Germany - Welcome to Dr. Sandra Schneider.

Friday, October 31, 2008

It gives us great pleasure to relate that Dr. Sandra Schneider - known as Sandra - has joined the global family of A Ray of Hope to advise and support us with general medical issues. This month has seen an escalation in the number of people willing to make a positive contribution.

Brazil - many congratulations to Rosa

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Flag Project celebrating UN Day and World Day of Peace.

Many congratulations to Rosa in Brazil on winning one of the competitions associated with our Global Flag Competition. Her Nepalese batik has been posted and hopefully when it arrives safely we will have a photograph of Rosa with her prize for this journal. The details of the other prize winners will be posted when contact has been made with them.

Summer Workshop: Sdr Omme prison, Denmark

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

At the summer work shop of Sdr. Omme prison in Denmark Niels worked with cutting trees into art work. Later this year Niels hopes to present a video of the project in English. This event was a huge positive event for the inmates and all others that also took part. Also the staff like the new art work in prison. It really help creating a better atmosphere in the prison. All pictures here

Future Secretary General of the UN visits Paradigm Nigeria

Monday, October 27, 2008

It was with much pleasure that Paradigm, that wonderful initiative in Nigeria welcomed Ray, "Buster" to their weekend. Buster was particularly impressd with the importance that the members have bestowed on promoting the awareness of ICT and opening channels for those who might not normally be in a position to avail themselves of modern technology.

After lunch, Buster, during a period of sleep, pondered his strategy to making a difference. He was heard to snore that time is precious and that every minute should be used to its full to enhance this programme.
Buster has now reached the ripe old age of 1 year 3 months.

Nigeria - Congratulations to Gbenga Sesan and his wonderful team at Paradigm

(Gallery of photographs from last weekend's events)
Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN) is a social enterprise seeking to help deliver ICT for socio-economic opportunities in Nigeria. Having worked with government, civil society, private institutions and international organisations, PIN has set standards in ICT education, telecentre support, ICT applications in rural areas, and other ICT4D interventions in Nigeria. PIN provides five key services: Consulting, ICT Capacity Building, Research, Telecentre Support and Youth-led Social Technopreneurship. Through these services, PIN connects individuals, people-groups, institutions and communities with the socio-economic opportunities that ICTs provide.
SESAN 'Gbenga - is presently Nigeria’s Information Technology Youth Ambassador, the Africa Co-ordinator for the Global Library Project (, and he also leads the Paradigm Initiative Nigeria team. He holds a B.Sc. in Electronic and Electrical Engineering from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria and his present interest is in the application of Information Technology to development, in order to bridge the digital divide.
He is an Africa 2001 Fellow of the International Telecommunications Union and holds a Lagos Business School certificate for completing the Venture in Management Programme (organized jointly by Lagos Business School and Junior Achievement of Nigeria). He maintains a personal website at and believes that the website will help motivate the Nigerian Youth, be a beacon of light for Nigeria, an entry into the world of Information Technology, an avenue for him to serve his generation, and serve as an electronic archive of his life, thoughts and works.

"Serena on the Move" in Korea

Last Sunday I met Ven. Jeong-Bom who’s the chief of Okcheon Temple. And that day was a field day for teenagers. Just before we left for the field day, I had lunch with him at the temple and I told him about our thoughts. He was very pleased and glad to hear our views. I also showed him and others, the “A Ray of Hope UNESCO” website. They were very surprised with all the achievements. Here I’m included some photos that I took during my visit. This coming Friday afternoon after 4pm I’ll be visiting Kijoon at Korea UNESCO. Hope things going on fine with you, Don.

Congratulations to Andy Director of The Foundation for Endangered Species

The Andy Mydellton Wildlife Zone started when the radio programme was first broadcast at Radio Wexham. The programme is unique and soon won an award; since then it has developed a number of features. Unfortunately the programme is not net available outside the Wexham area, but will be changing soon.

Global Flag Competition

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Our Global Flag Competition to celebrate UN Day and UN Day of Peace, has been running for nearly two months with an incredible 20,000 people becoming involved. The winners of the Nepalese batiks appear to come from Ethiopia, Brazil and Belarus. Once the identities have ben confirmed the names will be announced and the prizes posted.
The photograph to the left was the winning photograph/painting entry from Belarus.

Wonderful friends and expertise - Denmark and UK

It is a great delight to know that now we have Per and Bob advising A Ray of Hope on Prison Arts Europe and Education in general. Their contibution will assist us all greatly.

For Angela United States

For Angela,

10 years ago when I first met Angela, and she knew everything about everything that needed to be known, especially with regard to web page building - I went to bed and woke to discover that better than what I ever could have ever dreamed about had been produced.
"When a Child is Born" will always be associated with A Ray of Hope and I think "He ain't heavy he's my brother" was the first piece of music that Angela ever embedded on our pages but even then I wanted to have " Melting Pot" by Blue Mink. It was no where to be found until tonight now on the front page of

The music and our best wishes our dedicated to 10 years of Angela's enedeavours.


Best Wishes from Ben : Ghana and United Kingdom.

Dear All, Good morning!! It's been a long time. I hope you are fine and getting more good news from your projects across the world? We are doing well here in London. We are just taking care and watching as the Credit Crunch looms. How are the friends in Belarus? I check the website to see some of the recent developments. Please, extend my greetings to all the A Ray of Hope members. Congratulations for their good work and success. Regards, Benjamin Ofori

The photograph tells a story which I remember well from 2000. When we visited this orphanage in Belarus several children came up to Ben and took his hand - they then spat on their hands and rubbed his in an attempt to get his hands clean as they had never seen anyone with that colour of skin before. It was both moving and poignant. On this visit Benjamin once hid in the toilet to avoid having to eat anymore food. A wonderful visit fondly remembered by Benjamin and his friends in Belarus.

Greetings from Per Thane and Prison Arts Education Network.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Hi Angela

Congratulation with the good blog and journal on the Internet. The Prison Art Network greet you to let you know that we are linking to your new blog and will change our links of RSS feeds to apply to the blog.

We wish you all the best for the future.

Per Thrane, Denmark
Prison Art Network Webmaster

Stara Zagora Prison Bulgaria affiliates to A Ray of Hope

Dear Don
On behalf of my colleagues let me express our great satisfaction and gratitude for allowing our affiliation to A Ray of Hope, UNESCO Youth Ambassador for the Culture of Peace.
VENKO VOEV - Director of

The photograph shows Venko with the
Lord Mayor of Lisburn.

Dear Venko,

The pleasure is ours and together in friendship and by promoting the ideals of UNESCO the world will be a slightly better place. It is our delight to now have you in the global family of A Ray of Hope.
Best wishes to you, your staff and students. Don

Male Prison in Stara Zagora accommodates first time offenders sentenced for intentional crimes. There are two prison hostels operating under Stara Zagora Prison.
The average registered number of prisoners for 2007 is 1200 prisoners. The total number includes remand prisoners with detention in custody apprehension measures.
Prison School in Stara Zagora is the biggest school in the prison system in Bulgaria. The school programme is based on the Bulgarian National Curriculum ranging from basic literacy and calculus to degree level. The teaching staff consist of 38 experienced full-time teachers dedicated to education of value in prison conditions; modern school building, well-equipped vocational workshops, a library with a good selection of books, a video hall, a computer room, chapel in the school’s yard; every school year about 320 male prisoners attend different classes
Prison School in Stara Zagora is a recognized institution for education and qualification, cooperating with vocational training. Courses on offer include metal processing, woodwork, building, construction, geodesy, etc. Students are given the opportunity to be awarded nationally recognized certification of vocational qualification.
The school has programmes for correction and cultural activities which give the students the chance to develop their personalities and find channels of expression. There is an impressive framework of different focus groups in drama, applied arts, creative writing, music, geography, customs and traditions. The educational staff participate in these activities where students unleash their talent, grow in ability and confidence.

A week in the Life of Serena in South Korea.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Visit Serena's log of her experiences over the last few days,
Serena's Log and photograph gallery

and YouTube video of Photographs with the music of the world famous Sir James Galway from the first CD of A Ray of Hope - " A Ray of Hope and friends"

South Korea - Serena visits the Vice Governor, Hyo-Won Seo, at Gyeonggi-Do Uijeongbu City.

Serena visited Vice Governor, Hyo-Won Seo, at Gyeonggi-Do Uijeongbu City. Who was a former Vice City Mayor of Bucheon where I am living now. We used to keep in touch but he left to another Government office. Once I told him that I become a member of A Ray of Hope UNESCO he was very happy to hear that and was proud of me. I really appreciated his friendliness; although he’s very busy yet he fixed me into his busy schedules. Then we made an appointment for lunch next week. On that day when we met he handed me a gift for Don. It’s a very special Name card case.
The surface of the case that made of shells. And we took some photos together. I had wonderful lunch with him. We had friendly talks. And he also send his Best Regards to Don. He’s asking will Don visit South Korea too? I said, Don’s friend visited on UNESCO mission last few months ago, but I wasn’t a member at that time, so I didn’t know much about it. However perhaps in the future I wish Don would visit South Korea too. Photographs C5-C9

Can we extend to Hyo-Won Seo the best wishes of the global family A Ray of Hope and are sure that our new friendships will endure and be enriching.

ICT Programme of Study Nigeria

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Dear Don, Greetings from Lagos Nigeria.
I have concluded talks about the ICT program for three universities with Okey Ikpe of Microsoft West Africa. I have been directed to Chantell Francis of Prosperian (PTY) Ltd. He works in conjunction with Microsoft West, East and Central Africa. A good reputation for us! Now we are into talk as I am to see him later this evening to finalize talks. Meanwhile Don, I will be travelling to Geneva for the Conference of NGOs in consultative forum with the United Nations on Friday 24th and from there to Nanjing, China for the UN Habitat's World Urban Forum 4. I will be back on the 14th of November. I will however be in touch. Thank you. Temmylade

700th Anniversary South Korea.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Serena visits the 700th Anniversary of the Sudok temple.

Pamela returns from another fruitful visit to Nigeria

Three weeks at Fantsuam Foundation Thanks to British Airways

Pamela McLean

I arrived in Nigeria early on Tuesday September 21st and returned home on Monday October 13th. I spent all the time with Fantsuam Foundation at Bayan Loco, Kafanchan, Kaduna State. I have been working (in a voluntary capacity) with Fantsuam Foundation for several years, and have been much helped by the travel opportunities given to me by A Ray of Hope and British Airways.

This time my visit had a dual purpose. I was going in order to do some training, as usual, but I was also along taking a contact of mine, Marcus Simmons, to do some training of a very different kind.

Marcus is from an organisation called Eco-Shelter. He is interested is low cost sustainable approaches to building, and also in wider issues of sustainability such as permaculture. He was taking advantage of the arrangements FF had made for me, so he could travel at the same time into this rural area, meet my contacts, find out for himself the realities of rural Nigeria, and do a small experimental building, helped by local people. Fantsuam Foundation is setting up a sustainable village project. Marcus gave free valuable training and advice – which would probably not have been arranged without my trip taking place.

My own challenge this time was to help develop the recently opened Knowledge Resource Centre (KRC), and also to help develop the work of the Children's Computer Club.

The problem that John wanted me to help him tackle relates to the local culture of teaching and learning. Local schools rely largely on rote learning, and strongly discourage any idea of pupils asking questions. This puts people at a severe disadvantage when they are given the opportunity to learn for themselves through the KRC. They expect a teacher tell them what they need to learn and give them all the facts to remember. John has provided the FF KRC as somewhere for adults and children to be able to learn as Self Directed Learners (SDLs) – but they need to develop new skills and attitudes in order to take advantage of the opportunities and resources.

I worked with a group of potential Self Directed Learners for two weeks, and gave them an experience of self-directed learning. I set up some project work for them to do. Then I helped them to build the skills that they needed, by looking at DVDs, going on the Internet, asking each other, and being ready to seek help from teachers at a distance. By the end of the course they were posting messages and photos to their own blogs, were exchanging information through yahoo groups, and were beginning to behave like SDLs in their readiness to connect with other people world wide. This blog is evidence of what was achieved.
The words of praise are rather extravagant by our standards, but that is the Nigerian way. However the things we covered during the training are accurately listed.

I had helped to get the CCC involved in a project organised by Teeside University, before I travelled. This project, called People and Place, is to help build friendships and understanding through exchanging photos online with schools in the UK and elsewhere. The first photos were exchanged before I travelled and during my visit I was able to help the People and Place participants to get more actively involved and start to look at photos sent by the other schools and start to send messages. See I also spent time in additional informal teaching activities and visits to update my local knowledge.

I hope that the work we are doing at Fantsuam to increase communication and exchange of information will contribute to the bonds of understanding and friendship that A Ray of Hope seeks to foster. Please convey my thanks to those at BA who make my journeys to Nigeria possible.

A Very Special Welcome to our new friends in South Korea.

Monday, October 20, 2008

It gives me great joy to welcome the new friends of Serena's into the Global family of A Ray of Hope. This friendship that we proffer is the very ethos of what we are attempting to achieve. A special greeting is extended to Ven. Jongbom and his dedicated monks with the knowledge that their involvement with A Ray of Hope will bring us all greater enrichment. Thank you Jong - another wonderful day in the development of A Ray of Hope. Don

Message from Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO

Message from Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage, Theme: "Audiovisual Heritage as a witness of Cultural Identity", 27 October 2008
Today is World Day for Audiovisual Heritage, a day for reflecting on the power of film, television and radio to transmit ideas and information and in so doing nurture dialogue among and between communities around the world.
While heritage permits us to understand the past, it also reflects the cultural identities and diversity of communities living today, with audiovisual heritage, in particular, being a primary means for contemporary societies to portray their values and express their creativity. Indeed, radio and television are the most widely used means of transmitting cultural products globally. As well as being important sources of information, the immediacy of sound recordings and moving images, with their power to span linguistic, cultural or other barriers, permit peoples from different walks of life to understand each other and share experiences directly.
The photograph shows Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, with a painting from our friends in Belarus - painted under the theme - "UNESCO - A Culture of Peace". The painting was used as the official presentation from UK National Commission for UNESCO to the Director-General.

Brazil : Update by Vickie re links with Brazil

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The computers bought in Manaus, Brazil, in April 2004, were then transported in a passenger boat over two days to the Amazonian town, loaded into a motorized dug-out, to then be transported further fluvially to the village, where they were then installed into the school. Portuguese-English programmes were installed into the computer, enabling the children and teachers to translate anything English written into Portuguese.
Unfortunately, the computers were apparently stolen at the next election for the local mayor.

Plan B, was born. We would drop the progression toward cyber-communication, and develop the snail-mail option. So far, this has proved successful. The School Link Project, re-started in April 2007. Students from the ages of 4 to 7 years exchange picture designs of their life-styles in Devon, UK and Amazonas, Brasil.

During May 2007, a teacher from the Amazonian town visited our Devon school, and gave a fascinating talk, combined with fruity Amazonian food tasting, displays of photographs showing life in the jungle, and the option of trying on Amazonian jewellery. We will look forward to exchanging Christmas cards for 2008, between our link schools.

Vicky Haines
Unesco - Brasil

A Ray of Hope Videos

Our videos can be seen on this web at

From Piya and our Daughters in Nepal

Dear Don,
Sorry for the delay reply as we are having annual vacation...of the national festival called Dashain.Your daughters are doing well and Krishna to. Krishna came back to Nepal from US.I telephoned him and conveyed your message. We are going to celebrate Dipawali...Festival of flying kites etc. Will send you the pictures after the festival.
Take care
Love from Everyone

Becoming involved with A Ray of Hope

We have had a request to inform readers how they can become involved in a Ray of Hope. Anyone who believes cultural diversity is enrichment, enjoys making friends and assisting when one can is welcome to contribute to our work. There is rarely a need to ask for financial support except possibly within the bounds of individual projects. Feel free to contact me on Please read our daily journal and project details. A positive interest in one or more of our many facets is suffice for you to contribute and to make a difference.

Thank you to Everyone in A Ray of Hope

Saturday, October 18, 2008

As I look at this incredible new journal, created by Angela in The US, it does make me think about the wonderfully dedicated people that bless A Ray of Hope with their contribution and believe in the ideals of UNESCO.
Our friends now carpet the globe in over 70 countries - whether they are in companies and organisations, project leaders, advisors, specialists, "YouTubers" or simply people who care and are cared for. All allow me to realise that A Ray of Hope is much greater than the sum of its parts. It is a delight for me to know that whenever we have a problem there is someone in A Ray of Hope that has the solution. We will continue as we have always done - to make friends and assist when we can and to always believe that cultural diversity is enrichment. As the Irish comedian used to say at the end of each of his programmes - "May your God go with you" Thank you Don

A Ray of Hope sings for HM The Queen and HH Dalai Lama

Two very special occasions that happened during a three week period.
I am sure all involved will remember these occasions for many years.

Burkina Faso and Ethiopia

Thank you to those who contributed to the supplies now sent to Burkina Faso and Ethiopia.
Over the next few weeks we will turn our attention to the clothes, sports items, etc that are needed for Philippines, India, Romania and Hungary.

From Serena South Korea.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Tomorrow early morning I'm going to visit Sudok Temple. There'll be the 700th year-Anniversary. It takes about 2:30 hours drive.
Then next week I'll looking for the computer matter that I mentioned before. And there's always another! There is a bunch of Roman Catholic and Buddhist priesthood are walking along a across the Korea Peninsular since early this year....and it'll be ending by next year March. They are doing 1 step 1 bow on the street! The title of this pilgrimage pulpit is regarding " Fight For The Whole Frame on Human, Life. And For The Peace! " The point is to save the nature and rivers....I have to find out more about it.

UNESCO Meetings.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Yesterday I had the pleasure of being in the company of many wonderful people
totally dedicated to the ideals of UNESCO. The photograph is of our meeting room
and the incredible spectacle from the window of many of London's famous landmarks - and the video was of my 5 minute taxi ride from Victoria Station to Westminster.


Trip to Hungary, October, 2008

Melanie Price, Tommy Kennedy,wife Donna Kennedy,Wilson Scott,Alison Downey,Margaret Buick, Margaret Bradley, Betty Price,Bridie Laverty,

Seven days in Hungary, visiting Budapest, and 4 villages on the Romanian Borders.

This was the first time for the team from Belfast to visit Budapest in Hungary. They knew they were coming to visit poor people, but they weren’t prepared for the poor conditions of the villagers. They came to HELP and GIVE, and that’s exactly what they did.
We went out with musical instruments, and delighted every one with Irish music.
As a group we provided many people with immediate relief from poverty.
Alison bought a Chainsaw, and Tommy and Donna bought a lovely new washing machine, for the home in Nyirbeltek. We had bought some food, and gas, and wood, to last over the Winter months. A bike was bought for Dani, as he needs to ride from village to village.

Money was left for various utility bills, and for a Christmas Meal for the children, in two villages.There is so much more that could be said that, we did, but its not about what we did, but what they did for us.
They gave us all a new perspective of life, and we were humbled by their kindness and hospitality. They left their two room, little flat, so that nine of us could sleep there for the night. They vacated the flat, and served us biscuits and coffee, because that’s all they had. What generosity, and love, what hospitality. How many of us would open up our LUXURIOUS Western, houses to three people, never mind nine. No matter how many times I return, I’m always astounded at how much the poor can give, and how they welcome us as one of their own.

I think we have so much to learn from them, and about getting back to basics, and reality. We’ve decided that the Irish people have evolved from Hungarians, because they have the same traits of laughter and jokes......could be something in that........thank you Belfast, you were the perfect Ambassadors of Peace, to this Kings Nation, HUNGARY


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Melanie and Team return from a successful visit to Hungary.
Report and more photographs to follow.

Thank you

Thank you to Heatons Ireland, Pictorial Charts Educational Trust and "Santa's wee Village" . Toys, educational supplies and clothes for Burkina Faso and Ethiopia to be posted this week.

The Global Family of A Ray of Hope

New Video from A Ray of Hope with the wonderful music provided by the
exquisite voice of Caroline Ferland from Canada.

Republic of South Korea

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Serena visits the Cultural Expo in Bucheon City, Seoul.


Congratulations to Serena - our new Asian advisor awarded a citation from Mr. Won Hye-Yong - formerly mayor of Bucheon City Mayor and now a member of the National Assembly.
"City Citation" from the Bucheon City Mayor on
[ Along with Citizens Build the 21 century of City Culture ] Especially through Teaching a foreign language to the City citizens. I have translated the ditation for those who do not understand Korean !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bangladesh and Ethiopia

Toys and Schoolbags sent today.

New Appointees.

Congratulations and thanks to our new appointees. Serena South Korea (Asian matters), Selvo Brazil (Promotions) and Andy UK (Environmental Issues. We are assured that their contribution will be a wonderful asset to the whole.

Selvo Brancalhao Junior Adviser and Liaison Web and Internet Promotions (Brazil)

Serena Woon Liaison and Advisor Asian Studies. ( South Korea)

Andy Mydellton Liasion and Advisor Environmental Issues ( UK)


Thursday, October 02, 2008

55 Girls - New Academic Year, New Hope
Ahead has launched its first hostel for poor girls in Odo Shakiso District in southern Ethiopia. The hostel provides accommodation to 55 very poor girls who have no one else to support them. Most of the girls come from remote corners of the District. Without such help these girls would stay in their localities and stop their education at primary school level and most likely get married. Their chances of securing jobs or getting self-employed is almost nil. With Ahead's provision of accommodation, they can at least have somewhere to sleep and pursue their secondary education at Shakiso Town, the capital of the District.

These girls need food, clothes, educational materials and ideal some money for costs such as transport. Unfortunately, Ahead does not have resources to meet these needs. Therefore, we appeal to whoever can support these girls in any way they can at any level they can would greatly be appreciated. Ahead can gladly supply full profiles of these girls and their needs. We look forward to hearing from anybody who can join us to help out with this good cause. You can contact Elfneh Bariso via, or on 0753 578 7721, or 0794 659 2607

Ahead is affiliated to A Ray of Hope

Thank you Heatons Ireland and Santa's wee Village

A big thank you to Santa's wee Village and Heatons Ireland for their support. Today we started our collection of new clothes for children to be distributed in Europe, Asia and Africa. Only the first step, but so wonderfully encouraging to know that yet another task is planned to completion due to the ever present, generous assistance of our friends.