It’s shoebox appeal season again so please take a moment to consider these points:

- I have seen with my own eyes how very rich children are given showboxes for attending “the right church” (evangelical) while very poor children have received nothing because they attend Catholic church or no church. Boxes do not necessarily go to the neediest children.

- It would be better for the environment and local economies for toys to be bought for the kids out in their communities rather than from supermarkets in rich countries.

- When the boxes do reach needy kids, we should remember that children with little or no access to dental care do not need sweets and in certain urban areas, many people already have a high consumption of sugar.

I used to be a big believer in shoeboxes but my opinion has changed big-time over the years.



The pink river dolphin (Inia geoffrensis), also called the Amazon river dolphin, is the largest freshwater dolphin in the world. Its lifespan is only around thirty or forty years of age and this legend, along with others, has unfortunately put the species’ continuation at risk. Certain ethnic groups also believe that the teeth and eyes of the pink dolphins have magical powers and so have hunted them.

However, whatever risk these legends have caused is nothing in comparison to what the modern world has done to the aquatic mammals. They have been affected by large-scale fishing, the oil industry, deforestation, gold mining and waste disposal.

Once, pink dolphins were amongst some of the least threatened dolphin species in the world, but with the onset of industry in the Amazon region, they have now become one of the most threatened.



Helen Pugh

#Inca history where #women take centre stage! Ebooks & paperbacks for kids + adults in English & español. She/her #womenshistory #SouthAmerica.