel insurance

Yest (Saturday) my purse was stolen @ Rome Termini shortly before I boarded a train for Salerno, Italy. I have no money + 5 biscuits until my Mastercard is replaced on Wednesday. I disc the theft on t train when I wanted to buy tea + a sandwich. By 11.13 my branch had stopped my…

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Finding sex

There are a number of unspokens in the most silent of crimes. The one is that most rapists experience erectile dysfunction, in other words they get it up but they can’t keep it up and that is when the person raped is in most danger because they will often become angry. Ananias Mathe, who is…

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The odds are stacked against men

The odds are stacked against men. There are about 750 million sperm per ejaculate, yet only one sperm can fertilise the single egg a woman produces once a month. A male foetus is less likely to survive full-term pregnancy than a female, and boys are more likely to die in infancy. Boys are more likely to…

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How do we help children exposed to criminal violence?

How do you help children forced to watch while their mom is gangraped? Or a shy, teenage boy whose mother remains silent when a gang threatens to rape him unless she reveals the safe? (*see below for help organisations) Perhaps the more important question is why are there not massive campaigns in schools to help…

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Cows, Makarovs and the dangers of charming men

In Namibia the sentence for stealing a cow is higher than that for raping a woman. For the first offence both rape and theft of a cow carries a 10 year sentence but for second offenders rape carries a 15 years sentence while a person who steals a cow will go to jail for 30…

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No is not an acceptable answer

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which we celebrate on December 10, came at a time when the world was reeling under the devastation of a global war that had seen millions die. But the words from Nuremberg, “never again”, have shown we never learn. They were repeated a little over 40 years later after…

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It’s your attitude

If the world relied on politicians for meaningful progress we’d still be in animal skins hunting rabbits. Individuals have always driven real change. And you cannot do it by email petition or Facebook group. You have to get out of the office or your home and into the world, you have to make the time,…

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