Spur, Relate partner to help mothers

first_imgBy purchasing a Relate Bracelet at R34 you contribute to women and child development in the country. (Image: Spur Foundation)The pride of many African families is securing their children a future through education, and the Spur Foundation and Relate Bracelets is helping people to achieve this.Research conducted by The Clothing Bank, a Spur Foundation partner, asking 100 women in South African townships how their lives had changed since they had a steady income, resoundingly showed that their quality of living was vastly improved. And while their lives had improved generally, the one aspect that made all of them proud was that they could provide a better education for their children.With this in mind, the Spur Foundation is working with Relate Bracelets on an endeavour to raise R750 000. The cash will be used to set up micro franchises that will empower single mothers to earn a living and so afford a better education for their children.The aim of the campaign is to reiterate the values of the late Nelson Mandela by getting 67 000 people to help change the lives of South African families. People are encouraged to buy a Relate Bracelet for R30 from the Spur family of brands – Spur Steak Ranches, Panarottis and John Dory’s.“It’s already proven to be a remarkably successful campaign in a short space of time, as more than 30 000 bracelets have sold,” said Neil Robinson, the chief executive of Relate Bracelets. “The fact that so many bracelets have sold in a matter of weeks is an incredible success story for Relate, and it shows that there is a huge consumer appetite for helping others.”TRICKLE-DOWN EFFECTThe women who do the beadwork for the bracelets, are mostly pensioners, and many of them care for children orphaned by Aids. The young packers and closers, however, benefit the most as they are prepped for life outside the Spur Foundation initiatives.“But they also help the cause they are sold in aid of, in our case the Spur Foundation and the beneficiaries we support. So a small spend goes a long way,” said Ronel van Dijk, the chairperson of the Spur Foundation.Once 67 000 bracelets have been sold, the Spur Foundation will use the money to focus on early childhood development and empowering South African families.“We want to use funds raised for early childhood development, but we recognise that there are many single mothers out there in the townships who cannot afford quality education for their children. What we would like to do is utilise funds to develop a franchising model for townships for a food offering that will enable single mothers to earn a living and to pay for quality education for their children,” she added.GIVING TO SINGLE MOTHERSWorking with organisations like the Asha Trust and The Clothing Bank’s Micro Franchise Accelerator, the Spur Foundation has learned that about 70% of children in townships are being brought up by single mothers or grandmothers, with little or no help from the fathers.“The franchisees will predominantly be young mothers and the income they earn from the micro franchises we help them empower themselves to set their children up for a better education, and life, by being able to send them to early childhood development centres – also franchised by The Clothing Bank’s Micro Franchise Accelerator,” Van Dijk said.The Spur Foundation believes this will be a long-term partnership, with the micro franchises first rolled out carefully in selected areas and later countrywide once the model proves itself.“What if,” Robinson asked, “every employed South African spent just R35 on one bracelet each year? That would mean close to a quarter of a billion rand towards these causes annually, with this easy to do, small spend impacting on our country in a big way. It could result in a big dent in our country’s problems.”last_img read more

Things to remember as first CAUV reform benefits take effect

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Ohio’s farmers and rural communities will benefit from reforms to the state’s farmland tax policy, culminating a three-year effort that ended with the new state budget signed by Gov. John Kasich last summer. The budget legislation contained changes to the Current Agricultural Use Value formula, which in recent years has caused farmland owners to experience tax increases of 300% or more.“It’s taken three years of grassroots action to fix the flaws in the CAUV formula, and our members should be proud of this significant accomplishment,” said Adam Sharp, Ohio Farm Bureau Executive Vice President.Sharp said the reforms are being phased-in over two reassessment cycles (six years) in order to assist local communities and schools to transition to the more accurate CAUV formula. Under CAUV, farmland is taxed at a rate that reflects its value for agricultural purposes instead of its value as development property. Ohio voters originally enacted the formula in 1973 as a means to preserve farmland.The reforms will begin in the 2017 valuations, which farmers in 41 counties will receive in January 2018, and will be fully implemented for all counties after the 2022 reassessment, said Leah Curtis, policy counsel for Ohio Farm Bureau.“If you are in a 2017 re-appraisal county, that means you get your new bill in 2018. Your county auditor may have sent out an updated CAUV value for you. Not all auditors do that, so if you want to see what your new CAUV value is you can contact your auditor to find out,” Curtis said. “They will probably not know what your taxes are yet because they don’t get the finalized tax rates until later in December, but they should be able to tell you what your new CAUV value is. On average we saw those CAUV values about 30% lower than what they were in 2014, which is the last time those counties were appraised. The actual taxes are very dependent on your local tax situation. It would include local tax rates, what the property values have done, if levies were added or taken away — all of those things will play into the difference in the taxes you will pay. Tax rates are locally determined so you can talk with your auditor who may have an idea what your tax rates will do.”Some of the biggest changes, at least in terms of the paperwork with CAUV, involve conservation practices on the land.“The conservation part of CAUV reform is the one area where people need to prepare some different paperwork than they have in the past. Just like normal, you have to do a renewal application for CAUV,” Curtis said. “If you have conservation land that you want valued at the minimum value of $230 per acre, you need to submit to your auditor the new conservation paperwork. If it is federal conservation land, it will have to be a map showing where that acreage is and a copy of your contract. If it is not federal, you need a map showing where that conservation land is and it needs to be less than 25% of your total acreage.“You have to leave that conservation practice in for three years or you will pay back the difference between that low value and your normal CAUV value. If you take it out before the three-year mark, you will have to pay the difference. If you are one of the 2017 counties and you already did your application back in January and you are getting your new value, you need to visit with your auditor now to get that conservation acreage cleared up so they know you had conservation acreage on Jan. 1 and they can do that valuation for you.”Those not in a 2017 reappraisal year will not see the change until you get to the reappraisal year for their counties.“Just like the changes in your CAUV values happen in your update year, the conservation changes also happen at that same time,” Curtis said. “If you are in a 2018 or 2019 reappraisal, you will be doing this on your application, but you won’t see the change in value until you get to your reappraisal or update.”The actual form required for notifying auditors about these conservation practices has been finalized and looks different because it is asking for people to delineate out what their acreage is used for and how many acres are devoted to conservation. Forms are available on the Ohio Department of Taxation website and from the county auditor.“The Tax Department puts together guidance for the auditors as to how they are to handle this. They get direction straight from the Tax Department. We haven’t heard of any confusion from the Tax Department. They sent out some guidance in October. I think the statute and the language was pretty clear and there was not much confusion,” Curtis said. “I think there was some discussion as to how we got those people from the 2017 reappraisal year and how they get the auditor to know what that acreage is because the forms were already filled out. The auditors can amend those applications by getting information from the landowner, but it is going to be on the landowner to do that.”In terms of the paying their property taxes for 2018, there are a number of factors landowners need to remember, Curtis said.“There are questions about the conservation changes and how that will work. We are helping people understand how they can go about doing that and work with their auditor,” she said. “It is always good to pay attention to the fact that if you are above the 10-acre amount you do not need to worry about filling out the income portion of that form. Sometimes that trips people up. The form says if acreage is less than 10 acres then you need to show gross income. That, of course, is because you can qualify with 10 acres. For those with less than 10 acres, it requires $2,500 of income to qualify. That income section is only for those with less than 10 acres.“If you are a 2017 county, get your conservation acres looked at and, as always, your renewal forms are due between the first Monday in January and the first Monday in March. A lot of people are really happy to see farmers will get a chance to have accurate values based on accurate information like any other homeowner or property owner would have. We really haven’t heard much as far as backlash.”last_img read more

Gowalla is the Anti-FarmVille

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… marshall kirkpatrick 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#Analysis#Location#NYT#web center_img Millions of people click, click, click their way mindlessly through repetitive casual games like FarmVille every day. Such games spread like a virus, infecting Facebook news feeds and eating up big chunks of the precious little time on earth that players were blessed with before they face their inevitable, if temporarily forgotten, mortality.Josh Williams used to develop software like that. A graphic designer by training, his website for sharing iconography grew popular enough that he turned it into a game called PackRat. Half a million people spent far too much time on the site, but bigger companies grew faster and quickly swallowed up the “zombification” category of casual games. (My categorization, not his.) Now Williams is building something different, perhaps the opposite of FarmVille.Williams is the CEO of Gowalla, one of the newest and smallest of several entrants into a market referred to as “location-based social networking.” Gowalla encourages people to go outside. It’s a mobile game where players are rewarded for visiting new locations in the real world and for adding new spots to the Gowalla database. Users can find out who goes to particular places around town, where else those people like to go and what people think of those different spots. Gowalla vs. Foursquare vs. FacebookAs of the end of last year, Gowalla users had checked-in at 150,000 locations in more than 100 countries around the world. Your millage may vary. The coffee shop I’m in right now has been checked into by 30 people, only two of us in the last week. Competitor Foursquare shows four users checked in and present right now. At least in this spot, Foursquare has seen 20 times as many check ins as Gowalla. True to the backgrounds of the company’s founders, Gowalla is very focused on design. Its badges, like stamps on a passport displaying where a user has checked in, are beautiful. Its user experience is simple but clear and enjoyable. Foursquare may be much bigger and have more commercial partnerships but Gowalla is much prettier and does certain things better, like importing friends from other social networks.What about Facebook? Williams says he’s as sure as anyone that Facebook is working on location as a feature. Ted Morgan, CEO and founder of location data provider Skyhook Wireless, says his company has been talking to Facebook and Twitter about location for years. Twitter recently hired developer Ryan Sarver to run its developer platform after Sarver spent four years at Skyhook. Williams says that when Facebook launches location, he hopes that many people will want to use Gowalla as the interface to post to Facebook. They needn’t wait, Facebook Connect integration is live today, but full-on entry into the location market by Facebook is going to be a very big deal.The Rise of Location-Based ServicesGowalla has raised more than $10 million from a variety of investors large and small, several of whom also invested in Foursquare. Morgan says these kinds of services are blowing up location in a bigger way than ever before. “Around the dot com era they thought location based services were going to take off,” he told us today. “That was premature but the telecoms have been talking about user privacy and preparing for a time of location services for ten years.” Morgan’s company pocketed a part of Gowalla’s war chest today when the social network announced that it was deploying Skyhook Wireless’s location software in the Android version of Gowalla. Skyhook has driven around the country and cataloged the location of more than 80 million WiFi hotspots. It then tells its customers where they are with precision, based on the MAC addresses of nearby WiFi signals. Gowalla queries Skyhook for a device’s location, to supplement the GPS data, Skyhook sends that data back and then Gowalla interprets it to suggest businesses and other venues that a user is probably at. Skyhook is now baked into the iPhone OS, but Morgan is still selling the service to other platforms and application developers.He says that for the first five years of his now 7-year-old company it was a hard sell. “I was waving my hands a lot,” he says, “trying to convince people that good location is important.” Now the company is serving up location data hundreds of millions of times each day, thanks entirely to the proliferation of mobile apps in general, and the iPhone in particular.Hundreds of millions of location checks per day, millions of check ins on applications like Gowalla – and what’s the point? Williams the Gowalla CEO says that the company hasn’t done a good enough job explaining the desirability of the service’s badges. Some users get it and some don’t, he says. “We’ll be doing new things this year that make it more clear, but it’s all about encouraging people to get out and experience new things.” He tells stories about a user alerted that they were near Michael Jackson’s birthplace and driving several miles out of their way to visit it. About a couple who have quit their jobs and now aim to check in in every state in the U.S. and every province in Canada. Gowalla users can get social credit for doing things like going out into the woods. “And then they’re out in the woods,” Williams says, “and we think that’s great.” Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more

Student union elections in M.P. likely after 15 years

first_imgAfter a gap of over 15 years, Madhya Pradesh is likely to witness student union polls in September-October. The Kamal Nath-led government is keen to hold the polls in around 1,300 universities across the State.State Higher Education Minister Jitu Patwari confirmed this and said the government was in favour of students directly electing their representatives.“The elections might take place in September-October and the government will ensure that the polls are conducted peacefully,” he said.Indirect elections The student union polls were discontinued in Madhya Pradesh in 2003 by the then BJP government. However, it allowed indirect ways of holding the elections till 2006. The students could chose their leaders in the class who elected the leaders for the student bodies. But this was also discontinued following the death of Professor H.S. Sabharwal during the elections in 2006. Prof. Sabharwal (59), head of the department of Political Science at Madhav College in Ujjain, was attacked by a mob of 25 to 30 students on August 26, 2006, at the college premises after he cancelled the students’ council elections. He died at the hospital the next day.last_img read more

10yearold girl with autism sings Leonard Cohens Hallelujah

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement A 10-year-old girl from Northern Ireland singing a solo during her school choir’s performance of a holiday rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah is becoming an Internet sensation, going viral after a video of the extraordinary performance was posted on Facebook.Kaylee Rodgers hails from Donaghadee, County Down, and has autism and ADHD. A student at Killard House Special School, she started singing as a way to help build her confidence.center_img Facebook Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

Kahnawake elects Okaera grand chief to gain take helm

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe Mohawk territory of Kahnawake has a new grand chief.This past weekend, voters chose Joseph Norton who was grand chief from 1980 to 2004.APTN’s Tom Fennario has this story on Norton’s return to politics.last_img