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TECHNOLOGY This all-woman team is helping other female entrepreneurs in Uganda adopt new tech

 

20 January 2017 12:47PM UTC  | By: GUEST BLOGGER
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By Rebecca Rwakabukoza

At a recent Women in Business summit in Kampala, Uganda, most of the professionals agreed: For female entrepreneurs in Uganda, one of the most significant gaps is in information.

In fact, that’s what pushed Zimba Women, a flagship project of tech company Zimba Group, to host the summit in the first place. With the intention of providing information and valuable networking opportunities, Zimba Women invited professionals from different technology and business fields, both in the private and public sector.

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Peace, Stella, and Sherry at work.

The Zimba Group is led by a core of four women: Sherry Tumusiime, Stella Nassali, Peace Kuteesa, and Elizabeth Kasujja. With an all-female founding team, it was natural that they were more attuned to the needs of women in the technology space they were occupying.

The group started with 20 women-owned businesses, but now works with around 250.

“But we found that we had to do more than tech tools for businesses,” Sherry says. She gives an example of a soap making business’ transition to take advantage of the digital space. “You can’t just put online that now you have handmade soap. You need to think of sizes and packaging. That’s not technology; it’s business development.”

Stella, a brand manager with a background in business computing and project management, adds that they ended up offering basic packages. “We started with simple packages in Microsoft Office and use of a smartphone.”

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Vanessa updates her business’ Facebook page.

The transition to technology is not always an easy one. Sherry says delivery can be a logistical nightmare, but is quick to add that while technology forces you to rethink your entire strategy, it makes the process flows in business quicker and more efficient.

Stella adds that online operations give an edge to businesses in a time when, due to higher rent and taxation, many are folding and closing shop.

And for some of the women they have worked with, business has been good: For example, Vanessa Ntezi learned to use Facebook and Instagram to boost sales for her apparel store, Neza Fashion Hub. When clients appear indecisive on an item, Vanessa is quick to whip out her phone and show them different images of models wearing the clothes. “But I don’t think I have fully utilised the opportunity,” she says. “In 2017 though, I am projecting about 10 percent of my sales coming from online.”

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Vanessa takes a call in her shop.

Zimba Women is anxious to get more women to maximise tech tools in business. “Men are already using technology, while some women fear whatever seems to be too technical,” Stella says of the gender gap.

“There is a lot of opportunity out there, but there is a lack of awareness,” says Sherry.

“Do you know how many men were contacting us to attend our summit? They even offered to pay to attend; yet it was a free event.”

 

Via ONE

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GIRLS & WOMEN I Was Raped by a Fellow Freshman & My College Found Him Innocent: Aspen Matis Shares Her Story

By Aspen Matis|

 Jan. 19, 2017
 

 

This story is the fourth in a series called "Real Women, Real Stories," a social project designed to promote awareness of the often unseen hardships women face in different professions and places around the world. Read the first story in the series here.

I stepped out of the hidden subway underground into the pink light of Columbia University, dawn at my dream school. Power blue and white balloons welcomed incoming students, brightening the high black metal gates. I feared my 18-year-old classmates would immediately see I was different and didn’t belong. At 26, I was a transfer student, returning to school for orientation. I hoped it wasn’t obvious how awkward I felt, that I was older than everyone.

I was afraid to try higher education again, with good reason. Seven years before, I’d dropped out of Colorado College after I was raped by a fellow freshman.

At 18, arriving at my dorm for the first time, I’d been so excited to be free, 2,000 miles from home. I knew nobody, beginning entirely fresh, excited to live in the world of ideas, without my parents’ archaic rules.

Within a blissed hour, I’d made a new friend — the freckled-porcelain-skinned Katherine. After orientation activities, she slipped into my room. She was followed by a skinny boy with black hair and wooden drumsticks in the back pocket of his jeans who also happened to be my neighbor and a thicker redheaded boy.

Read More: My Name Is Anneke Lucas and I Was a Sex Slave to Europe's Elite at Age 6

I felt popular, hosting a little party in my new room. Someone took out a DVD of "The Breakfast Club," and we lit a joint and watched the classic in my bed. After the movie ended, the freckled girl left with my neighbor. I was wearing pink linen shorts, too high-waisted to be cool. Still, I felt pretty. When the boy who remained in the room turned to me, I’d smiled at his red hair. I happily kissed him. He seemed easygoing, poised. But then he gripped my thigh. My voice wavered as I said “bye.” Suddenly frightened, I didn’t want him to stay, but he became deaf. The slice of sky in my cracked window glowed black, dense as a bomb.

Waking alone six hours later, two stains of blood marked my white cotton underwear. The bright sky defied the violence of the past night. Two dim weeks passed before I mustered the strength to cross a lawn to the office of the college’s sexual assault counselor. She offered me a blue lollipop and said, “Sit, hon.” Together we decided to officially pursue the matter at the school administration instead of with police.

We entered mediation, an internal hearing at the Student Center. No lawyer, no friends, or parents were present. My assailant and I testified separately, never together. In a beige conference room, I was questioned by two polite college-appointed mediators, submitting my memory. As if rape could be mediated like a playground fight. And in this lawless trial, I confessed the boy and I had smoked weed that awful night.

Read More: My Name Is Brooke Axtell and I Was Sex Trafficked at Age 7 in the US

 “Marijuana is a hallucinogen,” an administrator told me then, very quick. Her sharp implication stung me: that I’d hallucinated a rape.

The mediator asked me if I would like to see my rapist’s testimony. The sexual assault counselor placed it in front of me: a single sheet of computer paper. It simply said that he and I had not had sex. I probably wanted to, the boy wrote, but he’d felt nothing.

The mediator said that by her judgment of the events of that night, what exactly had happened was “inconclusive.” The college found my rapist innocent. Therefore, I was guilty of lying.

The administration soon moved the boy from his room across campus into my dormitory, the floor above me. When I called Campus Housing and asked to be farther away from him, they moved me into the stained cinderblock motel dorm beyond the edge of campus, in the shadowed lot behind the Conoco gas station. My dim room had a sewage leak. I felt exiled and traumatized.

The only comfort I found was in planning to disappear.

With four weeks left of my freshman year, I dropped out — and flew west. I walked alone into the Sonoran Desert mountains, 300 miles south of California’s Mojave desert. I had discovered the Pacific Crest Trail, a footpath through the vast American West — from Mexico, all the way to Canada. After 2,650 miles of hiking, five months of living on my own in the wilderness, that pilgrimage was finished. Afterwards I wanted to go back to being a student again.

Read More: 'I Remember the Smells, the Sights, and the Taste of Slavery': Jessa Dillow Crisp Shares Her Story

I applied to transfer to Columbia University. In spring, the letter-size envelope was thin in my clammy hands. They didn’t let me in. For four months I drove to trailheads along the West coast, in Marin County, and took long walks that felt like pacing. A dropout, I felt like a failure. Everyone in my family had college or graduate degrees — my mom and dad had both graduated law school, and my two older brothers were earning advanced degrees. I loved learning. But I felt I’d ruined my chance. A year passed, and I filled out applications for several schools, including Columbia. I was hopeful. Yet I was not admitted, again.

Over the next several years, I tried on different university programs, relationships, careers, and jobs. None fit. Scrawling in cluttered cafés into the nights, I collected a small tribe of friends: young artists who had crossed their own forests, as I had, to New York City. I published articles — and even a book about my assault — and became a spokesperson for the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network. Yet I still felt a little inadequate without a degree, as if I’d missed something fundamental. I feared I wasn’t as smart and academic as my parents and brothers.

I still longed to study at Columbia. Then I discovered the school had a special program for people who had accomplishments outside of the classroom. Maybe my work against sexual assault at the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network could count. My friend Sara-Kate encouraged me to apply again. I told her I was unsure. I had tried before, twice.

Read More: Pakistani Mother Sentenced to Death for Burning Daughter Alive in 'Honor Killing'

She was encouraging, reawakening the fantasy. We filled out the application together, a special form that isn't part of the “Common App.”

This time Columbia admitted me.

Yet now, as a 26-year-old college sophomore, I planned to avoid the impressive, accomplished 18-year-olds who’d detect how many chaotic years had passed since I’d last been in a university program. Amid the hoards of freshmen, the deja vu was overwhelming. I dreaded the conversation I imagined I’d have, explaining what I was doing at Columbia, older than everybody.

At the pizza party meet-and-greet at orientation, I met the others in my program. It turned out there were many returning students. In fact, the median age in the General Studies Program was 28. I was younger than average! That day I learned something else astonishing, and comforting — that, according to the 2016 Hechinger Report, only about 36% of college kids finished their degree in four years. Forty percent took six years or longer. And at non-flagship four-year public universities, the on-time graduation rate was even lower, just 19%. So — in reality, I was in the American majority.

Read More: Trump Election Prompts US Mothers To Warn Children About Assault

A girl who had freckles asked me what I wanted to study, and I told her, “Theoretical physics and poetry.” We wore our eyeliner in a similar modern style, winged. I asked her back, “Do you know yet?”

“Psychology and neuroscience,” she told me. “And also photography.” 

It turned out, she had lived nearby my hometown for a year. We discovered that we’d both been ice-skating on Friday nights at the same rink in Massachusetts, where I grew up.

“I’ve probably seen you,” I said. “I loved skating there.”

I realized that no one cared about my years away, only that I was here. Later, at the Columbia University bookstore, I shopped for a cute school sweater, proud to be a part of the school community. The freckled girl found my book in the university's bookstore. That my new classmate showed it to me felt sweet and supportive, validating my past as if welcoming me back.

On the second day of my student orientation, I went through Sexual Assault Response education. Through a skit, our peer leaders played out the story of a man pressuring his date to drink, slipping shots into reluctant hands — with an agenda. Then there was an interactive test, which we took with our cell phones, our scores reported. Sharing statistics — including stats regarding rapes at Columbia; they didn’t shy away. I was impressed and personally touched. If Colorado College had a course like this my second day there, maybe I wouldn’t have been assaulted and would have been in graduate school by now.

Still, seven years late, I felt safer at college, thankful I’d been givenanother chance.

Editor's Note: Global Citizen reached out to Colorado College to allow it to respond to this essay. The college sent us this response:

"Colorado College has always strived to support survivors through trauma-informed processes that include confidential resources. We engage in consistent review and evaluation of our policy and procedures which are in line with the recommendations of the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault, to include not only response but also prevention. We admire Aspen’s tenacity in pursuing a college degree and her continued work in prevention and in supporting survivors."

 
 

Written by Aspen Matis

 

Aspen Matis is the author of the internationally bestselling memoir Girl in the Woods, published by HarperCollins in 2015. Called "a powerful read” by O, The Oprah Magazine, the book made The Guardian's annual top 50 list.

 

Via Global Citizen

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The reigning Westmeath Rose, Niamh Moriarty, will travel to Belarus with 20 of her fellow Roses from the Rose of Tralee International Festival including the 2016 Rose of Tralee Maggie McEldowneyy at the end of February of this year.


Find out more by picking up this week's Westmeath Topic.


http://topic.ie/no-bed-roses-niamh-prepares-trip-belarus/


 


 


Via Chernobyl Children International


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Tomorrow we'll host the second in our series of General Information Sessions which will outline the plan for Music Generation's next phase of expansion, next steps and details of how to apply.


The Session takes place at the Athlone Springs Hotel from 12 noon - 2pm. Book your place online at: http://bit.ly/2i66q2I


This Session is open to anyone who has an interest in Music Generation Phase 2 and free to attend. For full details about Phase 2 visit our website:www.musicgeneration.ie/apply


 


 


Via Music Generation


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CULTURE Why documentaries have the power to change the world

 

20 December 2016 5:32PM UTC  | By: GUEST BLOGGER
JOIN Join the fight against Extreme Poverty
 
  

In today’s “post-truth” world, educating ourselves about important issues and finding varied and reliable information sources is as critical as ever. Recent events across the globe coupled with how we obtain, share, and replicate news of these events demands we step up and seek out quality sources of information about our world and what is happening in it.  

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Documentaries have the power to educate.

Documentary films are an in-depth and informative resource which are a perfect platform to create dialogue. They serve as powerful tools that bring important topics to the table in a captivating way that also sparks conversation, and sometimes even social movements. Character-driven, feature-length documentaries focused on the stories of real people put a human face on global issues that might otherwise seem distant or unrelatable. Hearing and seeing these real experiences through the dedicated work of documentary filmmakers helps us put ourselves in the shoes of others, building bridges of empathy in a world that desperately needs our engagement and compassion.

Not only do documentaries provide an opportunity to understand and connect with the world, they are also a great way to gather together with friends to watch and engage around the important issues of our times. Watching more documentaries is important, but talking about them together in person is equally important. With social media channels at our fingertips 24/7, we often miss out on face-to-face conversations, yet these conversations are needed. They remind us of the real people on the opposite side of an issue, the complexity and nuances of the different conditions in which we live, and the importance of honest and earnest discussions.

“Watching 
with my daughter and a few of her friends started a conversation about being ‘girls,’ and if being a girl means some jobs or studies are not right for you. Hearing these young girls discuss their feelings about studying whatever they wanted instead of what someone says they should made the film even more special to me.”  

—Alexandra, London

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A ONE Campaign film screening event in the US.

A great way to delve into the potential of documentary film is to host a film club. Film clubs put the great resource of documentary film together with real-time conversations. Think of it as the quick version of a book club, a chance to learn about, engage with, and take action on issues with others, that also allows you to pool your resources, knowledge, and energy toward making the world a better place. Coming together to watch and discuss a documentary is an efficient way for a group of busy people to start conversations about meaningful and timely content.

“If I hadn’t watched 
 
with my film club, I would never have known how many of my close friends had been the victim of bullying when they were young. The open conversation after the film really opened my eyes to the severity and widespread problem of bullying.”

—Sam, Stockholm

It’s simple. First, pick a documentary. Influence Film Club can help you with its documentary recommendations, free film club resources, and discussion guides online at www.influencefilmclub.com. Then invite others to join you—the young, the old, the engaged, the disconnected, the believers, and the skeptics—because the world needs us all in conversations about things that matter and that elevate our humanity.

Connect to the global community through documentaries, and remember that now is the time to engage in making a difference in our collective future.

Influence Film Club is a non-profit organisation with an online platform that seeks to engage new and diverse audiences around documentary film. Find resources and documentary recommendations to watch alone or with your film club at Influence Film Club.

 

Via ONE

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ENVIRONMENT

Badlands, Death Valley National Park Twitter Accounts Troll Trump With Facts

By Phineas Rueckert| Jan. 25, 2017

 

Flickr/Matthew Paulson

Badlands National Park in South Dakota is known for its raw, rugged beauty — the result of tens of millions of years of deposition and erosion — its majestic vistas, and its tranquil environment. But on Tuesday the National Park made the news for an unexpected reason when a former park employee got their hands on the National Park’s Twitter account. 

The employee, still unidentified, posted a series of climate-change related tweets in short succession, captured here in this screengrab by Buzzfeed’s Jon Passantino. 

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

 Follow

 Jon Passantino ✔ @passantino


11:28 PM - 24 Jan 2017

  3,916 3,916 Retweets   2,217 2,217 likes

“Today, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is higher than at any time in the last 650,000 years,” the former Badlands employee tweeted, citing a fact that is objectively true. 

This small act of defiance was followed up on Wednesday by the Death Valley National Park Service, which began tweeting about the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. As of 4:40 P.M. EST, these posts remain on the National Park’s official Twitter feed. 

 Follow

 Death Valley NP ✔ @DeathValleyNPS

During WWII Death Valley hosted 65 endangered internees after the #Manzanar Riot. #JapaneseAmericanInternment

4:09 PM - 25 Jan 2017

  5,669 5,669 Retweets   7,319 7,319 likes

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

 Follow

 Death Valley NP ✔ @DeathValleyNPS

"We want the opportunity they have to prove their loyalty. We are asked to accept a denial of that privilege in the name of patriotism."

5:28 PM - 25 Jan 2017

  5,112 5,112 Retweets   7,476 7,476 likes

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

 Follow

 Death Valley NP ✔ @DeathValleyNPS

Togo Tanaka: interned at Manzanar and Cow Creek (Death Valley) during WWII #JapaneseAmericanInternment

5:31 PM - 25 Jan 2017

  5,100 5,100 Retweets   5,974 5,974 likes

Over 100,000 Japanese-Americans were interned in camps during World War II, including at the Manzanar Camp in Southern California, which the Death Valley National Park Service explicitly referenced in its series of tweets. 

Read more: Report Reveals Trump Wants the EPA to Stop Using Scientific Research

The initial catalyst for the National Parks’ tweetstorm may have been the social media blackout of the Environmental Protection Agency, ordered by the Trump administration, as well as a clean wipe of all climate-change related language from the official White House page. 

 Follow

 The Associated Press ✔ @AP

BREAKING: Trump bans EPA employees from providing updates on social media or to reporters, bars awarding new contracts or grants.

6:42 PM - 24 Jan 2017

  29,453 29,453 Retweets   18,226 18,226 likes

Within a few hours, the initial tweets were removed by the Badlands National Park, and a statement of apology was released the next day. 

“We regret the mistaken RTs from our account yesterday and look forward to continuing to share the beauty and history of our parks with you,” the official account tweeted. 

Afterward, Twitter users quickly filled the void. A fake Badlands National Park account was launched, and has already accrued more than 40,000 followers. 

 Follow

 BadlandsNPSFans @BadIandsNPSFans

The Badlands were created over eons through the gradual erosion of sediment. The erosion of U.S. democracy, however, will be far more rapid.

1:06 AM - 25 Jan 2017

  47,764 47,764 Retweets   73,002 73,002 likes

 Follow

 BadHombreLands NPS @BadHombreNPS

Hey, friends. Here to support @BadlandsNPS with the science facts they can no longer share!

12:04 AM - 25 Jan 2017

  6,094 6,094 Retweets   11,623 11,623 likes

Though, the initial Badlands National Park tweets only showed up on Twitter for a matter of several hours, the dust from the media storm it kicked up remains to be cleared. 

As for the Death Valley tweets, these have not yet been taken down. The backlash on the part of the National Park may have come in light of the Trump administration’s controversial policies toward Muslim immigrants, including a proposed Muslim registry that harkens back to the World War II internment camps.

The White House responded to the flurry of political activity in a statement, AP reports, calling the agencies’ use of social media “inappropriate,” and vowing to address the incidents.  

TOPICSEPA, Twitter, Environment, Badlands National Park, Social Media, Protest, National Parks, President Trump

Phineas Rueckert

Written by Phineas Rueckert

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

 

Via Global Citizen

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1170
ENERGY What I learned about energy and education on my trip to Kenya

 

November 16 2016  | By: GUEST BLOGGER
JOIN Join the fight against Extreme Poverty
 
  

By Cindy Dyer, Board Member at Kenya Connect

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Have you ever thought about the power of the sun and how its energy potential could impact literacy and education? I had never really connected the sun to reading prior to my trip to Kenya this summer, probably because I live in a part of the world that has adequate access to electricity.

What I came to learn on my trip is that the power and potential of the sun can be harnessed to help develop an entire generation of children in rural Kenya into thinkers and leaders who will positively impact their country and the world. This epiphany came about thanks to the SunKing products of Greenlight Planet and the efforts of Kenya Connect.

During a brief meeting at the Nairobi office of Greenlight Planet, I learned about their solar lights, which seemed to have been designed almost perfectly for the needs of the families and children of rural Kenya. The products were durable, lightweight, simple to use, long-lasting, and inexpensive. Many of the children in rural Kenya don’t have electricity at home. If they had access to these lights, they might have a better chance at success.

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Especially excited by that prospect was my colleague, Kenya Connect Field Director James Musyoka. During his childhood in Kenya, James was one of ten kids. His family couldn’t afford for him to board at school, so each day, he would run five kilometers to and from school.

Daily chores and working on the family farm left James with precious little daylight hours to study:

“At night, I would use a kerosene lump to study for between two to three hours before retiring to bed,” he said. “Sometimes there was no kerosene to light the home and I would have to go to bed without reading or doing my homework. At such times, I would wake up much earlier the next day and report to school much earlier so I would have a chance to finish my work. I was so determined to make good grades and my hope was to make it to university.”

He made it—and of the 120 students who sat for the university exam at his school, he was among the eight who qualified, and the only one not in boarding school. After university, James felt strongly about returning to a rural community and working to help improve the state of education there. One of his goals was to increase the number of rural students that went on to attend secondary schools and universities.

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So as we left Greenlight Planet that day, he thought about how access to these lights would help the children with their studies. When compared to the kerosene lamps that James had used as a rural student, the lights provided a healthier, more reliable, and higher quality source of light, in addition to being less expensive.

That’s why Kenya Connect is starting a new initiative that focuses on the affordable distribution of solar lights to the families we work with in the rural areas of Kenya. The program James has started in rural areas is a monthly payment program. Each family that wants a light, pays the equivalent of $1 (USD) per month for eight months. They own the light after eight months. After four months of this program, not one family has missed a payment. They are finding it cheaper and more effective than the kerosene they had come to rely on.

“This solar light produces very clear light, unlike the kerosene lamp,” said Lilian, a student in the area. “Therefore I enjoy reading at night more than before. I always complete my homework because I can now study in the evening and also early in the morning.”

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Kenya Connect has distributed over 880 SunKing Pico lights to families in the rural area of Wamunyu, Kenya. With the money that the families pay monthly, we purchase more lights to distribute to other schools and families in rural areas.

Our goal, quite simply, is to provide greater access to light for families so their children can read and study at night. It’s amazing that such a simple and affordable product has the potential to have a dramatic impact on education for so many.

Cindy Dyer has been an active member of the board of Kenya Connect for more than two years. She has traveled to Kenya three times to work with the project site. Cindy is also a mediator with the Mediation and Conflict Resolution Center of Howard Community College (MCRC). She has spent more than 15 years working directly with youth in many aspects.

Learn more about energy and energy poverty, then check out the other projects at Kenya Connect.

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Via Global Citizen

 
ENVIRONMENT Trump Signs Order to Put Dakota Access Pipeline, Keystone Pipeline Back in Action

By James O'Hare|

 Jan. 25, 2017

Donald Trump signed executive memorandums today to continue the construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines as part of a greater effort to undo environmental protection policies of Barack Obama.

Read More: Donald Trump Targets Women's Healthcare In One of His First Acts as President

Owned by TransCanada, construction of the 1,200-mile Keystone XL pipeline requires a presidential permit because it crosses international borders. The Obama administration denied the permit, citing the project would undermine the role of the United States as a world leader in combating climate change. Trump’s orders invite TransCanada to re-submit its proposal. The application will be reviewed by the US State Department which will reach a decision within 60 days.

“We’re going to renegotiate some of the terms and if they’d like, we’ll see if we can get that pipeline built. A lot of jobs – 28,000 jobs – great construction jobs,” stated Trump before signing the orders.

The State Department, however, estimates the Keystone pipeline would create 35 permanent jobs, according to a 2014 report. The project would create 42,000 jobs over two years (3,900 of them in construction) but they would all be temorary.

The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) finally gained national spotlight once protesters at Standing Rock, North Dakota, collected in masses to fight for the protection of clean water supplies and recognition for Native American rights. Protests turned violent at times as authorities used dogs, sprayedfire hoses, and shot rubber bullets, among other brutal tactics.

Read More: Dakota Pipeline Protests: Everything You Need to Know

In a victory for the “water protectors,” the $3.8 billion project came to a halt when the US Army Corps of Engineers denied a permit to drill under the Missouri River. This however, simply meant the pipeline would need an alternative route. Now, with Trump’s action the pipeline has been given new life, and one that continues to stoke a nationalist message.

In discussing the DAPL, Trump played further into his America-first rhetoric: “This is construction of pipelines in this country. We are and I am very insistent that if we’re going to build pipelines in the United States, the pipes should be made in the United States.”

Many environmental activists have vowed to contest further construction, but the task will be much more difficult this time around.

Read More: Report Reveals Donald Trump Wants the EPA to Stop Using Scientific Research

The Trump administration has already handcuffed the Environmental Protection Agency and Republican lawmakers have been hard at work on legislation that specifically targets peaceful protests. A bill in North Dakota, for instance, submits that, “a driver of a motor vehicle who negligently causes injury or death to an individual obstructing vehicular traffic on a public road, street, or highway, may not be held liable for any damages.” This means if the bill passes, motorists will be allowed to run over and kill protesters who are blocking a roadway as long as it’s an accident.

Trump’s orders open the door for further pipeline construction but they are not mandates. It’s going to be an uphill climb, but the fight for the environmental soul of the US is far from over.

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

Written by James O'Hare

 

James is an Editorial Intern at Global Citizen. He believes education is the starting point in working for social justice and hopes to someday eliminate the spectacle in American politics. He habitually quotes Mitch Hedberg and believes there should be a national holiday in honor of whoever invented chicken-bacon-ranch pizza.

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Via Global Citizen

 
CITIZENSHIP Theresa May and Donald Trump Talk Trade, Mexico, Foreign Relations in First Meeting

By Meghan Werft|

 Jan. 27, 2017

British Prime Minister Theresa May and President Donald Trump confirmed their shared interests at a joint press conference today. 

While the shortest US presidential press conference in history lasted just 10 minutes, Trump and May came close — theirs lasted 18 minutes according to the UK Telegraph. Still, they covered a range of issues. 

The two world leaders, both who have expressed increasingly nationalistic perspectives, talked trade, Russia, Mexico, and expressed their excitement to work together “to do the best for ordinary working people” as Prime Minister May said during the conference. 

Read More: The One Issue Trump Is Trying to Make You Forget Entirely

President Trump kicked off the press conference by thanking PM May for her visit. She, in turn, responded by congratulating President Trump on his win, and thanking him for such a quick invitation. She is the first foreign diplomat to meet with President Trump, after he took the presidential oath on Jan. 20.. 

“The invitation is an indication of the strength and importance of the special relationship that exists between our two countries, a relationship based on the bonds of history, of family, kinship and common interests,” said PM May. 

She then extended an invitation on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II to President Trump and first lady Melania Trump to visit the United Kingdom, which Trump accepted. 

President Trump emphasized his support for Brexit. 

“A free and independent Britain is a blessing to the world,” said Trump. He also noted that he expected the country to vote to pull out of the European Union.

Read More: What You Should Know About Theresa May, UK’s New Prime Minister

 

MP May called attention to President Trump’s confirmation on support for NATO, which he previously said was “obsolete.” 

“Mr. President, I think you confirmed that you are ‘100% behind’ NATO,” said PM May.  

President Trump gave a glimmer of hope on the human rights issue of torture, and also a point of conflict between the US and UK regarding information exchange. Trump has expressed his desire to bring back waterboarding, and other forms of torture for information gain. However, he said he would defer to US Secretary of Defence James Mattis on the issue. 

“James Mattis, our new defense secretary, has said he does not believe in torture... I don't necessarily agree, but I'm telling you he will override as I'm giving him that responsibility,” said Trump. 

Trump was also questioned by the press on a call he had earlier today with Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto, who cancelled a planned trip to the US. 

President Trump said he “love the Mexican people” and that it was a very friendly call and he looks forward to continuing to work with Mexico after stating he has “been very strong” on Mexico since they “beat us to a pulp” when it comes to outsourcing and trade negotiations. 

Read More: A UK-US Trade Deal Shouldn’t Come at the Expense of the World’s Poorest

Their meeting comes after PM May delivered a speech to Republicans in Philadelphia Thursday, where she touched on “shared Conservative” values and hinted at a coming free trade agreement between the US and UK. 

More urgent than many of the topics covered in the press conference is President Trump’s signing of an order to block Syrian refugees from entering the US. He plans to sign the executive order Friday afternoon. 

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

 

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

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GIRLS AND WOMEN In Rwanda, this sisterhood of farmers is banding together to beat poverty

 

November 22 2016  | By: GUEST BLOGGER
JOIN Join the fight against Extreme Poverty
 
  

By Maria Russo, Executive Director at Humanity Unified International

dativa-1024x682.jpeg

Photo credit: Humanity Unified

Dativa stares intently at the wall with her crystal blue eyes – an uncommon physical trait among Rwandans – as she shares the story of her life since the genocide in 1994. A mother to 11 children, five of whom were killed during the war, Dativa struggles to pay for basic necessities such as food, healthcare and school fees. Dativa’s husband was also killed during the genocide, so she carries the family’s entire financial burden alone. After the genocide, she took in seven orphans all of whom she cared for on her meager salary as a farmer.

As the driving force of the Rwandan economy, agriculture employs 70 percent of the population. Women perform the bulk of the labor, putting in approximately 51 hours per week on farm and domestic duties compared to men who work 40 hours.

Most women farmers lack the means to purchase high-quality seeds and proper storage facilities to protect their crops. Many also never received education on effective farming methods to increase yields and to ensure that the soil on their land remains healthy. This creates a cycle of subsistence farming leaving very little or no profit from outputs for farmers to use as a source of income or capital.

Today, Humanity Unified International, a New York-based nonprofit is working to change this.

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Photo credit: Humanity Unified

Currently, the organization is empowering Dativa and 99 other women through a farming cooperative project that will ensure each woman earns a self-sustaining, livable income after completing a one-year intensive educational program.

Bernadette is a member of Dativa’s cooperative and shares similar difficulties. She has three children all of whom she struggles to keep in school due to the expensive fees. Her husband left one day and never returned, so she too bears the family’s financial burdens. Bernadette recently took in the 4-year-old child of a friend who passed away. The child’s father is mentally ill and incapable of properly caring for her. In spite of all the responsibilities Bernadette carries each day, she continues to look forward to a future that ensures her needs and the needs of her children are met.

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Photo credit: Humanity Unified

Both Bernadette and Dativa are benefiting from Humanity Unified’s program, which provides them with the skills and knowledge necessary to triple the cooperative’s yields over the course of one year. The 100 women enrolled in the cooperative, most of whom earn less than a dollar per day, are also attending workshops on gender-based violence, women and children’s rights, nutrition, positive masculinity (which includes male partners) and workshops designed specifically for single and widowed women. The program also provides training in cooperative management, savings and loans and effective agriculture methods.

Since 2015, Humanity Unified has been working in Rwanda with their partner Aspire Rwanda, a local NGO that works to empower poor women to rise above poverty. The two organizations share similar missions dedicated to poverty alleviation through education, food security, and economic opportunities.

The cooperative project is having an incredible impact on the beneficiaries who now understand their rights as women, wives, and mothers. The women are also learning how to be leaders in managing the needs of the 25-hectare farm to ensure that yields increase dramatically over the coming year.

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Photo credit: Humanity Unified

“I like being in the cooperative because I feel supported by the other women,” says Sylvia, 30 and a mother of three.

For Rwandan women, the benefits of being part of a cooperative stem deeper than simply existing as an organization owned and run jointly by its members who share profits and benefits. Ethnic tensions created before and during the genocide still exist regardless of the government’s attempt to unite people by identifying as “Rwandan” rather than associating with a specific tribe. The genocide caused deep divides among the Hutus and Tutsis, so employing the cooperative model to bring women from different ethnic backgrounds together to work towards common goals resulting in financial benefit is a win-win. This type of structure creates tolerance, compassion, and a sisterhood among the women enrolled.

On any given day at the farm, you’ll find the women clustered together tending to a specific project or caring for their individual plots. The camaraderie is as apparent as Rwanda’s magnificent rolling green hills. It’s common to hear laughter and to see friends walking arm in arm as they set out for the road home. Sometimes in early morning, when its quiet, you’ll hear the sweet sound of voices humming a song that has great meaning in Rwanda: “Amahoro,” the word for “peace” in Kinyarwanda. For many of the women, this is a chance to find peace in their life and to look forward to a self-sustaining future as a successful farmer.

Learn more about Humanity Unified International, and sign up today to join ONE in the fight for gender equality on International Women’s Day 2017.

 

Via ONE

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Via Global Citizen

 
ENVIRONMENT Get Ready for Another Big March in DC — This Time for the Planet

By Gabriella Canal|

 Jan. 27, 2017
 

One thing President Donald Trump has made clear in his campaign and first few days is office is that he’s not a believer in climate change.

One of his administration’s top priorities is the creation of jobs through the expansion of domestic energy industries: petroleum, coal and shale oil/gas.

Trump appointed E. Scott Pruitt to lead the EPA even though he’s sued it several times.

Then came the media blackout on the EPA and reports that Trump’s administration would no longer trust data from scientists. The content of EPA.gov is “under review” and the agency is undergoing a media blackout.

And one of Trump’s first executive orders gave a green light to Dakota Access Pipeline and Keystone Pipeline, despite the potentially devastating impact these projects will have on the environment.

Read More: Trump Signs Order to Put Dakota Access Pipeline, Keystone Pipeline Back in Action

After the success of the Women’s March, support surged on Facebook, Reddit and Twitter for another cause: the March for Science. While the March for Science is gaining notoriety, (and still picking a date to march) another group, known as the People’s Climate Movement is quietly advancing awareness around climate change through organized means.

The People’s Climate Movement also plans to march on Washington, and across the country. They, however, have a date set: April 29. In addition, they are proposing 100 days of action and resistance until the march in April.

The People’s Climate Movement came to be in 2014, after a group of activists and individuals from all walks of life organized a march in New York City, on the eve of the UN Climate Summit, where the Paris Climate Agreement was being orchestrated.

As an organization, the People’s Climate Movement insists on building a new economy, with the support of public leaders, that will avert the worst impacts of the climate crisis while promoting jobs and social justice.

Love this map of the 2646 #peoplesclimate events from around the world this weekend:

 
 

“What was really powerful was the day of the march, over 400,000 people participated,” Paul Getsos, National Coordinator of The People’s Climate Movement, told Global Citizen. “But the untold story lies with the relationships and the trust that was built between the different organizations.”

The Environmental Justice Movement, labor unions and student youth groups — organizations that didn’t usually work together, did.

Robert Orr, dean of the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy and special adviser to Ban Ki-moon on climate change, noted on the 2014 United Nations’ Climate Summit news that the private sector would commit over $200 billion of financial assets to move to greener investment outcomes within 2015.  

In 2015, the People’s Climate Movement’s National Day of Action took the idea of a march on step forward — people took local action to stop climate change.That October, they continued to deepen the narrative by organizing 200 actions in 48 locations in the country — mostly led by unions, faith groups, youth and people of color organizations.

 
 

“We were making progress toward clean energy,” Gestos told Global Citizen. “We would have been in Washington whether it was Clinton or Trump. We need to do more than just protect.”

Toward the end of the 2016 election, the People’s Climate Movement’s work shifted as they began to focus on developing a platform that better articulated their understanding of the climate crisis and created a movement strong enough to meet the challenges.

This coalition will leverage their power once again, to resist the Trump administration's efforts to deny climate change and the corporate leaders’ efforts to thwart or reverse progress towards a more just America. According to Getsos, these next 100 days will focus on "resist, build and rise."

And they’re not alone in the fight.

“We have over 30 partnering organizations and are looking to grow everyday,” Getsos said. “We have the right partners, we have a broad based coalition. We have front lines communities engaged, communities of colors engaged, the right people around the table to work on the intersectionality of gender, race and climate.”

Denise Abdul-Rahman, NAACP Indiana Executive Board Member and State Chair, stated that the “grassroots based organization has injected civil disobedience to oppose the current attorney general appointee. We are with the people,” she said in support of the NAACP’s partnership with the march, “and the People’s Climate Movement.”

From now until April 29, activists will be making weekly calls, strategizing on a grassroots level and gathering their efforts with and around their communities — where the fight is.

“We want people around the country to participate,” Getsos noted. “People need to focus less on big mobilizations and moreso on consistent work. It is important to communicate with global leaders and global organizations that their is a powerful movement that calls on climate action.”

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

Written by Gabriella Canal

 

Gabriella Canal studied Journalism and International Relations at the University of Miami. She has built a record of seeking out opportunities she feels strongly passionate about, and that require her to help inspire change. Social justice, writing, photography and videography are her passions. Sharing the stories of those affected by the world's biggest challenges in an effort to alleviate their conditions is her mission.

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GIRLS & WOMEN

The Ewan McGregor-Piers Morgan Feud Over the Women's March Misses the Point Entirely

By Yosola Olorunshola| Jan. 24, 2017

 

Ewan McGregor was due to appear on “Good Morning Britain” earlier today to promote "Trainspotting 2," the much-anticipated sequel to the 1996 classic. 

However, he pulled out of the show abruptly after discovering the interview would be conducted by Piers Morgan. The host, no stranger to controversy, claims the actor pulled out only five minutes before he was scheduled to appear on air. McGregor tweeted a concise explanation for his decision.

 Follow

 Ewan McGregor ✔ @mcgregor_ewan

Was going on Good Morning Britain, didn't realise @piersmorgan was host. Won't go on with him after his comments about #WomensMarch

9:13 AM - 24 Jan 2017

  68,144 68,144 Retweets   249,804 249,804 likes

Read More: Millions March Around the Globe the Day After Trump Inauguration

Over the weekend, McGregor had tweeted his support for the Women’s March: 

 Follow

 Ewan McGregor ✔ @mcgregor_ewan

I'm with you in spirit today women of the world. My daughters are marching. I'm so proud to see this extraordinary power.

7:47 PM - 21 Jan 2017

  4,698 4,698 Retweets   22,214 22,214 likes

 

Morgan, on the other hand, publicly condemned the march on the basis of two speeches. Taking issue with statements made on stage in Washington by Madonna and Ashley Judd — two women out of the millions who participated in the global march for equality — he dismissed the purpose of the march as simply: “Trump-hating and resentment that he won and Hillary lost.”

From this limited range of evidence, Morgan decided, “No, this march wasn’t about women’s rights,” and tweeted: ‘I’m planning a “Men’s March” to protest at the creeping global emasculation of my gender by rabid feminists. Who’s with me?” 

 Follow

 Piers Morgan ✔ @piersmorgan

I'm planning a 'Men's March' to protest at the creeping global emasculation of my gender by rabid feminists. Who's with me?

11:43 AM - 21 Jan 2017

  32,622 32,622 Retweets   47,011 47,011 likes

There is no clear reason why any man should feel threatened by women seeking equality if he also believes in equality, which Morgan claims to do. He even identifies as a feminist.

Morgan’s critique of the march predictably outraged many, who celebrated McGregor’s decision to shun the show. 

 Follow

 Matt Haig ✔ @matthaig1

Ewan McGregor did the right thing. Better to abstain than 'debate' Piers Morgan. https://twitter.com/piersmorgan/status/823523834938662913

5:47 PM - 24 Jan 2017

  28 28 Retweets   235 235 likes

 Follow

 Alison Moyet ✔ @AlisonMoyet

Freedom of speech also means freedom not to speak. #ewanmcgregor

10:19 AM - 24 Jan 2017

  99 99 Retweets   565 565 likes

Read More: March on, Ladies, You're Guide to Taking Action After the Women's March

Yet others felt the actor should have stuck around to debate the issue, including Morgan’s co-host Susanna Reid who frequently stands up to her counterpart’s tirades.

 Follow

 Susanna Reid ✔ @susannareid100

Such a shame. Challenge views where there's difference. Would have liked to see that debate on air - it's an important one. #WomensMarch https://twitter.com/mcgregor_ewan/status/823805815488331776

9:49 AM - 24 Jan 2017

  282 282 Retweets   1,241 1,241 likes

 Follow

 Francesca Walsh @chescwalsh

Wow, not impressed Ewan McGregor pulled out of GMB because he doesn't agree with @piersmorgan PoV. What a diva. Don't agree? Challenge him

9:21 AM - 24 Jan 2017

  154 154 Retweets   951 951 likes

While it may have made compelling viewing, perhaps McGregor did not want to give Morgan more air time, knowing that provocation boosts ratings? Morgan has since published a column launching crude accusations at McGregor for his past decisions.

It’s spiralled to unpleasant levels now. While allies are welcome, two men at the centre of a feud on women’s rights sounds like a contradiction in terms. Sound familiar?

 

Read More: Trump Targets Women's Healthcare in One of His First Actions As President

The Trump administration is already passing legislation that will dramatically affect women’s lives. Less than two days after Women’s March, Trump passed an executive order cutting federal funding to international health organisations that perform or advocate for abortion. Known as the ‘Global Gag Rule’ it is set to affect 27 million women and couples in developing countries who use contraceptive services funded by the US. This is despite the fact that no US funding for family planning is currently used to carry out abortion. 

The picture above speaks volumes. While not all women may be pro-choice, there is no clearer example of patriarchy at work than a room full of men deciding what a woman’s rights should be. Too often, the debate over women’s rights gets hijacked by the men who shout loudest. 

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

 Follow

 Nick Taylor @NickJTaylor

@susannareid100 not letting @piersmorgan go unchallenged.

Thank you for adding a voice of sanity and hope.

3:07 PM - 24 Jan 2017

  40 40 Retweets   275 275 likes

Morgan may not give up his propensity to provoke, but really, the story is not about him, or Ewan McGregor. Saturday’s march put women’s rights, however varied and complex these may be, in the spotlight. The global demonstration served as a sign that women will not stay silent in a world that still wants to confine them to the shadows. That's as relevant today, as it was on Saturday, or yesterday — and as it will inevitably be tomorrow.  

 

TAKE ACTION

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

Get Involved

TOPICSAbortion, Women's March, Donald Trump, Sexual health, Reproductive rights, Gender Equality, Ewan McGregor, Piers Morgan

Yosola Olorunshola

Written by Yosola Olorunshola

Yosola Olorunshola is a Communications Officer for Global Citizen. She studied History and French at Oxford University before completing a Masters in Creative Writing. Now based in London, you’re likely to find her raving about her favourite writers, listening to a podcast, or people-watching in a cafe.

 

Via Global Citizen

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EDUCATION The case for girls’ education

 

20 January 2017 1:40PM UTC  | By: JENNY OTTENHOFF
IF YOU CARE, ACT ADD YOUR NAME TODAY International Womens Day 2017
 
  

Here are three facts that tell a troubling story:

  1. If all students in low-income countries left school with basic reading skills, 171 million people could be lifted out of poverty. That’s equivalent to a 12% cut in world poverty.
  2. But 130 million girls are out of school. If they were a country, it would be the 10th largest country in the world.
  3. The situation is particularly dire in sub-Saharan Africa, where 29 million young and adolescent girls are out of school — and many will never set foot in a classroom.

The benefits of educating girls and women are far-reaching. We know that poverty hits women harder than men, and that preventing girls and women from reaching their full potential holds everybody back. (Conversely, when you lift up women and girls, you raise men and boys up, too!) The fight against extreme poverty is tied to the fight for gender equality, and that’s especially evident in education.

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Improving girls’ access to education could deliver:

  • Increased earning potential and growth: Educating women increases earning potential, which can help lift households out of poverty.
  • Accelerated progress in rights: Girls and young women who are educated have a greater awareness of their rights, and greater confidence and freedom to make decisions that affect their lives. Plus, ensuring girls stay in school is one of the most effective ways of averting child marriage and early birth.
  • Improved health outcomes: Education improves both the health of a woman and the health of her family. More education helps women make better decisions about health and disease factors such as prenatal care, basic hygiene, nutrition, and immunization — all of which are important to reducing the leading causes of death in children under 5.
  • Increased agriculture productivity and food security: The ability to read and do mathematics allows farmers to adapt to new agricultural methods, cope with risk, and respond to market signals. A basic education helps farmers gain title to their land and apply for credit at banks.
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So what’s the problem? Why aren’t more girls being educated? Well, the direct costs of education can be expensive, especially in areas where many people live on less than $1.90 a day. And because of the costs, in many contexts, if a choice must be made between sending a boy or girl to school, the boy will be the one getting an education. There are also cultural norms and values to consider, including the lack of value for girls’ education. Concerns about violence and poor infrastructure are also factors keeping girls out of school, as well as conflict and emergency situations —in which girls are almost two-and-a-half times more likely to be out of school.

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We have to act now. That’s why ONE is organising people across the country and around the world to make sure that girls and women are at the heart of our poverty-fighting strategy by promoting their access to education. Join us and call on world leaders to help decrease the number of girls out of school. It’s an ambitious goal, but it’s one the world needs to try to reach!

 

Via ONE

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YOUNG MUSIC LOVERS WANTED FOR SOUNDWAVES III

The acclaimed Donegal music project, Soundwaves, kicks off for 2017 with a day-long workshop on Saturday 28th at Coláiste Ailigh in Letterkenny.

Around 20 young musicians and singers from around the county will be taking part in the workshop. Some places are still available for anyone aged 13 – 18 who’s interested in creating songs and music.

Soundwaves is organised by Donegal Music Education Partnership and co-ordinated by Wall2Wall Music from Derry.

Soundwaves-with-Seamus-Devenny.jpg?resiz

Seamus Devenny from Wall2Wall Music working with a group of young musicians during a Soundwaves day at the Regional Cultural Centre in Letterkenny

Martin McGinley of the DMEP said they’ve got funding for Soundwaves III from a programme run by Music Generation and the Arts Council.

“It’s no secret that Music Generation has been very impressed by the project,” he said. “In fact, several MG partnerships around the country have been using Wall2Wall to set up their own Soundwaves-type programmes. It’s great that it’s had such an impact.”

The first day of Soundwaves III was held in Coláiste Ailigh before Christmas. 16 young musicians and singers, from several different genres including classical, jazz and traditional, got together with Wall2Wall for day of music-making which saw them create several original compositions.

Martin said the DMEP and Wall2Wall want to hear from young musicians of all types who’d like to get involved.

“If you’re a good player or singer that’s great, but mainly what we’re looking for is a love of making music and some ability to sing or play an instrument,” he said. “We’ve had young people coming along who’ve never had the chance to play or sing with anyone else, and they’ve had a ball. It’s a great chance to make music and new friends.”

If you’d like more information check out the ‘News’ section of the DMEP website, dmep.ie, or just phone 07491 76293 and talk to Aisling Grier or Martin McGinley.

  •  

 

Via Music Generation

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10 documentaries worth talking about

 



20 December 2016 5:00PM UT


10 documentaries worth talking about

20 December 2016 5:00PM UTC | By: GUEST BLOGGER

 

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Social movements begin with a conversation. Documentaries provide the perfect platform for dialogue. They serve as powerful tools that bring important topics to the table and inform us about our world in a way that kindles dialogue, and ultimately, larger social movements.

 

So we encourage you to come together and watch one (or ten) of these incredible documentaries and have a discussion about the critical issues of our time.

 

1) He Named Me Malala

 

HE NAMED ME MALALA is an intimate portrait of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai, who was targeted by the Taliban and severely wounded by a gunshot at the age of 15. She currently works as a leading campaigner for girls’ education globally as co-founder of the Malala Fund.

 

HE NAMED ME MALALA: Malala Yousafzai at the Jordan/Syrian border. Feb 16, 2014. Credit: Photo by Gina Nemirofsky. © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved 

HE NAMED ME MALALA: Malala Yousafzai at the Jordan/Syrian border. Feb 16, 2014. Credit: Photo by Gina Nemirofsky. © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

 

2) The Carrier

 

Set in a remote Zambian village, THE CARRIER offers a stunning portrait of both a family and community caught in a desperate struggle to Prevent Mother-To-Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV and to liberate future generations from the vicious cycle by stopping the AIDS epidemic in its tracks.

 

THE CARRIER Credit: KAT WESTERGAARD 

THE CARRIER Credit: KAT WESTERGAARD

 

3) Virunga 

 

VIRUNGA is a gripping exposé of the realities of life in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the incredible true story of a group of brave people risking their lives to build a better future in a part of Africa the world has forgotten.

 

Andre With Gorilla Virunga National Park Credit: Orlando von Einsiedel 

Andre With Gorilla Virunga National Park Credit: Orlando von Einsiedel

 

4) Call Me Kuchu

 

In Uganda, a new bill makes homosexuality punishable by death. CALL ME KUCHU follows the activists working against the clock to defeat state-sanctioned homophobia while combating vicious persecution in their daily lives.

 

One of the many front-page stories published by Ugandan newspaper, The Rolling Stone, which terrorised the LGBT community 

One of the many front-page stories published by Ugandan newspaper, The Rolling Stone, which terrorised the LGBT community

 

5) Sweet Dreams

 

SWEET DREAMS follows a remarkable group of Rwandan women as they emerge from the devastation of the 1994 genocide to create a new future for themselves through drumming and ice cream. In the words of Kiki Katese, the founding member of the all-female drumming troupe Ingoma Nshya “Because of our history, people know how to fight against, but not for. We want to change that equation.”

 

sweet-dreams

6) E-Team 

 

Anna, Ole, Fred, and Peter are four members of the Emergencies Team, the most intrepid division of the respected, international Human Rights Watch organisation. E-TEAM is the personal, intimate story of how they lead their lives as they set out to shine light in dark places and give voice to thousands whose stories would never otherwise have been told.

 

eteam

7) Pray The Devil Back to Hell

 

PRAY THE DEVIL BACK TO HELL chronicles the story of the Liberian women who came together to end war and bring peace to their country. Armed only with white T-shirts and the courage of their convictions, ordinary mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and daughters demanded a resolution to the country’s civil war.

 

: Liberian women demonstrate at the American Embassy in Monrovia at the height of the civil war in July 2003 Photo Credit: Pewee Flomoku 

Liberian women demonstrate at the American Embassy in Monrovia at the height of the civil war in July 2003                                                                                                   Photo Credit: Pewee Flomoku

 

8) Sepideh

 

Can a young Iranian woman become an astronaut? SEPIDEH: REACHING FOR THE STARS is the story of a remarkable teenage girl named Sepideh who defies societal expectations and courageously works to make her dream come true.

 

Sepideh with Telescope Credit: Paul Wilson

Sepideh with Telescope Credit: Paul Wilson

 

9) The Devil Came on Horseback 

 

THE DEVIL CAME ON HORSEBACK follows former US Marine Captain Brian Steidle as he documents the genocide in Darfur, Sudan. Upon his return to the US, Steidle campaigns for international intervention and becomes frustrated by the inaction of politicians back home.

 

Brian Steidle with the African Union team 

Brian Steidle with the African Union team

 

10) Double feature: The Act of Killing/The Look of Silence

 

THE ACT OF KILLING follows former Indonesian death squad leaders as they are challenged to re-enact real-life mass killings in the cinematic genres of their choice, from classic Hollywood crime scenarios to lavish musical numbers. We recommend that you watch the “Director’s Cut” version of this film.

 

FISH Credit: Photo by Joshua Oppenheimer (framegrab)

FISH Credit: Photo by Joshua Oppenheimer (framegrab)

 

THE LOOK OF SILENCE serves as a powerful companion piece to THE ACT OF KILLING by initiating and bearing witness to the collapse of fifty years of silence surrounding the 1965 Indonesian genocide. It tells the story of a family of survivors who discover how their son was murdered and the identities of the killers through footage of the genocide perpetrators in THE ACT OF KILLING.

 

Photo by Joshua Oppenheimer (framegrab)

Photo by Joshua Oppenheimer (framegrab)

 

Influence Film Club is a non-profit organisation with an online platform that seeks to engage new and diverse audiences around documentary film. Find resources and documentary recommendations to watch alone or with your film club at Influence Film Club.

 

Via ONE

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The exclusion zone around Chernobyl is known as ‘Death Valley.


A never used ferris wheel in the centre of the empty city of Pripyat, a few kilometers from the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant. The ferris wheel was to be opened on May 1st 1986 but this never happened because of the accident on 26th April at the nearby Nuclear plant. The city was evacuated after the Chernobyl accident and residents were told they could return after a few days but they were never allowed to return.


 


 


16143198_10154337836683295_3876370315308


 


Via Chernobyl Children International


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2464
The 21-year-old who is fighting for women’s education in Malawi

 

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

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

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

 

Ellen Chilemba from Overture on Vimeo.

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

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

fabric2.jpg

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

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

 

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

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

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

What initially inspired you to set up Tiwale?

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

What’s the best part of your job?

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

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

What do you think to our Poverty is Sexist campaign?

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

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

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

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The Tiwale team and students. Image: Ellen Chilemba

What advice do you have for young African entrepreneurs?

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

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

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

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Fun-loving Sasha Leukin and Sasha Haldayeu are part of CCI’s Independent Living Programme. This historic programme pioneered by CCI and established in 2009 enabled both of these special boys to move from Vesnova Children’s Mental Asylum into an independent living house and escape a future of adult institutions, turning a disaster into a bright future for them. Sasha Leukin taught himself English and through the education he received on the programme has written a book.

 

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Via Chernobyl Children International

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CITIZENSHIP

3 Tech Companies Just Stepped Up in a Major Way to Help Refugees and Immigrants

By Cassie Carothers| Jan. 29, 2017

Embed from Getty Images

 

The worst of circumstances can sometimes bring out the best in people — and companies. 

Amid the chaos of the sudden ban on refugees and immigrants from certain Muslim-majority countries to enter the US on Friday, three tech companies are doing something to help.

After US President Trump signed the executive order, immigration officials started detaining and flat-out refusing certain people into the US. Many were forced to board planes back to their countries, others were left in limbo at the airport as family members waited anxiously outside, unsure if their loved ones would make it through.

Read More: Trump Targets Refugees in Latest Executive Order

Home-sharing service AirBNB and ride-sharing services Lyft and Uber are making efforts to help ease the turmoil and stress of the sudden shift in policy. 

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky announced Saturday that his company would be offering free places to stay to people impacted by the executive order. He wrote in a Facebook post:

“Not allowing countries or refugees into America is not right, and we must stand with those who are affected. Airbnb is providing free housing to refugees and anyone else who needs it in the event they are denied the ability to board a US-bound flight and are not in your city/country of residence. We have 3M homes, so we can definitely find people a place to stay.”

Read More: Massive Protests Erupt at Airports After Trump's Refugee Executive Order

Lyft announced Saturday that it’s donating $1 million to the ACLU, which has been coordinating legal help for people detained at the airport. 

 Follow

 logangreen @logangreen

3/ We are donating $1,000,000 over the next four years to the ACLU to defend our constitution. https://blog.lyft.com/posts/defending-our-values

6:25 PM - 29 Jan 2017

Photo published for Defending Our Values

Defending Our Values

This weekend, Trump closed the country's borders to refugees, immigrants, and even documented residents from around the world based on their country of origin. We stand firmly against these actions,...

blog.lyft.com

  778 778 Retweets   1,584 1,584 likes

The ACLU also filed a lawsuit after the order was signed saying parts of it violated the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the Constitution. A federal judge issued a stay to part of the executive order as a result, so that people who had arrived from Muslim-majority countries after the order was signed would not be immediately deported.

“Banning people of a particular faith or creed, race or identity, sexuality or ethnicity, from entering the U.S. is antithetical to both Lyft's and our nation's core values,” co-founders John Zimmer and Logan Green wrote in a letter to customers.

Read More: Mr. President, We Don’t Support Your Policy on Refugees

Finally, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick announced that his company would continue compensating any Uber drivers who were directly impacted by the order — i.e., were traveling outside of the US and would not be able to reenter. 

 Follow

 Uber ✔ @Uber

Our CEO's reaction to immigration order: "We'll compensate drivers impacted by the ban pro bono for next 3 months." http://ubr.to/standingup 

7:04 AM - 29 Jan 2017

Photo published for Standing up for what’s right

Standing up for what’s right

  Our CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick sent this email to Uber employees today, opposing the recent travel ban and working to compensate drivers using

newsroom.uber.com

  1,003 1,003 Retweets   1,448 1,448 likes

“We are working out a process to identify these drivers and compensate them pro bono during the next three months to help mitigate some of the financial stress and complications with supporting their families and putting food on the table,” Kalanick wrote.

Other tech CEOS, like Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella, and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, have also harshly criticized the immigration order by President Trump.

TAKE ACTION: Reverse President Trump’s Executive Order to Ban Refugees

TAKE ACTION

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

Get Involved

TOPICSLyft, Trump, Uber, Muslim Ban, AirBNB, Executive Order, President Donald Trump, Refugees

Cassie Carothers

Written by Cassie Carothers

Cassie Carothers is the Editorial Director of Global Citizen. She has more than 10 years experience covering national and international news as a digital journalist, having worked at Fox News, the New York Post, and Yahoo News. She grew up in Ohio and graduated from Miami University after studying journalism, politics, and marketing. She’s been a vegetarian for 18 years, and believes strongly that a diet is a key part of sustainable living.

 

Via Global Citizen

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Via ONE

221
TECHNOLOGY Ensuring everyone has the right to read and learn

 

November 8 2016  | By: ROBYN DETORO
JOIN Join the fight against Extreme Poverty
 
  

Literacy skills are one of the most powerful tools that enable people to lift themselves out of poverty. But today, nearly 17% of the world’s adult population is still not literate; two thirds of them women, making gender equality even harder to achieve.

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Reading is one of the best ways to help students improve these skills, but for families around the world living on less than $1 a day, books are an unaffordable luxury.

To overcome this barrier, Worldreader devised a mobile app that gives anyone with a phone, tablet, or e-reader access to over 40,000 free book titles in over 43 different languages. With many African schools equipped with few or no books, the availability of digital books has been transformational.

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For women like Margaret in Kenya, attending school was not an option so she missed out on learning even the most basic literacy skills. Unable to read or write, Margaret took a job as a cleaner in a local nursery school and spent days watching the small children learn. This is what inspired her to become a teacher—but first she would have to start her learning, too.

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She began classes at an adult learning center, quickly adopting the skills she would need to become a qualified teacher and achieving her dream. However, once Margaret was at the front of the classroom, she quickly realized the cost and lack of access to books were a barrier to her students’ education, so she turned to the Worldreader reading app. “Everything you want to learn, you can find it in the phone,” she said.

Margaret now uses her mobile phone to lead lessons and engage students in the classroom. Her students can access thousands of ebooks for free on their mobiles for just a few cents a week of data cost in an in environment where a single physical book can often cost $5 or more.

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“They tell me, ‘Teacher, we want to know more, we want to know more!’,” Margaret says.

To learn more about Worldreader, visit worldreader.org. To read books on your mobile phone using Worldreader’s applications, visit read.worldreader.org or download the app on the Google Play Store.

Call on leaders and innovators from all countries, industries and communities to make universal internet access a reality by adding your name now.

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Via Global Citizen

 
EDUCATION How Making Tabbouleh Is Helping Syrian Refugee Kids Adjust to Life in Canada

By Meghan Werft|

 Aug. 17, 2016

Usually kids are not too thrilled about attending summer school programs. But at a school in Canada, refugee children are learning how to fit into their new communities while having a blast making tabbouleh.

It’s thanks to creative teachers like Kristin McGinn, refugee children are learning skills from math and literacy while picking up skills on how to adjust to their new home and having fun. 

The summer program, where McGinn teaches, is called S.A.I.L (Summer Adventure In Learning) and it takes place at a public school building in Mississauga, Canada, where refugee children and students are learning in an unusual way.

Instead of your classic summer school scene — children staring out the window lazily daydreaming of playing video games or swimming in the pool — these kids are cooking up a storm. And learning a whole lot.

McGinn engages refugee children in a holistic learning experience by having them making traditionally Middle-Eastern cuisine like tabbouleh.

 
 

At S.A.I.L. you’ll see kids writing the names of fresh ingredients they’re familiar with like tomatoes, olive oil, salt, parsley, and cucumber in both English and Arabic on the blackboard.

After McGinn’s students learn the ingredients, decide how much they need, and figure out the cost and budget for their recipe, they walk about three blocks to the grocery store. Familiarizing themselves with the neighborhood and friendly community members nearby, together they purchase the ingredients, return back to the school building, and get cooking.

More than 70 Syrian refugee students joined the Peel School District in Mississauga, a popular resettlement city near Toronto in the past year. They came in at various times throughout the year which led the school board to create a three-week long summer program to enrich the lives of refugee students. The point of the program is to acclimate them to Canadian classrooms, and help reinforce language and other skills they’ve learned throughout the school year.

“The ultimate goal of the camp,” McGinn told The Star, “is for them to really understand this is their school.”

Now, these students will return to school in the fall more confident, comfortable and prepared to succeed in their new Canadian community.

For children fleeing war-torn cities like Daara, where Alnajar comes from, meeting others and playing is more than fun. It’s a chance at a future that every refugee child deserves.

“I love making friends and learning English,” said 9-year-old, Malak Alnajar.

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

Written by Meghan Werft

 

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

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