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      • 名稱:VOA慢速英語視頻全集
      • 分類:基礎英語  
      • 觀看人數:加載中
      • 時間:2022/5/12 9:26:45

      This is the VOA Special English Development Report.

      One of the best ways to protect yourself and other people from getting sick is to wash your hands with soap. To make soap, you need three main things: oil, water and lye.

      The oil can come from animal fat or plant sources like avocado, coconut or sunflower. Lye can be found at markets and other stores that sell cleaning products. Lye -- spelled l-y-e -- is also called sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide.

      Be very careful. Lye can cause serious burns. It can also blind a person if it gets into the eyes. Do not breathe lye and do not let small children near it. And do not store lye in containers made of aluminum. The lye will eat through the metal.

      But the owner of a soap making business in California says on her blog that there is no lye present in the finished soap. Diane Longacre says the lye and oil molecules combine and chemically change into soap and glycerin. Her blog is at frontierangelsoap.blogspot.com.

      Some people make soap with potash lye. You boil ashes in water until only dry black salts remain. Once the salts melt, a gray-white substance is left. This is potash.

      One simple way to make soft soap requires nine kilograms of potash. You also need twelve kilos of any kind of oil and twenty-six liters of water. Mix the potash well with the water. Add it to the oil in a wooden bucket.

      For the next three days, mix the materials well with a wooden stick or spoon. Do this several times a day for about three minutes at a time. Then let the soap sit in the wooden bucket for about a month. After that, it will be ready to use.

      In Mali, women's groups make and sell soap produced with jatropha seeds. In Rwanda, a group of people living with H.I.V./AIDS began making soap from local materials like palm oil and avocados. They developed a business with a loan from the aid organization Africare.

      Healthier members of the group meet four times a week to mix the soap and cut it into pieces. An American organization called InterAction says the soap makers produce one thousand pieces each day. The soap is sold to the local health center, to a prison and to people in the community.

      And that's the VOA Special English Development Report, written by Karen Leggett. More information about the soap making process can be found at practicalaction.org. Click on Practical Answers and enter "soap" as a search term. We will post helpful links at 51voa.com. I'm Mario Ritter.

      This is the VOA Special English Development Report.

      Fresh fish

      There are different ways to store fish. Two ways to keep fish for future use are canning and freezing. Two other methods are drying and smoking. Today we have the first of two reports describing, step by step, how to prepare dried or smoked fish.

      Begin with fish that are just out of the water. If the fish are small, leave their heads on. Cut off the heads if the fish are longer than twenty centimeters or weigh more than one hundred fifteen grams.

      Now clean the freshly caught fish. Cut off the scales and cut open the stomach. Remove everything inside. Then wash the fish in clean water and rub salt into them.

      Next, put the fish in a container with a solution of three hundred grams of salt and one liter of water. This will remove the blood from the meat. Keep the fish in the saltwater for about thirty minutes. After that, wash them again in clean water.

      Next, put the fish in a solution that has more salt in the water. The water should be salty enough so that the fish float to the top. If the fish sink to the bottom of the container, add more salt to the water.

      Cover the container with a clean piece of wood. Place a heavy stone on the wood to hold it down. Leave the fish there for about six hours.

      After that, remove them from the saltwater and place them on a clean surface. Cover the fish with a clean piece of white cloth and let them dry.

      We are not done yet. We will discuss the next steps in drying fish next week. We will also describe the smoking process.

      Another method of preparing fish is called dry salting. Wooden boxes or baskets are used for dry salting. After cleaning the fish, put a few of them on the bottom of the box or basket. Cover them with salt, then put more fish on top. Cover them also with salt. Continue putting fish and salt in the container until it is full.

      Do not use too much salt when using the dry salting method. You should use one part salt to three parts fish. For example, if you have three kilograms of fish, you should use one kilogram of salt. 

      Remove the fish after a week or ten days. Wash them in a mixture of water and a small amount of salt and let them dry. 

      We have talked a lot about salt. Keep in mind that doctors advise people to limit the sodium in their diet. It can raise blood pressure, and some people have more of a reaction than others.

      And that's the VOA Special English Development Report. Transcripts and MP3 archives of our reports are at 51voa.com. I'm Steve Ember.

      This is the VOA Special English Development Report.

      Microfinance is becoming a big business. It started as a way to provide very small loans to people in developing countries so they could begin to move themselves out of poverty. A few hundred dollars could mean a lot to a poor entrepreneur with a promising idea.

      Mohammed Yunus 

      Mohammed Yunus

      Bangladeshi economist Mohammed Yunus won the Nobel Peace Prize in two thousand six for his work with banking for the poor. He formed the Grameen Bank in nineteen eighty-three. Today there are microfinance providers all over the world.

      And anyone can be a microlender through a site like Kiva.org. You choose a project and provide at least twenty-five dollars of the amount requested. Three out of four loans have gone to women, which is common with microfinance.

      Kiva spokeswoman Fiona Ramsey says the site has grown even with the economic downturn. The total value of loans made through Kiva, she says, is nearing fifty-two million dollars.

      The downturn has not had a big effect on loan repayments either. The current repayment rate is ninety-seven percent. But Fiona Ramsey says that because of the credit crisis, microfinance organizations are finding it harder to get loans from banks.

      Kiva works with microfinance organizations in forty-two countries. These "field partners" keep the interest charged on the loans. The average term is twelve months. And the average interest rate is almost twenty-three percent.

      Returns like that help explain why microfinance now includes big banks and other lenders. Mohammed Yunus has said he worries that lenders may be more interested in profits than poverty reduction.

      He supports a new effort based in the United States called MicroFinance Transparency. The aim is to prevent abuses by letting borrowers compare pricing information from different lenders. Its creator, Chuck Waterfield, calls it "an industry-based truth-in-lending effort."

      Borrowers, he says, are often misled about the true price of a loan. "For twenty years we set the price to cover the cost. Now, some organizations are setting the price to whatever they can get away with," he says.

      The first step is to publish information collected from eight countries. Chuck Waterfield says information from Peru, Bosnia and Cambodia will appear in February at the Web site mftransparency.org. He says the others, including at least one country from Africa, will follow a few months later.

      And that's the VOA Special English Development Report, written by Karen Leggett. I’m Jim Tedder.

      This is the VOA Special English Development Report.

      Charles Rioba is an engineer and inventor in Kenya. He and his company, Solar World Limited, have developed a product called the PowerPack. The PowerPack is a small solar-lighting system. The device is portable, so it can be taken anywhere. It provides light with one or two L.E.D. bulbs. An L.E.D. is a light emitting diode.

      But the PowerPack can also power a small transistor radio for as long as six hours. And it can be used to recharge a mobile phone. 

      How often the PowerPack itself needs to be recharged depends on usage. Solar World says the device is best for a small family, up to three people.

      People who want to use a PowerPack can buy one. Or they can rent one fully charged, and also pay to have it recharged. Or they also charge it themselves with a small solar panel. It collects energy from the sun into a solar battery.

      The World Bank Group considers the Rent-a-Light plan a bright idea. In May, Charles Rioba was one of sixteen winners of a Development Marketplace competition. They each won a grant of up to two hundred thousand dollars.

      The winners were announced at a conference in Ghana as part of a program called Lighting Africa. Lighting Africa aims to provide modern lighting to more than two hundred fifty million people by two thousand thirty. They live "off-grid," unconnected to a national electric-power system, except in some cases illegally.

      In Kenya, more than eighty percent of people depend mainly on fossil fuels for their lighting needs. Fossil fuels are oil, natural gas and coal. Burning fossil fuels, however, can cause health problems from indoor air pollution.

      The Rent-a-Light project includes about one hundred local agents to supply the PowerPacks and ten centers to service them. The company hopes to reach about eight thousand homes within eighteen months.

      Vijaya Ramachandran is an expert at the Center for Global Development in Washington, D.C. She notes that a lack of electricity and a lack of good roads are major barriers to a better life in Africa. In most of the African countries that she has studied, power supplies are cut off for several hours during each day.

      And that’s the VOA Special English Development Report, written by Jerilyn Watson. Go to 51voa.com to find transcripts and MP3 archives of our reports. We will also post a link to a list of all sixteen winners of the Lighting Africa competition. I'm Chris Cruise.

      This is the VOA Special English Development Report.

      A billion people in the world live without a safe water supply A billion people live without a safe water supply. Two and a half billion, or more than forty percent of all people, have no place to use a safe toilet. Recently on the Internet there was a competition to look for creative local solutions to water and sanitation needs.

      Two organizations, Ashoka’s Changemakers and Global Water Challenge, organized the worldwide search. Global Water Challenge is a coalition of twenty-two groups working for change in water and sanitation.

      Ashoka is a group for social entrepreneurs, people who look for creative solutions to social problems. Its Changemakers.net Web site is an online community where competitions are held. Anyone can vote or provide ideas and resources.

      The search for water and sanitation projects received more than two hundred fifty proposals from fifty-four countries. Judges chose nine finalists in April. Then, visitors to the site voted for three winners. All three are from India. Each will receive five thousand dollars from Global Water Challenge.

      Himanshu Parikh Consulting Engineers won for a sanitation project called Slum Networking. It involves looking for natural solutions like gravity-based, house-to-house water and sanitation connections in poor areas.

      The project began in the cities of Indore, Baroda, Ahmedabad and Bhopal. Now the aim is to extend it to rural areas.

      The Naandi Foundation won for a project for safe drinking water in two states, Andhra Pradesh and Punjab. Villagers get clean water at purification centers. Then they sell the bottled water within their communities for small amounts of money. 

      The third winner is a group leading a sanitation project in Maharashtra and Gujarat states. Swayam Shikshan Prayog works with local governments and women’s groups to change local behaviors and improve sanitation.

      Tanvi Nagpal heads the water and sanitation program at Global Water Challenge. She says the Coca Cola Company has given one million dollars to expand several of the proposals in the competition.

      This was the first time Global Water Challenge has been involved in an online search. Tanvi Nagpal says the organization may hold another competition in the coming years to look for other inventive ideas.

      And that’s the VOA Special English Development Report, written by Jill Moss. Transcripts, MP3s and podcasts of our reports are at 51voa.com. I’m Steve Ember.

      This is the VOA Special English Development Report.

      Anne McNeil (right) with IBM Corporate Community Relations, shows the World Community Grid to a student at Meredith College in North Carolina 

      Anne McNeil (right) with IBM Corporate Community Relations, shows the World Community Grid to a student at Meredith College in North Carolina

      A project called the World Community Grid has found a way for computers connected to the Internet to help solve humanitarian problems. The World Community Grid is making technology available to public and non-profit organizations to use in humanitarian research.

      Scientists at the University of Washington, for example, are using the technology to study ways to improve the nutritional value of rice.  Another research project supported by the World Community Grid is studying mathematical ways to design drugs to treat the disease AIDS. Other projects are studying cancer. And still others are studying climate change in Africa.

      The success of the World Community Grid depends upon individuals collectively donating their extra computer power.  This is based on the idea that most computers are inactive most of the time. During these times they are not used, they can help solve complex scientific or engineering problems.

      The IBM corporation started the World Community Grid more than two years ago. The company continues to provide advice and support to the project. Stanley Litow heads community relations for IBM. He says anyone in the world with a computer connected to the Internet can join the project.

      Volunteers download a program from the World Community Grid Web site. Every so often, the program uploads results or downloads more information to be processed.  Individuals can also find out how much work their computer power has done on the Web site.

      Currently, about one million personal computers in one hundred countries are involved in the World Community Grid. Mister Litow hopes that another million computers will join the project. Then, he says, the World Community Grid will become the world’s largest super computer able to do many projects a year. 

      Any researcher can sign up to use the grid’s super computing power. However, all findings from the studies must be made public. Mister Litow says not only is the technology free. But he says it will also lead to more knowledge and valuable scientific discoveries.

      And that’s the VOA Special English Development Report, written by Jill Moss.  You can find a link to the World Community Grid and transcripts of our reports at 51voa.com. I’m Steve Ember.

      This is the VOA Special English Development Report.

      People carry a gay pride flag during a march in Mexico City on August 2, 2008

      People carry a gay pride flag during a march in Mexico City on August 2, 2008

      The seventeenth International AIDS Conference opened Sunday in the Mexican capital, Mexico City. About twenty-five thousand people are taking part in the six-day event. They include AIDS researchers, community leaders, policy experts, activists and delegations of young people from around the world.        

      The conference is expected to call for improvement in the prevention and treatment of H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS.   Delegates are also expected to praise the greater ability of patients to receive anti-retroviral drugs. Several meetings at the conference will examine efforts to discover a vaccine to prevent the disease.

      Pedro Cahn is one of the leaders of the AIDS conference. He says there is growing support for efforts to guarantee that all people are able to receive HIV prevention and treatment. An estimated thirty-three million people are living with H.I.V./AIDS. About seven thousand people become infected with H.I.V. every day.

      There is no cure for AIDS. However, a report last week from a United Nations agency says fewer people are dying because of it.  UNAIDS says the number of deaths linked to AIDS dropped to about two million last year. This is two hundred thousand fewer than the number reported in two thousand five.

      UNAIDS also notes some major gains in preventing new H.I.V. infections. Such gains are based on changes in sexual behavior and improved government programs.  The report also calls for long-term financing to fight the spread of AIDS. This is needed because people with the disease are living longer because of improved treatment. 

      In Washington last week, President Bush signed legislation promising forty-eight billion dollars over the next five years to battle AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. The bill greatly expands the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. Mister Bush announced the five-year, fifteen billion dollar program in two thousand three. He has since made it a major part of his foreign policy. Efforts have centered on fifteen nations in Africa, the Caribbean and Asia. 

      And that's the VOA Special English Development Report, written by Jill Moss. You can learn more about AIDS and other issues facing developing countries at 51voa.com. 

      This is the VOA Special English Development Report.

      A nonprofit group in San Francisco, California, is trying to take bicycle-powered computers to rural villages around the world. The computer was developed with villagers in Laos.

      The group is the Jhai Foundation. Jhai, j-h-a-i, is a word in the Lao language that means "hearts and minds working together."

      Lee Thorn is the chairman. He says there are tens of thousands of dead computers in rural villages. He says villages often receive computers that they do not know how to use or how to keep working.

      So Lee Thorn worked with another Lee -- Lee Felsenstein, an early developer of personal computers. The result is the Jhai PC. The small computer costs about two hundred dollars. It does not use much electricity. The battery that powers it is recharged when a person pedals a bicycle.

      Memory-storage devices called flash drives are connected to the computer to hold information. The Jhai PC has a steel cover designed to resist water and weather. The foundation says the computer is built to work for ten years.

      In addition to Laos, the group is in contact with villages in Vietnam, India, Ghana and other countries.

      The foundation offers to help villagers learn to make the computers themselves with local materials. The group looks for a business person in each village who will create a ten-year business plan. The plan must include hiring people in the village. It also must include maintaining the computers and paying for electricity and a connection to the Internet.

      The Jhai Foundation provides business and computer training. It also provides classes for teachers on ways to use computers in school. The group has received awards from the United Nations.

      The group also works with villagers on other ways to improve their lives. Fifty-one villages in Laos are in a coffee farmers cooperative. The foundation is helping the farmers sell their coffee in the United States.

      Lee Thorn started the foundation ten years ago after visiting Laos to begin a process of reconciliation. He calls it the opposite of war. He was in the United States Navy during the Vietnam war. On an aircraft carrier he loaded planes with bombs to drop on neighboring Laos. Later he and Lee Felsenstein were active in the antiwar movement.

      And that's the VOA Special English Development Report, written by Karen Leggett.

      This is the VOA Special English Development Report.

      In far northern Mongolia, the survival of the smallest ethnic group in the country depends on reindeer.

      Morgan Keay, right, with members of the Tsaatan community in Mongolia

      Morgan Keay, right, with members of the Tsaatan community in Mongolia

      An American named Morgan Keay visited the Tsaatan community when she was studying in Mongolia in two thousand two. Leaders told her that the animals were not healthy and the number of reindeer was getting too small to support the community.

      When she left, the chief gave her his grandfather's smoking pipe. That way she would remember the Tsaatan and try to help them. The Tsaatan have about five hundred members. About half are reindeer herders up in the Taiga mountains. The other half live in a town.

      Back in the United States, Morgan Keay and a friend who had also studied in Mongolia started an organization. They named it Itgel -- the Mongolian word for hope.

      The Itgel Foundation has helped bring foreign scientists to Mongolia to research and treat reindeer diseases. Itgel also helped Tsaatan workers build a community and visitor center. The building includes guest rooms for tourists.

      The Tsaatan not only work as guides, they now provide all services for travelers. The community works in partnership with international tour operators. Those tour operators had formerly been in control of the services.

      Tsaatan volunteers and members of the Itgel Foundation in front of the community and visitor center

      Tsaatan volunteers and members of the Itgel Foundation in front of the community and visitor center

      People in the community designed the center, which they also own and manage. Before the visitor center was built, families earned an average of one hundred dollars a year. Now Morgan Keay says the average is three to four times that. Money also goes into a community fund.

      Four years ago the Tsaatan had fewer than five hundred reindeer. Now Morgan Keay says the herd has just reached nine hundred.

      Last year, the Tsaatan learned that the government of Mongolia planned to spend one and a half million dollars on their community. But no one had talked to the Tsaatan about the plans. The Itgel Foundation organized a meeting between community members and government representatives.

      Morgan Keay says the Tsaatan are becoming economically independent for the first time. The Mongolian government is now considering a development plan written by the community. The plan deals with education, health, the environment and economics.

      And that's the VOA Special English Development Report, written by Karen Leggett. For pictures, transcripts and MP3 archives of our reports, go to 51voa.com.

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