Finding jobs on the roadside

first_imgLooking for work – men on the side of theroad.(Image: Men on the Side of the Road) The organised Men on the Side of theRoad sites are easily recognised by theirbright yellow banners.(Image: Masixole Feni)Jennifer SternSouth Africa has an unemployment rate of 38.3%, including those who have given up any attempt to find jobs. For those who haven’t, the only recourse is often short-term or casual labour – standing on the side of the road waiting for odd jobs. It’s highly insecure, but better than nothing.Casual labour is a strong tradition in South Africa, with informally designated sites in cities across the country known by both employers and job seekers, where unemployed men gather in the mornings hoping to get a job for the day.But it’s also been fraught with problems. The sites would have no toilets or drinking water so residents and businesses would complain to the police. But others would react with kindness by handing out soup and bread to job seekers. While the gesture was appreciated, all the men really wanted was a job.  So in 2000 a church group running soup kitchens approached charity worker Charles Maisel – and that was the start of Men on the Side of the Road (MSR).MSR started off by supplying toilets and water to a couple of sites, and working on job creation.“We didn’t really know what we were doing,” Maisel says. “It was a pilot. We were trying to work out the model.”Unfortunately, the harassment of job seekers increased after the sites become more organised.“There had always been harassment,” he says “but when we came on board it started getting worse.“After a lot of trying to negotiate with the communities and the police, we got a High Court order so the police couldn’t harass the men anymore.”The court order stated that it was the duty of the municipality to assist job seekers, and that the police were not to harass job seekers in specified locations.“We didn’t have much money at the time,” Maisel says, “but this was a major victory. It was a big thing. It legitimised job seeking on the side of the road.”Some of the men couldn’t get work because they didn’t have tools, so the next part of the project was a campaign to get the public to donate second-hand tools.“That really got us on the map,” Maisel says. “We got about 50 000 tools over two years. People sent tools from Holland, the UK, all over.But the most important result of the campaign, says Maisel, is that it made people aware of the problem – and the solution.“What’s interesting is that now, when anyone in the media is looking for an image to portray unemployment, they use a picture of men on the side of the road,” he says. “It’s become a symbol. Our biggest success is making the so-called invisibles visible. They are not beggars, they are genuine job-seekers.”A challenge was determining how many casual workers were out there.“We didn’t know how big the problem was, and we didn’t know how many sites there were. So we linked up with the Human Sciences Researches Council and the University of South Africa. They said they’d do a census of how many sites exist countrywide.”The researchers found that there were roughly 1 000 sites across South Africa.“A thousand sites, with about 100 people per site, means about 100 000 people per day. But with different people every day it’s probably about 300 000 people in total that use the sites. The numbers have remained basically static over the years.”With the pilot programme complete and the size of the problem determined, it was time to move on to the next stage.“After the census we knew what we were talking about. We identified needs. We needed to do training – of males between 15 and 60. And from the training, we moved on to job placement. And then the sites needed to be organised with cards and registration.”To be registered, each job seeker needs to produce a photograph, some form of valid ID, and any references. Their skills and qualifications are noted, and they are given registration cards that identify them as bona fide work seekers. Each worker is put on the central database, available on MSR’s website.Peter Kratz, MSR’s director, explains how it works. “Because the database lists skills, qualifications and work history, we’ve taken away the anonymity of the individual, and created a track record that is available to potential employers.“So anyone wanting to employ someone can register on the website and peruse the database,  send a request for a worker through the site, in which case we’ll call them back, or they can call 0861 WORKER.“And then we arrange which site they can pick them up from.“Some employers will still simply arrive and pick people up but it’s so much more efficient if they pre-arrange it,” Katz continues. “We can put together a team quite effectively. We’ve got people with all kinds of skills, brick layers, carpenters, gardeners, fork lift drivers, welders, you name it.”With more than 10 000 workers registered on their database, MSR placed about 6 500 members in almost 120 000 work days in 2008. MSR is a registered non-profit organisation, and do not charge for the placement services. Employers pay the men directly, and they keep everything they earn.Some of those day placements have led to permanent employment.“There have been some great success stories,” says Katz. “One man, Vuyisile Dyolotana, started standing on the side of the road looking for work and then, though MSR, got training from Stodel’s Nursery. That resulted in a permanent job with a landscaping business and, before long, he’d branched out and started his own landscaping business.”So far, MSR have 14 organised sites in Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Nelspruit, Pretoria and George.  They’re easy to spot. They’re usually at major intersections, and they are marked by bright yellow banners.So the men do still stand on the side of the road, but now many of them are standing there waiting for a specific prearranged job, so it’s a far less stressful process.Useful linksMen of the Side of the Road Department of Labourlast_img read more

Environmental and economic rewards of Genome Project still emerging 20 years later

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Two decades ago, the corn plant got a huge boost with the announcement of the National Plant Genome Initiative (NPGI). The historic research effort to map the corn genome has resulted in significant economic and environmental dividends for farmers and society at large.The gene mapping effort, which ran parallel to the mapping of the human genome, opened up a new frontier for corn that is still being explored today, according to Pam Johnson, a Floyd, Iowa farmer who served as the Chairperson of NCGA’s Research and Business Development Action Team and later as NCGA president.“The NPGI didn’t just build a bridge between scientific discovery and real-world solutions for corn, it laid the groundwork for a new interstate highway of discovery,” Johnson said. “Corn continues to be one of the most important crops for our nation and this will likely continue given the vision of early NCGA leaders and the large coalition they helped forge.”NPGI has funded more than $1.5 billion of genomic research to date and the undertaking continues to send ripples through the scientific community and agriculture.“Corn became the primary focus of the broader plant genomics project because of its economic significance and because of its complexity. The theory is if we could crack the secrets of corn, the knowledge gained could be applied to many other plants,” said Rodney Williamson, director of research and development for Iowa Corn Growers Association. “The idea of sequencing the corn genome was considered an immense and daunting task because it has one of the of the most complex genomes of any known organism. But we continue to see the payoff.”At 2.5 billion base pairs covering 10 chromosomes, this genome’s size is comparable to that of the human genome which explains why the data generated from the gene mapping will keep scientists sorting and exploring for decades to come, says Williamson, who was part of the group in 1997 that threw down the gauntlet challenging the scientific community.The new, emerging picture of corn helps researchers better understand its evolution and history. The crop was domesticated from a Central American grass called teosinte some 10,000 years ago. Much of the genetic diversity of maize, however, reaches nearly five million years back.“Today we are still investigating what each of the genes does with a new initiative called Genomes to Fields. It’s a big puzzle that we don’t have a complete map for yet, but the potential benefits and advances are mind-boggling,” Johnson said. “The data we have contains answers like the best way to adapt corn to different climates, develop more efficient corn plants, use less energy growing it, sequester more carbon and increase the supply of food and feed.”Williamson says the people in the nondescript hotel meeting room in 1997 contended the completion of the maize genome sequence would change agriculture and it has. Things such as increased breeding efficiency, streamlined delivery of new traits, discovering enhancements of properties such as drought tolerance, and a better overall understanding of the crop has enhanced corn’s position as the ideal crop for food, feed, fuel and industrial uses.According to the USDA, corn production in the U.S. has grown from roughly 9 billion bushels in 1997 when NPGI began to more than 15 billion bushels today. At the same time, the value of the U.S. crop has grown from $25 billion to more than $51 billion.last_img read more

A Mid-Season Dicamba Update

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Ryan Rubischko, North America Dicamba Portfolio Lead with Monsanto, gives an update on dicamba use and possible issues as the 2018 growing season reaches the halfway point.last_img

Four-leaf Clover and 4-H

first_imgThe four-leaf clover is a rare variation of the common three-leaf clover and is said to bring good luck when finding one.Since four-leaf clovers will be seen across the nation tomorrow on St. Patrick’s Day, we thought we would talk about the four-leaf clover becoming the emblem for the 4-H logo and its representation.Designed by O. H. Benson, superintendent of Wright County (Iowa) schools, the 4-H emblem was approved in 1911 at a meeting of club leaders in Washington, D.C.The 4-H emblem is one of the most  highly recognized  logos in the world. Along with the U.S. Presidential Seal, and Smokey Bear, this green four-leaf clover with a white H on each leaf,  is placed in an unique category of protected emblems.The H’s signify Head, Heart, Hands and Health.At 4-H club meetings and events, members recite the Pledge of Allegiance and this 4-H pledge:I pledge my HEAD to clearer thinking,my HEART to greater loyalty,my HANDS to larger service,and my HEALTH to better living, for my club, my community, my country, and my world.last_img read more

3 LeT militants gunned down in Kashmir’s Pulwama

first_imgThree Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militants were killed in a night long encounter in Pulwama. Their charred bodies were recovered on Thursday morning.Police sources said all three trapped militants, who engaged the security forces in a gunfight on Wednesday night, were killed in a house. The house of a civilian was completely damaged in the encounter as it caught fire.The slain militants were identified as Majid, Irshad and Shariq. Two rifles have been recovered from encounter site. All killed militants were locals. One of the three militants is a teenager, aged around 14.The fresh killing takes the toll of slain militants to five in the past 24 hours.PTI adds…The encounter lasted for over six hours.Majid Dar, one of the slain militants, was involved in a number of killings, including that of sarpanch of Kakapora and district president of Pulwama, a police official said here.This is the first successful counter-insurgency operation in Pulwama area, which is believed to have large presence of local militants aided with a strong-network of over ground workers, he said.The successful operation is a big blow to the LeT terror outfit, which recently lost its commander Junaid Mattoo in an encounter at Arwin village in Anantnag district of South Kashmir on June 17, he added.This is the second successful operation against the terror outfit within three days.On Wednesday, two militants were killed in an encounter in Sopore township of Baramulla district in north Kashmir.last_img read more

Modi discriminating against Punjab govt., says Amarinder

first_imgPunjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of discrimination against the Congress government in Punjab on matters of religious importance, as part of his and his party’s divisive agenda.Capt. Amarinder in a statement asked why the Prime Minister had not pointed fingers at the Akali Dal leaders, including the Badals, for failing to attend the Central government function to commemorate the centenary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.“Neither Parkash Singh Badal nor Sukhbir Badal, nor Harsimrat Badal, who happens to be a Minister in Modi’s own Cabinet, deemed it fit to pay their homage to the martyrs at the historic Jallianwala Bagh,” said the Chief Minister, pointing out that Mr. Modi himself chose to keep away from the occasion of national importance but had criticised him (Amarinder) even though he had been part of a series of events at the Jallianwala Bagh national memorial. “Why was Mr. Modi not present at this major event? Why did the Badals fail to turn up, and why did the Prime Minister choose to conveniently ignore their absence,” asked the Chief Minister. ‘PM exposed’Capt. Amarinder said by holding a parallel event to mark the Jallianwala Bagh centenary, instead of supporting the State government’s commemorative programmes, the Prime Minister had exposed his true intent.He added that there was a clear pattern in the Prime Minister’s attack on him on the Jallianwala Bagh issue, which the Central government had been trying to politicise to woo the Punjabi community and further the BJP’’s political ambitions.last_img read more

Education Minister says TCI Govt schools will be ready

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#TurksandCaicos, August 30, 2017 – Grand Turk – Just days now left to get public schools ready for the start of the new academic year and during House of Assembly meeting last week, Education Minister Karen Malcolm not only congratulated student for their results for the CXC and CVQ but she update on whether or not government schools will be ready for the thousands of youngsters when they return.In Grand Turk there is reportedly good progress on the readiness of buildings, but in Provo, work will continue into this weekend and some equipment needed was due in this week.“We visited the schools here on Grand Turk and we can confirm that works are going well, and I’m sure that by the next weekend works will be completed.  We visited a few schools in Providenciales, the ones that we didn’t visit we spoke with the contractors and they confirmed that they are working and they are hoping to have all the AC’s etc. that they need on island this week.”There was also a report on the first set of students to transition from Long Bay High to Clement Howell High, as their classrooms are not yet ready for occupation.“The third formers will be going to Clement Howell this year, as the block is not completed and they will be there for the full year.  So starting next September the third formers will be at the LongBay High School.”School begins on Monday September 4 for most institutions in the TCI.  Related Items:last_img read more

Sexually violent predator to be placed in home near Jacumba Hot Springs

first_img April 27, 2018 Sexually violent predator to be placed in home near Jacumba Hot Springs KUSI Newsroom Posted: April 27, 2018 Updated: 10:12 PMcenter_img 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) — A sexually violent predator granted conditional release in San Diego County must be placed at a home in Jacumba Hot Springs by June 4, a judge ruled Friday.Herman Smith, 71, was convicted of forcible rape and other sex crimes in 1993 and was sentenced to 25 years in prison. He was found to be a sexually violent predator in 2009 and was committed to the Department of State Hospitals to undergo treatment.Last year, Smith petitioned the Superior Court to be released through the Conditional Release Program for sex offenders and, after a trial, Judge Howard Shore found Smith amenable to being released.David Jimenez, who currently lives near where Smith is going to reside on Desert Rose Ranch Road, told the judge he didn’t think it was fair that Smith was being placed in Jacumba Hot Springs. Jacumba Hot Springs is located in the far reaches of southeastern San Diego County.“I’m very uncomfortable,” Jimenez said outside court. “I do think Jacumba is a dumping ground for predators.”Jimenez, who is moving closer to the city of San Diego for health reasons, said another sexually violent predator lived in the same home on Desert Rose Ranch Road previously and caused no problems, but he believes Smith moving in will drop the value of his home as he tries to sell it. KUSI Newsroom, Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

Report Quebecor World to Become Novink

first_imgMontreal-based magazine printer Quebecor World is expected to announce this week—possibly as early as today—that it is changing its name to Novink.The company, according to Graphic Monthly Canada’s PrintCAN, applied for a trademark for “Novink” last July, and in May published the application in a Canadian trademarks journal.A Quebecor spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment.The printer indicated it would change its name as part of the company’s emergence from Chapter 11. In April, the company reached a $1.5 billion agreement with its creditors that it says will allow the company to emerge from bankruptcy protection this summer. Last month, Quebecor World received a letter from fellow printer R.R. Donnelley expressing interest in purchasing Quebecor for roughly $1.35 billion. A vote on a response by Quebecor’s board of directors is expected imminently.A Quebecor creditor’s meeting is scheduled for June 18.last_img read more

Land OLakes Copernicus Project Humans arent the center of the food universe

first_img1:28 • See All Culture In the middle of a sprawling conference and festival like SXSW, Land O’Lakes is also one of many companies vying for the attention of folks looking for the next, large, colorful, interactive experience to duck into and maybe even snap some pics for Instagram.The Copernicus Project also let goers do things like see how they stack up in their perceptions of food issues. For example, they could take a small spool of yarn color-coded to their diet (vega, carnivore, omnivore, etc) and wrap it around pegs in order to indicate how much they think the average meal costs, or what the most pressing food challenge is: Scarcity? Food safety? Global hunger?And if attendees would consider adding bugs to their diet as a protein source, for example, they could have voted with a small yellow plastic ball.  Share your voice The Copernicus Project reminds SXSW attendees they’re not the center of the food universe.  Land O’Lakes At an interactive experience called The Copernicus Project by Land O’Lakes, South by Southwest festivalgoers got some food for thought.Tying art installations into topics like biodiversity and nanotechnology meant that attendees could stand inside a room with floor-to-ceiling LED screens to get facts about where our food comes from, or slide into a giant avocado ball pit while pretending to be a nanobot. “People learn when they touch things,” said Land O’Lakes CTO Teddy Bekele.The thinking behind the name of the installation, which ended Sunday night, comes from the idea that Nicolaus Copernicus said the Earth wasn’t the center of the universe. Similarly, Land O’Lakes wants folks to know humans aren’t the center of the food universe. Now playing: Watch this: reading • Land O’Lakes’ Copernicus Project: Humans aren’t the center of the food universe Mar 15 • LG ‘Snow White’ makes ice cream from capsules SXSW 2019 Mar 20 • Us review: Jordan Peele’s horror flick holds up a dark mirror to Get Out Tags Mar 19 • AOC, Bill Nye and the apocalypse: The insanity of SXSW 2019 Mar 15 • Men can now breastfeed SXSW 2019 0 Land O’Lakes’ Copernicus Project lets you get hands on… Post a commentlast_img read more