2013 Year Review



2013 Year Review

Theodora Pitta

2013 has been definitely a year of bloodshed and plenty of events have occurred during that year, but let’s start with the month of January, what were the main events that happened at that time.

At 12 January in China, Beijing the air pollution was at its highest peak and the skies were getting darker and darker. The pollution levels were 30 to 45 more than the acceptable level but the government until today have not taken sufficient meters to eliminate this catastrophe once and for all.

Lance Armstrong, a “legendary” cyclist for years who won seven titles in Tour of France admitted at 17 January in an interview at Oprah Winfrey show that he has been using drugs for years. He has been lying for year to the public and refusing all previous accusations but now as he said looking back only makes him feel like a “jerk”

After a long campaign at 21 January Barack Obama got re-selected again. In his campaign he focused mainly on matters such as the healthcare and economy which U.S citizens have struggled in the past.

Moving on to the month February and specifically at an event that shocked, when Oscar Pistorius got arrested for murder at February 14. Pistorius is an African sprint runner. As he claimed, he accidentally killed his girlfriend because he thought she was an intruder.

In Russia Chelyabinsk region, 15 February a meteor stroked over. Over 950 people got injured but not only that, the meteor caused damages such as smacking windows which spread panic all over the county.

During spring March 5 Venezuela’s President for 14 years Hugo Chavez dies from cancer at the age of 58. Chavez have not been seen publicly anymore after his fourth surgery, his death caused millions of people to mourn.

Jorge Mario Bergoglio got elected new pope in March 13. Until now he has set a new vision for the gay people and the Catholic Church, along with his criticisms about priests that refused to baptize children that from single parents. He also defines himself as a ”sinner” which made him appealing to the crowds.

In March 16 protesters raged in Cyprus after the shocking news that the island was in a bailout of 10 billion. The selling of Cyprian banks lead to a loss of 3,5 million. Cyprus just like Greece suffers from Youth unemployment and many fear for the destiny of the Mediterranean island.

In April and age 87 Margaret Thatcher died, I will fast forward in the U.S Boston Marathon explosion at April 15 when two bombs exploded during the event living behind three dead victims and 260 others injured.

Another major event took place in Bangladesh in April 24 when a garment factory collapsed living thousands injured and around 124 dead. Despite the warnings that the building had to be shut down it remained opened causing this horrifying tragedy. It must be noted also that the factory was producing garments for popular brands such as: Mango, Primark, clothes for Walmart, C & A ( the Netherlands), Benetton and others.

In May 17, Argentina’s ex-military leader Josef Rafael Videla died in prison. He was the major head in the military and was accused for the disappearance of many, torturing and assassinations.

In the name of Islam Lee Rigby British soldier died in May 22. The attackers killed the victim on the afternoon in front of the eyes of horrified passenger. They were convicted in December by the British court.

At Gezi Park in Turkey, May 30, there was a huge protest against the government and the laws. The area turned into a warzone since the police used force to break the protest. The protest and acts by the police attracted an international interest while millions tuned in through social media.

At June 6, Edward Snowden leaked information to the public that U.S was collecting information of citizens through their mobile phones. From the public he has been called a “hero” but for the Governments a “traitor” After that he sought asylum to Russia which brought another controversial matter that might Snowden already been collaborating with Russia.

Hussan Rouhani got elected as the new president of Iran at 15 June, while running the elections he promised the Iranian citizens a wind of “change” and the general motto was “moderation and wisdom”

Qatar’s Emir for 18 years, Sheiky Hamad bin Khalifa age 61, transferred the power to rule to his 33 year old son Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

The rest of the months  July, August, September, October, November, December will be discussed next week due to lack of time 😉


Teenage Pregnancy


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Teenage pregnancy in United States in distressing levels


Theodora Pitta

After a long research about teenage pregnancy I came to the conclusion that although the numbers have been decreased over the past years, they were still high enough at 42%. Even in 2011 the teen pregnancy is still at its lowest level still every year there are unwanted pregnancies that most of the times lead to a school dropout of the young mother.

But how those teenage mothers support themselves? It has been a question that was raised in my head, since most of people experience economic crisis, others maybe in higher level than others, how do those teenage mothers that have not yet experienced working are able to take care of themselves? ? Every single teenage mother receives a welfare, of course to receive one the teenage mother should fulfill some requirements. The teenage mother has to live as responsible adult and of course to participate in a school or a training. This rule has been established in order to reduce teen pregnancy but also to prevent teenage mothers to depend on only on the welfare.[DP1]  The overall welfare is estimated around 10, 9 billion per year. I therefore believe that such a decision from the government is fair towards the teen moms because it motivates the young females to finish their education and have a better future than living in poverty. Teenage mothers [DP2] do not only receive welfare assistance but also 80% of them receive public assistance, food stamps (coupons), housing assistance and temporary assistance of needy families (TANF which is an extra aid). It should also be noted that many teenage mothers live at the same house with their families.

Communication might have failed but information acquired!Although I tried to interview teenage mothers, unfortunately the fact that I live in the Netherlands at the moment I was not able to interview properly teenage mothers from the United States. Though since social are blooming each day more and more, visiting YouTube and analyzing videos that teenage mothers have uploaded helped me take a closer look on what their life looks like in reality.

According to Nicole a YouTube blogger, her financial income is low, she receives welfare support from the government and she believes it is necessary. She is working at a movie theater, 30 hours per week for a minimum wage. She does not live on herself though, she still lives on her mother’s house with her daughter. This is an everyday challenge since the expenses are high for her and her baby and although she has a job and support from the government that does not mean she lives the perfect life.

Most teenagers do not even think about having a baby at this age, they set different priorities such as school and going out with friends at parties etc. Some of them may not even be sexually active but what about teenagers in the U.S.A? As it has been reported although most teenagers believed that 16 is too young age to have sex ¼ had already had by that age. It is also stated that most of those relationships was with an older partner and lead to an unwanted pregnancy. “Furthermore, the combination of early sexual activity and having an older partner may be associated with poor reproductive health outcomes because of teenagers’ undeveloped decision- making and negotiation skills and the potential for power imbalances and sexual exploitation by older partners” (Jennifer Manlove, 2006).  

Teenage pregnancy is delinquent matter and the facts above raise other questions as well, do eventually teenage mothers receive enough education in order to continue their lives? If most teenage mothers come from families with low education and low income then maybe none the education they receive is not enough.

The question above is a controversial matter since none can state if teenage mothers receive enough education or not. I would like to add to that that it depends on the level of motivation a person has in order to achieve certain goals such as attending a University or hunting a good position in the work field but this is my own opinion and only. According to the article strengthening school-based programs for teen moms apparently although they are many programs for them to follow such as agencies, programs and services in communities still they do not meet the full potential. Since teenage mothers do not get treated like as an individual group but as part of the other students they may get lost in the ground and therefore drop-out in the end. Also it has been observed that a lot of teen moms when attending a school might appear to have other learning disabilities as well.

Nikole in her YouTube channel states that recently she took her GED diploma which an equivalent of the high-school diploma. This is certainly a positive achievement. I hope more success comes for her in the future.


Want to read more (Please read the following links, was helpful for me to understand and analyze further my initial question):




             Batten, S. S. (2003). Stregthening school based programs for teen parents and solutions. 8.


             Jennifer Manlove, E. T.-H. (2006). Young Teenagers and Older Sexual Partners: Correlates and Consequences for Males and Females. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health.


Volunteering is sharing.


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Volunteering is sharing.

“Some children are victims of stray bullets and shell fragments… Some were wounded ‘by chance’, but here we also have children who were shot because they are Muslims”- Ombretta Pasotti

This is my New Year resolution for 2014. I am a student in International Communication and media and a 3d artist but the only dream I have for this year is to become an active volunteer in an active organization.

Afghanistan in 2014 entered the 35 year of conflict, Soudan’s war is active still, Egypt is a major crisis, Syria as well and of course let’s not forget the major economic crisis in European countries such as Greece, Spain, Italy, Ireland… the list can go on and on. Ever richer countries like the U.K  Is afraid of entering a new era, an era of crisis.

Is there any future for this world or is the human kind going to destroy all of it along with hope? Who will pay for past mistakes? The citizens of the present will pay for decision made in the past instead of letting their children pay-off in the future or generations to come will pay-off as well.

Every day I wake up either late or early, I study, go to school, read some interesting articles on the internet and talk to my friends over the phone and the Internet, I live what someone could said a happy life and honestly I have nothing to complain about even if I am not a rich person I still have a shelter to live under and a warm blanket in the night to keep me warm but there are those who are less fortunate…someone can choose to be ignorant for other human lives…for the day until he dies but unfortunately people follow their own reality and forget that are some people who are less fortunate than we are.

Unfortunately I do not have extra cash to give to organization since I am a student my budget is fairly limited to my own expenses, so what I decided is to e-mail several organization in Utrecht, the Netherlands the city I live at the moment offering my help in projects that include communication or design, I really hope to get accepted and spread the world through volunteering that some people need urgently to be saved.

So what is your New Year’s Resolution?

Youth Unemployment in Greece.


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“We only have dust and dirt to eat, because of the Arabs we have nothing to eat, have a look at us, if any of you have honor and dignity, we have nothing to do with fighting”-Citizen in Syria. This is the pain of war and hunger i think those words describe best what is happening around us and still some people are ignorant.

As Youth unemployment rises, fear grows in Greece.

27 December 2013

Theodora Pitta

Youth unemployment in Greece has reached 55% in 2013. This number make young people fear for the future of their country and if they will ever be able to become independent from their families. 

Many fears rise though unemployment, depression, sadness, anxiety… this list could be endless. Those are just some words that could express the feelings that young people in Greece feel about their situation.

Sofia Mastromixalh and Vaggelis Lazos are a young couple from Athens both 22 years old. In their everyday life they share same opinions and thoughts but they also share a common fears. Since they are both unemployed, they worry that they will not be able to achieve their dreams and that they will witness poverty in Greece.

The Greek economic crisis was triggered in October 2008 and got worse in the following years, it is believed that it has been caused from a series of structural weaknesses. For several years before 2008, Greece was heavily borrowing money from foreign investors that could not later on be paid back. (Klitgaard, 2012) Till now Greece is in a rescue program and in the year of 2013 economists were finally optimistic since the depth was finally balanced. (Spiegel, 2013).“ No I don’t believe that there is going to be a better economic future for Greece” argues Sofia “everyone from my close environment fears for their own future and the future of their children”. Vaggelis though was more optimistic adding that “Greece will have a better future but it will take a lot of time and effort”

The depth may have been balanced but the age group of 15-24 suffers from unemployment along with the rest 1,4m people who are out of work and 3,3 who are considered inactive. (Chan, 2013). Both Sofia and Vaggelis are unemployed. Sofia is already a graduate, she has worked in several jobs but none of them were relevant to her profession. “The jobs I had in the past were not relevant with my studies, I have worked as a waitress in a coffee shop, a sales assistant and as a secretary in the mayor’s office.” she explains. “And I am currently unemployed for almost 6 months”. Even worse for Vaggelis who is still a student at the technological institute in Halkida under the major of aircraft engineering. “Since I am student I did not have any serious offers, sometimes in the weekends I help my father who is a construction worker without earning much though.” He avers “My last “serious” job was 3 years ago, as a coordinator staff in a gallery for furniture.” Their words hide a bittersweet feeling for unemployment.

Not only youth suffers with unemployment but they are also forced to stay at their parents’ house since they are not able to support themselves on their own. According to a data released from the Eurostat, Greece is ranked 4th on the percentage of youth living with their parents. (Yan, 2013) Sofia and Vaggelis stay at their parents’ house since they cannot afford to live on their own. From their eyes someone could tell that they are ashamed about it and that they would rather live together instead of still depending on their parents. Vaggelis states “I live in Piraeus, which is near Athens but because i study in Halkida I rent an apartment here. I am 4 days in Halkida and 3 in Piraeus. Financially my parents are supporting me since I do not have a stable income.” Similar for Sofia who stays at her parents’ house in Athens.

Unemployment leads to emigration. That is a horrible truth, but more and more people that lost their jobs in the past, now seek a better future in another country. (Barnato, 2012) Since the country is buried in debt and unemployment is rising day by day, Greek citizens have no other choice than to immigrate. “The thought of immigrating has crossed my mind, always influenced by the economic and political state of my country. I cannot respond for sure though because if you are forced to immigrate because of the economical state of your country you are not sure if you really wanted to do it in the first place.” Vaggelis explains. Puzzled from the question, Vaggelis seems like a person who is attached with his own country and does not want to be forced to work in another country because his country has nothing to offer anymore, without though completely reject the possibility. For Sofia the answer was easier and straightforward “Yes. Me and my family are thinking of going abroad this year, in the United States” For Greeks United States has been a new shelter of hope since more and more are moving there. (Davidson, 2012)

Citizens in Greece are experiencing a major crisis and more and more people are protesting against the government. Not so long ago Athens was full again with hundreds of protesters who threw rocks, bottles and yelled until there was no voice left against the politicians and the corrupted system. (Helena Smith, 2009)Sofia and Vaggelis share their own point of you about politicians and news in general. They share similar opinion: disappointment. “The politicians in Greece have not done anything substantial to influence positively the country that they represent. As far for the news I never hear anything positive, I believe that they are lying and the only thing that they care about is money.” Vaggelis explains. His opinion not only represents youth but hundred others that participate in the riots.

Lastly the couple share their own personal fears about their future and their loved ones. “My biggest fear is the concept of my country to get bankrupt and this may lead our nation to a civil war” Sofia says. There is a high possibility indeed if the whole nation fall apart maybe Greeks will decide to solve their problems with a civil war, although no one could ever possible wish for that. Vaggelis on the contrary seemed to have not thought of that concept but instead he does not want to become a labor slave as he explains “My biggest fear! Live to work and not work to live, if you live to work in my opinion you lose the meaning of life and you stop being happy anymore.”


Barnato, K. (2012, june 18). Retrieved from http://www.cnbc.com/id/47828618

Chan, S. P. (2013, August 8). Retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/10230653/Greek-youth-unemployment-soars-to-64.9pc.html

Davidson, L. (2012, November 21). Retrieved from http://globalcitynyc.com/2012/11/21/austerity-in-greece-triggers-new-wave-of-immigration-to-the-u-s/

Helena Smith, M. T. (2009, December 9). Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/world/2008/dec/09/greece-riots-papandreou

Klitgaard, M. H. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.newyorkfed.org/research/current_issues/ci17-5.pdf

Spiegel, P. (2013, September 16). Retrieved from http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/d8bee48a-1ed2-11e3-9636-00144feab7de.html#slide0

Yan. (2013, April 2). Retrieved from http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2013-02/04/c_132148337.htm