Archive for September, 2012

Symbolism is one of the most ancient sciences of humanity. Humanity has expressed itself through symbols when language was insufficient to convey certain ideas or when these ideas needed to be translated for eternity.

New Acropolis Argentina offered a workshop on this language of symbols and keys of interpretation to bring us closer to knowing and understanding them.

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New Acropolis volunteers gathered together to clean the Palmahim Beach conservation park. The beach, an important habitat for sea turtles, suffers from pollution, which endangers female sea turtles when they come to lay their eggs.

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Volunteers from New Acropolis Honduras visited the Sagrado Corazón de Jesús girls’ shelter at Ciudad Mateo near Tegucigalpa. This activity was part of a monthly social day with an intense program for the delight of children and adults, organized by our volunteers. The girls received books and school supplies, the result of private donations, and offered them a farewell meal.

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A heavy downpour in the Krasnodar region flooded several towns, with Krymsk and the surrounding area being the worst hit. The flood destroyed over a thousand houses, and several thousand others were badly damaged. Aid to people affected by the flood was provided by EMERCOM  (Ministry of the Russian Federation for Affairs of Civil Defence, Emergencies and Elimination of Consequences of Natural Disasters), the army and volunteers from various cities, including volunteers from NA Russia.

Our five-person team of volunteers started its work after the worst of the debris had already been cleared away, at which point the main goal was to distribute humanitarian aid to people living in the region. We worked in the village of Nizhnebakanskaya, near Krymsk, the area worst affected by the flood. Our main work consisted of clearing debris from the inside and outside of private residences, where residents could not cope on their own, and helping to sort and distribute humanitarian aid.

clearing debris from the territory of private households

Clearing debris from the territory of private households

The skills that we had acquired during  previous volunteering expeditions with NA Russia (to Elbrus, Talashkino and Ivangorod), including many ecological works, proved to be of great use to us in clearing the debris. In some places we had to organize the supply of electrical power, and to demolish metal fences that the flood waters had crumpled like paper.  Other work included pulling down destroyed buildings and removing silt and mud from residences and taking it to the road, where dump trucks collected all the debris.

Clearing debris from the territory of private households

Clearing debris from the territory of private households

As a result of the flood, many residents of Krymsk and the surrounding area were not only left homeless, but were also deprived of many of the basic necessities of life: clothes, food and water. For this reason, the distribution of humanitarian aid began almost immediately after the disaster. Heavy trucks arrived in the region, and their cargo was unloaded into temporary warehouses where it was sorted and then delivered by bus to the people who had suffered the most.

The humanitarian aid

The humanitarian aid

The supplies delivered first were water, food rations, folding beds, bed linens, pillows and items of personal hygiene. All these had to be quickly loaded onto buses that arrived at the warehouse and then, during the day, travelled from house to house delivering to the residents the things they needed the most. It should be pointed out that within a week after the disaster this work was already well organized thanks to the efforts of the local administration and volunteers who came from all over the country., This, even though in the first days after the disaster, there was much confusion.

Loading of the humanitarian aid

Loading of the humanitarian aid

Distribution of the humanitarian aid

Distribution of the humanitarian aid

Unfortunately, not everybody who wanted to help had an opportunity to go to Krymsk. Many of those who couldn’t go provided financial aid – the money was deposited into a relief fund for victims of the flood.

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Pierre Poulain philosopher-photographer in Hungary Pierre Poulain, professional photographer and director of NA Israel, visited the Budapest NA Center, in Hungary, where he held a workshop on photography and presented his book  Wisdom Through the Lens – A Practical Guide for Photography as a Means for Self Transformation. Before that, he gave a talk on the philosophical origins of photography and shared his experience on the technical and artistic aspects of this discipline.     Presentation of the book 'Wisdom through the lens'

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The headquarters of New Acropolis in Argentina gave a lecture titled “How to look at a work of art”, issued by the renowned historian Cecilia Balza.

The symbolism in art reveals a special language to understand why this discipline is one of the ways of knowing, linked to the origin of mankind.

The speaker made a tour through different works of art by famous artists such as Da Vinci, Botticelli, Jackson Pollock, Kandinsky, among others, highlighting symbolic details like the “drum” of a church (arcade located on the front door carved wood with different characters). A curious detail is that the main doors of the cathedrals and churches point to the East where the sun rises in a Christian cross, the upper point represents the East (lighting), below the West (dark).

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