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The Action Thread Part Two

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Did you know that the Government and local councils offer discounts, schemes, and free passes for some forms of public transport? 🚌 🚍 🚆🚘

No? 😮 Well, we may have some details that might be of interest to you. 😉

Visit: https://bit.ly/2BHIQ4q

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Community Come & Sing Day

 
 
Bringing singers of all ages and abilities together for the Singfest Community Come & Sing Day!

When:   Sunday, 26th May, 2019
Time:    11.00 - 16.30
Where:  Athlone Institute of Technology
Cost:     €15 per singer 
[Singers are responsible for the purchase of their own music]

Join the Singfest Choral Team and band on Sunday May 26th, 2018 in Athlone Institute of Technology for a jam-packed day of workshops concluding with the Singfest Community Come & Sing!

Come and spend the day with the MGOW Singfest team and friends for a series of workshops & rehearsals working towards a great Big Sing.

MGOW, in partnership with the Association of Irish Choirs and Creative Ireland is developing the largest Community 'Come & Sing!' the Midlands has ever seen!

Perfect for singers of all ages and abilities, the event is open to local choirs, and individuals interested in singing.

Places are limited and available subject to demand - booking is essential.

The Come & Sing Day is scheduled for Sunday, 26th May, 2018 in Athlone Institute of Technology.

Developed by MGOW in partnership with AOIC.

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Our Gig Buddies visited Norwich City Football Club last weekend for a tour around their stadium. 

With some super Norwich City fans in attendance, the group were keen to learn about the football club's past. They even had a sneaky look at the pink dressing room, where visiting clubs get ready for their matches against the club. 👀

Get involved with our Gig Buddies project. Visit: 🎵https://bit.ly/2ESCxNE 🎵

La imagen puede contener: 2 personas, interior

La imagen puede contener: una o varias personas y estadio

La imagen puede contener: 4 personas, personas sonriendo, personas de pie

 

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At Chernobyl Children International, we believe that children belong in families.

CCI is pioneering a movement to de-institutionalise children in Belarus whenever possible. When a child is institutionalised, he or she is often deprived of the opportunity to experience family life, feel like a full member of society and develop in a safe environment.

Our long-term aim, through our De-institutionalisation Programmes, is to provide the social supports and education to ensure that every child has the opportunity to live in a loving home of their own, and that every person—regardless of physical or mental ability—can reach their full potential and be an active member of their community.

 

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HEALTH

This Congolese radio host is educating women on how to fight Ebola

18 January 2019 3:00PM UTC | By: WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION

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This article was written by Lianne Gutcher and first appeared on World Health Organization Africa.

Twice a week, Mama Mwatatu rises early and makes a two-hour trek from her home in Beni’s Cité Belge neighbourhood in North Kivu, the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the local radio station. For the past 12 years, she has hosted a call-in radio talk show called “Women and Development” and has a devoted audience, earning her the nickname Mother Counsellor of Beni.

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Image courtesy of the World Health Organization Africa.

In normal times, she dispenses advice on health, relationships and child-rearing. But since this August, Ebola has shaken residents and the city is the base for outbreak response efforts in North Kivu. Mama Mwatatu’s mostly female fans have inundated her with questions: Why aren’t you talking to us about this? We don’t know what to believe. But if you tell us that Ebola exists, then we trust you.

“I told them: ‘Ebola is real, and you have to protect yourself and your family,’” Mama Mwatatu says. “But I wasn’t sure I had all the answers to the more technical questions so I got in touch with the World Health Organization (WHO) for assistance.”

And so Mama Mwatatu teamed up with WHO’s community engagement team and her two weekly shows expanded from 30 minutes to an hour.

The current Ebola outbreak in the northeast of the DRC – the tenth since the disease was identified in 1976 – has stood out as the country’s largest. Response efforts have been complicated by insecurity and armed conflict. Another challenge is how this outbreak has disproportionately affected women.

As of mid-December there have been more than 500 cases, of which two-thirds were women.

“It’s the first time in an Ebola outbreak that so many women have been infected,” says Julienne Anoko, a social anthropologist working for WHO. “We’ve never seen this before.”

In previous outbreaks, the toughest opponents to first responders have been mostly men, but another singularity of this outbreak is that women have often been the most hostile.

In Beni, it’s the women who run the households. They look after the children and they care for the sick. If a mother herself falls sick, she’ll hand over her children – who may possibly already also have Ebola – to a neighbour who will mind them along with her own. This is one way the disease has spread.

“We discovered that women are very reluctant to let the sick go outside the home for treatment because, to them, that signifies they’ve failed in their duty to look after the patient,” says Ms Anoko.

Women are also the chief mourners when a family member dies, weeping over the deceased and preparing the body for burial. This can also contribute to the transmission of Ebola.

The initial engagement with women got off to a rocky start, because they often felt alienated by foreign male responders speaking French rather than their local language. When Ms Anoko arrived in Beni on 7 October, she quickly understood the urgent need to win over women.

She started working with the Collectif des Associations Feminines (CAF), an umbrella association of about 45 local groups. WHO educated 132 women leaders from CAF about the disease and then the women conducted an intensive two-week information campaign in 30 Beni neighbourhoods, including the most dangerous and insecure.

Going door to door, the women visited 2,900 households in the first three days of the campaign, engaging with almost 13,000 people. In the following 12 days, in meetings at churches and markets, they reached more than 600,000 people explaining Ebola vaccines, contact tracing, the treatment of Ebola, and the vulnerability of women and children to the disease.

“At the start of the outbreak, local women saw these men in jackets doing ‘Ebola business’ and thought, this doesn’t really concern us,” explains Antoinette Zawadi, CAF’s coordinator. “Then as women leaders from Beni became involved, other women started to listen. They said, ‘OK, it’s between us now.’”

Ms Zawadi believes the efforts are paying off.

“We’ve done a lot of work to sensitize people about Ebola and they have understood,” she says. “But I think outside of Beni city, in the wider district, there is more to do.”

Ms Anoko agrees, emphasizing that it’s important for women to stay vigilant in Beni, while WHO duplicates what’s worked there with women in the new Ebola hot spots of Butembo and Komanda.

The fight against Ebola is still in full swing and Ms Anoko believes that strengthening the voice and involvement of women is key to containing the outbreak.

“I really want these women leaders at the senior management coordination table helping to drive the response,” she says.

Meanwhile, Mama Mwatatu continues her broadcasts, both reassuring and educating her listeners. When she is stumped by a question, she carefully notes it down and consults with WHO experts.

And if any of her listeners aren’t convinced by the radio broadcasts, she follows up with visits to their prayer groups and other women’s meetings.

“Yesterday, I didn’t have a broadcast and so I visited a number of towns,” Mama Mwatatu says. “I do this just so I can help because I am passionate about it in my heart.”

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

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377
GIRLS AND WOMEN

This South African pilot started a camp to inspire young girls

6 December 2018 4:57PM UTC | By: SADOF ALEXANDER

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The “Zulu Sierra – Papa Whiskey Whiskey” (ZS-PWW) may look like any other plane but this aircraft is special. It’s carrying bright young minds to an exceptional future. The plane is owned by Refilwe Ledwaba — the first black woman to fly for the South Africa Police Service and the first black woman to be a helicopter pilot in South Africa!

Refilwe grew up in Lenyenye, a small township in the Limpopo region of South Africa. Originally, she wanted to become a doctor, but everything changed on a flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town. That fateful flight had a female pilot who inspired her to take to the skies.

To achieve her goal, she wrote to over 200 South African companies asking them to help fund her education. The South Africa Police Service responded, offering to pay for her training and help her get a commercial pilot license.

Since then, she’s founded the Girls Fly Programme in Africa Foundation (GFPA) — a non-profit that has set-up a training programme and an annual flying camp for teenage girls —  giving a head start to the next generation of women aviation and space leaders in Africa. The camp (run with Women and Aviation) teaches girls from South Africa, Botswana and Cameroon all about aviation.

Camp attendees spend their days learning about computer coding, building robots and completing flight simulations. They also get an opportunity to take a flying lesson on board the ZS-PWW, where they learn the basics of flying.

The girls come from different backgrounds, from townships to private schools, but all achieve high scores in math and science at their schools. GFPA gives them the opportunity to meet professionals working in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), and learn about the exciting and hugely varied career opportunities for them in these fields.

“I think STEM is very important because, on a personal note, it opened a lot of doors for me,” says Refilwe. “So if you’re not going to prepare women for those jobs in the future, then we’re lost.”

Refilwe made history in South Africa. Now, she’s paving the way for a new generation of girls to do the same.

Every girl deserves the opportunity to reach the skies. If you want to support girls worldwide, join the Poverty is Sexistmovement!

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5 incredible female entrepreneurs you need to know
2
GIRLS AND WOMEN

5 incredible female entrepreneurs you need to know

September 21 2018 | By: EMILY MILLER

SIGN THE PETITION

An open letter to leaders

 
  

It’s not easy being a female entrepreneur anywhere in the world. But for women and girls living in countries where they’re denied the freedom to control their own finances it’s even harder to build a successful business.

We know how vital women’s economic empowerment is. When women and girls control their finances, it doesn’t only change their lives, it can change their communities, countries, and the world for the better. If gender gaps in work and society were narrowed, global GDP would increase by at least $12 trillion by 2025! How is that for amazing?

That’s why we’re taking the time to celebrate some of our favorite female entrepreneurs who are living the slogan “empowered women, empower women” and bringing gender gaps to a close:

1. Ellen Chilemba

At just 18, Ellen Chilemba founded Tiwale Community Based Organization — an organization empowering women and girls across Malawi with business and leadership skills. The Tiwale team has trained over 150 women and helped 40 start their own businesses! Ellen’s dedication to women’s economic empowerment hasn’t gone unnoticed. She’s been featured in Glamour, Forbes, and even “Humans of New York”.

2. Victoria Awine

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(Courtesy of Cargill)

“I have worked in a cocoa plantation in Sefwi for as long as I can remember,” says Victoria Awine, a cocoa farmer in Ghana. This cocoa entrepreneur has owned and operated her own farm on 3 hectacres of land since 1980. But in 2014, Victoria enrolled in the Cargill Cocoa Promise — a program that provides female farmers access to training, financial services, and other key resources. Victoria’s crops have increased production threefold since her enrollment and the extra income is helping her support her four children!

3. Wilhelmina Myeonway Cooper

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. (Courtesy of Myeonway Designs.)

Wilhelmina is a Liberian fashion entrepreneur who did something few women in her community do — started her own pop-up shop. After launching Myeonway Designs, Wilhelmina realized she couldn’t afford a shop for customers to purchase her bags. So, she brought together other small business owners in the community to launch a space where they could all sell their products.

“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. Despite facing many challenges, she has grown her pop-up enterprise from 9 vendors to 50!

4. Reyna Araceli Reyes Sorto

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Reyna dreamed of being a doctor when she was a girl in Honduras, but lack of access to higher education kept her from achieving her dream – but she didn’t let that stop her. With help from Nourishing the Future, a partnership between CARE and Cargill, Reyna mastered entrepreneurial skills to build a new future for herself and her family. Now, she is selling corn to businesses in her community and even putting her new skills to work helping empower other women with the knowledge they need to thrive!

“I feel very motivated and satisfied with what I’ve learned. I’m training as a micro-entrepreneurial leader in issues such as women’s leadership, accounting, business ideas, and food security.”

5. Sylvie Isimbi and Freedah Nyirahakiziyaremye

“Internet is everything for us,” says Sylvie, the store manager of Turikumwe Art Center. Using social media, Sylvie is bring attention and attracting new customers to the shop’s handmade clothing. More than 70 single mothers are benefiting from Sylvie’s social media advertising, including Freedah. The skyrocketing sales have helped Freedah afford her children’s school fees and save money to build her own home!

If you believe female entrepreneurs can change the world, add your name to our Poverty Is Sexist open letter.

Content in partnership with Cargill

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134
MEMBERS IN ACTION

2019: The year we put extreme poverty on the defensive

January 10 2019 | By: GAYLE SMITH

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January should be a time for new beginnings, but for half a million children, this month will likely be their last on Earth.

Over 500,000 children under the age of five, many of whom live in developing countries, die from preventable conditions and diseases every month.

It’s both heartbreaking and infuriating. And it doesn’t have to be this way.

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Gayle Smith speaking at the 2018 African Union Summit.

2019 should be remembered as the year we put extreme poverty on the defensive, but getting there will require world leaders to match bold ideas with strong leadership and immediate action.

In order to understand the urgency of this crisis and the opportunity 2019 holds to help correct it, it’s important to understand the facts.

Over the past three decades, over a billion people have escaped extreme poverty. This has been one of the greatest examples of global cooperation in the past century and an achievement measured not in dollars spent, but in lives saved. But our work isn’t done. Over 700 million people are still living on less than $1.90 a day, over half of them in sub-Saharan Africa.

Helping the first billion people living in extreme poverty lift themselves out has been hard. Reaching the next billion will be even harder. And we’re quickly approaching midnight without a plan.

By 2050, half of all Africans will be under the age of 25. With this comes a huge opportunity for economic growth. But this growing young population also needs to be educated, employed and empowered. We face a simple choice: invest today and yield a demographic dividend tomorrow, or risk squandering our best chance to end extreme poverty once and for all.

One of the most effective ways we can help make a difference in this fight is to ensure women and girls are not left behind. That they are finally given equal opportunities to access healthcare, education, financial services, and quality employment — and live their lives free from violence and discrimination. By increasing the amount spent annually on key interventions for women and children by just $5 per person, we can yield up to nine times that value in economic and social benefits.

As African governments draft their 2019 budgets, donor countries pledge new commitments, and private sector companies expand on the continent, they must ask themselves — every step of the way — how their choices will affect women and girls. Will these investments benefit women and girls, or further deepen existing inequalities? Imagine how many future doctors, teachers and humanitarians the world could gain if we give women and girls the education, economic opportunities, and resources they need and deserve to thrive.

African countries must also have a meaningful seat at the table and be better positioned to take greater ownership of their future. French President Emmanuel Macron has stated he wants the G7 in August to define an “international framework to fight inequalities” and build a new “alliance with Africa.” In order to achieve that, African leaders should be valuable, contributing participants in all G7 meetings, not mere photo ops. Too many African countries are falling short on their commitments to invest their own resources in areas such as health, education and agriculture. This year’s G7 could lead to real and reciprocal partnerships that are key to encouraging African countries to invest more in their citizens.

Finally, world leaders need to prioritize investments in global health that are desperately needed. You wouldn’t know it from watching the news or listening to lawmakers, but AIDS isn’t a disease of the past, it’s a crisis of now. Incredible progress against HIV/AIDS has created a false sense of security about an epidemic that still claims more than 2,500 lives every day. Extraordinary medical advancements have created hope for many newly infected, overshadowing the cruel reality that an HIV diagnosis is still a death sentence for people unable to get life-saving treatment.

In October, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, a global health partnership that has helped save tens of millions of lives, will hold its 2019 replenishment. The organization has been one of the most effective and efficient global health organizations on the planet, and is one of the world’s strongest tools in the fight against AIDS. World leaders, especially those from countries hardest hit by the AIDS crisis like Nigeria and South Africa, should go to the Global Fund’s replenishment conference in France with strong pledges.

The coming year is full of opportunities to help the world’s poorest, but complacency and the rising tide of nationalism remain our biggest foes. It’s on each and every one of us to help amplify the voices of those who are working diligently to lift themselves out of extreme poverty.

Buoyed by our progress and opportunity, it’s within our power to put extreme poverty on the defensive.

Where you live shouldn’t determine whether you live. 2019 should be the year we make it so.

Gayle E. Smith is the president and CEO of the ONE Campaign and a former Administrator of USAID.

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105
GIRLS AND WOMEN

Kenya says no schoolgirls being screened for FGM after backlash

9 January 2019 3:24PM UTC | By: THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION

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This story was originally reported by Nita Bhalla and edited by Claire Cozens for the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

No schoolgirls in western Kenya are being forced to undergo examinations for female genital mutilation, Kenyan authorities said on Tuesday, after a government official sparked outrage by proposing compulsory tests to curb the crime.

IMG_5258.jpgGeorge Natembeya, commissioner for Narok County, said on Friday that girls returning to school after the Christmas break were being screened for female genital mutilation (FGM) in order to prosecute their parents and traditional cutters.

Rights groups condemned the move, saying examining the girls – aged between nine and 17 – was demeaning and contravened their right to privacy and dignity.

Kenya’s Anti-FGM Board said they had conducted an investigation in Narok after Natembeya’s statement and found no evidence of girls being tested.

“The Board hereby confirms that no girl has been paraded for FGM screening as per allegations that have been circulating in the last few days,” the semi-autonomous government agency said in a statement.

“The Board recognises and appreciates the role played by different stakeholders in complementing the government’s efforts in the FGM campaigns but we want to reiterate that all interventions must uphold the law.”

FGM, which usually involves the partial or total removal of the external genitalia, is prevalent across parts of Africa, Asia and the Middle East – and is seen as necessary for social acceptance and increasing a girl’s marriage prospects.

It is usually performed by traditional cutters, often with unsterilised blades or knives. In some cases, girls can bleed to death or die from infections. It can also cause lifelong painful conditions such as fistula and fatal childbirth complications.

Kenya criminalised FGM in 2011, but the deep-rooted practice persists. According to the United Nations, one in five Kenyan women and girls aged between 15 and 49 have undergone FGM.

Natembeya said he had announced the compulsory tests to warn communities not to practice FGM on their daughters, but that there was no intention to force all girls to undergo screening. Rights groups said the policy was rolled back following outrage.

“We are not going to line up all the girls and test them – you can’t do that as they can be stigmatised,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“What we are doing is that if we get reports from schools that a girl has undergone FGM, it becomes a police case and the girl is taken to hospital and medically examined. Then the parents or care-givers will be arrested and taken to court.”

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

ONE’s 2018 Women of the Year Awards

19 December 2018 4:30PM UTC | By: SADOF ALEXANDER

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What do activists, authors, actresses, Nobel Prize winners, doctors, and presidents all have in common? They made the world a better place for women in 2018! We wanted to give special recognition to a handful of women who went above and beyond for gender equality this year.

Without further adieu, here are ONE’s 2018 Women of the Year:

Sahle-Work Zewde

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This year, Sahle-Work Zewde became the first female president of Ethiopia in a unanimous vote from the country’s two houses of parliament. As a career diplomat, she served as the under-secretary-general for the UN and as special representative of the secretary general to the African Union. She’s also served as Ethiopia’s ambassador to many countries, including France, Djibouti, Senegal.

In the ceremonial role of president, Zewde plans to advocate for unity and represent the women she serves. “The absence of peace victimises firstly women,” says Zewde, “so during my tenure I will emphasise women’s roles in ensuring peace and the dividends of peace for women.”

Connie Britton

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Our Poverty is Sexist movement kicked off in a big way this year, thanks to critically-acclaimed actress Connie Britton – who starred in three television shows this year and earned a nomination for the 2019 Golden Globes for her role in Dirty John.

At this year’s Golden Globes, she shared our message with the world by wearing a sweater with “Poverty is Sexist” embroidered across the front. She advocated for this movement on the red carpet, using her platform to speak for the girls and women who are hit hardest by extreme poverty. She also wrote an op-ed defending her bold outfit and the message behind it.

Nadia Murad

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Yazidi rights activist Nadia Murad, alongside Denis Mukwege, won the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize for combating sexual violence as a weapon of war. She is the second youngest Nobel Prize laureate after Malala Yousafzai.

Murad experienced this violence first hand in 2014, when she was taken captive by the Islamic State and sold into sex slavery. She recounts this experience in her bestselling memoir, The Last Girl. Two years after her captivity, she founded Nadia’s Initiative, a nonprofit that advocates for the victims of sexual violence and works to rebuild communities. All of her Nobel Prize will go towards building a hospital in her hometown for victims of sexual abuse.

Danai Gurira

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Actress Danai Gurira has done an immense amount of advocacy this year. In July, she hosted a Poverty is Sexist event in New York City alongside Connie Britton, where she put ONE in the spotlight and generated support for the movement. She also wrote an incredible op-ed piece for Refinery29, alerting readers that Poverty is Sexist. In the article, she advocates for girl’s education, health, and safety, stating that we must act for the empowerment of girls around the world.

On the big screen, she became a role model for young girls in the film Black Panther, which earned multiple Golden Globe nominations and a whole lot of Oscar buzz.

Dr. Marlene-Joannie Bewa

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Multi-award winning physician Dr. Marlene-Joannie Bewa is an accomplished advocate from the Benin Republic. She’s worked to advance HIV awareness, sexual reproductive health, and gender equality. Her advocacy work includes encouraging Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to invest in women’s health, becoming a “Goalkeeper for the Global Goals” for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and serving on multiple platforms that advocate for women’s health.

Currently, she is working to spread awareness as a UN-appointed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Young Leader. She’s also pursuing her second PhD, securing her a Doctorate in both Medicine and Public Health.

Phoebe Robinson

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Host of 2 Dope Queens and bestselling author Phoebe Robinson did a tremendous amount of advocacy for both (RED) and ONE this year. She released her second book, Everything’s Trash, But It’s Okay, interweaving critique and comedy to look at the circumstances everyone–particularly women–are living. She discusses the obstacles that women are facing, how to understand our own choices, and how to become part of the solution.

During her nationwide book tour, she sold custom-made Poverty is Sexist merchandise to support (RED) and the Global Fund. She also had ONE volunteers at every stop collecting handwritten postcards addressed to Secretary Pompeo, urging him to replenish the Global Fund and continue the fight against AIDS.

Debbie Lucas

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Inspiring ONE member and activist Debbie Lucas has long been a local champion for international development. She has worked with the Darul Arkamm School in the Republic of the Gambia, where students raised thousands of pounds to support youth education.

Debbie has taught hundreds of students about international development, Global Goals, and what UK aid achieves around the world. Her teaching work continues to this day, now at her home in Portsmouth.

Tiwa Savage

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Nigerian singer and songwriter Tiwa Savage has faced many obstacles as a female afrobeats artist. Despite being told that she wouldn’t be able to compete against male artists, she rose to the top of the music scene. This year, she became the first female artist to win an MTV Europe Music Award for Best African Act.

Her humanitarian work also speaks for itself. In the past few years, she has worked with breast cancer screening projects, helped build schools in her hometown, and advocates for community-based social projects. She’s also a supporter of the Vote Your Future campaign.

Abisoye Ajayi-Akinfolarin

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Nigerian activist Abisoye Ajayi-Akinfolarin is a winner of the 2018 CNN’s Heroes Award for her work in empowering girls living in poverty. After building a successful career for herself in the tech industry, she shifted her focus towards teaching girls and young women about technology.

Her organization, the Pearls Africa Foundation, offers free classes and programs for girls and young women, like GirlsCoding, which teaches girls about computer programming. Many of the girls she’s mentored have already produced their own apps to combat issues, like poverty and female genital mutilation, in their communities.

Fridah Githuku

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Fridah Githuku is the Executive Director of GROOTS Kenya, a national grassroots movement led by women. The movement was created to give grassroots women visibility and decision-making power to create change in their own communities. They have invested in nearly 3,500 women-led groups across Kenya, sparking human-led and community-based change.

Githuku is especially adamant about supporting women’s and indigenous land rights. As an Equal Measures 2030 partner, Githuku and GROOTS Kenya are advocating for gender equality and the role that land rights play in achieving it.

Lola Omolola

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Nigerian-American activist Lola Omolola is the founder of FIN, a private Facebook group that connects nearly 1.7 million women from across the world. She began the group in 2014, searching for a way to create mutual support with other Nigerians after the kidnapping of over 300 girls by the Boko Haram. The group quickly grew into a hub for women’s issues, offering its members a safe outlet to discuss the struggles they face and connect with other women who share those experiences.

FIN–originally an acronym for “Female in Nigeria,” but now standing for “Female IN”–also holds events worldwide for FINsters to interact in person. On Facebook, a group of moderators ensures that all women are protected and supported. Omolola’s work has been recognized by Mark Zuckerberg and other Facebook officials for her work in creating a positive impact through the social media platform.

Honorable Mentions

There’s plenty of women who have done fantastic work this year, so we want to give a shout-out to a few extra:

Violet Brown campaigns with Days for Girls, a nonprofit that provides hygiene kits and health education to young women.

Dr Patricia Nkansah-Asamoah is the former Director of the Prevention of Mother-to-Child (PMTCT) Clinic at Tema Hospital in Ghana and administered the hospital’s first successful PMTCT treatment.

Becca Bunce co-directs the award-winning IC Change campaign, which calls on the UK government to ratify the Istanbul Convention on Violence Against Women.

Bisola Aiyeola is a Nigerian actress, ONE Ambassador, and winner of the AMVCA Trailblazer Award at the 2018 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards.

Valerie Assmann is a board member for DISCOVER FOOTBALL, a program that uses football as a tool to advocate for girls and women in sports.

Scheaffer Okore is the Chief of the Trade and Investment Office with the Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Vice Chairperson of the Ukweli Political Party.

Jennifer Lotito is the Chief Partnerships Officer at (RED).

Waje Iruobe is a musician, film producer, and ONE Ambassador advocating for transparency and accountability.

Are you inspired to take a stand for gender equality? Join our Poverty is Sexist movement to advocate for women and girls everywhere!

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JAN. 17, 2019

 

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EDUCATION

Egyptian Universities Allow Couple Expelled for Hugging to Return

But now they’re missing out on exams.


Why Global Citizens Should Care
Religiously conservative laws around the world stop women from receiving an education. Earlier this month, an Egyptian woman was caught touching a man and it jeapordized her academic career. You can join us in taking action on this issue here

Update, Thursday, Jan. 17, 11 a.m. ET: This story was originally published on Jan. 14 and has been updated to reflect the universities’ decisions.   


If you’re a woman living in Egypt, a school can apparently expel you for hugging a man, even if he’s your boyfriend.

That’s what happened to one woman who was caught on camera locking arms with her boyfriend in early January, France 24 reports. On Sunday, Al-Azhar University in Cairo announced she would not be allowed to return to class after supposedly ruining the institution's reputation. Her boyfriend, a college freshman at Mansoura University identified as Mahmoud,  was suspended for two years, for breaking “university values and morals,” according to the Guardian.

After public outcry, the two universities that expelled the Egyptian couple are allowing them to return to school, Yahoo reports

Take Action: Call for Education Equality

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In the viral video, Mahmoud presents his girlfriend with a bouquet of flowers and she reacts with a brief embrace, which offended school officials. People on the street cheered on the special moment.

 

طلب الزواج في جامعة المنصورة على الطريقة افروبيه #وش_يدلعونك

 
 
 
 

Al-Azhar, where the woman is a student studying Arabic, is considered to be one of the world’s highest Sunni Muslim cultural authorities. Under strict Sunni Muslim beliefs, unmarried men and women are forbidden from making physical contact. As a result, men and women who attend Al-Azhar are separated by gender. 

Read More: Egyptian Women Influenced by #MeToo Are Finally Speaking Out Against Harassment

Ahmed Zarie, a university spokesman, told Agence France-Presse the video created a “bad image” of the school. 

Al-Azhar authorities retaliated against the young woman — even though the proposal was filmed at Mansoura University, nowhere near the school.

Conservative cultural norms are observed throughout the country. Interactions between unmarried men and women are frowned upon by many, and as one Twitter user pointed out, men and women receive difference consequences under law. For instance, polygamy is only legal for men, and 26% of women will experience domestic violence — but it isn't criminalized. 

Zarie said the young woman had the option to appeal the school’s decision, but recently the country has been extremely harsh on “provocative” women.

Recent polls in Egypt found that 74% of men and 84% of women believe "women who dress provocatively deserve to be harassed." 

“It is currently more dangerous to criticize the government in Egypt than at any time in the country’s recent history,” Najia Bounaim, Amnesty International's North Africa campaigns director, said after police jailedwomen’s rights activist Amal Fathy for speaking out against threats to women’s safety.

“Egyptians living under President al-Sisi are treated as criminals simply for peacefully expressing their opinions," Bounaim said.

Despite the risks, Egyptian women joined the global #MeToo movement against sexual harassment in 2018. 

Attitudes towards gender equality seem to be slowly changing. Both universities had a change of heart after the public expressed sympathy toward the couple, according to the Guardian.

 

So Egypt's Al-Azhar university expelled a female student for hugging a male friend !! 😲

 
 
 
 

Mansoura University, where the now viral video of the two embracing was filmed, announced Tuesday it would let Mahmoud, back in. The student apologized, vowed not to disobey the rules again, and committed to the school’s morals, before school officials opted to let him continue his studies.

By Wednesday, Al-Azhar University, also revoked its decision. Ahmed al-Tayeb, a high-ranking official at Al-Azhar, advocated for the young woman by arguing that she didn’t know better because of her age.

Their respective schools aren’t letting the young couple off the hook completely — they both will not be allowed to take their first semester exams instead. The controversy has not only stalled their academic careers but has also harmed their relationship.

"We were supposed to be engaged but after what happened her parents are refusing this completely," Mahmoud told channel MBC Masr by phone.

Some social media users applauded the reduced penalties, according to the Guardian, but others are disappointed the schools aren’t honoring cultural tradition.

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La imagen puede contener: una o varias personas

 

2 year old Violetta is on the road to recovery following her life-saving Cardiac Surgery which took place just before Christmas. 

Violetta's life has been saved thanks to generosity of Irish people and those who selflessly provided the funds to enable Violetta's surgery to take place. 

Sadly, Violetta is just one of many children who were born with congenital heart defects three generations after the Chernobyl disaster. So many more children need our help.

Visit www.chernobyl-international.com to find out how you can help save children just like Violetta. Thank you!

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How electricity access makes a big impact in the fight against poverty
1
ENERGY

How electricity access makes a big impact in the fight against poverty

August 7 2017 | By: EMILY HUIE

JOIN

Join the fight against extreme poverty

 
  

This post is a joint effort between The ONE Campaign and the Millennium Challenge Corporation.

Walking into a room and flipping a power switch is something I do multiple times a day with little to no thought about whether or not the lights will turn on. In the United States, most of us take for granted not just that the lights will turn on, but also that the refrigerator will keep our food cold, the oven and microwave will warm up our food, and that our phones, laptops and plethora of other electronic devices will be charged.

John Keko Mututua, age 16, left, studies with other children in his uncle's eco manyatta, a traditional home that has a solar panel which provides electricity after dark, in the town of Susua, Kenya. (Photo credit: Tara Todras-Whitehill)

John Keko Mututua, age 16, left, studies with other children in his uncle’s eco manyatta, a traditional home that has a solar panel which provides electricity after dark, in the town of Susua, Kenya. (Photo credit: Tara Todras-Whitehill)

Unfortunately, the same assumptions cannot be made by roughly three-quartersof the people living in Africa today. In both cities and rural areas across the continent, the lack of access to electricity isn’t just an inconvenience, it creates health risks, limits education, and makes it incredibly difficult to run and grow a successful business. Some experts estimate that $55 billion per year in investments are needed in order to meet Africa’s electrification goals.

The Electrify Africa Act, which was signed into law in February 2016, ensures that improving and increasing electricity access is a core priority for U.S. foreign assistance. In a time of intense partisan divide, the Electrify Africa Act enjoyed strong bipartisan support, building on the launch of Power Africa in 2013, which brought together technical and legal experts, the private sector, and governments from around the world to work in partnership to increase the number of people who have access to electricity. The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is one of many Power Africa partners that is helping to turn the lights on in Africa.

The aim of the five-year Ghana Power Compact was to create a financially viable power sector to meet the current and future needs of households and businesses, and to help fight poverty across the country. (Photo credit: MCC)

The aim of the five-year Ghana Power Compact is to create a financially viable power sector to meet the current and future needs of households and businesses, and to help fight poverty across the country. (Photo credit: MCC)

MCC is a small U.S. Government agency created by former President George W. Bush to fight global poverty in select poor countries with a demonstrated commitment to good governance. By investing in projects like power, clean water, land rights and roads, MCC empowers the poor and helps people lift themselves out of poverty. MCC has committed approximately $1.5 billion in support of the goals of Power Africa through compact and threshold programs that improve the quality and reliability of electricity access. Investments in Ghana ($498 million), Benin ($375 million), Malawi ($351 million), Liberia ($257 million), and Sierra Leone ($22 million) are designed to fight poverty and generate growth by helping countries deliver more reliable, affordable electricity to their people.

MCC’s country-led, data-driven approach guides its power sector projects. For example, in Liberia, MCC’s compact includes funding for the rehabilitation of the Mt. Coffee Hydropower Plant. It will also develop a training center for technicians working in the electricity sector, and it will support the creation of an independent energy sector regulator and a nationwide road maintenance framework. By investing in this way, MCC is not only helping to improve access to electricity in Liberia, but it is also helping to strengthen the capacity of the Liberian Government to run and maintain its own electricity infrastructure. The goal is to lay a foundation for growth and create an environment for additional private-sector investment that will decrease the need for international donor support. 

In Tanzania a few years ago, ONE met a small-holder farmer named Kazija to learn about how access to electricity through a solar system impacted her livelihood. She went from earning $1.20 a day to $7.25 a day in just two years. This growth was possible because she received training on improving her farming methods and access to solar powered irrigation systems. Her initial profits were re-invested and she was able to purchase livestock. She also started a side business selling fruit juice because she could afford refrigeration to keep her products cold. With her new profits, she has built a new home, her children are in school, and her family is thriving. None of this would have been possible without access to power.

Due to unreliable electricity, Richie and his father couldn't maintain a refrigerator to store life-saving medicines at their pharmacy. But MCC and the Government of Ghana are working to create a power sector that meets the needs of Ghana's people and businesses. (Photo credit: MCC)

Due to unreliable electricity, Richie and his father couldn’t maintain a refrigerator to store life-saving medicines at their pharmacy. But MCC and the Government of Ghana are working to create a power sector that meets the needs of Ghana’s people and businesses. (Photo credit: MCC)

In Ghana, people are confronting the same challenges that Kazija faced, and demand for power is far outpacing the power sector’s ability to provide supply. Last year, MCC visited 5th Avenue Chemist, a pharmacy Richie and his father had been running for 16 years. But because of power outages and unreliable electricity, they couldn’t maintain a refrigerator that would allow them to store and sell life-saving medicine like insulin. And when the power went out, they lost business. In fact, they saw a 90 percent decrease in business during the worst power outages. Together with the Government of Ghana, MCC is working to create a viable power sector that will meet the needs of Ghana’s people and help small business owners access electricity without relying on costly generators.

MCC is fundamentally all about reducing poverty by eliminating key barriers to economic growth in its partner countries. Lack of reliable access to electricity is far too often a huge barrier to growth that keeps people trapped in poverty. In partnership with African governments, MCC is working to increase access to electricity across the continent so people like Kazija and Richie have a better chance at economic opportunity that can transform their lives.

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ENVIRONMENT

5 Ways Healthier Food Could Help Stop Climate Change

Healthy food isn't just good for you, it's good for the planet, too.

By Sonia Elks

LONDON, Jan 17 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) — The world's population must drastically change diets in order to prevent "potentially catastrophic" damage to the planet, scientists have warned.

Global food production is the largest strain on the earth caused by humans and unsustainable farming is already driving climate change, deforestation and biodiversity loss, found a major project commissioned by The Lancet health journal.

Take Action: Demand Food: Ensure No Child is Imprisoned by Malnutrition

 

As researchers warned that people must sharply cut the amount of meat they eat to live sustainably, here is why managing food supply is key to controlling climate change:

AGRICULTURAL EMISSIONS

Food production creates about a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions, experts estimate. Livestock farming for meat and dairy represents more than half of that total at 14.5% of all emissions, with cattle the biggest offenders.

LAND USE

Agriculture is the biggest single driver of deforestation, stripping away forests that reduce climate change by absorbing and storing carbon. Livestock takes up the most space, with land used to grow animal feed and for grazing using nearly 80% of all agricultural land.

WATER USE

About 70% of the world's freshwater is used for agriculture, with climate change expected to increase the number of people facing water scarcity. More efficient farming could reduce water use, helping to meet climate challenges.

WASTE

Up to a third of all food is wasted — totalling around 1.3 billion tonnes per year. It results in unnecessary emissions and means food does not reach those who need it. Experts predict the amount of food waste will rise further without action.

Read More: Scientists Pitch New 'Planetary Health Diet' to Save Lives and Environment

A GROWING POPULATION

The number of people on earth is expected to grow to 9.8 billion by 2050, adding pressure on the world's resources. It is estimated that world food production may have to double (PDF) to keep pace with demographic changes.

Sources: World Bank, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Boston Consulting Group, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition, UN-Water

(Reporting by Sonia Elks @soniaelks; Editing by Jason Fields and Katy Migiro. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's and LGBT+ rights, human trafficking, property rights, and climate change. Visit http://news.trust.org)

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MEDIO AMBIENTE

Estos 5 animales marinos se extinguirán si no actuamos ahora

Desde las ballenas de Narwhal hasta las tortugas marinas verdes.

 

Por qué es importante para los Global Citizens
Los océanos proporcionan alimentos, desempeñan un papel vital en la regulación del clima de la tierra y son esenciales para el comercio mundial. El Objetivo Global 14 de las Naciones Unidas hace un llamado a todo los países del mundo para proteger los océanos de una mayor degradación. Puedes tomar acción sobre este tema aquí.



Incendios forestales cada vez más violentos, huracanes que crecen y se vuelven monstruosos, sequías extremas. El cambio climático ha llegado para quedarse y no solo tiene lugar en la tierra.

 

Aunque no podamos verlo, los océanos están sufriendo cambios dramáticos. Han absorbido el 93% del exceso de calor causado por las emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero, y recientemente se descubrió que también absorbieron un 60% más de calor de lo que se pensaba anteriormente.

 

Los océanos también actúan como sumideros de carbono, absorbiendo alrededor del 26% del dióxido de carbono liberado en la atmósfera por las actividades humanas. A medida que este exceso de carbono se disuelve, las aguas del océano cambian los niveles de pH y se acidifican, lo que se vuelve la vida en el océano mucho más difícil para las criaturas marinas en el proceso.

 

Y no es solo el cambio climático lo que está convirtiendo lo que supieron ser prósperos ecosistemas acuáticos en hábitats áridos.

 

La contaminación plástica ha llegado incluso a partes remotas del océano, la contaminación industrial libera un flujo constante de toxinas pesadas en las vías fluviales, la contaminación acústica afecta severamente a los animales, y la pesca en exceso destruye a los peces y otras poblaciones de animales.

 

Estos son solo algunos de los problemas que enfrentan los animales bajo el agua. Para las miles de especies que viven en los océanos, las amenazas surgen todo el tiempo y llevan a los animales más cerca de la extinción.

 

Estas son cinco especies de animales que se han visto amenazados en los últimos años:

 

Ballenas de Narval: Cambio climático

 

Con un diente similar a un arpón que sobresale de sus cabezas, las ballenas Narwhal parecen unicornios acuáticos.

 

Y como los unicornios, algún día podrían convertirse en fantasía.

 

Las narvales viven en aguas del Ártico y pasan hasta cinco meses al año bajo el hielo, donde cazan peces. A medida que el derretimiento del hielo en el Ártico se acelera, la pesca y otras embarcaciones están entrando a sus áreas de alimentación y capturando grandes cantidades de peces, disminuyendo el suministro de alimentos de los Narwhal. Estos barcos también están llenando las aguas del Ártico con niveles sin precedentes de contaminación acústica, lo que provoca un estrés extremo en los animales.

 

Además, las ballenas orca están nadando hacia el norte para aprovechar las aguas más cálidas y han comenzado a cazar narvales en mayor número durante períodos más largos del año.

 

Tortuga verde: captura incidental, pérdida de hábitat, plástico

Green Sea Turtle.png

Las tortugas marinas verdes pueden vivir hasta 80 años en libertad, nadar de isla en isla y alimentarse en base a algas.

 

En los últimos años, sin embargo, la esperanza de vida ha disminuido considerablemente debido a la pesca incidental, la contaminación plástica, la recolección de huevos y un hábitat en declive.

 

A medida que los barcos pesqueros lanzan redes de arrastre masivas al agua, cientos de miles de tortugas mueren cada año después de quedar atrapadas en redes de pesca.

 

La contaminación plástica, que llena los océanos a una tasa de hasta 13 millones de toneladas por año, es otra amenaza para estas tortugas. Un estudio reciente descubrió que la ingesta accidental de una pieza hace que una tortuga tenga un 20% más de probabilidades de morir.

 

En la costa, los huevos de tortuga se recolectan para el consumo humano, y los hábitats de puesta de huevos están desapareciendo a medida que los humanos se apoderan de más costas en todo el mundo.

 

Tiburón ballena: caza furtiva

toa-heftiba-270774-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

El año pasado, un barco pesquero chino fue detenido cerca de las Islas Galápagos, un santuario marino fuera de los límites de la actividad humana, y las autoridades ecuatorianas encontraron más de 6,600 tiburones a bordo.

 

Los tiburones probablemente estaban destinados a ser utilizados como sopa de aleta de tiburón, un manjar servido principalmente en China y Vietnam.

 

La demanda de la sopa ha llevado a algunas especies de tiburones a la extinción, incluido el tiburón ballena. En las últimas décadas, algunas poblaciones de tiburones han disminuido en aproximadamente un 95% como parte de una captura anual global de hasta 100 millones de tiburones.

 

Krill: Calentamiento de las aguas. Sobrepesca.

 

Por diminuto que sea, el krill es fundamental para las cadenas alimentarias marinas, y proporciona una fuente crucial de nutrientes para una gran variedad de especies.

 

El krill vive en aguas antárticas, donde aprovecha la cubierta de hielo en los meses más fríos para recoger alimentos y crecer en un área protegida. A medida que aumenta el derretimiento del hielo en la región, los hábitats y algunas poblaciones de krill están disminuyendo hasta en un 80%.

 

El krill también está amenazado por los barcos pesqueros que se mueven hacia la región y buscan capturar grandes cantidades de krill para usar como alimento para animales. Greenpeace y otros grupos ecologistas están trabajando actualmente para promulgar una moratoria global sobre la pesca de krill en aguas abiertas.

 

Si el krill desapareciera, causaría reacciones en cadena devastadoras en todos los ecosistemas marinos.

 

Coral: calentamiento del mar debido al cambio climático

Great Barrier Reef2.jpgImage: Flickr/GreensMPs

Los arrecifes de coral son estructuras visualmente deslumbrantes que promueven algunos de los ecosistemas más vibrantes de los océanos. Miles de especies, desde peces hasta tortugas y algas, dependen de los arrecifes de coral para su sustento y protección.

 

A medida que las emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero continúan elevando las temperaturas globales, los océanos están absorbiendo la mayor parte del exceso de calor, lo que provoca que las olas de calor marino dañen al coral. Cuando las temperaturas del océano aumentan dos grados Celsius por encima de lo normal, los corales corren el riesgo de sufrir un fenómeno potencialmente fatal llamado blanqueo.

 

La decoloración ocurre cuando las altas temperaturas impactan al coral y hacen que expulse los organismos simbióticos que le dan color y nutrientes, volviendo el organismo de color blanco hueso. Los arrecifes de coral generalmente pueden recuperarse de eventos de blanqueo aislados, pero cuando ocurren en años sucesivos, se vuelven fatales.

 

Y eso es lo que está pasando. A mediados de siglo, todo el coral del mundo podría ser destruido.

 

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