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Donor fatigue, boot camps, and being blind

Fiona Crack | 17:48 UK time, Wednesday, 7 June 2006

Today we are talking about donor fatigue to earthquake zones, boot camps and what its like being blind around the world.

Mandatory military service for young offenders: that's what French presidential hopeful Segolene Royal wants.
Let us know what you think - post a comment on this blog.

The key is giving kids some kind of responsability, says Pete, an air cadet who works with young people.

Carol a Miami Herald reporter broke the story of a 14 year old boy who was tortured and died in a boot camp in Florida. She describes what guards at the boot camp did to the boy; which includes forcing him to run when he could run no more, beating the boy and then putting ammonia capsules up his nostrils.

Carol says the camps had high recidivism rates. So young offenders did not leave as better citizens in any way.

Keiren is on the line from Ireland. He works with children there. He believes that boot camps are a good thing. He says he would encourage a militaristic regime, but is against using violence.

Keith Russell researches outdoor activity programs and is an associate professor of outdoor education and youth development at the University of Minnesota. He says boot camps are falling out of favour. He believes Carol hit the nail on the head when she said that they don't work.

We have to be careful about what a boot camp is.

The goal of a miltary style boot camp is to break them down pysically and emotionally, through heavy exercise regimes believes Keith.

Peter proposes outdoor adventure training as a method of helping young troubled teenagers.

Keith thinks that there is a misconception that outward bound type programs are boot camps. That is not what they are at all.

Our presenter Anu Anand asks Jason, pro-boot camps, whether boot camps should be mandatory.

Jason recalls a time when there was an outroar when it was revealed that a lot of money was being spent on boot camp 'holidays'. He believes they should not be half hearted in instilling discipline and order.

Dr. Banerjee, in Mumbai, says we should be careful about children with mental health issues. There are many children who have emotional problems, family problems or ADD, for example. He says all children should be evaluated every year to make sure they are not suffering from problems that boot camps would make worse.

Now we have moved on to the topic if what its like being blind. We have heard from people all over the world and here is what some of them said.

When it comes to India, blind people have a better life than blind people in other countries.
We have mundane crazy issues that get us down, but when you look at people with disabilities you realize how lucky you are.
One of my role models was a blind person. I used to admire him. In Kenya the blind are treated as sepcial. We should accept blind people like the Kenyans have.
I have a friend who is blind. There sight is their sense of touch.
I am not sure if I can employ blind people...I always wonder if you can explain colours to someone blind since birth.

Gertrude, from Ghana, is blind and so is Justin, from the US. Gertrude feels she can live a normal life. What do you mean by normal anyway, she asks. Noone can do everything; we all have limits.

Aubrey is also blind and is on the line from the UK. Most blind people can live a normal life if they are given the opportunity, he says.

Thanks for reading and, or listening to the program. Feel free to give us a call on the numbers alongide , email us or post a comment on this blog.


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