The Vermont Department of Labor is pleased to announce that the US Department of Labor has approved Vermont’s request to extend the filing deadline for Individual Disaster Unemployment Assistance to November 21, 2011. The previous filing deadline for individuals for individuals in Addison, Bennington, Caledonia, Chittenden, Orange, Rutland, Washington, Windham, and Windsor was October 7, 2011 and for individuals in Franklin, Lamoille and Orleans Counties the deadline was October 21, 2011. The US Department of Labor notified Vermont today that they have approved Vermont’s request to extend the filing deadlines for all of the counties that were declared a disaster area as a result of the effects of Tropical Storm Irene. The covered disaster assistance period continues to begin on August 27, 2011 and end on March 3, 2012. The first payable week remains week ending September 3, 2011. An individual must be continuously unemployed as a direct result of the disaster in order to continue to receive Disaster Unemployment Assistance. If eligible, he or she can collect benefits for the weeks during which they meet the necessary criteria. Individuals who experience temporary job loss as a result of the disaster and who do not qualify for State Unemployment Insurance Benefits, such as self-employed individuals, may also be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance. To ensure that all disaster victims have an opportunity to file a timely application for DUA, we request an extension to the DUA application period for Addison, Bennington, Caledonia, Chittenden, Orange, Rutland, Washington, Windham, Windsor, Franklin, Lamoille and Orleans Counties creating a uniform deadline of November 21, 2011. An individual may qualify to receive Disaster Unemployment Assistance if: You were injured in the disaster and are unable to work, whether you are an employee or self-employed.Your workplace was damaged, destroyed, or you cannot work because of the disaster.Your transportation to work is not available.You cannot get to your job because you must travel through the impacted area where means of transportation are not available.You were about to begin working, but could not because of the disaster.You derived most of you income from areas affected by the disaster, and your business is down as a direct result of the disaster. Please call the Vermont Department of Labor’s Claim Assistance Line at 1-877-214-3330 if you are an unemployed worker or self-employed individual who lived, worked, or was scheduled to work in a county that has been declared a disaster area by the federal government to determine you eligibility for Disaster Unemployment Assistance. For more information, please visit www.labor.vermont.gov(link is external).
Polo, usually a sport of the privileged, is now being taken to underprivileged communities in the Free State. (Image: Poloafrica) With 60 ponies on hand, the Poloafrica Development Trust in the Free State is giving more people the opportunity to take part in equestrian sporting activities, like polo.A Laureus Sport for Good Foundation project, Poloafrica aims to make the sport more inclusive and change the perception that it is only for the elite.Based in Uitgedacht Farm on the foothills of the Maluti Mountains, Poloafrica uses the love of riding, polo and ponies as a way to encourage boys and girls from disadvantaged backgrounds to work hard vocationally, at school, and at the life skills lessons provided on the farm.The ponies are used for young people aged between six and 21.Poloafrica founder, Catherine Cairns said the majority of the development polo players in the country belong to the programme and they’re doing well.“Poloafrica teams have numerous wins to their credit in tournaments in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State.”Skills developmentAccording to Poloafrica’s website, it also provides opportunities for talented underprivileged adults to flourish as equestrian professionals – whether in playing the game, caring for the animals, schooling ponies or coaching others.“Recently the scope of equestrian activities offered by the programme has broadened, with the introduction of dressage and show jumping,” said Cairns.“Poloafrica serves eight villages in the surrounding farming community, with a few children visiting during the holidays from across the Lesotho border.”The children in the programme learn a variety of life skills such as art, singing, needlework, bee-keeping, carpentry, welding, acrobatics, self-defence, computer skills and spoken self-expression.They also receive extra tuition in maths and English, two subjects which present a challenge to rural children in South Africa today.The programme also places importance on having empathy for the animals, good attitude and teamwork. To be a Poloafrica scholar, children must be registered at school.Adults in the community also benefit from the employment opportunities offered by the programme.Breaking the barrierPoloafrica is in line with the government’s Transformation Charter for South African Sport.The charter looks to unleash the sporting potential of black youth by encouraging broader community involvement, the creation of development programmes at grassroots levels and the delivering of facilities to disadvantaged communities.“Poloafrica’s strategy delivers against these exact objectives,” said Cairns. “The programme provides beautiful, first class riding and polo facilities in an under-served area, with extensive community involvement. With little help it has already developed a robust pipeline of promising young riders and polo players from one of the most disadvantaged parts of the country.”Closing the gender dividePoloafrica also tries to break down the gender divide.According to the organisation, a cultural shift in the mindset is necessary for the girls on the programme to develop the same sense of purpose in life and confidence in sport as the boys.The trust uses riding and other sports and life skills to encourage girls to become more independent. “In recent holidays the FLY (First Love Yourself) project was designed especially for the older girls to foster self-worth,” said Cairns.“Girls on the programme are encouraged to learn practical skills that traditionally are only done by men, such as welding and carpentry. Equally, the boys on the programme are encouraged to learn skills such as needlework and cooking.”
Mumbai, May 24 (PTI) Notwithstanding ally NCPs proposal, Congress in Maharashtra is likely to back an additional candidate for the Legislative Council elections, party sources said today. Election for 10 seats in the upper house of state legislature would be held next month.NCP has proposed that Congress should contest only one seat, leaving two for NCP. Congress could contest two seats in the next round of council polls, NCP has said.NCP is keen on ensuring the election of its outgoing MLCs Ramraje Nimbalkar and Dhananjay Munde who are at present the Chairman and Leader of Opposition, respectively, in Council.Congress sources said besides the likely renomination of outgoing MLC Muzaffar Hussain, the party may back Independent MLC Vijay Sawant. “Decision was left to the party high command at the party legislators meeting today,” a source said.BJP is likely to nominate its chief state spokesperson Madhav Bhandari and its state general secretary Sujitsingh Thakur for the Legislative Council. BJP is certain to accommodate RPI-A leader Avinash Mahatekar and Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatna leader Sadabhau Khot from its quota of five seats which it can contest on the basis of its strength in the legislative Assembly. Shiv Sena has announced renomination of its sitting MLCs and ministers Subhash Desai and Diwakar Raote.As for Rajya Sabha polls, Shiv Sena has already announced renomination of its sitting MP Sanjay Raut. Congress and NCP are yet to announce their respective candidates.Given its numerical strength, BJP is certain to field two more candidates as both Congress and NCP which earlier had two Rajya Sabha MPs each from Maharashtra do not have enough votes to put up two candidates due to the reduced numbers in the Legislative Assembly. BJP leader and Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal filed nomination yesterday.advertisementBetween the outgoing MP Ishwarlal Jain and Praful Patel, NCP is likely to renominate Patel, sources said. PTI MM KRK ZMN