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THE TEA LADIES OF SUDAN: Thousands of women sell cinnamon-laced tea on the sidewalks of Sudan's capital, Khartoum. Mostly from conflict-hit regions, they face social stigma and harassment. Local police confiscate their equipment.

For two decades, Awadeya Mahmoud served tea under the searing sun in Khartoum to support her family.

A trailblazing entrepreneur, Awadeya started a movement of tea ladies to demand their rights. They opened a cooperative. It soon grew into three with more than 7,000 women.

In 2016, she received a Woman of Courage Award from the former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. He hailed her "steadfast efforts to promote legal reform and to advance economic empowerment for women in Sudan."

Now in her 50s, Awadeya traveled to Washington to receive her award. She said she plans to use the publicity to develop a network of cooperatives across Sudan.

Source: AARP International: The Journal 2017

 


 

ARTIST STILL PAINTING AT 93: Pioneering avant-garde artist Françoise Sullivan paints every day and lives in, as her curator Louise Déry calls it, "the yet to come."

Born in Montreal, Sullivan has been many things. A painter, dancer, choreographer, sculptor and teacher. And painter again.

Each morning, she drives to her studio to paint often late into the evening.

Tacked on the wall in her studio are the words of Samuel Beckett, writing about his friend, Bram Van Velde:

      Destined to paint
      Not knowing what to paint
      Not knowing how to paint
      Not wanting to paint.
      But painting anyway.

"It's so true," she told Alisa Siegel of CBC's The Sunday Edition (Feb.12, 2017), for her documentary The Yet to Come.

"I feel good painting here," she said. "These are moments in my life. They feel real, they feel necessary."

The award-winning artist's recent abstracts are on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Baie-St-Paul, Quebec, until June 4, 2017.

 


 

NEW GRANTS FOR U.K. VOLUNTEERS OVER 50: The Second Half Fund grants up to £250,000 (about $400,000 Cdn) to support innovations that mobilize people in the second half of their lives to help others.

The project is funded half by Nesta, a U.K. foundation focused on "new ideas to tackle the big challenges of our time" and half by the government's Office for Civil Society.

The focus is on initiatives that support:

  • children and young people
  • parents and families
  • older people to age well, and
  • creating resilient neighbourhoods.

The winners of the inaugural grants will be announced soon.

 


 

GOOD NEWS: Last May, the World Health Organization reported that life expectancy worldwide has increased by five years in less than two decades. The continuing increase in life expectancy represents a remarkable achievement of humankind.

The biggest increase in life expectancy has come in Africa. Two-thirds of the world's older persons live in developing regions and their numbers are growing faster there than in developed regions.

Aging story by the numbers:

  • Two people every second celebrate their 60th birthday.
  • By 2050, the global population of those aged 60 and older will reach 2.1 billion.
  • The fastest growing age cohort is those 80 and older.
  • Today, a 10-year-old born in Canada, Italy, France or the United States has a 50 per cent chance of living to at least 104 years.
  • Between 2000 and 2015, the number of people aged 60 and older increased by 68 per cent in urban areas, compared to a 25 per cent increase in rural areas.
  • In the United States alone, $7.6 trillion in annual economic activity is generated by people over the age of 50.

Source: AARP International: The Journal 2017