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The Action Thread Part Two

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Hi everyone!! The Action Thread was locked today, so here's where it will continue!


The first one was open from 8th April 2014 to 11th January 2017, and it had 416 pages and 8303 posts of action.


Here's a link to it: http://zootopia.u2.com/topic/28388-the-action-thread/


Cheers !! :)


(which nothing was wrong other than the thread was getting rather long and that was causing problems.  Unfortunately, we are going to have to do the same with a few others also. ~mich)

Edited by mich40

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CITIZENSHIP Bonnaroo 2017: Major Lazer, D.R.A.M., Global Citizens to Perform at the Festival

By Phineas Rueckert|

 Jan. 11, 2017

Bonnaroo 2017, a large outdoor musical festival in Manchester, Tennessee, is still several months off, but the festival announced its lineup Wednesday. 

Several Global Citizen performers — including Major Lazer, who appeared at the Global Citizen Festival in 2016, and D.R.A.M., who participated in our Get Out the Vote concert in Columbus, Ohio — will be prominently featured at the festival. 

Also performing at Bonnaroo are a number of Global Citizen Rewards partners: Tove Lo, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Weeknd, Portugal. The Man, Borgore, and Angelique Kidjo. 

Read more: Coachella 2017: Beyonce, Kendrick Lamar, Global Citizens to Headline Music Festival

The festival will take place from June 8-11 in Manchester, Tennessee.  

bonnaroo-poster.jpg__899x1379_q85_crop_sImage: Bonnaroo


Written by Phineas Rueckert


Phineas Rueckert is a writer at Global Citizen. He graduated from Macalester College with a degree in Political Science and International Studies, and spent the past year teaching English in Toulouse, France. He is originally from Brooklyn, New York.

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GIRLS & WOMEN Girl, 8, Gets a Handwritten Note From Her Superhero: Ruth Bader Ginsburg

By Phineas Rueckert|

 Jan. 11, 2017
rbg-letter-facebook-krista_wujek_threefoFacebook/Krista Wujek Threefoot

Michele Threefoot, a third-grader from Columbia, Maryland, fulfilled the childhood dream of many this past week: she received a handwritten letter from her superhero. 

About a month ago, the 8-year-old dressed as pioneering Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg for her school’s Superhero Day. 

Read more: 10 Reasons Why Investing in Women and Girls Is So Vital

Her mom snapped a photo and posted it to Facebook, where it’s been shared more than 1,700 times. 


“Girls who read really are dangerous, to unfairness and outmoded inequalities,” her mother Krista Wujek Threefoot wrote in the accompanying Facebook post. 

Threefoot’s interest in Ginsburg was inspired by the book, “I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark.”

Read more: Baller Kid Saves $300 for an XBox, Buys a Well for an Indian Village Instead

Ginsburg encouraged Threefoot to continue to focus on education. 

“May you continue to thrive on reading and learning,” Ginsburg wrote in the letter. 


Clearly, the young girl has taken Ginsburg’s words to heart. She’s now on to reading about pioneering Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, Yahoo reports.


Written by Phineas Rueckert


Phineas Rueckert is a writer at Global Citizen. He graduated from Macalester College with a degree in Political Science and International Studies, and spent the past year teaching English in Toulouse, France. He is originally from Brooklyn, New York.

Edited by tan_lejos_tan_cerca

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REFUGEES Ten years ago, Grace couldn’t speak the language. Now, she’s a star student.


July 26 2016  | By: GUEST BLOGGER
JOIN Join the fight against Extreme Poverty

Story and photos by Rebecca Rwakabukoza

When Grace Kajabika came to Uganda ten years ago from the Democratic Republic of Congo, she spoke French. Learning a new language was just one of the hurdles she had to face as an 8-year-old to get a decent education.

“I was in Primary Two. And the language was so strange,” she says. “I remember feeling very isolated. Most of the children played in their own language and I did not know it.”


Grace Kajabika sits outside Bujubuli Vocational and Secondary School.

Grace is one of hundreds of thousands who have entered Uganda as a refugee. There are more than half a million refugees and asylum seekers in the country—more than half of them under 18, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). In addition to being resettled into a new community, they are also desperately in need of access to education.

All of the refugee settlements have schools near them, which refugees are allowed to register with. This is one of the progressive refugee and asylum policies that Uganda has had in place for a long time. The refugees are given freedom of movement, can attend school, and sit for the national examinations alongside Ugandan nationals.

Grace, the second of three children, has a merit-based scholarship offered by Windle Trust Uganda at Bujubuli Vocational and Secondary School, located outside the Kyaka II Refugee settlement in western Uganda’s Kyegegwa district—where the main language is Rutooro.

With the support of the government and international and local NGOs, the Bujubuli school focuses on the education of the refugee population, though it also attracts local children.


Bujubuli Vocational and Secondary School in Uganda.

Headmaster Esau Ddungu says that the education systems are similar to the refugees’ countries of origin—the difficulties lie mostly with the language. Refugee students are usually asked to enrol a couple of grades lower (for example, if the student was in grade 9, they’re placed in grade 7) to ease the transition into a different language system, especially if they are coming from a French-­speaking country.

Headmaster Ddungu hires refugees to teach at the school as well.

“It is very difficult to move from your home to a little house in a camp,” he says. “I have a French teacher here, from Rwanda. He was a rich man there. I also used to have a former judge from DRC who also taught French. You can imagine what this is like for them. So we have to offer support to the teachers as well.”

Built by UNHCR in 2004 before being handed over to the community, the Bujubuli school is registered as a private entity and tries to keep the cost of education low. Tuition is about $25 for non­resident students and $62 for those that live in the school’s boarding house. For all students in their second year of high school, a partial scholarship is provided through UNICEF for all registered refugees.


Headmaster Esau Ddungu sits in his office at Bujubuli.

“And the land helps a lot,” says Headmaster Ddungu. “The Office of the Prime Minister gives them some land to cultivate. That’s how most of them get their school fees.”

During the weekends and school holidays, Grace grows food on a piece of land offered by the Uganda Government’s Office of the Prime Minister and sells the produce in the local markets to provide for her family and her siblings’ tuition fees. She also offers interpretation services at the camp’s UNHCR office.

“My father cannot work,” she says. “He is disabled in the shoulder.” When asked about her father’s injury, she quietly says, “effect of war.”


A Bujubuli teacher writes a student a note so he can have lunch, even though his tuition is not paid.

Grace, now in Senior Five, is ambitious and bright. She broke through the language barrier and prospered in school.

“After a year, I had made friends and learnt the language,” she says. “I can now speak Rutooro, Luganda, and Runyankore.” Next year, she will take the exams needed to apply for college.

She wants to become a lawyer and plans to focus on immigration issues. Of course, she is very aware of many of the difficulties that the refugees face. And she is concerned about an increase in the number of refugees coming to the settlement.

Schooling is critical. But Grace worries that there aren’t enough scholarships for the students.

“The Senior One students don’t get any scholarships,” she says. “And they don’t have money.”

Sign the petition: Let’s make sure all refugee children get the future they deserve.



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REFUGEES For many, life as a refugee means struggling to find adequate education


December 15 2016  | By: GUEST BLOGGER
JOIN Join the fight against Extreme Poverty

By Josh Hill, ONE Congressional District Leader in Mississippi

We sat down on milk crates, under a shelter that was a tarp pulled across four posts. I had interviewed several refugees by this point, so I knew some about how the trip from Syria goes, but Ingrid* started with something different – the conditions in Homs, the city in Syria her family had left.

The town was under siege, and the prices for normal goods – food and clothing – had increased 10-fold. They were facing regular shelling from a variety of groups, and after Adnan’s* electronics shop was bombed, it became impossible to stay.


Underaged refugees pictured on a swing set arranged in Vial camp in Chios, Greece. (Photo credit: Mstyslav Chernov/Wikimedia Commons)

The story of their journey is harrowing, and worthy of a separate telling, but the thing that struck me was their rationale. It wasn’t the bombing, nor was it the increased prices. Ingrid is a school teacher, and one of the problems with staying in Syria – the problem that she most focused on when telling me their story – was the inability to get her children to school regularly, or to teach other students. She fled because she knew her children needed a better education than they could provide in their home.

It’s hard for me to imagine being in a place where education was both that valued, and completely unavailable. But Ingrid, Adnan, and their children fled their home because of it. When they arrived in Turkey, they took up residence in a camp. There were problems there, too, but at least they were mostly safe. Adnan found work in Istanbul, temporarily, and Ingrid settled into camp life with the kids.

Here too, however, she found that the children couldn’t learn to read. School was only two hours a day, and the curriculum was not well established – teachers changed all the time. Adnan’s job didn’t last long, and he realized he was being paid one-third of what he should have been. Any type of private education was out of the question. They asked Adnan’s parents to sell their car (which was left behind in Syria) and used the money to pay a smuggler to get them to Greece where they hoped to be able to leave for Germany.


Syrian and Iraqi refugees arrive from Turkey to Skala Sykamias, Lesbos island, Greece. (Photo credit: Ggia/Wikimedia Commons)

Their trip across the Agean to Lesvos mirrors so many of those I heard from other refugees. The boat was too small, there were strict rules regarding the children, and though their journey was less eventful than others, it was still harrowing. When they made it to Moria, a camp on Lesvos, they were some of the last out of the boat. This meant that they couldn’t take the ferry that was leaving that afternoon – they had to wait for two days until the next ferry could allow them to pass.

Those two days would cost them.

By the time they arrived in northern Greece — where I spoke with them in a semi-circle of brightly colored camping tents placed on dirt in a forest clearing — the border to Macedonia had closed and they were unable to go any farther. They had arrived the night before the borders closed, and waived off a journalist friend who said they should cross the border that evening. When they attempted the next day, they were told that they couldn’t cross, and that the borders would not reopen.

As we spoke, Adnan made us some tea, provided by one of the many “unofficial” NGO’s that were operating in the open-camps (non-military camps) at the time. Many of these NGO’s had come (or had been developed there by volunteers who came and saw a need), and some focused on education, but proper schooling was basically impossible to come by for the family. When the open-camps started being closed, and residents being evicted, Adnan and Ingrid decided to pay a smuggler to get them to Serbia, where they thought they could get to Germany.


Underaged refugees in a camp located on the northeastern Greek island of Lesbos. (Photo credit: Mstyslav Chernov/Unframe/Wikimedia Commons)

Both attempts at crossing failed, and after a short time – about two weeks after I met with them – they were evacuated to a military camp in northern Greece that had been hastily constructed by the government. The conditions there were deplorable — and perhaps worst for Ingrid and Adnan, there was still no regular schooling for the children.

While their situation has improved, education remains incredibly problematic for refugees. During the research trip when I spoke with Ingrid and Adnan, I spoke with refugees in three countries, many of whom were traveling with small children themselves, or had close friends or relatives traveling with school-aged children. Few were receiving education on a regular basis, and those who were got it from NGOs with a position often as precarious as that of the refugees they served.

*Names have been changed. Join ONE today to stand with vulnerable populations around the world.



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GIRLS & WOMEN These Are the Most and Least Tolerant Countries in 2016

By Meghan Werft |

 Jan. 11, 2017

According to the Legatum Prosperity Index, a measure for global prosperity, the way to measure personal freedom is through accounting for tolerance, accepting others, legal rights, and the amount an individual has and feels freedom. This is one of the cornerstones to creating a prosperous society, and a cause we’re serious about supporting. Global Citizen and CHIME FOR CHANGE fight for the legal rights of girls and women through our Level the Law campaign.

Luxembourg, a country with a population of just over half a million people, ranks No. 1 for social tolerance, legal rights, and basic human freedoms in addition to topping the health chart. Canada comes in second, thanks to gender equality efforts from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Also noteworthy is Uruguay, the only Latin American country to make the top 10 list.

Read More: Malala and Other Nobel Laureates Accuse Myanmar of Ethnic Cleansing in Open Letter

Regions torn apart by conflict such as Sudan and Afghanistan sadly continue to endure the burden of restricted human rights, especially when it comes to  gender equality. However, willful women such as MalalaYousafzai (of Pakistan,) Nadia Murad (of Iraq) and Razia Jan (of Afghanistan,) pursue the rights of girls and women through the powerful tool of education each day.

There are so many figures in our history that did not believe they could make a change, and they did.” - Malala Yousafzai

Afghanistan, Sudan, Yemen, Egypt, and Iran rank the lowest for personal freedom in society. Russia comes in at 141 of 149 countries for the ninth lowest score on personal freedom followed by Iraq and China. 

10 Most Tolerant Countries of 2016


1. Luxembourg

2. Canada

3. New Zealand

4. Iceland

5. Ireland

6. Uruguay

7. Netherlands

8. Finland  

9. Belgium

10. Portugal  

10 Least Tolerant Countries of 2016


1. Afghanistan

2. Sudan

3. Yemen

4. Egypt

5. Iran

6. Libya

7. Mauritania  

8. Central African Republic

9. Russia

10. Democratic Republic of Congo   


TAKE ACTION Send petitions, emails, or tweets to world leaders. Call governments or join rallies. We offer a variety of ways to make your voice heardGet Involved

Written by Meghan Werft 


Meghan is an Editorial Coordinator at Global Citizen. After studying International Political Economy at the University of Puget Sound she hopped coasts to New York. She is a firm believer that education and awareness on global issues has the power to create a more sustainable, equal world where poverty does not exist.

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Rehabilitation for Children Affected by Chernobyl

“SOS appeal. For god’s sake, help us to get the children out.” This was the fax received by Chernobyl Children International founder Adi Roche in 1991.

Around 70 percent of radiation from the Chernobyl disaster fell on the country of Belarus. Thirty years later, 1.7 million people in Belarus live in poverty. Children in Belarus are 1.5 times more likely than the average citizen in the country to experience poverty and represent the poorest sector of the impoverished population. Chernobyl Children International was founded to close this poverty gap and assist the children in Belarus and other affected countries.

Because of CCI, children affected by Chernobyl are able to benefit from multiple advocacy programs. The Homes of Hope program offers adolescents a chance to find placement in homes that free them from institutionalized living. It is not uncommon for a teen to be moved to an adult mental asylum upon reaching 18 as a result of psychological disorders caused by radiation poisoning. Homes of Hope equips young adults with life training skills and vocational education.

Another program supported by CCI sets up volunteer families in Ireland to care for children affected by Chernobyl, allowing the children to live temporarily in an environmentally safe area. The initiative provides children with the opportunity to take a few weeks to escape the living conditions of a toxic environment. Another organization, the


A further organization, the Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline, works to provide healthcare support to children in Belarus and Ukraine and provides recuperative breaks in the U.K. for affected children. It is estimated that breaks such as these can prolong a child’s life for up to two years and lower physical radiation contamination levels by 30 to 50 percent. Perhaps most importantly, the children return home with the reminder that the rest of the world cares about them.

Water contamination and radioactive elements in soil continue to wreak havoc on living conditions and are poised to affect generations to come. In addition to radioactive contamination, people in Belarus, Russia and the Ukraine experience poverty, displacement and insufficient healthcare.

Foundations such as CCI and CCLL provide valuable assistance to rehabilitation efforts in the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster. These efforts are important reminders to Chernobyl victims that they are not forgotten.

– Amy Williams


Via Chernobyl Children International

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Music Generation Wicklow are starting a series of Samba Drum Workshops next week in St. Peters Primary School, Hawthorn Road, Bray.

Day and Time: Tuesday’s after school from 3.30 – 4.30 and 4.30 – 5.30
Start Date: Tuesday 17th January 2017 for 10 weeks. 
Age groups: 8 – 12 and 13 – 17
Fees: 10 weeks for €50

Booking: Enrolment through Music Generation Wicklow – Ann Catherine Nolan @ 086 7909887 or musicgeneration@wicklowvec.ie

A great way to start the New Year!




Via Music Generation

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GIRLS & WOMEN Pants or Skirts — Regardless of Gender, Students Should Have a Choice in School Uniform

By Marnie Cunningham|

 Jan. 11, 2017
fox_schumacher.jpg__1500x670_q85_crop_suFlickr - Fox Shumacher

There has been a long tradition of school uniforms in Australian schools. But it’s only been recently that there has been discussion about why in many schools, it is still mandatory for girls to wear skirts or dresses.

It's exactly this topic that Amanda Megler's debating in a recent column in The Age.

In her op/ed, she runs through the various factors as to why girls should have the choice between wearing skirts or shorts.

Wearing skirts can restrict movement, and studies have actually shown that girls do significantly less physical exercise while wearing a skirt.

While Australian state education departments require schools to comply with anti-discrimination legislation, it is largely left up to schools to form individual uniform policies and a large amount still require girls to wear skirts or dresses.

A Melbourne mother recently started a petition after her daughter was refused the right to wear pants at her school. The amount of signatures shows growing support and concern for uniform equality in Australian schools.

Read more: Texas Pushes Anti-Trans Bathroom Bill, Says it's 'Right Thing to Do"

Two years ago a Brazillian transgender school student Maria Muniz was fined for wearing a skirt to school.

"For me, wearing a skirt was about expressing my freedom over who I am inside and not how society sees me," Muniz told Orange News. In protest all her classmates — both boys and girls — decided to wear skirts to school on the same day. After the protest the fines were dropped and the school’s principal announced they were considering changing their strict dress code.


While examining “unconscious inequalities” in schools, in an article for The Guardian, Laura McInerney said, “Uniforms should do what their name suggests: unify students, instead of dividing them.”

She recalls the moment when new uniforms were announced including different colour ties for male and female students. McInerney points out that for students struggling with gender identity, it would not have been as simple as buying a red or orange tie but rather an excruciating and perhaps embarrassing process.

Read More: Meryl Streep’s Golden Globes Speech Perfectly Captures the Mood of 48.2% of America.

Evan Rachel Wood wore pantsuit #GoldenGlobes 2017, #Shehttps://t.co/JvZU2wNdgehttps://t.co/llQ6wD9weHpic.twitter.com/r6HvXXF5Qo

— World of Fashion (@FashionNewsbit) January 9, 2017

This week we saw a new trend continuing to emerge at the Golden Globe awards — women rocking the pantsuit.

"I wanted girls and women to know that [wearing a dress] is not a requirement," said Evan Rachel Wood. Hopefully this trend of dressing for oneself rather than for the expectations of others will spread more widely.

Regardless of their gender, it’s time both male and female students were given the freedom to choose between pants and skirts.

Uniform equality is not just a fashion choice, it’s about teaching girls they are no different from boys and have as much right to play sports, move freely and not be restricted by their clothes.

How we treat girls throughout their education sets the tone for how women are treated in the workforce, boardrooms and government.

If we are going to end extreme poverty by 2030, achieving Global Goal No. 5 — gender equality and empowering women and girls is a must. And that starts by allowing girls to have the same freedom as boys, at school.


Written by Marnie Cunningham


Marnie Cunningham is a content creator for Global Citizen. With a background in media, photography and international development she has worked in Tanzania, Vanuatu and her hometown of Melbourne, Australia. Marnie is passionate about the environment and runs a sustainable business of her own - seasonal floral and botanical design for weddings and events.

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GIRLS & WOMEN My Name Is Brooke Axtell and I Was Sex Trafficked at Age 7 in the US

By Brooke Axtell|

 Dec. 12, 2016



This post is the first in a series called "Real Women Real Stories,"a social project designed to promote awareness of the often unseen hardships women face in different professions and places around the world. The project highlights women who fight their battles and are persistent on achieving what they have set out for. 

Last year, at the 2015 Grammy Awards, I collaborated with pop singer Katy Perry and President Obama to address the issue of gender violence. After the President highlighted the White House “It’s On Us” campaign, I was invited to speak.

I shared my personal story of overcoming domestic violence and how I found healing. I encouraged those struggling with the pain of abuse to reach out for help. But what I didn’t share that night was how my history of early sexual assault and child sex trafficking prepared me to accept partner violence as an adult.

Like many survivors of domestic violence, my abuse started long before I met my then-boyfriend. Sexual exploitation trained me to believe I was unworthy of the love I so desperately craved.

I was 7 years old when I was trafficked for sex.

My favorite color was pink and I loved to dance. My room was filled with books, dolls and art. I read for hours on my white chair surrounded by stuffed animals, listening to my white music box with the delicate roses and gold edges.

When I took baths, I would rest on my back and sing my first song, “Flying wings, angel sing, strawberry dreams.” Over and over I would sing the same chorus, moving my arms like an angel. Hanging from the bathroom wall was a framed scripture from the book of I Samuel. It is known as Hannah’s Prayer, but in this version, my name replaced the son she prays for. The calligraphy read, “I have prayed for this child, Brooke, and the Lord has granted me what I have asked of him, so now I give her to the Lord for her whole life she will be given over to him.”

My mom taught me God is love. But she was in the hospital and I feared she would never return. My dad traveled for work to take care of our family, so I also had a nanny.

My nanny talked about God, too. He said it was God’s will for him to punish me for my sins. What punishment did I deserve? He did not say the word and I did not have language for what was happening. I could not tell anyone what his deity demanded on my white iron bed with the pink sheets.

He called me a “worthless whore” and said I made him do this to me. When he raped me, repeating the Lord’s prayer, I flew outside my body. Sometimes his voice still echoes within me, “Deliver us from evil. Deliver us from evil.” A part of me split off to survive, to guard the truth, to carry the unbearable weight of this. I multiplied and disappeared.

The first rape was my initiation, my rite of passage into his underworld. A place filled with secrets and shadows, people with dead eyes.

From that initial violation, he secretly took me to houses, hotels, and parties to sell me to men for sex. I was forced into pornography with adults and other children. I was caged and taunted like a trapped animal.

When they filmed me I flew outside my body to take refuge in the beautiful worlds I created: one with a white horse, one where I danced with the angels. Each time they invaded me, I soared above them. I was passed from man to man, hand to hand, like a doll. My soul traveled and retreated, crossed oceans, centuries. I lived a thousand lives in a single night.

This rhythm continued. During the day, I attended school. At night, I belonged to him — and whoever was interested in buying me.

The buyers were always wealthy white men who were insatiable in their appetite to inflict pain. I numbed myself, circling my life as if it belonged to someone else. I became a spectator of the abuse. This is happening to some other little girl, the evil one, who needed to be punished, I told myself. I created a wall, so I could live on the light side, be the good one and continue without pain.

Finally, my mom came home from the hospital in a wheelchair. I was too terrified and ashamed to reveal the abuse, but she sensed something was wrong. She listened to her intuition and fired my nanny.

The exploitation ended suddenly, but my shame did not. No matter how much I accomplished in life, I was still haunted by his lie about me, “Worthless, worthless, worthless.”

I lived for many years concealing the secret of my trauma. What I witnessed felt unspeakable.

Faced with an abusive boyfriend as an adult, I sought out help from a brilliant counselor specializing in sexual violence and resolving developmental trauma. It was there, with her, that I finally felt safe enough to admit what had happened to me — beyond the domestic abuse— and find my healing path.

Eventually, through therapy, an inspiring community of other survivors, and my own creative expression through poetry and music, I found my way back to my original worth. But my recovery has also given me a greater understanding of sex trafficking and how it’s perpetuated.

We live in a culture where women and girls are reduced to sexual commodities, where sexual and domestic violence are not aberrations. For many of us, they are rites of passage, the training ground for internalizing our own oppression.

Child sex trafficking is part of this continuum of violence. It is rape for profit. The appearance of consent is merely a performance the child must enact to survive. Even if a child is actively trading sex for money, food or shelter to survive, this still qualifies as statutory rape. There is no such thing as a child sex worker or child prostitute. There is only child rape.

It is easy to blame those who profit from the exploitation of children — as well we should. But they are not the whole problem. In a country where one out of six American women are survivors of sexual assault and one out of four women are survivors of domestic violence, traffickers are simply monetizing a culture that normalizes violence against women and girls at epidemic rates. This brutal reality along with the pervasive cult of victim-blaming has created the perfect marketplace for the buying and selling of children.

In my work as an advocate, I’ve learned that facing the truth is the beginning of freedom. To be free, we have to bring everything into the light, so our shame and our secrets no longer have power over us. As survivors, we may never see our perpetrators held accountable for their crimes, but we are creating our own justice. Our justice is to overcome, to know our worth, to rise up as leaders, transforming pain into the power of compassion.


Written by Brooke Axtell


Brooke Axtell is the Director of Communications and Survivor Leadership at Allies Against Slavery, an organization dedicated to ending human trafficking.


Via Global Citizen

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The 21-year-old who is fighting for women’s education in Malawi


1 April 2016 9:27AM UTC  | By: JOY ELLIOTT
JOIN Join the fight against Extreme Poverty

We first heard of Ellen Chilemba when writing our feature ‘7 African entrepreneurs to watch out for‘ in October last year.

Chilemba is a 21‐year‐old entrepreneur from Malawi. She is the founding director of a social enterprise called Tiwale which means “let us shine/glow” in Chichewa.


Ellen Chilemba from Overture on Vimeo.

In Malawi, girls often face the same fate: early marriage and insufficient schooling. Over time, this cycle has created a substantial population of women who are undereducated, jobless and facing extreme poverty with few options to pull themselves out. Ellen has been tackling this inequality head-on – starting when she was only 17.

Tiwale started out by teaching Malawian women how to make dye-print African fabrics. The money generated from sales has then financed female entrepreneurs and provide school grants to programme participants interested in going back to school. To date, the project has trained more than 150 women.


Trainees at Tiwale with their hand-dyed fabrics. Image: Ellen Chilemba

Ellen has featured on Forbes most promising entrepreneurs under 30, and was also spotted and featured on the popular photo-documentary project Humans of New York, gaining lots of well-deserved exposure for her venture.


But since we last wrote about her, Ellen has not rested. She is now hoping to build a women’s centre in the Ntsiriza Community, Lilongwe, Malawi.

Tiwale has acquired a plot of land to construct an education centre. Funding permitting, the centre hopes to provide secondary education classes to help women attain the Malawi Secondary Certificate of Education (MSCE); as well as further vocational skills training. These options will enhance the women’s prospects greatly, and address gender inequality in the country head on.

Ellen took some time out of her busy schedule recently to answer a few questions for us. Check out the interview:

What initially inspired you to set up Tiwale?

I was frustrated at how common the idea of a girl leaving school at a young age for dowry benefits had become. Looking at our leadership, in a country with a history of government monetary scandals, I recognised that young people shouldn’t wait to try to change things. When 5 youths between 14 and 19 years old agreed to initiate Tiwale and 150 women showed up, there was no turning back – we had everything.

What’s the best part of your job?

It is the ideas that burst up once we get together. It’s amazing the strength we find in a community. Whenever our community meets, business ideas and education aspirations are always floating around. We are a positive group. My favourite moments are when a member has an idea and another member suggests a connection or supplier. Even though money is essential to sustain our opportunities, the biggest benefit is mobilising each other.


Ellen presenting to the women at Tiwale. Image: Ellen Chilemba

What do you think to our Poverty is Sexist campaign?

It is absolutely awesome! I love it. Poverty is Sexist investigates and challenges structures such as inadequate health access, poor nutrition, environmental and legal injustice that are core determinants of a woman’s wellbeing. It is important to change social systems that inhibit access to resources for women. The call to action is powerful! I am also grateful for the opportunity to Stand with Eva.

Once your women’s centre is set up – what’s next?

We are sourcing collaborations with organisations that recycle hardware in order to get computers donated to the centre. In the future, we intend to host an annual summer code academy for 50 young women from around the country. And as the space we have purchased already has a small home in need of repairs, we would like to improve this structure and turn it into a refuge for women who are temporarily homeless.


The Tiwale team and students. Image: Ellen Chilemba

What advice do you have for young African entrepreneurs?

Often we blame insufficient opportunities as hindering us from entrepreneurship. Poverty is our challenge to be true creative innovators. If you have passion and make sure it is infectious, small steps will become a wider vision.  We need to be at the forefront of taking care of our communities.

We can’t wait to see what’s next for Ellen, but one thing’s for sure – there’s no limit to her ambition and dedication to the women of her community – and beyond.

Support women like those at Tiwale by standing with ONE on International Women’s Day 2017!



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Friday, 13 January 2017, 5.00pm

Newpark Music Centre (“NMC”) is a private, “not for profit” organization providing both part-time and full-time music education. 

Applications are invited for a suitably qualified person to manage and develop the part time courses. The position of Director will report to the Board of NMC and will carry overall responsibility for: (i) the ongoing management and administration of the part time courses; and (ii) the development and implementation of a strategy for the future of the part time courses to ensure their continued success at a time of exciting and dynamic change in music education. The position is critical to the future development of NMC and will include the following responsibilities: 

– Managing the delivery of quality teaching and learning for part time students.
– Providing proactive leadership and hands-on operational and financial management of the part time courses.
– Leading administrative staff and teachers to develop and position the part time courses to meet the music needs of the community.
– Developing a strategic plan to ensure the continued success of NMC as a significant provider of music education.

The successful applicant will have:

– A minimum Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field
– A strong background/experience in educational management and administration (including financial)
– A clear vision for the future of music education
– A solid background in music
– Computer skills (Word, Excel, Outlook)
– The ability to solve problems and execute tasks. 

Applications to be forwarded by email or post by Friday 13th January 2017 and to include CV with cover letter together with the names and contact details of two referees. 

Please send to:
Mr. Derek Lowry, The Secretary of the Board of Newpark Music Centre, Newtownpark Avenue, Blackrock, Co. Dublin. derek.lowry@newparkschool.ie.

Shortlisting will apply. Newpark Music Centre is an equal opportunities employer. 

For more, visit http://newparkmusic.ie/


Via Music Generation

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GIRLS & WOMEN 100 Years Ago, Women Sat Silently Outside the White House for 6 Months in Protest

By Meghan Werft |

 Jan. 10, 2017

Brought to you by: CHIME FOR CHANGE

On Jan. 10, 1917, long before the days of MegaBus or a quick, casual drive to a place where women could collectively voice their opinions, 12 women silently gathered in Lafayette Square in Washington, directly across the street from the White House’s north lawn, and sparked a protest that would later contribute to granting women the right to vote. 

The women were known as the “silent sentinels.” As part of the National Women’s Party, they organized the Grand Sentinels Protest — which included the first picket line to ever take place at the White House. 

Read More: Meet Emmeline Pankhurst, a Rowdy Social Activist Ahead of Her Time

During the protest, women stayed through the bitter cold, taking up residence across the White House lawn with signs reading “How Long Must Women Wait For Liberty” and “Mr. President, What Will You Do for Woman Suffrage?" And they didn’t say, or shout, a word.

They literally lit bonfires of President Woodrow Wilson’s speeches in plain sight of the him. 

Their actions and banners cried out for equal voting rights from Wilson who ignored protests as the US entered WWI in April 1917. 

Read More: 7 Most Important Protests of 2016

Still, suffragettes and the NWP did not give up. With sharp lines such as “Democracy Should Begin at Home" and “Kaiser Wilson” their banners pointed out the bitter irony that Wilson was fighting for democracy abroad while women still had less rights domestically. 

The “Kaiser Wilson” sign was a jab at Wilson, likening the U.S. President to the Wilhelm II, the German ruler America was engaged in war against at the time. The sign specifically ignited tension between anti-suffragettes who allegedly tore up the sign and physically attacked the NWP members picketing. 

grand_picket_at_the_white_house_159040v.1,000 women gather in the rain for the Grand Picket on March 4, 1917 to protest women's suffrage.
Image: Wikimedia Commons: Library of Congress

Members of the NWP continued the protest six days a week in front of the White House through the summer of 1917. And over 500 women were arrested between 1917 and 1919 for picketing across the nation. 

On Jan. 9, 1918, Wilson publically claimed support for the suffrage movement — pushing Congress to grant women the right to vote. 

Read More: What to Learn From Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy of Peaceful Protest

“The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex,” was amended in the Constitution, Aug. 18, 1920, after failing in the Senate two years earlier

national_womens_party_picketing_the_whitImage: Wikimedia Commons: Library of Congress

At the time, the acts of the NWP, which also included hunger strikes, the burning of presidential speeches on democracy and liberty, and getting arrested, were considered “unladylike” by their sister suffragette champions the National Women Suffrage Association. 

Today, those acts of the Grand Sentinels Protests are regarded as paramount to passing the 19th Amendment landing women the right to vote in the U.S. 

And in the past 100 years, women have gained the right to reproductive rights, legislation on Equal Pay, and women hold 20% of seats in Congress

Now is not the time to let this progress slip away. 

Let the women who fought courageously for the right to vote 100-years-ago act as inspiration to press forward and continue advocating for women’s rights everywhere. 

In just 11 days, 100,000 women (and men) including celebrities such as Olivia Wilde, Scarlett Johansson, Katy Perry, Amy Schumer, Zendaya, and Cher will attend the Women’s March on Washington ensuring feminist voices ring out and clear for an incumbent Trump administration. 

In past years, Trump spewed an array of sexist jargon providing an arsenal of reasons for women to fume over. While we can use this as fuel to stoke the fire that is the fight for women’s rights, let’s also recall the dauntless nature of the women like Alice Paul, Emmeline Pankhurst, and others. These women are the true badass feministas to follow on Jan. 21. 

TAKE ACTION Send petitions, emails, or tweets to world leaders. Call governments or join rallies. We offer a variety of ways to make your voice heardGet Involved

Written by Meghan Werft 


Meghan is an Editorial Coordinator at Global Citizen. After studying International Political Economy at the University of Puget Sound she hopped coasts to New York. She is a firm believer that education and awareness on global issues has the power to create a more sustainable, equal world where poverty does not exist.

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HEALTH Russia Wants to Fully Ban Cigarettes for Anyone Born After 2015

By Joe McCarthy|

 Jan. 11, 2017
8794792151_7e63421f38_z.jpg__1500x670_q8Flickr / Dmitriy Fokeev

Russia’s Health Ministry is considering a bold and unusual measure for ending cigarette use: prevent citizens born in 2015 and after from buying cigarettes.

"This goal is absolutely ideologically correct," said Nikolai Gerasimenko, of Russia’s health committee, to The Times.

The law wouldn’t have an effect for more than a decade, but this cut-off point could dramatically curb addiction in the future. The inability of a smoker to buy his or her own cigarettes would almost certainly discourage use, because nicotine addiction is dependent on the mundane purchase and use of cigarettes throughout a day. Having to rely on other people to buy cigarettes or solely going through unregulated channels, especially if that means potential penalties, would most likely deter potential smokers.  

Russia already has some strong anti-smoking measures in place: people can’t smoke in workplaces, bars, restaurants, ships, trains, and many public places.

Read More: Will Tough, New Laws Cut Smoking Rates in India?

However, the country doesn’t tax cigarettes, which is one of the most effective ways to reduce cigarette consumption. In parts of the country, a pack can be bought for around $1.

And Russia has one of the highest rates of smoking in the world. More than 59% of Russians 15 and older smoke and the average Russian adult smokes about 2,700 cigarettes a year. (Indonesia has the highest above-15 rate of smoking in the world at 76.2% and Panama has the lowest rate at 10.6%.)

Read More: How the Ugliest Color in the World Might Save Lives

The kind of prevalence in Russia makes it hard for young people to avoid influential exposures — parents, friends, or role models who smoke and explicitly or implicitly encourage the practice. But if future generations are simply unable to buy cigarettes, then use rates will eventually drop. Over time, the government will also be able to pair this ban with other measures that may be hard to enact today, such as larger taxes or outright bans on cigarette production.  

Other countries have gotten creative, if gross, with anti-smoking campaigns — creating packaging and advertisements that illustrate in lurid details the harms of smoking. Like with higher taxes that cut into paychecks, anything that makes the act of smoking less pleasurable is an effective deterrent.

Read More: India’s Capital Bans All Forms of Chewing Tobacco to Reduce Mouth and Throat Cancer

Tobacco use kills more than 6 million people each year, and many millions more experience all sorts of severe health complications such as cancer, stroke, and heart attacks.

In 2012, more than 400,000 Russians died from smoking-related diseases.

Youth are especially prone to marketing from tobacco companies and peer pressure, and are, therefore, more prone to forming an addiction to nicotine.

Russia’s latest proposed measure may seem heavy-handed, but it’s long past due that people across the world accept the hazardous effects of cigarettes.  


Written by Joe McCarthy


Joe McCarthy is a Content Creator at Global Citizen. He believes apathy is the biggest threat to creating a more just world and tries his hardest to stay open-minded and curious. Living in New York keeps him aware of how interconnected our world is, how every action has ripples.

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GIRLS & WOMEN Stunning photos from a place where women rule

By Hans Glick|

 June 10, 2015
khasi-girls-hero.jpg__1500x670_q85_crop_Karolin Klüppel, "Anisha by the window"

In a world where girls and women are all too often denied the same opportunities as their male counterparts, it’s hard not to see planet Earth as one big boys club.  

But did you know that, for a handful of societies around the world, that script is actually flipped? In parts of Canada, Indonesia, China, and West Africa, among other places, women run the show to varying degrees.

Some cultures give women exclusive rights to own property. Others look to their women for leadership and decision-making. Still others, known as matrilineal societies, trace descent through the mother’s side of the family.  

If you’re having trouble picturing such a society, you’re in luck: Karolin Klüppel, a photographer from Germany, recently spent 9 months living with, and visually documenting, the Khasi people, a small, matrilineal society in north-east India. Her photo series, titled “Mädchenland” (“Kingdom of Girls”), offers a vivid depiction of matrilineal culture through the eyes of its youngest matriarchs-to-be: Khasi girls.

In an email Q&A with me, Karolin shared stories about her experience working with these girls, as well as what those of us living in more male-dominated societies can learn from her images.  After the Q&A, scroll down to view a selection of images from the series. 

(Editors Note: Karolin’s responses are presented here in their entirety, with minor edits for clarity.)

Hans Glick: Gender has been a recurring theme in your work. What was it about the Khasi and their unique regard for women that drew you to this project?

Karolin Klüppel: I have been interested in matriarchal and matrilineal societies for a long time. The Khasi caught my attention because of many different aspects, but also simply because they live in India. I traveled through India some weeks before I came to Meghalaya and I must admit, it was a challenge. Shillong was then the first place where I felt totally safe as a single female traveler. The atmosphere is totally different and I could feel that people respect one another regardless of the gender. What drew me to the project was to experience this contrast to show another side of India.

HG: Did the experience of photographing these young girls present any unique challenges? Any unique rewards?

KK: Most girls of Mawlynnong loved to be photographed, otherwise it would not have worked out so well. I would say it was very rewarding to spend so much time with them. A bit challenging was the language barrier during the first weeks but we always managed to communicate.

HG: Some of the photos seem posed, others more spontaneous. Did any of the girls take an interest in how they were photographed? Or did you have to prompt them to do most things?

KK: Many girls definitely had an interest and came up with their own ideas of how they wanted their picture to be. Often we worked together. Many pictures are not staged, although it seems so, like the picture of Yasmin combing her hair in front of the mirror. Then it was like I was involved in their game. Also lacamti, when she was diving. She definitely wanted her picture taken. If I had a very special idea in mind, like the picture of the kwai on Anisha’s head, I asked for the girl to pose for me.

HG: Can you give an example of how the girls you spent time with behaved or carried themselves differently than they might have if they grew up in a patrilineal culture?

KK: For me, girls were more present in Mawlynnong than boys—same for women and men—and they are very self assured. It would make sense to draw a comparison between the behaviour of the girls of Mawlynnong to girls of other indian villages. I can just guess that it must be different because I have no experiences. To draw a comparison to western patriarchal societies would not make sense because character is influenced by so many aspects.

HG: What do you think other societies can learn from a matrilineal culture like the Khasi?

KK: Well, the Khasi culture also has its contradictions. There is definitely no gender equality here. Men usually do not own any property in the Khasi society, and their children do not belong to their clan. As a result, men sometimes feel unimportant and not very responsible for their families. There is even a group of men waging a battle for ''men's liberation'', the Syngkhong Rympei Thymmai (SRT) with 4,000 members.

What really impressed me—and what I miss very much in Germany—is how much the Khasi and Indians generally care about their family and friends. Human relationships seem very strong there, which seems reasonable, because of the poverty and the little support from the government. If you do not help each other, you are lost. In the Khasi society, I am sure, no one would ever feel lonely because people just need each other. Whereas, in my society, loneliness is something that a lot of people suffer from. Every culture has its tradeoffs.

khasi-girls-body-1.jpg__620x620_q85_cropIbapyntngen with bugs

khasi-girls-body-2.jpg__620x620_q85_cropIbapyntngen with lipstick

khasi-girls-body-3.jpg__620x620_q85_cropAnisha with Kwai

khasi-girls-body-4.jpg__620x620_q85_croplacamti, diving

khasi-girls-body-5.jpg__620x620_q85_cropPhida with balloon


khasi-girls-body-7.jpg__620x620_q85_cropYasmin in her bedroom

khasi-girls-body-8.jpg__620x620_q85_cropYasmin with mug

To see more of Karolin’s work, visit her website or follow her on Instagram. Tip of the hat to the New York Times’ always excellent photojournalism blog Lens, which first alerted me to Karolin’s work.



Written by Hans Glick


Hans is an Audio/Visual Content Creator for Global Citizen. He loves telling stories and making killer content regardless of the format, but holds a special place in his heart for documentary filmmaking. He's a proud native of Buffalo, NY.

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Poland Refuses to Give Up Coal. Now Its Smog Levels Rival China

By Joe McCarthy| Jan. 12, 2017


AP Photo/Alik Keplicz

All across Poland, anti-smog masks are becoming a new norm. The country’s dependence on coal is swamping the air with pollutants, so much so that 33 of Europe’s 50 most polluted cities are in Poland.

The country’s capital, Warsaw, has air pollutant levels eight times greater than normal limits set by the EU. On Tuesday, the country had nearly the same levels of harmful air pollutants like sulfur and carbon monoxide as Beijing.

Read More: These 6 Cities Are Trying to Give Up Cars Entirely

Across southern Poland, schools were closed this week to keep children from breathing toxic clouds, and public transportation was made free across parts of the country to discourage car use.

Other cities around the world have targeted cars when pollution gets too extreme, but deeper structural problems are to blame in Poland.

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter


 Marta Zaraska @mzaraska

My throat burns from horrific smog in Polish mountains. 43,000 die/year due to coal #pollution here #Poland #AirQuality #beskid

4:56 PM - 30 Dec 2016

  14 14 Retweets   7 7 likes

Read More: China Unveils Blockbuster $361 Billion Plan for Clean Energy

In 2016, coal production hit its lowest level in 35 years in the US, China has more than halved its coal production since 2013, and the rest of Europe is eagerly investing in renewable energy. But not Poland. As the rest of the world runs from coal, Poland is gorging on it.

Poland gets nearly 90% of its electricity from coal and the country is building new coal plants. The government insists that the economic benefits of coal outweigh any of the negative consequences and has vowed to create up to 100,000 coal-related jobs.

During the winter, many Polish people still burn coal in old stoves inside their homes.

Read More: 90% of People Breathe Dangerous Air, WHO Reports

In some of the heavier coal regions, the smell of burning coal is familiar. In the popular tourist town Krakow, lung diseases, heart attack, stroke, and much more are burgeoning. Carcinogens from cheap coal are so pervasive that pollution-induced nosebleeds are a common occurrence. People stay inside rather than face the unfiltered air.  

A backlash is slowly forming. A ban on coal and other solid fuels for home stoves comes into effect in 2018 for Krakow. But even as persistent health problems grow and citizens are driven to the streets to protest, the government is holding fast to its commitment to coal.

“We’re not a country where the sun shines and wind blows all year,” said Jaroslaw Grzesik, head of the mining division of the Solidarity union, to Bloomberg. “We’re a country rich in coal, and we should care about our economy and our citizens.”


Send petitions, emails, or tweets to world leaders. Call governments or join rallies. We offer a variety of ways to make your voice heard

Get Involved

TOPICSEmissions, Air pollution, Renewables, Pollution, Coal, Fossil Fuels, Poland

Joe McCarthy

Written by Joe McCarthy

Joe McCarthy is a Content Creator at Global Citizen. He believes apathy is the biggest threat to creating a more just world and tries his hardest to stay open-minded and curious. Living in New York keeps him aware of how interconnected our world is, how every action has ripples.


Via Global Citizen

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What a Kenyan community can teach us about menstrual hygiene and human rights


September 23 2016  | By: GUEST BLOGGER
IF YOU CARE, ACT. ADD YOUR NAME TODAY International Womens Day 2017

By Ash Rogers, executive director, Lwala Community Alliance

The conversation surrounding women and girls’ is certainly changing.

2016 marks a real turning point — a year that ended the tampon tax in several cities across the United States, and saw an Olympian speak openly about her period. It is fitting that during the UN General Assembly, we reflect on menstruation in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals and its impact on a young girl’s development.

Let’s start with a story of a Kenyan girl, Grace*. She is 13 years old. Her father died of HIV and her mother struggles to maintain a household of five children. Grace is bright, but has less time to study than her brothers because of expectations that she help with chores.


Photo credit: Lwala Community Alliance

One day, Grace stood up in her class to answer a question. Students around her began snickering and pointing. The teacher shouted at her to leave immediately. She looked down to realize, in horror, that she had blood on her uniform. She ran home, humiliated and concerned that she might be very ill. Later that day, she learned about her period for the first time — not from a parent or teacher, but from a classmate. This same friend pointed out that, since there aren’t latrines or water at school, the simplest option is to stay home while on her period. She also told Grace how some of the older girls would “play sex” with local taxi drivers to get money for sanitary pads.

Around the world, adolescence is a time of crisis and indignity for girls like Grace. In Kenya alone, nearly one million girls miss school because of menstruation, 25 percent of girls do not know that menstruation is connected to childbearing, and very few girls know that it is their human right to refuse transactional sex or that rape is a crime.

In rural Western Kenya, Lwala Community Alliance (Lwala) — in partnership with Johnson & Johnson, Weyerhaeuser Family Foundation, and Blood:Water Mission — has developed community-led solutions to the challenges faced by girls like Grace.

First, school management committees across 13 government primary schools created Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene plans, which made it possible to install latrines, water catchment tanks, and hand-washing stations — all of which are critical to helping girls manage their monthly cycles.


Photo credit: Lwala Community Alliance

Education is also key, and as such, communities formed sexual and reproductive health committees that address rights issues, including child protection, gender inequity, transactional sex, and rape. Simultaneously, Lwala trained teacher-mentors to offer education on leadership and reproductive health to boys and girls.

Lwala spurred a spin-off social enterprise called New Visions, which produces uniforms and sanitary pads, and with Johnson & Johnson’s support, Lwala can now provide pads and uniforms for adolescent girls across 13 schools. A partnership with our friends at Afripads allowed Lwala to expand this program in 2016.

Through these initiatives, the ratio of girls graduating from primary school increased from 37 percent in 2009 to 44 percent in 2015. Communities themselves are ensuring that no girl drops out of school or becomes pregnant because they lack the tools to navigate adolescence.


Photo credit: Lwala Community Alliance

Menstruation does indeed matter. It is a healthy, normal part of being a woman, and as such, all women and girls should access all of the interventions needed to manage their cycles and continue life normally. Lwala’s hope for the UN General Assembly is that issues surrounding menstrual hygiene are discussed openly, and that we see more focus on community-led, holistic solutions that keep women and girls safe and healthy.

Ash Rogers is the Executive Director of Lwala Community Alliance, a community-driven innovator in Western Kenya. Learn more here. Ash previously served at the Director of Operations for Segal Family Foundation.



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