St. Simeon Skete, Taylorsville Kentucky USA

With St. Simeon, the God receiver, as our patron, the skete seeks to practice the ideals found in our Rule, The Thousand Day Nazareth. In simplicity and poverty, the skete embraces the struggle of inner life through the practice of the Prayer Rope.

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Donations should be addressed to: Nazareth House Apostolate, 185 Captains Cove Drive, Taylorsville, Kentucky 40071.

Important Notice: All writings, posts, graphics & photographs in this blog are the copyrighted property of (unless otherwise indicated) Nazareth House Media, a division of Nazareth House Apostolate and cannot be copied, printed or used without written permission from NHA Media, Taylorsville, KY.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Monday News...

Our director, James Mansaray in Freetown Sierra Leone has reported that Mako continues to improve, thanks to Cipro. Mako, a promising law student in Sierra Leone, suddenly fell ill with a mysterious illness. He lost use of his legs but is now beginning to recover. His body desperately needs vitamins which we hope to send his way this week.

James also reports that Pa Foday (supervisor for the school we are building in Kabala, Sierra Leone) called Friday to say that the last sheet of zinc was placed on the roof of the school (completing the roofing portion of the project) just as a heavy rainstorm beat down on it; initiating it for its purpose - shelter from the weather! The walls and floors are the next work. Painting, furnishing and supplies will follow. We are getting there, little by little we are closer to the Grand Opening Day for Nazareth House School, Kabala.

Those who received a DVD, you will notice the hard labor (with no conveniences or proper tools) that this accomplishment has resulted from. The men having to break up all the large rocks from the land - huge boulders - by hand with a sledge hammer. It is amazing the tireless effort these people have put into this work - by their blood, sweat and tears. For more video coverage of the building work of the school click on this link:

Nazareth House Apostolate sees the news reported in the following article as seriously harmful to those we serve, and is in process of preparing ways to offset such pending doom for those already struggling to find enough food to daily eat. In Kabala, Pa Foday has been growing rice for some years, enough to feed the village. We are in process of working with Pa Foday to examine the costs of expanding the rice farm to provide daily sustenance to more people and also examine the statistics of his Kabala rice being used as a possible source of income - selling the rice at fair & reasonable prices to those who are able to afford to buy it. Local rice vs Imported rice -there is no comparison, the local tastes much better. Water is the next serious necessity that as scarce as it is in some places currently soon it will be unobtainable for those in 3rd world countries. We hope to eventually build a well for the school and the village it serves as well as other places.

World Bank echoes food cost alarm
Robert Zoellick - 13/4/2008
Mr Zoellick called for a "new deal" to help ward off a food crisis

The rapid rise in food prices could push 100 million people in poor countries deeper into poverty, World Bank head, Robert Zoellick, has said.

His warning follows that from the leader of the International Monetary Fund, who said hundreds of thousands of people were at risk of starvation.

Mr Zoellick proposed an action plan to boost long-run agricultural production.

There have been food riots recently in a number of countries, including Haiti, the Philippines and Egypt.

"Based on a rough analysis, we estimate that a doubling of food prices over the last three years could potentially push 100 million people in low-income countries deeper into poverty," Mr Zoellick said.

His proposal for a "new deal" to tackle the international food crisis was endorsed by the World Bank's steering committee of finance and development ministers at a meeting in Washington.

The World Bank and its sister organisation, the IMF have held a weekend of meetings that addressed rising food and energy prices as well as the credit crisis upsetting global financial markets.

Spiralling inflation

Food prices have risen sharply in recent months, driven by increased demand, poor weather in some countries that has ruined crops and an increase in the use of land to grow crops for transport fuels.

Wheat: 130%
Soya: 87%
Rice: 74%
Corn: 31%
Time: Year to March 2008
Source: Bloomberg

Food costs: facts & figures

The price of staple crops such as wheat, rice and corn have all risen, leading to an increase in overall food prices of 83% in the last three years, the World Bank has said.

The sharp rises have led to protests and unrest in many countries, including Egypt, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, the Philippines and Indonesia.

In Haiti, protests last week turned violent, leading to the deaths of five people and the fall of the government.

Restrictions on rice exports have been put in place in major producing countries such as India, China, Vietnam and Egypt.

Importers such as Bangladesh, the Philippines and Afghanistan have been hit hard.

"We have to put out money where our mouth is now so that we can put food into hungry mouths," Mr Zoellick said. "It's as stark as that."

He called for more aid to provide food to needy people in poor countries and help for small farmers. He said the World Bank was working to provide money for seeds for planting in the new season.

He also urged wealthy donor countries to quickly fill the World Food Programme's estimated $500m (£250m) funding shortfall.

Mr Zoellick's "New Deal for Global Food Policy" also seeks to boost agricultural policy in poor countries in the longer-term.

On Saturday, the head of the IMF, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, warned of mass starvation and other dire consequences if food prices continue to rise sharply.

"As we know, learning from the past, those kind of questions sometimes end in war," he said.