Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Agroforestry Project Helping Improve Life in Ghana

photo credit: treesftf/via Flickr

GUELPH, Ontario May 15, 2012 - University of Guelph News Release - Using agroforestry to enhance livelihoods in resource-poor communities is the goal of a six-year-old collaboration by scientists from the University of Guelph and Ghana, backed by a $3-million Tier 1 grant from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

The project partners hope to improve income generation and food security, and strengthen Ghana’s vision of becoming West Africa’s centre of excellence in agroforestry.

Researchers from U of G and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana, will discuss the project during a public meeting May 22, 7 p.m., in Rozanski Hall, Room 102.

Much of Ghana is plagued by poverty, chronic food insecurity, and poor health and nutrition.

“The increasing degradation of the natural resource base relied upon by rural communities is a major contributor to a persistently low quality of life,” said Naresh Thevathasan, an adjunct professor in the School of Environmental Sciences (SES) and manager of U of G agroforestry research. He oversees the project with SES professor Andy Gordon.

Agroforestry land-use technologies (farming crops along with trees and/or animals) were identified in the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy among the most important aspects of environmentally sustainable cropping practices.

The U of G team has helped train students of agriculture and natural resources management in Ghana, established research projects, and supported sustainable farming practices to improve rural economies and community health in partner villages.

Speakers at the public meeting will discuss the project and promote further dialogue on international development, Thevathasan said.

The Ghana project marked the first time U of G had received Tier 1 funding. Tier 1 projects are managed by CIDA’s universities and colleges program and promote major development and institution-building projects.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Launching of an internet social network for the family!

NEW YORK and TORONTO, May 2, 2012 /Canada NewsWire Telbec/ - With already thousands of members from 20 different countries, WILBY.TV today officially launched its English version in the United States and Canada. "The Universe of WILBY™" is a fun, educational and 100% safe online social universe for children and their family, available free at

About the Universe of Wilby™

Founded by three entrepreneurs and fathers concerned about Internet use among young people, and education at school and in the home, "The Universe of WILBY™" is an online social universe helping children six and older and families around the world to flourish and grow healthily by offering effective personal development tools and a safe, fun and educational online entertainment environment.

An Ingeniuosly Designed Social Universe for Children

"The Universe of Wilby™" is designed for children aged 6 to 12 years. With parental support, its young members can create their own avatars, express themselves, communicate, learn other languages, earn points, watch videos, post their accomplishments, earn rewards and participate in multiplayer educational games already played in over 20,000 primary schools.

This online world also offers an educational animated TV series where the main character, a ten year old boy named Wilby, experiences the daily realities of today's children and tells his stories to correspondents who write to him from around the world.

A More Constructive Alternative

For parents, WILBY.TV represents a great alternative to other virtual worlds such, and Although very entertaining, they do not compare in the strength of educational and constructive support offered by "The Universe of Wilby™".

A Growing Social Movement for the Positive Development of Youth

Available for only a few months in French, WILBY.TV already has thousands of active members from around the world and its popularity is growing every day! Adaptations in Spanish and Mandarin will be available in the coming months. "The Universe of WILBY™" is much more than an online world! It's actually a fast growing social movement rallying children and families worldwide around a common cause: the positive development of the youth of today and tomorrow.

Wilby Affiliate Program

To accelerate its international expansion, the company has implemented a strategically designed affiliate program for web entrepreneurs who wish to become involved in marketing WILBY.TV in their area. For more information on the Wilby affiliate program, visit:

About the Company

Wilby Inc. was founded in 2010 by three Canadian fathers, David Banford, Jimmy Bouchard and Rejean Gauthier, who wanted to offer positive and educational entertainment to their children.

To learn all about the Universe of WILBY™ in just 2 minutes:

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

United Church Releases Report on Israel/Palestine

TORONTO, May 1, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - The United Church of Canada today released the report of its Working Group on Israel/Palestine Policy. The report will be considered by the denomination's 41st General Council, which meets in Ottawa, August 11-18, 2012. Until that time the working group's report is not policy of the church, and its proposals are solely recommendations.

The 26-page report was completed following extensive consultation and discussion, including a 12-day visit to the region in February 2011. During that visit the working group met with representatives of Palestinian, Israeli, Christian, Muslim, and Jewish communities in Israel and the West Bank.

Former United Church Moderator, the Very Rev. David Giuliano, chaired the three-member working group. He says the working group believes that the dignity of all peoples in the region must be at the heart of the policy directions set out in the report.

"Without dignity for all the people of the land, and for the land itself, justice that leads to peace is not possible," says Giuliano.

Giuliano says the working group listened carefully to many points of view in the conflict but did not shy away from arriving at its own conclusions.

"Simply put, Israel is maintaining a harsh occupation that must end so peace can emerge. The occupation is damaging both Palestinians and Israelis. The occupation is being implemented by a democratic country and sustained and supported by Western governments, including Canada's," says the report.

The working group also

...calls for an end to the occupation, saying that it is the primary contributor to the injustice that underlies the violence of the region
...condemns actions and activities that seek to delegitimize or demonize Israel
...affirms that non-violent resistance to the occupation is justified
...calls on Israel to dismantle settlements within the occupied territories
...calls on Israel to dismantle the separation barrier in all sections where it crosses over the Green Line
...challenges Christian beliefs that theologically justify the occupation
...advises against a comprehensive boycott of Israel and Israeli goods and products
...calls for an economic boycott directed exclusively against settlement products that can be identified as produced in or related to the settlements or the occupied territories
...advises against the use of "the language of apartheid" when applied to Israel
...affirms Israel as a Jewish state, meaning a homeland for the Jewish people that "ensures complete equality of social and political rights to all of its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race, or gender"
...supports initiatives that work toward the creation of a viable Palestinian state as a homeland for the Palestinian people
...supports a negotiated settlement to the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees that maintains the demographic integrity of Israel
...calls for opportunities that will bring together Palestinian and Israeli/Jewish communities for growth in mutual understanding

"The future of Israel and of Palestine are intimately intertwined," says Giuliano. "Until Palestinian people experience justice, peace, and freedom of movement, Israel will be unable to fully claim its place among democratic nations."