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The Action Thread Part Two

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How you can help Equal Measures 2030 fight for gender equality

May 18 2018 | By: GUEST BLOGGER

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By Jessica Lomelin and Megan O’Donnell

As gender equality advocates, how do we transform data into power? You only have until May 20 to complete Equal Measures 2030’s Global Advocates Survey 2018 to help answer this question.

Why take the survey?

Equal Measures 2030 envisions a world where gender equality is achieved, and every girl and woman counts and is counted. We believe that the right data in the right hands will help reveal how differently girls and women experience the world and what needs to change in order to achieve gender equality.

EM2030-Survey-Promo-1.jpg

Share your thoughts on gender equality. Take the survey now.

Our Global Advocates Survey will find out from hundreds of gender equality advocates about their views on progress towards gender equality, how they feel about current data sources and what issues to prioritize in our push for better and more accessible data in order to better meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for girls and women.

When advocates and decision makers have the compelling evidence they need, they can better work to ensure girls’ and women’s rights become, and remain, a priority on the policy agenda and in efforts to achieve the SDGs.

As ONE Campaign CEO Gayle Smith has said, “Equal Measures 2030 is well positioned to help get the right data into the hands of advocates who can use it. By bridging this gap and making data actionable, we’re excited that local organizations will be better equipped to fight injustice and influence policies that can maximize the potential of women and girls in their communities.”

Does my insight and opinion matter and what will it lead to?

Our Global Advocates Survey will discover how data on girls and women are being used in different countries and regions, what gender equality advocates need from data to push for rights, and how they need to be better supported to give power to data.

Armed with this understanding, together we will work to better ensure that girls and women count and are counted. We are asking gender equality advocates to bring their voice to the table by participating in our survey – giving us the vital information we need to push for and meet their data needs.

Women are finding it harder to join in global conversations in a time of security agendas, reduced budgets and tougher travel laws. Sharing your needs in our survey will help us make sure the views of gender equality advocates globally are seen and heard.

Why does Equal Measures 2030 want to hear from gender equality advocates?

Equal Measures 2030 works with influencers across civil society, the private sector, the media, multilateral institutions, and beyond to help create a “race to the top” for national governments to achieve gender equality in line with the SDGs.

Combined with compelling storytelling, a mixture of qualitative and quantitative data can serve as tools to help drive policymakers to recognize issues that have previously been ignored or under-prioritized.

And where political will is lacking, a gender equality movement that engages the public with powerful stories and data can help build momentum to move an issue to the top of the policy agenda.

Equal Measures 2030 and its partners will use the findings from the survey to better respond to the needs of gender equality advocates from across the globe. The results of the survey will be compiled, analyzed and shared in September 2018, and can be used to inform the work of other movements for data, SDGs, and gender equality.

Spread the word: Our survey (available in EnglishFrenchSpanishBahasa/Indonesian, and Hindi) is open to anyone who fights for gender equality in any corner of the world.

Please help us ensure that we hear the voices of gender equality advocates everywhere!

About Equal Measures 2030
Equal Measures 2030 – an independent civil society and private sector-led partnership – connects data and evidence with advocacy and action, helping to fuel progress towards gender equality.
The partnership is a joint effort of leading regional and global organizations from civil society, the development and private sectors, including: the African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET), Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Data2X, the International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC), KPMG International, ONE Campaign, Plan International and Women Deliver.

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1
CULTURE

The cleanest city on the planet? Kigali scrubs up

10 May 2018 3:59PM UTC | By: THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION

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Join the fight against extreme poverty

 
  

This story was originally reported by Aimable Twahirwa, and edited by James Baer and Laurie Goering for the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

In the rainy season, water used to pour into Dativa Nyiramajyambere’s house on a cheap plot of land in the Kigali suburb of Rugenge. Outside her home, a half-metre-wide hole in the pavement gathered rubbish.

But in 2009, Kigali’s leaders decided to start demolishing slums in the capital’s poor suburbs – those with little access to piped water or electricity – and replace them with new roads and homes.

Nyiramajyambere, who had owned a small milk shop, was given a modest new home on the outskirts of the city. Families like hers also got compensation of $1,500-2,000 to help them settle in.

The move was a first step in what has turned into an ambitious master plan to clean up Kigali – one that has led to the city being hailed as one of the greenest and cleanest in Africa.

Earlier this year, at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, U.N. Environment Programme head Eric Solheim referred to Kigali as the “cleanest city on the planet”, both in terms of lack of rubbish on the streets and green initiatives.

The accolade recognised a combination of government schemes that have made the Rwandan capital much tidier than before, but that also have spurred resistance from many displaced slum-dwellers.

The clean-up effort is in part a response to rapid growth in the capital, which has seen its population double since 1996, to about 1.3 million residents, many of them living in informal settlements, according to the municipal government.

Kigali is the modern Capital city of Rwanda. The Boda Boda riders insists on one passenger only and helmets must be worn. Photo Credit: Dylan Walters/Flickr

Kigali is the modern Capital city of Rwanda. The Boda Boda riders insist on one passenger only and helmets must be worn. Photo Credit: Dylan Walters/Flickr

TRAFFIC TO WASTE

In 2013, municipal authorities drew up a master plan to improve the city’s environment while also trying to promote social inclusion, sustainable economic development and access to civic facilities.

One focus was traffic congestion. To try to alleviate it, the Rwandan government spent $76 million to pave narrow streets, widen all main roads to dual carriageways, and improve signs.

It also upgraded bus services between the suburbs and the city centre to encourage people to use public transport, said Bruno Rangira, a Kigali city spokesman, in an interview with the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

As well, the government committed nearly $40 million to relocate several dozen factories in a former wetlands industrial area to a newly established Special Economic Zone.

It has also begun to remove nearly 2,100 smaller businesses – from motor repair shops to restaurants – that encroach on the city’s wetlands, with the goal of restoring the land to its natural state by 2020.

Parfait Busabizwa, Kigali’s vice-mayor for economic development, told reporters in December that the city wants to create an artificial lake on reclaimed wetlands, for recreation and to protect against flooding, a worsening problem in the city as climate change brings more intense rainfall.

Owners of businesses constructed illegally on wetlands are not being offered compensation, according to the Rwanda Environmental Management Authority and the ministry in charge of industries.

But they will be given the chance to buy new land in a suburban area, where they will be given construction permits, Busabizwa said.

Other legal businesses displaced by the cleanup effort are expected to receive compensation and help relocating by the end of 2019, using a nearly $30 million government fund, he said.

Not all business owners are happy about the shift.

Emile Murekezi, who saw his garage in Kinamba, a marshland suburb, closed and demolished in 2015, said he is now doing part-time jobs while waiting to find an appropriate place to relocate his shop.

Shifting businesses could lead to “many people losing their jobs”, he said, as old clients disappear and finding new ones proves a struggle.

Slum residents and landlords with property in central parts of the city also have objected to being relocated, usually to more distant areas.

BETTER SERVICES

One goal of the changes in the city is to reach more people with services, but greener ones – such as biogas from sewage, Rangira said.

Key contributors to Kigali’s green push are residents themselves who, like all Rwandan citizens, are required to perform a day of community work, called “umuganda”, once a month.

34797847982_669595ab92_z.jpg

Rwandan citizens taking part in ‘Umuganda’, also translated as ‘coming together in common purpose to achieve an outcome’. Photo Credit: Rwanda Environment Management Authority

In the capital, the long-established workdays focus on things like clearing land for community gardens, picking up rubbish, or helping to build new roads, classrooms or residential toilets for families that lack them.

The city also is trying to set up trash collection sites in all suburban areas and is working with local businesses to install public toilets, Rangira said.

In the meantime, Busabizwa said that Kigali, rather than relying primarily on fines to ensure cleanliness, is building awareness campaigns to promote a culture of hygiene.

According to national government statistics, more than 90 percent of households in Kigali now have access to toilets and to clean water.

The city also plans to create a new more than $300 million wastewater treatment plant by 2022 in Giti Cy’Inyoni, a suburb of Kigali, according to Giselle Umuhumuza, deputy managing director of the government’s Water and Sanitation Corporation.

Teddy Kaberuka, a Kigali-based independent researcher on economic and development issues, said that clean-up efforts – from banning plastic bags to budgeting for city cleaning – have crucially been accompanied by efforts to persuade people of the benefits of the changes.

Even more progress in winning backing for the green push could be made by creating more jobs for cleaners, rubbish collectors, and gardeners, he said.

So far, the Rwanda Utility Regulatory Authority has granted nearly 200 licenses to cleaning services companies, which mostly hire women relocated from shanty towns, according to a 2017 report by the authority.

Nyiramajyambere is one of them, having traded her job as an informal shop owner for one as a street cleaner – something she says has increased her income.

“Thanks to the new job, I can now feed my family and my children are now going to schools,” she said.

ONE welcomes the contributions of guest bloggers but does not necessarily endorse the views, programs, or organisations highlighted.

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GIRLS AND WOMEN

Download these exclusive #PovertyIsSexist wallpapers

March 20 2018 | By: SAMANTHA URBAN

 
  

There is nowhere on earth where women have the same opportunities as men, but the gender gap is wider for women living in poverty.

Poverty is sexist. And we won’t stand by while the poorest women are overlooked.

Want to take action? Sign our open letter to world leaders here.

Want to show your support? Download these free wallpapers created exclusively for the Poverty is Sexist campaign by talented female illustrators from around the world:

1280-x-720-1024x576.jpg

MOBILE | DESKTOP

ONE_IWD2018_2_desktop_1920x1080-1024x576

MOBILE | DESKTOP

ONE_IWD2018_3_desktop_1920x1080-1024x576

MOBILE | DESKTOP

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10
CULTURE

The cleanest city on the planet? Kigali scrubs up

10 May 2018 3:59PM UTC | By: THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION

JOIN

Join the fight against extreme poverty

 
 
  

This story was originally reported by Aimable Twahirwa, and edited by James Baer and Laurie Goering for the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

In the rainy season, water used to pour into Dativa Nyiramajyambere’s house on a cheap plot of land in the Kigali suburb of Rugenge. Outside her home, a half-metre-wide hole in the pavement gathered rubbish.

But in 2009, Kigali’s leaders decided to start demolishing slums in the capital’s poor suburbs – those with little access to piped water or electricity – and replace them with new roads and homes.

Nyiramajyambere, who had owned a small milk shop, was given a modest new home on the outskirts of the city. Families like hers also got compensation of $1,500-2,000 to help them settle in.

The move was a first step in what has turned into an ambitious master plan to clean up Kigali – one that has led to the city being hailed as one of the greenest and cleanest in Africa.

Earlier this year, at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, U.N. Environment Programme head Eric Solheim referred to Kigali as the “cleanest city on the planet”, both in terms of lack of rubbish on the streets and green initiatives.

The accolade recognised a combination of government schemes that have made the Rwandan capital much tidier than before, but that also have spurred resistance from many displaced slum-dwellers.

The clean-up effort is in part a response to rapid growth in the capital, which has seen its population double since 1996, to about 1.3 million residents, many of them living in informal settlements, according to the municipal government.

Kigali is the modern Capital city of Rwanda. The Boda Boda riders insists on one passenger only and helmets must be worn. Photo Credit: Dylan Walters/Flickr

Kigali is the modern Capital city of Rwanda. The Boda Boda riders insist on one passenger only and helmets must be worn. Photo Credit: Dylan Walters/Flickr

TRAFFIC TO WASTE

In 2013, municipal authorities drew up a master plan to improve the city’s environment while also trying to promote social inclusion, sustainable economic development and access to civic facilities.

One focus was traffic congestion. To try to alleviate it, the Rwandan government spent $76 million to pave narrow streets, widen all main roads to dual carriageways, and improve signs.

It also upgraded bus services between the suburbs and the city centre to encourage people to use public transport, said Bruno Rangira, a Kigali city spokesman, in an interview with the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

As well, the government committed nearly $40 million to relocate several dozen factories in a former wetlands industrial area to a newly established Special Economic Zone.

It has also begun to remove nearly 2,100 smaller businesses – from motor repair shops to restaurants – that encroach on the city’s wetlands, with the goal of restoring the land to its natural state by 2020.

Parfait Busabizwa, Kigali’s vice-mayor for economic development, told reporters in December that the city wants to create an artificial lake on reclaimed wetlands, for recreation and to protect against flooding, a worsening problem in the city as climate change brings more intense rainfall.

Owners of businesses constructed illegally on wetlands are not being offered compensation, according to the Rwanda Environmental Management Authority and the ministry in charge of industries.

But they will be given the chance to buy new land in a suburban area, where they will be given construction permits, Busabizwa said.

Other legal businesses displaced by the cleanup effort are expected to receive compensation and help relocating by the end of 2019, using a nearly $30 million government fund, he said.

Not all business owners are happy about the shift.

Emile Murekezi, who saw his garage in Kinamba, a marshland suburb, closed and demolished in 2015, said he is now doing part-time jobs while waiting to find an appropriate place to relocate his shop.

Shifting businesses could lead to “many people losing their jobs”, he said, as old clients disappear and finding new ones proves a struggle.

Slum residents and landlords with property in central parts of the city also have objected to being relocated, usually to more distant areas.

BETTER SERVICES

One goal of the changes in the city is to reach more people with services, but greener ones – such as biogas from sewage, Rangira said.

Key contributors to Kigali’s green push are residents themselves who, like all Rwandan citizens, are required to perform a day of community work, called “umuganda”, once a month.

34797847982_669595ab92_z.jpg

Rwandan citizens taking part in ‘Umuganda’, also translated as ‘coming together in common purpose to achieve an outcome’. Photo Credit: Rwanda Environment Management Authority

In the capital, the long-established workdays focus on things like clearing land for community gardens, picking up rubbish, or helping to build new roads, classrooms or residential toilets for families that lack them.

The city also is trying to set up trash collection sites in all suburban areas and is working with local businesses to install public toilets, Rangira said.

In the meantime, Busabizwa said that Kigali, rather than relying primarily on fines to ensure cleanliness, is building awareness campaigns to promote a culture of hygiene.

According to national government statistics, more than 90 percent of households in Kigali now have access to toilets and to clean water.

The city also plans to create a new more than $300 million wastewater treatment plant by 2022 in Giti Cy’Inyoni, a suburb of Kigali, according to Giselle Umuhumuza, deputy managing director of the government’s Water and Sanitation Corporation.

Teddy Kaberuka, a Kigali-based independent researcher on economic and development issues, said that clean-up efforts – from banning plastic bags to budgeting for city cleaning – have crucially been accompanied by efforts to persuade people of the benefits of the changes.

Even more progress in winning backing for the green push could be made by creating more jobs for cleaners, rubbish collectors, and gardeners, he said.

So far, the Rwanda Utility Regulatory Authority has granted nearly 200 licenses to cleaning services companies, which mostly hire women relocated from shanty towns, according to a 2017 report by the authority.

Nyiramajyambere is one of them, having traded her job as an informal shop owner for one as a street cleaner – something she says has increased her income.

“Thanks to the new job, I can now feed my family and my children are now going to schools,” she said.

ONE welcomes the contributions of guest bloggers but does not necessarily endorse the views, programs, or organisations highlighted.

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Did you know that the theme for Anti-Bullying Week as 'Choose Respect' has been announced? 
Get involved today: https://bit.ly/2z5xPGH 
#antibullyingweek #chooserespect #bullying

Anti-Bullying Week 2018: Choose Respect

  • The theme for Anti-Bullying Week 2018 this year is ‘Choose Respect’

  • Anti-Bullying Week runs from 12-16 November 2018

  • ABA will hold Odd Socks Day for Anti-Bullying Week again on the first day of Anti-Bullying Week (12 November 2018)

Anti-Bullying Week Logo 2018

The theme for this year's Anti-Bullying Week is to choose respect over bullying.

You can download the logos and social media assets here

Following a consultation with over 800 children, teachers and members of the Anti-Bullying Alliance, it emerged that a top priority was showing that bullying is a behaviour choice, and that children and young people can set a positive example by opting to respect each other at school, in their homes and communities, and online.

The aims of this week are to support schools and other settings to help children and young people, school staff, parents and other professionals who work with children to understand:

  • The definition of respect

  • That bullying is a behaviour choice

  • That we can respectfully disagree with each other i.e. we don’t have to be best friends or always agree with each other but we do have to respect each other

  • That we all need to choose to respect each other both face to face and online

The Anti-Bullying Alliance, with the continued support of SafeToNet, will be developing a set of free cross-curricular teaching resources to support both primary and secondary schools to embrace the theme of respect.

CBeebies star Andy Day and Anti-Bullying Alliance patron, and his band Andy and the Odd Socks, are supporting Anti-Bullying Week 2018 and are encouraging students to wear odd socks to school during the campaign to show their support and raise money for a good cause.

There will also be Anti-Bullying Week School Staff Awards for those inspiring members of the school workforce who go the extra mile to support pupils and prevent bullying.

Odd Socks Day Banner

Martha Evans, National Coordinator of the Anti-Bullying Alliance, said:

“The feedback from children and teachers on the theme has been really encouraging and we are excited to announce the plans for this year’s campaign. They want to send the message loud and clear that bullying is a behaviour choice, and by choosing respect for others, even when we disagree with them, can create a positive atmosphere where we can all grow, play and learn.”

Sharon Pursey, Co-Founder and CEO of the SafeToNet Foundation said:

“SafeToNet support the Anti Bullying Alliance wholeheartedly with their #choose respect theme for this year’s Anti Bullying Week. Respecting others differences in every sense requires education, maturity and strength of character.  We look forward to working with the Anti-Bullying Alliance and Andy Day to make this the best year ever.”

Andy Day said:

“Me and my band Andy and the Odd Socks are so pleased to be working with the Anti-Bullying Alliance again this year to launch Odd Socks Day for Anti-Bullying Week. Bullying is never something anyone should have to put up with and I'm delighted we can help raise the issue in such a positive way. Get ready for a Choose Respect rap and a whole lot of Odd Socks!”

Choose Respect this Anti-Bullying Week

Edited by tan_lejos_tan_cerca

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"I’m lucky that my pharmacist knows me really well. She helped calm me down. She says things in a way I can understand. She called my dad so that he could go with me." 
Do you want to hear more about Rachel's experience? 1f3e5.png? 
Listen to our podcast: http://bit.ly/2rBiH1R1f442.png?

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A celebration of hip hop arts is set to take place as part of the Cork Midsummer Festival this June, featuring rappers, singers and musicians from The Kabin Studio/Music Generation Cork City among others. Lots to experience in this hip hop takeover!

http://www.corkmidsummer.com/programme/event/can-i-kick-it-yes-you-can-ucc-hip-hop-takeover

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Music Activates Regions of the Brain Spared by Alzheimer’s Disease

alzheimer.jpg

The shaded areas were activated by familiar music.

Apr 27, 2018 2:30 PM

Tags:  Alzheimer's disease  music

Ever get chills listening to a particularly moving piece of music? You can thank the salience network of the brain for that emotional joint. Surprisingly, this region also remains an island of remembrance that is spared from the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers at the University of Utah Health are looking to this region of the brain to develop music-based treatments to help alleviate anxiety in patients with dementia. Their research will appear in the April online issue of The Journal of Prevention of Alzheimer's Disease.

“People with dementia are confronted by a world that is unfamiliar to them, which causes disorientation and anxiety” said Jeff Anderson, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor in Radiology at U of U Health and contributing author on the study.“We believe music will tap into the salience network of the brain that is still relatively functioning.”

Previous work demonstrated the effect of a personalized music program on mood for dementia patients. This study set out to examine a mechanism that activates the attentional network in the salience region of the brain. The results offer a new way to approach anxiety, depression and agitation in patients with dementia. Activation of neighboring regions of the brain may also offer opportunities to delay the continued decline caused by the disease. 

For three weeks, the researchers helped participants select meaningful songs and trained the patient and caregiver on how to use a portable media player loaded with the self-selected collection of music.

“When you put headphones on dementia patients and play familiar music, they come alive,” said Jace King, a graduate student in the Brain Network Lab and first author on the paper. “Music is like an anchor, grounding the patient back in reality.”

Using a functional MRI, the researchers scanned the patients to image the regions of the brain that lit up when they listened to 20-second clips of music versus silence. The researchers played eight clips of music from the patient’s music collection, eight clips of the same music played in reverse and eight blocks of silence. The researchers compared the images from each scan.

The researchers found that music activates the brain, causing whole regions to communicate. By listening to the personal soundtrack, the visual network, the salience network, the executive network and the cerebellar and corticocerebellar network pairs all showed significantly higher functional connectivity.

“This is objective evidence from brain imaging that shows personally meaningful music is an alternative route for communicating with patients who have Alzheimer’s disease,” said Norman Foster, M.D., Director of the Center for Alzheimer's Care at U of U Health and senior author on the paper. “Language and visual memory pathways are damaged early as the disease progresses, but personalized music programs can activate the brain, especially for patients who are losing contact with their environment.”

However, these results are by no means conclusive. The researchers note the small sample size (17 participants) for this study. In addition, the study only included a single imaging session for each patient. It is remains unclear whether the effects identified in this study persist beyond a brief period of stimulation or whether other areas of memory or mood are enhanced by changes in neural activation and connectivity for the long term.

“In our society, the diagnoses of dementia are snowballing and are taxing resources to the max,” Anderson said. “No one says playing music will be a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but it might make the symptoms more manageable, decrease the cost of care and improve a patient’s quality of life.”

K.G. Jones, M. Rollins, K. Macnamee, C. Moffit, S.R. Naidu, E. Garcia-Leavitt, R.K. Gurgel, J. Amaro and K.R. Breitenbach at U of U Health and University of Utah, E. Goldberg from the Jewish Family Services of Utah, J.M. Watson from University of Colorado and M.A. Ferguson from Massachusetts General Hospital also contributed to this project. This work received support from A. Scott Anderson and the American Otological Society.

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Great to see brand new videos from participants in DMEP-Donegal Music Education Partnership's Soundwaves band development programme, delivered by Wall2Wall Music and going from strength to strength since it began in 2015 with support from the Music Generation/Arts Council Partnership.

Check out the other 'Soundwaves One Day Special' videos below:
https://bit.ly/2Il8r8l 
https://bit.ly/2rDjorl 
https://bit.ly/2rJ0Ncx

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EDUCATION

George and Amal Clooney Are Sending Nearly 3,000 Syrian Refugee Children to School in Lebanon

The couple are practically single-handedly saving the world.

ap_george_amal_clooney_cropped.jpg__1264x568_q85_crop_subsampling-2.jpg

George and Amal Clooney will help send nearly 3,000 Syrian refugee children to school this year in Lebanon, where Amal was born. 

The Clooney Foundation for Justice is set to work with Google and HP to help UNICEF and the Lebanese ministry of education to open seven public schools for the children. 

“Thousands of young Syrian refugees are at risk - the risk of never being a productive part of society. Formal education can help change that,” said the couple, who celebrated the birth of their twins in the UK last month.

READ MORE: George Clooney Is Shedding Light on the Crisis No One Is Talking About

“We don’t want to lose an entire generation because they had the bad luck of being born in the wrong place at the wrong time.” 

A $2.25 million partnership between the Clooney Foundation and Google, and a $1 million technology grant from HP, will pay for transportation, school supplies, computers, content, curriculum and teacher training. (HP is also a partner of Global Citizen).

 

Take Action: Sign Petition

 
 
 
1 point

 



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UK Labour MP Stella Creasy tweeted: ‘Extraordinary - the Clooneys personally helping the equivalent of ten times more unaccompanied refugee children than the UK government…” 

Creasy was referring to the fact the government is helping 200 unaccompanied child refugees in the UK. 

However, as of February, the government estimated that “more than half a million” children in Syria were in education as a result of UK aid, while 75,000 have been enrolled in schools in Jordan and Lebanon. 

 

Extraordinary - the clooneys personally helping the equivalent of ten times more unaccompanied refugee children than the UK government … https://twitter.com/TelegraphNews/status/892315001502834688 

 
 

 

The UK’s International Development Secretary Priti Patel at the time welcomed the progress, but warned that international efforts must be redoubled if the humanitarian pledges made at the 2016 London Syria Conference were to be delivered.

More than 1 million Syrians, including 500,000 children, are registered as refugees in Lebanon, having fled the six-year war in neighboring Syria. 

READ MORE: With Amal Clooney at Her Side, a Yazidi Former Sex Slave Pleaded to the UN to Take Action

UNICEF said today that close to 200,000 of the Syrian refugee children living in Lebanon are not able to go to school. Human Rights Watch says the number of out-of-school children in the country is more than 250,000.

More than 330,000 people have been killed in Syria since the war began in March 2011. 

Global Citizen supports the Education Cannot Wait campaign. You can take action to help children gain access to education here.

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MAY 16, 2018

 

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GIRLS & WOMEN

This Woman Could Become the First Native American Governor in US History

Paulette Jordan is a historic candidate for many reasons.

In a normal election year, being a woman and being Native American is not exactly a recipe for electoral success, especially at the gubernatorial level. 

Fewer than 1 in 5 political offices nationwide are held by women — and only 39 women have ever held governorships. Only two Native Americans currently serve in Congress, and none have been elected governor. 

Paulette Jordan, running for governor in the state of Idaho, is trying to buck both of these trends. 

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Jordan won the Democratic primary in Idaho Tuesday night with nearly 60 percent of votes, and will now face Republican candidate Brad Little in November’s gubernatorial election. If she wins, she will be the first female governor in the state of Idaho and the first-ever Native American governor, HuffPost reports

“We are not afraid, and never again will we stand down,” Jordan said at a campaign rally, adding: “We’ve still got a lot of work to do.”

 

As a progressive candidate, Jordan has vowed to protect public lands from resource extraction, increase health care and education funding, and fight for Indigenous communities

Read More: An Indigenous Woman Will Run for President of Mexico in 2018

“This is a huge step for us and I’m excited to be on this journey with all of you,” she told Indian Country Today. “This is a great indicator of where we as Indigenous progressive leaders in rural states can help lead our communities.” 

The challenges facing Indigenous communities in the United States are numerous. 

An estimated 1 in 3 Indigenous children live below the federal poverty level, and nearly 1 in 4 lacked access to health insurance, according to the 2014 American Community Survey

Political representation of Native Americans is currently limited to two congressmen — and Native Americans are among the demographics with the lowest voter participation rates in the country. 

Read More: Native Girls Rise: How A New Generation of Native Women Are Standing Up & Fighting Back

But Jordan’s candidacy could pave the way for the next generation of Native American and female leaders. 

Global Citizen campaigns on the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, and gender equality and reduced inequalities, are goals number five and 10, respectively. You can join us and take action here

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MAY 15, 2018

 

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CITIZENSHIP

IKEA Is Donating Thousands of Mattresses to Refugees Across the US

The beds represent a fresh start.

One hundred beds, pillows, and bedding accessories arrived in Jacksonville, Florida, this week as a welcoming gift for refugees.

Sent by furniture giant IKEA, the care packages are just a fraction of the company’s plan to donate 5,000 mattresses to refugees throughout the United States. They’re also part of its broader efforts to help refugees around the world.

IKEA is partnering with the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, the International Rescue Committee, the Ethiopian Community Development Council, and various local organizations to deliver the mattresses to refugees who arrive and resettle in the US.

Take Action: Your Words Can Make a Difference. Send a Letter to a Refugee Today.

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World Relief Jacksonville is the initiative’s Northeast Florida partner, helping with the logistics of locating refugees and installing the furniture.

IKEA’s donation allows the nonprofit to spend its tight resources on other expenses, according to World Relief Jacksonville Director Jose Vega, who spoke with Action News Jacksonville.

“We can save some money [for] the refugees and we can spend it on other things, more important at this point, like one more month of rent for them,” he told the news organization.

 

 

Sleeping in a bed at night: It’s easy to take for granted. When you’re a refugee starting over with nothing, it’s not a guarantee. This donation of nearly 100 beds, pillows and bedding from @IKEAUSA will change that for #Jacksonville refugees. Next at 5:30 on CBS47 @ActionNewsJax

 
 

IKEA launched its “5,000 Dreams” initiative in June 2017 as a way to help refugees adjust to their lives in a new country.

Read More: Here’s How Many Refugees the US Has Accepted in 2018

"The 5,000 Dreams program goes hand-in-hand with our vision to create a better everyday life for the many people,” said Samantha Giusti, IKEA US community affairs manager, in a press release. “We are pleased to continue to play a part in helping refugee families build a new life here in our local communities by providing beds and bedding to make their homes more comfortable and ensure a good night’s sleep.”

As of March, the company donated around 2,200 mattresses throughout the US.

Other US cities received shipments of beds this week. In Indianapolis, IKEA delivered more than 50 mattresses this week, and refugees in Orlando received new beds as well. Earlier this month, the International Rescue Committee in Denver received bedding supplies for the refugees it serves. 

"Usually refugees arrive in Indianapolis with just one suitcase, maybe two and that's all their earthly belongings," Cole Varga, the executive director of Exodus Refugee, told local news station WTHR. "They've had to leave everything behind, just fleeing violence, persecution and war."  

The beds represent a fresh start for people who have fled their home countries and struggled through difficult situations, according to the groups working with IKEA.

“After overcoming significant challenges and experiencing unspeakable hardship, refugees come to the US with barely anything, let alone the essentials they need to start rebuilding their lives,” Jennifer Sime, senior vice president of US programs at the International Rescue Committee, said in a press release.

Read More: 15 Ways You Can Help Syrian Refugees NOW

“Through our continued work with IKEA’s 5,000 Dreams, we can help refugees build a home in America,” she added. “From there, they can create a space where they and their families can thrive.”

IKEA’s program comes at a time when there are more refugees in the world than at any other time in recorded history, and also when the Trump administration has restricted the flow of refugees into the US.

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What should be done about the global refugee crisis?

Wealthy nations should accept more refugeesIntervene in conflicts that create refugeesInvest in refugee programs around the world
 

The company has other efforts across the world to help vulnerable families.

In Syria, IKEA is providing the UN’s refugee agency with 150,000 mattresses for people living in distressed situations. And in Jordan, the company is buying rugs from Syrian refugees as a way to promote local commerce and entrepreneurship.

Global Citizen campaigns to help refugees, and you can take action on this issue here.  

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Next month our dedicated Outreach Groups all over the country will welcome our beloved Rest and Recuperation children and young adults into their homes for a 4 week stay.

These respite stays can add up to two years to the children’s life expectancy. Since the establishment of CCI, 25,500 children from Belarus – the country which 70% of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster fallout fell on– have come to Ireland with CCI on this Rest and Recuperation Programme.

The success of this programme, is due to the commitment and goodwill of our host families throughout Ireland who receive this children into warm and loving home environments.

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GIRLS AND WOMEN

25 facts that show why poverty is sexist

28 February 2018 3:34PM UTC | By: ROBYN DETORO

 
   

Poverty really is Sexist.

Why? Because, no matter how you cut it – socially, economically, legally – girls and women who live in extreme poverty are being denied the opportunities that they deserve.

Right now, women and girls living in the world’s poorest countries are less likely to bank the money they earn, own the land they work or get the education they need to thrive.

None of us are equal until all of us are equal and we won’t stop campaigning until there’s justice for women and girls everywhere.

Here are 25 stats that show why #PovertyisSexist:

1. Women aged 15+ make up 57% of new HIV/AIDS infections amongst adults in sub-Saharan Africa.

2. 3 in 4 adolescents (15-19 years old) newly infected by HIV in sub-Saharan Africa are girls.

3. Nearly 750 million girls and women alive today around the world were married before the age of 18. Rates of child marriage have declined in wealthier populations, but high levels of child marriage persist amongst the world’s poorest populations.

4. Over 1 in 4 young women aged 20-24 have had a live birth in the world’s least developed countries. 

5. In sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, half of births to adolescent mothers are not attended by skilled health personnel. 

6. “Globally, girls aged 5–14 spend 550 million hours every day on household chores, 160 million more hours than boys their age spend.”

7. In sub-Saharan Africa, women make up only 23.6% of parliamentarians. 

8. There is a 7% gender gap in access to bank accounts, which widens to 9% in developing countries.

9. In most countries, women earn 60-75% of men’s wages on average.

10. “In South Asia, over 80% of women in non-agricultural jobs are in informal employment, in sub-Saharan Africa, 74%, and in Latin America and the Caribbean, 54%.”

11. 79 of the economies studied in this report have laws that restrict the types of work women can do.

12. In most sub-Saharan countries, women spend at least 16 million hours a day collecting drinking water. Men spend around 6 million hours a day collecting drinking water.

13. During elections in fragile and transitional states, female voters are 4 times as likelyto be targeted for intimation than male voters.

14. In Yemen, women make up 60% of the crop farming labour force. Less than 1% of landholders in Yemen are women.

15. Gender inequality costs the region of Asia and the Pacific nearly USD $80 billion a year. This is mostly due to gender gaps in employment and education.

16.  In 18 economies covered by this report, wives can be legally prevented from working by their husbands.

17. In sub-Saharan Africa, women and girls spend roughly 40 billion hours a year collecting water—the equivalent of a year’s worth of labour by the entire workforce in France.

18. Of all maternal deaths, 99 percent occur in developing countries.

19. In sub-Saharan Africa, 45 percent fewer women than men have access to the Internet.

20. Of all still-births that happen in the world, 98 percent happen in low- and middle-income countries.

21. At current rates of progress, women in sub-Saharan Africa will have to wait more than 160 years before they have the same chances as women in rich countries of their babies being born alive.

22. In 155 of the 173 economies covered in this report have at least one law impeding women’s economic opportunities.

23. If current trends continue, by 2020 over 75% of women in developing countries still won’t be connected to the internet, compared to 63% of men

24. There are over 130 million girls out of school worldwide. In the world’s poorest countries, girls are out of school at a higher rate than boys.

25. Half a billion women couldn’t read this list.

If you believe that none of us are equal until all of us are equal – join the #PovertyisSexist movement today.

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U.N. deploy specialists to tackle Ebola epidemic in Congo
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HEALTH

U.N. deploy specialists to tackle Ebola epidemic in Congo

May 21 2018 | By: THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION

 
   

This story was originally reported by Patient Ligodi and Amedee Mwarabu for the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

ebola-blog1-social-1024x512.jpg

Lamin Koroma and Suley Kamara were both at university before they joined the team battling the first outbreak of Ebola in Sierra Leone. Photo Credit: DFID

The Democratic Republic of Congo and U.N. agencies began deploying emergency teams of specialists over the weekend to try to prevent the spread of an Ebola epidemic suspected to have infected more than 30 people, they said on Sunday.

The World Health Organisation obtained 4,000 doses of an experimental Ebola vaccine and was preparing for deployment in Congo, its Africa director, Matshidiso Moeti, told Reuters by telephone on Sunday.

Only two cases have so far been confirmed in a laboratory.

The latest suspected case was reported on Friday in the northwestern province of Equateur, which Health Minister Oly Ilunga Kalenga visited on Saturday with officials from the WHO and U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

President Joseph Kabila also met WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in Kinshasa on Sunday.

Moeti said 362 contacts had been traced of those who had fallen sick – a necessary precursor to deploying the vaccines. She added that two of those contacts had got to the provincial capital, Mbandaka. The biggest worry since the epidemic was identified has been that it could spread there.

“We’re concerned because this is a city of 1 million people,” she said.

Congo first reported the outbreak, centred on the village of Ikoko Impenge, near the town of Bikoro, on Tuesday, with 32 suspected, probable or confirmed cases of the disease, including 18 deaths since April 4. Some deaths occurring as early as January have not yet been linked to the epidemic.

“It is evident that two or three months earlier, some cases of hemorrhagic fever and some deaths occurred,” Moeti said. “Work is under way to determine the beginning of this epidemic.”

Officials are racing to prevent the virus from spreading out of control, as happened in West Africa from 2014 to 2016, when Ebola killed more than 11,300 people in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

The WHO was criticised for bungling its response to that epidemic, and so has moved quickly.

Congo suffered eight previous Ebola epidemics. But owing to remote geography and poor transport links, they tended to fizzle out rather than spread to become a national crisis.

But this epidemic’s proximity to the Congo River, a major transport route and lifeline both to Congo’s capital, Kinshasa, and to neighbouring Congo Republic’s capital, Brazzaville, makes it more likely the virus could break out into a wider area.

The disease – most feared for the internal and external bleeding it can cause in its victims owing to damage done to blood vessels – has already spread to three locations covering 60 km (37 miles) or more in Equateur province.

Congo’s nine neighbours have been put on high alert in case Ebola crosses a border, especially to Republic of Congo or Central African Republic.

“The WHO is strengthening its presence, positioning a dozen epidemiologists who will be divided on the axes of Mbandaka, Bikoro and Iboko to investigate alerts,” its Congo representative, Allarangar Yokouide, said.

The WHO said on Friday it hoped to deploy an experimental Ebola vaccine to tackle an outbreak.

Reporting by Amedee Mwarabu; Writing by Tim Cocks; Editing by Catherine Evans

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May 21 2018

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Which human rights are the most important?
909
POLICY

Which human rights are the most important?

22 September 2017 11:54AM UTC | By: GUEST BLOGGER

 
   

This is a guest post by Frank Pichel, CEO of the Cadasta Foundation.

Which human rights are the most important? Ask this question in a developed economy and you will likely hear: the right to freedom of speech, religious freedom, or the right to freedom from discrimination and so on.

Rarely, if ever, will this list include land and property rights — even though this right is the foundation of the Western economic system and so critical that US founding father James Madison once said, “Government is instituted no less for the protection of the property than of the person.”

10142182174_97531e28ea_o.jpg

Women make up half the agriculture workforce in sub-Saharan Africa but own just 2% of the land. (Photo Credit: Landesa)

Land and property rights often don’t make it into lists of top ten rights or even consciousness in developed economies not because they aren’t valued, but — in part — because they are usually so secure and secured so long ago that they are taken for granted (with the notable exceptions of indigenous groups).

Without secure property rights, you could leave for work in the morning and come home to find that someone had changed the lock on your home and moved in. Or someone could claim your vegetable garden just as you were preparing to harvest your sugar snap peas and lettuce.

For most people in Europe, North America, and some parts of Asia, this is so beyond the realm of possibility that we don’t give secure land and property rights much thought.

But ask any farmer, indigenous community, or resident in a shanty town in an emerging economy — where the World Bank maintains that the vast majority of property rights are undocumented and land governance systems are either non-existent or non-functional — what rights they need to climb out of poverty and you will hear a resounding: secure land and property rights.

Indeed, land rights — particularly the lack of secure land rights — continue to capture headlines across emerging economies. Just last week, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf told the African Green Revolution Forum that the continent would continue to be stalked by poverty, hunger, and famine until governments strengthened smallholder farmers land rights and finally gave them the security and opportunity they need to invest in their land and improve their harvests and their lives.

Research around the world supports this view of land rights as the foundation for development. Secure land rights have been found to increase productivity by as much as 50 percent, double the rate of high-school graduation, and increase conservation.

The impact is even more pronounced when women gain secure rights to land. Study after study shows that economically empowering women starts with land rights. In Tanzania, women with secure rights to land have three times more income.In Nepal, children whose mothers have secure rights to land are one-third less likely to be malnourished.

In India, where 40 percent of people believe wife beating to be sometimes justifiable, women who own land are 8 times less likely to experience domestic violence.

Despite this clear evidence, women’s rights to land and property continue to be undermined by discriminatory laws and practices in more than half the countries on the planet. This not only frustrates women’s ability to climb out of poverty but also leaves their children and community less resilient and poorer.

A new interactive survey is now helping to illustrate the gap between those who have secure property rights and those who do not. Take the 10 question survey developed by Habitat for Humanity’s Solid Ground Campaign and Cadasta Foundation and explore the gap between the haves and the have-nots with regard to land rights.

ONE welcomes the contributions of guest bloggers but does not necessarily endorse the views, programs, or organizations highlighted.

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22 September 2017 11:54AM UTC

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7.6k
GIRLS AND WOMEN

This Liberian entrepreneur started her own pop-up shop

March 19 2018 | By: GUEST BLOGGER

 
   

Story by Monique John.

In 2013, Wilhelmina Myeonway Cooper did something few Liberian women manage to do – she launched her own business.

Passionate about fashion, Wilhelmina realized that she could work with local bag makers and artists to get them to customize bags for clients. She came up with the idea after observing bag sellers at Waterside Market in Liberia’s famous slum, West Point. And so Myeonway Designs was born.

Pop-Up-Shop-3-1024x683.jpg

Photo credit: Myeonway Designs

But there was one major problem: Wilhelmina couldn’t afford to have a shop where customers could buy her bags. So in 2015, she opened the Monrovia African Pop Up Shop. The “shop” is an ongoing exhibition at which small business owners gather to showcase and sell their merchandise at Monrovia’s entertainment hotspots.

“It started out as a social enterprise where I could get local market people and small business people to sell their products for free,” Wilhelmina says. The shop has continuously grown over time: Nine vendors took part in the first exhibition and 30 in the second. At the third, in December 2017, 50 businesses were there to sell their products.

Wilhelmina’s success as a woman leading her own businesses is remarkable considering the economic, educational, and reproductive health challenges that burden Liberia’s female population. The country’s workforce and education system were devastated by the compounded effects of 14 years of civil conflict, as well as the school shutdowns during the Ebola crisis. As a result, Liberia’s development was severely delayed and the country’s instability has only made it harder for women to get ahead.

Wilhelmina Myeonway Cooper is an entrepreneur in Liberia’s fashion industry. (Courtesy of Myeonway Designs.)

Wilhelmina Myeonway Cooper is an entrepreneur in Liberia’s fashion industry. (Photo credit: Monique John)

World Bank data shows that Liberia suffers from an almost 64% poverty rate overall. Only 54% of its women participated in the labor force in 2016. The data also shows a mere 9.2% secondary school completion rate for women, and that just 44% of young women between the ages of 15 and 24 are literate. Issues like early marriage and pregnancy also disproportionately affect Liberian women and girls in comparison to other female populations around the world. In 2016, UNICEF reported that 36% of Liberian girls were married before turning 18, and the United Nations Population Division reports that 107 out of every 1,000 teen girls in Liberia had a child in 2015.

Despite these factors around her, Wilhelmina has dreams of formalizing the Pop Up Shop into a larger business. Her goal is to expand the enterprise with the help of sponsors and banks. She also said she wants her enterprise to travel to other African countries like Ghana, Nigeria, and Uganda. Still, finances are her biggest struggle, as banks deem her business as being too small and high risk to lend money to.

Pop-Up-Shop-4-1024x683.jpg

Photo credit: Myeonway Designs

There are a host of other problems Wilhelmina is fighting against to keep her businesses thriving. She has trouble shipping her bags to international clients so she has to pay people who happen to be traveling from Liberia to carry the merchandise by plane and then post them in the respective countries. Wilhelmina also is unable to open a PayPal account from Liberia, so she doesn’t have a way for international customers to pay her online without the added costs that come along with services like Western Union. The Ebola crisis also dealt a major blow in Myeonway Designs’ early days, as she wasn’t able to make any sales during the outbreak.

But Wilhelmina has stayed committed. “I’ve been fortunate to be surrounded by amazing women who are really impressive, who want the best for you, and the best for themselves and this country,” Wilhelmina says. “They’ll tell me about different grants, how to apply, what to do. I have people in my corner who are very strategic.”

Wilhelmina is creating a website to give a platform to young female entrepreneurs like Simone Witherspoon, CEO and founder of The Word, a t-shirt brand.

Simone Witherspoon, a T-shirt designer, credits Cooper with helping today’s young female entrepreneurs in Liberia grow as professionals through raising standards and providing constructive feedback. (Photo courtesy of Myeonway Designs)

Simone Witherspoon, a T-shirt designer, credits Cooper with helping today’s young female entrepreneurs in Liberia grow as professionals through raising standards and providing constructive feedback. (Photo credit: Monique John)

“She’s a very influential person,” Simone says of Wilhelmina. She said their collaboration has taught her to be more open-minded and made her demand more from herself as a leader. “She has so much work ethic…[W]orking with her requires you being punctual. It requires you being precise, and thinking beyond what a regular customer would want.”

Leah Seya Stubblefield, the owner of the African clothing line Stubbs Fabrics and Accessories, said she appreciated Wilhelmina for helping build her confidence. She also credits Wilhelmina for creating a space for Liberia’s entrepreneurs to demonstrate what they have to offer to the public.

“Seeing that she’s able to make things in Liberia, I see it’s an inspiration,” Leah says. “If we had more people like her, we’d go far in this country.”

Pop-Up-Shop-1024x683.jpg

Photo credit: Myeonway Designs

In the coming months, Wilhelmina will be working with Business Start-Up Center Monrovia (BSC Monrovia), a local NGO that supports Liberian startups through fostering job creation and poverty alleviation, to bolster her future business efforts. BSC was created as a partnership between a local association of Liberian universities and SPARK, an international organization that creates access to higher education and facilitates entrepreneurial ventures by promising, energetic youths in underdeveloped countries.

“If I was being inspired by money, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” Wilhelmina says. “Certain times I create so that something I create represents my country. I’m inspired by making things, my most favorite thing to do in the world.”

Tell Justin Trudeau: Enable every woman to unlock her own potential

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau, Please invest in girls and women in the world’s poorest countries to unlock their full potential. Commit to a bold initiative at the G7 summit that enables at least 100 million women to learn, work and increase their independence.

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How a man on a motorcycle is finding missing TB cases in Tanzania
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HEALTH

How a man on a motorcycle is finding missing TB cases in Tanzania

March 26 2018 | By: GUEST BLOGGER

 
   

This post is adapted from a blog that originally appeared on the Global Fund’s website.

Four out of every ten tuberculosis (TB) cases worldwide weren’t detected in 2016. That’s a really big deal because that meant 4.1 million people didn’t know they were infected with the number one infectious disease killer in the world.

Around World TB Day, we asked: Who are the heroes working on the front lines, finding those missing cases of TB?

Enter Rashidi Gora.

TB-Photo-1-1024x683.jpg

(Photo credit: Nichole Sobecki / The Global Fund)

Another foot soldier in Tanzania’s effort to reach people left behind in the fight against TB is Rashidi Gora, a community health worker tracking missing cases of TB in Dodoma, central Tanzania.

For Gora, finding the next TB patient is a life mission. On a recent morning, Gora bid his wife goodbye, grabbed his bag and hopped on his motorbike, heading to the remotest villages of Kondoa District in the country’s interior, where rugged roads disappear into endless fields of millet and corn.

In the last year, Gora has screened hundreds of people for TB in areas far removed from mainstream health systems. It is not a glamorous job. Gora collects samples, smears the sputum on a slide for ease of transportation and delivers them to hospital labs for analysis.

TB-Photo-2-1024x683.jpg

(Photo credit: Nichole Sobecki / The Global Fund)

When the results are ready, he rides back to the distant villages – often for more than an hour – to read out the outcomes to his patients. In case of a positive result, he links patients to clinics and supports them through the long treatment process. In a calm voice, he also takes time to educate the people on how to avoid infection, or infecting others.

“When I got the training, I fell in love with community health work, and I dedicated myself to saving my community from this disaster,” says Gora. “The Global Fund and MDH gave me the training, now is my turn to contribute.”

TB-Photo-3-1024x683.jpg

(Photo credit: Nichole Sobecki / The Global Fund)

MDH (Management and Development for Health) is a local nongovernmental organization that is part of a national effort to find TB cases led by Global Fund and the nonprofit Save the Children. MDH has trained and deployed more than 2,000 community health workers across Tanzania to bring TB screening and treatment to the people.

In order to find more than 100,000 missing cases of TB spread across Tanzania – a vast country almost the size of Germany and France combined – the government is working with the Global Fund to train staff in health facilities to test for TB among all patients, and connecting community health workers like Gora and traditional healers like Milanzi with formal health systems.

The partnership is investing in prompt and accurate diagnosis of TB in health facilities with the goal of identifying all TB cases that arrive at the hospital. The partnership has made TB screening routine during all medical visits, which has more than doubled the number of TB cases detected in the last year.

TB-Photo-4-1024x683.jpg

(Photo credit: Nichole Sobecki / The Global Fund)

Rashidi Gora’s story tells us how aid saves lives. When you tell governments to fund the Global Fund, it supports the heroic work of people like Rashidi Gora on his motorcycle, bringing us closer to eliminating one of the world’s deadliest diseases.

ONE welcomes the contributions of guest bloggers but does not necessarily endorse the views, programs, or organizations highlighted.

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