Georgia’s Thomas County 4-H is saddling up to assist at-risk teenagers in Philadelphia in becoming Concrete Cowboys by providing the program with supplies.About 10 years ago, Malik Divers and some friends built an enclosure for horses on an abandoned parking lot in west Philadelphia. He then bought some horses and started the Concrete Cowboys project with the goal of reaching local, at-risk teenagers. His efforts have gotten attention from news outlets like NBC and People magazine.When Thomas County’s University of Georgia Cooperative Extension 4-H agent Cindy Wynn learned about the Concrete Cowboys, her interest was piqued.“Malik is a retired construction worker but he should have been a 4-H leader, because without even really knowing it, he’s teaching some of the same essential elements we teach in 4-H,” Wynn said. “He’s playing a really vital role in his community by assisting at-risk teens through his equine program. He’s teaching mastery, belonging, independence, and these teens are learning skills that will help them later on.” Wynn contacted Divers to see if there was anything her south Georgia 4-H program could do to help.“When I was talking to Malik, I said it was very obvious from the video clip that they were in desperate need of some equipment,” Wynn said. “You could tell they were doing the best with what they had, but he said they could use absolutely anything.” The Pennsylvania-based group needed saddles, so Wynn and a group of 4-H members started a fund-drive to secure some supplies. “Within 24 hours we had two Western saddles,” Wynn said. “We were able to collect many items related to horse care: brushes, buckets, lead ropes, holsters, horse blankets, anything you would need if you owned a horse.” Other Georgia counties heard about the Concrete Cowboys and began donating to the program. When school started last fall, members of the Concrete Cowboys needed school supplies, so south Georgia 4-H members gathered book bags and school supplies to send.“It taught a lesson in generosity. It’s a unique opportunity to practice service to others,” Wynn said. To donate tack items or funds to assist with shipping items to Concrete Cowboys, contact Wynn at the Thomas County Extension office at 229-225-4130.(Julia Rodriguez is an intern with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences based in Tifton.)
Royal IHC recently signed a contract with National Marine Dredging Company (NMDC, based in Abu Dhabi, UAE) to build yet another state-of-the-art trailing suction hopper dredger (TSHD).According to IHC, the new vessel builds on the excellent partnership & collaboration between the two companies and on the success of the 6,000m³ TSHD ARZANA, which was delivered by IHC in 2018.In addition, IHC will deliver the first TSHD simulator to the Middle East, further allowing NMDC to develop & strengthen its excellent in-house dredging capabilities & competencies.The new TSHD will be delivered featuring a number of technologically enhanced innovations including an enlarged hopper capacity of 8,000m³ and a larger dredging depth of 45 meters.The design of the new TSHD is a result of close cooperation between IHC and NMDC, leading to a tailor-made solution that combines shallow draft and a large dredging depth with high maneuverability, whilst it is specifically designed for operation in high temperatures.“Our partnership with NMDC has proven to be successful in the past, and we are pleased to continue working with them and add more value to their advanced fleet,” commented Royal IHC CEO Dave Vander Heyde.With the new 8,000m³ TSHD and the TSHD simulator, NMDC is aiming to reassert itself as a long-term global player in the dredging market. The new vessel will enable the company to be more competitive on a wider range of projects, and is a valuable strategic addition to its growing fleet.