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The Action Thread Part Two

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HEALTH

How innovative financing is bringing life-saving care to 31 million

July 30 2018 | By: KATIE RYAN

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Every year, more than 5 million mothers, children, and adolescents die from preventable conditions in 50 countries across the world. That’s almost 10 deaths every minute. Without access to quality healthcare, women and children are not given a fair chance to work and thrive. As a result, countries lose billions of dollars because of poor health and nutrition.

One of the Sustainable Development Goals is to ensure good health and well-being by 2030. But at the moment, a yearly funding gap of US$33 billion is standing in the way of progress.

The Global Financing Facility (GFF) was set up in 2015 to close that gap and end deaths caused by preventable diseases. Their work has made an enormous difference in Cameroon, the DRC, Liberia, Nigeria, and Uganda. With support from the GFF, co-financiers, and private sector partners, over 31 million women, children, and adolescents in those five countries gained access to quality health and nutrition services.

Here’s how the GFF achieves these phenomenal results:

1. Increasing government financing to fight maternal, newborn, and child deaths.

All countries that join the GFF agree to spend extra domestic resources for health. Before becoming a GFF partner, Cameroon allocated 6% of its health budget to women and children’s health. As a GFF partner, they are committed to allocating 20% of their budget to these services by 2020. In Nigeria, the GFF’s support (and advocacy from ONE’s Make Naija Stronger Campaign!) is expected to help mobilize US$150 million in new domestic funding per year for primary health care!

2. Ensuring governments and donors are advancing key priorities together.

In Nigeria, the GFF helped a range of donors support the government in delivering on the Basic Minimum Package of Health Services. This package includes access to vaccines, treatment for malaria, and insecticide-treated mosquito nets. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the GFF was similarly able to align funding from eight different donors to scale up essential services. In 2017 alone, almost 40,000 more people received tuberculosis vaccinations as a result of these efforts. And these government health services help to improve the overall performance and effectiveness of healthcare.

3. Paying health facilities based on their performance.

In the DRC, as a result of the GFF’s country-led investment, health facilities receive financial incentives for increasing the quantity and quality of maternal and child services. In facilities that participated, antenatal care consultations increased by 14% and assisted delivery increased by nearly 20%.

This November, leaders will be gathering in Norway for GFF’s Replenishment Conference with the goal of raising an additional $2 billion for the partnership. This funding will allow GFF to provide essential healthcare services in an additional 23 countries. This extra funding will bring us one huge step closer to ensuring a healthy world by 2030.

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10
HEALTH

Congo declares 10th outbreak of Ebola in eastern region

2 August 2018 9:44AM UTC | By: THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION

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This story was originally reported by Fiston Mahamba with additional reporting by Tom Miles in Geneva, writing by Aaron Ross and Edward McAllister and edited by Matthew Mpoke Bigg for the Thomson Reuters Foundation

GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo — Four people have tested positive for Ebola in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo just days after another outbreak that killed 33 people in the northwest was declared over, the health ministry said on Wednesday.

Twenty people have already died from haemorrhagic fevers in and around Mangina, a densely populated town about 30 km (18 miles) southwest of the city of Beni and 100 km from the Ugandan border, the ministry said in its statement, without saying when the deaths occurred.

A team of 12 experts from Congo’s health ministry will arrive in Beni on Thursday to set up a mobile lab, the ministry said. The World Health Organization has started moving staff and supplies to the area, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

They head to a region where deep security problems could complicate efforts to contain the virus. About 1,000 civilians have been killed by armed groups and government soldiers around Beni since 2014, and the wider region of North Kivu holds over 1 million displaced people.

“This is an active conflict zone. The major barrier will be safely accessing the affected population,” Peter Salama, WHO Deputy Director-General of emergency preparedness and response, said in a statement.

Jeremy Konyndyk, an aid expert at the Center for Global Development, said other recent Ebola outbreaks had fortunately been in relatively safe and stable areas.

“North Kivu is a different story, which makes me a little nervous,” he said.

The area also has strong trade with neighbouring Rwanda and Uganda, raising the risk of the virus moving internationally.

Julie Hall, chief of staff at the International Federation of the Red Cross, said the Ebola response in North Kivu would be a “highly complex” operation.

The ministry said no evidence linked this outbreak with the last one, which began in April and occurred over 2,500 km (1,553 miles) away in northwestern Congo.

BATS AND BODY FLUIDS

This is the central African country’s 10th outbreak since 1976, when the virus was discovered near the eponymous Ebola river in the north. That is more than twice as many as any other country.

Ebola is believed to be spread over long distances by bats and can turn up in bush meat sold at food markets throughout Congo. Once present in humans, it causes haemorrhagic fever, vomiting and diarrhoea and is spread through direct contact with body fluids.

An outbreak concentrated in the West African countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea killed at least 11,300 people between 2013 and 2016.

Congolese and international health officials were credited with responding rapidly to the last outbreak, including by deploying an experimental vaccine manufactured by Merck, one of several vaccines being developed against Ebola.

But the Merck vaccine is designed to be used against the Zaire strain of Ebola, and there has been no confirmation of the strain in the latest outbreak, with the WHO calling it only “presumptive Ebola”.

A WHO spokesman declined to comment on possible vaccine use.

Aside from the vaccine, the key factors in halting the previous outbreak appeared to be aggressive tracing of potential patients and the speed of the response.

The WHO said the fact that it already had staff and equipment in place would give it a head start against the new outbreak.

“Ebola is a constant threat in DRC. What adds to our confidence in the country’s ability to respond is the transparency they have displayed once again,” WHO head Tedros said.

“We will fight this one as we did the last.

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How Musicians Can Start to Afford Ireland

David Kitt and Niall Byrne

How Musicians Can Start to Afford Ireland

Singer-songwriter David Kitt is leaving Ireland because of the housing situation, and music writer and DJ Nialler9 is 'stressed and broken' by it. Boom after bust after boom, the lot of the Irish musician never seems to change. There is a way to change this, writes Toner Quinn.

In 2006, a strange thing happened: like canaries in the coal mine, musicians and artists began to leave Dublin. Nobody announced it publicly – there was no social media – but I noticed the pattern because I was one of them. The Celtic Tiger was difficult to navigate economically if you wanted to focus on creative work, so artists left. Years later, when I came across an economic chart for the 2000s, I noticed the moment of maximum overheating was the year when the creatives vacated the capital. From that point, the economy started to unravel. Two years later it collapsed.

Leaving Dublin can be unwise for musicians and creatives, but the need for some sort of security eventually kicks in. Wanting to buy a house in Ireland is not a psychological hang-up from the famine days – it’s a practical thing to do because it means you don’t have to re-plan your life every 12 months.

‘Stressed and broken’
I can empathise therefore with singer-songwriter David Kitt, who this week announced on Facebook that he was leaving Ireland because the house he was renting in Dublin was being sold, and also Dublin-based Niall Byrne, publisher of the Nialler9 music website, who wrote a blog post saying he felt ‘stressed and broken’ from not being able to ‘save money for a house for some stability’. We should pay attention to these particular yellow birds. 

Artists are used to insecurity, living week by week with general rootlessness, but whether they are a harbinger of economic disruption or not, there is a larger issue here. Why is it acceptable that musicians and creatives suffer economic insecurity? Boom follows bust follows boom, but the lot of the Irish musician never seems to change.  

Freedom and security
The old assumption was that creatives were too obsessed with their freedom to be concerned with practical things like job security or settling down, but artists actually crave space and security because it means they can then concentrate on their work for prolonged, uninterrupted periods.

There is also the idea that the arts are not valued and don’t generate much income, but music actually creates hundreds of millions for the economy. And there is a regular flow of money invested in culture and the arts by the state. It is never enough, of course, but it shouldn’t be dismissed as nothing. So where does the money go?  

Musicians are not frivolous with finance, nor uninterested in it. They manage ambitious projects on small budgets all the time, and often plan well ahead when working on recordings and tours. It is clear that there is plenty of opportunity, but it rarely translates into long-term security. 

The only way is up
I use to think I understood why musicians didn’t make much money, but then we created the listings service on The Journal of Music to track concerts, and I discovered that we could track jobs and funding too. This has changed my perspective. I see lots of funding opportunities for creators, but they are always paid far less than permanent managers, and while job security and strict employment conditions are seen as essential for those in charge, it is never considered for those who create. 

After two decades of watching the Irish arts scene, the reasons for musicians’ poverty cycle are clear to me: musicians do not have security because they are not organised as a collective and therefore do not get their fair share. By ‘organised’, I mean something rather unambitious that would not stymy creative work: an agreed minimum rate of pay for certain types of performance, in venues and festivals above a certain turnover, and on radio and television for example. The advantage of this is that, for artists in demand, the only way would be up, but it would also protect those starting off, and those who have been around a long time. This would not mean fewer creative opportunities, it would simply mean a balancing of the business; the people who are at the heart of every performance – the musicians – getting what they deserve. It has worked for other creative sectors such as film and television: they organise, set rates and conditions, withdraw services if the conditions are not met, but musicians shy away from such action. 

There are plenty of people with leadership skills in music who can lead bands, groups, operas and orchestras, but they rarely attempt to organise the wider community. As we have seen with Sounding the Feminists and FairPlé, artists can organise themselves extremely well around certain issues, but they avoid focussing on money. 

A golden age of Irish music?
Since the economic crash, I have wondered how we continue to witness such a golden age of Irish musical creativity. Each week, I see a wealth of events and recordings come across my desk and I ask why the crash did not diminish this flow. The answer is becoming clear: our golden age of Irish music is built on the good will and endless flexibility of musicians. Nobody is paid properly and no musician (outside orchestras, but we have seen the problems there too) has any long-term job security. That’s the only way this cultural structure could survive.

So why doesn’t this change? The challenge is more psychological than practical. Musicians and artists have long been influenced by society into believing that, apart from some fleeting personal importance to die-hard fans, their creative work has little value. They have also been led to believe that there is not enough money to go around. They therefore lack the confidence to exert serious upward pressure on the promoters and venues who employ them, who in turn would put it up to their customers and funders, and the message would gradually get through to the top that musicians require proper pay and security. 

When musicians start to organise together they will break this cycle. They will then begin to be able to afford to live in the cities that they so deeply enrich. 

Published on 1 August 2018

 

Toner Quinn is Editor of The Journal of Music. His website is https://tonerquinn.com/

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GIRLS & WOMEN

A cafe run by acid attack survivors attracts visitors from around the world

The women of Sheroes’ Hangout serve coffee and share their personal stories.

 

acid-attack-cafe-MAIN.jpgRitu Saini, Chanchal Kumari, Neetu Mahor, Gita Mahor, and Rupa at the café.
Image: Sheroes’ Hangout

 

The Taj Mahal may be one of the world’s top architectural wonders, but just a half mile away, a new destination is gaining attention: Sheroes’ Hangout.

“I was exhilarated the first time a group of Indian tourists who visited the café told me how much they appreciate my courage,” says Rupa (who goes by one name), a 22-year-old survivor of acid violence who, along with four other women, runs the café Sheroes’ Hangout. “Since then, we have had regular customers who come here not only to enjoy a cup of joe but also to talk to us.” 

Visitors to Sheroes’ Hangout always leave with a sense of fulfillment. It’s not only because of the cutting-edge coffee and delicious snacks the café serves.

Opened in December 2014 in Agra, a city in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, Sheroes’ Hangout started as a crowdfunding project by Stop Acid Attacks, a group committed to ending acts of violence against women. Its “pay as you wish” contributions go toward the rehabilitation of survivors of acid violence in India.

“Our visitors are mostly people from around the world who hear about us in the news,” says 20-year-old Chanchal Kumari, another survivor who helps operate the café. A man whose marriage proposal she refused attacked Kumari in 2012. “They come here to see how acid attack survivors like us are coping with our lives.”

 

acid-attack-cafe-INLINE1.jpgImage: Sheroes’ Hangout

 

Kumari, who is recovering from her fifth reconstructive surgery, works alongside Rupa, Ritu Saini, Gita Mahor, and Neetu Mahor, all of whom lived a secluded life in their homes for several years, dealing with the pain of a charred face and a scarred soul. Then they discovered "Stop Acid Attacks," a Facebook campaign that was started on International Women’s Day in 2013. Based in New Delhi, SAA works with acid attack survivors in India, assisting them with legal and medical issues and helping them deal with the trauma of the attack. Sheroes’ Hangout is one of its several initiatives.

Acid attacks are a gruesome reality in India. The National Crime Records Bureau, a government organization that recently began recording acid violence, estimates that more than 1,000 such crimes are committed around the country every year, though the majority of attacks go unreported because of the shame the girl and her family feel and the fear of being attacked again.

SAA has been collecting data through its volunteers across the country and has information on 430 survivors, 350 of whom were attacked in the last two years. It is in touch with, and has assisted, more than 70 of them. According to the data collected, about 70 percent of victims are women, more than 50 percent of whom are attacked by spurned lovers. One of the biggest reasons behind the high rate of acid attacks is the lack of laws against the free sale of acid in India—a liter can be purchased for just 50 cents.

RELATED:  Acid Attack Survivor’s Makeup Tutorials Offer More Than Beauty Tips

SAA wanted to do something for Gita Mahor, 42, and her daughter Neetu, 26, who were attacked with acid 23 years ago by Mahor’s husband, Neetu’s father. Both were left with mutilated faces and limited vision. Neetu’s one-year-old sister was sleeping next to her during the attack and succumbed to the injuries the acid caused to her. With no one else to support them, mother and daughter were forced to continue living with their assailant. To relieve them from their everyday distress and further domestic violence, SAA found it important to provide them an avenue of earning a livelihood so they could gradually move away from their home and lead a happier life.

“Acid attack survivors’ lives become even more traumatic when they start facing rejection from society due to their disfigured faces. They need someone to hold their hand and restore their self-confidence,” says SAA founder Alok Dixit.

Today, Mahor and Neetu dress up every morning and go to the café to serve coffee and treats—and share their stories with customers.

 

One of the objectives of SAA at Sheroes’ Hangout was to provide skills training in the subject that each survivor was interested in learning. With SAA’s help, Mahor took a baking course at a hotel in Agra and will soon be serving cookies and cupcakes to customers. Neetu, who is almost blind, is taking singing lessons from an SAA volunteer. “I love to welcome the guests at the café cheerfully, so that they know we are coping well,” she says.

 

acid-attack-cafe-INLINE2.jpgImage: Sheroes’ Hangout

 

Saini, 19, played volleyball for India before suffering an acid attack by a male cousin in 2012 over a family property dispute, resulting in the loss of her left eye. She is unable to compete in the sport anymore, and she now handles accounts at the café. “My life changed ever since I joined SAA,” she says. “With the emotional support I received, I regained the confidence to go out with my face uncovered. Now I don’t care what people think of my disfigured face.”

Rupa—whose stepmother attacked her with acid when she was just 12—is a skilled tailor and an amateur apparel designer. The outfits she designs are exhibited and sold at the café. “Sheroes’ Hangout is not only giving us a chance to move our lives forward; it is also getting our stories out,” she says.

“True that,” says customer Shikha Singh, 20, a student of fashion design who finds herself in the café at least once a week. “I would never have known about the reality behind acid attack survivors had I not met these women. It is amazing the way they are working to fulfill their dreams despite the hurdles. I now prefer to spend on Sheroes’ Hangout rather than a McDonald’s or KFC. At least I’m sure the money will be used for a good cause.”

This article was written by Priti Salian of TakePart. She is a Bangalore-based journalist whose work has appeared in The Christian Science Monitor, Prevention, The National, and many other publications.

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MEDIO AMBIENTE

El cambio climático está convirtiendo el océano Ártico en el Atlántico

Este es solo el último ejemplo de la abrupta evolución del Ártico.

El Océano Ártico se está calentando tan rápidamente que pronto se lo podrá considerar parte del Atlántico, según un nuevo informe publicado en larevista Nature Climate Change .

 

Desde el 2000, las temperaturas han aumentado 2,7 grados Fahrenheit en toda la región, que es el doble de rápido que en el resto del mundo, según The Independent.

 

Y ahora las características definitorias del Océano Ártico están cambiando, particularmente en el Mar de Barents sobre Finlandia, según reveló el informe.

Los investigadores notaron cambios dramáticos ocurriendo tanto en la atmósfera como en las columnas de agua en el Mar de Barents, que es donde el Océano Atlántico se encuentra con el Océano Ártico.

 

El mar de Barents está dividido en dos mitades. La mitad sur, que es alimentada por las aguas del Atlántico, es más cálida y fomenta la biodiversidad similar a las aguas del sur, mientras que la mitad norte está cubierta por una capa de hielo que mantiene el área fresca.

 

Desde la década de 1970, esa capa de hielo se ha erosionado y la mitad del norte se ha asemejado a la mitad sur, con niveles de salinidad más altos y temperaturas más cálidas.

Y está creando un ciclo de retroalimentación de cálidas aguas atlánticas, causando una retirada anual de las capas de hielo. Pronto, temen los investigadores, la región podría comenzar a parecerse al Atlántico, homogeneizando los ambientes marinos y alterando innumerables ecosistemas.

 


"A menos que la entrada de agua dulce se recupere, toda la región pronto podría tener una estructura de columna de agua cálida y bien mezclada, y ser parte del dominio Atlántico", escribieron los científicos en el estudio, según publicó Live Science.

 

 

Esta "Atlantificación" sería un evento sin precedentes en la historia de la humanidad, según el informe, y podría tener un impacto significativo en los niveles mundiales del mar, los patrones climáticos y las especies marinas.

 

La evolución del Mar de Barents es solo el último ejemplo de los cambios abruptos que están ocurriendo en el Ártico, que ha perdido 1 millón de kilómetros cuadrados de hielo desde 1979 .

 

Global Citizen realiza campañas para proteger el Ártico. Puedes sumarte y tomar medidas al respecto aquí.

 

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SEPT. 12, 2017

 

 
 
GIRLS & WOMEN

This Woman Started a Cycling Community to Empower Women in Saudi Arabia

Baraah Luhaid is encouraging other women to join her gender-inclusive cycling community, Spokes Hub.

bicycle_riding_in_saudi_arabia.png__1264x568_q85_crop_subsampling-2.jpg
 Wikimedia Commons

Growing up, Baraah Luhaid loved cycling in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, even though women were technically outlawed from riding in public, according to the Guardian. It was a difficult situation and it didn't ease up when she graduated from high school and applied to work at a bike shop — no one would hire a woman.

In 2013, female cycling was finally legalized, but it was only allowed in parks or on beaches, with a male relative present. 

READ MORE: Saudi Women Can Now Ride Bicycles in Public (Kind of)

“It’s the cultural barriers,” Luhaid told the Guardian.

People regularly roll down their windows and shout insults and the police routinely stop her, she said.

“Last week I was stopped because someone complained I was causing offence,” she laughed.

Luhaid, however, was determined to ride freely through the streets of Riyadh, and make sure all other women could, too. 

Now she runs the country’s first gender-inclusive cycling community and business — Spokes Hub. It has a cafe and workshops, and it’s the only place in the country where women can congregate to share their passion for cycling.

Global Citizen campaigns on the Global Goals, which call for gender equality. You can take action on this issue here .

There are still countless barriers to deal with. 

Luhaid said her parent’s worry about her safety in a conservative society, where people can be judgmental towards the actions of women, where male consent is needed before doing most public activities.

“I was confronted with aggression and negativity,” Luhaid told the Guardian. She said some women feared she would lead their daughters astray. Instead of giving up on her dream for all Saudi women to cycle freely, Luhaid decided to lead by example and people eventually came to her.

READ MORE: 13 Inspiring Women Leading the Fight for Gender Equality

The Spokes Hub originally catered to men and is at the center of the University, where Luhaid’s brother attends school. Even today, she’s technically barred from her own business, but she’s found a way to include women and girls — offering Spokes Hub services from the back of a van. In order to attract support, Luhaid’s brother, one of very few Saudi male feminists, represents the business, since investors scoff when they hear “female CEO of a sports business.”

Spokes Hub has won a kingdom-wide prize for start-ups, and Princess Reema, deputy president of Saudi Arabia’s Women’s Sports Authority, has publicly endorsed the project, according to the Guardian.

There have been small steps for women’s rights in the deeply conservative and repressive culture in recent years, according to Think Progress. In 2011, Saudi Arabia sent a woman athlete to the Olympics; granted women the right to vote and run in municipal elections in 2015; and appointed 30 women to the previously all-male Shura Council, a formal advisory committee in Saudi Arabia.

READ MORE: Female Rights Activist in Saudi Arabia Arrested For Driving

Luhaid is continuing her mission of promoting female cycling throughout the streets in Riyadh.

“When I advocate for women’s cycling, I’m advocating for women’s independence,” Luhaid told the Guardian. “Changing core beliefs requires slow, consistent work. It’s challenging, but someone has to start.”

 

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La imagen puede contener: 2 personas, texto

 

Guess who's birthday it is today?! 1f38a.png? 1f382.png? 1f389.png? Barbara Windsor! From all of us at Mencap, we sincerely thank you for your support. We wish you a happy birthday surrounded by your friends and family.

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La imagen puede contener: cielo y exterior

 

At 1.23am on the 26th April 1986 a catastrophic explosion took place in Reactor Number 4 of the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant in a remote corner of the north west of Ukraine, then part of the old Soviet Union. 

The explosions sent clouds of radioactive graphite and uranium 7-9 kilometers into the atmosphere. 70% of the total fallout was deposited on Belarus contaminating 99% of the land mass of Belarus; 22% with long term contamination. However, large quantities of the fallout were also deposited on Northern Ukraine and Western Russia. 9 million people living in the affected areas at the time of the disaster received the highest known exposure to radiation in the history of the atomic age.

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MEDIO AMBIENTE

Incluso la región más remota del mundo está contaminada con plástico

"La huella de la humanidad es clara".

Nunca se ha fabricado un trozo de plástico en la Antártida, pero la nieve y los mares del continente más remoto del mundo ahora están completamente contaminados con este material, de acuerdo con un análisis de tres mesesrealizado por la organización ambiental sin fines de lucro Greenpeace.

 

La organización analizó muestras de nieve, superficie del mar y suelo oceánico y determinó que la mayoría estaba contaminada de una modo que representa una amenaza para la vida silvestre en la región.

 

"Estos resultados muestran que incluso los hábitats más remotos de la Antártida están contaminados con residuos de microplásticos y productos químicos peligrosos persistentes", dijo Frida Bengtsson, de la campaña de Greenpeace “Proteger la Antártida” en un comunicado.

 

Actúa: Firma

 
 
 
1 punto

 



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Entre los productos químicos que se encuentran en toda la región se encuentran los ALP, compuestos industriales ampliamente utilizados que se ha demostrado que alteran la salud reproductiva, del desarrollo y hormonal en los animales, según Greenpeace.

 

El equipo de investigadores también encontró niveles de microplásticos comparables a partes del mundo con problemas directos de contaminación de plástico, lo que sugiere que las concentraciones de microplásticos son mucho más penetrantes de lo que se pensaba. Se ha demostrado que los microplásticos contienen y atraen sustancias químicas peligrosas y son inadvertidamente consumidos en grandes cantidades por criaturas marinas, lo que puede causar importantes problemas de salud, señala Greenpeace.

Un estudio de 2014 estima que hay 5,25 billones de piezas de microplástico en ambientes marinos. Para el año 2050, mientras tanto, se espera que el plástico en general supere a los peces en los océanos del mundo.

 

Eso se debe a que más de 8 millones de toneladas de plástico ingresan a los océanos cada año, el equivalente a arrojar un camión de basura lleno de plástico a las aguas cada minuto.

 

Greenpeace se encuentra realizando una campaña para proteger a la Antártida de una mayor contaminación mediante la creación de dos grandes santuarios que representarán el mayor espacio marino protegido del mundo.

 

La organización sin fines de lucro viajó recientemente por toda la región para realizar encuestas ecológicas y crear conciencia sobre los problemas que enfrenta la región.

 

"Necesitamos una red de santuarios para proteger la biodiversidad en el corto plazo", dijo John Hocevar, director de la campaña de océanos de Greenpeace, a Global Citizen a principios de este año .

 

"Entonces tenemos que actuar lo más rápido posible para alejarnos de la dependencia de los combustibles fósiles y pasar a fuentes de energía renovables como la solar y la eólica", agregó. "También debemos dejar de usar y producir plásticos de un solo uso".

 

Los países de todo el mundo están empezando a restringir la producción de plásticos de un solo uso, prohibir las microperlas e invertir en alternativas sostenibles. Un reciente informe de la ONU descubrió que más de 60 países luchan contra la prevalencia del plástico.

 

Pero esta acción debe tener lugar lo más rápido posible, de acuerdo con Greenpeace.

 

"Necesitamos actuar sobre la fuente, para evitar que estos contaminantes terminen en la Antártida en primer lugar, y necesitamos un Santuario dentro del Océano Antártico para dar espacio a que los pingüinos, las ballenas y todo el ecosistema pueda recuperarse de las presiones que enfrentan ", dijo Bengtsson.

 

"Podemos pensar en la Antártida como un desierto remoto y prístino, pero desde la contaminación y el cambio climático hasta la pesca industrial de kril, la huella de la humanidad es clara", agregó.

 

Global Citizen realiza campañas para finalizar la producción de plásticos de un solo uso. Puedes tomar medidas y apoyar esta iniciativa aquí .

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AUG. 6, 2018

 

 
 
ENVIRONMENT

Pakistan's New Leader Vows to Plant 10 Billion Trees

He’s pulled off similar feats in the past.


Why Global Citizens Should Care
Trees are essential to protecting air, water, and soil quality, and are critical for protecting landscapes from floods, landslides, and extreme storms. As climate change intensifies, trends of deforestation have to be reversed. You can join us in taking action on this issue here.

As climate change intensifies heat waves and droughts throughout Pakistan, the newly elected Prime Minister Imran Khan announced a campaign to plant 10 billion trees within five years, according to NBC News.

Khan hopes to improve air quality and prevent flooding through the effort. Pakistan is considered to be the seventh-most vulnerable country in the world to climate change, and flooding will be an ongoing problem as Himalayan glaciers continue to melt and inundate landscapes.

“It is now imperative to tackle climate change and reverse environmental degradation as Pakistan’s situation will only worsen as the economy grows,” Khan’s party, the Pakistan Movement for Justice, wrote in its 2018 manifesto.

Take Action: Call on Governments and Business Leaders to Say No to Single-Use Plastics

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In recent months, extreme heat waves have combined with electricity blackouts and water shortages to kill hundreds of people in Pakistan.

Planting 10 billion trees may seem like a pipedream — merely a symbolic gesture of climate justice — but Khan has orchestrated massive tree-planting feats in the past.

In 2017, a campaign started by Khan to plant 1 billion trees in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa achieved its goal ahead of schedule.

And Pakistan more broadly has a rich history of tree planting. In 2013, the country beat the previous world record or tree planting, held by India, by getting 8,47,275 saplings in the ground.

Related StoriesJuly 27, 2018What Does Pakistan’s New Prime Minister Imran Khan Mean for Poverty and Inequality?

Over the past several decades, however, deforestation has become an accelerating problem in the country, greatly increasing the severity of landslides. In 1947, trees covered 33% of the country; today they cover just 1.9%.   

Globally, the world loses 18.7 million acres of forest each year, the equivalent of 27 football fields of trees every minute.

Environmental advocates have applauded Khan’s announcement.

“It is extremely important also that we ensure we have enough fresh water and that our development does not destroy our own coastline,” Ali Tauqeer Sheikh, founder and CEO of LEAD Pakistan, an environmental think tank, told NBC News. “We have one of the largest deltas in the world, but it is dying because of climate change.”

Related StoriesMay 1, 2018Thomson Reuters FoundationPakistan Moves to Curb Air Pollution After High Court Ruling

“Irrespective of the number of trees planted, it is important for our country, which has so many other challenges, to have the lungs to support our environment,” he added. “We welcome Khan’s promise and we looking forward to holding him to account.”

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From flying cars to smart houses, shining utopias to interstellar worlds, there are many ways to imagine the future. Science fiction and fantasy genres have long been used to explore the different ways humanity could exist, whether it be an alteration of the present day, a couple of years from now, or centuries ahead. When we speculate about the future, it’s not just a matter of what we imagine, but whowe imagine.

Afrofuturism combines science fiction and fantasy with African mythologies. The term was coined in 1993 in Mark Dery’s essay “Black to the Future,” but the style existed before then.

Ytasha L. Womack, author of Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture, elaborates that the genre “combines elements of science fiction, historical fiction, speculative fiction, fantasy, Afrocentricity, and magic realism with non-Western beliefs. In some cases, it’s a total re-envisioning of the past and speculation about the future rife with cultural critiques.”

The art that comes out of this genre not only conceptualizes the world through fiction and fantasy but challenges the world as it exists now. Being able to see yourself at the center of a story has great power, according to Womack: “Empowering people to see themselves and their ideas in the future gives rise to innovators and freethinkers, all of whom can pull from the best of the past while navigating the sea of possibilities to create communities, culture, and a new, balanced world.”

Fikayo Adeola, founder of the afrofuturist forum Kugali, argues that the style stands as a symbol of hope, in both the past and present.

“Afrofuturism was a tool that they could use to imagine a better future,” Adeola told CNN, “and the movement continued into the contemporary era.”

Afrofuturist stories, and the power they create, are coming to the forefront of popular culture. The high-tech, utopian world of Wakanda in Black Panther has introduced many people to the genre. Though the film is set in the present, it makes speculations that bring futuristic elements and social critique together.

“T’Challa represents … an African that hasn’t been affected by colonization,” Ryan Coogler, the film’s director, told The Washington Post. “So what we wanted to do was contrast that with a reflection of the diaspora … You get the African that’s not only a product of colonization, but also a product of the worst form of colonization, which is slavery. It was about that clash.”

The clash described by Coogler is not the only commentary made by the film. Black Panther makes audiences wonder: What if everyone in a nation had equal access to technology? What if women were equal members of society? What role does a powerful nation play in helping others? When storytellers venture to ask these questions, they also provide answers that can be applied to how we live now.

Afrofuturism is not just another way of telling stories. It challenges people to imagine a greater world than the one that currently exists. If the stories we tell are ones that allow everyone to exist in the world of tomorrow, perhaps we will be more inspired to make that world a reality.

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FOOD & HUNGER

More Than 1,500 Mothers Breastfeed Together to Combat Child Deaths in the Philippines

It was just one of 62 mass breastfeeding events across the country this weekend.


Why Global Citizens Should Care
As a practical step toward protecting the survival and health of babies and women, breastfeeding is a central part of the UN’s Global Goals, and help drive progress towards goals for zero hunger, gender equality, health, and ending extreme poverty. You can join us by taking action hereto support maternal and child health. 

More than 1,500 mothers in the Philippines have come together to breastfeed their children, as part of a campaign to raise awareness about the health benefits of breastfeeding. 

The women gathered in the capital city, Manila — but it was one of 62 mass breastfeeding events held across the Philippines over the weekend, according to reports .

 

#Philippines holds mass breastfeeding event to tackle stigmas, malnutrition.
On Sunday, about 1,500 Philippine mothers convened at a Manila stadium for a government-backed mass breastfeeding event to combat child deaths.
Read more at https://asiancorrespondent.com/2018/08/philippines-holds-mass-breastfeeding-event-to-tackle-stigmas-malnutrition/#TT2Hr7EwI7OrsYGT.99 

 
 

“It’s an empowering moment,” first-time mother Joyce Balido told AFP news agency. “It was very difficult to establish a milk supply at first. I am sleep-starved but I committed myself to have my daughter exclusively breastfed.” 

“Breastfeeding is love,” added Abegirl Limjap, who nursed her two sons at the event. “It is difficult, but we do it for love.”

Take action: Help Ensure All Parents Know About the Benefits of Breastfeeding

Take Action: Take The Quiz

 
 

 



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In partnership with: Grow Great

The campaign is a government effort to increase breastfeeding rates in the country, after the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations’ Children’s Fund (UNICEF) jointly urged the government to take action last year. 

While some mothers aren't able to breastfeed, many mothers around the world don't realize that the health benefits of breastmilk outweigh those of breastmilk substitutes and baby formula — and it's these mothers that the campaign is targetting.

Already, the event has seen significant growth since last year’s mass breastfeeding event — which saw 25 events held across the country. 

Related StoriesJuly 26, 2018Public Breastfeeding Is Now Legal in All 50 US States

The two agencies — WHO and UNICEF — recommend that children be given breastmilk within the first hour of birth, and fed exclusively on breast milk for the first six months. 

But globally 3 in 5 babies aren’t breastfed within the first hour of being born, according to a report released by the two agencies at the end of July, and this is putting them at higher risk of death and disease.

S0Uk7Emm_normal.jpg

As we celebrate #WorldBreastfeedingWeek, we'll share frequently asked questions about #breastfeeding. ?

Q: Should my baby and I stay together after the delivery?
A: Yes. The mother and baby should stay together unless there’s a valid medical reason not to. pic.twitter.com/9DXf8qthCh

 

#DYK: #Breastfeeding has many immediate and long-term benefits!

For the baby ?: Protection from diarrhoea, pneumonia and other common illnesses
For the mother ?: Reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancer, diabetes and postpartum depress pic.twitter.com/CmZ5gdlrA9

View image on Twitter
 
 

“When it comes to the start of breastfeeding, timing is everything,” said Henrietta H. Fore, UNICEF executive director, in a statement in July. “In many countries, it can even be a matter of life or death. Yet each year, millions of newborns miss out on the benefits of early breastfeeding and the reasons — all too often — are things we can change.” 

“Mothers simply don’t receive enough support to breastfeed within those crucial minutes after birth, even from medical personnel at health facilities,” she added. 

In fact, delays in breastfeeding is threatening the health of 78 million newborns around the world, according to the Guardian . And in the Philippines, around 7,500 children under 2 years old die every year because of undernutrition resulting from inadequate breastfeeding practice. 

Related StoriesJuly 31, 2018Why British Mothers Are Flooding Social Media With Breastfeeding Photos

In 2017, UNICEF and WHO called on the Philippine government to increase national investments to raise breastfeeding rates, after they found that a “low” 34% of Filipino children under six months are breastfed exclusively. 

The agencies emphasised the “strong need” to increase government investment in health and nutrition — with around 2.8 million Filipino children under 2 years old found to be undernourished due to sub-optimal breastfeeding practices in 2015. 

“Children’s right to life, healthy growth, and developing is non-negotiable,”said Lotta Sylwander, UNICEF's Philippines representative. 

“This is why we need support from the highest level of government in advancing policies and supporting investments for our children and mothers’ health and nutrition, right at the onset of pregnancy and all the way to the child’s second birthday,” she said.

According to the 2017 Global Breastfeeding Scorecard, which evaluated 194 nations, just 40% of children younger than 6 months old are breastfed exclusively — and only 23 countries have achieved exclusive breastfeeding rates about 60%.

According to WHO and Unicef, evidence shows that breastfeeding has cognitive and health benefits for both infants and their mothers. During the first six months of life it’s especially critical, largely for helping prevent diarrhoea and pneumonia, two major causes of death in infants. 

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7 DE AGOSTO DE 2018

 

12
 
CIUDADANÍA

Estos serán los artistas presentes en el Global Citizen Festival 2018 en Nueva York

Este evento busca un cambio real y contará con increíbles actuaciones.

El Global Citizen Festival 2018, uno de los festivales de música favoritos, que combina acciones impactantes con actuaciones estelares, volverá al Central Park de la ciudad de Nueva York el sábado 29 de septiembre. Y el programa es excelente.

 

The Weeknd y Janet Jackson encabezarán el festival de 2018, junto con Shawn Mendes, Cardi B y Janelle Monáe.

 

John Legend será uno de los invitados especiales, mientras que Hugh Jackman y Deborra-lee Furness volverán a ser anfitriones del evento para 60,000 Global Citizens en el Gran Jardín del Central Park y millones de personas de todo el mundo.

 

Entre la lista de coanfitriones estarán Camren Bicondova, Cynthia Erivo, Danai Gurira, Forest Whitaker, Gus Kenworthy, Kal Penn, La La Anthony, Naomi Campbell y Rachel Brosnahan.

 

Artistas, activistas, fanáticos de la música y millones de ciudadanos de todo el mundo se reunirán para pedirle a los líderes mundiales que cumplan con su obligación de alcanzar las Metas Globales de Desarrollo Sustentable de las Naciones Unidas y así terminar con la pobreza extrema para 2030.

 

El Global Citizen Festival 2018 servirá como una plataforma para exigir que estos líderes mundiales cumplan con sus responsabilidades en torno a una variedad de cuestiones políticas claves. Este año, Global Citizen tomará medidas para garantizar que las personas no sufran innecesariamente enfermedades prevenibles; dando a cada niño acceso a una educación de calidad; hacer que Estados Unidos desterre el matrimonio infantil con nuevas leyes; asegurándose de que todas las personas tengan acceso a suficientes alimentos nutritivos y agua potable; priorizando la higiene menstrual; eliminando la cantidad de plásticos de un solo uso que se utilizan; pidiendo la eliminación de los programas de fianzas que se enfocan injustamente en los pobres; y mucho más.

GCF_NYC_2018_admat_Janet.png

 

Y está claro que los artistas que encabezan el festival de este año están listos para el desafío.

 

"Es un honor poder estar en una posición en la que pueda usar mi voz para ayudar a los millones de personas que lo necesitan", dijo The Weeknd. "Nos enorgullece unirnos a Global Citizen en la lucha para acabar con la pobreza en el mundo".

 

"Estamos encantados de regresar para el Global Citizen Festival de este año", dijeron Hugh Jackman y Deborra-lee Furness. "Es importante que sigamos trabajando para terminar con la pobreza extrema. El 29 de septiembre, decenas de miles de Global Citizens se reunirán para celebrar que somos parte de este movimiento y el impacto de sus acciones. Estamos ansiosos por ser parte de ello".

 

"Me enorgullece apoyar a Global Citizen nuevamente para ayudar a enfocar la energía y la atención de las personas en los asuntos que importan", dijo John Legend. "Creo que tenemos que mirar a los seres humanos en todo el mundo como nuestros hermanos y hermanas y hacer todo lo que podamos para acabar con la pobreza extrema y hacer que el mundo sea más habitable. Somos más poderosos cuando nos unimos".

John Headshot 2017.JPGJohn Legend will perform a special guest set.

 

Como siempre, los Global Citizens no pagarán las entradas boletos; sino que las obtendrán uniéndose al movimiento en glblctzn.me/nyc2018 o descargando la aplicación Global Citizen. Los Global Citizens tendrán cuatro oportunidades de ganar boletos gratis como parte de nuestra campaña "Sé la generación que actúa".

 

Únete a nosotros para tomar medidas sobre los problemas más acuciantes del mundo, gana puntos y obtén la oportunidad de ganar entradas para el evento más popular del año. Los sorteos de entradas se realizarán durante todo el verano, y Global Citizen notificará a los fanáticos cuando hayan sido seleccionados.

 

El festival forma parte de la campaña Global Citizen's Be the Generation, una serie de eventos mundiales que honran la vida y el legado de Nelson Mandela en su año centenario. Además del festival de Nueva York, el próximoFestival Global Citizen Mandela 100 será el 2 de diciembre en Johannesburgo, Sudáfrica, y continuará con el famoso llamado de Nelson Mandela para que esta generación logre ponerle fin a la pobreza extrema.

 

El Global Citizen Festival 2018 en Nueva York será presentado por primera vez por Citi. Este banco global líder ha sido un orgulloso auspiciante del festival desde su creación.

 

"Estamos increíblemente orgullosos de llevar nuestro apoyo al Global Citizen Festival al próximo nivel como Presentador Asociado", dijo Jennifer Breithaupt, CMO Global Consumer, de Citi. "Como banco global que se compromete a dar la bienvenida a lo que viene después, esperamos ayudar a reunir a ciudadanos de todo el mundo para representar los asuntos más importantes y fomentar un cambio significativo".

 

Por quinto año consecutivo, MSNBC y Comcast NBCUniversal emitirán una transmisión simultánea en vivo del festival en MSNBC y MSNBC.com, producida por el productor ganador del Premio Emmy Ken Ehrlich. iHeartMedia es el socio exclusivo de medios de audio, y transmitirá en vivo desde Central Park en más de 150 estaciones de radio en todo Estados Unidos y se transmitirá en la aplicación iHeartRadio.

 

El festival también será transmitido en vivo por YouTube y Twitter, presentado por Johnson & Johnson.

 

Algunos de los más importantes socios del Global Citizen Festival 2018 incluyen a nuestro principal socio global y principal Johnson & Johnson, y los socios principales P&G, CHIME FOR CHANGE con el auspicio de Gucci, Verizon, House of Mandela, iHeartMedia y NYC Parks.

 

Entre los asociados se encuentran Microsoft, Great Big Story y One Championship.

 

Desde el primer Global Citizen Festival en Nueva York en 2012, Global Citizen ha generado compromisos y anuncios de políticas de líderes de todo el mundo valuados en más de $37 mil 900 millones, que afectarán la vida de más de 2250 millones de personas. Solo este año, Global Citizens ha asegurado 29 compromisos por un total de más de $2.9 mil millones, que afectarán la vida de más de 501 millones de personas para el año 2030.

 

"En 2018, es más importante que nunca para los Global Citizens en los Estados Unidos y en todo el mundo exigir que se escuche su voz, a través del activismo y en las urnas, para que podamos continuar avanzando hacia un mundo libre de sufrimiento innecesario", dijo Hugh Evans, CEO y cofundador de Global Citizen. "Estamos realmente agradecidos de tener artistas, anfitriones y socios tan increíbles que nos respaldan en un momento de la historia tan crucial en nuestra lucha para alcanzar los Objetivos Globales y terminar con la pobreza extrema".

So, what are you waiting for? Start taking action now or visit our Ticketmaster page to buy VIP tickets. Be the generation to end extreme poverty by 2030, and don’t miss this unbelievable lineup in September. 

 

¿Qué estás esperando? Comienza ya a tomar medidas o visita nuestra página de Ticketmaster para comprar boletos VIP. Conviértete en la generación que termine con la pobreza extrema para 2030, y no te pierdas este festival exclusivo en septiembre.

Traducción: Erica Sánchez

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This Pulitzer Prize-Winning Photographer Spent 10 Years Documenting Refugees

Author:
Imogen Calderwood

Muhammed Muheisen

Aug. 7, 2018

3
 

Why Global Citizens Should Care
The UN’s Global Goals can’t be achieved without taking into account the rights and needs of refugees, internally displaced people, and stateless people. The work of people like Muhammed Muheisen is important because, by documenting the crisis, they make it so much harder for world leaders to turn their backs. You can join us by taking action here to stand with refugees. 

Muhammed Muheisen was born and raised in Jerusalem against a background of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 

But spending his childhood in a conflict zone has shaped his view of the world and, as a photographer, has had a profound influence on his work. 

“I remember there was always space for fun as a child, so whenever I go to other conflict zones, that’s what I see,” he told Global Citizen over the phone from his temporary base in Greece. 

“It’s what I look for — I find my camera always pointed at that kind of photography because it exists,” he says. “There is two sides to the story. You can have a funeral on the right and you can have a child, a baby just been born, on your left.” 

Take action: Refugee? Migrant? Human Being. Show Your Support for All People — No Matter Where They Were Born

104.jpg25-day-old premature Afghan refugee infant Aliah lies on a bed with her mother in a camp near the Croatian border in Serbia.
Image: Muhammed Muheisen

Muheisen, who has won two Pulitzer Prizes for his photojournalism, among other international awards, has spent over 10 years focusing exclusively on documenting the stories of refugees and internally displaced people. 

While his work has taken him all over the world, from the Middle East to the United States, Asia, and Africa, he now focuses his work almost entirely in Europe because that's where "these millions of people came." 

“Nobody leaves their home unless they’re forced to leave their home, and that’s what I try to show in my images,” he continues. “I technically just show daily lives and the challenges refugees face. And I try to put names and ages because they’re not only refugees and numbers, you know, they are people.”

“For me, it’s a story of the people,” he says. “Because if you ask yourself the questions, the word refugee, we always use the word refugee, but behind the word there is people. There is men, and women, and children. And I was born and raised in a conflict region, and I always remember this unsteady feeling, so it’s so important to document these stories, of the people.”

103.JPGAn Afghan refugee girl skips using her headscarf in a poor neighborhood on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan.
Image: Muhammed Muheisen

Muheisen mostly focus on children, because children "are the real victims of conflict," he says. "They don’t get to choose where to be born, or the circumstances surrounding them. Children all over are the same, they just want to be happy and have fun."

Muheisen’s images all speak of hope, they show how people cope, and how people dream. The subject of his photograph will be a child playing with a balloon in Afghanistan, for example, or a little boy playing with bubbles, with his back to the refugee camp and his eyes on the sky. 

“It’s not easy, you know, but at the end of the day, we’re the lucky ones,” he says. “We go back home, we have a roof, we have a bed, and they are the ones who left their house. So whoever asks me a question, 'How do you feel covering all that, you should be traumatised?' I say, I’m not the one who’s living that, in the scene. I’m only the messenger.”

106.JPG15-year-old unaccompanied refugee minor Inamullah Mohammed, a refugee from from Jalalabad, Afghanistan, holds a mirror while shaving his beard on a railway track where he and other refugees took refuge in Belgrade, Serbia.
Image: Muhammed Muheisen

“I like to portray people with pride. They trusted me, they respected me, the least I can do is show their pride,” he continues. “Show their picture, never invade their privacy. And this is happening, you know, it’s not like this scene doesn’t exist. It exists, so simply I just document it.”

“If it’s in Jordan, or Greece, or Afghanistan, or Pakistan, it’s a picture that you can connect to,” he says. “That it can happen anywhere else in the world. And that’s the power of photography, we tell stories, we document things, for now, for tomorrow, or for the coming generations. To learn, to understand what happened.” 

It’s this focus on the everyday, the fact that life goes on and never stops, even when you’re caught up in a refugee crisis, that led Muheisen to found the Everyday Refugee Foundation. Its focus is on helping refugees and internally-displaced people, whether from war, natural disasters, discrimination, or poverty. 

A Dutch NGO, the Everyday Refugee Foundation was launched by Muheisen to share the stories of the daily lives of refugees and people who have been displaced, their struggles, and the “little sparks of hope that remain, despite their circumstances.” 

102.jpg14-month old Syrian refugee Hassan Khalil plays on a makeshift hammock attached to a tree, next to his parents in a refugee camp north of Athens, Greece.
Image: Muhammed Muheisen

But it also supports people by empowering them and improving their self-reliance, through supporting projects such as building schools, giving photography workshops, and donating clothes, foods, and other supplies to support them in building their future. 

The organisation also stays involved with refugees after they receive asylum, or reach a place of safety, by offering language courses and training in other essential skills to help speed up their integration process. 

“Whoever comes to me and asks me, 'how can I help?' I always say, by recognising the issue, you already helped,” continues Muheisen. “The knowledge, because sometimes it’s easy to turn your back and say, it’s none of my business. But the fact that you recognise that there are people who need your help, you already helped.” 

101.jpgZahra Mahmoud, a seven-year-old Syrian refugee from Deir ez-Zor, Syria, is held by her 13-year-old sister Fatimah outside their uncle's tent, in an informal tented settlement in Jordan.
Image: Muhammed Muheisen

Muheisen’s photography has brought him a long way from the 8-year-old he was when he first “fell in love” with his grandmother’s Polaroid. 

“I was just amazed how you press a button and a picture comes out, documenting that exact moment,” he says. “And you put it in your pocket and it lives. So it became my new toy, my new passion, I fell in love with trees and street light and I didn’t imagine I’d be driven into this kind of photography.” 

But, for Muheisen, photography is a very powerful tool to help in spreading awareness, and closing the gap between countries and between people. 

105.JPGUnaccompanied refugee minors and older refugees offer evening prayers, known as Maghrib, when the sun has completely set, in a makeshift mosque set up outside an abandoned warehouse where they took refuge in Belgrade, Serbia.
Image: Muhammed Muheisen

“I believe through photography we can make a difference, because right now with the social media our reach is open to the public,” he continues. “You can reach anybody at any spot in the world … and I like to use this tool in a very positive way, to tell people what’s happening in the other part of the world.” 

“Maybe it won’t help everybody, or help a large number, but at least we are able to help some people,” he says. “And that’s simply through photography … It’s so important to document things, because if we don’t document it it never happened, right. Nobody will learn about it, nobody will come and say I want to help, nobody. So now we can make a difference. Big or small, at least we start somewhere.” 

You can find Muheisen on Instagram here , on Twitter here , and on Facebook here 


On the Frontlines is a new series that brings Global Citizens to the front lines of the work your actions support around the world. In it, aid workers, health and education professionals, gender equality activists, scientists, and other individuals making a difference on-the-ground tell their stories and provide an in-depth look at how to address some of the world's greatest challenges. 

 

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There is no circumstance in which the detention of migrant children is justified, and the #GlobalCompactMigration & #GlobalCompactRefugees must reflect this @UN member states! #WithRefugees #ForMigration pic.twitter.com/aR0tVhDNb0
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Why It's a Crime to Be Poor in America

And what Global Citizens are going to do about it.

The concept of cash bail sounds like it makes sense. If you are charged with a crime, the court might set a certain amount of money for you to hand over to the court, which they will give back when you turn up for your trial. That was the original intention of bail — as a condition for release, so that you wouldn’t have to stay in custody while you await trial.

The problem occurs when you don’t have the money the court is asking for.

Take Reynaldo, for example, who could not afford his $1,000 bail that the judge set. As Reynaldo himself expresses it in Vera Institute’s “Bail Stories”series, “I had a high bail and my family was impoverished, so I was unable to pay my bail. A $1,000 bail can ultimately feed a family of three or four for two months. So these are people who are already going to be under the poverty line, and ultimately you’re going to take the time rather than your family going hungry.”

Reynaldo.jpgReynaldo.
Image: Courtesy of Vera Institute

So that is precisely what he did. Reynaldo, before being convicted of anything, spent six months in jail on Rikers Island in New York instead of paying the $1,000 bail. Whereas movie producer Harvey Weinstein, charged with first-degree rape, was able to meet his $1 million bail and stay at home, preparing for his trial.

Take Action: Download the App to Take Action on Bail Bond Programs and More Global Citizen Issues

This is an increasingly common theme all across the United States, with bail becoming a widespread way to lock up the poor, regardless of guilt or threat to society. It is the rapid rise in the pretrial population that sits behind 99% of America’s mass incarceration growth for the past 15 years. In fact, in any given year in America, nearly 12 million people will spend some time in city and county jails, not convicted of anything, just waiting to go to court. And 90% of the people in pretrial jail are there because they are unable to afford bail.

So, what happens if you can’t make bail? You basically have one of three terrible options to choose from.

Option 1: You plead guilty to the crime, even if you didn’t do it, rather than await trial. And because the vast majority of people are charged with low-level, nonviolent crimes that would not even receive a custodial sentence, for many that means they go home that day. When you hear what options two or three are, you will understand why more than 90% of people end up pleading guilty if they can’t afford bail and suffering all of the debilitating consequences of a criminal record.

Option 2: You plead your innocence and sit in jail. That’s right, if you plead guilty, you go home; if you maintain your innocence, you must go to jail, for as long as it takes for your case to come to court, which in some instances can take years. Yet even if it is only much shorter than that, the consequences are far reaching. As attorney Josh Saunders from Brooklyn Defender Services, which provides legal representation to people who cannot afford to retain an attorney, explained on John Oliver’s Last Week Tonightepisode on bail, “Our clients work in jobs where if you’re absent, you’re fired. Our clients live in shelters or in transitional housing places, where if you’re not there for the night, you’re gone. So there’s a lot of different ways in which incarceration, even for a short period of time, can really destroy a person’s life.”

Read More: Google Just Banished the For-Profit Bail Industry From Its Business Model. This Is Why You Should Care.

But the damage extends beyond simply the person who is being detained. It is families, and generally women, who bear the brunt of the issue. The costs related with detention, from visitation to court fees, often amount to one year’s total household income for a family and can force a family into debt. And, after all that, you are much less likely to win your case anyway, faced with the struggle of putting your case together from inside prison walls. One study suggests that those people are “over three times more likely to be sentenced to prison” and “over four times more likely to be sentenced to jail” than those who are not detained pretrial.

So that leaves you with option 3: Going to a commercial bail bondsman. To gather together the money for release, many people and their families are forced into exploitative arrangements with bail bond corporations that charge a nonrefundable fee of 10% of the full bail amount. Indeed, for those who do manage to put up the money for their bail, a majority sought the services of a bail bondsman. In New Orleans, for example, according to a report last year, 97% of people arrested on a felony charge who were able to pay bail purchased a commercial bail bond. Many are then trapped in a cycle of debt and fees, and even people who are proven innocent never get their money back.

Bail-Reform-Vera-Institute.jpgImage: Courtesy of Vera Institute

Corporate insurance companies with vested interests are largely behind the way the bail system works today, and they are also the largest beneficiaries of it. Fewer than 10 main insurers underwrite a significant majority of the $14 billion in bail bonds issued in the country each year. These same companies have funded many campaigns for DAs and judges across the country.

Read More: This Campaign Is Reuniting Jailed Black Mothers With Their Children for Mother’s Day

The United States' cash bail system doesn't just lead to the criminalization of poverty and the profiteering of a few, but also the societal disenfranchisement of young, predominantly black men and increasing numbers of women. In New Orleans for example, according to a review by Vera Institute of justice, 84% of bail premiums and fees were paid by people of color in 2015. According to the ACLU’s 2017 report on California (which has the highest bail amounts in the country), black men on average are assigned bail amounts 35% higher than white people accused of similar offenses.

And when you consider that the black population has the highest poverty rate, unsurprisingly the consequence of this persecution is that after money bail is set, black and Latino people are more than twice as likely as white people to remain stuck in pretrial detention, unable to afford bail.

According to a report released last year, this system costs American taxpayers $40 million per day. The study, from the nonprofit advocacy group Pretrial Justice Institute, says the mainstay of this money pays for locking up lower-risk defendants, who, it argues, could otherwise be released on non-financial conditions.

Perhaps the most baffling part of all is that it does not make our society any safer. In fact, as Robin Steinberg of the Bail Project, the first national bail fund that provides people with the funds they need to make bail, explains in her TED Talk, research makes it clear that you are significantly more likely to commit a crime if you have been detained and get out than if you had been free waiting to go to court. That’s 40% more likely, even when only detained for just eight days.

Read More: The Man Who Found Katy Perry Is on a Mission to Fix America’s Justice System

So what are Global Citizens going to do about it?

Well, starting from this week, as we celebrate the legacy of the late Nelson Mandela, who himself spent 27 years in prison, we are launching a new criminal justice campaign, to stop the detention of people based on their wealth. We will be partnering with organizations leading the charge on ending cash bail: including the Vera Institute of Justice, Robert F Kennedy Human Rights, Civil Rights Corps and ACLU. We will be calling upon key players in the justice system: governors, mayors, prosecutors, and judges in New York, California, and beyond to commit at the Global Citizen Festival in New York on Sept. 29 to ending this injustice and dismantling the bail system.

Our first target is New York, where a whopping 85% of the pretrial population are in jail because they cannot make bail. On any given night New York city alone, there are 7,000 people detained awaiting jail because they are too poor to afford their freedom. New York City is also home to one of the country’s most notoriously violent jails, Rikers Island. The conditions are so dire that the city announced it would close Rikers last year. Yet the 10,000 detained there — including children — are still waiting to see this promise realized.

Bail-Bond-Reform-Criminal-Justice-Campaign.jpgInmates line up along a wall, seen during a tour of the Men's Central Jail, run by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, in downtown Los Angeles.
Image: Reed Saxon/AP

Our second target is California, which sets the highest bail rates in the country. The average bail amount is five times higher than the national average at $50,000. Yet nearly 50% of Americans are unable to gather $400 in an emergency, thus leading to 45,000 people, right now, sitting in jails across the state.

Read More: The US Prison Population Is Falling — But Not for Incarcerated Women

Over the course of the year, we will also be looking to other states where urgent attention is needed and momentum for change exists. For example, Louisiana, which has the highest incarceration rates in the nation, and home to the most incarcerated city in the US: New Orleans.

And that’s just the beginning. Next year and beyond, the campaign will be tackling the criminalization of poverty that exists in various forms all over the world. The average duration and the percentage of all prisoners who are pretrial is relatively high across the Global South compared to developed countries, revealing inefficient and over-burdened justice systems with too few lawyers, judges, and legal advisers. This leads to people waiting for trial while in jail sometimes for multiple decades, for minor and nonviolent offenses. Of the 10 prison systems in the world with the highest proportion of pretrial detainees, half are in sub-Saharan Africa.

These potentially innocent people are subjected to dismal conditions across the African Union: Compared to sentenced prisoners, pretrial detainees often enjoy less access to food, adequate beds, health care, or exercise. Due to acute overcrowding with some prisons sitting at over 600% capacity, infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, and tuberculosis sit at epidemic levels in some prisons, which puts society at risk also when people are eventually released.

Data on this population is limited, but wherever information is available it consistently shows — like the US — that pretrial detainees overwhelmingly come from the poorest strata of society — as they are more likely to come into conflict with the law and less able to afford the three keys to pretrial release: bail, a bribe, or a lawyer. This is why they end up detained for many years waiting to go to trial, even when accused of minor offenses, due to the long list of arbitrary and low level “Petty Offense Laws” on the continent that range from "leaving laundry out in public" to "idle and disorderly behavior."

We invite you to join us in our campaign and protect those suffering at the hands of systems across the world that are meant to provide justice.


GCF_NYC_2018_admat_Janet.png

The 2018 Global Citizen Festival in New York will be presented for the very first time by Citi. MSNBC and Comcast NBCUniversal will air a live simulcast of the Festival on MSNBC and MSNBC.com. The festival will also be livestreamed on YouTube and Twitter, presented by Johnson & Johnson. 

Proud partners of the 2018 Global Citizen Festival include Global Citizen’s global health partner and major partner Johnson & Johnson, and major partners P&G, CHIME FOR CHANGE Founded by Gucci, Verizon, House of Mandela, IHeartMedia and NYC Parks. Associate partners include Microsoft, Great Big Story, and One Championship. 

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AUG. 7, 2018

 

 
 
HEALTH

Eliminating Diseases You've Never Heard of Could Drastically Improve Access to Education

Many NTDs have been eliminated across the world, but millions of children remain at risk.

When people think of obstacles that impact children’s education, many consider the immediate challenges: cost of supplies, tuition, uniforms, overcrowded schools, and overburdened teachers, maybe even the physical distance between homes and schools in underserved areas.

But these interferences pale in comparison to the barriers presented to sick children living in vulnerable populations.

Sometimes forgotten are the devastating diseases that prevent children from accessing school at all.

Take Action: No Woman Should Suffer From Diseases We Know How to Treat or Prevent

Take Action: Sign Now

 
 
 
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As if vicious health effects and stigma weren’t punishing enough for a child, lack of access to quality education pushes them further behind their peers,limiting their opportunities for economic success later in life, which in turn reinforces the cycle of poverty — driving home the overarching and debilitating impact disease can have on children.

 

Yes, these pictures are disturbing. But the diseases that disfigure people like this can be stopped. Here’s how: http://b-gat.es/2oRSBGI 

 
 

 

The majority of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) have been eliminated in most of the world, but millions of children remain at risk.

Some of the most common existing NTDs — that are controllable with mass drug administration — include: dracunculiasis (Guinea worm disease), aparasitic larvae that comes from drinking unfiltered water that lives in the body for about a year; lymphatic filariasis, an infection transmitted through mosquitoes that targets the lymphatic system and can result in severe disfigurement and swollen limbs; onchocerciasis (river blindness), an infection transmitted from black flies that causes skin lesions and can lead to blindness; and trachoma, a bacteria that’s the leading cause of blindnessthat causes the upper eyelids to turn inward, so that the eyelashes scrape and scar the cornea.

Many of these NTDs have all but disappeared in the developed world due to sanitation and hygiene standards. However, 100% of the world's low-income countries are still affected by at least five NTDs at a time.

Read More: Neglected Tropical Diseases: The Most Dangerous Diseases You’ve Never Heard of

Some NTDs not only physically prevent children from going to school, but also affect their learning capabilities. Schistosomiasis, for example, is a parasite that lives in freshwater snails and in contaminated freshwater. It can lead to anemia, malnutrition, and learning difficulties in children. School-aged children who swim in local freshwater lakes or ponds are most vulnerable. Once infected, it stunts a child’s ability to learn.

NTDs_lymphatic filariasis.jpgA student is tested for lymphatic filariasis at Martin Luther College in Northern Haiti.
Image: flickr/RTI Fights NTDs

Luckily, the effects of schistosomiasis are generally reversible with treatment. The treatment, a drug called praziquantel, is safe and inexpensive, and can both treat children and prevent them from ever having to experience this NTD, according to the World Health Organization .

And it’s not just schistosomiasis that’s preventable. Research has shown that many of these conditions are preventable with medication — especially if it’s administered through schools.

Read More: These 7 Countries Eliminated a Neglected Tropical Disease in 2017 — and More Will Follow in 2018

In a study based in Kenya, school-based deworming programs have been shown to add a year to the average child’s education and reduce absenteeism by 25%. Not only was this program highly effective, but it was also inexpensive. The ingredients cost somewhere between 4 cents and 18 cents per annual dose. Even after adding the cost of delivery and administration, it was still only estimated to cost about $7.19 per annual dose. Given this data was based on a small-scale program delivered through an NGO, it’s likely to be even more cost-effective if delivered through a large-scale national or international program.

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter
 

School directors and teachers play a very key role in the control of Schistosomiasis and STH especially in school-aged children, through their continuous support and assistance of field teams during parasitological surveys. @Sightsavers

 
 

In the same 2012 report from the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, researchers found that providing $100 worth of deworming programs extended childrens' time in school by 13.9 years.

Compared to other education-improving initiatives, such as providing free school uniforms, merit-based scholarships, and both unconditional and conditional cash transfers, $100 only helped increase time spent in school by a few months — not even a full year. In other words, $1 in NTD treatment goes further to keep a child in school than $1 in scholarship funding or subsidized uniforms, according to the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab report .

Read More: Why It's Critical That Women Lead the Fight Against Neglected Tropical Diseases

Eliminating NTDs is essential to improving children’s access to education. Close family members or parents becoming infected can indirectly impact a child’s education. Parents who develop a disability from NTDs might require children to withdraw from school to care for them and can then cause them to become infected themselves.

Total elimination of NTDs not only provides children with opportunities to further their education, but it benefits their health, both physically and mentally, for years after treatment.

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AUG. 6, 2018

 

 
 
GIRLS & WOMEN

Business News Site Covertly Erases Men From Stories to Highlight Sexism

"They did nothing wrong — we were just jerks — but that’s discrimination for you.”


Why Global Citizens Should Care
Gender discrimination in the workplace is a worldwide issue. Global Citizen campaigns on the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, and reduced inequalities is goal number 10. You can join us and take action on this issue here.

In an attempt to highlight the sexism that exists across Australia’s business landscape, business news website Which-50 removed all direct references to men throughout the entirety of its published July articles.

As part of the month-long experiment, the website secretly censored all images and news about men by either referring to them as “spokespeople” or entirely abolishing them from articles. In the revealing Which-50 cover story, entitled "No Man’s Land," the company announced that its experiment resulted in a significant drop in social presence and audience numbers.

“For the month of July, we secretly erased men from Which-50,” the company announced. "Our audience numbers dropped, our social presence evaporated, and we annoyed people who for years have helped us build our brand off the back of their hard work and expertise. They did nothing wrong — we were just jerks — but that’s discrimination for you.”

Take Action: Sign this petition to #LeveltheLaw and empower girls and women around the world!

Take Action: Pledge Now

 
 
 
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In partnership with: CHIME FOR CHANGE

Among the censored senior executives were Amazon Australia boss Rocco Bräuniger, Nine Network CEO Hugh Marks, Fairfax Media CEO Greg Hywood, CEO of Domain Jason Pellegrino, and the Group Managing Director of Networks at Telstra Mike Wright.

Throughout July, 45 women were featured within the articles published on Which-50 — double the website's usual numbers. However, despite the company's best efforts, 70 “faceless and nameless men” still dominated the pages.

“We’ve doubled the number of women mentioned on Which-50 month-over-month, but that still doesn’t come close to the 111 men we wrote about in June,” the article stated. “This month would have been easier on us if we had co-opted the industry’s help and lined up 20 female executives to interview ahead of time. In the end, we rejected that approach because the worst kinds of discrimination happen in the dark, not in the light — although a surprising amount occurs in plain sight.”

The biggest challenges that arose throughout the experiment revolved around actually finding women executives to feature, as well as finding women who were willing to share their stories.

Sadly, executive recruiters tell us that it’s actually easier to get women on boards rather than into the C-suite. That’s why, at an operational level, the number of female CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, and CMOs and other C-suite roles has not radically shifted from where it was a decade ago.”

The latest index performance results from the 200 largest public companies on the ASX 200 list revealed that only 11 of 200 CEOs were women.

Related StoriesApril 4, 2017CHIME FOR CHANGE10 Reasons Women Need Equal Pay, And Are Still Fighting For It

CEO of humanitarian organisation Plan International Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen believes even with anti-discrimination laws in place, deeply rooted gender norms and expectations continue to hold women and girls back. 

"Countries like Germany, Switzerland, and the United States are in the vanguard for gender equality thanks to their excellent anti-discrimination laws and policies and high female labour-force participation. But focusing on these areas is not enough," she announced in a statement.

"No country will come even close to true gender equality unless they broaden their focus beyond laws, policies and equal access to services and employment to also tackle harmful gender norms." 

Related StoriesApril 11, 2018A Federal Judge In Texas Just Handed Down a Landmark Ruling on Workplace Discrimination

For the editors and writers behind the social challenge, it seems the experiment has only reinforced the difficulties and inequalities that face women in an industry and ,more often than not, a world that significantly favours men.

"This is not a story about women,” the company announced. “This is a story about men, and why we chose to bring a bazooka to the diversity knife fight. The current approaches simply don’t move the needle fast enough.”

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AUG. 7, 2018

 

2
 
CITIZENSHIP

How to Get Tickets to Global Citizen Festival 2018 in NYC

Tickets are free if you take action.

Why Global Citizens Should Care:
The 2018 Festival in NYC gives Global Citizens a change to take action on issues surrounding extreme poverty, and a chance to win free tickets to see an amazing show in Central Park. You can learn more here.

Janet Jackson, The Weeknd, Shawn Mendes, Cardi B, Janelle Monáe — you can see these artists and more in NYC’s iconic Central Park, and tickets are totally free. 

That’s because Global Citizen believes in the power of advocacy. We don’t ask people for money — instead we ask people to use their voice to demand world leaders and corporations help us end extreme poverty. We ask them to make sure girls have an equal chance at education as boys; to ensure no child is left to die of a preventable disease; to help us reduce single-use plastics so our oceans stay healthy; and much more. 

Learn More: Global Citizen Festival 2018 in NYC

But in order to get leaders to do these things, we need your help — we need you to take action. 

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Here’s how you take action to get free tickets to this year’s Global Citizen Festival in NYC’s Central Park on Sept. 29:

  1. Download the Global Citizen app and either sign up or sign in if you're already registered.
  2. Open the app on or after Aug. 7, and start taking actions to earn Festival Points. These actions will be things like sending tweets and emails or making phone calls to leaders, asking them to make commitments on our issues. Please note, this year call actions must be made during business hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST. You’ll be able to choose which actions you take as long as you earn enough points. You’ll be told on Aug. 7 how many points you need to enter for a ticket.
  3. Once you have earned enough points by taking action, you’ll be eligible to enter into a draw for a free pair (2) of tickets to the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park.
  4. You’ll be notified by email letting you know if you've either won tickets or if you need to try again in the next action journey.
  5. If you don’t win, don’t fret; there will be a total of four chances to win tickets throughout the campaign. Watch your inbox for details on when new action-taking opportunities are starting.
  6. If you do win, congratulations! You can start planning who you’ll bring with you to Central Park! And if you like, you can still keep taking action and earn more tickets for more of your friends to come along.

Download the App Now to Start Taking Action

 

 

The Issues — What Are We Taking Action On?

Global Citizens are calling on world leaders to make commitments to empower people in extreme poverty. This includes:

  • Ensure people don’t suffer needlessly from preventable diseases.
  • Give every child access to a quality education.
  • Get US states to banish child marriage with new laws.
  • Make sure all people have access to enough nutritious food and clean drinking water.
  • Reduce the amount of single-use plastics that are used.
  • Eliminate bail bond programs that unfairly target the poor.

 

Can I buy a ticket?

Yes, tickets are for sale through our partner Ticketmaster 

Are artists performing for free?

Yes, all our artists donate their time and talent to Global Citizen for free. We're able to throw this festival thanks to the generous donations from our partners, who pay for the related costs. This means we can give tickets away to Global Citizens for free. 

What kind of impact do these actions have?

Global Citizens have generated commitments and policy announcements from leaders valued at over $37.9 billion that are set to affect the lives of more than 2.25 billion people. This year alone Global Citizens have secured 29 commitments totaling over $2.9 billion that are set to affect the lives of more than 501 million  people by 2030. 

Still have questions? Head over to our FAQ to find out more .


2018 Global Citizen Festival in New York will be presented for the very first time by Citi. MSNBC and Comcast NBCUniversal will air a live simulcast of the Festival on MSNBC and MSNBC.com. The Festival will also be livestreamed on YouTube and Twitter, presented by Johnson & Johnson. 

Proud partners of the 2018 Global Citizen Festival include Global Citizen’s global health partner and major partner Johnson & Johnson, and major partners P&G, CHIME FOR CHANGE Founded by Gucci, Verizon, House of Mandela, IHeartMedia and NYC Parks. Associate partners include Microsoft, Great Big Story, and One Championship. 

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