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The Action Thread Part Two

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05/02/2019

Young Wicklow musicians to perform in a concert series as part of the Music Network Artist Residency

Young Wicklow musicians to perform in a concert series as part of the Music Network Artist Residency

On Friday 8 February, 25 young musicians from Music Generation Wicklow’s Rithim Orchestra will take to the stage at the Mermaid Arts Centre alongside Triona Marshall, Tim Edey and David Power, three of Ireland’s leading traditional musicians.

Ranging in age from 12 to 18, the Rithim Orchestra is a Bray-based traditional music orchestra comprising harps, flutes, fiddles, uilleann pipes, concertina, bodhrán, banjo and guitar. Established in 2015, the orchestra was formed by parents and tutors to work on ‘Rithim na Reamhloide,’ a suite of newly composed music by Tim Doyle to be performed at the 2016 commemorations. Many of the young musicians continue to be members of the thriving Bray Comhaltas group, with whom Music Generation Wicklow has enjoyed a good relationship in supporting young musicians to access workshops and masterclasses over the past four years.

As a Music Generation Wicklow traditional orchestra since 2018, the Rithim Orchestra is supported by tutors Gerry O’Donnell, Tim Doyle and Rachel Duffy. Most recently, the orchestra has performed at events such as Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2018, the Taste of Wicklow Festival 2018, Culture Night 2018 and now as part of the Music Network Artist Residency concert series.

Friday’s performance is one of a series of six concerts curated by Musician-in-Residence and Music Generation Wicklow tutor Eamon Sweeney as part of the Music Network Artist Residency. Having performed ‘Tradition in the Royal Court’ on 13 December 2018, this will be the Rithim Orchestra’s second outing as part of the series.

Eamon has put together a rich and varied programme of outreach initiatives and concerts reflecting his passions – early music, Irish music, classical music, poetry, song, music for children and babies. The outreach portion of his residency will take place on 29 March, in association with Music Generation Wicklow. Acclaimed conductor and composer Brian Irvine will work with students from St. Cronan’s Boy’s National School and Ravenswell Primary School, Bray, where a large Music Generation Wicklow programme has been established. Brian will conduct a series of improvisation workshops with the students which will then be performed at the concert the following day, along with Eamon Sweeney and musicians Malachy Robinson and Francesco Turrisi for a performance of newly-composed works, improvisations and on-the-spot creations.

Tickets for both concerts are on sale now at Mermaid Arts Centre.

The Rithim Orchestra is set to hold auditions on 16 February, recruiting players of all types of music with the possibility of introducing other instruments into the orchestra in future.

For more information about this and other programmes at Music Generation Wicklow, contact:

Ann Catherine Nolan, Manager
T: 0404 60505 / 086 7909887
E: AnnCatherineNolan[at]kwetb.ie
www.musicgenerationwicklow.ie

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Today is #SaferInternetDay2019! 😃

The internet is wonderful, but it’s important to know how to use it safely and what to do if you receive hurtful messages online. 💙

If you think you are being bullied online, it’s important to know that you have nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about - it is never your fault if someone treats you this way. And there is plenty of support to help you get through it.

For more information about support available visit: https://bit.ly/2BZE6Jw👈

La imagen puede contener: una o varias personas y personas sentadas

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7 Valentine’s Day gifts for your favorite activist
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CULTURE

7 Valentine’s Day gifts for your favorite activist

February 9 2018 | By: MICAELA IVESON

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Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! This year, leave the chocolates and roses behind and get your special someone — or your girl squad! — an ethically-made gift that makes a positive impact in Africa. We handpicked our favorite gifts from the ONE store below:

1. Dipped Ribbon Necklace

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For us, these handmade necklaces were love at first sight. Not only do they have a fun, earthy-chic vibe, but they’re made by our friends at 31Bits, so their proceeds help provide sustainable wages to the female artisans in Uganda who hand-craft them!

2. Daphne Bracelets

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These light and bright beauties come in a few colors that you can mix and match to your heart’s desire! They’re also made by 31Bits, so they pair perfectly with our Dipped Ribbon Necklace, and come with the added bonus of benefitting women in Uganda — that’s what we call a sweet deal.

3. ONE Campaign T-Shirt

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What’s not to love about this activist staple? Brought to you in men’s, women’s and children’s sizes, each one is made from 100% fair trade cotton.

4. FEED 10 Bag

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Our FEED 10 Bags are a great go-to for running errands, toting around daily essentials — or for collecting valentines of your own! Each purchase provides 10 school meals to young children all over the world.

5. ONE Moleskine Notebooks

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These Moleskine notebooks were custom-made, just for us. Each one features a ONE logo and “Actions. Speak. Louder.” on the front, and comes with a bookmark and expandable inner pocket.

6. ONE Beaded Bracelet

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We first teamed up with Relate to make these exclusive beaded bracelets a few years ago, and they’ve truly become our perfect match! Each one is handmade in South Africa by Relate, a non-profit social enterprise that provides dignity and hope for artisans through their employment projects.

7. Girls Count Sticker

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These stickers are a great addition to any valentine — give one to your loved one, or keep one for yourself to show the world that you’re a girls’ education activist!

Valentine’s Day is just once a year, but you can give meaningful gifts anytime! Check out the ONE store for more socially-conscious gifts fit for Cupid himself.

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Felxfame Omovie Enisire is an end-FGM campaigner from Imo State, Nigeria. All photographs courtesy of The Change Generation.
 
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1*GBL3H_JIQ_nKKES-bkkuDQ.pngWhat do a doctor in Somaliland, a pop star in Burkina Faso, and the Ethiopian Scout Association have in common? They are all young Africans who are working to end the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM), starting in their communities.

FGM involves the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons that result in a lifetime of physical, psychological and emotional suffering. It is human rights violation and an extreme form of gender inequality. Though reasons behind the practice differ greatly, it is often done to preserve virginity until marriage, to decrease a woman’s sexual desire, to signal a rite of passage into womanhood, or to prepare a girl for marriage.

FGM is a global practice transcending cultural, religious, and political boundaries. It is prevalent in over 40 countries, primarily in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, though it is also practiced in Europe, the Americas, and Australia. Globally, more than 200 million women and girls have undergone FGM, and over 3 million more are at risk every year.

Despite decades of advocacy work by international NGOs and grassroots organizations — along with a plethora of medical research connecting it to infections, maternal and newborn complications, and even death — FGM is still considered the norm in many parts of the world.

For end-FGM campaigns to be truly effective, they must be spearheaded by local activists and include the voice of the youth. Faith Mwangi-Powell is the global director of The Girl Generation, the largest global collective to end FGM. She says, “Young people are the heart and soul of the campaign to end FGM. They are tomorrow’s parents and leaders. If they decide to and are supported not to cut their daughters, we will end FGM in our generation.”

Currently, 6 out of every 10 Africans are under the age of 25, and by 2050, this population will have doubled. They are tomorrow’s parents who will protect their children and the leaders who will finally abandon FGM.

Supported by The Girl Generation, this profile series, “The Change Generation,” follows a group of young African activists who are working tirelessly to end FGM.

Here is what these leaders look like.


Mariam Dahir

Doctor, Somaliland

 
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Somalilander end-FGM activist Dr Mariam Dahir on the streets of Hargeisa.

Mariam Dahir, 31, is a doctor and an end-FGM activist from Hargeisa, Somaliland. In Somalia, 98 percent of women have undergone some form of FGM. As a trainee doctor, Dahir has witnessed firsthand its harmful health effects. “I saw women unable to give birth, [with] horrific complications,” she recalls. “I wanted to know why this was happening and how I could help.”

Despite resistance from many in her community, Dahir started to campaign against the widespread practice. “When I first started speaking out against FGM, many people in my community were critical,” Dahir says. “But things are changing. More people are speaking out against FGM in Somaliland.”

As a lecturer at Frantz Fanon University in Hargeisa, Dahir’s mission is to shape the next generation of academics, doctors, and “change-makers” in Somaliland. She is also campaigning to include an FGM component in the medical educational curriculum, so that medical students know what the negative health implication of FGM are and what to look out for.

As a doctor, teacher, activist, and mother, Dahir breaks the silence surrounding the practice in all aspects of her life. Whether it’s with women at the market or students in her lecture room, Dahir speaks out against the practice and encourages others to do the same.

Smarty

Musician, Burkina Faso

 
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Chart-topping musician Smarty is using songs to end FGM in Burkina Faso.

Chart-topping musician Smarty, 40, is using songs for social good. In Burkina Faso, 76 percent of women and girls have undergone some form of FGM— despite the practice being illegal. “To end FGM, we need to speak to the whole community,” he says. “A love of music is universal here — music is how we will be heard, it is how we will be noticed.” In particular, Smarty believes music is an effective tool to reach young people (nearly two out of three Burkinabés are under the age of 25).

To that end, in 2018, Smarty and three other renowned artists, Greg, Dicko Fils, and Owena, each released a song on an album called “No More Blade, No More Excision.” The songs specifically aim to end FGM. Recently Smarty performed his song at a local school in the capital Ouagadougou.

Ending FGM requires everyone to step up. “I want to tell young people that we are all ambassadors to this cause,” Smarty says. “No matter who you are, you can change things. We all have a role to play in the end-FGM movement. Together, we can end FGM in one generation.”

Oumie Sissokho

Activist, The Gambia

 
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Oumie Sissokho, co-founder of The Girls’ Agenda, a community organisation, The Gambia.

Oumie Sissokho, 37, is a youth activist and co-founder of The Girls’ Agenda, a community organization run by youth for youth. In The Gambia, 76 percent of all women and girls have undergone FGM, despite it being banned in 2015. Speaking out against it is considered a taboo, and openly challenging the harmful practice in a place where tradition and culture are highly valued can be extremely difficult.

Earlier this year, The Girl’s Agenda opened their Youth Safe Space in Brikama, one of The Gambia’s largest cities. The Youth Safe Space is a place where youth can learn about the harmful impacts of FGM and share stories. “By addressing FGM so early in their lives, the children will not only be the listeners of the end-FGM movement, but they will be critical actors who will start questioning the practice,” says Sissokho.

“We don’t want the girls or boys to go back to their parents, teachers, or community leaders and face backlash,” Sissokho explains. “So, we equip them with these skills so that they can become responsible agents of change in their community.”

For Sissokho, youth are the engine that drives the movement to one day eliminate FGM in her country. “We are the ones that will make sure that FGM is not handed over to the next generation,” she says.

Felxfame Omovie Enisire

Activist, Nigeria

 
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Felxfame Omovie Enisire campaining in Imo State, Nigeria.

Felxfame Omovie Enisire, 27, is an end-FGM campaigner from Imo State, Nigeria. In Imo, 68 percent of women have undergone some form of the practice, one of the highest rates in the country. For Enisire, ending FGM is an act of love. “When I learned about the harmful consequences of FGM I couldn’t help but think about it happening to the people around me — to the people I love,” he says.

Enisire has found that FGM, often seen as an exclusively “women’s issue,” is not often discussed openly by men. However, he says, “we can’t end FGM without talking to men.” For him, ending the practice is not a one-person, one-gender, or one-country campaign — it is a global issue. “People need to come together to end FGM.”

Enisire works for an organization called the Community & Youth Development Initiatives (CYDI) that holds information sessions in Owerri, the state’s capital, to warn young people about the dangers of FGM. Young campaigners like him are leading the charge — driving activities in local communities to end FGM.

In Imo state, girls usually undergo FGM eight days after birth. This means that talking to new mothers is critical. Every week, Enisire visits an antenatal clinic at a healthcare centre in Orlu to explain the impact of FGM, and holds a Peer Education Club where he teaches young men about the dangers of FGM. Activities like these are key to to addressing the social norms that allow the practice to prevail.

Ethiopian Scout Association

Ethiopia

 
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The Ethiopian Scouts Association.

The Ethiopian Scouts Association is nationwide network of over 67,000 young Ethiopians aged 14 to 18. As volunteers, they assist governments and NGOs with activities addressing a wide variety different social issues. One of these issues is ending FGM. In Ethiopia, over 74 percent of women and girls have undergone some form of FGM.

The scouts are playing an important role in speaking effectively about FGM and making sure they open up conversations instead of shutting them down. After receiving training from The Girl Generation on social change communications, the scouts reach out to community members to speak about the impacts of the practice. Positively framing the message has reduced backlash. “Ours is a country that is experiencing so much change,” says Dani Taddesse, a scout member. “I want to make sure that it is the right kind of change.”

All of these leaders are part of The Girl Generation. With over 900 members, it is the largest Africa-led collective to end FGM. Bringing together the voices thousands of women, men, and young people, the collective has one shared vision: FGM can and must end in this generation.

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FACT: Today is the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation. 
FACT: 200 million women and girls alive today have undergone #FGM and over 70 million are still at risk.
FACT: You CAN help to #EndFGM  bit.ly/2MRCNOD
Click the 🔗 to create change 🤚🏿🤚🏼🤚🏾🤚🏽

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47
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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GIRLS AND WOMEN

Women are powering change in Malawi

December 11 2018 | By: GUEST BLOGGER

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Guest post by Kate Pritchard, MCC.
Originally published by the Millennium Change Corporation (MCC). All photos are credited to them.

The Sub-Saharan nation of Malawi has made progress in human development over the past decade, but it remains one of the poorest countries in the world. Over half the population live in poverty, and 25% live in extreme poverty.

When MCC and the Government of Malawi began looking at the primary constraints to the country’s economic growth in 2009, one thing stood out—the availability and quality of the nation’s power supply. Just 10% of Malawians had access to grid electricity and even for those connected to the grid, power was often unreliable and cut for eight to 12 hours per day.

But inadequate power doesn’t tell the whole story of life in Malawi. The country is also hindered by gender inequality. Women in the agricultural sector tend to have smaller plots of land, and those in other sectors suffer from a lack of access to credit and capital. So, when we partnered with the Malawian government to revamp the nation’s power sector, we didn’t limit our efforts to producing more electricity. We also sought opportunities to help women in the country advance in the context of the power-focused compact.

I traveled to Malawi ahead of our compact closeout and met with some of the inspiring women who have been empowered by projects implemented under MCC’s compact. Not only are those women compact beneficiaries, they are working to reshape the country’s future.

At MCC, we believe that one of the best ways to accomplish our mission to reduce poverty through economic growth is by investing in women’s economic empowerment. The reason is simple—research shows that empowering women leads to stronger economies, increases in household incomes, and higher profits for businesses. So, no matter what sector we invest in—power, land, transportation, water—we look for ways to ensure that women are provided opportunities to play a key role in driving progress that will positively impact them and their communities. In Malawi, women helped to realize the potential of efforts across the power-focused investment, making key contributions to each of the three compact projects: infrastructure, power sector reform and environmental management.

Powering Change: Environmental and Natural Resource Management Project

Hydropower generation plays a big role in Malawi’s power sector, but chronic weed infestations and excessive sediment buildup in the Shire River Basin as a result of poor land and environmental management, have led to hydropower disruptions and inefficiencies.

The compact’s $32 million Environmental and Natural Resource Management Project was designed to implement modern environmental and natural resource management techniques in areas upstream from the hydropower plants. The project also included a Social and Gender Enhancement Activity that focused on engaging women to improve how land along the riverbanks is used and reduce the negative impact on natural resources while increasing economic opportunities and decreasing outages at downstream hydropower plants.

Emily Hussein used to spend her days collecting firewood and charcoal, which she would sell as her only source of income, leading to deforestation and soil erosion. But with the help of MCC’s Environmental and Natural Resource Management Project, she secured a loan that allowed her to become a beekeeper—decreasing her impact on the landscape and increasing her family’s household income.

“The project has changed the lives of women here,” said Emily. “I can now borrow money from the village bank and repay after I have sold honey. When I get the money, I use it to buy fertilizer in order to ensure that we have a good harvest.”

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Emily Hussein transitioned from cutting trees to beekeeping and selling honey.

Powering Change: Infrastructure Development Project

Upgrades to the power infrastructure formed a major piece of our compact with Malawi. A new high-voltage 400kV electricity transmission line—a significant upgrade from the old 132kV line—was built and is now connected by a host of newly constructed and upgraded substations. The line will provide a stronger and more efficient, higher voltage backbone for the transfer of electricity across Malawi.

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Women working at the Nkhoma substation outside of Lilongwe, one of the end points of the new 400kv line that has greatly increased the capacity of Malawi’s power sector.

Women worked on sites across the country as new lines and substations were constructed and rehabilitated. Women working at the Ntonda substation in Blantyre had the opportunity to work on site in the morning, and attend training sessions in the afternoon to build specialized skills in bricklaying and carpentry, skills that will help them to earn more in future work.

Powering Change: Power Sector Reform Project

Infrastructure alone cannot solve the systemic, long-term challenges of energy access in Malawi. Effective institutions and strong policy frameworks are also needed to support continued expansion, encourage private sector investment and boost economic growth. As MCC worked with the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM), the national electricity utility, to improve processes and operations, the role of women was front and center. The utility successfully recruited a Gender and Social Inclusion Manager and established a unit to lead the development and implementation of ESCOM’s Social and Gender Inclusion and Anti-Sexual Harassment Policy. Now, ESCOM will provide gender training and technical support to their entire staff.

“Research has shown that organizations which have included women in their decision making forums and even in all the operations of those organizations are able to perform much better than organizations which don’t have women in their committees or teams,” Gender and Social Inclusion Manager Elube Chienda told me.

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Elube Chienda, ESCOM Gender and Social Inclusion Manager.

ESCOM is also planning for their future workforce with a partnership with the University of Malawi. The scholarship and internship program aims to support the next generation of female engineers as students build their skills both in the classroom and in real world. “The idea is to ensure that we motivate them, and we inspire them so that when we have vacancies they will be the first ones to apply,” said Ms. Chienda.

When I spoke with ESCOM scholarship recipients about how the program had changed their lives and aspirations, they were full of hope and confidence. “I’m graduating not only with theory and knowledge. I’m also graduating as an experienced engineer,” said scholarship recipient Mary Mnewa.

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Recipients of ESCOM’s engineering scholarship and internship program.

With the completion of our five-year compact, MCC and the Government of Malawi have set the stage for more reliable power to be delivered across the country. At the same time, infrastructure upgrades and institutional reforms have secured the foundation for private sector investment while optimizing the potential benefits to women and local communities by promoting women’s economic empowerment through new job opportunities and reforms that incentivize women’s participation within the power sector.

Empowering women in Malawi is helping to power the country, and MCC is proud to have played a role in cementing new opportunities for women in the future. This compact shows that investments don’t have to choose between policy and institutional reform, infrastructure improvements, and economically empowering women. As we move forward in our pursuit of poverty reduction, MCC will continue to make the economic empowerment of women a priority, regardless of which countries and sectors we are investing in.

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

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06/02/2019

Opportunity: Administrator, Music Generation Cavan/Monaghan

Opportunity: Administrator, Music Generation Cavan/Monaghan

Cavan and Monaghan Education and Training Board (CMETB) invites applications for the position of Music Generation Cavan/Monaghan Administrator (three-year, fixed-term contract).

Cavan and Monaghan have been selected for participation in Music Generation - Ireland’s National Music Education Programme, which is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.

Application form, job description and person specification available online at www.etbjobs.ie

No CVs accepted. Late applications not accepted.

Based on the volume of applications received short-listing may apply. Short-listing will take place on the basis of the information provided in the application form. Depending on the qualifications and experience of applicants, short-listing thresholds may be significantly higher than the minimum standards set out.

Cavan and Monaghan ETB is an equal opportunities employer.

Closing time and date: 12:00 noon, Wednesday 27 February 2019

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Why my son is the future of fighting malaria
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HEALTH

Why my son is the future of fighting malaria

April 25 2016 | By: GUEST BLOGGER

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By Samuel Oduor Wangowe

This post is part of the PATH #ProtectingKids story roundup. Read all the stories here.

When my son Derrick was just nine months old, he suddenly became very ill. He started burning up, convulsing, vomiting. I knew all too well what it meant. They were the same symptoms I’d had more times than I could count. The same symptoms almost every family member and friend in my community had suffered. They were the symptoms of malaria.    

We rushed Derrick to the hospital that day, but by the time he got there, it was too late. I knew exactly what to look for, but it didn’t matter. Within two hours of his symptoms showing up, he was gone. 

Unfortunately, my family’s story is the story of so many families across Kenya and sub-Saharan Africa. It’s the same story I hear every day in my work as a community relations officer at the Kombewa Clinical Research Center in Kisumu, Kenya.

Photo credit: PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative

Photo credit: Jordan Gantz Creative

I teach others about malaria—what it is, what the symptoms are, how to prevent it, and what to do if you have it. I speak with village chiefs, and opinion leaders.

I go to gatherings and funerals to educate the community about the correct way to use bed nets to protect from mosquito bites, and how to get rid of standing water and clear bushes, which encourage mosquitoes to gather. I tell them to come to the hospital if they suspect they have malaria, or if they need treatment.

Photo credit: PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative

Photo credit: Jordan Gantz Creative

I tell them about what happened to my son. But, as I learned with Derrick, sometimes all the knowledge and preparation in the world aren’t enough—the best weapon is prevention.

That’s why I also make sure members of my community know about opportunities to participate in some of the research studies my hospital conducts, including one for a malaria vaccine. There are centers like mine all across Africa working to develop a first vaccine for malaria.

Photo credit: PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative

Photo credit: Jordan Gantz Creative

I am heartbroken when I see children in my community with malaria. I remember my son and how he suffered. No parent should ever outlive their child, but it happens all the time.

Today, I have another son named Carl, who is almost two years old. In his short life, he’s already had malaria twice. I worry every time and I feel so powerless to help him.

Photo credit: PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative

Photo credit: Jordan Gantz Creative

But with Carl, I also have a lot of hope, because I know that someday soon, we might have a vaccine to protect him—adding another weapon to the fight against malaria. A weapon that would give us more power to stop this killer disease. I think Carl represents the future, not just for my family, but for my community, and other communities across Africa.

Samuel Oduor Wangowe is a community relations officer at the Kenya Medical Research Institute/Walter Reed Project in Kombewa (Kisumu), Kenya. His story does not represent the views of the Kenya Medical Research Institute/Walter Reed Project.

TAKE ACTION: Tell world leaders to support the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria!

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Great to see our friends over at the recently re-branded Sing Irelandunveil their new website as they continue to develop, support and promote all forms of group singing across Ireland. Sing Ireland is also committed to further encouraging young singers, working with thousands of young people nationwide. Here's to an exciting new phase in the development of group singing in Ireland.

https://www.singireland.ie/?fbclid=IwAR0HXIF2dyxaDCz--7fsN-sKFtvuLrQEOpiJEUad4qy6NSYo_KCJwWzRNu0

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3
HEALTH

You need to know about the bold fund fighting HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria everywhere

5 February 2019 2:25PM UTC | By: ROBYN DETORO

ADD YOUR NAME

Sign now: we demand more action in the fight against AIDS

 
  

Fact: Every day, nearly 1,000 young women are infected with HIV.

Fact: Globally, there are 37 million people living with HIV — more than 15 million of whom can’t get life-saving treatment, which puts them at risk of developing AIDS-related symptoms — and another 1.8 million people are infected with HIV every year.

Fact: Over 2,500 people die from AIDS-related causes every day.

Fact: AIDS isn’t a disease of the past. It’s a modern-day crisis and it’s impacting people and communities around the world right now.

Enter, the Global Fund — a 21st-century partnership organisation designed to accelerate the end of AIDS, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria as epidemics.

Nigeria-Global-Fund-EDIT_151104.jpg

A child being administered malaria screening with Global Fund supported medical supplies at the Nduo-Eduo community Health Centre in Nigeria.

Formed in 2002, they work in partnership with governments, civil society, the private sector and people affected by HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria to put an end to these epidemics by investing in and funding all kinds of health resources and interventions, like doctors, nurses, innovative technologies and education programs.

The Global Fund is one of the world’s most powerful tools in the fight against these diseases. In 2017 alone, regions and countries where the Global Fund invests treated 108 million cases of malaria and 5 million people for TB, plus 17.5 million people were on ARV therapy to treat HIV. In the same year, 197 million mosquito nets were distributed, over 79 million HIV tests were completed and HIV prevention services and programs reached 9.4 million people.

Ong%E2%80%99ielo-Health-Center-Kenya-EDI

A team of mobile community health workers trained with Global Fund support on their way to rural Kenyan homes to provide health checks and care.

This is what progress looks like. But there’s still work to be done, particularly for young women and girls.

To make sure the Global Fund can continue with their critical work, they will be hosting their sixth replenishment conference in October. They’re asking world leaders and private investors to come together and help save 16 million lives over the next 3 years by meeting their replenishment goal of US$14 billion.

This investment is the bold ambition the world needs to get us on track to stop the spread of these diseases — and it’s why we’re calling on world leaders to #StepUpTheFight by fully financing the Global Fund.

Add your name now to tell world leaders they must back this bold initiative this year.

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3
HEALTH

You need to know about the bold fund fighting HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria everywhere

5 February 2019 2:25PM UTC | By: ROBYN DETORO

ADD YOUR NAME

Sign now: we demand more action in the fight against AIDS

 
  

Fact: Every day, nearly 1,000 young women are infected with HIV.

Fact: Globally, there are 37 million people living with HIV — more than 15 million of whom can’t get life-saving treatment, which puts them at risk of developing AIDS-related symptoms — and another 1.8 million people are infected with HIV every year.

Fact: Over 2,500 people die from AIDS-related causes every day.

Fact: AIDS isn’t a disease of the past. It’s a modern-day crisis and it’s impacting people and communities around the world right now.

Enter, the Global Fund — a 21st-century partnership organisation designed to accelerate the end of AIDS, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria as epidemics.

Nigeria-Global-Fund-EDIT_151104.jpg

A child being administered malaria screening with Global Fund supported medical supplies at the Nduo-Eduo community Health Centre in Nigeria.

Formed in 2002, they work in partnership with governments, civil society, the private sector and people affected by HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria to put an end to these epidemics by investing in and funding all kinds of health resources and interventions, like doctors, nurses, innovative technologies and education programs.

The Global Fund is one of the world’s most powerful tools in the fight against these diseases. In 2017 alone, regions and countries where the Global Fund invests treated 108 million cases of malaria and 5 million people for TB, plus 17.5 million people were on ARV therapy to treat HIV. In the same year, 197 million mosquito nets were distributed, over 79 million HIV tests were completed and HIV prevention services and programs reached 9.4 million people.

Ong%E2%80%99ielo-Health-Center-Kenya-EDI

A team of mobile community health workers trained with Global Fund support on their way to rural Kenyan homes to provide health checks and care.

This is what progress looks like. But there’s still work to be done, particularly for young women and girls.

To make sure the Global Fund can continue with their critical work, they will be hosting their sixth replenishment conference in October. They’re asking world leaders and private investors to come together and help save 16 million lives over the next 3 years by meeting their replenishment goal of US$14 billion.

This investment is the bold ambition the world needs to get us on track to stop the spread of these diseases — and it’s why we’re calling on world leaders to #StepUpTheFight by fully financing the Global Fund.

Add your name now to tell world leaders they must back this bold initiative this year.

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Introducing, Nurse Nana! Every day, she plays a critical role in the fight against HIV/AIDS by educating expectant moms on how to make sure their babies are born HIV-free. ✊🏾 ❤️

Inspired to #StepUpTheFight like Nurse Nana? Add your name and tell world leaders we need to take action against HIV/AIDS now → bit.ly/2MQzyXC

#PovertyIsSexist

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