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Archive - December 2012

1
Worldcoo was part of the TechCrunch Barcelona Meetup
2
The day has come
3
Ethiopia: one of the richest countries in water reserves, still has lots of people without drinking water access
4
Cocoa, the Nicaraguan hope
5
Disease against children

Worldcoo was part of the TechCrunch Barcelona Meetup

Last Thursday 13th of December, Worldcoo went to the “City’s Hottest Startups Competition”, at the TechCrunch Barcelona Meetup.

TechCrunch is one of the most influential web publication about technology news and analysis, as well as profiles of startup companies, products and websites. It was founded by Michael Arrington in 2005, and nowadays it has more than 2,5 million of Twitter followers in all over the world.

Being part of its Meetup is an honour for any startup. In this case, Worldcoo not only went there, but it was one of the 15 pre-selected startups for being evaluated in a session involving investors. After this evaluation, the finalists did an open pitching competition. We weren’t finalists, but we could explain our project in front of more or less 200 people.

Worldcoo feels proud of being part of this meeting, full of interesting people and startups.

The day has come

We feel proud to communicate you that Worldcoo has launched his web platform today, 17th of December of 2012.

By now, what we all can say is that YOUR new tool to change the world is done! And we want to share with you our promotional video, which shows that together we can do big things.

We start the platform with the work done; we can already present five different and interesting projects, from different recognized International NGO’s, to donate:

1. NGO Desos, Nicaragua: Processing cocoa in the rural communities of Kukra River.
2. NGO Intermón Oxfam, Ethiopia: Water Bank.
3. NGO Red Cross, Ethiopia: Food security in 3 and 5 Kebele population of Woreda Menz Guera.
4. NGO Campaner, Nigeria: Construction of a fenced for crops.
5. NGO Red Cross, Catalonia: Emergency Program to support child’s school meals.

We are in Beta state so do not hesitate to contact us if you see that something doesn’t work in the right way, if you have any suggestions, or if there is anything that you think could be improved. Together we can do big things.

Thank you for being part of it.

Ethiopia: one of the richest countries in water reserves, still has lots of people without drinking water access

Yegobecha is situated in the North of Ethiopia, in the Southern Nation Nationalities and Peoples (SNNP) Region. This is a very poor region in a very poor country which only the 38 % of a more than 90M population has access to drinking water. This is one of the main problems in Ethiopia, although it is a country rich in water reserves (86% of the Nile River’s flow is originated in Ethiopia and there are abundant underground water basins). The problem is the lack of material, financial and human resources to construct infrastructures allowing water extraction from subsoil and, thus, making it available to the entire population.

Families in Yegobecha have an average number of 6 children and live from subsistence agriculture. Many men must migrate to other areas in search of extra work, as they don’t get enough income from work in land to buy basic goods. In this cases mothers take on the role of family chief, with 6 children in charge, besides doing household tasks, getting water and working the land. This supposes an overload of work which has different consequences, including that they are forced to take their children out of school to help with household tasks.

Also, 50% of the population lives within 10 km away from any basic services centre (health centres and schools). This means 2 hours by walking, as they do not have any other transportation facilities.

Cocoa, the Nicaraguan hope

The growth of cocoa exports from Nicaragua to EU have been experiencing a strong growth since 2007, 45%, but aren’t still enough. This shows there is a strong demand and consolidated into Nicaraguan quality cocoa, instead it must be increasing because the poverty in the region is strong.

The Republic of Nicaragua is the largest country in the Central America isthmus. It has approximately 6 million multi-ethnic population. There are conflicts between the population of ethnic diversity and the origin of many of its inhabitants (exrefugees in Costa Rica after the Civil War in Nicaragua), with a consequent territorial conflict. This, coupled with inequalities, lack of training and skills, sexism, individualism and violence, causes a lack of social cohesion that prevents the development of these regions. Added to this is extreme poverty, scarcity of resources among producers, low production and basically meant for home consumption, and the lack of capital for relevant changes. In addition, the natural environment is deteriorating due to poor farming practices that advances the agricultural frontier with the use of “slash and burn” (burning of forests for cultivation, instead of making rotational crops), and the very harmful chemical use.

Thus, the increasing in the cocoa exportations is one of the best ways to change the actual situation in Nicaragua.

Source: Trade Map

Disease against children

Noma is an easily curable disease but, regrettably, it’s fearfully reported by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that it may be on the increase in various African countries.

Noma (cancrum oris) is an acute and ravaging gangrenous infection affecting the face. The victims of Noma are mainly children under the age of 6, caught in a vicious circle of extreme poverty and chronic malnutrition. It starts with ulcers in the mouth. If the condition is detected in the early stage, progression can be prevented with the use of mild antibiotics and immediate nutritional rehabilitation. If left untreated, as happens in most cases, the ulcers progress to Noma at an alarming pace. The next stage is extremely painful when the cheeks or lips begin to swell and the victim’s general condition deteriorates. Within a few days, the swelling increases and a blackish furrow appears and the gangrenous process sets in and, after the scab falls away and a gaping hole is left in the face. It is estimated that the mortality rate reaches up to an alarming 90%.

The WHO estimates that 140,000 new cases of Noma occur each year and of these, a mere 10% survive. That means that 126,000 die each year, mainly in sub-Saharan countries from Senegal to Ethiopia, a region known as “the Noma belt”.

Source: The WHO.

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