– Advertisement – That outside website that “Stop the Steal” used Facebook to funnel people to was registered by a conservative digital consulting firm, Liberty Lab. Stop the Steal’s website and Facebook page also suggest links to the group “Women for America First,” which is led by the former chief executive of the Tea Party Express. Women for America First was started to protest Trump’s impeachment.Facebook’s policy on post-election claims would seem to bar Stop the Steal on multiple grounds, and apparently the company did conclude that it couldn’t host that. Just not until the group had hundreds of thousands of members. In moments like these, it’s always worth remembering that Joel Kaplan, Facebook’s vice president of global public policy, was a key participant in the 2000 Brooks Brothers riot.- Advertisement –
Morocco extended on Thursday an emergency decree until Aug. 10 giving local authorities leeway in taking restrictive measures in response to the coronavirus outbreak.The cabinet maintained the decree in force to allow for restoring lockdowns on a region-by-region basis depending on the coronavirus developments.Morocco has unlocked since June 25 most of the economy allowing cafes, restaurants, sports clubs, and other services and entertainment businesses to resume activity at half capacity except in the provinces where infections remain higher such as Tangier, Marrakech and Safi. Domestic travel has resumed, while borders are set to reopen on July 14 to nationals in addition to foreign residents and their families.By Thursday evening, Morocco had recorded 15079 cases, including 242 deaths and 11447 recoveries with total tests rising to 835,264.Outbreaks within industrial clusters have complicated Morocco’s efforts to counter the coronavirus with the latest major outbreak earlier this week found among workers of fish canneries in Safi.The pandemic has hit Morocco’s finances as the government expects a budget deficit of 7.5% and economic growth at -5%.Topics :
BATESVILLE, Ind. — The Batesville Water Utility will be flushing water mains tomorrow and Friday.This flushing can significantly lower the water pressure in the area where the flushing occurs.The procedure is done to remove sediment from the mains and improve the water quality, which officials say is the utility’s primary concern.During flushing the sediment in the pipes will break loose from the walls and can cause a dark color in the water which can stain clothing and makes the water unsightly to drink.The main problem customers will notice will be the fluctuations in water pressure.If you have questions or concerns, call the Batesville Water Utility at 934-3811.
Associated Press Television News COMMENT FOLLOW US Last Updated: 28th August, 2020 08:19 IST Panthers’ Offense May Resemble Saints With Bridgewater At QB The Carolina Panthers’ offense could look a lot like the division champion New Orleans Saints this season. That means short, quick-hitting passes underneath and creating catch-and-run opportunities for receivers First Published: 28th August, 2020 08:19 IST WATCH US LIVE Written By SUBSCRIBE TO US LIVE TV If you can’t beat ‘em, borrow from them.The Carolina Panthers’ offense could look a lot like the division champion New Orleans Saints this season. That means short, quick-hitting passes underneath and creating catch-and-run opportunities for receivers.New starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater spent two seasons working behind Drew Brees in New Orleans, including one year there with Joe Brady, now Carolina’s offensive coordinator. Both have extensive knowledge of how the Saints’ system works.“Teddy, for us, is exactly what we want,” said energetic first-year coach Matt Rhule , who inherits a major rebuilding project in Carolina. “This offense in general, when you look at in New Orleans, that iteration of it where Joe first learned it, is not necessarily a vertical, down-the-field passing game as much as it is a catch-and-run, underneath, matchup-type passing game.”The Panthers would seem to have the personnel to pull it off.They’ve compiled a track team of sorts on offense with running back Christian McCaffrey and wide receivers D.J. Moore , Curtis Samuel and newcomer Robby Anderson all with big-time playmaking ability. They all can beat you deep, and Rhule wouldn’t rule out the Panthers often testing those waters, saying “Teddy’s got a great arm.”Bridgewater replaces Cam Newton and is hoping to complete a comeback of sorts and cement his role as a full-time NFL starter.He started his first two seasons with the Vikings before a devastating knee injury during training camp in 2016 essentially sidelined him completely for two years. He’s spent the past two years backing up Brees in New Orleans, going 5-0 as a starter in 2019 after Brees injured his thumb.Though the Panthers run a scheme similar to the Saints, Bridgewater said he plans to do things his way.“One of the biggest problems I had my first year in New Orleans was I wanted to be like Drew. I had to do everything Drew did in order to have success like Drew,” Bridgewater said. “But eventually, I learned that Drew Brees is Drew Brees. I’m Teddy Bridgewater. Cam Newton is Cam Newton.”So I can’t go out there and try to be something that I’m not. I play the game the way I play it. I carry myself the way I carry myself, and I’m going to live and die by that.”LEADERS NEEDEDThe Panthers have parted with several familiar high-profile players as part of a rebuilding project including Newton, perennial Pro Bowl linebacker Luke Kuechly (early retirement), defensive end Mario Addison, safety Eric Reid, defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, cornerback James Bradberry and guard Trai Turner, among others. That means Rhule will be looking for new leaders to emerge and guide a young team into the future.McCAFFREY’S ENCOREOne player the Panthers didn’t get rid of was All-Pro McCaffrey, now clearly the face of this franchise. He became only the third player in NFL history with 1,000 yards rushing and receiving in 2019, and earned himself a four-year, $64 million extension. He’s been used extensively over the first three seasons, so will Brady limit his reps to cut down on wear and tear? The Panthers don’t seem to be backing off McCaffrey’s workload as Rhule said he is considering using him as a punt returner in special situations. McCaffrey said he doesn’t care how much he plays; he just wants to win.YOUNG DEFENSEThe Panthers are expected to have the youngest defense in the league with an average age of slightly more than 23 years old. So it’s quite possible they will struggle under first-year coordinator Phil Snow , especially given they’re playing in a division with quarterbacks Tom Brady, Brees and Matt Ryan. Carolina gave up the second-most points in the league last season (29.4), so it might be wrong to expect a dramatic turnaround. This will be more a work in progress.That said, Rhule is hoping the foundation is set with two big defensive tackles in two-time Pro Bowler Kawann Short and first-round draft pick Derrick Brown setting the tempo up front. “They’re going to take up a lot of attention, and hopefully I’m going to have a lot of one on ones on the outside,” said second-year defensive end Brian Burns.VERSATILE PLAYERSThe Panthers used all seven draft picks on defense , knowing they needed an infusion of youth on that side of the ball. There was one common element throughout that process: versatility.Rhule purposely drafted players such as defensive back Jeremy Chinn, who has the ability to cover tight ends, add run support as a linebacker and even line up on the defensive line.SPECIAL TEAMS CHANGESCarolina’s special teams will look different this year as well. The Panthers parted with longtime kicker Graham Gano , who missed all of last season with a knee injury. They’ll go with Joey Slye instead.Punter Michael Palardy injured his knee and has been placed on injured reserve, creating competition there. And,the Panthers brought in Pharoh Cooper to assume punt returning duties.Image credits: AP
Image Courtesy: Live HindustanAdvertisement 3zeoNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vsx7tWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E9h4o( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) 3knj8oWould you ever consider trying this?😱92Can your students do this? 🌚2kqRoller skating! Powered by Firework Pakistan are set to kick off their World Test Championship in pretty adverse conditions as they face Australia away from home. The biggest ordeal that the new looking Pakistan attack will face is to topple the No.1 ranked Test batsman Steve Smith.Advertisement Image Courtesy: Live HindustanWasim Akram knows a thing or two about bowling to greats and he has offered his two cents to the bowling attack on the approach to bowl to the former Aussie skipper.The left-arm pacer feels that the bowlers cannot cloud their instinct and plans based on Smith’s movement or stance. Akram added:Advertisement “Concentrate on what you want, don’t follow his stance, his movement and go for your plans and not his”The former Pakistani pacer claimed that Smith is very different from all the greats he has bowled to over the course of his illustrious career.Advertisement Read Also:Sourav Ganguly reveals first 4 days of D/N Test has been sold outPETA honours Virat Kohli for animal empowerment Advertisement
Tips for Coping with Holiday Stress:Accept that emotions will varyLet the sadness in and then breathe it outLearn to say no to what you cannot or do not want to doReach outSet aside differencesPractice healthy habitsSet boundariesStick to a budgetSimplifyAcknowledge your feelings and the feelings of othersReduce your toxinsAvoid getting overwhelmedAllow supportCreate new traditionsSeek professional help if you need itThere is no cure for the “holiday blues,” but it is possible to lift your spirits. The key seems to be in self-care. Though others may disappoint you and the magic of the season may elude you, be mindful not to get lost in the sadness. The Dalai Lama said, “Happiness is not something that is ready made. It comes from your own actions.” Finding the happy in the holidays may be difficult; however, if you reduce your expectations and give yourself what you need, you just might chase away some of the blues.Carol L. Veizer, MA, ACS, NCC, LPC has over 28 years of experience as a mental health clinician. She specializes in integrative mental health. Carol is founder and director of the NJ Center for the Healing Arts in Red Bank, one of the country’s first integrative mental health centers. She is a licensed professional counselor, a boarded clinical supervisor and a national continuing education provider. For information visit www.njcha.org. Factors that may place someone at a high risk for this condition or be a warning that there is a more serious condition:A death in the familySeparation from loved onesDiagnosis of a serious health conditionSerious financial circumstances such as unemployment or foreclosureDifficulty concentrating or making decisionsLoss of interest in things that usually bring pleasureConstantly feeling sad or “empty”Excessive guilt or worthlessnessThoughts of death or self-harmWarning SignsThere are warning signs that can alert you that your mind and body are reacting to increased stress. These may include mental confusion, a sense that your heart is pounding, nervous tics, dryness in your mouth, restlessness, and an urge to cry.Coping with stress and depression during the holidays is challenging. Be careful about unrealistic expectations that may result in disappointments. Remember that things can go wrong even in the midst of a holiday. Keep things in perspective. Be present and stay mindful. Bring to each situation the energy you wish to receive. Here are some tips for lifting your spirits and making the best of the holidays. By Carol L. VeizerThe holidays are here, and though we are supposed to be “merry and bright,” many people are lonely, sad, irritable, anxious, and downright blue (thus the term, “holiday blues”). The over-commercialization of Christmas has a downside. While some experience the season as joyful, cheerful, magical and a time to gather with family and friends, others feel a sense of emptiness as they reflect on past failures, uncertain futures, financial concerns, and the absence of a support system. There are many factors that contribute to the ‘the blues,’ including environment, overindulging, overspending, isolation, and unrealistic expectations. The “holiday blues” can show up before and/or after the holidays but should be relatively short in duration. If the symptoms last for more than a few weeks, it is important to seek the help of a healthcare professional to rule out a more serious mental health condition such as depression.What causes the Holiday Blues?It is a darker time of year. As the days grow shorter in the fall, we have less exposure to the sun. Some people suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Those with SAD might be more inclined to suffer as well from the “holiday blues.” The demands of shopping, overeating and excessive drinking have an impact on the mind and body. Both mood and sleep can be affected. Stress also builds as a result of financial pressure. When pressure from outside circumstances are compounded by psychological issues that come from expectations associated with family, gifts, and the hope for peace on earth, tension builds on the inside. As a result, symptoms may arise.What are the symptoms?The following symptoms are frequently associated with the holiday blues:FatigueChanges in sleep patterns (too much or too little sleep)Irritability or persistent headachesChronic pain that does not respond to treatmentWeight loss or gainIncreased financial pressure
By Kyle DePontesTINTON FALLS – A new era is set to begin in New Jersey Youth Soccer. The New Jersey Cedar Stars Academy has broken ground on a new, $25 million sports facility in Tinton Falls. The Capelli Sports Complex will be located on the west side of Wayside Road, with the Garden State Parkway on the south. Built exclusively for NJCSA players, the complex will have five outdoor soccer fields with lighting including two synthetic turf soccer fields as well as a 140,000 square foot indoor complex that will have an indoor soccer field as well as a long list of other amenities including locker rooms, basketball courts, a rock climbing wall and a gym. The two outdoor turf fields are phase one of the construction and are set to be completed this fall. Saddle River resident George Altirs, the founder of the clothing manufacturer Capelli Sport, will finance the project.Altirs has long been prominent in the New Jersey soccer community. In 2014, Altirs donated nearly $500,000 to install new artificial turf for Saint Benedict’s soccer program in Newark, and in 2011 he turned one of his Capelli warehouses in Carlstadt into topnotch indoor fields. But Altirs’ plans for the Cedar Stars extends far beyond an expensive soccer facility. Already, the academy has appointed a new youth academy director, and is attracting some of the best players and coaches in the area.New Jersey has a rich soccer history and has long been a hotbed of soccer development. Beginning in the 1980s, northern Jersey produced some of the United States most valuable players, including World Cup stars Tony Meola, John Harkes, and Tab Ramos, all of whom hailed from Kearny, and Claudio Reyna, who grew up in Livingston, and who captained the U.S. national team in the 1998 and 2002 World Cups. The current Men’s National Team captain, Michael Bradley, spent his childhood in Pennington, while his father was the head coach for Princeton University. And Tim Howard, considered by many to be the best U.S. goalie ever, and who gained legendary status when his 15 saves against Belgium in the 2014 World Cup broke an international record, grew up in North Brunswick. On the Women’s National Team, key players and 2015 World Cup winners Heather O’Reilly and Tobin Heath hail from East Brunswick and Basking Ridge respectively. Carli Lloyd, who received the Golden Ball as the best player in the 2015 Women’s World Cup, was born and raised in Delran.Today, more and more kids are playing soccer, and the U.S. participation in recent World Cups, as well as the success of Major League Soccer has sparked a renewed interest in the game. NBC’s new multi-million dollar deal to broadcast the English Premier League, widely considered one of the best leagues in the world, has also had an impact in marketing the game to Americans. Soccer is now considered “cool” again among younger generations, and with the decline of youth participation in baseball, as well as the recent concussion crisis in the NFL, many parents are opting to place their kids in soccer.The site where the new soccer compex will be situated in Tinton Falls.The statistics support this. In 1974, US Youth Soccer recorded 103,432 registered youth soccer players. In 2014, there were 3,055,148 registered youth players, over 29 times the amount in 1974. Amazingly, tiny New Jersey and Massachusetts led the way in youth participation, surpassing not only their region, but also every other state, in some states by over 100,000 players. In 2014, New Jersey boasted 151,000 registered youth soccer players.But for many parents, driving sons and daughters to games can be tiresome, especially when their kids are failing to get the proper coaching and exposure needed to make it to the next level. In recent years, however, many parents are opting for an alternative to the traditional club model – the soccer academy.“Academy soccer has more to do with training time than traveling,” said Tab Ramos, the President and Technical Director of NJCSA, echoing the popular European model of development that has now gained traction in the U.S. “In the past, U.S. kids might have trained one or two days a week, with multiple games on weekends. Now we train four days a week with one game.”Soccer academies, which are organizations that attract top-notch coaches and players from many different towns and are dedicated almost exclusively to training, were almost unheard of PDA (Player Development Academy) was founded in Bernardsville. Ramos, now the assistant coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team and arguably the best American soccer player ever, set his sights on a new project after a lengthy career in Mexico, Spain, and the United States. In 2004 Ramos helped found NJSA 04 (New Jersey Soccer Academy), which in the initial stages combined players from Freehold, Howell, and Holmdel. NJSA 04 saw tremendous success at an early stage, with its U-15 team known as The Gunners, capturing a national championship in 2008. But even as late as 2008, there were still no real distinctions between academies and regular travel teams.Although academies theoretically attracted better coaches and players, they still competed against town teams and took part in some of the same competitions. It was not until late 2008 that U.S. soccer stepped in to form the “Development Academy,” a massive organization containing every academy team in the country. The Development Academy is a partnership between U.S. Soccer and the top youth clubs around the country to provide the best youth players in the U.S. with an everyday environment designed to produce the next generation of National Team players. The league is comprised of 77 teams from around the country, with ten divisions and four conferences. Each team will play around 30 games a year. While the light game schedule appeals to many parents, some remain hesitant over placing kids in an academy, especially since U.S. Soccer prohibits academy players from participating in any events outside of the Developmental Academy or National Team. This means no high school soccer. But the exposure that academies offer more than makes up for it.“Eighty-nine percent of Youth National Team Call Ups come from the Academy. If you’re not on a Developmental Academy club you have minimal chance of being called to the National Team” said Ramos. It’s also no mystery that college coaches favor academies. In 2013, 17 players on NJSA 04’s U18 team went on to play soccer at Division One universities. “High school soccer is fun,” said Justin McStay, a member of the NJCSA U-15/16 team. “But the level of play in academy is very high and it has more competition than high school. A lot of college coaches also look through the academies.”Cost is another factor that most parents consider when choosing a team, but at academies this is a non-issue. That’s because for players on a team within the Developmental Academy, soccer is free. At NJCSA, parents do not pay anything for boys on the U-18 and U-16 academy teams. NJCSA has applied for the Girls Developmental Academy, so starting next year U-18 and U-16 girls academy teams at NJCSA will also be free. This does not mean that every team within NJCSA is free, there are still a number of pre-academy boys teams, and girls’ teams outside the Development Academy and parents can expect to pay around $1600-$2400 for the entire season.Next year there will be further developments at NJCSA. Currently, NJCSA has three branches in New Jersey: Monmouth, Bergen County, and Newark. And the academy will soon be branching out to Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Orange County, New York. In the coming years, NJCSA plans on adding more age groups, such as U-12, and also incorporating their girls teams into the Development Academy. What ever direction, the academy chooses to go in, the future looks bright.
McKenna was concerned about the diversion of traffic towards Monmouth Day Care, 9 Drs. James Parker Blvd., and to Park Place, which accesses Count Basie Park.“This is a street that wasn’t even discussed,” McKenna said about Park Place. “We have a very large recreation area immediately adjacent to this site and we are being asked to accept, as a municipality, additional street traffic.” RED BANK – Plans to construct a full service “super-convenience” Wawa at one of Monmouth County’s most congested intersections have hit a sort of traffic jam, as lawyers and detractors tell of how the plan could further clog up the area.The property in question is a 1.7-acre, triangular-shaped property now occupied by an Auto Exotica showroom and used cars sales lot, located at 6 Newman Springs Road. The notoriously congested five-leg intersection is fed by a steady river of cars daily from Newman Springs Road, Maple Avenue, Broad Street and Route 35, and includes a gated NJ Transit rail line crossing as well. The New Jersey Department of Transportation has given the area a service level of “F” – the worst possible rating.The current property owner, A&B Holdings, seeks to lease the property to Wawa to build a 5,585-square-foot convenience store with 12 associated fuel pumps for gasoline and diesel fuel. Cars would be able to access the site from Newman Springs Road only – there’s one entrance-only lane on the eastern end of the property, and then a “right-in, right-out, left-in” driveway on the western end. Left turns out of the property, heading east on Newman Springs Road, would be prohibited.After hours of testimony at its first hearing before the Red Bank Zoning Board in February, lawyers and traffic engineers used up another three hours on March 1 as they went back and forth about its impact to residential Red Bank streets and Shrewsbury roadways.“I think this is a perfect site for this application,” said John Rea of McDonough & Rea Associates in Manasquan, the traffic engineer hired by the applicant. “It’s going to serve a lot of people that need these services.”But a throng of lawyers fighting to stop the construction of the Wawa couldn’t disagree more, saying that the use could flood more cars onto the roadways than they can handle.“We’re talking about a major impact putting a ton of cars out into a residential district of Red Bank,” said lawyer Edward J. McKenna Jr., a former mayor of Red Bank, who is representing Gulshan Chhabra, who owns the Exxon at 220 Newman Springs Road.Also litigating against the Wawa are Red Bank-based lawyer Michael Convery, representing Christopher Cole, managing partner of the commercial development company Metrovation, which owns The Grove, The Grove West, and a shopping center at 89 Newman Springs Road. The other lawyer present was Corey Klein, representing Outfront Media, LLC., which owns billboard signs on the NJ Transit right-of-way just next to Auto Exotica. Klein is with Sills, Cummis & Gross, P.C., a law firm with offices in New York and Jersey.Rea had testified that the Wawa would have an “insignificant” impact to streets near that Red Bank/Shrewsbury border. At the peak hours, from 7 to 9 a.m. and from 4 to 6 p.m., Rea anticipates 252 site visits in the morning time frame. Using the newest data from the Institute of Traffic Engineers, Rea said 76 percent of all traffic to Wawa would be “pass by,” meaning traffic already on those roads. Only 24 percent would be categorized as new traffic. Shrewsbury Borough’s governing body has also taken a position on the Wawa project. They sent a letter to the Red Bank Zoning Board and the Monmouth County Division of Planning on Feb. 20 detailing how the proposed gas station and convenience store “are likely to exact adverse impacts to local roadways and individual properties.”McKenna and Convery said they will present their own traffic expert at the next zoning board meeting, set for April 5.This article first appeared in the March 8-15, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times. By Jay Cook | In essence, he said, it would only add one car to the end of a traffic queue waiting to get through the intersection at peak hours.He also testified that there had been only 25 accidents reported to the Red Bank Police Department since 2015 between Broad Street and Henry Street. They were mostly fender-benders, side swipes or T-bone collisions.Rea did call the site “unique” considering its proximity to the NJ Transit rail line, where he said motorists at times can get stuck for nearly 3 minutes waiting through multiple traffic cycles. About 65 trains pass that location daily.“If not here, then where in Red Bank?” Rea asked. McKenna pressed Rea for over an hour on Thursday evening about how possible cut-through traffic could be a detriment to many of the West Side side streets used to feed motorists back towards Route 35 South. According to Rea, cars would make a right turn out of the Wawa, a right onto Henry Street, another right onto Drs. James Parker Boulevard, and then a fourth right turn onto Maple Avenue.
Nkosi Johnson was 11 years old when he stood up in front of 10 000 people to tell them his storyNkosi Johnson’s mother never said goodbye to him when she died. This affected the 8-year-old boy deeply, so much so that he wanted to start a home so that Aids-infected mothers and children could stay together.Johnson was born with HIV, and died of Aids in 2001; he was just 12 years old. He gave a human face to Aids in South Africa and the world, at a time when it was still a taboo topic in the country. Today it still carries stigma, and women are chased out of their homes by their families or their husbands if they reveal their HIV status.In mid-2000, a year before he died, Nkosi delivered his self-penned address to 10 000 delegates at the 13th International Aids Conference in Durban, broadcast to over 60 million worldwide. A tiny 11-year-old figure, dressed in a suit, held the microphone in his small hand, and said: “Hi, My name is Nkosi Johnson. I live in Melville, Johannesburg, South Africa. I am 11 years old and I have full-blown Aids. I was born HIV-positive.” Later that year he delivered the same speech at an Aids conference in Atlanta, Georgia.He was taken home as a 3-year-old by Gail Johnson, who at the time was a founder member of the Guest House, an Aids care home in Houghton, Johannesburg. She took him home when the home closed. His mother, Nonthlanthla Daphne Nkosi, was still able to care for him but she feared that his and her status would become known in the township where she lived, Daveyton, east of Joburg. She had passed the virus on to him, in the days before mothers were given antiretroviral (ARV) treatment during childbirth; this is no longer the case in South Africa.At her funeral Nkosi was introduced to a man whom he was told was his father. “He became overwhelmed, and fell on his knees and cried,” says Johnson. The father was asked whether he was taking Nkosi home. Nkosi asked Johnson: “Why wasn’t my father living with my mother and looking after us?”There was no answer to this – instead, Johnson’s husband became his daddy. Johnson was asked to take home Nkosi’s older sister, but this never happened.Nkosi said in his speech: “Ever since the funeral, I have been missing my mommy lots and I wish she was with me, but I know she is in heaven. And she is on my shoulder watching over me and in my heart.”Johnson had to answer his question: “Does everyone who has Aids die?” She told him “yes, because there is no cure”, but added that you could die from a shotgun wound, or be knocked down by a car, “but we’ve got to fight it”. This was in 1997 before ARVs were available in the country, and Aids was a death sentence.And the two of them did, through good nutrition. Johnson says he was never ill, except for an ear infection, and pneumonia, from which he recovered. By the end of 2000 he had become so weak and tired – of taking the medication, of having had diarrhoea for a year, and eventually, of forgetting words because the virus was attacking his brain. He started having seizures, and eventually went into a coma, after which he woke occasionally but never spoke again. He was by then “a little wizened old man of 8.5kg”, said Johnson.He said in his speech: “I hate having Aids because I get very sick and I get very sad when I think of all the other children and babies that are sick with Aids.”ANOTHER LITTLE BOYGail Johnson and Nkosi had 8½ years together before he died at the age of 12 (Images: Gail Johnson)Johnson shared nine and a half years of Nkosi’s short life, and what helped her towards the end was that another little boy had entered her life. She brought home Thabo, an abandoned child, when he was four days old, three days before Nkosi went into a coma, and some six months before he died.“Thabo was my balance,” she says. “He was a brand new little thing who was thriving. He brought a semblance of normality.” Thabo is now 13, and he doesn’t have HIV. Johnson says that Nkosi would be 24 years old now, if he’d lived. Her own children are 44 and 33.She recounts that both were quiet kids, both were undemanding, and both were concerned for her. While Thabo has a “divine sense of humour”, Nkosi could be mischievous. “If he had done something wrong, he would bring me a glass of wine, or run a bath for me.”Both Nkosi and Thabo were dreamers, she explains. Nkosi used to dream big.“He used to wonder what happened to other infected children,” recalls Johnson, after Nkosi lost his mother. “He said: ‘Should we start something for moms and kids, to keep them together’.”NKOSI’S HAVENNkosi Johnson’s grave sits in the avenue of graves in Heroes’ Acre at the Westpark Cemetery in JohannesburgJohnson started Nkosi’s Haven in 1999 in the inner city suburb of Berea, in a house. Today the haven – a collection of buildings on a hill where you can hear the birds singing and see the wide blue sky – is on 2.5 acres of land in Alan Manor in southern Joburg. Children’s happy laughter sounds from swings, or atop skateboards as they whizz down the hill.There is a small sports area where the kids play soccer, basketball, netball and volleyball. The children can develop their creativity in the music and art room, the computer room, or the dance hall. A library is also dotted among the buildings. A large recreation room is filled with colourful couches and chairs, and a TV keeps the under-10s occupied with a children’s film during the school holidays.Children and adults smile happily, walking between the colourful buildings, and greet a visitor cheerfully.Nkosi’s Haven is a safe place for destitute infected mothers and their children. It is home to 22 mothers and 124 children. All mothers are HIV-positive and on antiretroviral treatment, while 35 children are HIV-positive, and take a daily ARV dose. Seventy-two of the 124 children are orphans.Some of the mothers work in the onsite bakery, the kitchen and the laundry. Johnson employs 12 permanent child care workers, a resident manager, two drivers, three administration staff, and four women in the sick bay. She has part timers and volunteers working as play and art therapists.Some of the mothers dropped out of school in grades 5, 6 or 7, as “problem daughters”, who were infected, and rejected by their families. Although the haven offers a permanent home to them, they are free to leave at any stage. Some are on the government waiting list for a house, and some work at the home.“I won’t let them go to a shack in a squatter camp. They must be able to maintain themselves – it’s pointless letting someone go if she’s going to crash,” says Johnson.The haven pays for the children’s education, and Johnson proudly lists the success stories. One is finishing a bachelor of commerce degree; another is a final year student finishing a degree in human resources. Another is in second year, studying sports management. Two students are studying tourism. Two each own a taxi, another is a manager at fast food delivery service Mr Delivery, and one is a receptionist.Nkosi’s Haven, an NGO, doesn’t qualify for a government subsidy, and relies entirely on sponsors and donations. Johnson spends a fair amount of her time fundraising, to meet the costs of running the home, at R5-million a year, of which R1.9-million is spent on education.DEMANDS OF THE JOBChildren sit amidst colourful couches, watching a movie, at Nkosi’s Haven (Images: Lucille Davie)Despite the demands of the job, she couldn’t see herself doing anything else, and at 65, doesn’t see herself retiring. “I would go mental if I retire,” she says, adding that she finds it hard to “just chill out on holiday”.When asked where she gets the energy to do what she does, she replies: “I just do things and I don’t know why. If someone needs help then I must do it.”Looking back she says she has always been like this. When she was seven years old, the family’s domestic worker’s baby nearly died, and she thinks this might have triggered a need in her.Nkosi ended his speech back in 2000 with these words: “When I grow up, I want to lecture to more and more people about Aids – and if mommy Gail will let me, around the whole country. I want people to understand about Aids – to be careful and respect Aids – you can’t get Aids if you touch, hug, kiss, hold hands with someone who is infected.“Care for us and accept us – we are all human beings.”The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/Aids, UNAids, estimates that in 2012 there were 6.1 million South Africans living with HIV. There are 410 000 children up to the age of 14 living with the virus, and 2.5 million children orphaned by Aids in the country. In 2012, 240 000 people died of Aids.Nkosi is buried in the Heroes’ Acre at the Westpark Cemetery in Johannesburg. His tombstone reads:“To the world you were an iconTo Africa you were a heroTo South Africa you were the face of Aids and a warriorTo me, you were my sonRest in peace, KosiI love you and miss you.momFirst published on Media Club South Africa – the Brand South Africa media service
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest It’s week two of Feeding Farmers in the Field and we are in Auglaize County on the Pohlman Family farm. Dale visits with Austin Pohlman about the growing conditions around the area this year and how harvest is shaping up.