Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Season's Greetings!

So, another Christmas in the bag and if you're anything like me plenty of New Year's resolutions regarding weight loss coming up very shortly. Looking towards next year as far as Expat Focus is concerned, we feel as though the foundations have been laid and 2007 is the year we really start to build. That's going to be a two pronged strategy with content being developed in-house but also a much greater emphasis than previously on submissions from our members and visitors (after all, you're the experts.) More news on that in the New Year but until then, enjoy the holidays!

Monday, December 11, 2006

5.5m Britons 'opt to live abroad'

Interesting news item today on the BBC web site:

Almost one in 10 British citizens is living overseas, according to a study of people coming in and out of the UK. Studies by the Institute for Public Policy Research, published on the BBC News website, indicate that at least 5.5m British-born people live abroad. Figures suggest the rate of departure has been so great that population falls are only masked by immigration. While Australia and Spain are the top locations, increasing numbers are heading to major Asian economies. The research by the institute (IPPR) is the first significant attempt to put a figure on the number of British citizens who live overseas...

Full article here

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Party in Den Haag to support Education Initiative

74 students in the Executive MBA programme at RSM Erasmus University invite you and your friends to some funky music on the evening of Saturday, 9th December 2006 in The Hague, Netherlands. This initiative aims to raise money for 200 children from ages 7 to 15 in Colombia’s coffee-growing region of Risaralda.

The money raised in the party will go to the 200 children and subsequently benefit the local community in the long term. These 200 children will receive better education and will acquire management / trading skills to help them succeed in their environment. 26 rural teachers will be trained in new methodologies in order to guarantee the continuity of the initiative. The Tambores School will receive new didactic materials and equipment, including textbooks, an improved library, a micro-lab and personal computers with internet connection. Productive Pedagogic Projects for coffee and food security will be implemented in the school and 10 farms...

The project will be executed by Federacion Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia (FNC): an agricultural NGO founded in 1927 by Colombian coffee farmers and dedicated to the sustainable development of coffee-growing in Colombia. (

According to Nicolas Rueda, project manager, EMBA 06 student and director of the European office of CafĂ© de Columbia: “We will fund three programs at the school for one year: "School and Coffee," "Post Primary" and "Virtual School." These programs give children enhanced education and convey skills and knowledge important for them to succeed in their rural environments and escape from poverty. Indeed, the project goes beyond charity: it is a high-involvement sustainable development initiative.”

Mike Page, Dean of the Post Experience Programmes of the RSM Erasmus University, is proud of his students. “I think they do a great job. By adopting this programme, they put immediately into practice what they learn during the EMBA programma and help this school in an excellent, sustainable way. I hope they will raise much more than 50,000€ and will be able to support other schools as well.”

About the programme

This program is part of the New School (Escuela Nueva) methodology implemented since 1975 by Federacion Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia and promoted by the World Bank, UNESCO and UNICEF. The New School methodology is a basic education program designed to improve the quality of rural schools in the country. It promotes the strengthening of ties between school and community through active and participative learning. As an innovation, School and Coffee prepares a new generation of coffee farmers, providing pupils with administrative and technical skills related to sustainable agricultural production. The RSM EMBA 06 contribution will be to fund teacher training and acquisition of didactic materials for one year. The Post-Primary extends flexible, interactive education to secondary education pupils in Grades 6 to 9. The RSM EMBA 06 contribution will be to fund teacher training and acquisition of didactic materials for one year. The Virtual School supports the education program by providing the school with modern communication technologies such as internet. The RSM EMBA 06 contribution will be to equip the school with computer hardware and software and internet connections and fund teacher training. More information can be found at

Friday, December 01, 2006

Keeping the forums spam free

With fairly popular forums we occasionally suffer from the odd spammer trying to sell his or her wares (usually mobile phones) but these types of posts are usually brought to our attention and removed, along with the user account in question, within just a few minutes. I'd like to take a moment to thank all of our members and moderators who play such an effective role in keeping the forums free from spam and other undesirable posts, without your help it would simply be impossible to keep the forums going and develop other areas of the site at the same time. Thank you!