Meet a top social entrepreneur

first_imgPaul Matthew visits a roadside wellness centre in Kenya and talks to Kenyan truck drivers. (Image: Virginie Lepetre) The North Star clinics are open after hours when drivers have parked for the night. (Image: North Star Alliance) North Star staff go “door to door” to raise awareness about the services offered at the roadside wellness centre in Mwanza, Malawi (Image: North Star Alliance) MEDIA CONTACTS • Robin Landis  Marketing and Communications   +254 (0) 736 300 413 RELATED ARTICLES • Software speeds HIV diagnosis • SA’s second health train rolls out • Board game makes Aids education fun • SA’s first green transport service Wilma den HartighSouth African social entrepreneur Paul Matthew’s pioneering work in HIV/Aids prevention in the road freight industry is making an important contribution to finding innovative healthcare delivery models for Africa.Matthew’s commitment to this cause has just won him a place among the continent’s top five social entrepreneurs, named by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, a sister organisation of the World Economic Forum (WEF).Speaking from Addis Ababa where the proceedings of the 2012 WEF Africa are underway, Matthew says that the recognition of his work – which spans over 20 years – is a great honour.“There was such a build up to the awards ceremony last night, and it is only this morning that it is all starting to sink in. Only now I have been able to reflect on it,” he says.Matthew received the prestigious accolade for his foresight in establishing an organisation, known as the North Star Alliance, to address the impact of HIV/Aids on mobile workers such as truck drivers in Africa.The North Star Alliance is a cross-border HIV prevention initiative that has set up a network of roadside wellness clinics along key transport routes in Africa, such as border posts or transit towns where large numbers of trucks stop and sex work and other informal trades flourish.What makes this particular initiative so important is that it is very much in line with the WEF’s objective to find new ways to deliver healthcare to communities in Africa.But many years ago when Matthew first got the idea to establish a project that could take HIV education to the road where truck drivers spend most of their time, he had no idea that it would achieve success of this scale.“Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would stand on a stage and receive this award,” he says.North Star’s wellness clinics are open to everyone, but they are designed for the specific health needs of truck drivers and other mobile populations. They provide prevention and treatment services such as HIV counselling and testing; treatment for sexually transmitted infections; basic health services; information and education and behaviour change communication.“South Africa is ahead of the rest of the continent when it comes to HIV prevention in the freight industry, but elsewhere in Africa there is a major need for such services,” he says.Small beginnings on a cold nightHe remembers the humble beginnings of the project, particularly the very cold nights on the N3 highway, one of South Africa’s most popular transport routes.“While I was at the ceremony last night, I remembered sitting in an ambulance next to the road on the N3 highway near Harrismith,” he recalls. “I remember asking myself what I was doing.”This was the first pilot project to gauge how truck drivers responded to the idea.“I was with a nurse and we set up a tent near one of the popular truck stops to encourage drivers to come in,” he says.At first only a few drivers made use of the facility, but by the end of the week as the trucks travelled further news got out about what was on offer and more people were visiting their tent.“The model works well because the clinics are where the drivers pull up,” he explains. Along South Africa transport routes, the centres are set up at truck stops but in other countries, they are stationed at border posts and hot spots along the transport routes.Why truck drivers?Matthew, who is North Star’s Africa director, has been working in the education and health sectors most of his career. He realised that taking HIV prevention to the road, where the drivers are, is vital.The issue of health and mobility came under the spotlight during the 2003 – 2005 Southern Africa food crisis, when world food programmes struggled to find enough truck drivers to deliver relief food to communities.In terms of freight transport, truck drivers are important for the economy as many businesses in Africa rely on them as a resource.North Star’s observation at its inception was that with the incidence of disease being so prevalent, the numbers of drivers available to transport freight has, over time, decreased dramatically.Their research showed that simple factors such as limited operating hours and the location of health services are huge barriers to healthcare provision. For instance, there may not be suitable large vehicle parking or the health facility may be closed in the evenings.The North Star clinics are open after hours when drivers have parked for the night.“The life of a truck driver is harsh. Once a driver leaves the depot, he is away for up to three weeks on the road without access to healthcare,” explains Matthew.He says that once started the project, he quickly realised that the clinics couldn’t only provide healthcare for truck drivers exclusively – sex workers on route and surrounding communities also needed help. “Now our clinics are also providing treatment to these people.”Working with governmentsThe initiative has the support of many transport companies and because it is a public- private partnership, North Star also works closely with governments in various countries to align its healthcare offering with local state programmes.“Whenever we set up a new clinic in a specific area, we sign a memorandum of understanding with the ministry of health in that country,” explains Matthew. “In some countries our clinics complement their healthcare provision services by acting as a satellite to what they are doing.”Sometimes the respective governments provide staff and medical supplies for the clinics, but otherwise it is up to North Star to raise funds to employ nurses and buy medication.Expanding its reachNorth Star operates in 19 countries including Burundi; Côte d’Ivoire; Benin; Zimbabwe; The Democratic Republic of Congo; Nigeria; Rwanda; Swaziland and South Africa.Since opening its first centre in 2005 in Malawi, North Star has set up 22 additional centres in 10 countries across the continent.“North Star has exciting new projects on the card,” he says. “In the next 12 months we will upscale the clinics to include mobile container clinics that can travel around.”Matthew says they are setting up a commercial arm of the project, in partnership with fleet safety management company Fleet Forum, that will focus on safe driving practices such as driver skills and managing fatigue.The initiative, which launched in a pilot phase at the beginning of May, makes use of an innovative training approach that communicates with drivers via CDs that can be played in trucks – an ideal means of communication for drivers who are always on the road.The recording on the CD is structured to sound like a radio programme with a disk jockey that plays music, carefully selected, based on research, to find out what type of music drivers enjoy.“The training module comes where radio stations usually play adverts between songs. Instead of adverts, quick information on driver safety will be played,” he explains.Bringing about social changeSelected from more than 500 candidates, the work of Africa’s social entrepreneurs has been set apart as examples of how entrepreneurship in the public interest can transform the continent.Matthew’s groundbreaking work in area of HIV/Aids and healthcare provision, two of the continent’s biggest challenges, is making a significant difference to the lives of thousands of people in Africa.last_img read more

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Goa govt. to limit number of casinos

first_imgPANAJI: Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday declared in the State Legislative Assembly that a new policy would soon cap the number of casinos in a particular area, and that Goan residents would be banned from visiting the gaming areas.Giving an outline of his proposed casino policy, which will be finalised before the next session, Mr. Parrikar told the Assembly that all five offshore casinos currently operating in the Mandovi river would be forced to relocate to land over the next three years. He was replying to queries during a discussion on the 2017-18 State budget. “The Act will have a power to ensure that no Goan can visit casinos. The government will have powers to limit casinos in a particular area. The sixth casino will never enter Mandovi. We are capping it, under this Act, at five,” Mr. Parrikar said, during his nearly one-and-a-half-hour-long address in the ongoing monsoon session.Saying that a casino is as much a vice as liquor, Mr. Parrikar said he too was as opposed to the casino industry as the Opposition legislators, but was forced to allow them to operate because several stakeholders had invested money in vessels. He also blamed the Congress for “creating a fait accompli” on the issue. “We definitely opposed casinos. We also assured that we will cancel licences because that time there were no ships. When any person invests money, a State has a responsibility for continuity, right or wrong,” he said justifying continuation of offshore casinos by BJP governments over the years. He said the policy would ensure that the casinos would relocate from the river to an onshore “entertainment zone”.last_img read more

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Bengal issues lookout notices for Gurung, Giri

first_img However, Mr Gurung did have an idea of the meeting as he issued a statement prior to the meeting with the Chief Minister. “But what he did not know was the whereabouts of Tamang and Thapa after the meeting,” a GJM official said.After the meeting, on his return to the hills, Mr Tamang gave a call to withdraw the strike till September 12, which is revoked on Friday by Mr Gurung. The party officials clarified that the strike in Darjeeling– which will be completing three months in few days– will continue indicating that the talks between the Bengal government and a section of GJM leaders failed.Mr Gurung also slammed Tamang as a “traitor” who was playinginto the hands of the state government. Following his statement Tamang’s house, meanwhile, was ransacked by pro- Gorkhaland supporters. Posters were pasted in front of his house terming him a “traitor of Gorkhaland”. The party leadership claimed that a woman was killed during lathi charge by police to disperse a crowd that was protesting against the decision to suspend the shutdown. The police, however, denied the allegation. GJM stir escalates in Darjeeling, Tamang removed from post The West Bengal government issued look out notices against the president and secretary of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha [GJM] on Friday. The notices are issued by the Criminal Investigation Department [CID] of the State government and a very senior officer of the CID confirmed it to The Hindu. The notices follow GJM action against party interlocutors Binoy Tamang and Anit Thapa who represented them at the talks with the government. “We have issued them against GJM president Bimal Gurung and general secretary Roshan Giri,” a senior CID official said.A similar notice was also issued against another activist, Prakash Gurung, the youth wing president of the GJM. The notices are issued in consultation with the officials of the Central government to nab criminals and also to stop them from crossing international borders.Meanwhile, following a meeting of GJM senior office-bearers, Mr. Gurung ostensibly expelled party’s assistant general secretary, Binoy Tamang, who led the team to Kolkata on August 29 to hold a meeting with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Another leader of the party Anit Thapa was also apparently expelled. “I am hearing the news that they are expelled,” party’s secretary Roshan Giri told The Hindu. However, he has not confirmed the expulsion.Earlier, Mr Gurung claimed in a statement that a section of their party leaders “have shaken hands with Bengal government … to derail [the] movement” and thus he issued a long and strongly worded statement claiming the struggle for Gorkha homeland will continue.“They [rebel leaders] didn’t inform me about the recent meetings they undertook, they didn’t tell me where the meeting took place, how many times such meetings were held, and I wasn’t even made aware of who would be the Convener of the coordination committee, I only came to know about it after they had done the selections. So I was kept in the dark and they didn’t consult me….[section of the leaders led by Tamang] went to Nabanna [State Secretariat] and sat for a meeting with Mamata Banerjee without consulting me,” Mr Gurung alleged.Also Readlast_img read more

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SC pulls up U.P. govt for poor upkeep of Taj Mahal

first_imgThe Supreme Court on Wednesday pulled up the Uttar Pradesh government for the poor upkeep of the Taj Mahal.A Bench led by Justice S.A. Bobde asked the State to file a fresh vision document in four weeks, detailing the manner in which the monument would be preserved and protected.Earlier, the court had said the protection of the Taj Mahal should not be restricted to the world heritage monument alone but everything around it that goes to protect the ivory-white mausoleum commissioned by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan for his wife, Mumtaz Mahal, in 1632.The court had said that the Taj Mahal was only the “centre-piece”. The forest cover, the river Yamuna and the grounds of the Taj Mahal should also be saved from pollution. The Bench had said the Vision Document for Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ) should examine and end the proliferation of hazardous industries, foundries, seepage and emissions which are slowly but steadily destroying the Taj Mahal and the protective cover around it.In its 1996 judgment, the Supreme Court had noted that the Taj Mahal was not threatened by only traditional causes of decay, but also social and economic conditions. Industrial emissions, brick-kilns, vehicular traffic and generator-sets polluted air around TTZ. The monument itself was slowly turning yellow from the collected grime.last_img read more

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Halep in line for No. 1 after Cincinnati semifinal win

first_imgMASON, OH – AUGUST 19: Simona Halep of Romania returns a shot to Sloane Stephens during Day 8 of the Western and Southern Open at the Linder Family Tennis Center on August 19, 2017 in Mason, Ohio. Rob Carr/Getty Images/AFPMASON, Ohio — Simona Halep moved within a victory of the No. 1 ranking.The second-ranked Halep needed just 54 minutes to cruise past Sloane Stephens 6-2, 6-1 on Saturday in the Western & Southern Open semifinals, and can displace Karolina Pliskova as the top of the ranking with a victory over Garbine Muguruza on Sunday.ADVERTISEMENT Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. The fourth-ranked Muguruza reached her first W&S final with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over defending champion Pliskova.The men’s final will feature two first-timers. Grigor Dimitrov outlasted John Isner 7-6 (4), 7-6 (10) in the first men’s semifinal. Nick Kyrgios beat David Ferrer 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4).FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingHalep, seeking her first No. 1 ranking, has yet to drop a set in the tournament and appears to be peaking at just the right time.“I think I played my best match on hardcourt so far,” said Halep, who can become the first Romanian woman to be ranked No. 1. “It felt great. I moved very well today. From the first point, I felt like I was going to play good tennis.” Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ LATEST STORIES Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ Favorites to win, PH triathletes reminded not to be complacent Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side The final Sunday will be the first on American soil for Muguruza, who lost to Pliskova in last year’s W&S semifinals after losing to Serena Williams in the 2015 finals. The Spaniard had lost six straight matches against Pliskova since winning their first in 2013.“I was very precise with my shots,” said Muguruza, who is 2-1 in her career against Halep, though the two haven’t played since 2015. “I wanted to be more aggressive and take my shots. I felt pretty good out there – under control. Everything went my way.”Muguruza won when Pliskova sailed a forehand long on the fifth match point. Pliskova, who played part of one match and all of another Friday after rain forced postponements Thursday, had 28 unforced errors to Muguruza’s 13.Muguruza was coming off playing the tournament’s longest match, a 2-hour, 45-minute three-set win over Svetlana Kuznetsova on Friday. That followed a 2-hour, 18-minute win over Madison Keys on Thursday, when she fought off three match points.“I don’t think I played my best tennis today,” Pliskova said. “I think the energy was pretty low from my side. Obviously, a tough schedule for me the last two days – three matches in about not even 24 hours.ADVERTISEMENT Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR “I think she played very solid, not missing much and obviously serving well. Everything started, I think, in the first game of the first set.”Muguruza took charge early, breaking Pliskova in the first and last games of the first set.She gained a second-set edge with a backhand winner on break point for a 4-2 lead before closing it out in 1 hour, 19 minutes.Stephens, playing her fourth tournament since returning from January foot surgery, also was playing a third match in a span of 24 hours.“That’s never easy,” she said. “I’m going to go with that. I didn’t play that badly. She was a little fresher. It was just not a great day.”The 11th-ranked Dimitrov, who lost in the last year’s semifinal to eventual champion Marin Cilic, had just one double fault and finished with nine unforced errors to No. 19 Isner’s 28 in the 2-hour, 3-minute match. The Bulgarian will play the winner of the semifinal between Nick Kyrgios, who knocked out second-ranked Rafael Nadal in straight sets in a Friday quarterfinal, and David Ferrer.“Today was, I think, one of those matches that I really had to just be patient,” Dimitrov said. “I think that that was the key. I knew I’m not going to have that many rallies against John. I knew that he’s going to serve big, bold serves. I just had to be very composed and use every opportunity that I had. I think in the end of the match, it was just a few points that made the biggest difference for me. I’m just happy obviously with the win, but I’m just happy with the way I kept myself together throughout the whole match. Just remained calm in those tough moments. I mean, I know it’s nerve-wracking from outside, but it’s even tougher when you’re in there and have to receive a serve that comes 141 mph.”Dimitrov’s composure was the key, according to Isner.“The difference was he was a lot more decisive at the big moments,” Isner said. “He was a little calmer as well — a little more free-flowing in big moments. I thought he played a high-level match. He certainly is in good form. I played well enough to beat a lot of players today — just not him.”Kyrgios and Ferrer displayed remarkably efficient serving in their nightcap. They combined for six break points, converting none. Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo View commentslast_img read more

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Nuggets top Lakers as LeBron passes Jordan

first_imgSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Hong Kong tunnel reopens, campus siege nears end Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Denver (43-21) blew all but two points of its huge early lead, but Harris and Nikola Jokic contributed key baskets down the stretch of the Nuggets’ first win of March.“I liked how we played for most of the game, aside from the stretch where they just got out and ran and scored at will,” Denver coach Michael Malone said.Jamal Murray scored 19 points and Jokic had 12 points, 17 rebounds and eight assists for the Nuggets, who had lost four straight to the Lakers on the road despite their growth into an elite NBA team during that time period.After James barreled to the basket and hit a layup while being fouled for his milestone points, the Staples Center crowd gave a rousing ovation to the superstar who joined the Lakers last summer after 15 NBA seasons spent with Cleveland and Miami. While the Lakers aired a tribute video during the ensuing timeout, James covered his face with a towel, apparently crying under it.“A lot of stuff that I’ve done in my career, this ranks right up at the top (with) winning a championship,” James said. “For a kid from Akron, Ohio, that needed inspiration and needed some type of positive influence, M.J. was that guy for me. I watched him from afar, wanted to be like M.J., wanted to shoot fadeaways like M.J., wanted to stick my tongue out on dunks like M.J., wanted to wear my sneakers like M.J. I wanted kids to look up to me at some point like M.J., and it’s crazy, to be honest. ”ADVERTISEMENT The 34-year-old James began the night needing 13 points to pass one of his heroes. James now trails only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387 points), Karl Malone (36,928) and Kobe Bryant (33,643). P2.5 B shabu seized in Makati sting, Chinese national nabbed LATEST STORIES MOST READ 1 dead, 3 injured in Quezon road crash View comments PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Will Barton scored 23 points, Gary Harris added 19 and the Nuggets snapped their three-game losing streak with a 115-99 victory over Los Angeles on Wednesday night despite James’ latest move up the career scoring ranks.James scored 31 points and surpassed Michael Jordan’s 32,292 career points on a driving layup during the second quarter.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption charges“You’ve got to appreciate him,” Harris said of James. “We’re witnessing greatness. It’s an honor.”With James playing alongside four youngsters who came in with a combined 200 games of NBA experience compared to LeBron’s 1,190, the Lakers nearly rallied from a 23-point deficit in the fourth quarter. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. P2.5 B shabu seized in Makati sting, Chinese national nabbed Trump campaign, GOP groups attack Google’s new ad policy Hayward’s game-winner lifts Celtics over Kings Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, right, shoots and scores as Denver Nuggets forward Torrey Craig, center, defends and center Nikola Jokic watches during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, March 6, 2019, in Los Angeles. With the basket, James moved past Michael Jordan for fourth place on the NBA career scoring list. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)LOS ANGELES, California—When LeBron James hit the driving layup that pushed him past Michael Jordan into fourth place on the NBA’s career scoring list, even the Denver Nuggets paused to appreciate their opponent’s big moment.The Nuggets then made sure James’ celebration didn’t include a huge come-from-behind win for the Lakers.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

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