Big sisters are there to help

first_imgSince 2009, 753 high school girls have benefited from the services of 18twenty8.(Image: 18twenty8) Big sister to many, Refiloe Seseane.(Image: Cadine Pillay) The women-led team at 18twenty8.(Image: 18twenty8)MEDIA CONTACTS • Refiloe Seseane+2711 431 3440 Cadine PillayHow would the lives of many adult women in South Africa have turned out if they had been guided and mentored by older professional women during their school years?This ideology is what drives the team at non-profit organisation 18twenty8 to empower young women from disadvantaged backgrounds, giving them the opportunity to explore different life and career choices despite their circumstances.The call to helpFounded in 2008, 18twenty8 is the brainchild of leading South African actress and philanthropist, Refiloe Seseane, who created the organisation as a result of her own personal struggles growing up.Seseane found herself, at age 28, working as an investment analyst in Cape Town – unfulfilled and conflicted with her life choices. She made a life changing decision to move back to Johannesburg and review the decisions of the last ten years of her life – hence the name 18twenty8 – and so began her work in acting.She has since graced television screens across the country, appearing in popular soap opera Generations and more recently The Wild, among other productions.A separate calling however, that of helping others who may be in the same situation as she was when she was younger, was beginning to manifest itself in her everyday life.This led to her decision to focus on young women who needed guidance towards their ideal careers.“I had a willingness to give back to the community, and wanted to make a difference with my life,” she says.After she was honoured with the Youth in Philanthropy Award by the Inyathelo – South African Institute for Advancement in 2010, Seseane was chosen a year later as a member of the Young African Women Leaders’ Forum, hosted by US First Lady Michelle Obama.She is now a member of President Barack Obama’s 2012 Young African Leaders Initiative and was named one of 60 changemakers by Spark International, an Australian initiative for social entrepreneurs.Providing guidance18twently8’s financial assistance programme provides beneficiaries with a variety of tools like study loans and bursaries, as well as help during the job application process.The organisation also runs various workshops where young women are enlightened on self-empowerment, career development and education issues. Another workshop, called Green Girls, focuses on environmental awareness and conservation.However, the programme that Seseane is most proud of is the Big Sister Network, in which a team of older, more experienced professional women provide all-round mentorship for the young girls who join.“I always thought that if I had guidance and advice when I was a young girl, my life would have turned out differently and consequently so would my life choices,” says Seseane.“Parents sometimes cannot relate to what their children are going through, so they are not able to give the assurance or guidance that is needed.”The big sisters, of which Seseane is one, encourage the young women, who are mostly between the ages of 18 and 28, to view higher education as an attractive and necessary tool for their empowerment.To be considered for sponsorship or financial assistance, participants have to be enrolled in an academic institution and demonstrate leadership qualities, with a willingness to give back to their communities.“Through 18twenty8, we aim to groom successful generations of women, thereby continuing our collective dream,” says Seseane. “I would like to think that, in its own small way, 18twenty8 is closing the skills, gender and race differentials in South Africa.”Since 2009, 753 high school pupils have benefited from the services of the organisation, with 22 of them going through the Big Sister Network.Realising a dreamPalesa Phora (19) is one of three participants whose education is being sponsored by Deutsche Bank. She is currently in her first year of a bachelor’s degree in law and international Relations at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.Recalling the events of the day she received the good news, Phora says she was so shocked, she cried.“My mother was relieved as she had been stressing about the financial burden of putting me through university.“I have no excuse to not pass as I have been given the tools I need to get through university. I still feel a great sense of joy when I think about it. I am so blessed!”Phora lived in Soweto with her grandparents for the first 10 years of her life, before moving to Benoni on the East Rand to stay with her mom, a single parent, and two younger sisters.“They really look up to me and in a way, they are my mentees,” she says, referring to her siblings.Despite her youth, Phora is already showing signs of determination. Through her education, which will later involve specialising in international law and foreign policy, she plans to use her degree to strengthen relations between South Africa and the rest of the world.“I want to be in Parliament one day, and I want to play a role in getting the youth active in politics and educating our citizens about their constitutional rights,” she asserts.“I just want to be very involved in getting South Africa to flourish because we do have the potential to be a great nation.”Phora started off with many goals and dreams for her future, but much like Seseane, she was not without uncertainty. In high school, her career thoughts ranged from journalism to business and later politics.“When I turned 16, my view of the world changed. I had dreams of being a very powerful and revolutionary woman and hoped to spread my influence throughout the world,” she says.Her hopes of fighting for women’s rights and representing the ‘universal woman’ have remained to this day.When she joined 18twenty8 in 2010, Phora suffered from a low self-esteem and a fear to venture out of her comfort zone. Through the organisation she received a mentor and attended events and workshops that helped her focus her ideas.“It exposed me to various women who had faced similar challenges as me but still managed to make a success of their lives, and that gave me hope,” says Phora.Mentoring is essentialPhora believes that South Africa’s education system pressures pupils into making big career decisions by choosing their matric subjects in grade 8. However, it does not necessarily expose them to the various options available to them beyond matric, nor does it equip them for the real world.For this reason, she says, mentors are a great help, because a mentor is usually someone who has travelled that path and is willing to guide you through it but still allows you to make your own decisions and learn your own lessons.“My mentor gives me invaluable advice regarding my degree and shows me how I will apply my skills in a work environment,” says Phora.“Our relationship is personal and well-rounded. She is someone I can call at any time of the day and can speak to about anything and everything.”The Big Sister Network has made a huge difference to how she carries herself and has made a positive impact on the decisions she makes on a daily basis, Phora says.She has advice of her own for girls in difficult situations: “Education is important. If you know better, you do better.”This is echoed by Seseane, who says young women should go to school and stay in school, as education is the key to everything that matters in life.“Stay focused and connect with one another, don’t doubt yourself,” she maintains.The team at 18twenty8 hope that one day the organisation becomes a national asset where people can share their views on education and mentorship.last_img read more

a month agoLiverpool defender Van Dijk: Everyone wants to beat us

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Liverpool defender Van Dijk: Everyone wants to beat usby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool defender Virgil van Dijk insists they can handle being a big target this season.Liverpool became the first side since AC Milan in 1994 to lose the first match of their Champions League defence and the 2-0 reverse in Naples, which featured a rare Van Dijk mistake, has put pressure on their next game against Red Bull Salzburg in two weeks. “Everyone wants to beat us, no matter what competition,” said Van Dijk.”That’s something we have to deal with, but that’s not going to be a problem — we have to enjoy it as well.”For Napoli to win their first game is obviously big, for us to lose our first game is obviously not want we wanted. We have to try to win our other games and we now focus on going to Chelsea.” last_img read more

Oilsands tech touted for pipeline capacity boost still years from deployment

first_imgCALGARY – Two years after a blue-ribbon panel called on the Alberta government to encourage partial upgrading of bitumen from the oilsands to enhance value and free up more pipeline room for exports, the idea remains years away from commercialization.In its royalty review report in January 2016, the panel led by ATB Financial CEO Dave Mowat pointed out that if heavy, sticky bitumen were partly upgraded, there would be less need to add light petroleum to dilute it so it will flow in a pipeline — meaning as much as 30 per cent more bitumen could be stuffed into existing pipelines.It would also boost profits because companies wouldn’t have to buy diluent, which is generally priced in line with New York-traded West Texas Intermediate oil, the report said.Diluted bitumen as represented by Western Canadian Select crude currently sells for considerably less per barrel than WTI, a discount that has doubled in recent months from typical levels due in part to pipeline capacity constraints. The wider differential means Alberta producers are missing out on hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.Last week, privately owned Fractal Systems Inc. announced that its Enhanced JetShear partial upgrading and acid reduction technology had proved — during a year of testing — its ability to improve bitumen quality, increase bitumen volumes shipped in pipelines and reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions.“We’re now ready for commercial deployment and we’re hoping we’re hitting the market at just the right time,” said Fractal chairman Joe Gasca.“An engineering study is now underway with our oilsands partner for a large-scale Enhanced JetShear facility. We should know more about the timing of an investment decision later this year.”The company is partnering with oilsands producer Cenovus Energy Inc., aided by a $3.7-million federal grant approved in 2015 from Sustainable Development Technology Canada.Cenovus is investigating several partial upgrading technologies for potential future investment, according to CEO Alex Pourbaix.“We’re seeing some positive indications but I think we’re still in what I would call the R and D stage,” he said. “It isn’t something we’re going to be rolling out on a commercial basis in the short term.”Fractal said it has processed more than 225,000 barrels of diluted bitumen trucked to a 1,000-barrel-per-day pilot plant from steam-driven oilsands operations in northern Alberta. The facility succeeded in reducing the need for diluent by up to 53 per cent while improving oil quality through the reduction of olefins and acidity, the company said.Fractal president Ed Veith said a 50,000-barrel-per-day Enhanced JetShear facility at an oilsands project is estimated to cost about $275 million to build. It would result in savings from lower transportation and diluent costs of about $7.50 per barrel, based on 2017 average prices.However, proving partial upgrading technology works is one thing, while putting it into practice is another, said Kent Fellows, research associate at the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary.“We’re probably looking at measuring in years, definitely not in weeks or months,” he said. “There is a lot of risk still in this, which has the potential to kill it in the nest before it gets out.”Fellows said producers looking to invest must ensure positive results from small pilot plants will be duplicated on a larger scale. They also need to make sure their customers will be willing to pay to use the resulting crude in their refineries. And the projects have to be able to pass regulatory hurdles.Alberta’s carbon tax creates another potential problem, Fellows added.Raw bitumen shipped to the U.S. Gulf Coast is processed in Texas, which has no carbon tax, he said. If it’s partly upgraded in Alberta, the producer will have to pay Alberta’s carbon tax on any emissions from the process — even if, as technology developers promise, the overall greenhouse gas emissions wind up being slightly lower.Fractal has been in touch with the Alberta government about the carbon tax issue, Gasca said, but it’s unclear whether anything can be done to address it.A School of Public Policy report funded by Alberta Innovates, the province’s applied research arm, suggested a year ago that a 100,000-barrel-per-day partial upgrading facility could add $10 to $15 of value to each barrel of bitumen.It listed 10 pre-commercial technologies that have been tested or proposed for deployment in Alberta.Alberta Innovates has hired an engineering firm to produce a report to be delivered by the end of February that will evaluate pre-commercial partial upgrading technologies.About 60 per cent of Alberta’s oilsands production is shipped in its raw form. The rest is typically upgraded into synthetic crude oil, a light product that flows easily in a pipeline and usually fetches near-WTI prices.Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter.Companies mentioned in this story: (TSX:CVE, TSX:SU)last_img read more

Beaverlodge RCMP seek public assistance to locate missing youth

first_imgWEMBLEY, A.B. – Beaverlodge RCMP are asking for the public’s assistance in locating 16 year old Madison Dugray. Madison was last seen on January 23, 2019 in Wembley.Madison is described as:– Indigenous female– 5’6″, 160 lbs.– Brown hair, brown eyes– Wearing a red sweater and jeans The investigation is ongoing and there is a general concern for her well-being. If you have information on the whereabouts of Madison Dugray please call the Beaverlodge RCMP at 780-354-2955 or call your local police. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at www.P3Tips.com or by using the “P3 Tips” app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store.last_img read more

Fracking firms Calfrac Trican report doubledigit Q2 revenue declines

first_imgThe Calgary-based companies step in after a well is drilled to prepare it for production, performing operations including hydraulic fracturing, where liquids, sand and chemicals are injected under pressure to break up tight underground formations and free trapped oil and gas.Calfrac reported a net loss of $42 million, up from a loss of $15 million a year earlier, as its job count and pricing levels declined in both Canada and the United States.Trican’s net loss improved to $29 million from $35 million as it continued to sell equipment and cut costs, including implementing an unspecified number of job cuts during the second quarter.Both companies said they expect stronger business conditions in the second half of 2019. Companies in this article: (TSX:CFW, TSX:TCW) CALGARY — Two of Canada’s biggest oil and gas well-fracking companies are posting double-digit percentage revenue declines as energy exploration spending slowed in the quarter ended June 30.Calfrac Well Services Ltd., which has operations in Canada, the U.S., Russia and Argentina, reported revenue of $430 million, a 21 per cent fall from $545 million in the same period of 2018.Trican Well Service Ltd., which is focused on the Canadian market, reported revenue of $110 million, a 36 per cent decline compared with $172 million in second quarter 2018.last_img read more

PACE Coaching Project gets close to deadline

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Parent and Child Early (PACE) Coaching Project is quickly reaching its deadline at the end of August to accept new participants.The PACE project is working with their partner agency in the North, the Fort St. John Child Development Centre. The Project is looking for parents of children aged 15 months to 34 months which the parents recognize the child has some sort of social communication delay, that would like to participate in the program.Pat Mirenda Ph.D., BCBA-D, Project Director for PACE shares, with young children there is a lot of reasons for a social delay to be happening such as late talkers. The project is looking specifically for children whom social communication delays put them at risk for the autism spectrum disorder, according to Mirenda.The first step in the process for parents that reach out to the project is to screen the child for Autism Spectrum Disorder with a 20 question interview to find out ‘could’ the social communication delay be because of Autism shared Mirenda.If it could be, according to Mirenda information is given to the parent to find out it really is as this is a whole different process. The child/ parent are then eligible for the study. The study is explained to the parent and asked if they want to participate.The program does assessments and then delivers one of two interventions with a 50/50 chance of receiving either-or.One is being apart of 24 weeks of parenting coaching, receiving one on one coaching from a coach in the community to learn strategies to help the child with social development skills. The other is a monitor group in which there is no coaching yet access to books and online modules made for parents to support social development. Both groups receive a service to help answer the question, does parent coaching make a difference verse access to materials which is less intensive and expensive.Parents only have until the end of August to sign up. Mirenda shared it is important to get in touch right away.To contact PACE Coaching Project; CLICK HERElast_img read more

India striving to list Azhar as global terrorist: Sources

first_imgNew Delhi: India continues to work with the UN Security Council sanctions committee on the listing of Masood Azhar as a global terrorist and will show patience on the issue, official sources said Saturday, days after China blocked a proposal at the world body to ban the JeM chief. They also said steps taken by Pakistan in the last few days, against terror groups are cosmetic in nature. “India continues to work with the UNSC’s sanction committee on listing of JeM chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist,” official sources said. Also Read – Squadrons which participated in Balakot air strike awarded citations on IAF Day India believes “terrorism is a major issue for China. They know a number of terror groups are based in Pakistan”, sources added. On China blocking Azhar’s listing as a global terrorist, sources said India will show patience as long as it takes. On Beijing continuing to oppose Azhar’s listing as global terrorist, government sources said there are issues which China needs to resolve with Pakistan. On Wednesday, China for the fourth time blocked the bid in the UN Security Council to designate the chief of the Pakistan-based terror group as a “global terrorist” by putting a technical hold on the proposal. The Chinese move was termed “disappointing” by India.last_img read more

Taiwan approves same-sex marriage in 1st for Asia

first_imgTaipei: Taiwan’s parliament legalised same-sex marriage on Friday in a landmark first for Asia as the government survived a last-minute attempt by conservatives to pass watered-down legislation. Lawmakers comfortably passed a bill allowing same-sex couples to form “exclusive permanent unions” and another clause that would let them apply for a “marriage registration” with government agencies. The vote — which took place on the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia — is a major victory for the island’s LGBT community and it places the island at the vanguard of Asia’s burgeoning gay rights movement. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: ReportThousands of gay rights supporters gathered outside parliament despite heavy downpours, waving rainbow flags, flashing victory signs and breaking into cheers as the news filtered out. In recent months conservatives had mobilised to rid the law of any reference to marriage, instead putting forward rival bills that offered something closer to limited same-sex unions. But those bills struggled to receive enough votes. Gay rights groups hailed the vote on Friday, saying the ability to apply for a “marriage registration” — known as Clause Four — put their community much closer to parity with heterosexual couples. Also Read – Iraq military admits ‘excessive force’ used in deadly protests”The passage of Clause Four ensures that two persons of the same-sex can register their marriage on May 24th and ensure that Taiwan becomes the first country in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage and to successfully open a new page in history,” said the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights. Two years ago Taiwan’s top court ruled that not allowing same-sex couples to marry violates the constitution with judges giving the government until May 24, 2019 to make the changes or see marriage equality enacted automatically. Other key sections of the law were still being debated and voted on Friday, including what, if any, provisions there will be for same-sex couples to adopt. That resulted in more muted celebrations outside parliament as gay marriage supporters continued to keep a close eye on voting.last_img read more

Gallery OSU vs Nebraska

Former OSU quarterback Cardale Jones chats with Cleveland Indians’ outfielder Michael Brantley and pitcher Josh Tomlin before the start of the Buckeyes game against Nebraska on Nov. 5. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo Editor The Ohio State Buckeyes took on the Nebraska Cornhuskers in a Big 10 match-up on Nov. 5. The Buckeyes came away with a 62-3 win.

Napoli plot January move for indemand Nicolo Barella

first_imgThe highly-rated Cagliari midfielder Nicolo Barella could be a subject of market war between a few influential European sides in the upcoming January transfer market.The author of an outstanding campaign with Cagliari last season, Barella, has drawn the attention of several major Serie A teams, including AC Milan, Juventus, and Inter Milan.However, according to the Il Mattino, Napoli chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis intends to grab the player in front of the competition with a tempting €30 million bid.Napoli aim to beat Liverpool, Spurs to €25M Barella signing Napoli are lining up a January move for Cagliari midfielder Nicolo Barella…. pic.twitter.com/djHloBkqldRoberto Firmino, LiverpoolVirgil van Dijk praises Roberto Firmino after Liverpool’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Virgil van Dijk hailed team-mate Roberto Firmino after coming off the bench to inspire Liverpool to a 3-1 comeback win against Newcastle United.— Boku Sport (@bokusports) October 5, 2018The same source also states that the player’s agent Alessandro Beltrami may have already taken the opportunity to discuss a thing or two with Gli Azzurri during the Champions League encounter with Liverpool. But, that’s not the end. He apparently also spoke with the Reds leaders that were present at the Stadio San Paolo.Cagliari president Tommaso Giulini must be the most enthusiastic patron in Italy, as considering all interested teams, Barella’s price can only go upwards.last_img read more