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Limerick mother “blown away” by response to appeal for funds for…

first_imgTwitter Limerick’s National Camogie League double header to be streamed live A Limerick mother of one said she is “blown away” by the response to her urgent appeal for emergency funds to enrol her young son in a US cancer trial, that could help save his life.Friends of Eleanor Murnane, from Murroe, set up a gofundme account online, last Tuesday, which this Sunday had raised over €220,000 of a €375,000 goal.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up The funds will go towards travel, accommodation, and costs of the New York cancer trial, which is scheduled to begin in January.“I’m just blown away by the kindness of so many people. I really can’t thank people enough for their donations, prayers and text messages,” said Ms Murnane.Her son, Theo, (3), was diagnosed with Stage Four cancer two weeks after his second birthday in May 2018, after doctors at University Hospital Limerick found a large tumour in his abdomen had spread to his bones and scalp.“He’s my only boy, so I need to get him to New York, I can’t afford to wait, but I need €375,000,” Ms Murnane said.Ms Murnane said the treatment that is being made available in New York involves “an enhanced round of immunotherapy” which is hoped will considerably lower the chances Theo’s cancer returning.The trial is initially scheduled for one year.“We hope to be over there for a month initially and then travel back and forth over the year. It will hopefully massively improve his chances. I don’t want to regret not doing this and for it to be too late, so I have no choice but to try,” she said.“It takes a community to raise a child and my community have been incredible. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your donations, prayers, and messages,” she said.Theo is just finishing seven months of harsh chemotherapy and radiotherapy, as well as a round of immunotherapy, which Ms Murnane explained “trains the white cells to recognise and fight cancer cells”.After he was rushed by ambulance from UHL to Crumlin Children’s Hospital, doctors diagnosed Theo with Stage 4 high-risk neuroblastoma, and within hours the little boy was receiving his first dose of chemotherapy and “our world had fallen apart”.“Since then, Theo has had his tumour removed and gone through numerous rounds of chemotherapy, a double stem cell transplant, fourteen rounds of radiotherapy and six rounds of immunotherapy.”However there have been “setbacks along the way, including two very serious infections which had him admitted to Intensive Care”.Ms Murnane said she has “come scarily close” to loosing her son to cancer, but thankfully he has  continued to “defy all odds and battle through”.“He is just about to finish his last round of immunotherapy, after which we are hopeful for a clear scan. Unfortunately, with the type of cancer that Theo has, the chance of re-occurrence is extremely high, we now need help.”In a heartbreaking plea for funds, Ms Murnane said: “Today, as Theo’s mum, I am asking you to help me get Theo on a clinical trial at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital Cancer Centre in New York.This trial will help prevent the cancer re-occurring and greatly improve Theo’s chances of survival.”“Theo deserves a long, healthy life free from pain and fear. I have to do everything in my power to make sure he gets this. We need to raise €375,000, time is not on our side, as Theo needs to be in New York by January 2021, so we urgently need help.”The battle has been hard: “Theo is only three, yet has been in treatment for two and a half years. The last two and a half years have been incredibly tough, especially as a single parent. I have learned firsthand how precious life really is and how quickly it can all be taken away.”“I think the hardest part of cancer treatment is at the end, when everyone assumes you’re cured and you no longer need their help – This isn’t true, believe me, this is when you’re at your absolute weakest.”“I have laid my child in a surgeon’s arms and spent Christmas keeping watch over him in ICU; I have slept upright in a hospital chair and listened to the beeping of machines; I have smiled through the tears and found strength when there wasn’t any left,” Ms Murnane offered.“I have done it all for Theo, who is at the end of the day just a very normal, very precious boy, full of mischief, quick to smile, and a big fan of Tractor Ted and Paw Patrol. Today, I need my friends and community to help me give Theo the best future he can possibly have,” she said.Donations can be made via https://www.gofundme.com/f/2700p3zjuo Linkedin WhatsApp Roisin Upton excited by “hockey talent coming through” in Limerick Print Email Limerick Ladies National Football League opener to be streamed live Facebookcenter_img Previous articleDaughter of teen murdered 13 years ago makes emotional appeal for information to help put killer “behind bars”Next articleU.S. Senator Bernie Sanders and former President of Ireland Mary Robinson amongst speakers at the I.N.Y. Festival 2020 presented virtually from Limerick David Raleigh RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR LimerickNewsLimerick mother “blown away” by response to appeal for funds for son to take part in US cancer trialBy David Raleigh – November 23, 2020 283 TAGSKeeping Limerick PostedlimerickLimerick Post WATCH: “Everyone is fighting so hard to get on” – Pat Ryan on competitive camogie squads Billy Lee names strong Limerick side to take on Wicklow in crucial Division 3 clash Advertisement Donal Ryan names Limerick Ladies Football team for League opener last_img read more

Suspect firing at officers in ongoing shooting incident in Philadelphia: Police

first_imgWPVI-TV(PHILADELPHIA) — At least one suspect is firing at officers in an ongoing shooting incident in Philadelphia, Philadelphia Police Sgt. Eric Gripp tweeted.Gripp said there’s a large police presence and urged residents to avoid the area.Ten police cars were seen speeding toward the scene in video from ABC Philadelphia station WPVI-TV.This story is developing. Please check back for more updates.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img

Rethinking inclusion

first_img Student achievement gap same after nearly 50 years, study says JACK: It’s imperative that we’re intentional when it comes to inclusion. It’s not just about access and putting students in the seats. I mean everything from being more explicit with the loaded class terms we use, like office hours, to thinking more critically about how our policies affect all the students. Higher education is highly unequal. That is a fact. But our individual campuses don’t need to mirror that kind of inequality.If we’re to diversify our campuses to many more first-generation or low-income students, that means that we need to reach out to families more, because it’s not just a student who goes to college; it’s also the family. We need to make sure that we’re engaging families so that they’re aware of what’s going on on campus and what strategies of success students can follow to make the most of their college experience. We need to make sure that the roadmap exists not just for legacy students whose parents had been to college and can give them tips for being successful. Not every family can do that.Even though I study higher education at elite institutions, this is a story about the pernicious effect of poverty and inequality; how it affects not just how students make it to college, but how they make it through. We need a better understanding of where students come from, because we’re neither ready to support those who come from the inner cities nor to support those with rural backgrounds, especially those who are low-income. One of the first steps we have to do — I know it sounds lofty — is that we must begin by questioning what we take for granted and examine our blind spots. Because those blind spots inform policy and that policy shapes the undergraduate experience. At the most fundamental level, that’s what we need.This interview has been condensed and edited for length and clarity. Related Harvard’s expansive financial aid program ensures diversity by welcoming freshmen regardless of their circumstances Anthony Jack, Ph.D ’16, grew up in a working-class neighborhood in Miami, the son of a single mother working as a school security guard, with an ambition that matched his intelligence.After attending a magnet middle school, Jack went to a private high school in his senior year and then graduated cum laude from Amherst College. He went on to pursue a doctorate in sociology at Harvard, where he is now assistant professor of education at the Graduate School of Education (GSE) and holds a Shutzer Assistant Professorship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.The Gazette sat down with Jack to talk about his first book, “The Privileged Poor.” His research for it was inspired in part by his own life, but also by his interest in “developing a better understanding of the experiences of all lower-income undergraduates.”Q&AAnthony JackGAZETTE: Your book is about the struggles of disadvantaged students, or the privileged poor as you call them, at elite schools. Of your research, what struck you the most?JACK: The scary part for me is that I’m seeing a lot of the same problems now, 15 years after I entered Amherst College, that a lot of my peers and I faced in the early 2000s. Despite the efforts by elite institutions to recruit low-income students and diversify their campuses, disadvantaged students are still experiencing roadblock after roadblock that really makes them feel like second-class citizens in a first-class world. Students who are receiving very generous financial aid policies are struggling to feel they belong there and they also don’t feel included because they’re reminded so often of being from a low-income background. That’s both from peers and from university policies, so it’s not just who feels comfortable in the cafeteria or the dorms; it is who feels comfortable in the classroom and who feels comfortable walking around the campus. One of the signals universities are sending to people is that you may be at a certain university, but you’re not of it.GAZETTE: Your book includes two types of low-income students at elite schools. You have categorized them as the “privileged poor” and the “doubly disadvantaged.” Can you explain the differences and similarities between them?JACK: Where the experiences of the privileged poor and the doubly disadvantaged differ is in their trajectories to college. The privileged poor went to a high school that the top 5 percent or the top 1 percent send their kids to, so very often low-income kids might study abroad in high school, go to luxurious places, or fly in private jets. The doubly disadvantaged come from low-income neighborhoods and typically distressed high schools, and when they enter college, they experience a real culture shock. But I don’t want people to think this is all about social preparation. There is an economic component because both the privileged poor and the doubly disadvantaged are low-income students.Money matters in college, and sometimes universities’ policies make it matter for some groups more than others. The prime example is the policies that close the cafeterias during recesses. When we shut down our campuses based upon the assumption that people would leave for fun in the sun, we are actually not paying attention to those students who face food insecurity during these recesses, the ones who don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Some people say, “Why can’t they just go home or buy food?,” ignoring how very expensive it is to buy food. Food insecurity is a problem that affects students nationwide. “It’s imperative that we’re intentional when it comes to inclusion. It’s not just about access and putting students in the seats.” — Anthony Jackcenter_img But at least it’s not getting wider, say authors, who cite decline in teacher quality as offsetting programs like Head Start Leveling the playing field GAZETTE: In which group would you include yourself? How did you get inspired to choose this field of research?JACK: By my own classification, I’m a member of the privileged poor. My transition from Coconut Grove to Amherst had a slight detour to a private school … during my senior year. That year at Gulliver Prep gave me a sense of what was going to come at Amherst. I was exposed to office hours, teachers with Ph.Ds. And I was also exposed to rich people in a way I had never been before.My individual detour to a private school, I show, is a well-established HOV lane for low-income students to go to elite colleges. Programs like Prep for Prep, A Better Chance, and the Wight Foundation place low-income students in private high schools or boarding schools. What was striking to me, once I got to Amherst, was to find a [large] number of low-income students who were also alumni of prestigious and preparatory high schools. And that became the foundation for my research because that was missing in the literature. We had never talked about poor students who went to private high schools, and my research was inspired both my own personal experience but also by what I saw as a gap in the literature. My work really focuses on the gap between access and inclusion.GAZETTE: In your book you include many examples of the difficulties faced by low-income students. Which of the examples shocked you the most?JACK: Hearing someone offered a student $500 [to move] so they could get a single room — that was bold, but it probably wasn’t the most shocking. The most shocking was hearing a low-income student describe how she felt after she learned about a program that pays participants in exchange for cleaning the dorms before freshmen move in. She said she felt that “in order to be here, I have to clean.” My grandmother was a maid and my brother is a janitor, and a lot of my students have relatives who work as cleaners. I remember a story that really hurt to hear. A student said to me, “My mom didn’t want me to be doing the exact thing she was doing back home; she did it so I didn’t have to.” But because these jobs were the highest paid and the most flexible, he felt like he had to do it. That was the most eye-opening experience. When we think about how inequality shapes our students as they move through college, we can’t just focus on the micro-interaction between peers or between students and teachers. We also have to consider the universities’ policies and practices.GAZETTE: Elite colleges began opening their gates to low-income students in the late 1990s. Can you reflect on what has happened since then? What have been the gains and the shortcomings?JACK: The gains have been that more low-income students have entered selective colleges since the adoption of no-loan financial-aid policies. Some schools have seen their numbers almost double, like Vassar. The loss, however, is the missed opportunities for what happens when students get on campus. The policies that admit students far outpace the policies that promote integration and inclusion.When it comes to food insecurity, there has been some progress. Some colleges, like Connecticut College and Smith College, changed their policies when I brought it to their attention and talked about the likely effects of food insecurity on their students, and others have begun to address the issue.GAZETTE: What else can elite colleges do to foster inclusion and belonging among their low-income students?last_img read more

How Messi’s halftime pep talk inspired Barcelona players against Napoli

first_img Promoted Content7 Non-Obvious Things That Damage Your Phone7 Things That Actually Ruin Your PhoneBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For ThemYou’ve Only Seen Such Colorful Hairdos In A Handful Of AnimeWho Earns More Than Ronaldo?6 Extreme Facts About Hurricanes7 Black Hole Facts That Will Change Your View Of The Universe8 Superfoods For Growing Hair Back And Stimulating Its GrowthWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?Which Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?7 Facts About Black Holes That Will Blow Your MindCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable Way Leo Messi’s half-time speech to Barcelona teammates on Saturday night had a positive impact on their victory against Napoli. Barcelona defeated Napoli 3-1 to ease into the Champions League quarterfinals. Given that they had a two-goal advantage at the midway point, Messi urged his teammates to remain calm while maintaining focus.Advertisement Loading… read also:Inter Milan owners not giving up on Messi; sponsors sought “Let’s not be stupid here,” he was heard shouting in footage captured from the tunnel as the players prepared to come out for the second half. “We have a two-goal advantage, so calm now. “Let’s play calmly.” FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 last_img read more

Early run too much to handle as MDI boys top Ellsworth

first_img Hospice volunteers help families navigate grief and find hope – September 12, 2020 Latest posts by Mike Mandell (see all) Latest Posts Mike MandellMike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at [email protected] Biocenter_img BAR HARBOR — For Justin Norwood, coaching boys’ basketball at Mount Desert Island High School for more than a decade hasn’t made the big games any easier.Sure, the MDI head coach of 11 seasons has won more than his fair share since he first took over, but few of those contests have come without him being one of the most anxious people in the building. During the buildup to the Trojans’ Senior Night game against Ellsworth on Thursday, Norwood would have been the first to admit just that.“I was pretty nervous all day and didn’t feel good,” Norwood said. “I get pretty worked up about certain games, and they [Ellsworth] were a good team coming in here.”Entering the game at 11-6, the Eagles certainly presented one of the toughest tests for an MDI team among Class B North’s elite. Yet while the Trojans’ head coach might have been nervous through the opening tip-off, it didn’t take long for his team to put him at ease.Ellsworth’s Darby Barry (left) and Jackson Curtis defend against MDI’s Derek Collin during the first half of a high school boys’ basketball game Feb. 8 in Bar Harbor. The Eagles and Trojans ended the season 11-7 and 15-3, respectively. BARRY GUTRADT PHOTOThis is placeholder textThis is placeholder textMDI opened the game on a 20-0 run Thursday en route to a resounding 65-35 win over Ellsworth at Bunny Parady Gymnasium. The result saw the Trojans’ and Eagles’ regular seasons end on very different notes in the final game before the upcoming state tournament.The home team came out firing right out of the gate to take a 6-0 lead inside the game’s first two minutes. With seven points from James McConomy and six from Derek Collin, MDI soon saw its lead grow to 8-0, 15-0 and 20-0 before Ellsworth finally stopped the bleeding with a basket from Dylan Taplin with 38 seconds left in the quarter.“We just got on one of those spurts that I’ve talked about all year and kept it going,” Norwood said. “Every player on the team was feeding off one another, and it’s suddenly this big advantage.”MDI stretched its lead to 37-11 at halftime and led by more than 30 for most of the second half. Ellsworth’s offense finally woke up in the fourth quarter, but the 15-point effort went in vain as the Trojans breezed to a Senior Night victory.McConomy led MDI (15-3) in scoring with 17 points, and Collin was second with 16. The Trojans also got nine points from Owen Mild, who rejoined the team along with fellow senior Andrew Phelps for one last home game after both players missed multiple games for injury reasons.“I’ll remember playing at MDI because it was like a family,” Mild said. “We’ve had so many great times together on and off the court.”Austin Harris had six points to lead the Eagles, whose 35 as a team were the fewest since a 49-24 loss against Hermon on Jan. 6. Seniors Zach Harris and Dylan Taplin added five points apiece for Ellsworth (11-7) in their final regular season games.MDI’s James McConomy defends against Ellsworth’s Dylan Taplin during the second half of a high school boys’ basketball game Feb. 8 in Bar Harbor. Both the Eagles and Trojans will be participating in the upcoming Class B North playoffs. ELLSWORTH AMERICAN PHOTO BY MIKE MANDELLThe loss was Ellsworth’s fourth in a row against MDI. The Eagles’ last win in the rivalry came when they beat the Trojans 62-59 on Feb. 4, 2016.“MDI is a physical team that always has good players, and they make it difficult on you no matter who you are,” Ellsworth head coach Peter Austin said. “It’s a tough loss, but it’s one we need to get over quickly if we’re going to have a good tournament.”No. 6 Ellsworth will get a chance to avenge the loss when it takes on No. 11 Orono (6-12) at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 14. The Eagles are 2-0 this season against the Red Riots, whose leading scorer, Connor Robertson, is recovering from a knee injury he suffered in late January.With a win, the Eagles would face No. 3 Presque Isle (13-5) in the regional quarterfinals at 8 p.m. next Friday, Feb. 16. It would also mark the Eagles’ eighth victory in 10 games.“At this point, we’re still a lot better than we were at the beginning of the season,” Austin said. “Everybody has the green light to shoot, and everyone knows their roles because they’re more defined. Those are good things to have at this point in the season.”MDI, which received a bye as a result of clinching the No. 2 seed, is scheduled to face the winner of No. 7 Washington Academy (13-5) and No. 10 Maine Central Institute (9-9). That will be an early-morning game, tipping off at 9:05 a.m. next Saturday, Feb. 17.“It’s an odd start time, but it is what it is,” Norwood said. “We’ve done it before, and we’ve also been up early for practices on Saturdays in the past. We’ll be there and be ready to go.” Ellsworth runners compete in virtual Boston Marathon – September 16, 2020 MPA approves golf, XC, field hockey, soccer; football, volleyball moved to spring – September 10, 2020last_img read more

Jackpotjoy Plc appoints Irina Cornides as CEO of gaming properties

first_img Submit Luckbox raises CAD $3.8m ahead of TSX IPO June 12, 2020 Gamesys halts UK advertising during lockdown April 23, 2020 Updating the market, London-listed igaming group Jackpotjoy Plc has confirmed the promotion of Irina Cornides as CEO of its Jackpotjoy gaming division, the operator’s flagship online gambling brand.Cornides is promoted to the PLC leadership position, having served as Chief Revenue Officer for Intertain Bahamas, the former holding company for Jackpotjoy assets under the management of Intertain Group (Toronto TSX).  Moving forward, Cornides will act as the executive intermediary between Jackpotjoy’s performance and Gamesys, the operations company for Jackpotjoy brands and related assets.Cornides will be based out of Gibraltar and will report directly to Jackpotjoy PLC Group Chief Executive Andrew McIver.Issuing a statement Jackpotjoy governance commented on the appointment of Cornides: “Irina will be tasked with maintaining the existing strong relationship between the two parties, along with helping to set the strategic direction for the Jackpotjoy division and overseeing the running of the brands after the earn-outs conclude.”Last February, Jackpotjoy Plc (formerly Intertain Group) moved its listing onto the London Stock Exchange, following a restructure of the firm’s governance and executive teams. Debuting on the London Exchange ‘as the world’s largest online bingo operator’ , the company stated that it wanted to be closer to its home market of the UK. Related Articles StumbleUpon Share Share Luckbox outlines final TSXV roadmap July 29, 2020last_img read more

First Nancy Greene Race of the season at Whitewater a success

first_imgby Graham TraceyWhitewater Ski Team’s record athlete enrollment for 2015 seems to be paying dividends already, with the first stop on the Rio Tinto Alcan Nancy Greene race series at Whitewater being declared a complete success.“This was our best Nancy Greene race yet,” exclaims head coach Dylan Henderson.“We owe it to an army of volunteers, the unbelievable support of Whitewater Ski Resort, and of course, our amazing racers.”More than 170 young athletes under the age of 14 came to Whitewater from Red Resort, Phoenix Mountain, Salmo, and Summit Lake. The sun was shining, the course was firm, and the Silver King lift churned out an endless stream of eager young racers spurned on by the promise of speed, glory, and hot dogs.Athletes under 12 years of age are assembled into teams, and are awarded first, second, or third place ribbons based on overall team performance. This subtraction of focus upon awarding individuals creates a friendly atmosphere where skills acquisition and participation are at the forefront.As the mother of two young racers commented, “The fun of skiing is emphasized without sparing the technical aspects of the sport.”The course was a combination of quick slalom turns through stubby gates, and wider, GS-style turns through larger paneled gates.Each racer had a chance to inspect the course before taking two timed runs. In between runs, most of the racers appeared to be off doing what they love best — skiing.Whitewater Ski Team president Tracy Punchard emphasizes the growing appeal of ski racing in our region:“It’s not about winning; it’s about learning, and having fun,’ Punchard  said.”We’re attempting to teach these kids not only the necessary skills they’ll need to be competitive, but to love the sport first and foremost. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this is our biggest enrollment year yet. Parents are seeing the value in this program for their children.”last_img read more

Unique Team Adventure Race Coming to the West Kootenays

first_imgThe Four Elements Adventure Race (or FearBC) is set to challenge teams in the hills and mountains surrounding Castlegar on Saturday, September 30th. Teams of three will test their skills, physical abilities and mental fortitude while supporting each other as they navigate between checkpoints via trekking and mountain biking stages. To add to the excitement, teams will also be given instructions to complete special tasks relating to each of the four elements while progressing through the race course.This six to nine hour race (depending on a group’s rate of travel) will see teams navigate via map and compass through some of the West Kootenays most breathtaking terrain. “We wanted to create a race that was team-based and unique to the area that people can get excited about” stated John Ford, one of four local Race Coordinators. Ford has been involved in coordinating various adventure races in Canada over the past ten years and is stoked to be bringing one to his new home in Castlegar. Early bird rates are now available until July 31st. Register now! For more information and to register visit Fearbc.com or find the race on Facebook at FearBC – Four Elements Adventure Race.last_img read more

France and Arsenal great Vieira takes over as Nice coach

first_img0Shares0000French former France, Inter Milan and Arsenal star Patrick Vieira gave his first press conference as Nice manager on Monday © AFP / YANN COATSALIOUNICE, France, Jun 11 – After more than 20 years away, former Arsenal and France star Patrick Vieira, is returning to Ligue 1 to take the reins at Nice where he was unveiled as manager on Monday.“I’m very happy to return to France, which I left at the age of 19 or 20,” Vieira told a press conference. “Returning to Ligue 1 was honestly always an objective, but I wanted to do so in the best circumstances and I think that’s the case.” Vieira, 41, arrives after a stint at MLS outfit New York City FC. He has signed a three-year contract and replaces Lucien Favre who is moving to Borussia Dortmund.Nice released a statement describing the 1998 World Cup winner as a “monument of French football”, whose dynamism and charisma had made him the obvious choice.Vieira said he had several conversations with the club’s sporting director Julien Fournier and the president Jean-Pierre Rivere“I was seduced by the project but above all by the men carrying it out,” Vieira said. “When I look at the squad, I was very eager, it’s very encouraging. I think there’s everything here that it takes to succeed.”The former midfield dynamo started his playing career at Cannes but left in 1995 for a brief spell AC Milan before becoming the rock on which Arsenal built a decade of glory, starring for the Gunners from 1996-2005.After winning three Premier League titles and three FA Cups with Arsenal, he joined Juventus for a season as the club topped Serie A but were stripped of the title and then had four years with Inter Milan each of which ended with a Serie A crown.“My career as a player no longer counts, it’s part of my past,” Vieira said. “I know the sacrifices necessary to progress and I hope, of course, to help the young players express their talent and that I can guide them.”– ‘Win their trust’ –Vieira played 107 times for France and was part of the squads that won the World Cup and Euro 2000.“As for my honours with clubs or with Les Bleus, that will give me the confidence of the players for three months,” he said. “After that I need to win their trust and be clear what I want from them.”Vieira retired as a player in 2011 and moved into coaching taking charge of the under-19 and under-21 Manchester City teams before coaching New York, which shares its owner with City.He leaves New York second in the MLS Eastern Conference after Friday’s draw with Atlanta.“I’ve come to know myself and my personality over the last three, four years on the coach’s bench,” Vieira said. “I’ve learned from all of my former coaches.”In a statement announcing the hiring, the Riveira club had said they were “looking for a coach with the ability to continue to play flowing football, bring on young players and take the risk of having them evolve while bringing a winning spirit to the table. That coach is Patrick Vieira.”Vieira, a powerful, battling midfielder with a deft touch on the ball, expressed a similar vision.“I want a team that pushes forward creatively, in which the players express their qualities,” Vieira said. “Nice has set the bar pretty high in recent years in terms of beautiful football.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

SA students win US prize for fire-alert innovation

first_img13 May 2014 A team of South African students from the University of Cape Town (UCT) has won a People’s Choice Award for their low-cost fire detection device for shack-dwellers at the annual Global Social Venture Competition at the University of California, Berkeley in the US. The project was named one of the top five initiatives worldwide and won the award in the global round in April. They competed against hundreds of entries from around the world, beating 18 finalists in the last round. The competition is one of the world’s pre-eminent social business plan competitions, providing aspiring entrepreneurs with mentoring, exposure and prize money to transform their business ideas into positive real-world projects. Khusela, which means “protect”, is an integrated alert service designed for shack-dwellers. There is a lack of fire-fighting infrastructure in South African informal settlements, where shack fires are an ongoing problem. “Our proactive early-warning system networks individuals within communities and with the authorities to mitigate the loss of life and property caused by shack fires, a global human tragedy,” said electrical engineer Francois Petousis, co-founder of Khusela, who is currently undertaking a Masters degree in inclusive innovation at the UCT Graduate School of Business (GSB). “There are a billion shack/slum-dwellers across the globe, and that is set to soar to 1.4-billion by 2020,” Petousis said in a statement issued by the school. Khusela is based on Petousis’s honour’s thesis, and the Khusela team consists of electrical engineering lecturer Samuel Ginsberg, economist and Khusela co-founder David Gluckman, community researcher Emily Vining, industrial designer Max Basler, and electrical engineer Paul Mesarcik. The team entered the international competition through the UCT Student Social Venture Programme, which is hosted by Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the UCT GSB Net Impact Chapter. The UCT programme was created to improve the quality and performance of African universities at global social business plan competitions. The Bertha Centre is the southern African regional outreach partner for the social innovation competition, and hosts the initial round of the competition. The director of the Bertha Centre, Dr François Bonnici, said that African teams had not featured in global competitions in the past because they lacked support and sponsorship. “Our firm belief in setting up the UCT Student Social Venture Programme at the GSB was that student social ventures of global standards were being developed in South Africa, not just at UCT, that deserve our support,” Bonnici said. Khusela is not the first South African team that has passed through the programme. Last year, graduates the Reel Gardening team won both the social innovation prize and the Hult Prize London regional competitions, beating 50 other universities, and was one of six teams globally to compete in the prestigious Clinton Global Initiative. UCT GSB director Walter Baets said social innovation was increasingly gaining focus, not only in business but at business schools. “Especially in our emerging market situation, we need to encourage innovative thinking and the generation of new ideas to meet the unique challenges of our environments.” Petousis said going to Berkeley was extremely exciting for the team. “After all 18 finalist teams presented to the judges on our first day of competition in Berkeley, Khusela was named as one of the six teams to go onto the next stage of the finals, which was a fantastic achievement considering the range of powerful teams who had presented their social enterprises that day.” The next step for the Khusela team will include making use of recent funding received from the Technology Innovation Agency and UCT to fully develop, test and roll out about 2 000 devices in a pilot project in South Africa. “We received excellent feedback from the judges specifically because our numbers were reasonable and justified, we have significant scalability and a strong plan to do so, the social impact scales as the business does, so there is a significant market which we have great opportunity to serve and the value created is significant,” Gluckman said. Petousis said just being a part of the competition was inspiring. “All these people are devoting their lives to discovering how we can create a world where you get paid to do good, where business can function to support that which really matters and makes a difference to humans. The room was far from what traditionally is the mood of a competition. The ethos was of support and collaboration, because at the core, everyone was there to serve a bigger purpose than their own.” Gluckman added that there was lots of scope out there for other aspiring social innovators to get involved. “Get out and engage with the community that you wish to serve. Get off the computer, stop writing the business plan, put down the pen and paper and get into your market and find out. In social impact work, it is critical to know with as close to 100% certainty that there is truly a need. That’s true for any business, but specifically in the social impact space where resources are scarce and challenges are huge.” SAinfo reporter and University of Cape Townlast_img read more