27.10.2011., četvrtak



Floor Covering News

floor covering news

    floor covering
  • floor cover: a covering for a floor

  • Finish material installed over floor deck, i.e., carpet, tile, etc.

  • information reported in a newspaper or news magazine; "the news of my death was greatly exaggerated"

  • Information not previously known to someone

  • A broadcast or published report of news

  • information about recent and important events; "they awaited news of the outcome"

  • news program: a program devoted to current events, often using interviews and commentary; "we watch the 7 o'clock news every night"

  • Newly received or noteworthy information, esp. about recent or important events

floor covering news - Fabulous Floorcloths

Fabulous Floorcloths

Fabulous Floorcloths

Create distinctive floor coverings to match your home's decor
Canvas floorcloths are an inexpensive way to add style and beauty to any room in the house.
Whether your style is contemporary or Victorian, elegant or whimsical, a custom

If you want to create an exciting focal point for a room or disguise a boring floor, a colorful floorcloth may be the solution. Created from heavy canvas and adorned with paint, stencils, stamps, paper decoupage, or fabric applique, a floorcloth can be a simple accent or a work of art. Consult this book for excellent directions on materials, preparation, finishing, and an array of decorative techniques. The 15 step-by-step projects are divided into simple, intermediate, and advanced, so you can jump in at whatever skill level feels comfortable. Greet visitors with a stenciled welcome mat bordered with paper-napkin decoupage, perk up a bedroom with a Victorian lace design made by spray painting over paper doilies to form the delicate pattern, step into a pool of light with a circle of faux stained glass, or bedeck a table with a runner sporting classical Greek figures. The designs are pleasant and the color illustrations adequate; more photos of the finished floorcloths in actual rooms would have been nice to give a better sense of scale and context. But the thorough instructions and smattering of helpful tips make the book worthwhile. --Amy Handy

Create distinctive floor coverings to match your home's decor
Canvas floorcloths are an inexpensive way to add style and beauty to any room in the house.
Whether your style is contemporary or Victorian, elegant or whimsical, a custom

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UNHCR News Story: Pakistan helping communities that have hosted Afghan refugees

UNHCR News Story: Pakistan helping communities that have hosted Afghan refugees

A resident of Ferozai Kan village in Balochistan, Pakistan tends to two solar panels which power the area's water supply.
UNHCR/ T. Irwin / August 2011

Pakistan helping communities that have hosted Afghan refugees

FEROZAI KAN, Pakistan, August 24 (UNHCR) – In a region where sunshine is plentiful but rain is scarce, the use of solar power to pump groundwater is providing an innovative solution for thousands of people living in arid and remote villages in Balochistan in southern Pakistan.

Two gleaming solar panels look out of place surrounded by the mud homes that make up the village of Ferozai Kan, around 100 kilometres north-west of the provincial capital, Quetta. Since February, the panels have been powering a pump that carries water from a deep underground well to large plastic containers.

The well is the only source of water for Ferozai Kan as well as for several nearby villages and, until the solar pump was completed, retrieving water meant heaving a rope attached to a bucket up from the well floor – over and over again. In the conservative culture of rural Balochistan, the twice daily chore of fetching water is traditionally seen as women's work.

The solar project is part of a joint programme between the government of Pakistan and several UN agencies, among them UNHCR, to provide developmental assistance to communities that have hosted Afghan refugees.

Projects implemented under the Refugee Affected and Hosting Areas (RAHA) initiative are designed to improve the lives of people living in locations that have been impacted by the 30-year presence of Afghan refugees in Pakistan. By addressing the needs of host communities as well as those of the refugees, the RAHA programme seeks to promote coexistence and social cohesion.

"While the RAHA programme engenders goodwill between the local Pakistani communities and Afghans, another key objective is the revival of the environment which was impacted by the presence of Afghan refugees for over three decades," said Jose Belleza, head of the UNHCR office in Quetta. "The creation of sustainable livelihoods and the provision and enhancement of basic services benefit both communities."

In Farozai Kan, as elsewhere in Balochistan, RAHA projects have provided both high and low-tech solutions to address communities' needs. As well as installing the solar-powered water pump, UNHCR implementing partner, the Balochistan Rural Support Programme (BRSP), built the village's first pit latrines.

In most cases, BRSP looks to beneficiary communities to cover part of the cost of the projects. "If communities have invested in a project, they're more likely to get behind it and see it succeed," said Essa Khan, a regional programme manager for the organization.

Involving communities in the maintenance of projects after they've been installed had been a problem in the past, said Khan. In Farozai Kan each household contributes 50 rupees, or about 45 US cents, a month towards the upkeep of the solar pump.

"In the beginning we had problems learning the new technology," said Atta Mohammed, a community leader. "But now we are able to train others how to use it."

The RAHA initiative was launched in 2009 under the joint One UN programme in Pakistan with an initial appeal of US$140 million over five years. The initiative is expected to benefit up to 2.5 million Pakistanis and Afghans. The programme's interventions cover the sectors of education, health, water, sanitation and hygiene and livelihoods.

Since its launch more than 400 projects have been completed and another 100 are under way, mainly in the provinces of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, both home to high concentrations of Afghan refugees.

Bibi Mena runs a vocational training centre in Killa Saifullah that teaches women to become tailors. The women make clothes that are sold in local markets and their skills are in increasing demand by residents seeking clothing repairs and alterations. "The women who come here really appreciate the opportunity to learn new skills. Many have started to bring their daughters as well," she said.

Under the RAHA initiative, a refugee affected area is one that hosted large numbers of Afghan refugees in the past, but from where the majority of the refugees have left or returned home. A refugee hosting area is a community or area that continues to host some of the 1.7 million Afghan refugees currently living in Pakistan.

By Tim Irwin in Ferozai Kan, Pakistan

UNHCR News Story: UNHCR encourages Mongolian Parliamentary support for 1951 Convention

UNHCR News Story: UNHCR encourages Mongolian Parliamentary support for 1951 Convention

Executive assistants to members of the Mongolian Parliament huddle over the Parliamentarian Handbook on Refugee Protection as they stake out their negotiating position during a role-playing game at a UNHCR workshop.
UNHCR/K. McKinsey

UNHCR encourages Mongolian Parliamentary support for 1951 Convention

BAYANGOL VALLEY, Mongolia, April 18 (UNHCR) – Laughter rocked a conference centre here as government and UNHCR negotiators faced off last weekend to hammer out an agreement to protect 20,000 refugees who had just fled an uprising and flooded into the country.

The scenario, which could have been ripped from the headlines, was only a role-playing exercise at a workshop for 66 executive assistants to the members of the Mongolian Parliament, The Great State Hural.

The goal was to familiarize them with the 1951 Refugee Convention, how refugees feel when they flee for their lives, and how UNHCR and countries around the world protect refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced people.

"This is part of an effort by UNHCR to build alliances in key sectors of Mongolian society to support the government and parliament's intention to accede to the Convention," said Nai Jit Lam, one of the trainers, and senior regional protection officer from UNHCR's Regional Office in Beijing.

The workshop, held in this red windswept valley 30 km west of the Mongolian capital, Ulanbataar, was covered on prime-time news Saturday evening by two of Mongolia's top TV news channels.

Two separate UNHCR workshops earlier last week introduced lecturers from Ulanbataar law schools and officials of Mongolian non-governmental organizations – including human rights groups, and those working against human trafficking and domestic violence – to the 1951 Convention and the UN refugee agency's history.

"This would be a particularly auspicious year for Mongolia to accede to the convention, because in 2011 UNHCR is marking the 60th anniversary of the convention," Lam added. "Mongolia would attract considerable international attention and support if it signed in this very special year."

The role-playing game – in which the executive assistants had to negotiate under severe time pressure an agreement to handle a mass influx of refugees – dealt with extremely serious issues of balancing refugee protection with national security, very real concerns in Mongolia. The laughter was sparked by outrageous demands and resulting displays of outrage as they pretended to be the National Security Council of fictitious "Government B" and top officials of UNHCR.

"The UN just promised money but we wanted national security," the mock president of "Country B" complained as he briefed the whole group on their outcome of negotiations.

"The UN did not make any promise of giving money," protested the man playing the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. "We just said we could share some costs."

A second group's report on the same exercise turned into an impromptu press conference as participants spontaneously hurled criticism from the floor.

"You put your economic interests ahead of your humanitarian obligations," one executive assistant yelled at the second "president" who had made economic aid a condition of helping the refugees. "You want to make slaves of these refugees."

"I didn't bring them, they just came," he shred.

At the Sunday closing session, one participant, Myagmardash Batbayar, confessed: "The day before yesterday if you had asked us, we would probably have said that we would not join the Convention. But because of this training, our minds have changed and we now have a much better understanding of the Convention."

To loud applause and cheers from his colleagues, who are mostly in their twenties and thirties, he told the UNHCR trainers: "We should be able to extend our hospitality to refugees and take care of them like their parents."

By Kitty McKinsey
In Bayangol Valley, Mongolia

floor covering news

floor covering news

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