The Complexities of Life: A Love Story for the Fearless!

Malabo, Capital of Equatorial Guinea – Image via Wikipedia

Publication of the promised Red Kidney Bean recipe has been postponed to bring you this important Valentine’s Day message.

Profacetime  ‘liked’ my wraps post, so I went to visit their blog and found the headline The Complexity of Life and beneath it the picture you see here, with one comment – from the blogger them self – “Nice picture.”

I was dumbfounded, and intrigued, and curious. It was a brand new blog.  It had one post.  That picture.  And they’d liked my post about wraps? Somebody testing their new blog….but….

“Where is it?” I asked, in a comment.   I thought I might like to live there.  In this aerial shot, it looks almost idyllic.

I zoomed in and examined the trees – tropical.  But those buildings – it looks industrial.  A yacht over there. Yup. But no beach.  Maybe a man-made one.  I dunno.  Looks nice from a distance but up close it looks like industry has taken over this piece of heaven.

English: Map of Equatorial Guinea Español: Map...
Image via Wikipedia

Then text appears to label the image: Malamo.  Google search – Wikipedia – capital of Equatorial Guinea.

Google maps show it on the west coast of Africa, right next to Cameroon.

More Googling, and I’m reading horror stories about  human trafficking, child labor, beatings for those who speak out and, of course, torture.  The stuff of nightmares.

What makes this ‘Nice picture’ even more chilling is that Equatorial Guinea is one of the richest African states, yet three-quarters of its 675,000 citizens live on less than a dollar a day.  Infant mortality rates are among the worst in the world.

Oil is the country’s resource, children are forced to work in the refineries (at least that’s what I’ve read) and the wealth goes into the pockets of the ruling leader.

English: Bubi children from Equatorial Guinea
Bubi children from Equatorial Guinea Image via Wikipedia

What can we do to change this?  What can you and I do without spending a penny, or going to Equatorial Guinea?   How about all those petroleum products? How many things do you take for granted that use petroleum?  Did a child help bring that oil from the ground and work in the refinery?  The Complexities of Life, indeed!

Now here’s that promised love story!  It’s a story about a group of people who love sharing and love justice and are changing the world!


(copied from Global Poverty Project)

Transparency in the natural resource industry is critical to fighting poverty. Too often the wealth generated by the natural resources doesn’t go towards improving the lives of the very owners of the resources – the citizens themselves.

For too long, governments and corrupt officials have misused and abused their power at the expense of the people they are intended to serve.

In Oct 2011 the European Commission made proposals for updating the EU legislation to require greater transparency by oil, gas and mineral companies, but getting this legislation passed is a tough job. The European Parliament alone consists of 736 MEPs from the 27 member countries. There are lobby groups from the extractive industries pushing hard for the legislation to be watered down.

And then there’s us.

We, the people they represent, need to use our voices in support of the legislation and to let the MEPs know that we support this legislation.

The first step is to determine exactly what view these MEPs currently hold of the transparency legislation.

That is why we are asking you to contact your MEP, asking them whether they support the introduction of legislation on Extractive Industries Transparency

Join us in supporting this legislation.

Be my Valentine and write to your MEP.  Please.

The Global Poverty Project says 1.4 billion of the world’s population lives below the poverty line.  If 506,250 live in Equatorial Guinea, where do the rest of them live?

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Regularly scheduled programming will resume tomorrow with the promised red kidney bean recipe!

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