Hybrid lettings agent joins forces with new landlord platform

first_imgProptech investment platform Lendlord has struck an unusual deal with online lettings platform Accommodation.co.uk that will enable landlords to both rent out their homes and manage their portfolio via their smartphone.Lendlord’s app, like many property investment platforms, enables landlords to see all the crucial information about their portfolio including property details, equity levels, rent collection details, ongoing expenses and tax liabilities.But it can now enable landlords to let their properties direct from the Lendlord app via Accommodation.co.uk, which has lettings operations in Manchester, Leeds, Dartford, Chester, Stockport, Bolton, London, Birmingham and Twickenham.New techBoth organisations are relatively new tech; Lendlord launched in mid-2019 and introduced its app two months ago.Accommodation launched two years ago heralded as a hybrid lettings agency to rival Purplebricks, initially bagging several key players from its rival.“We are excited to be partnering with Lendlord as it offers a perfect collaboration between our market leading technologies,” says Aaron Short (left), CEO of Accommodation.co.uk.“Landlords using the Lendlord platform can now benefit from our unique hybrid model to manage their properties and source the best tenants simply and efficiently.”Aviram Shahar, CEO of Lendlord, says: This partnership with Accommodation.co.uk will make it easy for our users to list their properties on the online letting agent and we are planning further synergies to benefit users of both platforms in the future.”lendlord Aviram Shahar Aaron Short accommodation.co.uk November 4, 2020Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » Hybrid lettings agent joins forces with new landlord platform previous nextProptechHybrid lettings agent joins forces with new landlord platformAccommodation.co.uk has signed a deal with Lendlord to enable landlords to let properties through its app.Nigel Lewis4th November 20200608 Viewslast_img read more

Royal London nets BT pre-let

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Fatal football team bus crash in Ghana

first_imgShare on: WhatsApp The Ghana Football Association (GFA) said it was “devastated by the sad development” and had sent a delegation to meet the club and offer its support.“The GFA has established contact with the club and our thoughts and prayers are with Kumasi Asante Kotoko, particularly the injured officials and players,” it added.Asante Kotoko are due to play Accra Hearts of Oak in Kumasi on Sunday but there was no immediate word on whether the match would still go ahead.Leat said players discharged from hospital would undergo a further medical examination on Saturday. Accra, Ghana | AFP |  The British manager of Ghana Premier League side Asante Kotoko and one of his players were hospitalised after a bus crash that killed a member of their back-room staff, the club said on Thursday.The crash happened when the team bus rammed into a stationary truck at Nkawkaw, some 150 kilometres (95 miles) by road from Accra, at about 10:00 pm (2200 GMT) on Wednesday.Asante Kotoko were heading back to the central city of Kumasi after a 1-0 defeat to Inter Allies in the capital.“The driver of the bus ran into the truck that was loaded with fertiliser and almost all the 37 passengers sustained various degrees of injuries,” said Eastern region police spokesman Thomas Obeng Asare.“They were rushed to the Holy Family hospital at Nkawkaw where some were treated and they have since been referred to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (in Kumasi),” he added.The head of the medical team at Asante Kotoko, Michael Leat, said players and officials who sustained minor injuries were all treated and discharged.“We regret to announce that our deputy equipment officer, Kofi Asare, could not make it. Management has met his family to brief them of the sad event,” he said on the club’s website.“Meanwhile, head coach Steven Polack, midfielder Ollennu Ashitey, and the bus driver, Nana Berkye, are on admission receiving treatment.”Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo said he was “saddened” by the incident. “My heart goes out to the team; speedy recovery to the injured,” he wrote on Twitter.last_img read more


first_imgLOCATION -COURSE NAME – CODE -LEVEL -TELEPHONEErrigal College, Windyhall, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal Nursing StudiesCODE – 5M43495 TEL – 074-91-21047 Errigal College, Windyhall, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal General StudiesCODE – 5M31145 TEL – 074-91-21047Errigal College, Windyhall, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal Sports, Recreation and ExerciseCODE – 5M51465 074-91-21047 Errigal College, Windyhall, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal Art, Craft and DesignCODE – 5M19845 TEL – 074-91-21047Errigal College, Windyhall, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal Business StudiesCODE – 5M21025 TEL -074-91-21047Errigal College, Windyhall, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal Early Childhood Care and Education CODE – 5M20095  TEL – 074-91-21047Errigal College, Windyhall, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal Hospitality OperationsCODE – 5M20835 TEL – 074-91-21047Finn Valley College, Stranorlar, Co. Donegal Business Administration CODE – 5M24685 TEL – 074-91-31684St. Catherine’s Vocational School, Killybegs, Co. Donegal HorticultureCODE – 5M25865 TEL – 074-97-31491St. Catherine’s Vocational School, Killybegs, Co. Donegal Nursing StudiesCODE  5M43495 TEL -074-97-31491Donegal ETB offers a wide range of FETAC PLC courses that provide valuable and worthwhile options to learners of all ages.PLC courses adopt an integrated approach, focusing on technical knowledge, core skills and work experience. Our courses serve a variety of purposes –• PLCs can equip school leavers & mature students with the necessary skills for the workplace or act as a stepping stone to third-level study.• PLCs can give students some breathing space before committing to third-level and to help decide whether to pursue a particular course of study in the longer term.• PLCs can provide a direct route to third level, through a number of schemes, 36 higher education institutions now reserve places for PLC graduates.PLC FETAC Level 5 & 6 courses take place in 4 centres across Co. Donegal; Errigal College, Letterkenny, St. Catherine’s, Killybegs, Finn Valley College, Stranorlar and Coláiste Phobail Cholmcille, Tory Island.All courses are full-time and for the duration of one year and offer Quality & Qualifications Ireland (QQI) Further Education and Training Awards Council (FETAC) accreditation at Level 5 & 6.PLCs offer a mixture of practical work, academic work and work experience.They are designed as a step towards skilled employment and are closely linked to industry and its needs.The Higher Education Links Scheme ‘links’ specific FETAC Level 5 Certificates and some Level 6 Advanced Certificates to a number of reserved places on higher education courses and the Institutes of Technology.In addition to this, some higher education institutions operate an admissions criteria and scoring system for non-specific FETAC Level 5 Certificate and Level 6 Advanced Certificate applicants.Anne Mc Hugh, Education Officer with Donegal ETB notes that a PLC course offers a perfect bridge for students which links second level with third level.“Students often experience a significant difference in the teaching and learning environment at third level.The teaching approach at PLC level successfully uses a combination of the highly personalised second level approach and the self-directed focus of third level thereby equipping the student with an excellent set of learning tools and skills for future study.A wide range of disciplines are covered including business/ebusiness, marketing, computing, sport and leisure, art craft and design, tourism, horticulture, childcare & nursing etc.Acceptance to courses is by application form and/or interview.For any further information on any of these courses see contact details below:Errigal College, Windyhall, Letterkenny, Co.Donegal.07491 21047www.errigalcollege.ieSt. Catherine’s Vocational School, Killybegs, Co.Donegal.07497 [email protected] Valley College, Drumboe Lower, Stranorlar, Co. Donegal.07491 [email protected]áiste Phobail Cholmcille, Tory Island, Co. Donegal074 91 [email protected] ETB LAUNCH WIDE RANGE OF FETAC PLC COURSES THIS AUTUMN was last modified: August 26th, 2014 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:AutumncourseDonegal ETBFeaturesFETACnewsNoticesPLClast_img read more

DD Motoring: 2016, the year of Personal Contract Plans

first_imgWith just under two months to go to the end of 2016 cars sales have finally came back to near the numbers they were before the recession hit. It’s a changed world in the motor trade over them years and in Co. Donegal in particular the change is clearer than in anywhere else in Ireland. Three German blue ribbon brands are no longer available new in Co. Donegal. Dealerships for BMW, Mercedes and Audi no longer are based in Co. Donegal. These brands would have the highest sales in Ireland, in Donegal, outside the city before the recession.PCP (Personal Contract Plan) is the buzz words for 2016. The number one selling car for 2016 is and will be the Hyundai Tucson by a country mile. We tested this SUV earlier this year and it has maintained it number one figure all this year. The timing of the Tucsons arrival and its payment plan was bold and it payed off in winning the title of Ireland’s best selling car. The best selling car in Donegal this year so far, the Tucson from Hyundai which we tested earlier this year. Photo Brian McDaidHyundai have been here for years but it will be the last three or four years they will be remembered for. People that never bought a new car in their life bought a new car in 2016 because of PCP. It doesn’t seem to matter anymore that most of customers will never own their car in PCP as they opt at the end of their payment plan to trade in for a new car.PCP with a difference! This week my report comes from the driving seat of a new beetle. I am in a Beetle because Volkswagen are the nearest favourites to pip Hyundai in the manufactures race for the best overall sales in 2016. The recently revised beetle are a class act. There is something so nostalgic about these cars.A familiar shape that has managed to stay in production for so long, the purists will say it nothing like the old air-cooledrear-engined model it replaced. But for me it’s as near as we will get to one of the great icon of motoring history. The Beetle on the bootlid of a new model in the showroom in JJ Reids in Letterkenny. Photo Brian McDaidEighty years ago in 1936 there was a PCP in operation for the beetle 20 years before it was even built. The PCP was the People’s Car Payment.Back then the idea had been for a small saloon that could carry a German family of five flat-out at 100kph along the country’s new autobahns. It was to have cost 990 Reich Marks, which represented 31 weeks’ pay for the average German worker in 1936. To buy one, however, members of the Volk had to join a special savings scheme run by the organisation KdF (Kraft durch Freude, or Strength through Joy); from 1938, the Volkswagen, The People’s Car was officially named the KdF Wagen. The was the same car German families had saved up for before Hitler’s invasion of Poland dashed their hopes.Ultimately, the sheer quality, along with the affordability, reliability, economy and distinct look and feel of the Beetle, ensured its success. It had, though, been touch and go for Volkswagen in 1945. Although the car had been on the drawing board since 1934, following a meeting between Hitler and Porsche, the Volkswagen failed to get into production before the war.Eighty years on and you still can buy a new Beetle now the only difference is you get the car first then you pay in for it on a payment plan.One of two Vw Beetles which we drove their week. Photo Brian McDaidI am old enough to remember the original beetle on the road, even remember the very early version pulling for petrol where I worked as a petrol pump attendant and me unable to find where to put the regular petrol into it. In those days you had to lift the bonnet to locate the petrol tank. Driving the new beetle this week I could not resist pulling the bonnet to see what had changed. The old familiar squeaking of the old spring loaded bonnet have gone, now the engine has moved to front to replace where the big spare wheel and petrol tank once lived.Inside the beetle the dash is so like the old version which comes in black or colour coded like the exterior. Driving looking out through the small window has so much a feel of driving the old beetle. The retro interior of the New VW Beetle reminds of the original car it replaced. Photo Brian McDaidThe beetle was the best selling car in the world at one time. Now the golf which replaced the beetle in the 70’s is still the second best selling car in Ireland in 2016.Even the Golf is over 40 years old but it style and heritage is still drawing customers to make it the 2nd best selling car in Ireland.The next couple of weeks will show which manufacture, Hyundai who is presently in first, VW who is in 2nd and Toyota in 3rd will make it to the number one spot for Christmas.Happy motoring folks. DD Motoring: 2016, the year of Personal Contract Plans was last modified: November 9th, 2016 by Brian McDaidShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Spartans take second at home swim meet

first_imgRed Bluff >> The Red Bluff Spartans swim team hosted Foothill and Paradise Wednesday in a Tri-Meet and the boys finished second behind Paradise, while beating Foothill; the girls finishing second by beating Paradise but losing to Foothill.Six swimmers for Red Bluff won their events. On the boys side Jaxon Balken won both the 100 Butterfly (57.93), the 3rd fastest time in Red Bluff High School’s history and the 100 Breaststroke (1:06.30), which is the 6th fastest time in Red Bluff High School’s …last_img read more

Are These Really Transitional Fossils?

first_imgTo get to the truth, you often have to tune out the Darwin cheerleaders and just examine the data.Transitional TurtleScience reporters like to bring fossils to the imagination with colorful artwork. The artist’s conception of Eorhynchochelys, a fossil found in China, shows it looking somewhat like a sea turtle without a hard shell. It had a toothless beak like a turtle, but who’s to say it was evolving toward turtledom, instead of away from it? Science Daily writes as if it didn’t have a shell “yet” – wording which embeds progressive evolutionary assumptions into the story. And yet we know that modern sea turtles show variations in their shell shapes and textures. Further down in the report from the Field Museum of Chicago, we find evolutionists scratching their heads, making up a just-so story that relies heavily on the Stuff Happens Law:The fact that Eorhynchochelys developed a beak before other early turtles but didn’t have a shell is evidence of mosaic evolution — the idea that traits can evolve independently from each other and at a different rate, and that not every ancestral species has the same combination of these traits. Modern turtles have both shells and beaks, but the path evolution took to get there wasn’t a straight line. Instead, some turtle relatives got partial shells while others got beaks, and eventually, the genetic mutations that create these traits occurred in the same animal.Then we find the evolutionists scrambling to reassure the public that they are getting warmer toward an answer to”an unsolved problem in paleontology for many decades“:“This impressively large fossil is a very exciting discovery giving us another piece in the puzzle of turtle evolution,” says Nick Fraser, an author of the study from National Museums Scotland. “It shows that early turtle evolution was not a straightforward, step-by-step accumulation of unique traits but was a much more complex series of events that we are only just beginning to unravel.“Artist rendition of Eorhynchochelys. Credit: Field Museum.The BBC News notes that the six-foot fossil was “bigger than a double bed” and admits that “How the turtle shell evolved has puzzled scientists for years.” The authors of the paper in Nature are even less confident in their understanding of turtle evolution:The early evolution of turtles continues to be a contentious issue in vertebrate palaeontology. Recent reports have suggested that they are diapsids, but the position of turtles within Diapsida is controversial and the sequence of acquisition of turtle synapomorphies remains unclear. Here we describe a Triassic turtle from China that has a mixture of derived characters and plesiomorphic features. To our knowledge, it represents the earliest known stem turtle with an edentulous beak and a rigid puboischiadic plate. The discovery of this new form reveals a complex early history of turtles.In a commentary about the paper in Nature, Jeremy Bohm seems almost bipolar. His title finds him in depression: “230-million-year-old turtle fossil deepens mystery of reptile’s origins.” At one point, he appears hyperactive for Darwin, cheering the discovery of a transitional form. He quotes one scientist saying, “This new species fits almost perfectly in the evolutionary picture that researchers conceived of years before regarding how turtles acquired their signature features,” and adds “the discovery of Eorhynchochelys fills in the gap between these two species.” But later, in another state of depression brought on by listening to reptile specialist Rainer Schoch, he admits, “But even though Eorhynchochelys helps to demonstrate the acquisition of turtle traits, Schoch says, it’s not so informative about their place on the evolutionary tree.” Schoch also laments with him, “researchers don’t know enough about the anatomy of early reptilian ancestors to know for sure where turtles fall.”Update 8/24/18: A video posted by the BBC News says that the fossil proves turtles can live without shells. The evolutionists essentially call this a shell-less turtle, adding, “We can’t say when or how exactly these broad ribs became a shell.” How do they know the shell was not lost, or that the animal was a degenerate form like a blind cave fish? Moreover, it was bigger and badder than modern turtles today, clearly a complex and successful creature. Where is the evolution?So does this fossil help? We read about an “evolutionary reversal” in the number of ribs and a strange mix of “derived” (advanced) features. They’re not sure it was terrestrial or aquatic. Whatever it was, it was not on any kind of straight line from pre-turtle to turtle. Why not just accept that the fossils reveal more diversity in animals than we see today? Why must they be connected by Darwinian lines of ancestry? Darwin’s tree of life, we’ve already learned, is dead (6 Aug 2018). This animal was part of a network of creatures that possibly exchanged genetic information.Transitional Dino-BirdsConfusion reigns once the astute reader gets past the Darwin Cheerleaders in another case of an alleged transitional form. This time it’s a set of dinosaur fossils that Astrobiology Magazine insists are “Rare intermediate fossils” that “give researchers insight into evolution of bird-like dinosaur.” Odd, is it not, that intermediate fossils are rare? Shouldn’t they be everywhere, blending all creatures smoothly from one to another? But we find more reasons to doubt the “intermediate” status of this fossil, called a type of alvarezsaur (named after a historian, George Alvarez). First of all, despite the artwork, no feathers were found. The creatures look like standard theropods.“Alvarezsaurs are weird animals,” said Choiniere. “With their strong, clawed hands and weak jaws, they appear to be the dinosaurian analogue to today’s aardvarks and anteaters.“Piecing together an evolutionary just-so story about these fossils requires heavy coatings of imagination, figuring out what they ate and why their forelimbs changed sizes. Here comes the Darwin yell king, James Clark:“The fossil record is the best source of information about how anatomical features evolve,” said James Clark, co-author and an Honorary Professor at Wits University. “And like other classic examples of evolution such as the ‘horse series’, these dinosaurs show us how a lineage can make a major shift in its ecology over time.“Bulletin to Clark: the horse series has been debunked (11 Feb 2017). Favorite evolutionary just-so stories fall slowly, like hot air balloons in the wind after the burner has run out of gas.Dino-bird pusher Xing Xu, always mysteriously present when a feathered dinosaur story hits the press, is lead author in the paper in Current Biology. Calling this an “intermediate” between Jurassic and Cretaceous alvarezsaurians, his team asserts that “Specialized alvarezsaurian forelimb morphology evolved slowly, in a mosaic fashion.” There’s no mention of feathers for this alleged “bird-like dinosaur” in the paper, and a mosaic is not a tree.The non-Darwinian story strains credibility: “Our analysis shows that alvarezsaurian skeletal evolution occurred in a somewhat modular manner, with different skeletal parts being modified at different evolutionary rates.” Genetic mutations know nothing of modules. The authors get all excited about forelimb length, but that presupposes the existence of forelimbs. Where is some new innovation, like a new organ or system? Is a king penguin intermediate between an adele penguin and an emperor penguin? With “different evolutionary rates,” the Darwin storyteller has all the flexibility needed to fit any data to his story.Transitional HumansThe science media are reporting another case of interbreeding between human ancestors:Neanderthals and Denisovans Mated, New Hybrid Bone Reveals (Live Science)Neanderthal mother, Denisovan father! Hybrid fossil: Newly-sequenced genome sheds light on interactions between ancient hominins (Science Daily)The genome of the offspring of a Neanderthal mother and a Denisovan father (Nature, original paper)Mum’s a Neanderthal, Dad’s a Denisovan: First discovery of an ancient-human hybrid (Nature, commentary by Matthew Warren)Needless to say, if mating produced successful offspring, the two groups were members of the same species. This should collapse the Neanderthal and Denisovan categories into one. Then that blended category, which hybridized with modern humans and produced offspring surviving to the present, is also one species. They’re all varieties of Homo sapiens. No Darwin-style evolution in this ‘tangled tree’ can be claimed.Another example of “mosaic evolution” is found in a PNAS paper entitled, “Evolution and function of the hominin forefoot.” Certain bones are claimed to occupy “an intermediate portion of the morphospace between apes and humans.” The thrust of the paper, however, is that evolution proceeded in a mosaic fashion, not a clear evolutionary progress. Some bones in Ardipithecus actually moved away from apes but not toward humans, they say. “This pattern of evolutionary change is seen consistently throughout the evolution of the foot, highlighting the mosaic nature of pedal evolution and the emergence of a derived, modern hallux relatively late in human evolution.”A much more important question for Darwinians should concern the astoundingly complex integration of functional parts. One anatomist said in 2007, “With its 26 bones, 33 joints, the foot is a biomechanical masterpiece.”What a scandal Darwin started. To see how these Darwine-drunk reporters and paleontologists ply their trade, read “How not to work a puzzle” at the end of the 5 Feb 2013 commentary. (Visited 925 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

SA a hit at World Choir Games

first_imgPro Cantu in full voice. (Image: Alan Marais)Jennifer SternWhile most South Africans can rattle off our medal tally at the 2008 Olympics (that would be one) and the Paralympics (a more respectable 30), few know we won 24 in a rather different global event, the fifth World Choir Games, held in Austria in July. Formerly known as the Choir Olympics, the games are staged in a different country every four years. This years’ event was attended by more than 440 choirs from 93 countries from across the world.South African choirs won gold in 15 different categories, bringing home not only the most gold medals, but the most medals overall in the youth and children category. The next highest tally in this category was Russia with 18. We also won one gold medal in the adult category. The way medals are awarded in choir competitions is more like a marathon than the Olympics. Gold, silver and bronze medals are awarded for attaining a particular score, just as they are for different times in marathons.Cape Town-based choir Pro Cantu, under the direction of conductor Leon Starker, won two gold medals, coming first in the Sacred Music category and fifth in the Youth Choir Mixed Voices category. The choir has been raising its voice in song since it was started by Andre van der Merwe in 1997. There were children’s choirs and there were adult choirs in Cape Town, but no youth choirs, so Van der Merwe took the gap.The singers’ ages range from 14 to 25, it’s a mixed bag, with lots of different energies at play. Francois Swart, a 22-year-old IT consultant says he likes the youthful vibe of the choir. He started singing with Pro Cantu in 2004, the year Starker took over from Van der Merwe as conductor. Swart took a few years out singing for the Stellenbosch University Choir when he was a student, but he is glad to be back.Voices onlyThe style of Pro Cantu, which means “for singing”, is a capella – voices only, with no accompanying instrumental music. They memorise all their words and music, using no sheet music, and there is no amplification. They’re truly unplugged. And it’s astonishing what a well-trained choir can do with their voices – and their bodies.In one song – Laduma, which tells a story of group of people walking to a wedding at a nearby village – the singing is interspersed with astonishingly well-coordinated finger clicks and foot-stamping that sounds so convincingly like rain and thunder it had the audience at one performance anxiously looking towards the ceiling.In another, the Australian piece Past Life Melodies, the singers use their voices to emulate the sound of a didgeridoo, and by careful harmonising create layers of resonance to form new sounds that no one choir member could achieve alone. If you saw the movie As it is in Heaven you’ll have an idea of what it’s about.Commitment to musicThe choir’s age range makes it a part-time activity, as the members have school, university or, less frequently, work obligations. They rehearse twice a week for two hours each, which doesn’t sound like much, but some members struggle even to find that much time.Scott Lee-Jones, a fourth-year medical student, often threatens to leave due to work pressure but he just can’t bring himself to do so. He loves the music and – coming from a musical family – can’t imagine living without it. Pro Cantu also gives him a chance to achieve significant milestones, such as the two gold medals at the choir games.One member who will be leaving at the end of this year is Garth Kayster who, at 26, is the “old man” of the group and should really have left last year. But luckily for him – and the choir – international choir regulations allow up to 10% of the choir members to be over 25. He is the longest-standing member, having joined in 1999 straight from the Tygerberg Children’s Choir, one of Pro Cantu’s feeder choirs for Pro Cantu.But as one leaves, another joins. One of the newest members is Monde Mdingi, a 22-year-old music student at the University of Cape Town. He’s only been in the choir for six months after trying it out at Starker’s invitation and “falling in love with it immediately”. He comes from a long line of jazz musicians, so his choral work makes him a bit of a rebel in his familyChanging membership is an integral part of the choir, and most people who leave do so at the end of the year, when prospective new members are auditioned. So the year starts with a new complement of singers who all get to know each other at a weekend “boot camp”. At the end of the weekend, they put on a mini-concert for their parents. Then they spend the first half of the year practising and building up their repertoire.Most of the performances – and competitions if there are any – are in the second half of the year. In the latter part of 2008 they have 12 concerts. Most concerts are in the Cape Town area, but they are hoping to tour the rest of the country in 2009 – obviously during school and university vacation.Pro Cantu is an officially registered non profit organization. To help with fundraising they perform at corporate functions, launches and other events. Each member pays a small annual fee, which covers the day-to-day running costs, and tours and competitions are funded by concerts and donations from corporations and individuals. The choir has recently cut its sixth CD, Far Horizons, which should also help to garner a few funds.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at [email protected]a.com.Related articleSouth African musicUseful linksPro Cantu Musica Mundilast_img read more

2010 Fifa World Cup: Miscellaneous 2

first_imgClick on a thumbnail for a low-resolution image, or right-click on the link below it to download a high-resolution copy of the image.  Beetle mania: With eye-catching stretchlimousines crafted from old VolkswagenBeetles, a group of four football fanaticshave created a mobile show of support forthe home team, Bafana Bafana.Photo: Natalie Erasmus,MediaClubSouthAfrica.com• Download high-resolution image Beetle mania: With eye-catching stretchlimousines crafted from old VolkswagenBeetles, a group of four football fanaticshave created a mobile show of support forthe home team, Bafana Bafana.Photo: Natalie Erasmus,MediaClubSouthAfrica.com• Download high-resolution image Beetle mania: With eye-catching stretchlimousines crafted from old VolkswagenBeetles, a group of four football fanaticshave created a mobile show of support forthe home team, Bafana Bafana.Photo: Natalie Erasmus,MediaClubSouthAfrica.com• Download high-resolution image Beetle mania: With eye-catching stretchlimousines crafted from old VolkswagenBeetles, a group of four football fanaticshave created a mobile show of support forthe home team, Bafana Bafana.Photo: Natalie Erasmus,MediaClubSouthAfrica.com• Download high-resolution image Beetle mania: With eye-catching stretchlimousines crafted from old VolkswagenBeetles, a group of four football fanaticshave created a mobile show of support forthe home team, Bafana Bafana.Photo: Natalie Erasmus,MediaClubSouthAfrica.com• Download high-resolution image Beetle mania: With eye-catching stretchlimousines crafted from old VolkswagenBeetles, a group of four football fanaticshave created a mobile show of support forthe home team, Bafana Bafana.Photo: Natalie Erasmus,MediaClubSouthAfrica.com• Download high-resolution image Beetle mania: With eye-catching stretchlimousines crafted from old VolkswagenBeetles, a group of four football fanaticshave created a mobile show of support forthe home team, Bafana Bafana.Photo: Natalie Erasmus,MediaClubSouthAfrica.com• Download high-resolution image Beetle mania: With eye-catching stretchlimousines crafted from old VolkswagenBeetles, a group of four football fanaticshave created a mobile show of support forthe home team, Bafana Bafana.Photo: Natalie Erasmus,MediaClubSouthAfrica.com• Download high-resolution image Beetle mania: With eye-catching stretchlimousines crafted from old VolkswagenBeetles, a group of four football fanaticshave created a mobile show of support forthe home team, Bafana Bafana.Photo: Natalie Erasmus,MediaClubSouthAfrica.com• Download high-resolution image Launch of the People’s Bus.Photo: Nicky Rehbock, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com• Download high-resolution image {loadposition fifa}last_img read more

Online learning inspires refugees

first_imgGustave Lwaba, a 47-year-old from theDRC, is working towards a diploma in liberal studies from a US university, through a distance learning programme at Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Malawi.(Image: Kristy Siegfried/Irin) A cluster of huts at Malawi’s Dzaleka Refugee Camp.(Image: IAFR) MEDIA CONTACTS • Ben Parker  Director, Irin News  +254 20 762 2147 or +254 733 860 082 RELATED ARTICLES • Educated Africans teach SA children • Online resources to help pupils • SA universities to get fast broadband • Tackling SA’s education challenges • From refugee camp to universitySource: Irin NewsSanky Kabeya, a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has spent half of his 24 years in Dzaleka refugee camp in central Malawi. He attended primary and secondary school in the camp but, after graduating, his dream of furthering his education seemed an impossible one.“I was just staying at home with nothing to do and I lost hope in everything,” he recalled.With only three-quarters of refugee children accessing primary education and just over a third enrolled in secondary schools, according to a recent assessment by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), higher education is generally considered a low priority and opportunities for young refugees like Kabeya are extremely limited.Recently, however, there has been a growing recognition of the benefits that higher education can bring, not just to individual refugees, but to the vast reconstruction needs of countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and the DRC which will require a new generation of teachers and other professionals when peace finally comes.According to the UNHCR, there is also evidence that offering continuing education opportunities motivates more refugee children to complete primary and secondary school.An education strategy (PDF, 1.57MB) released by UNHCR in February recognised the “huge unmet demand for higher education among refugees” and made improving access one of its goals over the next five years.Although part of this approach involves doubling the current 2 000 scholarships a year available to refugees through the German government-funded DAFI programme, a key element of the strategy is to make use of internet technologies and partnerships with academic institutions to reach much larger numbers of refugees through distance learning.International Catholic NGO Jesuit Refugee Services (JRS) is pioneering this approach through a pilot project at three refugee camps, including Dzaleka, which offers small groups of refugees the opportunity to study towards a diploma in liberal studies from Regis University in Denver, Colorado at no cost.For refugees who do not meet the academic requirements, but are keen to further their education, JRS has developed several vocational courses in areas such as community health and entrepreneurship.“JRS tries to do things that other organisations aren’t doing and this was certainly identified as a gap,” said David Holdcroft, JRS’s Johannesburg-based regional director.“The suffering in camps results from frustration building over years of not being able to prepare for the future.”Paving the way for the futureNow in his second year of the three-year course, Kabeya’s feelings about the future have changed dramatically.“I’m very inspired, I’ve obtained a lot,” he told Irin. “I want to make my future bright.”At Dzaleka, which is home to 18 000 refugees, mainly from the DRC, Burundi and Rwanda, the courses are mostly done online using solar-powered computers, but the students’ Skype interactions with their professors in the US are supplemented by on-site tuition from an academic coordinator and two interns.“The need for cultural and linguistic adaptation was too great,” said programme coordinator Clotilde Giner, explaining that most of the 60 students are French speakers who have learned English through classes at the camp.Carine Nice, 22, spoke no English when she arrived at Dzaleka four years ago, but she held on to her hopes of becoming a doctor. She had been in her second year of medical school when conflict erupted in the North Kivu region of DRC where she lived and she was forced to flee with her mother and five siblings.“When I arrived, it was boring in the camp and I felt I was still young and needed to learn,” she told Irin. After taking English and computer classes, she jumped at the opportunity to enrol in the diploma programme.She is one of only eight women on the course. “According to the culture, [women think] studies are for men, and have low self-esteem,” she said.Nice is fulfilling a requirement of the programme that students transfer some of the knowledge they are gaining to other camp residents, by leading a weekly discussion group for women aimed at improving their English and their confidence to apply for the programme next year.Unlike scholarships available through the DAFI programme, the JRS programme is open to all ages and educational backgrounds.Gustave Lwaba, a 47-year-old from the DRC, gave up his job teaching at Dzaleka’s primary school to enrol in the course.Opportunities to earn an income are scarce in the camp so the decision was a difficult one, said Lwaba, who has a wife and three children.“I was hungering for tertiary education and I didn’t have that chance in my country,” he explained. “I wanted more skills to help the community or even if I can be repatriated.”If the JRS programme helps Lwaba achieve his goal of becoming a tertiary-level teacher, it could benefit not just him and his family, but a future generation of pupils in the DRC and reconstruction efforts in that country.Bringing higher education to refugees It is these broader goals that inform the thinking behind another project to bring higher education to refugees due to be launched at Dadaab camp in Kenya in the next academic year through a joint initiative between Canada’s York University and Kenya’s Kenyatta University.Like the JRS programme, it will blend online and face-to-face learning, but will give students the option of earning a four-year bachelor’s degree, or opting out after two or three years with a teaching diploma.“We’re also aiming towards something that could be accessed from anywhere so that if someone were to start the programme and then be repatriated or resettled, they could continue,” said Sarah Dryden-Peterson, a researcher at the University of Toronto, who is involved in the project. Dryden-Peterson said refugee students tend to be extremely motivated.“They’re looking for any kind of printed material they can get their hands on to learn and keep their brains active,” she told Irin. “More and more what we’re seeing is that with the opening up of telecommunications and internet access, refugees are following online courses and developing their own ways of learning by pulling things off the internet.”Distracted by poor living conditions Participants in JRS’s programme at Dzaleka need to be motivated to stick with their studies in a camp environment where poor living conditions and insufficient food can be a major distraction.In March, the World Food Programme, which supplies food aid to the camp, slashed rations for refugees by half due to a lack of funding and many of the students quietly typing at computers in the programme’s makeshift classroom were working on empty stomachs.“It’s very difficult when you eat less and have to study, and we don’t know what will happen next month,” said Nice, who juggles her studies with helping her mother at home and working as an interpreter for UNHCR and JRS.Kabeya said frequent blackouts meant he often strained his eyes studying by the light of a candle and that his friends told him he was wasting his time.“But I’m getting good grades and I’m very motivated because I have a goal.”last_img read more