Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Touching Spirit Bear Post #1

Today in class we were asked to right a well formed paragraph that answered various questions that connect to both the book and the unit we are learning, which is the YCJA, Youth Criminal Justice Act. In the book, Cole (protagonist) is in a justice circle where volunteers and people that have been affected and the victim and offender have discussions on how Cole Matthews could be rehabilitated and reintegrated back into society where he can actively live as a global citizen. I think if I was part of the justice circle with Cole Matthews, I would dwell on his past and see that his dad always beat him for no reason and then his no better mom would watch in horror, but not act. She truly acted like she was stuck behind a window where she could see everything, but not be able to stop the beating. Also Cole Matthews never really had anyone who cared for him or acknowledge him for his achievements. After knowing his past and what he has been through my decision would be to not send him to jail or sentence him, but make him do 50 hours or more of community service and make him write a apology letter and face his victim in the same room showing him what he has done. I also would have agreed on what the others (Edwin, Garvey, Coles mom/dad, Peter and etc) appointed, which is to hold a healing circle/justice circle which is just like a restorative program, while reflecting on the events and solutions and to send him to an isolated island alone. The reason why I would have agreed with these programs/solutions for Cole is due to that the programs will help him heal and positively change his direction of life.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Gin Post #8: Quote Word Art

I chose this quote from the book "God Grew Tired of Us": "One people, sharing one circle of hope. That is my prayer not only for the scattered children of Southern Sudan, but also for the extended family I hope to make bloom, the latest in a long line of immigrants, in this magnificent land of second chances." (John Bul Dau, 281) because it is very powerful and relates to the issue of refugees in Sudan. There were many other powerful quotes in the books as well, for example: "For 14 years I lived without a family of blood relatives in the refugee camps of Pinyudu and Kakuma. I learned that if you do not have a family, you must make a family in order to survive." (John Bul Dau, 280) and "They call me a Lost Boy, but let me assure you, God has found me" (John Bul Dau, 7). At the end of the quote it says "In this magnificent land of second chances." which is referring to the United States, so for the word art I found a beautiful photo for the United States and then through photoshop I added filters, blurs, outlines and text to it. If I had more time I would have like to draw it instead, but through the process of using photoshop I did learn how to add filters, outlines and blurs. The quote is about how there is hope for the scattered children (refugees) and his family in the United States and how for him and many of the other sudanese refugees that immigrated to Canada at the time, had a second chance at life by having the opportunity to live peacefully and happily. 

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Gin Post #7: Free Write

Today in class we received an allotted amount of time to write a free post in the shoes of the Gin's character. I wrote my free post in his shoes when the war was occurring, talking about his feelings and his daily life. This post is showing my empathy towards John Bul Dau.

Free Post:
Every day that I wake I am running from the war occurring in my hometown South Sudan. I travel to many different places to stay alive traveling to the next “safe” zone (refugee camp) with little to none food. I am so happy that North American organizations send us supplies such as blankets, food, and clothes. I find it depressing that all the refugees including me need to trade in these supplies for more food. I wish my life could just be like how it was before the war, where I could spend time with my family and friends, while practicing my traditions. I am grateful for the education I am receiving at some of the refugee camps because me and almost everyone else is illiterate and don’t know much about the world. I can’t wait for my opportunity in some ways to leave South Sudan. I don’t want to leave my friends and family behind, but sometimes you got to do what you got to stay alive. The most visualized and agreed on fact of life is surviving, but I think having a fun and memorable experience is also and should be part of this world wide accepted belief. If I ever had the opportunity to leave, I know I would have the ability to start a new life and pursue new opportunities and keep some of the old, but I know that once I take refugee in another country I will want to inform others and take action to help my friends and family. Without them I would not be the same person am today and I believe every human should have the right to life, liberty and security. I don’t know when the war will be over and I will be able to stop hiding and taking settlements in various places, but I do know that this war will not affect my core values of my family, the community that has been created and standing up for what is right.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Gins Post #6


The Charter we have created is showing what we think should be implemented into a world wide Charter of Rights and Freedoms like the one Canada has. This Charter is a combination of what we have learned and what we could see change in today’s modern world.

The Worldwide Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Freedom of Expression
You have the freedom to express your thoughts as long as it doesn’t harm another person
Freedom of Religion
You can follow what ever religion of beliefs you desire.
Freedom of Mobility
The Freedom to move freely between countries unless suspended by criminal charges. The Freedom to move when your country is at war.
Right to Internet Access
People must have access to 10 Mb/s internet in major cities and small towns
Right to live free of Poverty
You will be supplied with the basics for like (ie. Water food toiletry and health services)
Right to Employment
You have the right to sustain life by getting a job anywhere in the world
Right to Government Transparency
The government should let all the citizens know about
Freedom to hold and organize Peaceful Assembly

Right to not be discriminated by race, gender, age, physical and mental disabilities, beliefs, anything.

Right to be free of slavery in any part of the world.  

Right to not be forced into military services
Mandatory military service should not be mandatory. (I’m looking at you, North Korea!)
The right to be educated in your country’s main languages towards primary and secondary education
The right to education for 12 years to prepare them for their future careers and possibly post secondary. The rights to receive education in the your country’s main languages. ex: Canada- French and English
The right to not be arrested, imprisoned and searched unless there is reason and evidence backed up by law
(Self explanatory) Fair trial.
The freedom to own land
As long as taxes corresponding to that country’s standards you may own chunks of land in your home country and other countries if it is allowed in those countries

In class today we had to create a Charter of Rights and Freedoms for the world. Unfortunately we only got some rights and freedoms down which if this was the real document, there would be quite a few more, but still it has many of the major and vital rights and freedoms entrenched in it. We did debate on some of the ideas (rights and freedoms) because some of my peers thought that there shouldn’t be any voting rights because each country handles and runs the government and country differently. I disagreed with them because I believe a democratic society is key to having a fair and well working society/country because everyone can run for the election as well everyone has the right to vote. Also that all the countries should run on a democratic society. We also argued about making some rights and freedoms more concise and how there should be a right that people should be free from poverty. I disagreed with this as well because; one it is very far fetched as well as it should not be a right if it actually was implemented it should be a fundamental freedom. Food and water, services and toiletries should be a given because their our are basic needs as human beings.

During the creation we also talked quite about our global issue and how we could fix it or diminish it with the worldwide charter of rights and freedoms. My global issue is, refugees and illiteracy and if their was a right or freedom to be educated at least at a primary and secondary level many countries would not be any where close to how illiterate they were before like South Sudan. As well as I thought a good one would be that everyone has the right to travel safely and take cover in a neighboring country during the time of a war occurring in their country. This right though could cause many problems though because if too many refugees entered the neighboring country it could become over populated. Overall I believe the rights and freedoms we added would greatly enhance the world, but if this were actually the charter for the world, it would need a lot other rights and freedoms.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

GINS Post #5

In class we are learning about the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In my global issue novel “God Grew Tired of Us” the story mainly is displayed in South Sudan. During the time frame Sudan did have a constitution that included many freedom and rights and it was created in 1973. This is one of first constitutions Sudan has had and some parts of the document are similar to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms because there is many of the same rights/freedoms. In Sudan’s constitution it states that all Sudanese have equal rights and duties disregarding race, gender, origin, language and religion, just like in the equality section in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. They also have the freedom of movement and residence for all citizens as well as that they cannot be deported or not allowed to enter Sudanese land. This is very similar to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms mobility rights section. Also every citizen has the right to participate in elections, organize and form trade unions, the freedom of religion, prayer and performance of religious practices, to hold peaceful meetings, receive education/healthcare and medical treatment for free, to express their own opinions and not be forced into labor unless for a military or civic necessity.

During the time frame of the book, the second Sudanese civil war was occurring. Many rights and freedoms were violated during the war as Sudanese people had the right to leave their country, but rebels and many northern Sudanese would not allow it and kill or arrest them in their path. Many refugees died along the way in making it out of South Sudan. As well as the freedom of religion was violated because the war started partially because of differences in religion. In 2005 after the second Sudanese civil war, the constitution was modified and many new rights and freedoms were added to it (a lot more legal rights), such as an accused person is presumed guilty until she is proved guilty, no person shall be arrested or detained or searched without a warrant signed by a magistrate and no one will be detained without a trail and the right to clean water and a clean environment. These are just a few new rights that have been added to the constitution making it more like the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I think if Sudan had the Charter of Rights and Freedoms during the timeframe of the book the civil war still would have occurred, but there would be many more rights for women and in general there would me a lot more legal rights and collective rights.

Link to South Sudan’s Constitution (2005):
Link to Sudan’s Constitution (1973):

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

GINS Post 3: Consumerism Tumblr Mash Up

For our Global Issue Novel project I chose to read “God Grew Tired of Us” by John Bul Dau with Michael S. Sweeney. John Bul Dau tells the story of his life from living in South Sudan during the civil war to becoming a refugee. He travels to many camps in Ethiopia and Kenya, but luckily in one of the kenyan camps he received a first and secondary education. After graduating from school he has the opportunity to travel all the way to the U.S. He takes the offer and after a couple interviews he is accepted to go along with others, changing his life forever.

My book has many connections to our economic/consumerism unit. During the time frame of the book, they live in a market economy and their government does not provide any services other than the army. There are no taxes to provide money for these services so that is one of the vital reasons why there is no health care as well as roads, schools and sanitation. “I was chopping a tree when a sliver of wood flew off and struck me in the left eye, effectively destroying my vision in it. For many years, until I had surgery in America, I could see almost nothing out of that eye.” (Dau, 27), this shows how there is no public nor even private health care system. The government spent most of the money at the time on the SPLA (Sudan People's Liberation Army) to improve their army with better weapons for example. Some citizens in South Sudan make their living by trading products such as millet/maize or other crops for other products. Others buy products but it is all through the black market because they have a very underground economy, secret from the government. Shilling is there currency, but it sounded like their was not many jobs provided to earn money. John Bul Dau did receive one job during his time in an kenya refugee camp and it was to organize and watch over a section of the camp, but he received very little money. I feel miserable for the people that live their because it is very hard to make a living due to a lack of education, jobs and resources. Thankfully the UN provided lots of food and items such as clothing and blankets to help refugees survive during this difficult time. Food is one of their highest values in their society and they will do almost anything to get it because it is so scarce. Many of the refugees did sell or trade the items such as shirts to receive more food to sustain them for a few more days. It was depressing to see that as more refugees came to trade or sell their items for some food items the demand of their items went down so they received less items and shillings in return.

Scarcity is a major issue in South Sudan due to the dry land and the amount of money they own to buy equipment and produce goods. The lack of education effects it as well because many people are not be qualified for many jobs leading to more poverty.  In recent years in South Sudan, there has been a discovery of oil and now their economy is changing drastically and I believe many jobs are opening up as well as there are a lot more schools to provide education. Many organizations are trying to help as well by providing food/items, schools and services like health care.