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The Action Thread Part Two

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10 December 2018

Music researchers have come up with a formula for the perfect Christmas Number 1

Do you agree?

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By Rob Copsey 
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A team of music experts have come up with what they believe is the perfect formula for a sure-fire Christmas Number 1.

Record label Ostereo have analysed every Christmas Number 1 from the past 50 years and have deduced that Pet Shop Boys' 1987 festive chart-topper Always On My Mind is the closest to being the perfect Christmas Number 1. 

Their research found that a song is more likely to claim the festive top spot if it is performed by a male artist aged 27, is three minutes and 57 seconds in length, has a speed of 114 bpm and is in they key of G major.

Pet Shop Boys' cover of the Elvis track is, they believe, in the ideal key and is the perfect length, although it is slightly too fast at 125 bpm and is performed by a duo whose age at the time averaged 31.5. 

“I think we’re a long way from an algorithmically-generated Christmas number one,” said Howard Murphy, founder of Ostereo. “But certain characteristics do make a song more likely to resonate with audiences at Christmas. 

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“You can’t turn an average song into a hit at any time of year – never mind Christmas – so adding sleigh bells to a Christmas song won’t make a difference if the song isn’t already great.” For example, without the church bells at the end, East 17’s Stay Another Day is still a great song, but it’s not a Christmas song."

Last year's Christmas Number 1 was claimed by Ed Sheeran, who re-worked his ballad Perfect with Beyonce and Andrea Bocelli (and shot a festive-themed video) to help him reach the top. Who's in line for it this year? Check out the contenders for this year's Christmas Number 1 here.

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THE BLOG
15/12/2017 09:01 GMT | Updated 15/12/2017 09:01 GMT

Make A Disabled Child's Christmas And Ensure Attractions And Events Are Accessible

43% of disabled children have been turned away from a festive event

 
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    Dan Whitewriter/columnist/artist/ambassador/speaker creator of DEPT OF ABILITY
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STOCKNROLL VIA GETTY IMAGES

It really is beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. 

The excitement, cheer and the endless festive fun oozing from the high streets to our homes, is undeniably infectious.

This merriment is especially magical for children, who unlike the more cynical of us, still enjoy the thought of Father Christmas visiting, or visualise those elves working on gifts that will soon be under our trees. 

Today, however, I want to open your eyes to what Christmas can be like for disabled children - those who may be missing out on experiences that I believe are a rite of passage in their childhoods. 

One of these children is my daughter, Emily. 

Emily is 11, she has spina bifida and uses a wheelchair. Like most young girls her age, she absolutely loves Christmas. Of course, the magic of the 25th and the events leading up to it are special for our whole family, but there’s nothing like seeing the excitement through her eyes.   

 

The very sad thing about Christmas for children like Emily is that there are so many places and events created for young people like her to enjoy, that she is unable to access in her wheelchair. 

We stopped trying to see Santa in his grotto a long time ago. Not only did Saint Nick and his elves tell us there was no wheelchair access, we also learnt there was nowhere suitable for Emily to take some time out and have a rest if she needed it either.

When Emily was younger we realised that many toy shops, with their glittering Christmas displays, could not accommodate wheelchairs. To see her disappointed face, has been an unhappy, yet predictable experience for our family.  

Winter fairs have proven to be more wheelchair friendly when it comes to access, but then it’s likely they won’t have any accessible rides for disabled children inside – meaning Emily misses out on the fun once again. We are left feeling helpless in the wake of our daughter’s disappointment. 

This year has been no different.  

Last year, a giant snow globe arrived in our local shopping centre for children to go inside, play and enjoy themselves. There is however a huge barrier in the way – Emily’s wheelchair cannot get up the steps to the attraction itself.   

Very sadly, new research from the disability charity Scope shows that 43% of disabled children have been turned away from a festive event. There are 900,000 disabled families in the UK, so that’s a huge number of children potentially excluded from joining in on festive fun. 

It’s heart-breaking to watch your child feel excluded and unable to take part in the same activities and fun as her peers. This kind of exclusion can be very isolating for her at the best of times, but it just seems so much tougher at Christmas. 

Scope research also revealed that two in five (38%) parents say their disabled children ‘rarely’ or ‘never’ has an opportunity to socialise and mix with children who are not disabled. Sadly, I’m not shocked by this.   

I’m writing this in a bid to shed some light on what life can be like for disabled children and their families, especially at Christmas. I’m also hoping event organisers, shops and anyone at the forefront of children’s festive fun will take the time to read it.  

Please think about the children that want to join in, but can’t.

Think about how you can help them overcome this.

A little change here and there might make all the difference to a disabled child’s Christmas. 

Merry Christmas and a happy new year from our family to yours!

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They’re all here!

Some of our volunteer host families had to wait a few days longer to welcome their beloved Rest and Recuperation children to Ireland.

Now that they’re all here Christmas can officially kick off 🎉 a big thank you to our hard working volunteers who made this happen ❤️

La imagen puede contener: 10 personas, personas sonriendo, personas de pie e interior

La imagen puede contener: 5 personas, personas sonriendo, personas de pie, calzado e interior

 

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Chernobyl victim who recently learned to read fulfils dream of addressing president

Sasha Godalev (29) wants ‘to give a voice to the voiceless’ and be an ambassador for victims

Wed, Dec 19, 2018, 21:30 Updated: Wed, Dec 19, 2018, 23:53
Ellen O'Riordan
 
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Orphaned children with disabilities from the worst affected area of Chernobyl visited President Michael D Higgins as they arrived with their Irish families for the Christmas period.

 

A Chernobyl victim who learned to read and write two years ago thanks to an Irish-sponsered school in Belarus, today fulfilled a dream of addressing the Irish president.

Sasha Godalev (29) who was abandoned in a segregated asylum because of his disabilities said he wants to “give a voice to the voiceless” and be an ambassador for Chernobyl’s victims.

He was among 40 Chernobyl children and adults were welcomed today by the Michael D Higgins to Áras an Uachtaráin, 32 years after the world’s worst nuclear accident.

Chernobyl Children International has connected Irish families with over 25,500 orphaned children affected by the nuclear disaster of 1986.

Mr Higgins thanked the Irish families whose generosity enables these young people to enjoy valuable time in a “nuclear free country, greatly benefitting their health.”

“The can be no doubt that the 26th April 1986 was a day that cast a dark shadow across human history, a shadow that has profoundly shaded the lives of many of you in the room today.

“Those of us who can recall that day recall the horror that we all felt, the terrible understanding that this was a catastrophe that would have very serious consequences indeed.”

The President commended the “strong and enduring link” sewn between Ireland and Ukraine, with Ireland becoming “one of the first countries to respond to the humanitarian crisis.”

“Across three generations, Chernobyl Children International has maintained this role through the extraordinary work of its tens of thousands of volunteers.”

He gave thanks to the “many Irish families who have opened their doors, welcomed to their hearth the children of Chernobyl.”

Svetlana Ruhan (28) and Natasha Huenka (36) have been coming to Ireland for the last six Christmases.

“I’ve known Natasha for 22 years,” said her host mother, Isobel Sanromas. “I tried to adopt her, but she is a ward of the state, even now at age 36.

 

“The highlight of their visit is our St Stephen’s Day swim where we raise money for the charity.”

Maryna Malinovskaya is spending her sixth Christmas and 11th stay in Northtown, Dublin.

“She’s been coming so long now she is part of the family,” said host mother, Trina Rooney, who travels to Chernobyl up to five times a year to volunteer at the institutions.

“It’s hard to describe how much you get out of it, but it’s tenfold to what you put in. It’s a joy and a privilege to be able to do.

Volunteer chief executive of the charity, Adi Roach said: “We are seeing vast improvements in terms of the health, social and economic impact of our work.”

In the charity’s 18 year lifespan, it has established 30 Homes for Hope with 10 children living in each.

Passionately against Belarus’s segregated institutions, Ms Roche said she is proud the charity has managed to close down two orphanages.

“I’m a firm believer in the saying ‘small is beautiful’. It’s one institution at a time, one child at a time.”

“The message to these young people is that they matter, they are loved, and Ireland will never forget them.”

Ambassador of Belarus to UK and Ireland, Sergei Aleinik, said: “I want the people of Ireland to know we are extremely grateful for their support. We have a very good relationship with Ireland which goes back to 1991 when Adi Roach came. This is two years before any political relations were established. This 28 year human link is very important to us.”

The failure of Chernobyl’s nuclear power plant continues to reap its effects today, with over one million children living in contaminated zones,

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DEC. 8, 2017

 

 
 
EDUCATION

This University Just Got Rid of Student Loans — for All Students

The average American student in 2016 owed more than $35,000 in student loans.

It’s a condition that affects 44 million Americans, and costs the country nearly $1.5 trillion. No, it’s not heart disease, diabetes, or arthritis. 

It’s student debt. 

In 2016, the average college graduate in the United States owed more than $35,000 in student loans, but now one university is changing that. 

On Thursday, Brown University announced that it will eliminate all student loans starting in the 2018-2019 school year, and replace them with scholarship packages that do not need to be paid back. 

Take Action: Ask More Donors to Step up and Fund the Global Partnership for Education

 

 

 

“This initiative takes financial aid at the University to the next level, helping us do more for moderate-income students and families,” Brown President Christina Paxson said in a statement. “It amplifies our commitment to bringing the best and brightest students to Brown regardless of their socioeconomic background.”

The university began fundraising to eliminate student loans in 2015, as part of its BrownTogether campaign, according to the school’s website. It ultimately raised $30 million for the initiative, and hopes to raise an additional $90 million overall. 

 

Brown is not the first university to eliminate student loans for all students, regardless of socioeconomic background. 

According to US News & World Report, a total of 16 schools — many of them top-tier, “Ivy League” schools — have eliminated student loans for all students. Additionally, more than 50 schools do not give out loans to students from low-income families. 

Read More: Women Carry More Student Loan Debt Than Men, New Study Finds

Student loans have deep and long-lasting effects on American students — especially for those living in poverty. 

As the Ohio Poverty Law Center reports: “A family living on $36,000 or less per year would have to pay more than 70% of its income to cover college costs, after accounting for grant aid.” 

More than one in 10 college graduates are either 90 days late on student loan payments or in default, according to Department of Education statistics. And the effects of this can stay with students for decades. 

Read More: New York Proposes Free Public College for Close to a Million Families

According to a report by the Government Accountability Office, more than 100,000 senior citizens had their social security payments docked to pay off defaulted student loans in 2015. The study also found that student debt for individuals over the age of 65 had increased by four times since 2005, Huffington Post reports

 

When it comes to getting a college education, the United States is the sixth most expensive country, relative to income, in the world. Many countries — from Sri Lanka to Norway — offer free, universal college education. 

Global Citizen campaigns on the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, including goal number four: quality education. You can take action here

“In a world where students are less reliant on loans, you’re going to have more people who are passionate about what they do ultimately,” one Brown student, Conor Regan, said. “When you’re not constrained financially, you’re able to pursue whatever you’re genuinely interested in. Long-term, I think that benefits the broader economy, and it’s better for Brown as well.” 

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Erica SanchezJasper Lo

By Erica Sanchez and  Jasper Lo

MAY 8, 2018

 

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ENVIRONMENT

Scientists Discovered a Dead Zone the Size of Florida in the Gulf of Oman

But the damage doesn’t have to be permanent.

 

 

Scientists recently identified a dead zone as large as Florida in the Gulf of Oman. The 65,755 square mile area is now devoid of marine life due, in large part, to climate change and human pollution.

The increasing size of dead zones in the ocean is threatening the animal populations in our oceans and leading to the destruction of underwater life. But scientists say the damage doesn’t have to be permanent. One study has called for further investigation of the Gulf of Oman to understand how to manage the fisheries and ecosystems of the Western Indian Ocean to prevent dead zones from widening.

Take Action: Ensure All Communities Can Withstand Climate Disaster

 

Actúa: Firma

 
 
 
1 punto

 



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Dead zones are created when warm water washes over colder, deeper water, producing the perfect conditions for algae to bloom and soak up the sunshine on the water’s surface. With the increase of human runoff which can consist of sewage, fertilizer, or any other organic material. When these organic masses sink to the bottom and begin to decompose, the bacteria that feed on them steal oxygen from other marine life.

Read More: More Than 70 Sea Lions Have Been Poisoned by a Toxic Algae Bloom in California

As water temperatures rise and algae grow more rapidly, the number and size of dead zones in the oceans are increasing. The American Association for the Advancement of Science published a worldwide analysis in January confirming that oxygen-depleted dead zones have expanded by several million square kilometers over the last century.

But several measures can help stop the spread of dead zones and reverse their devastating effect.

In 2010, the EPA established a total maximum daily load of pollution for the Chesapeake Bay, one of the bodies of water most affected by dead zones. The EPA put the Chesapeake Bay on a “pollution diet,” limiting the amount of organic material and sediment that could legally enter the Bay and saw nitrogen levels decrease by 8% between 2009 and 2015.

In a recent study, a team of scientists from Global Ocean Oxygen Network (GO2NE), also found that addressing the causes of pollution and climate change, creating no-catch zones to protect marine life in waters with low oxygen levels, and improving low-oxygen tracking and monitoring worldwide, could all help combat the problem.

Read more: How Algae Could Help Sweden Entirely Eliminate Carbon Emissions

Global Citizen campaigns to support Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserving and sustainably using the oceans, seas, and marine resources. Take action here and help communities worldwide withstand climate disaster.

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GIRLS & WOMEN

Way More British Girls Call Themselves Feminists Now — And It Gives Us So Much Hope

It’s in response to what’s perceived as an increasingly threatening world.


Why Global Citizens Should Care
Feminism means equality, pure and simple — and increasingly, more young women are joining the movement. Almost half of young women questioned in this survey identified as a feminist, and that means big things for the next generation of warriors for social justice. Join them and take action on gender inequality around the world here.

Life is tougher if you’re female.

Women get paid less for equal work; have fewer seats on company boards; are less represented in parliament; and face harassment, violence, and abuse at home, in work, and when travelling between the two.

And a new study released on Wednesday confirmed that women are more aware than ever that the odds are stacked against them — for now.

But struggle begets resistance, and women and girls are fighting back.

Take Action: Tell the UK Government: Help Create a World Where #SheIsEqual

 

Every year for the last decade, Girlguiding — the leading charity for girls and women in the UK — has published its Girls’ Attitudes Survey: a snapshot into the lives of young women all over the UK.

The survey questions 1,903 women aged 7 to 21 — and 2018’s incarnation found that almost half (47%) identify as feminists, an increase of over a third (35%) from 2013.

Feminism can mean different things to different people, but when Girlguiding asked those surveyed, it appears that one definition kept popping up: equality.

 

We're really proud to celebrate 10 years of the #GirlsAttitudes Survey. For 10 years we've been asking girls what's important to them so we can support them to make change on the issues they care about. Read the 2018 report on our website… https://www.girlguiding.org.uk/social-action-advocacy-and-campaigns/research/girls-attitudes-survey/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social-media&utm_campaign=girlsattitudessurvey 

 
 
 
 

One young woman described feminism as “equal rights and opportunities between men and women in the workplace, education, and society", according to the BBC. Another said it meant “a person who strongly believes in gender equality and that everyone no matter their background should be treated equally." 

Feminism is back in business — and the report confirmed that we look to the future with fiercely renewed strength.

  • Boldness: 36% of girls aged 11 to 21 have spoken out on an issue they care about, compared to 28% in 2011.
  • Frankness: Girls are more likely to have friends who live with mental health issues (71%, up from 62% in 2015), but are also more likely to talk about it — 50% said it was being discussed more in schools, an increase from 44% in 2015.
  • Genius: 41% of those between 7 and 10 years old enjoy subjects like sciences, maths, and technology. It’s a huge jump from 26% in 2016.
  • Leadership: 53% of girls now want to be leaders in their workplace, up from 42% in 2016.

But there are barriers that hold girls back. Although more are speaking out, slightly fewer believe that it can make a difference than seven years ago.

“When asked why they didn’t speak up, girls cited concerns about how they could do so, lack of confidence, fear of not being taken seriously, and worries about the negative consequences of speaking out,” the report stated.

 

📢📢📢 The brand new @Girlguiding Girls' Attitudes Survey launches today! Do you ever wonder how girls and young women feel about their everyday lives and the challenges they face? Read the full 2018 report ➡️https://bit.ly/2dNvxlU 

 
 
 
 

“Girls’ lives would be better if we told girls that they can do anything,” one respondent said to the survey. “One thing that would improve girls’ lives is if they had the chance to be heard and be taken seriously,” said another.

The survey results suggested that trends like this are a reaction to a threatening world.

More than half aged 13 to 21 felt unsafe when walking home alone, while just 25% of girls described themselves as “very happy,” a decrease from 41% in 2009. Many blamed stress from school examinations and pressure from social media. It’s perhaps indicative of how young people form relationships now that just 21% make friends at each other’s houses, contrasted with 69% in 2009.

Read More: Emmeline Pankhurst Will Stay Outside Parliament After Campaigners Fought Off Attempt to Move Her

"It might mean they are more aware of [sexism] in the media, online and in public — the result of campaigns like #MeToo and #TimesUp,” said researchers. "However, it is also possible it may reflect an increase in the scale of sexism for girls."

“The message could not be clearer from girls and young women about the seriousness of the issues they’re facing daily and the negative impact on their lives,” said Amanda Medler, Girlguiding’s chief guide. “Girls need to know when they speak out they will be heard.”

“So now is the time for action, to listen to girls and respond, and for all organisations, government, schools, and parents to work together to improve the lives of all girls and young women,” she added.

Previous Girlguiding campaigns include a voting drive — linked to a report on the impact of sexism in the media — and the launch of a period poverty badge, among others linked to equality, to press educational institutions to provide free sanitary products to students.

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DEC. 18, 2017

 

 
 
CITIZENSHIP

Millennials Are the Most Generous and Most Careful When Donating to Charity, Says Study

And more than half would even give up their smartphones for charity.

Despite claims millennials spend all their money on sandwiches and avocados, they are in fact the most generous age group when it comes to charitable giving, according to a new report

This Christmas, young people intend to make higher financial donations to charity than any other age group — with an average pledge of £31.29. 

Research from the UK’s Charity Commission also found that the 18-24s are most likely to make an informed decision about where they donate. 

Take action: Tell Your MP Why You're Proud of UK Aid — and Call on Them to Make It as Effective as Possible

 

 

 

Half of the 18-24s quizzed for the online research — which surveyed 2,000 Brits in November — said they usually research a charity before donating to it. 

That’s compared to just 29% of the peopl over 75. 

What’s more, some 44% of young people defied stereotypes by saying they would give up their smartphones for the whole month of December if it meant they would raise £500 for their charity of choice. 

Only a third of the rest of the population said they would do the same. 

Read more: 'Youthquake' Is the Word of the Year, But What Does It Mean?

“This research shows that Christmas remains a time of generous charitable giving, and that is to be celebrated,” said Helen Stephenson, the chief executive of the Charity Commission, in a statement.

“I’m particularly pleased that young people give generously, but also that they are more likely to make basic checks before giving to their chosen charity than people from their parents’ generation,” Stephenson said.  

Children, as well as health and medicine, are the most popular causes to support around Christmas time, the survey showed, and the most popular way to donate is by buying charity Christmas cards. 

Whats’s more, women are more likely to support charity than men this Christmas, and some 67% of Brits are more likely to support a charity that has affected them personally. 

Read more: 'When the British Public See Suffering, They Act,' Says UK's New Development Secretary

The Charity Commission, which regulates charities in England and Wales, published the research on Monday with a warning to potential givers to make sure they check out the charities they are donating to — to ensure their money will reach its intended target. 

The research “hints at a welcome shift in the public’s relationship with charities and shows why charities should be open and transparent about the way they are run and how they spend their money,” according to Stephenson. 

“Charitable giving is a unique national tradition that we should be proud of,” she continued. “This year we have seen brilliant generosity from the British public and we want this to continue over the festive period — but continue safely, with a ‘check by default’ mentality among donors.” 

Read more: What I Learned Abouy My Donated Stuff After I Got a Facebook Message From Tunisia

The Commission reminded the public that its online register holds a wide range of information about charities, including who sits on their trustee board, how they spend their money, and whether the charity is or has been formally investigated by the Commission.

Global Citizen is believes that the world needs people who are engaged in the world, knowledgeable about its diversity, and passionate about change. You can join us by taking action here

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CITIZENSHIP

6 Ways Scotland Is Inspiring the World to Be Better

We can all learn something from the Scots.

Why Global Citizens Should Care
It takes leadership to inspire countries around the world to take action on vital global issues — and Scotland is doing just that on period poverty, renewable energy, diversity, animal rights, and maternal health. Take action on menstrual hygiene, gender equality and more here.

Whether it’s tackling period poverty or fighting climate change, Scotland is leading the way in addressing some of the biggest issues that are facing the UK today.

Is there something in the water? Is it the fact it’s a nation run by women? Either way, there are a lot of great things happening north of the border.

Scotland’s government and people have shown that it’s possible to tackle discrimination and inequality. Now it’s time for the rest of the world to follow their example.

We’ve compiled a handy list of social issues that the Scots are busting, in case any world leaders out there are looking for some inspiration.

 

 

1. Ending Period Poverty

Period poverty is still a serious yet “silent” problem in the UK. Across the nation, girls are missing days of class every month because they can’t afford sanitary products. And in Scotland, one in five Scottish women have difficulty affording menstruation products, according to Quartz.

In July 2017, Scotland became the first country in the world to give out free sanitary products to low-income women for a six-month pilot scheme. The scheme proved so successful that it then was rolled out across the rest of the country — and Scottish Labour MSP Monica Lennon began her work to get all students across Scotland access to free period products. 

Now, that bill has been passed, and in August 2018 Scotland became the world's first country (again) to offer free sanitary products for all students — in schools, colleges, and universities. The £5.2 million investment will supply the products to 395,000 students in a landmark policy change.

Read more: Scotland Is the First Country to Offer Free Sanitary Products to All Students

“This is another great step forward in the campaign against period poverty,” said Lennon. “Access to period products should be a right, regardless of your income, which is why I am moving ahead with plans for legislation to introduce a universal system of free access to period products for everyone in Scotland.”

 
Embedded video
 

Money spent on periods every year by women: £500.
Money @DaniRowley spent on periods just this week: £25.
Breaking down stigma in parliament: priceless 👏👏👏

Read more: https://glblctzn.me/2NalJ61 

 
 
 
 
2. Renewable Energy

For the first six months of 2017, wind energy powered all of Scotland’s homes. That’s three million households.

“Scotland is continuing to break records on tackling climate change,” said Dr Sam Gardner, acting director of WWF Scotland.

Not only that, but Scotland’s last coal energy plant — Longannet Power Station — was shut down in March 2017. As the largest coal plant in Europe, Longannet was responsible for more than a fifth of Scotland’s carbon emissions.

Read more: Wind Energy Powered All of Scotland's Households for Six Months

The country is now coal-free, and making great strides towards forging a renewable and sustainable future for the UK — and in April 2018 it was revealed that two-thirds of all Scotland's energy came from renewables in 2017.

“These figures show Scotland as a renewable energy powerhouse,” said Claire Mack, CEO of Scottish Renewables. “Scotland has an enormous renewable energy resource: our winds, waves, tides, rainfall and even our longer daylight hours are tremendous assets to the country, and renewable energy enables us to use them to produce direct economic and environmental benefits.”

Oh, and the world’s first floating wind farm is being developed off its coast.

wind-farm-scotland-Andy Magee-flickr.jpgImage: Flickr/Andy Magee

3. Baby Boxes

The baby box programme helps makes sure every newborn gets the best possible start in life. Every new mother is given a box of baby essentials, including books, clothes, and a thermometer. But the box can also be turned into a temporary crib, to cut down on cot death rates.

After being launched as a pilot programme in January 2017, it's now been rolled out to all new mothers across Scotland — providing equality and opportunity in Scotland from day one.

“Scotland’s baby box is a strong signal of our determination that every child, regardless of their circumstances, should get the best start in life,” said Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, in January last year.

And the rest of the UK is taking note — from September 2017 hospitals in Leeds, England, have been giving out free baby boxes too!

 
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FM @NicolaSturgeon has delivered Scotland’s first Baby Boxes to new mums in Clackmannanshire.

 
 
 
 
4. Diversity in the Police Force

Muslim women who wear hijabs in Scotland can become police officers, without having to give up their headscarves.

Previously, wearing a headscarf was an option, but female officers had to request one and could be turned down. Now, it’s freely available as part of the uniform.

Read more: It's Time to Ditch 'Easy' Immigration Slogans, Scottish Tory Leader Tells PM May

It’s a policy that makes the Scottish police force more reflective of its people, and of the communities that it serves.

However Aleena Rafi, an unpaid special constable, was subject to racist online online abuse in May 2018 when it was revealed that she was the first policewoman to wear the specially-designed hijab in Scotland.

“So far I’ve really enjoyed myself and when I’ve been out, the public have been really welcoming,” Rafi said. “I have loved my time so far and hope to experience more new things with the police.”

“Wearing the hijab is, for me, a part of my life so when I was thinking of joining Police Scotland,” she added. “It did play an integral part in me deciding whether this is what I wanted to do.”

police hijab scotland.jpgImage: The Canadian Press

5. Protecting Animal Rights

 

Scotland became the first country in the UK to ban wild animals from circus acts, after the “Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses (Scotland) Bill” was passed in December 2017.

The bill banned non-domesticated animals from travelling, performing, or being put on display in static conditions.

First comes the leak, then comes the flood: it wasn't long until Wales followed suit in February 2018 — and then, a few weeks after, the UK government announced that a nationwide ban on all wild animals in circus acts will come into force before 2020.

 

Great news! The UK Government has committed to ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses in England by January 2020. It follows a decade of promises, and more than 20 years of investigations and campaigning by ADI.

Help secure the #UKcircusban: http://bit.ly/uk-circus-ban 

 
 
 
 
6. Same-Sex Marriage

Scotland is home to the first Anglican Church to allow same-sex marriages, a huge step towards gay rights in Scotland and the UK.

St. Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow became the first to conduct same-sex weddings, after the Scottish Episcopal Church voted to back the policy.

Then in September 2017, Alistair Dinnie and Peter Matthews made history as they wed in St John’s Church in Edinburgh — despite threats of punitive measures from the wider body of the Anglican Church.

“I have blessed marriages in other Anglican provinces and always had to stop short of the vows," said Rev Markus Dunzkofer, who oversaw the ceremony. "It felt like something was cut off, like something wasn’t right."

"Finally being able to do the whole thing felt like the fulfilment of where the spirit had been telling us to get to," he added. "It completely made sense, it all came together.”

 
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The Church of Scotland voted to change its laws so that ministers can conduct same-sex marriages.

 
 
 
 

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MEMBERS IN ACTION

YES! Thanks to you, the BUILD Act is now law

October 5 2018 | By: SADOF ALEXANDER

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Join the fight against extreme poverty

 
  

We asked you, our United States members, to support the BUILD Act (S.2463). You signed petitions, shared tweets, and canvased at U2 shows, farmers markets and festivals. In the end, you delivered 78,000 signatures to 454 senators and representatives across the country.

Thanks to you, the BUILD Act is now officially law! It was signed into law by President Trump on October 5, 2018.

Here’s a bit of a refresher: The BUILD Act aims to help billions of private-sector dollars flow into Africa by making it easier for American entrepreneurs to do business there. Money that is needed to build infrastructure, increase first-time access to electricity, and create jobs.

“This bill takes an innovative approach to helping developing countries and will serve as a valuable complement to the important work that American foreign assistance does to save lives, spur economic growth, and lift millions out of poverty,” says Tom Hart, ONE’s North American executive director.

This victory is an inspiring act of bipartisanship. From both sides of the aisle, members came together with the understanding that the fight against extreme poverty doesn’t take sides. When innovative solutions are brought to the table, people of all political affiliations can join together in support.

We also want to thank a few key politicians. Senators Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.), and Representatives Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) and Adam Smith (D-Wash.) worked together to introduce and sponsor this law. They played a huge part and showed unwavering dedication in getting it passed.

The best tool for fighting extreme poverty is a good job. Now that the BUILD Act is law, American entrepreneurs and investors can invest in Africa and help create more jobs and promote economic development. Thanks to you, we have taken another momentous step towards ending extreme poverty.

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CULTURE

The ultimate gift guide for every activist

December 13 2018 | By: BRETT JACOBSON

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Join the fight against extreme poverty

 
  

Shopping for activists is never easy, but we’ve got you covered at the ONE Storewith stylish gifts that show what they stand for. This holiday season, we’ve pulled together some of our favorite items that the activists in your life are sure to love.  

For the activist with too much to carry

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Our Equality Tote is THE Poverty is Sexist gift for the on-the-go activist. Perfect for keeping spare leaflets, pens, policy facts, and campaigning materials handy, the Equality Tote can help turn a chance encounter with an elected official into a campaigning opportunity!   

For the activist who is always cold

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Our classic ONE Crewneck sweatshirt can keep any activist warm while showing their support for ending extreme poverty.

For the Poverty Is Sexist Supporter

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Our iconic None of Us Are Equal shirts are a must for any Poverty Is Sexist support. Versatile and bold, the tee is frequently sported by our staff, members, champions, and friends (like Phoebe Robinson, Chadwick Boseman, and Callum Worthy!) all around the world.

For the activist that runs on coffee

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A classic ONE Coffee Cup is the perfect gift for the coffee-loving activist in your life. This double-walled mug will keep their coffee warm all morning long. 

For the activist who makes a statement

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Dressed up or down, the Banana Leaf Clutch is a go-to accessory for an activist with style. Handmade in Uganda, it directly supports women artisans earning ethical and sustainable wages.

Bonus: SHOP (RED) SAVE LIVES

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If you still haven’t found the perfect gift for that special someone, (RED) has you covered. When you shop (RED) on Amazon.com/RED, a percentage of everything you spend goes to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. There’s hundreds of products to choose from, including Apple products, stocking stuffers, cookware, tasty treats, clothing, accessories, and so much more! 

No matter the occasion, find the perfect gift for everyone in your life – or something special for yourself– in the ONE store!

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These motivational backgrounds will keep you going in 2019
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CULTURE

These motivational backgrounds will keep you going in 2019

20 December 2018 6:41PM UTC | By: ROBYN DETORO

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Join the fight against extreme poverty

 
  

We made things happen this year — seriously, check out everything we achievedthanks to YOU — and now we’re more motivated than ever to keep up the fight in 2019. To keep ourselves at the top of our game, we created a set of phone backgrounds to remind us that we’re in it to win it.

Check them out below and download your favourite one!

Maya-Wallpaper.png

DOWNLOAD

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DOWNLOAD

Jasilyn-Wallpaper-250.png

DOWNLOAD

Want to join us in the fight for a more equal world in 2019? Become a ONE Member today!

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