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The Action Thread Part Two

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ENVIRONMENT

13-Year-Old Called 'Trash Girl' by Bullies Wins Award From British PM for Saving the Planet

Nadia Sparkes will collect the Points of Light award from Theresa May on Friday.

Why Global Citizens Should Care 
The UN's Global Goals include numerous goals specifically to help protect the environment, including Goal 11 for the creation of sustainable cities and communities, Goal 13 for climate action, Goal 14 for life on land, and Goal 15 for life below water. Join the movement by taking action here to support these goals. 

Nadia Sparkes, 13, has spent years picking up rubbish on her way to school. But she was mocked by bullies who nicknamed her "Trash Girl," who told her she should pick up their trash, too.

However Sparkes, a student at Hellesdon High School in Norwich, England, never stopped clearing up litter during her two-mile bike rides to school, accumulating barrel after barrel of recyclable plastic along the way.  

Now, she's won a Points of Light award — a recognition of her environmental work that she will collect from British Prime Minister Theresa May this Friday.

Take Action: Urge Philippine Mayors to Implement a Zero Waste Program in Their Cities

Actúa: Tweet Now

 
 
 

 



United StatesUnited KingdomGermanyCanadaAustraliaAfghanistanÅland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAmerican SamoaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBoliviaBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBruneiBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCabo VerdeCambodiaCameroonCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo (the Democratic Republic of the)Cook IslandsCosta RicaCôte d'IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands  [Malvinas]Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambia (The)GeorgiaGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuamGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and McDonald IslandsHoly See  [Vatican City State]HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIranIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKuwaitKyrgyzstanLaosLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedoniaMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMarshall IslandsMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMicronesia (the Federated States of)MoldoviaMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorth KoreaNorthern Mariana IslandsNorwayOmanPakistanPalauPalestine, State ofPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalPuerto RicoQatarRéunionRomaniaRussiaRwandaSaint BarthélemySaint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth KoreaSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyriaTaiwanTajikistanTanzaniaThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited States Minor Outlying IslandsUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuelaVietnamVirgin Islands (British)Virgin Islands (U.S.)Wallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabwe

 

 

Sparkes' story went viral in 2017 after she turned her derisive “Trash Girl” moniker into her badge of honour.

“I’m not going to stop doing the right thing because of them, and if they are going to call me 'Trash Girl,' they can say it with respect,” Sparkes told the Eastern Daily Press. “I’m doing something to protect the world they also live in.”

Sparkes’ mother, Paula, encouraged her to own the nickname in order to overcome the bullies.

“I told her she had two choices, she could either stop collecting rubbish, stop drawing their attention, and hopefully they would leave her alone,” Paula Sparkes told the Eastern Daily Press. “Or she could own ‘'Trash Girl.’”

The bullies may have made fun of Sparkes, but plastic is no joke.

Each year, people around the world use about 1 trillion plastic bags, the US Environmental Protection Agency estimates. In addition, roughly 8 million metric tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year. That waste often washes up on beaches, accumulates in massive patches of floating rubbish, and gets eaten by marine animals.

Read More: 5 Animals That Have Become Symbols of Human Impact on the Planet

They’re often called future leaders, but children like Sparkes continue to demonstrate how they can champion important issues right now — even if that means overcoming bullying and other attempts to discourage or discount them.

For example, Florida high schoolers have galvanized a national movement against gun violence, facing off against lawmakers and a powerful gun lobby. And at age 17, Malala Yousafzai earned a Nobel Peace Prize for her work promoting girls’ education, even after being shot in the head by Taliban extremists a few years earlier.

Sparkes’ work has inspired community members, including several local artists who have taken up her environmental cause.

In 2018, artist Ruddy Muddy, who creates elaborate images out of mud, featured Sparkes in a portrait on the back of his van.

“This young lady deserves recognition for the work she is doing to keep Britain tidy. She beat the bullies by being interviewed on TV,” one of Ruddy Muddy’s fans commented on Facebook. “She kept going while being called names. She now wears the name 'Trash Girl' with pride and so she should.”


Editor's note: An earlier version of this post was published on Jan. 25, 2018. 

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APRIL 10, 2019

 

1
 
ENVIRONMENT

Norway Backs Off Plans to Drill Arctic for Billions of Barrels of Oil

This is big.

Why Global Citizens Should Care
For humanity to avoid catastrophic climate change, most of the oil left in the world has to remain in the ground. The United Nations’ Global Goals urge countries to protect the environment and pursue a sustainable future. You can join us in taking action on this issue and more here.

Norway is one of the leading oil producing countries, and its vast fossil fuel development arm has helped create the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world.

But now the Scandinavian country has signaled that it could be entering a new, sustainable era.

The country’s leading opposition party, the Labor Party, withdrew its support for drilling in the Arctic, which gives the government enough votes to protect the highly sensitive Lofoten Islands in Norway’s Arctic from extraction efforts, according to Bloomberg News.

Take Action: Protect Our Oceans! Prevent Ocean Plastic Pollution

Actúa: Firma ahora

 
 
 
1 punto

 



United StatesUnited KingdomGermanyCanadaAustraliaAfghanistanÅland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAmerican SamoaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBoliviaBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBruneiBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCabo VerdeCambodiaCameroonCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo (the Democratic Republic of the)Cook IslandsCosta RicaCôte d'IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands  [Malvinas]Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambia (The)GeorgiaGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuamGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and McDonald IslandsHoly See  [Vatican City State]HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIranIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKuwaitKyrgyzstanLaosLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedoniaMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMarshall IslandsMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMicronesia (the Federated States of)MoldoviaMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorth KoreaNorthern Mariana IslandsNorwayOmanPakistanPalauPalestine, State ofPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalPuerto RicoQatarRéunionRomaniaRussiaRwandaSaint BarthélemySaint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth KoreaSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyriaTaiwanTajikistanTanzaniaThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited States Minor Outlying IslandsUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuelaVietnamVirgin Islands (British)Virgin Islands (U.S.)Wallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabwe

 

 

The change of heart could prevent billions of barrels of oil from being developed, a move that environmentalists say is critical for preventing the worst consequences of climate change.

For the climate to remain within a manageable temperature range, most of the oil left in the world has to remain in the ground.

“[The decision is] very noble,” said youth climate activist Greta Thunberg on Twitter. “But since Norway continues to drill for oil everywhere else it doesn’t really mean that much. The fossil fuels must stay in the ground.”

 

 

The country’s oil and gas lobby was upset about the development, claiming that it jeopardizes the industry’s long-term stability, Bloomberg reports.

Read More: One of the World's Last Pristine Marine Environments Is in Danger

Companies in other countries could still drill in the Arctic, but Norway’s decision could spur an industry-wide shift toward sustainability.

The United States had been trying to spur drilling in the area, but a federal judge recently blocked the Trump administration’s efforts.

The United Nations, meanwhile, is working to broker a global agreement to protect the Arctic, arguing that the region’s remoteness would make it hard to contain an oil spill, sensitive wildlife would be harmed by extraction projects, and that it's the only way to achieve the goals set by the Paris climate agreement.

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5 Plastic Alternatives Doing More Harm Than Good — and What to Use Instead

Authors:
Joe McCarthy and Erica Sanchez

Karina Tess / Unsplash

April 9, 2019

33
 
Why Global Citizens Should Care
Not all plastic alternatives are created equally, and it's often confusing to draw distinctions. But as plastic pollution becomes a growing problem for the planet, it’s important to pursue sustainability at every opportunity. You can join us in taking action on this issue here.

As the fight against plastic pollution intensifies around the world, a whole cottage industry of companies selling plastic alternatives and repurposing plastic waste has emerged.

These efforts are often legitimately sustainable and suggest a viable path toward a zero waste future, such as tote bags that replace single-use plastic bags. Sometimes, however, what seems groundbreakingly sustainable at first glance is not so green upon closer inspection.

Over the years, Global Citizen has often written about innovative uses of plastic waste or supposedly green alternatives that experts say could actually be dead-ends — products or services that don’t lead to long-term sustainability and might even stand in the way of true progress.

Take Action: Urge Philippine Mayors to Implement a Zero Waste Program in Their Cities

In this article, we’re taking a look back at some of the plastic alternatives that are either harmful to the environment, or are not yet mature enough in their product life cycle to be celebrated. And we’ll also offer some legitimately sustainable alternatives.

“I think it’s incumbent on all of us to try to reduce our use of plastic whenever possible,” Bill Levey, CEO of Naeco, a company that makes sustainable plastic alternatives, told Global Citizen. “The best way to do that is, whenever possible, use a reusable product and then to ultimately make better buying decisions.

“It’s dangerous for us to continue to have a single-use mentality,” he added.

Here are five plastic alternatives or uses of plastic waste that aren’t as good for the environment as you might think.


1. Biodegradable single-use water bottles

Screen Shot 2018-05-02 at 1.38.55 PM.pngImage: Choose Water

Nearly half a trillion plastic water bottles are purchased and consumed each year, and fewer than 7% are recycled into new water bottles.

In recent years, scientists have been racing to find an alternative to single-use plastic water bottles and have come up with some prototypes, often derived from plants, that supposedly degrade in natural environments and pose no risk to animals.

But there are three problems with these efforts, according to Levey, who has extensively studied and experimented with plastic bottle substitutes.

First, these bottles can often only degrade in highly controlled environments.

“You essentially need an environment that has high enough heat and moisture levels that allow microbes to break down the polymer, but outside of a carefully controlled environment, that degradation may not and most likely will not occur,” he said.

These bottles also often contain plastic linings or chemicals that are unable to naturally degrade.

Read More: Whale Found With 88 Pounds of Plastic in Stomach Shows Urgency of Zero Waste Movement

“The question is, are they telling the full story?” Levey said. “If they’re saying it’s made from plants, that’s great, but what actually has to happen after it’s used for it to break down? What conditions are actually required?”

Further, these bottles do nothing to break the reigning paradigm of single-use plastics.

“The most sustainable option is almost never going to be a single-use product,” Levey said. “It's dangerous if people equate ‘biodegradable’ — without knowing the time and conditions involved — with the idea that it's therefore OK to avoid changing habits.

“The most sustainable option is a reusable option and ideally we move towards that as much as possible,” he added.

Alternative: Here are a few reusable water bottles you can buy that will both reduce your single-use plastic consumption and will last a long a time:


2. Biodegradable plastic bags

Casava-based plastic bags.jpgImage: Avani

Similar to water bottles derived from plant-based plastics, some companies have begun selling biodegradable plastic bags.

Globally, more than 1 trillion single-use plastic bags are used each year, and less than 5% get recycled. The vast majority of these bags end up in landfills or contaminate environments, causing harm to animals. Paper bag production, meanwhile, often leads to deforestation and is not necessarily a sustainable alternative.

Some companies claim that their biodegradable, single-use plastic bags are safe for animals to eat, but Richa Malik, the founder of the India-based start-up The Happy Turtle, which sells and advocates for alternatives to plastic, said these claims are inaccurate.

Read More: The Long, Strange Journey of a Plastic Bag

Studies have basically found out that the degradation of bioplastics in the guts of sea turtles is no different than plastic,” she said.

Although these bags can sometimes be composted in the right conditions, Malik said that too often they end up in landfills or ecosystems where they release greenhouse gas emissions into the environment.

And, at the end of the day, these bags aren’t renewable, she said.

“It’s a single-use product,” she said. “The moment you scale it up, you have to scale up resources and raw materials, from corn starch, algae, bamboo — it’s all coming from agricultural lands.”

Alternative: Rather than single-use bags, you can use tote bags that can be continually reused. Your favorite brands probably sell a fashionable tote bag that you can rep, or go to any grocery store and look through their functional totes. 


3. Bamboo straws

 

 

Single-use plastic straws have become public enemy No. 1 in the global fight against plastic. Americans alone use up to 170 million per day single-use plastic straws a day, and because plastic straws are too flimsy to recycle, they end up in landfills or local environments.

For many environmental advocates, plastic straws are simply a gateway to get people more interested in learning more about sustainable alternatives, because other forms of plastic, such as fishing nets, cause more harm to marine life.

But in the rush to replace single-use straws, many supposedly sustainable alternatives have popped up.

Read More: Why You Should Probably Never Use a Plastic Straw Again

Bamboo straws, in particular, have become popular, but both Malik of Happy Turtle and of Levey of Naeco said they’re often not actually sustainable.

Malik pointed to the carbon footprint of these products.

“People use a lot of bamboo items in the US, but bamboo doesn’t grow in the US,” she said. “It grows in China, and the carbon footprint is phenomenal.”

She stressed that companies and people should be investing in local alternatives, rather than looking for one-size-fits-all replacements.

Levey said straws and other items made of bamboo often feature a lot of other materials.

“There’s some bamboo materials that are marketed as naturally organic bamboo, but it’s not the whole story,” he said. “We had bamboo samples we were excited about, only to learn that this bamboo stuff looks and feels like plastic, and it’s actually 15% bamboo powder, maybe 20% cornstarch and then 60% resin, which is actually a chemically formed plastic that also contains formaldehyde.”

Alternative: Ideally, you can go throughout life without using straws. But when you do reach for a straw, choose the most environmentally friendly option. Although bamboo, reusable straws are more sustainable than single-use plastics, and many brands sell 100% bamboo products, reusable steel straws generally make more sense for the environment because they last longer and can be sourced locally. Paper straws are also a better alternative for coffee shops and restaurants. 

This recommendation comes with a major caveat, because people with disabilities rely on straws and should be able to access the straw of their choice.


4. Clothes made with “recovered” plastic

Adidas ocean plastic shoesImage: Adidas

Each year, more than 8 million tons of plastic enter the world’s oceans. Marine animals, including whales and turtles, often consume this plastic by accident and become sick or die as a result.

In recent years, many multinational clothing brands have responded to the growing epidemic of plastic waste by incorporating recovered plastic into their clothing lines.

Overall, these efforts help to clean up the oceans, which is undoubtedly a good thing, but they end up releasing microplastics and other toxins into the environment over the long-term, and also don’t do anything to break the reign of fast fashion, according to experts.

Read More: H&M Is Making Clothes Out of Discarded Orange Peels and Pineapple Leaves

Since the fashion industry shifted toward a fast fashion model, it became immensely harmful to the global environment by consuming large amounts of resources, including water, and releasing harmful chemicals into the environment.

Alternative: Sustainable clothing advocates say that the best way to make the fashion industry more sustainable is for consumers and companies to invest in longer-lasting items made from sustainable materials that would lead to less clothing is bought overall.

Some brands putting sustainability at the center of their business model include Everlane, Patagonia, and Eileen Fisher.


5. Plastic roads

road1.jpgImage: Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

All around the world, entrepreneurs have started paving roads with plastic waste.

It sounds like a compelling idea — taking the plastic waste that’s contaminating the environment and turning it into an asphalt that, in turn, conserves natural resources.

But environmental activists have raised red flags, saying that as these roads wear down, they release fine plastic dust into the atmosphere that can cause harm to animals and even humans. Microplastics already pervade the air, bodies of water, and food sources. In fact, the average human ingests at least 70,000 microplastics annually.

Road construction is already inherently harmful to the environment — it involves materials such as concrete and petroleum that are often extracted in unsustainable ways, and they continually erode and release harmful materials into the atmosphere.

Alternative: Construction advocates suggest recycling degraded roads to conserve natural resources, and some environmentalists encourage the adoption of solar panels on roads to at least cultivate clean energy.


Tackling massive problems like climate change and plastic pollution ultimately depends on government and corporate action, but individuals also have a role to play.  

The purchasing decisions people make every day influence the economy, determining which businesses thrive and which falter. If enough people make similar decisions based on shared values, then sector-wide transformations can happen.

Read More: World's Biggest Brands Investing in 'Milkman' Model to Rethink Plastic Packaging

Levey said that everyday people can encourage their favorite companies to invest in sustainable alternatives to plastic. He cited Trader Joe’s, which recently announced a major plastic reduction initiative, as an example.

After an anti-plastic petition gathered 1 million signatures, the retail giant listened to customers and announced a new commitment to sustainability.

Small steps like these can make big changes in the long-term, he said.

“It can be daunting and folks that are coming into this issue learning about going plastic-free and zero waste and they start to try to make changes, a lot of people want to give up,” he said.

“We really just want to try to encourage progress,” he added. “Not perfection.”

Actúa: Sign Now

 
Urge Philippine Mayors to Implement a Zero Waste Program in Their Cities
 
Dear Mayors of metropolitan Manila, 8 million tons is the amount of plastic waste that enters the ocean each year. That is in addition to the estimated 5 trillion pieces of plastic already in the ocean — and if we carry on on our current trajectory, there will be more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050. As a Global Citizen, I’ve pledged to do my part to reduce my usage of plastic, but as a proud Philippine citizen I need you to join me in making a true collective impact. I’m calling on you to commit your leadership and resources as Mayors of metropolitan Manilla to begin implementing Zero Waste Program in your cites. The plastic problem is enormous, but there are solutions – and it is urgent that we take steps now, together. Sincerely,
1 punto para ganar

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CITIZENSHIP

Taylor Swift Donated $113,000 to Fight Anti-LGBTQ Laws in Tennessee

The pop star said she was "inspired" by the Tennessee Equality Project's campaign.

By Rachel Savage

LONDON, April 9 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) — Pop superstar Taylor Swift has donated $113,000 to an LGBTQ group to support its fight against laws in the US state of Tennessee that would roll back gay and transgender rights, according to the Tennessee Equality Project (TEP).

Swift, who began her career in Nashville, Tennessee, made the contribution to the TEP, which is campaigning to stop bills that would let adoption agencies block LGBTQ people and defy a 2015 federal ruling allowing same-sex marriage.

The so-called "Slate of Hate" before state legislature also includes measures to defend state school officials that make trans people use toilets and changing rooms corresponding to their "biological sex."

"I'm so inspired by the work you do, specifically in organizing the recent petition of Tennessee faith leaders standing up against the 'Slate of Hate,'" Swift, 29, wrote in a note dated April 8 to TEP's director.

Same-sex marriage was legalized throughout the United State in 2015 after a Supreme Court ruling.

However, some states have tried to row back on LGBTQ rights. A North Carolina law requiring trans people to use bathrooms matching their birth sex was repealed in 2017 after a year, following businesses and sports leagues boycotting the state.

Tennessee is ranked as one of the country's most religious states by the Pew Research Center with 73% of adults "highly religious" and 52% of the population evangelical protestants.

The TEP said in a Facebook post late on Monday that Swift had been a long-time ally to the LGBTQ community. The post included a photo of Swift's note.

"@TaylorSwift13, this lit up my heart," tweeted talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres, whose sitcom was canceled a year after she came out as gay in an episode in 1997.

Swift broke her silence on her political views before the US 2018 midterm elections in an Instagram post saying she supported Democrat candidates due to the incumbent Senator Marsha Blackburn's anti-LGBTQ and women's rights voting record.

"I believe in the fight for LGBTQ rights, and that any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is WRONG," she said in that post.

Swift was unavailable for comment.

(Reporting by Rachel Savage @rachelmsavage; editing by Belinda Goldsmith Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's and LGBTQ rights, human trafficking, property rights, and climate change. Visit http://news.trust.org)

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La imagen puede contener: 2 personas, personas sonriendo, exterior y texto

Calling all entrepreneurs, innovators and changemakers dedicated to ending extreme poverty – the applications for the 2019 Waislitz Global Citizen Awards are now open!

The Waislitz Global Citizen Awards are annual cash prizes totaling $200,000. The grand prize is $100,000 with two semi-finalist prizes at $50,000 each. The awards are presented by the Waislitz Foundation and Global Citizen and recognize the excellence of individuals in their work to end extreme poverty.

In addition to receiving cash prizes, the winners of the Waislitz Global Citizen Awards will be invited to New York City to attend the Waislitz Global Citizen Award Ceremony and the Global Citizen Festival during the week of the UN General Assembly.

Apply today! Applications close May 19, 2019, 11:59 PM EDT.

 

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ENVIRONMENT

Maryland Is About to Become the First US State to Ban Foam Food Containers

This foam-like plastic is a major source of plastic pollution.

Why Global Citizens Should Care
Polystyrene is a leading cause of plastic pollution, and Maryland’s new law could spur other states to take action. The United Nations’ Global Goals calls on countries to create sustainable economies. You can join us in taking action on this issue here.

The Maryland General Assembly overwhelmingly voted to ban polystyrene foam food containers on April 4, becoming the first state in the country to prohibit this common plastic and ubiquitous form of pollution, according to the Baltimore Sun.

The legislation was championed by Baltimore Delegate Brooke Lierman, who has tried to pass the measure three separate times.

"Maryland may be a small state, but we have the chance with this legislation to lead the country on eliminating this horrible form of single use plastic from our state," Lierman wrote in a Facebook post leading up to the ban. "We have a duty to future generations to clean up the mess that has been made — this bill is an important step!"

Take Action: Urge Philippine Mayors to Implement a Zero Waste Program in Their Cities

Actúa: Tweet Now

 
 
 

 



United StatesUnited KingdomGermanyCanadaAustraliaAfghanistanÅland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAmerican SamoaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBoliviaBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBruneiBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCabo VerdeCambodiaCameroonCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo (the Democratic Republic of the)Cook IslandsCosta RicaCôte d'IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands  [Malvinas]Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambia (The)GeorgiaGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuamGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and McDonald IslandsHoly See  [Vatican City State]HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIranIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKuwaitKyrgyzstanLaosLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedoniaMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMarshall IslandsMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMicronesia (the Federated States of)MoldoviaMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorth KoreaNorthern Mariana IslandsNorwayOmanPakistanPalauPalestine, State ofPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalPuerto RicoQatarRéunionRomaniaRussiaRwandaSaint BarthélemySaint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth KoreaSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyriaTaiwanTajikistanTanzaniaThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited States Minor Outlying IslandsUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuelaVietnamVirgin Islands (British)Virgin Islands (U.S.)Wallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabwe

 

 

The new law, which goes into effect July 2019 and allows businesses one year to use existing foam products and find alternatives, builds on previous local efforts to ban polystyrene in the state, and puts Maryland at the forefront of the movement to restrict plastic production in the US. While Gov. Larry Hogan has not yet signaled whether he will support the legislation, the bill passed with enough votes to override a possible veto, according to the Baltimore Sun.

"I'm very proud to have sponsored this bill and really thrilled that Maryland is at the forefront of this issue," Sen. Cheryl C. Kagan, a lead sponsor of the bill, told Global Citizen. "Foam is lightweight and does not respect jurisdictional boundaries, which is why banning it county by county was never going to be the right solution in terms of our efforts to protect the Chesapeake Bay and all our waterways and communities."

"The more that other states and jurisdictions ban styrofoam, the more economic pressure there will be to create alternatives," she added. 

Kagan added that environmental groups and youth activists were critical in getting broad support for the bill. 

Polystyrene is often mistakenly referred to as styrofoam, but it differs in key ways. The petroleum-based material is commonly used for takeout containers, coffee cups, and packing peanuts, while styrofoam is more commonly used in construction and crafts.  

The coffee chain Dunkin Donuts, for example, sells more than 1 billion polystyrene cups each year.

Polystyrene can’t be recycled, breaks down into little bits of microplastic, has been deemed a carcinogen, and is a scourge for the world’s marine life. The Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore, which has long advocated for statewide restrictions on plastic production and better recycling incentives, celebrated the new law.

Read More: Rivers in Indonesia Are Inundated With Plastic Waste

“Our watershed does not stop at the borders of towns and cities,” Adam Lindquist, the director of Waterfront Partnership’s Healthy Harbor Initiative, told Global Citizen. “They extend to multiple jurisdictions, so if you really want to get foam out of waterways, then you need a statewide ban.”

The Waterfront Partnership spends $150,000 a year on floating trash-collecting devices called Mr. Trash Wheel. The googly-eyed machine looks like a big crab and sits at the mouth of the Jones Falls waterway and uses the stream’s current to collect trash. After storms, the machine can collect 60 to 70 dumpsters’ worth of garbage that volunteers then sort through.

Read More: World's Biggest Brands Investing in 'Milkman' Model to Rethink Plastic Packaging

Since 2014, Mr. Trash Wheel has collected more than 1 million bits of polystyrene from the water, said Lindquist.

“It’s one thing to pick up plastic bottles, because you can see them and collect them. Polystyrene doesn’t work like that,” he told Global Citizen. “Polystyrene packages break down into endlessly smaller and smaller pieces. You could spend an entire day on just a small segment and never pick up every piece of styrofoam.

MrTW2.jpegWaterfront Partnership fo Baltimore

“When it’s small enough, fish and crabs and shrimp start eating it, and that carries more pollution into our food chain,” he added.

In recent years, the impact of plastic pollution on marine life has spurred a global reckoning. More than 60 countries have taken action to restrict plastic, massive businesses are investing in alternatives, and everyday people are driving change.

Read More: Dunkin Donuts Is Getting Rid of Polystyrene Cups by 2020

The new ban covers uses of polystyrene as a food and drink container, but it features significant exemptions. So while people in the state won't receive foam takeout containers or coffee cups, businesses will still be able to use polystyrene to cover meat products and for all non-food items, including packing peanuts. Additionally, foods that are packaged outside the state can still use polystyrene, an exemption that makes accommodations for the fact that no other state bans the material, but one that also could hamper the bill’s effectiveness.

Still, the new law is a step in the right direction, said Lindquist, whose organization is working on building support for a plastic bag ban and statewide recycling

“We’d love to put Mr. Trash Wheel on a diet and put him out of work,” he said.

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10 DE ABRIL DE 2019

 

8
 
MEDIO AMBIENTE

5 animales que muestran el impacto humano en el planeta

Son un recordatorio permanente de los cambios que todos debemos hacer.

 

 

Por qué es importante para los Global Citizens
Los Objetivos Mundiales de la ONU incluyen numerosos objetivos específicamente para ayudar a proteger el medio ambiente, incluido el Objetivo 11 para la creación de ciudades y comunidades sostenibles; el número 13 para la acción climática; el 14 para la vida en tierra; y el 15 para la vida debajo del agua. Únete a nosotros tomando medidas aquí para apoyar estos objetivos.


Cada movimiento necesita símbolos e íconos que unan a los activistas detrás de un objetivo común. Y el movimiento para proteger el medio ambiente no es diferente.

 

Esta semana, el nuevo documental de Netflix Nuestro planeta, de David Attenborough, ha creado otro de estos símbolos: una morsa que se cae de un acantilado, un comportamiento que el animal ha aprendido en respuesta a las presiones del cambio climático.

 

Las imágenes devastadoras han provocado una ola de publicaciones en las redes sociales que exigen acciones inmediatas porque el impacto humano en el medio ambiente está teniendo graves consecuencias en el mundo natural y en los animales que viven en él.

 

"Los espectadores buscan ver en estos programas imágenes maravillosamente filmadas de nuestro precioso planeta y su increíble vida silvestre", dijo Emma Priestland, la activista de Amigos de la Tierra, a Global Citizen.

Actúa: Firma ahora

 
 
 
1 punto

 



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"Entonces, cuando se enfrentan a imágenes impactantes del impacto devastador que nuestros estilos de vida desechables pueden tener en nuestro entorno marino y en los animales que viven allí, no es de extrañar que muchos demanden acción", agregó.

 

Trágicamente, a menudo las imágenes de dolor y el sufrimiento de los animales provocan una mayor reacción de los espectadores, pero también son estas imágenes las que hacen que las personas presten atención a los cambios que pueden hacer en sus propias vidas y pidan la acción de los líderes mundiales.

 

Según Priestland, los programas como Nuestro Planeta "han desempeñado un papel crucial" en la sensibilización del público sobre el daño ambiental.

 

"Ahora debemos asegurarnos de que la preocupación que muchas personas sienten por este tema se convierta en una acción integral de gobiernos y empresas de todo el mundo", dijo.

 

Estos son cinco de los animales más icónicos afectados por el cambio climático cuyo sufrimiento ha inspirado a la acción.

 

1. Las morsas.

 

La nueva serie documental de Attenborough, Nuestro planeta, muestra una escena con la que los espectadores quedaron devastados: muestra una morsa que cae desde la cima de un acantilado. En el segundo episodio de "Frozen Worlds", el equipo explora los efectos del cambio climático en la vida salvaje del Ártico.

 

Allí, un grupo de más de 100,000 morsas se ve obligado a reunirse en la playa "por desesperación", debido a que su hábitat de hielo marino se ha movido hacia el norte, empujándolas a buscar tierra firme en su lugar, según explica Attenborough. Una vez en tierra, las morsas suben a un acantilado de 80 metros en busca de un "espacio de descanso".

 


"La vista de una morsa fuera del agua es mala, pero pueden sentir a los demás abajo", dice Attenborough, en el espectáculo. “A medida que tienen hambre, necesitan regresar al mar. En su desesperación por hacerlo, cientos de ellas caen desde alturas que nunca deberían haber escalado".

 

La productora del episodio, Sophie Lanfear, le dijo a People: “Todos los días estábamos rodeados de muchas morsas muertas. No creo haber estado nunca alrededor de tantos cadáveres. Fue traumático".

 

"Todos debemos prestar atención y pensar en cómo consumimos energía", agregó Lanfear. "Me gustaría que la gente piense sobre sus vidas y los combustibles fósiles que usan en sus vidas diarias y se sienta inspirada para apoyar las energías renovables y para tratar de encontrar soluciones a este problema".

 

2. La ballena.

La conmoción provocada entre los espectadores por la ya famosa escena de la morsa recuerda a la ballena madre que sufre a su recién nacido muerto, que apareció en el cuarto episodio de Blue Planet II en noviembre de 2017.

 

 


Los espectadores se horrorizaron al ver a la madre llevar el cadáver de su cría con ella durante días.

 

Attenborough, quien también narró la serie, dijo a los espectadores que la cría "podría haber sido envenenado por la propia leche contaminada de la madre", un resultado del plástico y la contaminación en el mar.

 

"A menos que se reduzca el flujo de plásticos y la contaminación industrial en el océano, la vida marina se envenenará durante muchos siglos", dijo. “Las criaturas que viven en el 'gran océano azul' son quizás más remotas que cualquier otro animal. Pero no lo suficientemente remotas para escapar de los efectos de lo que estamos haciendo en su mundo".

 

La escena dejó a muchos espectadores prometiendo nunca volver a utilizar plástico, y es ampliamente aceptada por haber jugado un papel clave en el desencadenamiento del movimiento mundial contra la contaminación plástica.

 

"El hecho de que un momento en particular suene una campana en las mentes y las conciencias de la gente nos complace enormemente", dijo Attenborough al aceptar un premio Bafta por la serie en mayo de 2018.

 

3. El oso polar hambriento.

 

En diciembre de 2017, un video de un oso polar hambriento se volvió viral, con millones de personas habiéndolo visto en unos pocos días.

 

La desgarradora imagen fue capturada en las Islas Baffin de Canadá, por el fotógrafo de National Geographic Paul Nicklen, quien predijo que el oso probablemente estaría muerto en unos días o incluso horas después de haber filmado el video.

 

"Este oso polar se está muriendo de hambre", explicó National Geographic, en un artículo que responde a preguntas que la compañía recibió de personas que habían visto el video.

 

"El marco delgado del oso y los huesos sobresalientes son claros indicadores de esto, y sus músculos atrofiados sugieren que ha estado muriendo de hambre durante un período prolongado de tiempo", agregó la compañía.

 

Según National Geographic, las poblaciones de osos polares que corren más riesgo de extinguirse son las que viven en áreas que tienen hielo estacional, lo que significa que se derrite completamente en el verano y regresa nuevamente en otoño a medida que el clima se enfría.

 

Cuando el hielo estacional se derrite durante el verano, los osos polares que viven en la región sobreviven con su grasa almacenada.

 

Sin embargo, el calentamiento de las temperaturas globales significa que el hielo estacional se derrite durante un período de tiempo más largo, y los osos polares tienen que vivir de sus reservas de grasa durante más tiempo.

 

4. El caballito de mar con un bastoncillo de algodón.

 

Otro fotógrafo de National Geographic, Justin Hofman, capturó una imagen que también destacó el impacto significativo que la contaminación plástica está teniendo en la vida marina.

 

La fotografía, tomada cerca de la ciudad de Sumbawa Besar, en Borneo, muestra a un caballito de mar flotando con su cola firmemente envuelta alrededor de un bastoncillo de algodón.

 

Los caballitos de mar a menudo sostienen objetos flotantes con sus colas, según National Geographic, para ayudarlos a navegar las corrientes oceánicas. Pero este en particular muestra hasta dónde llega la contaminación plástica en el océano.

 

"Es una foto que desearía que no existiera, pero ahora sí quiero que todos la vean", escribió Hofman en Instagram.

 

"Lo que comenzó como una oportunidad para fotografiar a un simpático caballito de mar se convirtió en una de frustración y tristeza cuando la marea entrante trajo consigo innumerables piezas de basura y aguas residuales", agregó. "Esta foto es una alegoría del estado actual y futuro de nuestros océanos".

 

5. Rang-tan y el aceite de palma

Aunque técnicamente no es un orangután real, el personaje de Rang-tan llegó a los titulares después de que esta criatura animada apareciera en un cortometraje lanzado por Greenpeace, y utilizado por el supermercado Islandia como parte de su campaña publicitaria de Navidad.

 

 

Con la voz de Emma Thompson, fue creada para crear conciencia sobre la deforestación causada a través de la producción de productos de aceite de palma.

 

El corto de 90 segundos cuenta la historia de un bebé orangután, llamado Rang-tan, que se muda a la habitación de una niña porque su propio hábitat ha sido destruido.

Y, aunque el personaje es ficticio, la historia es muy real, con orangutanes amenazados diariamente por la destrucción de sus hábitats de la selva tropical.

 

"Rang-tan representa a los 25 orangutanes que perdemos todos los días por la destrucción de la selva tropical por el aceite de palma", dijo Greenpeace en una publicación en su blog. "Rang-tan puede ser ficticio, pero su historia está sucediendo, en este momento".

 

Greenpeace también ha publicado imágenes de un bebé orangután de la vida real que se encuentra llorando y separado de su madre, en una plantación de aceite de palma en Borneo, destacando que su situación refleja la del ficticio Rang-tan.

 

Dijo: “El impacto de la deforestación para el aceite de palma en el mundo natural va más allá de ser devastador, lo que lleva en este caso a la separación de la madre y el bebé para obtener un ingrediente usado para crear una galleta, un champú o una barra de chocolate".

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APRIL 8, 2019

 

66
 
ENVIRONMENT

Supermarkets in Thailand Are Replacing Plastic Packaging With Banana Leaves

Southeast Asia struggles with extreme levels of plastic pollution.

Why Global Citizens Should Care
In response to growing environmental risks, governments and businesses are beginning to reduce the production and consumption of plastic. The United Nations’ Global Goals calls on countries to invest in sustainable economic systems. You can join us in taking action on this issue here.

Supermarkets in Thailand are wrapping vegetables in banana leaves to cut down on plastic packaging, according to Vice.

The development was documented in a Facebook post last month showing asparagus, peppers, and cucumbers wrapped in green banana leaves in the fresh produce section of the Rimping supermarket in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Since then, other supermarkets in the country and in Vietnam have begun experimenting with this natural packaging as well.

Take Action: Urge Philippine Mayors to Implement a Zero Waste Program in Their Cities

Actúa: Tweet Now

 
 
 

 



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Banana trees are common throughout Thailand and can yield leaves as big as 9 feet in length. People around the world already use them to cover various types of foods, and their sturdiness makes them an ideal form of packaging for fresh produce that sells quickly (because they’re biodegradable, they can’t sit on the shelf for months).

This shift toward eco-friendly materials is part of a growing zero waste movement around the world that seeks to eliminate non-biodegradable waste and significantly reduce the amount of waste overall that gets sent to landfills and contaminates ecosystems.

In addition to banana leaves, brands are getting rid of plastic bags in favor of paper and biodegradable bags made from corn starch, cassava, and algae.

These investments are driven by growing awareness around the world of the problem of plastic pollution, especially in countries throughout Southeast Asia.

Since 1950, humans have created 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic, more than 75% of which has been thrown away. Each year, an estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic enter the oceans, harming marine animals ranging from whales to coral. Humans are also vulnerable to plastic waste, and absorb tens of thousands of microplastics each year through air, water, and food.

Read More: Philippines Launches Massive Effort to Clean 'Unflushed Toilet' of Manila Bay

Thailand is home to parts of the Mekong River, which, along with seven other rivers in Asia and two in Africa, accounts for 90% of all the plastic wastethat enters the world’s oceans.

In Malaysia, illegal plastic burning sites have sprouted up around the country over the past year, filling the air in different towns and cities with noxious fumes. The factories emerged after China stopped importing plastic junkfrom Western countries, like the US and Canada, which began sending their junk to other countries.

In 2018, Malaysia imported 754,000 tons of plastic waste, and the country didn’t have the recycling capacity to process this waste safely.  

Thailand, for its part, banned the import of most plastics last year after it became inundated with hazardous and hard-to-recycle garbage following China’s announcement.

Swapping single-use plastic wrappers for banana leaves helps to remove a major form of plastic waste.

Read More: The Long, Strange Journey of a Plastic Bag

The next step would be to introduce plastic alternatives for all the other products found in supermarkets, which could mean a complete overhaul of how grocery stores are stocked and managed.

But plastic-free stores aren’t inconceivable — zero waste markets are becoming more common, showing that the reign of single-use plastics can be ended.

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At just 7 months old Maxim underwent open-heart surgery to help save his little life. Maxim lives in a small town in Ukraine. He was diagnosed with his heart defect but surgeons in his local hospital refused to repair his heart deeming it too complicated. Thanks to your vital donations, our volunteer surgical teams went to battle with Maxim's complex condition and saved his life.

The heart is one is the organs most vulnerable to the effects of radiation, and every year, thousands of children in the Ukraine are born with genetic heart diseases and defects. One of these defects is the deadly condition known as “Chernobyl Heart”.

CCI manages and delivers a world-recognised Cardiac Programme. In collaboration with the Novick Cardiac Alliance that has saved the lives of thousands of children. In partnership with the American cardiac surgeon and US CCI board member Dr William Novick, CCI has reduced waiting lists for cardiac surgeries in Ukraine since its inception in 2008.

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‘I was put in a school isolation booth more than 240 times'

Teenager wearing school bagImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES Image captionMore than 200 pupils spent at least five straight days in isolation booths in schools in England last year

A girl who tried to kill herself after spending months in an isolation booth at school has said she felt "alone, trapped and no-one seemed to care".

The teenager, who has autism, had no direct teaching and ate her lunch in the room, away from friends.

Her mother said for months she was unaware of what was happening to her daughter and called on the government to improve guidance for schools.

The Department for Education says pupil welfare must always be put first.

Its guidelines say children should be in isolation for no longer than is necessary.

'Sit in silence'

In a letter to the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme, the teenager - who we are calling "Sophie" - said: "I decided I'd rather die than be in isolation because of the mood it left me in.

"I felt alone and trapped at school for such a long time that I felt as though it would be best, as no-one seemed to care anyway."

Her mother, "Philippa", estimates that her daughter was placed in an isolation booth at her secondary school more than 240 times in total - beginning in year seven but becoming more frequent in years 10 and 11.

The 16-year-old spent every school day from mid-January to March this year in the room, the family say.

She explained: "The room has six booths with a small workspace and sides so you cannot see other people.

"You have to sit in silence and be escorted to the toilet which is embarrassing."

Isolation booths Image captionExample of isolation booths used in hundreds of schools in England

On one occasion, Sophie said: "I begged the teachers to ring my Mum as I didn't want to be alone any more.

"They refused and took my phone away, leaving me and a teacher I didn't know in an enclosed room."

After she tried to take her own life, Sophie returned to school but said she would "dread each day" when she was again placed in isolation.

"I would often have panic attacks and feel claustrophobic," she explained.

"I feel as though isolation rooms should be banned.

"They tend to make students feel isolated and helpless, knocking their self-esteem.

"Due to the amount of stress and trauma throughout school I now suffer with depression and anxiety."

p076jkpm.jpg
 
Media caption'Sophie' - voiced by an actor - says "no-one seemed to care" about her isolation

According to a BBC investigation last year, more than 200 pupils spent at least five straight days in isolation booths in schools in England last year.

And more than 5,000 children with special educational needs also attended isolation rooms at some stage.

Government guidance in England says schools are free to decide how long pupils should be kept in isolation, but they should be there "no longer than is necessary".

The guidelines also say that in order for isolation to be lawful as a punishment it should be "reasonable" in all circumstances, and factors such as special educational needs should be taken into account.

Schools do not need to record use or report to parents that their child has been sent to isolation, although many do.

The school behaviour expert, Tom Bennett, who has advised the government, has said isolation rooms can be effective in tackling disruption in classrooms, and preventing fixed-term exclusions.

"When you're a lone adult with a class of 25 pupils, it only take two people to really persistently wilfully misbehave for that lesson to be completely detonated," he told the BBC in November.

A girl holds her headImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES Image captionThe family say they understand the need for isolation booths for short spells of time

Philippa told the Victoria Derbyshire programme Sophie was now a "completely different child".

Sophie has selective mutism - she did not speak until the age of eight - as well as autism, and can be "defiant" and "disobedient", her mother said - but this was "all part of her diagnosis".

She added that Sophie - who "does not deal with change very well" as part of her condition - was "regularly" placed in isolation after she reacted badly to a change in teachers, classroom and routine.

She said as a result her communication had regressed.

"Being isolated from her friends... made her become more internal - stop talking, stop communicating."

Philippa added that the school had also been aware of her daughter's plans to self-harm before she tried to take her own life, through a letter the teenager had written to them.

But the school did not make her aware of the letter at the time, she said.

When she discovered that Sophie had been in isolation booths - by now in year 11 at school - she said she felt "traumatised".

"I can't even begin to explain how it makes you feel knowing every day I'd send her into the school and she felt that alone that she wanted to take her own life."

The family's solicitor, Simpson Millar, have written to the government demanding action and improvements to isolation guidelines.

Philippa said she understood the use of isolation booths in certain instances, but that it was not acceptable to use them as an "ongoing punishment".

"It's causing severe mental health problems. Schools should be held responsible."

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336
GIRLS AND WOMEN

This entrepreneur is empowering her employees to think bigger and better

24 October 2018 4:47PM UTC | By: ABLE

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In this series, we’re introducing you to strong and savvy female entrepreneurs from Ethiopia who have partnered with social enterprise and brand ABLE.

Furtuna Mario is in the rare position of being a woman and owning her own leather business in Ethiopia. Her professional success is testament to her deep motivation to improve conditions for those around her and evidence of an insatiable work ethic. In fact, that work ethic has earned her the nickname “The Iron Lady”, which she is lovingly and respectfully referred to by all who she works with through Fayda in Fashion.

itD0J10w.jpg“My dad and mom are very hardworking,” said Furtuna. “If they do something, they do it right. That was passed along to me and my siblings. We’re committed to our work and doing it right.”

Yet her determination is met equally with heart. Furtuna’s life’s motto is “Do good to all people.” She is quick to credit her success to the people who have supported, encouraged and believed in her, and she wants to do the same for others both in and outside the workplace.

CUgMcZXA.jpgGrowing up in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, with three siblings, her father worked as a mechanic while her mother worked as a homemaker. Furtuna never dreamed of owning her own business, but even as a young girl, she knew she wanted to pursue an education and a career.

In a country where only 30% of college students are women, and 5% don’t return after the first year, Furtuna is an anomaly. She holds a degree in nursing and a second in child development. Upon graduation, she worked in a hospital and then for an adoption agency, where she’d come to meet Barrett Ward, the CEO of ABLE.

“I got the chance to work for ABLE as their country representative, and my eyes were opened to business,” said Furtuna. “First, my husband told me that I could run my own leather business and manage it well. We noticed demand was growing but supply wasn’t as quickly, so I thought I could open my own workshop and do it in a much bigger, professional way.”Oc-qftDA.jpgShe was also encouraged by other female entrepreneurs working in the leather industry in Ethiopia.

“Usually when people are working in the same kind of business, they don’t find the support from their peers. Those women, in particular, are special and kind. It’s a special instance.”

So Furtuna told the ABLE team she was leaving to start her own business, and ABLE became one of her first customers. In the early days, Furtuna, a fast learner, faced many challenges, like obstacles obtaining raw materials, training employees, meeting deadlines, and the general ins and outs of running her own business.

“It was scary at first because it was a risk for myself and others,” said Furtuna. “I kept thinking, ‘What if I hire them and the business doesn’t go well?’ But over time I came to learn that I could manage the business, and I built up confidence.”

s1e3YLcQ.jpgAmplifying the stress of starting her own business was the fact that Furtuna was also 2-months pregnant with her third child when she started Fayda in Fashion. However, her growing family only motivated her even further.

“Owning my own business feels liberating in the sense that I manage my own work, and I get to hire my employees myself,” said Furtuna. “It’s really liberating compared to working for someone else.”

MgffuDqQ.jpgCurrently, Fayda in Fashion employs 28 workers. Furtuna has applied what she’s learned about social impact from the ABLE team and is constantly working to keep the environment peaceful and empowering.

“One of the ways I’m keeping my employees motivated is paying a livable wage,” said Furtuna. “As they develop and gain new skills, we give them different responsibilities, and we encourage them through higher wages and promotions.”

N2m3eWKA.jpgFurtuna knows Ethiopia has a reputation for touting low wages as a way to attract foreign investment, and that’s one of the reasons she never anticipated owning her own business.

“I saw business owners pay low wages and get rich on the expense of their employees,” said Furtuna. “It gives me peace to pay living wages to my employees – peace that they have enough to eat, can afford transportation, and safe housing. I’m not profiting at the expense of their labour, and they’re earning a wage worth the work they put in here.”

OT2iZD7g.jpgFurtuna is also investing in training for her employees and wants them to think bigger and better for themselves.

“I want them to remember me as a person,” said Furtuna. “I have people I remember who encouraged me and pushed my limits. I am able to own my business because people saw a potential in me, and I want to do that for others.”

ABLE is publishing its lowest wages to protect and empower the fashion industry’s most vulnerable workers, most of whom are women. To provide consumers with complete transparency, all their partners must go through the rigorous and exhaustive ACCOUNTABLE assessment, evaluating their workplace’s equality, safety, wages and benefits, with a particular emphasis on women. To learn more about ABLE’s #PUBLISHYOURWAGES movement that inspires consumers to demand greater transparency of their favourite brands, visit www.livefashionable.com/publishyourwages.

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

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La imagen puede contener: 2 personas, personas sonriendo, personas sentadas

 

This week we’re on the ground in Zambia visiting (RED) supported programs & some of our favorite ambassadors, like Connie and Lubona. Connie is HIV+ but her daughter Lubona was born HIV free. Today they are both alive & healthy thanks to people like you who buy (RED).

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110
GIRLS AND WOMEN

Is ‘sexist’ data holding women back?

14 February 2019 5:35PM UTC | By: THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION

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“Sexist” data is making it harder to improve women and girls’ lives, the world’s leading philanthropic couple Bill and Melinda Gates said on Tuesday in an open letter.

The couple warned that a lack of focus by researchers on gender and a disdain for what were perceived as “women’s issues” were resulting in “missing data” that could lead to better decisions and policies, enable advocacy and measure progress.

“The data we do have – data that policymakers depend on – is bad. You might even call it sexist,” Melinda Gates wrote in their annual letter discussing the work of their foundation, one of the largest private charities in the world.

Gender inequality is one of the greatest barriers to human progress, the United Nations said last year, with studies showing that when girls stay in education, they have more opportunities and healthier children, which boosts development.

But data often does not take gender into account and is flawed by biased questions, said the husband and wife team behind the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Because women in developing countries are primarily seen as wives and mothers, most of the data about them focuses on their reproductive health, not their earnings and assets, they said.

“You can’t improve things if you don’t know what’s going on with half the population,” wrote Gates, co-founder of Microsoft Corp.

The couple said mobile phones offered a powerful tool to allow women to build new connections, gain economic freedom and challenge restrictive social norms, for example by buying contraceptives online.

“If you’re a woman who has never stepped into a bank, mobile banking offers you a foothold in the formal economy and a chance at financial independence,” said Melissa Gates.

“You gain opportunities to connect with customers, trainings, and professional organisations – all from your home.”

Toilets also emerged as a feminist issue, with the couple hailing a next generation of facilities which can kill pathogens and produce useable by-products such as fertiliser.

Safe toilets worldwide would especially benefit women and girls, they said, who risk assault while using public facilities or may be forced to skip school when on their periods.

International aid groups agreed more of a focus on women and girls was needed.

“We can’t improve what we fail to measure,” Richard Morgan, international advocacy director at the child rights charity Plan International, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“Bringing visibility to girls and women is the first critical step in improving their lives.”


This story was originally reported by Sonia Elks and edited by Katy Migiro for the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

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

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'I held him in my arms and said goodbye as he took his last breath': How a man with Down's Syndrome died at MRI after 19 days without food

'All through Joe’s life, we had fought for him to be included and treated with respect. Yet at the very end, he was failed by the people who were supposed to look after him'

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Ann Cusack
  • 10:57, 15 APR 2019
  • UPDATED11:18, 15 APR 2019
4_Giuseppe-Ulleri-inquest.jpgGiuseppe ‘Joe’ Ulleri with his dad Pietro, who died without knowing the full details of what happened to his son (Image: PA)
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The sister of a man with Down's Syndrome who died in hospital after not being fed for 19 days has broken her silence to tell of her anger at her brother's 'cruel and horrific death'.

Giuseppe ‘Joe’ Ulleri lost 26lbs in weight as he wasted away in Manchester Royal Infirmary after a fall.

An inquest into Joe's death earlier this month concluded the 61-year-old, from Withington, had been neglected and found there had been 'a failure in his overall care'.

Following the inquest, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust apologised and promised it would not happen again.

Now Joe's sister Ria Ulleri, who helped care for her brother, has spoken for the first time of the family’s anger and heartbreak.

 
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Joe pictured with his sister Ria (Image: Ria Ulleri)

Ria, 48, an actress now living in London, said: "Joe was a sweet and funny man, but he needed support. It is tragic that the people he relied on to care for him were the ones who let him down."

 

Giuseppe was the eldest of four children. Their mother died when they were little and they were raised by their father, Pietro.

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Ria said: "Growing up, we knew there was something different about Joe, but we took it all in our stride. He couldn’t really talk much, but he made himself understood no problem.   

"He was really funny and entertaining and we were very close. Our parents were Sardinian and Joe loved to dance to Sardinian music. He liked gardening too.   

“There was pressure from the doctors for Joe to go into residential care, but my dad wouldn’t hear of it. Joe was part of the family and that’s just how it was."    

 
1_JoeBaby.jpg
Joe pictured as a baby (Image: Family handout)

Ria was later diagnosed with MS and her health suffered. Her father also suffered from ill-health in old age and in 2013 it was decided Joe would move into supported living with L’Arche Manchester.    

Ria says: "The move gave Joe independence and it gave my dad some respite so it was better for everyone, although it was a difficult decision. He liked it there and the staff were fantastic."   

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In February 2016, Joe had a fall at his new home and was taken to hospital, with fractures to his pelvis, wrist and neck.    

He was found, after his death, to have undiagnosed osteoporosis.    

His family – Ria, and brothers Peter and Gio, a respected documentary film maker - were told he needed surgery and as he had difficulty swallowing, with his neck fracture, he was made 'nil by mouth'. 

 
2_280319JoeGiovanni.jpg
Joe Ulleri, with his brother Giovanni, who described him as cheeky, loving, stubborn and happy (Image: Family handout)

Ria says: "I visited Joe in hospital and he wasn’t happy at all. He hated being in there. But I just thought it was a fall and that he’d soon be home again. 

"I had no idea what lay ahead.

"When I left, he held my hands and he wouldn’t let go. Looking back, it was as if he knew."

Two weeks on, doctors told Ria Joe was dying. 

She says: "I held him in my arms and I said goodbye as he took his last breath. My heart was breaking. He had lost so much weight. He was a shadow of himself." 

 
1_JoeHospital.jpg
Giuseppe Ulleri, known as Joe, in hospital (Image: Family handout)

Joe died on March 20, aged 61, while medics were still debating how best to feed him. 

His cause of death was given as insufficient nutrition, osteopathic fractures, and pneumonia. 

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Joe was cremated at his local church, where his family played his favourite song Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life. 

An inquest earlier this month a inquest jury recorded a narrative conclusion and cited an ‘overall failure of care' and a 'failure to provide adequate nutrition' which 'constituted neglect'.

 
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Joe pictured as a child (Image: Ria Ulleri)

"These failures in care contributed to his death", the jury added. 

The hearing was told that for almost three weeks Joe was denied food, due to miscommunication and inaction by staff, which led to him getting fatal pneumonia. 

His weight dropped from 56kg to just 44kg and despite his desperate pleas from family and friends, he continued to deteriorate. 

Ria says: "It wasn’t until the inquest that we learned just how much Joe had been neglected. It was horrific. It seemed so cruel. 

"All through Joe’s life, we had fought for him to be included, and treated with respect. Yet at the very end, he was failed by the people who were supposed to look after him." 

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust apologised and said it has implemented 'measures to ensure that this does not happen again'. 

The trust said it has 'undertaken extensive work on nutrition and hydration" and 'focused on how we care for our patients who have a learning disability'.

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5 incredible female entrepreneurs you need to know
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GIRLS AND WOMEN

5 incredible female entrepreneurs you need to know

24 September 2018 11:50AM UTC | By: EMILY MILLER

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

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

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

1. Ellen Chilemba

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

2. Victoria Awine

Victoria_12x6-1024x512.jpg

(Courtesy of Cargill)

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

3. Wilhelmina Myeonway Cooper

Wilhelmina Myeonway Cooper is an entrepreneur in Liberia’s fashion industry. (Courtesy of Myeonway Designs.)

Wilhelmina Myeonway Cooper is an entrepreneur in Liberia’s fashion industry. (Courtesy of Myeonway Designs.)

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

“I’ve been fortunate to be surrounded by amazing women who are really impressive, who want the best for you, and the best for themselves and this country,” Wilhelmina says. Despite facing many challenges, she has grown her pop-up enterprise from 9 vendors to 50!

4. Reyna Araceli Reyes Sorto

Do%C3%B1a-Reyna-Microempresaria-CARE1.jp

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

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

5. Sylvie Isimbi and Freedah Nyirahakiziyaremye

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

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

Content in partnership with Cargill

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0
HEALTH

Why global health is good for everyone

4 April 2019 8:57PM UTC | By: KATIE RYAN

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

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What is global health?

It’s a big year for global health so ONE is going to be talking about it a lot. But before we jump into the nitty gritty statistics or the importance of getting funding for the world’s most innovative partnerships, let’s talk about what global health actually is!

Global health is about improving people’s health worldwide, reducing inequality and, protecting societies from global threats, such as preventable diseases, that don’t stop at national borders.

So why is it important?

We are at a tipping point. In 2017, nearly one million people died from AIDS-related causes globally and another 1.8 million contracted HIV. After 10 years of steady decline, malaria is back on the rise, especially among children under 5 years old, who account for two-thirds of all malaria deaths. Though more than 10 million people contract TB every year, nearly 40% of those are “missed” – that is almost 4 million people left undiagnosed, untreated, and therefore, contagious.

As a global community, we all benefit when our neighbours are healthy. Access to prevention and treatment should be a right, not a privilege. Yet, so many of our community members cannot enjoy this right because of prohibitive costs, distance, or stigma and discrimination.

If people can access affordable healthcare, they can invest in bettering their community: kids can attend school, adults can pursue careers, families can enjoy their time together, the list goes on. Quality of life skyrockets when prevention and treatment are affordable and accessible.

Human rights always come first. But it is important to realize that ensuring our global community is healthy, educated and empowered has another benefit: economic growth. Failing to protect health could quickly thwart this potential. The 2014 Ebola epidemic is a staggering illustration of the economic consequences of just one outbreak of disease: in 2015, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone lost US$2.2 billion in gross domestic product, threatening economic stability and private sector growth in the region.

We know that investments made in health today will pay dividends tomorrow.

  • Every US$1 invested in immunisation, for example, leads to a return of US$60.
  • Every US$1 invested in reducing malaria infections delivers a return of US$36.
  • Every US$1 invested in health spending for the world’s poorest leads to a return of US$13.

Simply put, health is a smart investment with big returns.

Where do we go from here?

Health has been one of the most recognised and celebrated success stories in global development since the turn of the 21st century. This progress has not happened by accident. It has been driven largely by new public-private collaborations, breakthrough commitments to increase investments in health alongside greater investment from national governments, and passionate citizen activism.

This is a proud legacy that should be celebrated as a benchmark for what is possible. But it stops well short of being an indicator for future gains. Progress will not continue, and could go into reverse, if our global community, including world leaders, do not commit to looking out for our neighbours.

The Global Fund is one of the best weapons we have to fight AIDS, TB and malaria. The Fund supports programs run by local experts in the countries and communities that need it most – helping to save 27 million lives so far. To help save another 16 million lives between 2021-2023, the Global Fund needs to raise at least US$14 billion by its Replenishment Conference this October.

We must not stall progress now. Are you up for the challenge?

Add your name to tell world leaders they must back this bold partnership. Then share the action with your family and friends.

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Here are the female bikers that ride to save lives in Nigeria
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HEALTH

Here are the female bikers that ride to save lives in Nigeria

18 May 2018 4:10PM UTC | By: THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION

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This story was originally reported by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani and edited by Claire Cozens for the Thomson Reuters Foundation

Whenever the all-female Nigerian biker group D’Angels hit the streets, people would stare in amazement at the sight of women on motorbikes. So they made up their minds to use the attention for a good cause.

Enter the Female Bikers Initiative (FBI), which has already provided free breast and cervical cancer screening to 500 women in Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos.

589_378442295564809_1100924018_n.jpgThis August, D’Angels and another female biker group in Lagos, Amazon Motorcycle Club, plan to provide free screening to 5,000 women – a significant undertaking in a country where many lack access to proper healthcare.

“What touched us most was the women,” D’Angels co-founder Nnenna Samuila, 39, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone from Lagos.

“Some asked if the bikes really belonged to us. Some asked if they could sit on our bikes. We decided to use the opportunity to do something to touch women’s lives.”

Breast and cervical cancer are huge killers in Nigeria, accounting for half the 100,000 cancer deaths each year, according to the World Health Organization.

12309763_922499704492396_655342331158519Screening and early detection can dramatically reduce the mortality rate for cervical cancer in particular.

But oncologist Omolola Salako, whose Lagos charity partnered with the FBI last year, says there is not enough awareness of the need for screening.

“Among the 600-plus women we have screened since October, about 60 percent were being screened for the first time,” said Dr. Salako, executive director of Sebeccly Cancer Care. “It was the first time they were hearing about it.”

Even if women do know they should be screened, affordability is a barrier, said Salako, whose charity provides the service for free and also raises funds to treat cancer patients.

RAISING AWARENESS

This year the bikers will put on a week of awareness-raising and mobile screening, after which free screenings will be available at Sebeccly every Thursday for the rest of the year.

Members of the two clubs and any other female bikers who want to join in will ride through the streets, to schools, malls and other public places, distributing fliers and talking to women about the importance of screening.

“All the bikers turn up,” said Samuila, one of five women on the FBI’s board of trustees. “We just need to tell them, this is the location for the activity, and this is what we need you to do.”

Last year their funds, from private and corporate donors, could only stretch to two mastectomies, and they hope they will be able to sponsor more treatments this year.

bikers_social1-1024x512.jpg“We encourage this person to come, and then she finds out that something is wrong and you abandon her,” said Samuila, a former telecoms executive who now runs her own confectionery and coffee company.

“We would love to be able to follow up with whatever comes out of the testing.”

This is just the latest in a number of projects the bikers have organised.

In 2016 they launched Beyond Limits, a scheme to encourage young girls to fulfil their potential beyond societal expectations of marriage and babies.

They travel to schools to give talks and invite senior women working in science, technology and innovation to take part.

TURNING POINT

Samuila formed D’Angels with 37-year-old Jeminat Olumegbon in 2009 after they were denied entry to the established, all-male bikers’ groups in Lagos.

“They didn’t want us. They were like, ‘No, women don’t do this. Women are used to being carried around. Why don’t you guys just be on the sidelines?’ That sort of pissed us off and we then went on to form our own club,” said Samuila.

In 2010, the pair rode from Lagos to the southern city of Port Harcourt to attend a bikers’ event, a 617-km (383-mile) trip that the men had told them was impossible for a woman.

Bikers_Social-1024x512.jpg

“That was the turning point in our relationship with the male bikers,” said Samuila.

The two-day ride earned them a new respect from the male riders, some of whom now take part in the screening awareness programmes themselves.

In 2015 Olumegbon, also an FBI board member, took on an even bigger challenge riding 20,000 km through eight West African countries in 30 days to raise funds for children in orphanages.

“I’ve been riding since 2007. At first, I was the only female riding, then I found Nnenna and the other girls,” she said.

“Because we started riding, more females decided to look inwards, and decided that they could do so as well.”

bikers_featured-1024x1024.jpgThe bikers plan to extend their initiative to other parts of Nigeria, and have also received invitations from women riders in other West African countries.

For now though, they want to focus on making sure their efforts reach every woman in Lagos.

“When we speak to people on the streets, many don’t even know of cervical cancer,” said Samuila.

“It’s so painful to hear that so many people are dying from the disease when it can be prevented.”

*images via D’Angels Motorcycle Club

 

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592
HIV/AIDS

14 facts about the AIDS epidemic you need to know

28 November 2018 3:39PM UTC | By: ONE

SIGN THE PLEDGE

Sign the pledge: We’ll do whatever it takes to end AIDS

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Thirty years ago, HIV/AIDS swept the globe largely unchecked, and a diagnosis was seen as a death sentence. Two decades later, we’ve made amazing progress – AIDS-related deaths are down by half – but the good news makes the bad news worse.

This good news may be hiding a big problem. The incredible progress the world has made against AIDS has created a sense of complacency that is threatening our ability to end AIDS within our lifetime.

You might not know it from watching the news or listening to lawmakers, but AIDS is still a crisis. Nearly 37 million people are living with HIV today, and more than 15 million of them still can’t get life-saving treatment. This is something we can change, but it will take leadership.

These stats show the true scale of the AIDS epidemic, and why world leaders must take action to make this a disease of the past.

Globally

  • Around 37 million people are living with HIV/AIDS. That’s nearly the entire population of Canada.
  • Around 35 million people have died from HIV/AIDS since the start of the epidemic. That’s the same as the entire population of Morocco.
  • Nearly 1 million people died from AIDS-related illnesses in 2017. That’s more than 2,500 people dying from AIDS-related causes every day.
  • AIDS is the number one disease killer of young women globally.
  • Nearly 1,000 young women are infected with HIV every day. That’s 40 women every hour.
  • Only about half of children living with HIV/AIDS are receiving treatment. Last year, 180,000 children were infected with HIV during birth or breastfeeding — the first time that new pediatric infections have not fallen since they peaked in 2002.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Sub-Saharan Africa accounted for nearly 65% of new infections globally. 1.2 million people were infected with HIV in the region in 2017.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa accounted for over 70% of deaths globally. Over 650,000 people died in the region in 2017.
  • 282,000 young women (age 15-24) were infected with HIV in 2017 – that’s over 750 a day.
  • Young women in sub-Saharan Africa are twice as likely to be infected with HIV than young men.

The good news

  • Globally, more than 21 million people were receiving lifesaving treatment at the end of 2017, up from 11 million in 2012. That’s a 91% increase.
  • In sub-Saharan Africa, 14.6 million people were receiving lifesaving treatment at the end of 2017, up from 7.7 million in 2012. That’s a 90% increase.
  • Globally, 1.8 million people became infected with HIV in 2017 – down from 2 million in 2013. That’s a 10% decrease.
  • In the last 15 years, the cost of antiretroviral treatment for one person has dropped from US$10,000 a year to US$75 a year — an all-time low.

France will host a Global Fund Replenishment Conference in October 2019 – meetings that aim to raise new funds and mobilize partners. It will provide a great opportunity for governments, businesses, and health organizations to recommit to the fight to end AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. It must be a turning point, anything less will be an indictment of our global leadership.

We know what to do, we know how to do it, and we know if we don’t move faster than the virus, then it will win. AIDS isn’t done. And neither are we.

To win the fight against AIDS, we need you. This World AIDS Day, ONE members are turning our outrage into action and putting our leaders on notice – add your voice today!

Sign the pledge: We’ll do whatever it takes to end AIDS

This World AIDS Day, we are turning our outrage into action and putting our leaders on notice: AIDS isn’t done. And neither are we. We’re committed to joining the global fight against AIDS and we’ll do what it takes to end the epidemic for good.

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ENVIRONMENT

China Just Seized 2,748 Elephant Tusks in Huge Underground Ivory Bust

The crackdown thwarted a transnational smuggling ring.

Why Global Citizens Should Care
Unless governments crack down on the illegal sale of ivory, then poaching numbers could rise, undermining elephant populations. The United Nations’ Global Goals calls on countries to protect biodiversity. You can join us in taking action on this issue here.

Chinese authorities seized 2,748 elephant tusks weighing 7.5 tons on Tuesday, according to AFP.

The seizure was the largest made in the country in years, according to Sun Zhijie, the director of the country’s anti-smuggling bureau, who spoke with AFP, and it sheds light on the size of the underground market for ivory. In recent years, China, under growing international pressure, has enacted laws to restrict the sale of ivory, but this seizure shows that more work needs to be done.

In 2015, China made it illegal to import ivory into the country, and the country moved to entirely ban the sale of ivory in 2017.

Take Action: How Much Do You Know About The World's Most Vital Resource?

Actúa: Take Quiz

 
 

 



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En asociación con: WSSCC

These efforts were applauded around the world as a tipping point in the global fight against elephant poaching. In recent decades, more than 80% of some elephant populations have been lost to poaching. Between 2010 and 2012, more than 100,000 elephants were killed, largely driven by demand in China for ivory, which commanded $2,100 per kilogram at the height of the trade.

The movement to protect elephants has gained traction around the world, spurring countries including the United Kingdom to ban the sale of ivory. But setbacks continue. Recently, the United States government made it legal for trophy hunters to bring ivory into the country.

One of the biggest obstacles to ending poaching is arguably the underground market that continues to thrive in China, but the latest crackdown could be a turning point.

"[The operation] destroyed an international criminal organisation that for a long time has specialised in smuggling ivory tusks," Sun told the AFP. He added that 20 suspects were arrested for their role in smuggling ivory hidden amid lumber across the Chinese border.

 

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#BREAKING China seizes 7.48 tonnes of #elephant tusks from Africa, the largest #ivory seizure in the country, 20 suspects arrested http://bit.ly/2IlIchw  via @Echinanews #wildlifecrime #wildlifetrafficking

 
 
 
 

 

Read More: How Zimbabwe's All-Women Anti-Poaching Unit Sparked a Movement

Today, an estimated 415,000 African elephants remain, but 20,000 are killed each year. The World Wildlife Fund argues that the key to ending the ivory trade is going after demand.

People buy ivory, the WWF found, because it’s perceived to be a status symbol, especially among the emerging wealthy. Campaigns have been launched to inform people about how the ivory trade is an existential threat to elephants — and it seems to be working. In a survey, the amount of people who said they would buy ivory dropped by half after the Chinese government took action in 2017.

Globally, however, elephants are threatened by factors other than poaching, including habitat loss, climate change, and conflict with communities.  

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GIRLS & WOMEN

World's First Vagina Museum Tackles FGM, Sexual Health, and More

The museum will also run child-friendly programs for families and schools.

By Lin Taylor

LONDON, April 16 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) — Disco parties, comedy nights, school tours, and art exhibitions may be unusual ways to help break the stigma associated with female genitals, but that is exactly what the world's first vagina museum in London plans to do.

After learning in 2017 about the existence of Iceland's Phallological Museum, which displays hundreds of penises from animals, Florence Schechter felt it was only fair if there was a physical building that spotlighted female genitals as well.

So, she decided to make that happen.

Take Action: Tell World Leaders to Redouble Their Efforts By Amending Laws to Prevent Sexual Violence

Actúa: Firma

 
 
 
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United StatesUnited KingdomGermanyCanadaAustraliaAfghanistanÅland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAmerican SamoaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBoliviaBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBruneiBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCabo VerdeCambodiaCameroonCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo (the Democratic Republic of the)Cook IslandsCosta RicaCôte d'IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands  [Malvinas]Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambia (The)GeorgiaGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuamGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and McDonald IslandsHoly See  [Vatican City State]HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIranIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKuwaitKyrgyzstanLaosLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedoniaMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMarshall IslandsMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMicronesia (the Federated States of)MoldoviaMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorth KoreaNorthern Mariana IslandsNorwayOmanPakistanPalauPalestine, State ofPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalPuerto RicoQatarRéunionRomaniaRussiaRwandaSaint BarthélemySaint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth KoreaSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyriaTaiwanTajikistanTanzaniaThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited States Minor Outlying IslandsUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuelaVietnamVirgin Islands (British)Virgin Islands (U.S.)Wallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabwe

 

 

En asociación con: Equality Now yCHIME FOR CHANGE

Through workshops, talks, and social events, Schechter said she wanted to create a space that would bring people together — young and old — to address sensitive issues like female genital mutilation, rape, domestic abuse, and sexual health.

"It's really important because it's a hugely stigmatised part of the body and that leads to some real world consequences," said the museum's director Schechter, who is currently raising funds for the building.

"Just anything and everything that's taboo with that part of the body is what we're going to be addressing."

She said some girls and women feel awkward about getting gynaecological check-ups, such as screenings for cervical cancer, or discussing their periods.

About 1 in 4 women in Britain do not attend a cervical screening, according a January survey by charity Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust, with nearly three-quarters of women saying they missed the test due to embarrassment.

Menstruation is still taboo in many countries. In Nepal, women are banished from their homes during their periods — a centuries-old practice that is now illegal — and several have died of smoke inhalation after lighting fires to keep warm.

Read More: How One Incredible Activist Made Upskirting Illegal in England and Wales

Schechter said it was important for the museum to cater to children, and plans to run child-friendly programmes for families and schools so they can feel comfortable talking about female genitals at an early age.

"When they're ashamed of their bodies, it becomes really difficult for them to talk about things. It's about destigmatising this part of the body and being honest about what it does," she said.

She added that the museum will be inclusive of all genders because "not everyone who has a vagina is a woman, and not every woman has a vagina."

The Vagina Museum, due to open in November in central London until a permanent location is decided, also aims to run outreach programmes that provide sex education for local communities.

"Having a bricks and mortar museum offers a space for the community to come together to say that this is a part of the body that should be celebrated," said Schechter.

(Reporting by Lin Taylor @linnytayls. Editing by Katy Migiro. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's and LGBT+ rights, human trafficking and slavery, property rights, social innovation, resilience and climate change. Visit http://news.trust.org to see more stories)

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AID AND DEVELOPMENT

5 African youth entrepreneurs that will change the world

10 July 2017 4:47PM UTC | By: ROBYN DETORO

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Africa is already home to the world’s youngest population and its youth demographic is expected to grow further, doubling the size of the entire EU population in less than two decades! Across the continent, young people are hard at work honing their entrepreneurial skills, so the promise of continued growth is an exciting prospect.

To keep the demographic moving forward, investing in Africa’s youth population must be a priority. For example, we know that addressing the gender gap in girls’ education could yield $112 to $152 billion a year for developing countries.

Keep reading below to see what some of Africa’s up and coming youths are up to!

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via Twitter

Laetitia Mukungu, Kenya

Laetitia was 13 years old when she had to drop out of school because her family was unable to afford the fees. One year later she founded the Africa Rabbit Centre, a cooperative organisation that raises and sells rabbits. The centre has been so successful they now employ 15 women, have sent 65 children to school, and provided three women with microloans to start their own businesses.

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Jean Bosco Nzeyimana, Rwanda

At just 23 years old, Jean has been named one of Forbes 30 Most Promising Young Entrepreneurs In Africa 2017. He is the founder of Habona Ltd., an amazing company that collects organic waste and produces eco-friendly and affordable briquettes and bio-fertilizer for farmers. Jean hopes Habona will inspire other youths to get engaged with the agricultural sector. He writes, “young people must recognise the opportunities that farming offers; the first being job creation. Farming has the potential for reducing unemployment among youths.”

Leah-with-a-local-administrator-at-the-e

Leah and a local administrator at the entrance to the library.

Leah Kibe, Kenya

Leah is the director and founder of the Colour World Green Initiative Library. After noticing her brother struggling to read, she began to collect books from friends and family and invited other children to join in. Leah saw an unfulfilled need in the community and decided to establish an official library. It now provides nearly 1,000 students with access to reading and learning materials.

Screen-Shot-2017-07-10-at-4.17.48-pm.jpg

via Twitter

Regina Honu, Ghana

Having worked in the tech industry since she was a young woman, Regina is familiar with the challenges women in the STEM industry face, so she founded the Tech Needs Girls program. The program teaches girls in Ghana and Burkina Faso coding skills and provides them with mentors and role models to help ensure they get the opportunity to go to university!

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via Twitter

Brian Bosire, Kenya

Brian founded UjuziKilimo — which means “knowledge farming” in Swahili — and developed a handheld electronic device that gathers information about soil quality. This information is analysed and can help farmers know what crops will grow best in their fields. In his early 20s, Brian is already changing lives by helping farmers make profits on their crops!

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2
YOUTH AMBASSADORS

Our 2019 Youth Ambassadors are fired up and ready to go

15 April 2019 1:51PM UTC | By: ROBYN DETORO

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Every spring we look forward to something exciting: meeting our brand new cohort of ONE Youth Ambassadors! 2019 marks the 7th year we’ve run our YA programme and we’re thrilled to have 300+ enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers working with us to keep fighting extreme poverty this year.

To kick the year off, our volunteers gathered in Paris, Dublin, Rome, Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels and London and hit the ground running. They’re already hearing back from their country leaders, speaking with their local media outlets, attending events and meeting with their representatives to fight for foreign aid and equality everywhere.

Keep reading below to find out what the incredible #ONEYouth19 have already accomplished!

D21U4YaX0AAeXlF.jpgITALY

40 Italian YAs met in Rome to join ONE in doing all we can to raise awareness about the injustice of extreme poverty. After a full day of training and team building activities, this fantastic group went out to meet Italian policy makers under the Italian sun and the beauty of the city — yes, the Colosseum still never ceases to amaze us! They had the chance to have a fruitful discussion with the Prime Minister’s diplomatic advisor and G7 Sherpa, Piero Benassi, delivered 300+ postcards on the Multiannual Financial Framework campaign and talked about all they want the government to achieve in 2019. And guess what? The Prime Minister himself responded to our YAs with a very inspiring letter. This will push our YAs to pursue their fight against extreme poverty with even stronger determination, knowing that the Italian government is listening!

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GERMANY

Team Germany welcomed our YAs for three exciting days in Berlin. To start, our 50 change-makers had the honour to receive the State Secretary of the Finance Ministry, Bettina Hagedorn. The following day, we met with the Foreign Minister, Heiko Mass, and discussed the global fight against extreme poverty. All in all, these were three days full of motivation, learning, sharing and mutual support in the fight against poverty. Our YA Nina summarised our mission best: “Convince political leaders: Africa’s challenges are Europe’s challenges.”

IMG_4992-a.jpgBELGIUM

This year we welcomed 57 YAs — representing more than 24 different nationalities — to Brussels for an exciting and engaging launch! We also kicked off our ONE Vote 2019 campaign with stimulating discussions with MEPs Judith Sargentini, Arne Lietz and Linda McAvan on the importance of development aid, the EU’s commitments and future priorities. They also gave our YAs insider tips on how to successfully advocate politicians. Finally, the YAs were successful in their aim to have the MEPs sign our ONE Vote pledge, starting the campaign off on the right foot!

Group-01.jpgFRANCE

Team France welcomed 50 new YAs to Paris and got to meet an amazing, diverse group of people that are determined to make their voices heard. This year, our YAs are high-schoolers, college students, professors and computer scientists, to name a few. Plus they hail from Europe, Africa, and South America! At the launch, they learned all about the upcoming EU elections and our ONE Vote campaign, as well as the G7 Summit and Global Fund replenishment, both happening in France this year. Fully prepared and ready to rock, they had their first advocacy meeting with a MEP candidate from the Green Party who even gave them the opportunity to go to their headquarters where they could gather 10 signatures in total! The YAs in France also met with their 2019 godmother, Deborah François, a Belgian actress who signed our open letter in 2018 and 2019. They had a very open discussion around gender equality issues and how she could support them throughout the year.

NL-LAUNCH-IMG_1688.jpgNETHERLANDS

Our new Dutch YAs kicked off the year by getting the first ONE Vote pledge signer: MEP Kati Piri! They also hit the streets to collect signatures for our Open Letter to World Leaders, and enthusiastically brainstormed about other actions that they will take this year. There were many training sessions and fun team-building exercises which made the launch a wonderful start to the year!

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UNITED KINGDOM

More than 50 Youth Ambassadors from across the UK joined us in London to launch our programme. Day 1 included campaigns training and a ‘how-to’ session from Francis Dearnley that gave our YAs the inside track on how to hold a successful meeting with your MP. The day ended with a meeting with MPs across varying political parties: Bim Afolami, the new DFID PPS, Dame Eleanor Laing, Deputy Speaker of the House, Dr. Paul Williams, a medic who previously worked in Uganda, and Mhairi Black, the youngest person to be elected to UK Parliament. On day 2, our YAs tried out their campaigning skills by gathering petition signatures for our Global Fund petition on the streets of London before rounding off the day with media and Twitter sessions.

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Amazing 2 days with @ONEinIreland, training & meeting other youth ambassadors. Met some great people. Looking forward to the rest of the year! #ONEyouth19

 
 
 
 

 

IRELAND

Our launch in Ireland — with just over 30 Youth Ambassadors — kicked off with an intense day of campaigns training! On the second day, our YAs were treated to a host of fantastic guest speakers. Craig Dwyer, a social media specialist, spoke about his work on the Yes Equality campaign and Laura Harmon from the National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) shared her brilliant insights into how we can all help achieve gender equality. Senator Neale Richmond gave an enlightening look at how YAs can influence EU politics in the upcoming elections. Finally, Minister Katherine Zappone accepted a card filled with messages from ONE members showing their support for Ireland’s early (and 50% increased!) pledge to the Global Fund.

You don’t have to be a Youth Ambassador to get involved! Become a ONE Member by signing up here.

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