New Internationalist

Ideas For Action

Issue 111

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MAGAZINE TITLE GOES HERE[image, unknown] Ideas for action

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IDEAS FOR ACTION

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End Loans to Southern Africa

End Loans to Southern Africa
467a Caledonian Road
London N7
Tel: 01-609 0211

 

AIMS
To draw attention to the role Britain plays in supporting the apartheid regime in South Africa, particularly through the involvement of British banks and capital.

To put pressure on banks to withdraw from South Africa and to end all financial links with the regime.

To help mobilise the British public in support of the struggle against apartheid.

METHODS
The establishment of a Shadow Board to monitor the activities of Barclays in South Africa and the production of a Shadow Report.

We work with individuals, student organisations, trade unions, church groups, local authorities and community groups and ask them to close their accounts. Shareholders are encouraged to sell all but a token holding of their shares and attend the AGM to publicly question the bank about its activities in South Africa.

SUCCESSES
Barclays has become known internationally as the Western world’s biggest collaborator with apartheid. Accounts worth over £2 billion in turnover have been withdrawn from Barclays in the past two years.

Midland Bank gave an undertaking not to make any further loans to the South African government or its corporations after a shareholder resolution. Other British banks like Standard Chartered and Hill Samuel have had their dealings with apartheid exposed.

FAILURES
We have only been able to expose and modify the behaviours of the banks in South Africa and not get withdrawal from the country. This needs to be seen in the overall context of the call for comprehensive mandatory sanctions against South Africa.

FUTURE PLANS
To intensify the ‘Boycott Barclays’ campaign through the withdrawal of accounts.

To encourage all constituencies, especially trade unions with workers in the banks, to support the campaign to end all loans to South Africa and the withdrawal of banks operating there.

Shareholders and account holders should contact ELTSA for information on future activities.

HELP NEEDED
Volunteers with skills in leaflet/poster production as well as office assistance.

We welcome new members joining our campaign committee.

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Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University

Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University
96 Tennyson Road
London NW6 7SB
Tel: 01-328 2478


AIMS

To enable people of every country to deepen their experience of peace and happiness by understanding the unlimited potential of the mind and meditation.

To encourage all levels of society to see self-transformation as the only realistic means of world-transformation.

To offer individuals an entirely different world view for a very practical and fresh approach to the challenge of survival.

METHODS
A course of 3 or 7 one hour sessions, normally on an individual basis, gives the essence of the world’s different philosophies combined with personal meditation instruction. This is also available by correspondence in a number of languages and in 35 countries around the globe.

SUCCESSES
There are now 794 centres serving 75,175 people on a daily basis. In 1979 the university was granted NGO affiliation at the United Nations, and a good response has come from many different corners of the world. As a registered charity, students are given free courses which simply improve their perception and enjoyment of life. The fortunate result has been the formation of a beautiful ‘family’ atmosphere in all the different branches.

FAILURES
We have so far not been able to provide the help needed by so many on anything like the scale it is required.

FUTURE PLANS
Conferences in the various countries are being arranged each year to discuss the central issues with concerned people. This year’s theme will be Universal Peace, in the awareness that when more of us feel personally content, the closer we will be to affecting the sort of social revolution governments could not ignore. We also want to initiate debate on some of the really fundamental issues, such as the extent to which the western technocracy is answerable to human and philosophical factors.

HELP NEEDED
We welcome communication with individuals or groups who are interested in either taking the course, or making use of the university’s data or speakers, and indeed anyone who fosters a desire to benefit themselves and others.

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Appropriate Health Resources and Technologies Action Group

Appropriate Health Resources and Technologies Action Group
85 Marylebone High St
London W1M 3DE
Tel: 01-486 4175


AIMS

To promote primary health care in developing countries, particularly in relation to diarrhoeal disease, disability prevention and rehabilitation, and dental health.

To encourage the development of appropriate technologies for health using, wherever possible, local materials and skills.

To stimulate community participation in health care.

METHODS
Designing and developing simple and reliable equipment techniques and other resources for primary health care.

Providing a technical inquiry service to people overseas.

Publishing manuals, bibliographies, newsletters and information sheets.

Providing information about primary health care and health-related appropriate technologies to health and development workers.

SUCCESSES
Production of a quarterly newsletter Diarrhoea Dialogue (in English, French and Spanish). Circulation 15,000 in 95 countries.

Publication of manuals How to Look after a Refrigerator (to help maintain the ‘cold chain’ for immunization programmes) and Low Cost Aids for disabled children.

Development of a robust, low-cost portable baby weigher, a baby length measurer and a range of rehabilitation aids.

FAILURES
We have failed to widen our network to reach more people at the periphery. We should develop better mechanisms for the exchange and transfer of health-related technologies. Identify more of the most urgent problems which can perhaps be solved by appropriate technologies.

FUTURE PLANS
To extend our range of contacts.

Increase the number of foreign language editions of our publications.

Develop dental health equipment and materials suitable for manufacture in developing countries.

Identify and publicise designs for mobility aids which can be locally made.

Explore simple evaluation techniques for use at community level.

HELP NEEDED
Let us know about good ideas or local solutions to the problems involved in providing primary health care to rural and pen-urban areas in developing countries.



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