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The Action Thread Part Two

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GIRLS & WOMEN

Girl, 8, Gets a Handwritten Note From Her Superhero: Ruth Bader Ginsburg

“You look just like me!”

rbg-letter-facebook-krista_wujek_threefoot.jpg__1264x568_q85_crop_subsampling-2.jpg
 Facebook/Krista Wujek Threefoot

Michele Threefoot, a third-grader from Columbia, Maryland, fulfilled the childhood dream of many this past week: she received a handwritten letter from her superhero. 

About a month ago, the 8-year-old dressed as pioneering Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg for her school’s Superhero Day. 

Read more: 10 Reasons Why Investing in Women and Girls Is So Vital

Her mom snapped a photo and posted it to Facebook, where it’s been shared more than 1,700 times. 

“Girls who read really are dangerous, to unfairness and outmoded inequalities,” her mother Krista Wujek Threefoot wrote in the accompanying Facebook post. 

Threefoot’s interest in Ginsburg was inspired by the book, “I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark.”

Read more: Baller Kid Saves $300 for an XBox, Buys a Well for an Indian Village Instead

Ginsburg encouraged Threefoot to continue to focus on education. 

“May you continue to thrive on reading and learning,” Ginsburg wrote in the letter. 

Clearly, the young girl has taken Ginsburg’s words to heart. She’s now on to reading about pioneering Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, Yahoo reports.

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Wishing all of our volunteers, donors, advocates and friends a happy and peaceful New Year.

We are unspeakably grateful for your support in 2018. As we move towards the 33rd Anniversary of Chernobyl in April, we recommit our efforts to support and aid the generations who continue to be affected from the fallout of the world's worst nuclear disaster.

www.chernobyl-international.com

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DEC. 8, 2017

 

5
 
ENVIRONMENT

Devastating Video of Starving Polar Bear Holds a Much Bigger Story

"There is no band aid solution.”

The polar bear has big paws and shoulders. When it moves, slack fur glides along its broad frame. It can barely search for food, let alone lifts its head.

The bear, captured in a harrowing video by the National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen, is starving to death in the Baffin Islands of Canada.

Nicklen said that the bear would probably be dead within hours or days of the video, according to National Geographic.

 

Take Action: Stand With the Arctic

 

 

 

Some people asked Nicklen why he didn't intervene to help the bear. That, according to Nicklen, reflects the flawed approach to enormous issues like climate change that’s often taken around the world.

"It's not like I walk around with a tranquilizer gun or 400 pounds of seal meat,” he told National Geographic.

More to the point, individuals aren’t able to help polar bears deal with the enormous environmental changes that have taken place over the past few decades.

Read More: Experts Say Arctic Drilling Makes Little Sense. So Why Is it Being Pushed?

As he wrote in the Instagram post:


"My entire Sea Legacy team was pushing through their tears and emotions while documenting this dying polar bear.

"It’s a soul-crushing scene that still haunts me, but I know we need to share both the beautiful and the heartbreaking if we are going to break down the walls of apathy.

"This is what starvation looks like. The muscles atrophy. No energy. It’s a slow, painful death.

"When scientists say polar bears will be extinct in the next 100 years, I think of the global population of 25,000 bears dying in this manner.

"There is no band aid solution. There was no saving this individual bear. People think that we can put platforms in the ocean or we can feed the odd starving bear.

"The simple truth is this — if the Earth continues to warm, we will lose bears and entire polar ecosystems. This large male bear was not old, and he certainly died within hours or days of this moment.

"But there are solutions. We must reduce our carbon footprint, eat the right food, stop cutting down our forests, and begin putting the Earth — our home — first."


Each year, polar bears travel onto sea ice to where seals cluster and hunt while the ice remains stable, according to National Geographic. When the ice melts, polar bears retreat and fast on the shore. Over the past two decades, ice has melted catastrophically in the places where polar bears live, which has prolonged fasting seasons and imperilled the very possibility of hunting.  

Polar bears have long been the face of climate change, Nat Geo notes, because they’re on the frontlines of the shifting global environment.

Read More: 12 Natural Disasters That Broke Our Hearts in 2017

Usually, images of baby polar bears huddled with their mothers or adult bears drifting on chunks of ice are publicized, sad but cute and decontextualized scenes.

A starving, skeletal bear, however, shows far more starkly the effects of climate change.

Global Citizen campaigns on the Global Goals, which call for strong environmental action to protect life on land and in water. You can take action on this issue here.

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14 DE DICIEMBRE DE 2018

 

34
 
ALIMENTOS Y HAMBRE

Restauró 240 millones de árboles en África occidental, y podrían ayudar a combatir el hambre

"La naturaleza se curaría a sí misma, solo necesitamos dejar de explotarla".

 

Por qué los Global Citizens deberían preocuparse
La restauración de los bosques en todo el mundo puede aumentar la seguridad alimentaria, mejorar el acceso al agua y proteger a las comunidades de los peores efectos del cambio climático. Puedes unirte a nosotros para tomar medidas sobre este tema aquí.


Tony Rinaudo estuvo a cargo del crecimiento de 240 millones de árboles en docenas de países, según informó recientemente The Guardian.

El "Fabricante de bosques", como él mismo se autodenomina, llegó por primera vez a Níger desde Australia hace 30 años e intentó restaurar el paisaje devastado plantando tantos árboles como sea humanamente posible.

Después de dos años, hizo pocos progresos y comenzó a reevaluar su modo de trabajo. Fue entonces cuando se dio cuenta de que podía trabajar en un método para mejorar el suelo, la poda regular de las ramas y la protección de los troncos cuando se araban los campos.


"En ese momento, todo cambió", le dijo a The Guardian. "No necesitábamos plantar árboles, no se trataba de tener un presupuesto de varios millones de dólares y años para hacerlo, todo lo que necesitabas estaba en el terreno".

"La naturaleza se curará a sí misma, solo tenemos que dejar de hacerle daño", agregó.

El método de Rinaudo se conoce como regeneración natural administrada por el agricultor y permite que los bosques se desarrollen en condiciones difíciles. A medida que los árboles florecen, las comunidades aledañas obtienen un gran impulso en la seguridad alimentaria, la calidad del agua y la resistencia ante las tormentas.

Tony-prunes-a-tree-760x500.jpgImage: World Vision

A partir de 2013, Nigeria ha cultivado alimentos suficientes para alimentar a otros 2,5 millones de personas con la ayuda del método de Rinaudo, según informó World Vision.

En Níger, donde Rinaudo comenzó con esta tarea, los agricultores vieron grandes mejoras en sus cosechas una vez que la red subterránea de árboles se afianzó.

El año pasado, viajó al oeste de Afganistán para ayudar a los agricultores afectados por la sequía a restaurar los paisajes montañosos. La inseguridad alimentaria en Afganistán afecta a un tercio de la población.

Ahora ha comenzado a divulgar su técnica de mejora del suelo y a hacer campaña en las Naciones Unidas para mejorar el manejo forestal en todo el mundo, informó The Guardian.

A nivel mundial, se destruyen 18,7 millones de acres de bosques cada año, lo que equivale a perder 27 campos de fútbol por cada minuto, según datos de WWF.

A medida que los árboles desaparecen de un área, la biodiversidad se desvanece, las sequías se vuelven más comunes y los paisajes se vuelven más vulnerables a las tormentas, inundaciones y deslizamientos de tierra. La deforestación también es un importante motor del cambio climático, ya que representa el 15% de las emisiones anuales de gases de efecto invernadero a medida que se libera el carbono almacenado en los árboles.

Los principales impulsores de la deforestación son las tierras desmejoradas como consecuencia de la ganadería, la agricultura y el desarrollo, señaló WWF. Los incendios forestales y las plagas también son amenazas crecientes para los árboles a medida que las temperaturas aumentan en todo el mundo.

Rinaudo cree que su método de regeneración de bosques puede ayudar en la lucha contra el cambio climático, al mismo tiempo que refuerza la seguridad alimentaria y la resistencia al agua.

"Podemos hacer esto de un modo muy barato y rápido", le dijo a The Guardian.

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CITIZENSHIP

What Does It Mean to Be American? This Photographer Went on a Road Trip to Find Out

If every country were a type of vitamin, the US’s diversity would make it a multi-vitamin.

MyriamAbdelaziz copy.jpgPhotographer Myriam Abdelaziz.
Image: Courtesy of Myriam Abdelaziz

Global Citizens of America is a series that highlights Americans who dedicate their lives to helping people outside the borders of the US. At a time when some world leaders are encouraging people to look inward, Global Citizen knows that only if we look outward, beyond ourselves, can we make the world a better place.


What does it mean to be American? And what does it mean to becomeAmerican?

Those are the questions photographer Myriam Abdelaziz set out to answer in 2016 when she embarked on a solo road trip through the US that would ultimately lead her to create “WE THE PEOPLE,” a conceptual photography book.

The Egypt-born French citizen had been living and working in New York City for about 10 years when her immigration lawyer called to tell her she was eligible for US citizenship.

Abdelaziz said she needed some time to think.

She already had a green card. She didn’t need US citizenship to stay in the country and keep working. It was really just a matter of whether or not she wanted to become American.

“I didn’t understand what that meant,” she told Global Citizen in an interview. “Many other countries and cultures have very clear identities.” But despite having lived in the US for more than a decade, Abdelaziz said she didn’t have a strong sense of what America’s identity was.

“I thought, somehow, I owed it to myself — and the country that I live in — to just visit it, actually see it,” she said. 

We_the_People002.jpgImage: Photo by Myriam Abdelaziz

So when Abdelaziz got a gig in New Orleans, Louisiana, she decided might as well start her tour of the US there. From New Orleans she travelled to Mobile, Alabama, and then to Florida. She made her way up through North Carolina and Kentucky, eventually crossing the country to travel up the west coast from California to Seattle.

The trip took four months. Abdelaziz covered around 15,000 miles, and she did it alone.

Abdelaziz said she didn’t know what to expect. She had been told so many different things. Well-intentioned friends had warned her that as a woman travelling alone people might try to take advantage of her, that people would be racist, that they wouldn’t be nice.

“But that didn’t happen to me — I had an extremely good experience everywhere I went,” she said. 

We_the_People020.jpgImage: Photo by Myriam Abdelaziz

Abdelaziz made a concerted effort to meet and talk with people everywhere she went and though she hadn’t initially planned on turning her trip into a project, the more people she talked to the more she wanted to capture the America she was experiencing.

Since her goal was to determine what being a US citizen would mean to her, Abdelaziz’s only requirement was that her photo subjects be citizens. Aside from that, she made it her goal to meet and shoot people from all facets of the country.

Present yourself the way you think is most representative of you — that was her only instruction. Abdelaziz let her subjects decide when, where, and how they wanted to dress and considered herself just a facilitator in the process.

In total, she photographed around 120 people throughout her trip, collecting quotes and stories from her subjects as well. She hung onto them all, unsure of what to do with them.

Abdelaziz took her trip in 2016 before the presidential election, bearing in mind that she would be able to vote if she decided to become a citizen. So she made a point of asking people she met who they planned to vote for. She said she was surprised by the responses she received. 

“I met people who I thought were conservative and then found out they were Bernie supporters. And I met people who, to me, looked very liberal, and then found out they were Trump supporters,” she shared.

The reason “why always ended up being a very personal or emotional reason — and it’s impossible for statistics and labels to be able to infiltrate that logic,” Abdelaziz said.

“So stop labelling people,” she advised. “I found that a lot of stereotypes about people and places were not true.”

We_the_People060 copy.jpgImage: Photo by Myriam Abdelaziz

Through her travels and interactions with people she found an answer to her initial questions, she found her own definition of the American identity.

When she began her journey, Abdelaziz said she wasn’t sure what being American meant because US citizens are so diverse. But over the course of her trip she said she realized that diversity is what defines the US.

“The mix of people and cultures — that’s the American identity. It’s a layered identity,” she said. “Everyone is different  — and that’s the whole concept behind the country.”

The US was created by people who thought, “Let’s create a country and invite people from all over the world who want to start new lives. Everybody can come, everybody is welcome. And we’ll build this country,” she said.

“Everyone came from somewhere else, or their parents did, or their grandparents did,” she said. “I fit in because I’m different — and that makes me like everyone else.”

So when she returned from her trip, she became a citizen. And she voted.

Shortly after Donald Trump was elected president, Abdelaziz says she saw things around her begin to change, particularly in January when President Trump signed the travel ban executive order.

Read more: Human Rights Groups Are Outraged Over Trump’s Travel Ban 3.0

“There was a Muslim woman, who I photographed, who lives in New York City — born and raised in the Bronx,” Abdelaziz shared. “And she was verbally attacked on the train twice in three months after the travel ban...so she doesn’t take the train alone anymore.”

“When you tell people that Muslims are dangerous and they shouldn’t come in, how will they react?” she asked. “Of course, they’ll be scared of the people who have already been here.” 

Take Action: Tweet at President Trump urging him to open our borders to Syrian refugees

 

 

 

“Ignorance leads to fear. You’re always scared of what you don’t know,” Abdelaziz said. She worried that the things she believed defined the US and made it strong were on the verge of changing radically.

And she wanted to resist that change. That was when she decided what she wanted to do with all the photos from her trip.

We_the_People_MyriamAbdelaziz081.jpgImage: Photo by Myriam Abdelaziz

“I thought, let’s resist the fear of the ‘other,’ let’s show them that we’ve been living together for years and have made this country successful over a relatively short period of time. Because some people forget,” Abdelaziz said.

Some people have been here for so long or are the descendants of immigrants who arrived so many years ago that “they don’t see those roots anymore or realize that what it means to be an American is to be different and be accepted.” she said.

Read more: This Immigrant Mom Worked for Michelle Obama — And Then Decided to Run for Office Herself

So Abdelaziz developed “WE THE PEOPLE” as her own form of resistance and as a reminder that the US’s diversity is what makes it great.

The conceptual photography book, which is being funded on Kickstarter, it unlike any traditional book. Made up of photos of people, places, and quotes, it has no beginning, no middle, and no end. 

Abdelaziz says binding the photos into a conventional book would have required her to put people in some kind of order. It would have forced her to prioritize some stories over others.

And that’s not the point. “WE THE PEOPLE” is a project intended to reflect America’s simultaneous diversity and unity. And all the pieces of the book — the photos, the quote cards, the names — will be contained in one box that folds out into a map of the places she traveled. But the content in the box will be free floating.

We_the_People023.jpgImage: Photo by Myriam Abdelaziz

Abdelaziz said her goal is for everyone to have a journey and learning experience like the one she had. It’s up to the reader to pick the order in which they look at photos or read the text — like a choose your-own-adventure story.

“When people tell me ‘Americans are like this or that,’ I’m like ‘which one’?” Abdelaziz said. “You can’t put Americans into a box, maybe tons of boxes, but not one.” 

“So I want to literally take everyone out of their boxes and remove their labels.”

“I want people to think about who might have said what and where this photo could have been taken. And every time you look at it, you can look at it differently,” she explained.

She hopes the book will foster dialogue, that it will encourage people to see the US from all different perspectives, and interact with all the possible narratives behind the photos.

“I try to accept people who think the opposite of what I do, you don’t have to be scared” of what they think just because you don’t agree, she said. “Even if those differences make you uncomfortable, they are what makes this country strong … just because [someone who supports Trump] thinks differently than I do, doesn’t mean I should alienate them. Then I would become part of the problem.”

If every country were a type of vitamin, the US’s diversity would make it a multi-vitamin, she said — stronger and healthier for all its differences.

Her message is to take those differences and “live with them, accept them, and honor them.”

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ADVOCACYCITIZENSHIP

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, FWD.us, The Bail Project, Katal, ACLU, Brooklyn Defender Services and the National Bail Fund Network. 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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GIRLS & WOMEN

Actress Amber Tamblyn Says We Need to Stop Questioning Women’s Sexual Assault Stories

She’s done with not being believed. *mic drop*

amber-tamblyn.jpg__1264x568_q85_crop_subsampling-2.jpg
Amber Tamblyn backstage at 26th Annual Literary Awards Festival at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on Wednesday, September 28, 2016, in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Photo by Casey Curry/Invision/AP

The majority of sexual assaults in the US are not reported.

“What’s the point, if you won’t be believed?” actress Amber Tamblyn poignantly asks in her powerful New York Times op-ed. But as the title of her piece says, Tamblyn is “done with not being believed.”

 

What's powerful about @ambertamblyn's action is she no longer accepts the blame. In that way, she frees us all.

 
 
 
 

In the article, Tamblyn shares a story about being stalked by a crew member at the age of 21. Perhaps more shockingly is that Tamblyn, who was then starring in “Joan of Arcadia,” informed her producer of the situation only to be told “there are two sides to every story.”

But “for women in America who come forward with stories of harassment, abuse and sexual assault, there are not two sides to every story, however noble that principle might seem,” Tamblyn writes. “Women do not get to have a side. They get to have an interrogation. Too often, they are questioned mercilessly about whether their side is legitimate.”

Women who report sexual assault and rape in the US are often met with criticism and doubt. The burden of proof is frequently on victims of sexual assault to show that the incident actually occurred and was “unwanted” or uninvited. So two out of three incidents of sexual assaults go unreported, and only six in every 1000 rapists will be incarcerated, according to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network.

Tamblyn’s op-ed is, in part, a response to tweets from the actor James Woods, who Tamblyn says tried to take her to Las Vegas, Nevada, when she was just 16 years old. Upon telling him she was underage, Woods responded “even better.”

9pTj7ejH_normal.jpg

Didn't you date a 19 year old when you were 60.......?

 

James Woods tried to pick me and my friend up at a restaurant once. He wanted to take us to Vegas. "I'm 16" I said. "Even better" he said.

 
 
 
 

Woods denied Tamblyn’s story, accusing her of lying. His accusation forced the actress to recall all the times she had nervously shared her concerns with men in positions of power, only to be questioned and disbelieved, the star of “The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants” wrote.

She also penned an open letter to Woods, which appears on Teen Vogue.

“Since you've now called me a liar, I will now call you a silencer,” the 34-year-old actress wrote. “I see your gaslight and now will raise you a scorched earth.”

“I was just a girl. And I'm going to wager that there have been many girls who were just girls or women who were just women who you've done this to because you can get away with it.”

 

I cannot tell you how many people have texted, messaged and emailed me with personal stories about James Woods over the last day.

 
 
 
 

Neither Tamblyn’s open letter nor her New York Times op-ed is intended to just clap back at Woods. She wants to change the larger, pervasive culture in the US that enables sexual harassment and assault to be “normalized,” she said.

“The saddest part of this story doesn't even concern me but concerns the universal woman's story. The nation's harmful narrative of disbelieving women first, above all else,” she laments in the Teen Vogue letter. “Asking them to first corroborate or first give proof or first make sure we're not misremembering.”

She emphasized this point on Twitter, clarifying that her op-ed is not just about Woods, but about a larger cultural phenomenon that shields men like Woods from the consequences of their actions.

This is not the first time Tamblyn has spoken up against sexual assault and violence against women. Tamblyn was outraged by then-presidential candidate Donald Trump’s “grab ‘em by the pussy” comments last year.

She bravely shared her own story of assault. 

“To this day I remember that moment. I remember the shame,” she said on Instagram.

“I have been afraid of speaking out or asking things of men in positions of power for years,” she wrote in the New York Times, but she won’t be keeping quiet any longer. “The women I know, myself included, are done, though, playing the credentials game. We are learning that the more we open our mouths, the more we become a choir. And the more we are a choir, the more the tune is forced to change.”

Global Citizen campaigns to support women and girls everywhere and to achieve gender equality. You can take action here

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GIRLS AND WOMEN

25 facts that show the harsh reality girls face right now

9 October 2018 4:43PM UTC | By: MELANIE RHODES

SIGN THE PETITION

An open letter to leaders

 
  

What does your future hold? University, your own business, fame and fortune? Whatever your hopes, you will not have imagined a future in which you got married off as a child, were denied an education, or infected with HIV by a husband that’s twice your age. But this is the reality for millions of girls living in extreme poverty. And it’s time to call it out for what it is: Sexist.

Nowhere on earth do girls and women have the same opportunities as men. But for girls living in extreme poverty, sexism can be a death sentence. This is unacceptable.

If we don’t fight for every girl to have the future she deserves, we’re limiting all of humanity’s potential. We need to demand that those with power and resources put women and girls at the heart of their investments.

Here are 25 shocking facts showing why #PovertyisSexist  →

Child Marriage

IDG_STAT-GX_12x12_v7-041-1024x512.png
  • Globally, girls are being married off at a rate of 33,000 a day.
  • Girls from poor families are more than three times more likely to marry before 18 as girls from wealthier families.
  • An estimated 650 million women alive today were married as children. That’s double the population of the United States.

Education

  • 130+ million girls are out of school.
  • Half a billion women can’t read.
  • Equatorial Guinea, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and Burundi expel pregnant girls from school and deny adolescent mothers the right to study in public schools.
  • Attacks on schools increased 17-fold between 2000 and 2014, and girls’ schools were targeted three times more often than boys’ schools.

Female Adolescent HIV and HIV death rates

IDG_STAT-GX_12x12_v7-05-1024x512.png
  • Globally, 340,000 girls and young women are infected with HIV every year.
  • Girls make up three out of four new infections among children aged 10-19 in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • A young woman in sub-Saharan Africa is twice as likely to be infected with HIV than a young man her age.
  • Globally, only 3 in every 10 adolescent girls and young women aged 15-24 years have comprehensive and accurate knowledge about HIV. The lack of information on HIV prevention and the power to use this information in sexual relationships, including in the context of marriage, undermines women’s ability to negotiate condom use and engage in safer sex practices.
  • In 2017 29,000 girls aged 15-24 died due to AIDS-related illnesses.

Violence Against Women

  • Almost one third (30%) of all women who have been in a relationship have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by their intimate partner.   
  • Globally, 44% of girls aged 15-19 think a husband is entitled to beat his wife.

Domestic labour inequities

IDG_STAT-GX_12x12_v7-06-1024x512.png

  • Globally, girls aged 5–14 spend 550 million hours every day on household chores, 160 million more hours than boys their age spend.
  • 104 countries around the world have laws stopping women from doing certain jobs.
  • In sub-Saharan Africa, women and girls spend roughly 40 billion hours a year collecting water—the equivalent of a year’s worth of labour by the entire workforce in France.

Access to Finance/Financial Inclusion

  • Over one billion women do not have access to a bank account.

Maternal Mortality/dying in childbirth

  • 99% of all maternal deaths occur in developing countries.

Sexual exploitation of women and girls

  • Women and girls make up 96% of those trafficked for sexual exploitation.

Health

  • Anaemia, a condition strongly connected to iron deficiency and poor nutrition, afflicts twice as many women as men – nearly one in three women and girls worldwide.

The good news:

  • 70% fewer mums could die in childbirth – if all girls had primary education.
  • 66% fewer child marriages could happen globally – if all girls had a secondary education.
  • US$28 trillion could be generated – if all gender gaps in work and society were closed.

If you believe that ALL girls should be able to build the future they want, then turn your outrage into action this International Day of the Girl!

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These motivational backgrounds will keep you going in 2019
45
CULTURE

These motivational backgrounds will keep you going in 2019

December 20 2018 | By: ROBYN DETORO

JOIN

Join the fight against extreme poverty

 
  

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

Check them out below and download your favorite one!

EOY-Quote-Mockup_12x6-1024x512.png

DOWNLOAD BACKGROUND 1

DOWNLOAD BACKGROUND 2

DOWNLOAD BACKGROUND 3

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

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Turning air into drinking water: Africa's inspired inventors

Shortlisted contenders for the Royal Academy of Engineering Africa prize reveal their designs, from gloves that translate sign language into speech to smart lockers that dispense medicines

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Kate Hodal

Tue 1 Jan 2019 07.00 GMTLast modified on Thu 3 Jan 2019 11.29 GMT

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Collince Oluoch; Roy Allela; Beth Koiji; Neo Hutiri; Paul Matovu  Shortlisted contenders, from left: Collince Oluoch; Roy Allela; Beth Koiji; Neo Hutiri; Paul Matovu. Photograph: Brett Eloff and James Oatway/Royal Academy of Engineering

The Royal Academy of Engineering Africa prize, now in its fifth year, has shortlisted 16 African inventors from six countries to receive funding, training and mentoring for projects intended to revolutionise sectors from agriculture and science to women’s health. The winner will be awarded £25,000 and the three runners up will receive £10,000 each.

From smart gloves that turn sign language into audio speech, to water harvesting systems that change air into drinking water, five inventors on course to transform the continent for the better spoke to the Guardian about their innovations.

Kenya: Sign-IO

Roy Allela’s six-year-old niece was born deaf. She found it difficult to communicate with her family, none of whom knew sign language. So Allela – a 25-year-old Kenyan technology evangelist who works for Intel and tutors data science at Oxford University – invented smart gloves that convert sign language movements into audio speech.

 

Roy Allela is developing a glove that translates sign language to speech via a bluetooth-enabled smartphone.

 Roy Allela has developed a glove that translates sign language to speech via a bluetooth-enabled smartphone. Photograph: Brett Eloff/Royal Academy of Engineering

The gloves – named Sign-IO – have flex sensors stitched on to each finger. The sensors quantify the bend of the fingers and process the letter being signed. The gloves are paired via Bluetooth to a mobile phone application that Allela also developed, which then vocalises the letters.

“My niece wears the gloves, pairs them to her phone or mine, then starts signing and I’m able to understand what she’s saying,” says Allela. “Like all sign language users, she’s very good at lip reading, so she doesn’t need me to sign back.”

Allela piloted the gloves at a special needs school in rural Migori county, south-west Kenya, where feedback helped inform one of the most important aspects of the gloves: the speed at which the language is converted into audio.

“People speak at different speeds and it’s the same with people who sign: some are really fast, others are slow, so we integrated that into the mobile application so that it’s comfortable for anyone to use it.”

Users can also set the language, gender and pitch of the vocalisation through the app, with accuracy results averaging 93%, says Allela. Perhaps most importantly, the gloves can be packaged in any style the user wants, whether that’s a princess glove or a Spider-Man one, he says. “It fights the stigma associated with being deaf and having a speech impediment. If the gloves look cool, every kid will want to know why you have them on.”

The gloves recently won the hardware trailblazer award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and Allela is using the prize money to land more accurate vocal predictions.

 

The Sign-IO app, which vocalises letters signed by the person wearing the gloves.

 The Sign-IO app, which vocalises words signed by the person wearing the gloves. Photograph: Brett Eloff/Royal Academy of Engineering

His goal is to place at least two pairs of gloves in every special needs school in Kenya, and believes they could be used to help the 34 million children worldwide who suffer disabling hearing loss.

“I was trying to envision how my niece’s life would be if she had the same opportunities as everyone else in education, employment, all aspects of life,” says Allela.

“The general public in Kenya doesn’t understand sign language so when she goes out, she always needs a translator. Picture over the long term that dependency, how much that plagues or impairs her progress in life … when it affects you personally, you see how hard people have it in life. That’s why I’ve really strived to develop this project to completion.”

South Africa: Pelebox smart lockers

When Neo Hutiri was diagnosed with tuberculosis in 2014, the South African engineer was forced to spend three hours every two weeks waiting at his local clinic just to collect his medication. Queuing alongside patients requiring chronic therapy for health issues ranging from cancer to Aids, Hutiri wondered how he could apply technology to the problem and ease the burden for South Africa’s overrun public hospitals.

 

Neo Hutiri with his Pelebox smart locker

 Neo Hutiri with his Pelebox smart locker, which is designed to cut down the amount of time that patients have to wait for their medication. Photograph: James Oatway/Royal Academy of Engineering

“We have the biggest antiretroviral [ARV] therapy programme in the world: over 4.6m patients receive ARVs and with chronic therapy treatments like this you have to visit the facility every month to receive medication,” says Hutiri.

“It dawned on me that patients are spending a lot of time – 4.3m man hours in total every month – just waiting in queues. So my initial hypothesis was to take patients’ waiting time from three hours to under two minutes.”

Hutiri’s first move was to automate the filing system as much as possible by designing the Pelebox (pele for fast in Setswana), a smart locker that acts as a self-service kiosk. The locker is stocked by health workers, who scan a patient’s medication into a specialised cubicle. The number of the locker and a one-time pin are sent directly to the patient’s mobile phone, with the pin allowing the user to open the locker.

South Africa’s pharmaceutical council was intrigued by the Pelebox, but needed reassurance that the right medications would be delivered to the right patients, every single time. Hutiri piloted the project in Pretoria last year and was overjoyed at the results: 4,700 medications were delivered at a 100% success rate – and with an average collection time of under 36 seconds, says Hutiri.

The 30-year-old entrepreneur has now signed a contract with the department of health to roll the lockers out in eight of South Africa’s nine provinces, a feat he is hugely proud of.

“Eighty-three percent of the South African population relies on state-funded care – my parents are within that population and on long-term medication – but they get short-handed because there isn’t enough of an incentive for entrepreneurs in my sector to serve them as they tend to be low-income,” says Hutiri.

“I wanted to design something that you could place as easily in [the affluent area of] Sandton as in a township. I wanted the product to stand out because then the patients feel a high degree of pride, they think: ‘This product was designed for me’. When you treat people with respect, they pass that respect on to others.”

Uganda: The Vertical Farm

More than two-thirds of Uganda’s population engages in farming, but rapid population growth in the capital, Kampala, means that not everyone who would like to grow their own fruit and veg has the space or land to do so.

 

Paul Matovu with his Vertical Farm

 Paul Matovu with his Vertical Farm, designed to hold up to 200 plants. Photograph: James Oatway/Royal Academy of Engineering

This was the issue faced by Paul Matovu, who was born into a family of 20 children and raised for a short time by his grandparents in rural Uganda, where he learned all about growing crops. After returning to Kampala as a cash-strapped university student, he began looking for space-saving ways to grow his own food. His solution was the “farm in a box”, a sustainably sourced timber box measuring 90cm wide by 90cm high that can hold up to 200 plants.

The farms currently retail at 300,000 shillings (£64), a high price for the average Ugandan, says Matovu, but as the boxes produce food worth 1.29m shillings (£275) every year, costs can be quickly recouped. The farms also have a wormery in their middle to compost household waste, the castings of which can then be used to fertilise the crops, helping to keep inputs low but still organic, he says.

“Our goal is to roll out the farms to the wealthy, because they do not mind how expensive the boxes are, and to produce three to five farms per day,” says Matovu. “Then we can subsidise sales to the poor.”

 

The Vertical Farm Box

 The farm boxes have a wormery in their middle to compost household waste, which can then be used to fertilise the crops. Photograph: James Oatway/Royal Academy of Engineering

Kenya: Chanjo Plus

In 2015, Kenyan Collince Oluoch was working as a community health worker in Nairobi, knocking door-to-door to register children for a national immunisation drive. The work was tedious and difficult: every volunteer was required to register 200 children, but because some families were at work or out shopping or had simply moved away, the targets couldn’t always be met.

 

Collince Oluoch

 Collince Oluoch’s mobile platform helps improve the identification and registration of children targeted for life-saving vaccinations. Photograph: Brett Eloff/Royal Academy of Engineering

Oluoch, 27, was faced with a choice: to invent names of children to meet the target (as many other health workers were doing), or to modify the existing pen-and-paper registration system into a digital database. He opted for the latter, and in 2016 built Chanjo Plus, an online vaccination platform that could be accessed by health clinics and hospitals across the country.

“The initial plan was to have an accountable platform to put the faces behind the numbers,” says Oluoch. “We have universal health coverage in Kenya and the aim is that by 2030 we will leave no one behind. But how do you leave no one behind if you don’t even know who everyone is?”

The database uses information compiled by community health workers to build a digital identity for each child, with details on which vaccinations were given and when and where they were given. These records can then be pulled up by any public health clinic anywhere, making it easy to identify which children are falling through the immunisation gaps and provide real-time data on vaccination drives.

 

Chanjo Plus

 Across sub-Saharan Africa, one in five children still don’t have access to life-saving vaccines. Photograph: Brett Eloff/Royal Academy of Engineering

Chanjo Plus has so far enrolled 10,000 children at three clinics in Nairobi, and aims to scale up with the ministry of health to target the 1.5 million children born in Kenya every year, says Oluoch. He then hopes it can be a platform used across sub-Saharan Africa, where one in five children still don’t have access to life-saving vaccines.

“People are still dying because of measles, polio, diarrhoea, and pneumonia – diseases that can be prevented and should not be causing deaths now. Getting every child access to vaccines translates into healthy lives for families: it means poverty reduction and greater access to education.”

Kenya: Majik Water

When Beth Koigi moved into her university dormitory in eastern Kenya, she was horrified that the water coming out of the tap was filthy and laden with bacteria. Within months, she had built her first filter and was soon selling filters to others. When drought hit in 2016 and water restrictions saw Koigi’s water supply turned off entirely, she began thinking about water scarcity and its relation to climate change.

 

Beth Koigi

 Beth Koigi plans to use her Majik Water innovation to increase access to drinking water among low-income households. Photograph: Brett Eloff/Royal Academy of Engineering

“Going for months without any tap water became a very bad situation,” she says. “Where I used to live, we didn’t get any tap water at all, so even doing simple things like going to the toilet – I would go to the mall instead. Having no water at all is worse than just having unpurified water, so I started thinking about a way to not have to rely on the council.”

While on a four-month programme at the Silicon Valley-based thinktank Singularity University, Koigi, 27, joined up with two other women – American environmental scientist Anastasia Kaschenko and British economist Clare Sewell – to create Majik Water, which captures water from the air and converts it into drinking water using solar technology.

The device – which won first prize this year at the EDF Africa awards – could provide a solution for the 1.8 billion people predicted to have a shortage of water by 2025, according to the UN, says Kaschenko.

“There’s an interesting relationship between climate change and the water in the atmosphere,” she says.

“There’s six times more water in the air than in all the rivers in the world. With every 1F increase in temperature, water begins to evaporate on the ground but increases by about 4% in the atmosphere, and that’s water that’s not being tapped.”

 

The Majik Water system

 The Majik Water system, which can generate up to 10 litres of filtered water a day. Photograph: Brett Eloff/Royal Academy of Engineering

Majik Water – from the Swahili maji for water and “k” for kuna (harvest) – uses desiccants such as silica gels to draw water from the air. The gels are then heated up with solar power to release the water. The current system can generate up to 10 litres of filtered water per day, with the team looking to scale up to 100-litre systems at a cost of only £0.08 per 10 litres.

The solar panels used for the prototype are the most expensive input on the device, says Koigi, who is looking for ways to drive those costs down.

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APRIL 7, 2016

 

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GIRLS & WOMEN

Meet the brave female chief who stopped 850 child marriages in Malawi

They call her the "Marriage Terminator."

In Southern Malawi, Chief Theresa Kachindaamoto is known as the "marriage terminator." In just three years, the chief to over 900,000 Malawian people has put an end to over 850 child marriages. 

She is protecting girls, empowering them and making her entire community healthier. 

Theresa never thought she would influence so many people. The youngest in a family of twelve, she was perfectly happy continuing her nearly thirty-year career as a secretary at a college in Zomba, Malawi. Thankfully for thousands of girls, she has chieftain blood. Meaning she was considered by the people living in her home district in Monkey Bay at the southern tip of Lake Malawi to be the next chief. To her shock, she was chosen to be the next district chief taking on the responsibility of guiding hundreds of thousands of people.

Malawi_map.pngImage: Wikicommons: Shaund

Malawi is one of the world’s poorest countries -- 50.7 percent of the country’s population lives under the poverty line according to UNDP. For Chief Katchindamoto she could have begun tackling a range of issues from challenges with food and hunger to sustainable agriculture. Instead, the first thing she did when she arrived back home was stop 12-year-old children being married off.

Child Marriage in Malawi

 

Child marriage is one of the biggest factors holding back girls around the world. When young girls are forced to marry before completing an education their own opportunities are limited. This limits the potential for the individual gir and hurts social and economic progress for their community and country.

According to a study by the United Nations in 2012 over 50 percent of girls in Malawi are married before the age of eighteen.

These are scary stats. Though not frightening enough to deter Chief Kachindamoto.  

When Chief Kachindamoto returned to Monkey Bay, she saw more than just young girls being married. She saw countless young, adolescent girls with babies of their own. 

malawi schoolchildrenImage: Flickr: Swathi Swidharan

Empowered through her education and potentially some extra genetic courage from chieftain ancestry, Theresa was not phased at the obstacle of tradition.

She began simply with a firm NO to child marriage.

Then she kept saying no. And in three years she refused to grant more than 850 child marriages.

The cheiftans efforts to create gender equality are going beyond marriage.

Sexual Initiation

 

Another practice Chief Kachindamoto is determined to abolish in her community, and hopefully the entire country, is called sexual initiation. And it sounds more like traumatic rape. Girls as young as 7-years-old are sent off to learn how to please their future husbands.

Ceremonies for “sexual initiation” can involve performing sexual dances or sex acts and can escalate to having sex with the teacher in order to complete initiation. In other cases, girls “learn” while away from their families and then parents hire a male community member to forcefully take their daughter's virginity to see what she has learned.

Needless to say, Chief Kachindamoto was horrified. She told Al Jazeera, “I said to the chiefs this must stop, or I will dismiss them.”

 

Chief Kachindamoto understood, “if [girls] are educated, they can be and have whatever they want.” She knows  the widespread benefits that come from empowering girls. She also understands the need to protect vulnerable girls from practices such as sexual initiation which can be incredibly psychologically damaging.

Community Health

 

In addition to protecting the girls in her community, she is also preventing the spread of HIV.

In Malawi, one in ten people is HIV positive. Girls subjected to atrocious sexual exploitation are put at risk for contracting HIV, a deadly virusthey will have to live with for life.

The Secret to Her Success

 

How has Chief Kachindamoto been so successful in ending these deep rooted traditions?

 

 

At first she met great opposition from parents who did not see the benefit of keeping girls in school when they could be married and then fed and cared for by someone else. What else would their daugthers achieve?

Theresa Kachindamoto was the perfect example to show community members the power of education for girls. But, her presence alone was not enough.

She held meetings with local community leaders, parents, families, and still faced challenges. So she changed the law. (Something Global Citizen is working to do in Tanzania right now).

It took bringing together 50 of Chief Kachindamoto’s sub-chiefs to sign an agreement to abolish child marriage in their villages. Collectively, they agreed to end existing unions of child marriage as well.  

When chiefs did not follow up on their promise (and thus the law), she responded by firing four chiefs.

So it was through changing and enforcing the law, along with community and social change efforts that Theresa went from a secure office job to Chief Kachindamoto: the woman who stopped 850 child marriage in three years and sent each of those children back to school.

She is truly an inspiration and role model in the fight to end child marriage. 

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17.7% of gay men in eSwatini are HIV positive. When Javier Muñoz visited eSwatini’s Fairview LGBTQ Group with (RED), he saw how emerging safe spaces are helping #endAIDS.

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19/12/2018

Brand new opportunities for 2019 at Music Generation Waterford

Brand new opportunities for 2019 at Music Generation Waterford

Music Generation Waterford invites young musicians from throughout the county to start 2019 on a high note by applying for participation in one of its brand new ensembles.

The closing date for applications for the Music Generation Waterford Guitar Orchestra, Traditional Ensemble and Voice Effects Choir is Friday, 11 January 2019, while registration for the Ukulele Klub will close the following week, Friday 18 January, 2019. Read on for more information and for application details... 

Music Generation Waterford Guitar Orchestra
Applications are now open to aspiring young classical guitarists aged 11 to 14 years, who would like to join an exciting new ensemble led by experienced musician Jennifer Hartery.

Rehearsals and meet-ups: Wednesday evenings, Waterford City
Auditions will be held early January
Cost €75 (January – May)
Apply online 

Music Generation Waterford Traditional Ensemble
Dedicated young traditional musicians of a high playing standard age 18 years and under are invited to apply to join the Music Generation Waterford Traditional Ensemble. Led by Musical Director and Arranger Nóra Byrne Kavanagh, the ensemble will be a great opportunity for musicians to come together to develop their group playing skills.

Rehearsals and meet-ups: Thursday evening, 6.30pm – 8pm, Waterford City
Auditions will be held early January
Cost €75 (January – May)
Apply online

Voice Effects Choir
Music Generation Waterford is currently recruiting aspiring and dedicated young vocalists, aged 13 to 18 years for its Pop Vocal Choir, Voice Effects. This will be a wonderful opportunity for those ready to develop their vocal and musicianship skills to an industry standard to join Waterford’s newest contemporary singing ensemble, led by Musical Director, Fiona Flavin.

Auditions will be held early January
Cost €75 (January – May)
Apply online

Music Generation Waterford Uke Klub
Aspiring young musicians aged 8 to 12 years are invited to register for Music Generation Waterford’s new Ukulele Klub. Participants will meet weekly on Wednesday evenings in a fun environment, under the guidance of experienced professional musician, Jennifer Hartery.

Registration will be held early January
Cost €75 (January – May)
Apply online

Get in touch with Music Generation Waterford if you have any questions or need further information about any of these new ensemble opportunities: 

Twitter:      @MGWaterford
Phone:        +353 58 51405
Facebook:   MusicGenerationWaterford
Email:         musicgenerationwaterford[at]wwetb.ie

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11k
MEMBERS IN ACTION

5 things you can do to make the world a better place in 2019

19 December 2018 6:57PM UTC | By: ROBYN DETORO

JOIN

Join the fight against extreme poverty

 
  

To say there’s a lot going on in the world right now might be an understatement. That’s why we’re vowing to be bigger, better and bolder in our fight to make the world a better place in 2019. But, creating big change requires a group effort and we’ll need you to get involved!

Here are 5 things you can do to make sure we start tipping the scales:

Find a cause.

Start the new year off on the right foot by supporting the cause (or causes!) you believe in. Not sure where to start? Here are a few of our favourite organisations that fight for causes we can get behind: The Nadia Initiative, Love Our Girls, New Faces New Voices, Restless Development, the African Women’s Development Fund, and Global Fund for Women.

Learn something new.

Educating yourself is one of the first steps you can take to make the world a better place. Set aside time in the new year to learn about the issues that get you fired up and seek out a better understanding of how your involvement can help push a movement forward.

Start conversations.

Put your newly acquired knowledge to the test by engaging in conversations about the issues at hand with everyone (think grandparents, best friends, classmates, workout buddies, etc.) you know. Speaking to others is one of the best ways to gain insight into how other people feel and can give you the power to understand what barriers lay in the way of solving the issue and where opportunities exist to leverage change. Plus, it’s a great way to spread information to people who may not otherwise have been reached!

Participate.

Participation in change making is all about giving one thing: time. Here are a few ways you can get involved: sign a petition, volunteer, show up to the march, write a letter to the editor or follow your favourite organisations on social media.

Get out of your comfort zone.

Here’s the truth: fighting to make the world a better place isn’t always the most comfortable task. But if there was ever a time when the world needed its citizens to challenge themselves and fight for what’s right, it’s now. We have some big issues to tackle and your actions and voice are important to creating change and holding our leaders accountable. The good news is determining how far out of your comfort zone you go is up to you.

Fired up? Become a ONE Member to get in on our world-changing actions in 2019.

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164
GIRLS AND WOMEN

This South African pilot started a camp to inspire young girls

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

ADD YOUR NAME

Poverty is Sexist: Join the movement

 
  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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132
WATER AND SANITATION

How the Ebola outbreak spurred improved access to running water in Liberia

16 November 2018 1:35PM UTC | By: WOMEN'S ADVANCEMENT DEEPLY

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This story was originally reported by Kate Thomas for Women’s Advancement Deeply.

Until 2014, handwashing facilities were scarce across much of Liberia. The 14-year conflict that ended in 2003 wiped out the country’s water pipe infrastructure, even in the capital, Monrovia. Most of Liberia’s 4.7 million people were left without access to running water, and the taps in hospitals and health facilities ran dry.

According to a study conducted by the Liberian government and UNICEF in 2008, 8% of people had access to water pipes, but none of those were actually connected to the national water plant. Most people trekked to wells daily, washed in public bathhouses or turned to expensive imported bottled water for daily washing and consumption. Even the most high-end apartment buildings relied on rooftop water tanks, filled on a regular basis by water trucks with hoses.

WADwater2.jpgBut when the Ebola outbreak hit Liberia in 2014, Liberian health workers, community volunteers and international organisations, partnering with the Ministry of Health, campaigned to change things. Dispenser taps filled with water and chlorine began appearing all over – not just at Ebola treatment units, but outside stores, businesses and restaurants, too. After the outbreak ended in 2016, some remained in place, with soap on hand in place of chlorine.

At the same time, the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC) began restoring piped water to homes and businesses, pumping water across the 40-mile (65km) distance from its plant to central Monrovia. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) recently turned over three water plants to LWSC, creating access in the western town of Robertsport as well as the northern cities of Voinjama and Sanniquellie.

Resupplying the country with water has been a slow process, and one that is not yet complete. But for the first time in almost two decades, thousands of Liberians are gaining access to running water.

“It’s changed so much for me,” says Miatta Johnson, who runs a cookshop offering a daily menu of Liberian stews and soups from small premises in downtown Monrovia. “Ever since I opened the place, I had to buy water to cook with.”

Johnson says she frequently ran out of water, and there were times when she could not afford to buy sachets of water – regularly sold by street vendors – to “just waste on hands.” She says, “Since Ebola everybody’s been saying, ‘Wash your hands.’ But a lot of the big people didn’t understand that for the small people like me, washing hands could be expensive.”

In a country where finding water has been a daily challenge for a long time, many people were not in the habit of regularly washing their hands. It was not only a matter of behaviour change but also one of accessing a source of clean water. And for some health workers it meant a high-stakes choice between spending 30 minutes finding water or attending to a critically ill patient.

WADwater1.jpg“People said that washing hands was good practice, but I couldn’t make water appear like magic,” says Cecilia Tubman, a nurse who responded to the Ebola outbreak. “As a country, we never used to wash our hands. All day long we would touch things. Then we would go home and eat together. But the fingers move everywhere. People say that Ebola stripped our culture, but I think good hygiene practices have added more value to our culture.”

In the four years that have passed since the heat of the Ebola outbreak, Liberia’s National Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Commission has been more active than ever. On October 15 this year, International Handwashing Day, the commission released statistics noting that on a global level, handwashing is linked to a reduction in the risk of pneumonia of up to 50% and a 47% reduction in the risk of diarrhea – both common illnesses in Liberia.

“Good handwashing can prevent disease outbreaks, reduces absenteeism in schools and workplaces, as well as improve productivity and health outcomes,” the commission said in a statement.

Indeed, Johnson remembers the ways in which limited access to water affected not only her business but also her education. She dropped out of high school around the time that she first began menstruating, she said, simply because the school she attended did not have latrines or access to water. “It was so discouraging,” she says. “But it was better for us girls to stay home than go to school with shame face because of what the people might say about hygiene.”

She believes that as access to running water improves across Liberia, it will transform daily productivity and health – and encourage young girls to complete their education. “That will be good for them and good for the country,” she says.

Access to pipeborne water is not free, but customers like Johnson say it is worth the price of the bill, especially since the cost of buying water in sachets or bottles has escalated significantly in recent months. Johnson says she has actually made savings, and with them, she plans to expand her cookshop. First, though, she says, she will buy more soap.

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

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Finding out that your child has a learning disability can be a huge shock, and brings new emotions and challenges.

One of these is coming to terms that your child's future will be different to the way you may have imagined it. 💭

Find out more about diagnosis: https://bit.ly/2p03kOH

La imagen puede contener: 1 persona, lentes de sol y primer plano

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19/12/2018

Announcing Vivo Voices: a new vocal group for South Dublin

Announcing Vivo Voices: a new vocal group for South Dublin

Music Generation South Dublin has announced ‘Vivo Voices’, a new vocal group open to young people from across the county ages 12 to 18.

Developed for both male and female singers, Vivo Voices will provide a means for young vocalists to explore contemporary repertoire in a fun, relaxed environment.

The ensemble will be launched with a series of open auditions, in order to categorise voices, on Tuesday 22 January 2019 in Rua Red, Tallaght.

Vivo Voices: further information

  • Open auditions: 5pm – 6.30pm, Tuesday 22 January (Rua Red, Tallaght)
  • Singers are welcome to prepare a song for the audition, but this is not a requirement.
  • Cost of participation: €25 (February – May 2019)

___

Ukulele for Beginners

Following the success of its first edition earlier this month, Music Generation South Dublin will also present a repeat four-week Ukulele for Beginners course, commencing Monday 7 January, 5.30pm – 6.15pm.

The course, led by experienced musician Colleen Heavey, is suitable for ages 8 to 12 and will continue weekly on January 14, 21 and 28.

Ukuleles will be supplied, but participants are welcome to bring their own too!

Booking is available now via Eventbrite

Places on the course are limited. In the interests of fairness, those who participated in the December session will not be permitted to attend the January session. Further details about free ukulele programmes during 2019 will be available from Clondalkin, Ballyroan and Tallaght Libraries.
___

For further information about either programme and to express your interest in auditioning for Vivo Voices, contact:

Aideen McLaughlin, Music Development Officer, Music Generation South Dublin 

e: amclaughlin[at]sdublincoco
t: +353 86 145 5146
www.musicgenerationsouthdublin.ie

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These motivational backgrounds will keep you going in 2019
78
CULTURE

These motivational backgrounds will keep you going in 2019

December 20 2018 | By: ROBYN DETORO

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

Check them out below and download your favorite one!

EOY-Quote-Mockup_12x6-1024x512.png

DOWNLOAD BACKGROUND 1

DOWNLOAD BACKGROUND 2

DOWNLOAD BACKGROUND 3

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

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You need to read these six thought-provoking short stories
1
CULTURE

You need to read these six thought-provoking short stories

September 7 2018 | By: SADOF ALEXANDER

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“To have a legacy, you must stand for something.”

Keynote speaker and respected author Taban Lo Liyong offers this piece of wisdom at the The Writivism Festival, Uganda’s leading literary event, which brings African writers to Kampala every year! The weekend-long festival includes presentations from guest speakers, readings, lectures, film screenings, and more. The event wraps up with an award show that honors rising authors.

Each year, the festival centers around a specific theme. This year’s theme was on legacy and authors were encouraged to “think about how the past is remembered, negotiated and adapted to inform the present and future.”

Six authors had their works selected for award– each of whom stand up for something in their work and are paving the way to creating their own legacies.

Here are the six stories shortlisted for awards at the Writivism Festival:

“Belonging” by Chisanga Mukuka

It may not seem like a small green-and-gold booklet could hold so much power, but Zambian writer Chisanga Mukuka knows otherwise. Her nonfiction piece explores her own experiences with passports, visas, immigration, public harassment, and her difficult journeys home.

“Women Who Bleed Colours” by Ope Adedeji

Ope Adedeji’s life has been shaped by the presence of women. This story shows the powerful influences of Adedeji’s mother, grandmother, and a woman only she could see. Through her story, Adedeji also expresses how gender inequality has affected her.

“The Child and its Many Faces” by Karis Onyemenam

Nigerian author Karis Onyemenam has seen a child many times throughout her life. She’s seen the child through multiple surgeries to fix her femur, learning German, learning to ski, and other moments in her life. Identity crises and harsh interactions with others have, as the name implies, given this child many different faces.

“Hopes and Dreams” by Mbogo Ireri

Anastacia’s father dies suddenly one morning. As his family deals with this loss, a tale of corruption and the struggle against it unfolds. This fictional story, set in Mbogo Ireri’s home of Kenya, takes a personal look at abusive political forces and the toll it takes on takes on its citizens.

“The Photograph” by Mali Kambandu

Memory, an avid art lover, explores galleries in her spare time, which is of no interest to her husband Gibson. When Memory discovers a new photograph in the gallery, her relationship with her husband and with art suddenly changes. Zambian author Mali Kambandu dives deeply into this couple’s relationship to see it as it truly is.

“A River Ends in an Ocean” by Obinna Jones

Nigerian author Obinna Jones shifts between two different perspectives and times in his short story. The story’s narrative shifts between Ágbọnmágbè, who is being released from prison, and his son Jide, who’s dealing with his father’s arrest months before. Jones takes a critical eye to wealth and how it affects family bonds.

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