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Why global health is good for everyone

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


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’s why books matter to Wayétu Moore

27 March 2019 10:59AM UTC | By: WAYÉTU MOORE


Join the fight against extreme poverty

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Wayétu Moore is an author and the founder of One Moore Book. Her new novel, She Would Be King, will be released by Pushkin Press in the UK on 30 May 2019. You can find her on Instagram.

When I prepared for my first return to Liberia after my family fled due to the country’s civil war in 1989, I made sure I packed books. I packed novels for the 17-hour plane ride connecting through Brussels, those of Jesmyn Ward, Zadie Smith and Chimamanda Adichie, women writers who made me feel closest to home while so far away. Also squeezed between thin blouses and packets of anti-malarial pills were copies of the new children’s book I had just written, J is for Jollof Rice.

The book, illustrated by my younger sister, was named after the popular tomato, rice and protein mixture which many West-African countries will argue they prepare best.

I had arranged to deliver some of these books to a local elementary school near the University of Liberia’s Fendell campus, where my parents are professors and administrators.

Wayétu Moore, writer and founder of One Moore Book.

Wayétu Moore, author and founder of One Moore Book.

J is for Jollof Rice

I remember walking into the classroom, greeted in polite unison by welcoming smiles and familiar accents. I was anxious to show the students this book—I never dreamed of seeing the name of a popular Liberian dish written on a page.

The Principal distributed the paperbacks, and after a a nod of the head gave silent consent, the students rushed to touch their books, the sound of flipping pages spilling onto the cement floors. It was then I heard the snickering from the back of the classroom. Two boys shared a book, and while one pointed at the cover page, sounding out the words Jo-llof-Rice, the other one laughed. Other students had similar looks of confusion.

“J is for Jollof Rice,” the teacher said. “Who has read a book talking about Jollof Rice?”

Students exchanged glances. None of them raised their hands.

That a dish as emblematic of many of their childhoods as the cool breezes of Harmattan winds, became odd, became farce when printed on a page, left a lasting impression on me. Their reactions affected not only that visit, but the trajectory of my life and career as a writer.

The purposefulness of literature

In 2010, students at Saint Mary’s college in California compared US population data with books by and about kids of colour. Using data provided from the census and the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, they found that minority children were grossly underrepresented in children’s literature. Blacks made up 12.6% of the population that year but only 4% of children’s books were about them. Hispanics made up 16.3% of the population but only 1.9% of books were about them.

This national trend is even more profound internationally, since many books used by classrooms in developing countries are from the west. Although helpful, the books (like most literature from the west) mimic western culture and narratives. The result is that elementary-aged children, many of whom have never even seen white faces, are fighting two challenges when they open up these donated books.

The first struggle is to gain competency in the letters, sounds and grammar of the English language. The second is the conceptualisation of western culture and physical characteristics–from the colour and texture of the main character’s hair to the shapes of their faces and bodies.

One Moore Book

The most important support a child can be given to ensure the successful management of their future is literacy. How much more powerful or confident would a child be if the literature they read reflects their truth, their story, their name, their country? Cultural relevance, at least in my experience, assists with their engagement and investment in literature.

That’s why I formed One Moore Book, a nonprofit organisation that publishes and distributes culturally sensitive literature for children from countries with low literacy rates and underrepresented cultures. Our books also serve the dual purpose of exposing children in the west to different cultures. We aim to partner with writers and illustrators from the countries featured in our books. We opened a small book store and community center in Monrovia in 2015, and have published 25 books featuring Liberian, Haitian, Guinean and Afro-Brazilian cultures.

Culturally sensitive literature is not a supplementary. It is essential. Success is rooted in self-confidence and a sense of belonging to this world. And what better way to show a child the permanence and importance of their histories and lives, than through a book?

While most international book donation campaigns have noble intentions, more attention should be paid to what kinds of books are distributed through these campaigns. And perhaps instead of just sending over boxes of books, alternative efforts can empower local writers to create their own original materials for distribution.

Liberian writers and literacy groups like Michael Weah’s We Care Library, Brenda Moore’s KEEP Liberia, Elma Shaw, Forte Othniel and others, could do more for the Liberian child through their programs and material

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Music for Schools final to be streamed live on RTÉ Culture

Updated / Thursday, 2 May 2019 13:43

Music groups from the twelve finalist schools (six primary and six post-primary) selected from entries for the 2019 Music for Schools Competitionwill perform in a Gala Finalists Concert, which will be streamed live from the National Concert Hall, Dublin on RTÉ Culture at 1pm on Tuesday, May 7th. 

This year’s six winning schools will be announced after the concert, to be presented by RTÉ lyric fm's Ian McGlynn. Guest tickets for the Finalists Concert should be purchased directly from the participating schools, or via the NCH website.

Founded in 2012, the annual Waltons Music for Schools Competition is a non-profit national event celebrating and supporting music in Irish schools. The competition is run by Waltons New School of Music and is generously supported by RTÉ lyric fm. All primary and post-primary schools in the Republic of Ireland were eligible to enter the competition, and schools from all 26 counties have participated.

At the end of the Finalists Concert, adjudicators Evelyn Grant and Dónal Lunny will select six winning primary and post-primary schools, who will receive awards totaling €7,000 worth of vouchers for musical instruments and equipment from Waltons Music, including two First Prizes of €2,000 vouchers.

The Waltons Music For Schools Competition Finalists Concert will be live streamed on Tuesday, May 7th at 1pm here at RTÉ Culture. 

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On April 26, 1986, Europe was struck by unimaginable tragedy. A nuclear accident in Pripyat, Ukraine sent a ripple effect across the Soviet Union, threatening the continent’s environment and its people. The five-part miniseries Chernobyl, debuting May 6 at 9 pm, revisits the story of this horrific incident — of the heroic men and women who sacrificed everything to keep the catastrophe contained, and of the aftermath that defines the area to this day.


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29 DE ABRIL DE 2019



Las bolsas biodegradables no son tan ‘verdes’ como pensamos

Una bolsa incluso fue capaz de guardar comestibles 3 años después.



Por qué es importante para los Global Citizens
No todas las alternativas plásticas son iguales, y a menudo es confuso hacer distinciones. Pero como la contaminación plástica se ha convertido en un problema creciente para el planeta, es importante buscar la sostenibilidad en cada oportunidad. Puedes unirte a nosotros para tomar medidas sobre este tema aquí.

En los últimos años, las bolsas plásticas "biodegradables" y "compostables" han sido anunciadas como una posible solución al problema global persistente de los desechos plásticos, pero un nuevo estudio encontró que estas afirmaciones de sostenibilidad no necesariamente se sostienen.


De acuerdo con el estudio publicado en la revista Environmental Science and Technology, cuando se colocaron en diferentes ambientes naturales, varias bolsas biodegradables y compostables no se pudieron descomponer en un período de tres años.


"Los plásticos son tan comunes en nuestros estilos de vida y realmente hemos llegado a este punto de inflexión en el que estamos tratando de minimizarlo", le dijo a Global Citizen Imogen Napper, autor principal del estudio.


"Hay muchos términos alrededor, y quería ver qué significan estos términos", agregó. "¿Se degradarán de una manera ventajosa?".


Napper y un equipo de investigadores enterraron bolsas de plástico biodegradables en el suelo, colocaron otras en ambientes marinos y expusieron otro conjunto a la luz solar prolongada. Luego monitorearon las bolsas durante tres años y encontraron que las bolsas biodegradables no se descomponían en todos los casos.


My 3-year experiment is out today! This is a biodegradable plastic bag after 3-years in the marine environment, and it can hold a full bag of shopping. Biodegradable/compostable items do not necessarily break down quickly in natural environments like the ocean 🌊



De hecho, las bolsas incluso podían guardar comestibles después de estar sometidas a estas condiciones.


Cuando se expusieron a la luz solar, las bolsas se fragmentaron en microplásticos, sin descomponerse, un resultado ambientalmente peligroso.


Napper dijo que las condiciones de prueba estaban destinadas a emular lo que sucedería con las bolsas en situaciones de la vida real: el 95% de las más de mil millones de bolsas de plástico que se usan anualmente se desvían a flujos de desechos normales, donde no se reciclan, y con frecuencia terminan contaminando ambientes.


Las bolsas biodegradables son aún más difíciles de desechar adecuadamente, dijo, debido a una falta general de infraestructura. Para que estas bolsas realmente se biodegraden, deben ser recolectadas y enviadas a instalaciones dedicadas con la combinación correcta de elementos.


Napper dijo que actualmente estas instalaciones son difíciles de encontrar, y la mayoría de las personas que usan estas bolsas no las están enviando al lugar correcto. Como resultado, es probable que las bolsas terminen en entornos naturales donde podrían estar causando daños a la vida silvestre.


Los investigadores también estudiaron bolsas "compostables", cuyos resultados fueron un poco mejor. Estas bolsas se descomponen después de tres meses cuando se colocan en ambientes marinos, pero los investigadores tienen que investigar más para determinar si las bolsas se descomponen de una manera que sea segura para los animales. Si simplemente se descomponen en microplásticos, por ejemplo, aún supondrían una amenaza para la vida marina.


Tanto en el suelo como en la luz solar, las bolsas compostables tampoco pudieron descomponerse.


En última instancia, Napper dijo que el estudio destacó áreas de mejora.


Primero, los estándares de etiquetado de la industria deben desarrollarse para describir con mayor precisión las alternativas al plástico. Las etiquetas actuales y las descripciones de los productos pueden ser engañosas.


En segundo lugar, las personas deben estar mejor informadas sobre cómo desechar adecuadamente estas bolsas para que puedan biodegradarse y compostarse según lo previsto.


Finalmente, debe configurarse la infraestructura necesaria para manejarlas o nunca serán una alternativa viable al plástico convencional.


"Cuando ves algo que dice ser ventajoso para el medio ambiente, a menudo lo es, pero sigue haciéndote preguntas, mantente curioso y piensa: ¿Esto realmente ayuda?", dijo Napper.


"No creas que necesitas cambiar el mundo de la noche a la mañana, comienza por algo pequeño y proporcionado a tu estilo de vida", agregó.

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After Escaping Marriage to Afghan Man, 70, in 10th Grade, Rihala Is Now Pursuing a Law Degree

“It’s the law that can protect people. Only the law," said Rihala.

Rihala Graduation from GroundTruth on Vimeo.

By Beth Murphy

Last week I learned the word “charistry” – a charity wedding registry - thanks to Davinia James whose nuptials will be a big “I do” for girls’ education. Instead of gifts, Davinia and her fiancé Nick are asking family and friends to support Razia’s Ray of Hope Foundation, a nonprofit that runs a K-12 girls’ school and women’s college in Afghanistan. 

I’ve been filming at the Zabuli Education Center in Deh’Subz, Afghanistan for the past 8 years to make the documentary “What Tomorrow Brings,” and I can tell you who will benefit from Davinia’s generosity: girls like Rihala Baraki and her three sisters.  

When I met Rihala in 2009, she was 18-years-old and entering 5th grade. She was the only student in the school old enough to remember what life had been like under Taliban rule, and it inspired her dream of becoming a police officer. 

“It’s the law that can protect people. Only the law,” Baraki said.  

Five years later, Rihala – now a 10th grader – was in the fight of her life. She was trying to stop her father from forcing her to marry a 70-year-old man and in the process faced extreme physical and emotional abuse.  The experience strengthened her resolve and her belief in the law.

“The injustice at home is a lesson for me.  I want to be a lawyer,” Rihala shared before a long absence from school.  With help from her teachers, Rihala returned to finish 10th grade.  Then 11th. Then 12th.  

“It was such a beautiful moment to give her that diploma… to know she had defied all the odds,” said school founder Razia Jan after Rihala’s graduation in December.   

Rihala starts college next month – the beginning of Afghanistan’s school year – and, not surprisingly, she has her sights set on a law degree. Her college tuition – like the high school tuitions for her three younger sisters - will be supported by Razia’s Ray of Hope – and one very generous bride who saw a film and decided to act.  

Beth Murphy is the Director of Films at The GroundTruth Project and founder of Principle Pictures. Her film “What Tomorrow Brings”, a recipient of the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund, aired on PBS’s POV series.


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MARCH 29, 2017



7 Feminist Laws Iceland Has That the World Needs

Every country should have these laws.


By a lot of measures, Iceland is the best place to be a woman. Iceland starts gender equality lessons in preschool. The country has not just one, but three, laws protecting women at work. Sick of media, treating women as sex objects? That doesn’t fly in Iceland, where a law bans gender discriminatory advertising. Plus, the country was the first to ban strip clubs for feminist reasons. 

Overall, the Nordic country has a near perfect score on the gender-equality scale. For eight years, the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report ranked Iceland No. 1 on its list of countries actively closing gaps in gender equality. In 2009, Iceland became the first country to completely close the gender gap in education and health. And in 2016, Iceland was 87% of the way to closing the gender gap in all sectors. 

Read More: These Are the Best Countries to Be a Woman

Clearly, Iceland is leading the way, so what are the policies and standards in place that the rest of the world is looking up to? 

Here are seven laws and standard practices that support women’s rights, and penalize gender discrimination. 

1. Women’s Equality Is Literally Protected by Law 




The Act on Equal Status and Equal Rights of Women and Men is the reason gender equality is a hallmark of Icelandic culture. The law, established in 2000, was revamped in 2008 with the overarching goal of reaching equal rights through all paradigms of society. This law includes information on gender equality for government and businesses to follow. 

Within the law there are nine defined areas of gender discrimination. It identifies differences between indirect and direct gender discrimination, acknowledges gaps in wages, and recognizes that gender-based violence is detrimental to society. 

The law draws out a roadmap to achieving gender equality, even including language on changing negative gender stereotypes. Within the law are 35 articles outlining specific policies on everything from outlawing gender discrimination in schoolbooks and the workplace to buying goods and services. 


2. ‘Equal Pay For Equal Work’ Is Mandatory, Almost




When Icelanders found out it would be another 122 years before they closed the gender pay gap at the current rate, that was unacceptable. Lawmakers took action, announcing on International Women’s Day that Iceland would require companies to prove they pay employees equal rates for equal work, or pay the fine. 

Parliament is expected to pass the bill becoming the first country to make gender wage discrimination illegal. After passing, the government expects the law to roll into effect by 2020 in an effort to close the gender wage gap. 

Currently women make between 14-18% less than men. But the country is soon to ending the last bit of gender inequality in the workplace. 

“We want to break down the last of the gender barriers in the workplace,” said Thorsteinn Viglundsson, Iceland’s social affairs and equality minister. “History has shown that if you want progress, you need to enforce it.”


3. Companies’ Boards Must Include At Least 40% Women



After the shocking corruption and financial collapse in 2009, the government made an effort to include more women in seats of power to reduce corruption. They also prosecuted those responsible for the financial crisis, unlike in the US. 

Article 15 of the Act on Equal Status and Equal Rights of Women and Men states that no public company board or government council or committee may have less than 40% gender equality

The law also states that any company with more than 25 employees must have a gender equality program in place, which will review goals every three years. 

Read More: Women Across Europe Are Walking Out of Work Early to Demand Equal Pay


4. Best Parental Leave Policy in the World 




Iceland has the best maternity/paternity policy in the world. The official law, created in 2000, is known as the Icelandic Act on Maternity/Paternity and Parental Leave. The law itself was amended in 2006 increasing parental leave from six to nine months. The government covers parental leave for birth, adoption, and foster care for all employees in Iceland, even those who are self-employed paying 80% of earned salary to new parents. Parents split the time of leave equally to ensure children grow up with equal care from both parents, and workplaces are balanced. The policy is truly the gold standard of parental care. 


5. From Preschool to College, Kids Learn Gender Equality Matters  




After kids grow up with equal time from parents, gender equality lessons don’t stop. Article 23 of the Act on Equal Status and Equal Rights of Women and Men mandates that gender equality must be taught in schools throughout all levels of education. 

That means from early education through university, which is free, all sports, classes, and forms of schooling must include and practice gender equality. Iceland has no time for sexist books or assignments either. 

The law states: “educational materials and textbooks shall be designed in such a way as not to discriminate against either sex.” So you would never see an assignment, like the school in Utah, which forced girls to go on dates with male classmates, telling girls to “keep it to yourself” if they feel fat. 


6. Paying For Sex Is Illegal. Stripclubs Are Illegal. Prostitutes Are Victims. 



Paying for sex is illegal in Iceland. It has been for decades. The difference, however, is in 2007 the government amended the law arguing that most people who turn to soliciting sex have no other option or were coerced by others.  

So instead of penalizing victims of poor circumstances who are often forced into prostitution, the law places criminalization on those who pay for sex, and third parties involved.

The country also banned stripclubs in 2009 for feminist reasoning. The revised law states no business may profit from nudity of employees. The law passed with full support in parliament.

“It is not acceptable that women or people in general are a product to be sold,” said Kolbrún Halldórsdóttir who proposed the ban on strip clubs.

This applies to public advertising too. No ad may belittle any gender or go against the country’s fierce mission to achieve gender equality. 

Read More: Iceland to Be the First Country to Demand Proof of Equal Pay


7. There Is a Magical ‘Ministry of Gender Equality’ 




Ironically, the caveat to achieving gender equality for Nordic countries is taking it for granted. 

“Our biggest challenge is taking equality for granted. We relax too much. We think everything is done for good. This worries me,” said Gro Bruntland, Norway’s first female prime minister. 

Fortunately, in Iceland, there’s a ministry to complacency on gender equality.  The ministry of gender equality, as in Harry Potter, is magic. But unlike the fictional novel, this ministry is real. 

The country created agency to check and balance progress on advancing equality as part of a revisions to the Act on Equal Status and Equal Rights of Women and Men. The agency includes a three part council which includes the Equal Status Council, the Complaints Committee, and a new Centre for Gender Equality. 

Together these agencies research, advertise, advocate, and check laws on gender equality. Their goal is to create a legal, cultural, historical, social and psychosocial approach to gender equality.


Global Citizen and CHIME FOR CHANGE are campaigning to eradicating discriminatory laws that hold girls and women back with #LevelTheLaw. Iceland sets the bar high, but they also prove changing the law works to create equal opportunities. 

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MAY 2, 2019



Maine Becomes the First State to Ban Styrofoam Food Containers

Styrofoam can’t be recycled and often harms wildlife.

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

Maine became the first state to ban food containers made of polystyrene, commonly known as styrofoam, on April 30 when Gov. Janet Mills signed legislation sponsored by State Rep (D) Stanley Zeigler.

The law will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2021, which gives restaurants, grocery stores, and other establishments ample time to find sustainable alternatives.

The new law doesn’t target all forms of styrofoam — only food containers. That means that some uses of styrofoam as packaging will still be allowed.

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

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

Throughout the US, bills banning types of styrofoam have become popular in recent years because of the material’s lack of recyclability and its outsized impact on the environment. The Natural Resources Council of Maine said in a statement that styrofoam is among the 10 most polluted types of plastic and people in the state use 256 million pieces of the material each year.

Gov. Mills stressed the environmental harm caused by styrofoam in a press release and said that the ban was long overdue, noting that at least 14 towns has already banned it on a local level.

“Polystyrene cannot be recycled like a lot of other products, so while that cup of coffee may be finished, the Styrofoam cup it was in is not,” she said. “In fact, it will be around for decades to come and eventually it will break down into particles, polluting our environment, hurting our wildlife, and even detrimentally impacting our economy.”


Read More: Canada Is Working on Plastic Problem Following Philippines' Threat of 'War' Over Waste

She added that the state will work with businesses to find alternatives and promote “Maine-made” options.

Styrofoam is a particularly problematic form of plastic pollution. After being used once, it’s disposed of in the normal waste stream where it heads to a landfill, or it ends up as litter and contaminates local land ecosystems and bodies of water.

As styrofoam is exposed to rain, wind, and regular wear-and-tear, it breaks down into smaller and smaller microplastics that are regularly consumed by animals, causing a range of health problems.

Read More: Imported Plastic Waste Is Destroying Asia's Crops and Health

Unlike other forms of plastic, styrofoam can’t be recycled, making it one of the least sustainable types of packaging.

Other states have made progress toward banning the material.

In early April, Maryland’s legislature passed a veto-proof bill targeting styrofoam food containers, but Gov. Larry Hogan has yet to sign it. New York similarly appears to be moving in the direction of a state-wide ban after approving a ban on single-use plastic bags.

Read More: Indonesia Launches ‘Clean Indonesian Movement’ to Fight Plastic Waste

The effort to rein in plastic pollution is championed around the world. The African Union has made great strides in banning various types of plastic, China cracked down on various forms of junk plastic after years of being the world’s leading importer of the stuff, and the European Union recently approved the most sweeping ban on single-use plastics in the world.

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APRIL 23, 2019



This Powerful Film About Girls' Education Was Written and Performed by Refugees

The short film tells the story of a Somali refugee teen set to poetry by Warsan Shire.

Nasro was just 7 years old when she arrived at Dadaab, a refugee camp in Kenya, from Somalia. Now, a decade later, she’s lived most of her life in the camp, where life has not been easy.

She’s often struggled to access basic services and feel safe, but she’s never let that stop her from dreaming. And, above all, she’s never let that interfere with her education — her chance to realize her dreams.

Brave Girl Rising — a new short film created by nonprofit Girl Rising in partnership with the International Rescue Committee, HP, and Citi — tells Nasro’s powerful story of courage and resilience.

Nasro is one of millions displaced from Somalia by war, famine, and drought since the 1990s, according to the International Rescue Committee.

Set to five original poems by Warsan Shire, a Somali refugee herself, the film follows the young woman through daily life in the camp, shedding light on the challenges she and many other displaced people continue to face.

Read More: How HP Is Creating Educational Opportunities for Syrian Refugees in Jordan

But despite the many challenges Nasro has faced growing up in the camp, she has always been determined to get an education.

“Education is worth risking your life for…” a poem, read in the film by actress Tessa Thompson, says.

By sharing Nasro’s story, and others like it, with the world, Girl Rising hopes to challenge social attitudes toward girls.

“Our mission at Girl Rising is to change the way that people value girls,” says Martha Adams, chief creative officer at Girl Rising and co-director of Brave Girl Rising. “The genesis of this project is the belief that Girl Rising must speak up for the millions of girls around the world who are undervalued and face gender discrimination in all its forms.”

More than 68 million people are displaced globally, driven from their homes by extreme poverty, hunger, violence, and persecution. Over half of them are women and children, who are particularly vulnerable to further violence and trauma.

“We want to get people talking about the reality for refugee girls all over the globe, the barriers they face in securing basic human rights and the truly transformative power of education for girls living as refugees," says Christina Lowery, CEO of Girl Rising.

20181109-IMG_5045.jpgImage: Courtesy of HP

“We believe films like ours can turn bystanders into activists and we have seen first-hand the results of people who become engaged in the issue and are inspired to act,” she adds.

Read More: How HP and the Clooney Foundation Are Working to Get Syrian Refugees in School

HP believes that education is key to ending poverty and empowering girls and women everywhere. And technology can be a powerful tool in that process.

“Our vision is to create technology that makes life better for everyone, everywhere,” says Michele Malejki, HP’s global head of strategic programs. “This partnership [with Girl Rising] is really important because the power of storytelling lets us actually sit down and use technology to strategically change mindsets.”

The moving film, which is written and performed by refugees, premiered on March 8 — International Women’s Day — and is the first of a 10-part series of stories that show the life-changing impact of girls’ education.

And Nasro’s incredible story is a powerful one to start with.

“It’s our responsibility to be witness to those who are suffering, even if we can’t do anything about it. To not turn the other way, and not to ignore it or to build up apathy,” Shire says. “I hope people are able to see that the human spirit is not so easy to break, and that Nasro is a beautiful example of that.”

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12 DE ABRIL DE 2019



Cada vez hay más resistencia a los antibióticos, y se trata de un gran problema global.

Desde Kenia hasta Canadá, el resultado final es el mismo.



Por qué es importante para los Global Citizens
En los países en desarrollo, el uso excesivo de antibióticos está fomentando la resistencia a los medicamentos, lo que en última instancia significa que las personas no pueden curarse de enfermedades que deberían poder evitar. Cuando alguien no puede acceder a buenos servicios de salud, pierde calidad de vida, y si esto ocurre en entornos de extrema pobreza, el impacto es mucho mayor. Puedes tomar medidas sobre este tema aquí.

Las personas de todo el mundo se están volviendo resistentes a los antibióticos, lo que significa que infecciones comunes que antes eran fáciles de tratar podrían llegar a ser mortales algún día. De hecho, la tuberculosis farmacorresistente, una enfermedad infecciosa y, en ocasiones, mortal, representa actualmente una grave amenaza para la salud mundial y, recientemente, los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades informaron sobre un brote de estos super hongos en los Estados Unidos.


Pero, ¿cómo ocurrió la resistencia antimicrobiana (RMA) y qué significa exactamente?


En los últimos años, este problema se ha convertido en una de las mayores amenazas para la salud en todo el mundo. Y sin embargo, la mayoría de la gente sabe muy poco al respecto.


"Las personas tienen una opinión sobre la poliomielitis, otra para el sarampión", le dijo a Global Citizen Jyoti Joshi, jefa de Asia del Sur para el Centro para la Dinámica de las Enfermedades, la Economía y la Política (CDDEP). "Pero la RMA es algo distante y no personal".


Cuando alguien muere a causa de una infección resistente a los antibióticos, ella explica que no hay una certificación que indique que murieron a causa de esa infección porque eran  resistentes a los antibióticos; sino que solo ve que se trata de una infección.


Pero la RMA en realidad causa 700,000 muertes por año, y para 2050, ese número podría llegar a 10 millones en todo el mundo, según la Revisión de 2014 sobre la resistencia a los antibióticos.


La exposición a los antibióticos engendra resistencia. Esto significa que cada vez que un germen se expone a un antibiótico, su resistencia aumenta. Esto no significa que una persona no deba tomar antibióticos cuando sea necesario, solo significa que los pacientes deben ser más conscientes.


Digamos que tienes un resfriado fuerte que ha durado tres días y que alcanza un antibiótico el cuarto día. Para entonces, tu infección ya estará menguando y tu inmunidad mejorará, explicó Joshi.


“Puede que te engañen para que pienses que el antibiótico te curó, pero es más probable que tenga un efecto placebo. Lo que realmente habrás hecho es exponer tu resfriado a otra infección, haciéndolo más resistente”, dijo.


"Las capacidades pueden ser diferentes, pero los países de bajos ingresos y los países de altos ingresos, se enfrentan a problemas similares", dijo Sergey Eremin, un médico del Sistema Mundial de Resistencia Antimicrobiana (GLASS), a Global Citizen.


GLASS fue lanzado por la Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS) en 2015 para recopilar y analizar datos globales sobre la RMA, con el objetivo de respaldar acciones regionales, nacionales y mundiales para enfrentarlo.


"Para el mundo en desarrollo el debate que se lleva a cabo es entre el acceso y el exceso, porque tenemos áreas rurales y remotas donde no hay un médico disponible o no hay una farmacia disponible", dijo Joshi. "Pero eso no justifica hacer que los antibióticos estén disponibles para cualquiera cuando sabes que los estás exponiendo a una infección a largo plazo de una forma u otra".


A través de su trabajo con CDDEP, Joshi está estudiando la RMA en India. El CDDEP ayuda a recopilar datos y proporciona un análisis de la situación en varios países. Luego trabaja con la OMS para proporcionar orientación sobre cómo implementar estrategias en programas de salud existentes, como planes de salud maternoinfantil, iniciativas de inmunización o programas que trabajan para mejorar las tasas de infección en los centros de salud.


Desde que la resistencia a los antibióticos se convirtió en parte de la agenda de las Naciones Unidas en 2016, la mayoría de los países tienen planes en papel, pero han tenido problemas con la implementación real, dijo Joshi.



Ella argumenta que la gravedad de AMR aún no es entendida por todas las partes interesadas: la gente no entiende realmente su implicación global.


Esta resistencia es el resultado de una combinación de problemas que crean una tormenta perfecta como una amenaza para la salud global.


Para empezar, las personas recurren a los antibióticos con demasiada frecuencia en los países en desarrollo, donde acceder a ellos es más fácil que acceder a servicios de salud de calidad. Aunque esto también ocurre en los países desarrollados donde se abusa de ellos.


"La gente suele acudir al médico y tiene una agenda", dijo a Global Citizen el Dr. Andrew Morris, director médico del Programa de administración de antibióticos del Sinai Health System-University Health Network. "Vengo porque necesito un antibiótico", suele ser un motivo de consulta. Por eso, la satisfacción se basará en si el antibiótico fue recetado o no".


Por otra parte, en Canadá, por ejemplo, Morris señala que entre el 80% y el 90% de los antibióticos se usan en animales (para aumentar las tasas de crecimiento o para proteger su salud), lo que significa que solo del 10% al 20% se usan en humanos. El problema es que alrededor del 90% de la población canadiense come animales, según una investigación de la Universidad de Dalhousie. Debido a que los humanos regularmente ingieren antibióticos a través de la carne en sus dietas, se están volviendo más resistentes a los antibióticos.


Morris, así como Joshi, hacen referencia a la necesidad de centrarse en la RMA con el enfoque de One Health, que es el concepto de varias disciplinas que trabajan juntas a nivel local, nacional y mundial para abordar la atención médica para las personas, los animales y el medio ambiente.


Existe una conexión clara entre las personas, los animales y los antibióticos, pero la RMA en los países en desarrollo también deriva en problemas sistémicos más amplios.


"Los antibióticos son un atajo rápido para no mejorar otras prácticas de control de infecciones, la calidad de la atención o los problemas de higiene de las manos", explicó Joshi. "Por lo tanto, los responsables políticos o los gobiernos pueden apoyarse en infraestructuras deficientes o falta de agua en las instalaciones del hospital porque hay un antibiótico disponible sin receta".


Nuevamente, esto vuelve a la idea de que se debe adoptar un enfoque integral para combatir la resistencia a los antibióticos. El acceso a agua limpia y al saneamiento reduciría las enfermedades diarreicas, lo que reduciría el número de personas que toman antibióticos innecesarios, y a su vez limitaría la resistencia a los antibióticos.


Morris dijo que la resistencia a los antibióticos no proviene de una sola vía, porque depende del uso excesivo por parte de los seres humanos, pero también de su uso en animales, medio ambiente, prácticas agrícolas y comercio de alimentos.


La resistencia a los antibióticos es un problema que debe abordarse globalmente, ya que todos juntos estamos en esto, de un modo u otro.

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MAY 2, 2019



The UK Just Became the First Country in the World to Declare a 'Climate Emergency'

It's a symbolic move, but highly significant nevertheless.

Why Global Citizens Should Care
The UN’s Global Goals include several environmental targets, including action against climate change, protecting life on land and life below water, and creating cities and communities that are sustainable. Join the movement by taking action here to protect the environment. 

The UK parliament has reportedly become the first in the world to declare an "environment and climate emergency", after MPs passed a motion on Wednesday. 

While it's largely a symbolic move, it does suggest that politicians are listening to the nationwide protests this month, and working to more fully commit to combating the climate crisis. 

Take Action: Educating Girls Strengthens the Global Fight Against Climate Change

Tuitea Ahora:
Educar a las niñas fortalece la lucha contra el cambio climático

On Wednesday evening, MPs voted in Westminster after Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn called on politicians to do their "historic duty" and back the motion, which he had introduced. 

"We have no time to waste," he told MPs, reported by the Independent. "We are living in a climate crisis that will spiral dangerously out of control unless we take rapid and dramatic action now."


Wales and Scotland both declared a climate emergency earlier this week. 

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP), made the declaration in a speech at the SNP conference on Sunday — making Scotland the first nation to do so, according to conservation organisation WWF UK.  

She was closely followed by a similar declaration from Wales’ Environment Minister Lesley Griffiths on Monday, ahead of a meeting with UK and Scottish ministers in Cardiff.  


On Sunday, Sturgeon told delegates she was inspired after meeting a group of young climate activists, who had joined the schools strikes against climate inaction — a movement spearheaded by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg. 

“A few weeks ago, I met some of the young climate change campaigners who’ve gone on strike from school to raise awareness of their cause,” Sturgeon said

“They want governments around the world to declare a climate emergency,” she continued. “They say that’s what the science tells us. And they are right.” 

“So today, as first minister of Scotland, I am declaring that there is a climate emergency,” she said. “And Scotland will live up to our responsibility to tackle it.” 

Related StoriesFeb. 27, 2019Dozens of Councils Across the UK Are Declaring a 'Climate Emergency’

There isn’t a strict definition of what it means to declare a climate emergency, with different authorities pledging to take different levels of action — but many of the councils that have declared emergencies in recent months have pledged to be carbon neutral by 2030. 

Referring to the Committee on Climate Change’s new advice on meeting emission targets, due to be published by the end of this week, Sturgeon added: “If that advice says we can go further or go faster, we will do so.” 

In response, Gina Hanrahan, head of policy at WWF Scotland, said Sturgeon was "absolutely right" to declare an emergency. 

"Politicians from across the spectrum need to work together to lead the rapid and large-scale emergency response that we urgently require," Hanrahan said.

According to a statement from the Welsh government, meanwhile, Griffiths’ announcement “draws attention to the magnitude and significance of the latest evidence from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and highlights the recent climate protests across the UK.” 


”A climate emergency has been declared in Wales following protests demanding politicians take action on climate change.”
Activism works.
So act. #ClimateBreakdown https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-politics-48093720 


The IPCC report, published on Oct. 8,  called for “rapid, far-reaching, and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” — and warned that there are just 12 years left to stave off catastrophe. 

Griffiths said: “We hope that the declaration by Welsh government today can help to trigger a wave of action at home and internationally. From our own communities, businesses, and organisations to parliaments and governments around the world.” 

Related StoriesOct. 9, 20185 Things You Can Do Now in Response to the UN's Terrifying New Climate Report

“Tackling climate change is not an issue which can be left to individuals or to the free market,” she added. “It requires collective action and the government has a central role to making that collective action possible.” 

A Greenpeace poll this week also revealed that two-thirds of people in the UK believe there is a climate emergency, and 76% reportedly said they would vote differently to protect the planet, according to the Guardian

Currently, the UK government’s target is to reduce carbon emissions by 80%, compared to 1990 levels, by 2050, according to the BBC

Scotland, meanwhile, is committed to being carbon neutral by 2050. Wales has committed to achieving a carbon neutral public sector by 2030, and to “coordinating action to help other areas of the economy to make a decisive shift away from fossil fuels.” 

Related StoriesApril 26, 2019These Scottish Entrepreneurs Want to Replace Palm Oil With Used Coffee Grounds

In November, Bristol and Manchester councils were among the first in the UK to declare a climate emergency, and set targets aiming to be carbon neutral by 2030 and 2038 respectively. 

As of April 27, a total of 507 councils, local governments, and governments have made climate emergency declarations — covering over 43 million citizens — across Australia, the UK, Canada, Switzerland, and the United States, according to the Climate Emergency Declaration website

According to the Council Action in the Climate Emergency (CACE) campaign, being in “emergency mode” means that councils allocate all discretionary funds available to the council towards climate action. 

Related StoriesApril 24, 2019Greta Thunberg Slams UK Fossil Fuel Use as 'Beyond Absurd' in a Passionate Plea to MPs

That can cover things like educating the community about climate action, advocating for action from higher level governments, mitigating and building resilience against the impacts of climate change, and funding or undertaking the planning and research needed to implement full state and national emergency mobilisation. 

Most authorities also set targets for themselves as part of the declaration, according to CACE. But, according to the Campaign Against Climate Change, the targets themselves aren’t enough. 

It says on its website: “Campaigners’ continued efforts will be crucial in turning abstract targets into reality."

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Baby Dolphin in Florida Found Dead With Stomach Full of Plastic Trash

Plastic pollution is killing marine animals at alarming rates.

Why Global Citizens Should Care:
Eight to 13 million tons of plastic enters the world’s oceans each year, killing thousands of marine creatures that accidentally ingest it or become entangled in it. Reducing plastic consumption and using sustainable and biodegradable alternatives can help protect the lives of many marine creatures. You can join us in taking action on the issue here.

A baby dolphin was found dead on Fort Myers Beach, Florida, with plastic trash in its stomach last week. An autopsy conducted by biologists from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on April 25 showed that the dolphin had ingested a balloon and two plastic bags. 

The dolphin’s definite cause of death is still under investigation; however, the findings highlight the importance of reducing single-use plastic and not releasing balloons in the atmosphere, the commission said.

The dolphin's death is just the latest in a devastating global trend of plastic pollution-related deaths among marine animals.

Marine creatures that are unable to distinguish between food and plastic frequently consume plastic waste, which many are unable to digest or excrete. Instead, the waste accumulates in their stomach and often clogs their digestive tracts, ultimately leading to death. Other animals get strangled in nets and plastic bags, though most ingest trash while swallowing water or intaking food.

Take Action: Protect Our Oceans! Prevent Ocean Plastic Pollution


Firma ahora:
¡Previene la polución plástica en nuestros océanos!


"Although a significant finding, there are many additional factors to consider, such as underlying illness, disease and maternal separation, before a final cause of stranding and death for the dolphin can be determined," the commission said in a Facebook statement.

Tales of dolphins rescuing humans and other stranded creatures are countless, but now the celebrated animals, known for their friendliness, are in need of assistance themselves.

Read More: 4 Animals Making a Comeback After Facing Extinction

In a recent study, researchers examining urine samples of bottlenose dolphins in Sarasota, Florida, found enormous amounts of chemical additives in their bodies. The most common chemical found, phthalates, is commonly found in plastics, cosmetics, and paints.

“We weren't surprised to detect exposure, but what was surprising were the levels we were detecting,” Leslie Hart, the study's lead author said. This was the first time in 40 years that researchers had found phthalates in the bodies of wild dolphins.

An overwhelming number of dolphins washed up in southwest Florida last year. In what was known as one of the worst years for the species, 127 were found dead on the shore, way more than the historical average of two. The news came less than a month after a whale with 88 pounds of plasticwashed up on the other side of the world in Davao City, Philippines.

Many animals including sea turtles, sea lions, seabirds, dolphins, and whales, have become victims of increasing levels of ocean pollution.

Since 1950, an estimated 8.3 billion metric of plastic has been generated, 8 to 13 million tons, of which, enters the world’s ocean each year, yet only 9.1% of plastic waste in the US, among the world's top producers of plastic waste, is recycled.

Until lawmakers and consumers take action to prevent plastic waste and use more sustainable alternatives, dolphins and many other marine creatures remain in danger.

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APRIL 29, 2019



These Plastic-Free Water Pods Were Handed Out to London Marathon Runners

The change has major implications for the environment.

Why Global Citizens Should Care 
The UN's Global Goals address the urgent need to be more environmentally-friendly under several of the goals, including Goal 11 for sustainable cities and communities, Goal 12 for responsible consumption and production, and Goal 14 to protect life below water. Join the movement by taking action here to help protect the environment. 

This weekend saw tens of thousands of runners take to the streets of the UK capital for the London Marathon 2019. 

But this year the marathon had an environmentally-friendly twist, in the shape of edible plastic-free water capsules handed out to runners in place of plastic water bottles. 

Runners have to stay hydrated on the 26.2 mile route — but the environmental impact of the hundreds of thousands of plastic water bottles needed for this is concerning. In 2018, some 920,000 plastic bottles were used. 

Take action: Call on Businesses to #UnplasticthePlanet by Reducing Their Plastic Packaging Waste

Pídele a las empresas que reduzcan la cantidad de plástico en sus envases #UnplasticthePlanet

Organisers hoped that by handing out the capsules at some drink stations — with compostable cups used at others — they would cut down the number of plastic bottles being used by 200,000.

That’s why London-based startup Skipping Rocks Lab was brought on board. Instead of traditional single-use water bottles, runners were handed the capsules that have liquid encased in a natural seaweed membrane. 

“The marathon is a milestone,” Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez, a co-founder of the startup, told CNN. “We are hoping we will demonstrate that it can be used at scale in the future.” 

Related StoriesApril 26, 2019These Scottish Entrepreneurs Want to Replace Palm Oil With Used Coffee Grounds

The lining of the Ooho! water capsules can be eaten or, if runners don’t want to eat the lining, it also biodegrades in six weeks, according to the Independent. That’s compared to the 450 years it takes for a plastic bottle to break down.

The capsules have also been used at music festivals — with espresso martinis apparently being the most popular product at festivals, according to CNN. 

The startup is also working on alternatives to cling film and the plastic liners used in disposable coffee cups. 

In another step to help reduce the marathon’s environmental impact, organisers also reportedly guaranteed that water bottles that were handed out would all be at least partially made of recycled plastic.

Related StoriesApril 17, 2019The 'Attenborough Effect' Is Causing Plastic Pollution to Plummet

These bottles were then reportedly collected and recycled to help form a “closed loop” system. Bottles were collected in Tower Hamlets, Greenwich, Southwark, and Canary Wharf and returned to a reprocessing plant to become new bottles. 

The marathon event director, Hugh Brasher, said that the “changes and the trials we’re introducing for this year have the potential to change how mass participation events are delivered in future.” 

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MAY 3, 2019



15 Photos of Resilience and Commitment Around the World This Week

People across the globe are exercising their voting rights.

Why Global Citizens Should Care
From geopolitical crises in Venezuela and Central America to natural disasters in Mozambique, these photos capture the global need for resilience, change, and commitment to achieving the UN Global Goals. You can join us in taking action here.

Workers around the world celebrated International Labor Day on May 1, demanding safer working environments, minimum wage hikes, unemployment benefits, provision of maternity leaves, and an end to discrimination against temporary or foreign workers.

And elsewhere in the world, people are calling for change amid political turmoil.

The crisis in Venezuela is still far from being resolved, worsening the country's decade-long economic struggle. The two most prominent leaders, President Nicolás Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaidó, are now calling on their supporters to rally against the other.

In Central America, migrants continue to flee to the United States in great numbers, searching for safety, protection, and opportunity. In an attempt to discourage them from approaching the border, President Donald Trump has now proposed an application fee for people seeking asylum.

Sign Petition:
This Inequality Cannot Go On. Ask the World’s Richest People to Help End Extreme Poverty


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This week, South Africa celebrated “Freedom Day,” a public holiday commemorating the 25th anniversary of the first elections held in the post-apartheid era in 1994, which enabled all citizens over the age of 18 to cast votes. Before these elections, anyone who was not considered "white" under the apartheid system had limited voting rights and black South Africans were not allowed to vote at all. With elections in South Africa scheduled to take place on May 8, the occasion was all the more significant.

South Africa is the continent’s most industrialized economy, yet the country still has deep inequality with black South Africans experiencing high poverty rates. The African National Congress (ANC) and President Cyril Ramaphosa — expected to win the upcoming election — have promised an ambitious house-building program for the poverty-driven population living in settlements.

Mozambique, further northeast of South Africa, was recently hit by Cyclone Kenneth, just weeks after Cyclone Idai killed hundreds of people and caused major destruction. The UN said that more floods due to heavy rainfalls are expected and could cause the distressed country more damage.

India, which began its elections, is now entering the fourth round of the phased process. The election is said to be the largest democratic exercise in the world, with more than 900 million registered voters.

These are some of the most remarkable images from around the world this week.


South-Africa-Freedom-Day-Elections-May-8.jpgImage: Denis Farrell/AP


1. South Africa Freedom Day: A woman waves a South African flag as she attends Freedom Day celebrations in Kwa-Thema Township, near Johannesburg, on April 27, 2019. Sporting colorful outfits, South Africans celebrate Freedom Day, the holiday marking the 25th anniversary of the 1994 elections, which ended of the brutal system of racial discrimination known as apartheid and established a new democratic government. This year, much attention was focused on the upcoming elections in South Africa, which will take place on May 8. According to the Guardian, almost 50 parties will compete for the votes of 26.75 million eligible voters. While the African National Congress (ANC) and President Cyril Ramaphosa are expected to win another majority, how the ANC performs in the polls could dictate the future direction of the party and country. 


Mozambique-Cyclone-Kenneth-Idai-Aftermath.jpgImage: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP


2. Mozambique: Children relax outside a Roman Catholic Church in Pemba city on the northeastern coast of Mozambique on April, 29, 2019. Situated in the heart of this predominantly Muslim but diverse city ravaged by Cyclone Kenneth, the Maria Auxiliadora parish has become a home for nearly 1,000 people displaced by the storm in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique’s northernmost province. At least 38 people have been killed by Cyclone Kenneth, the second massive storm to strike Mozambique in a matter of weeks. The country is still recovering from Cyclone Idai, which killed hundreds of people and displaced millions just six weeks ago. Humanitarian organizations fear that Cyclone Kenneth could deepen the ongoing crisis. “It will be challenging for the humanitarian community to respond, simultaneously, to what are the two worst storms that have hit the southern hemisphere in a five-year period,” Chance Briggs, country director of Mozambique for Save the Children, told Global Citizen from the port city of Berai, which was flattened by Cyclone Idai. 

3. Venezuela Migration Crisis: A woman and her children cross from San Antonio del Tachira, in Venezuela, to Cucuta, in Colombia, through "trochas" — illegal trails — near the Simon Bolivar International Bridge, on May 1, 2019.

4. Sri Lanka Aftermath: Mourners light candles during a vigil in memory of the victims in Colombo on April 28, 2019, a week after the series of bomb blasts targeting churches and luxury hotels on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka's churches remained shut on April 28, forcing Christians to say prayers of grief in private over the Easter suicide attacks.


Pakistan-Labour-May-Day-Workers-Rights.jpgImage: Mahesh Kumar A./AP


5. Labor Day in India: An Indian worker wears a worn-out protection mask as he works in a small aluminum factory in Hyderabad, India, April 30, 2019. International Labor Day, also known as May Day, is marked across the world on May 1. Traditionally, May Day marks the day when union members and labor activists march for workers rights globally. According to the Associated Press, higher salaries, better working conditions, maternity leave, minimum wage, and an end to discrimination against temporary or foreign workers were among the concerns most important to marchers this year. In India, a country with an estimated 522 million workers, Labor Day is a public holiday. 


Immigration-Central-America-Rio-Grande.jpgImage: Eric Gay/AP


6. Central American Migration: A migrant seeking asylum in the United States bathes in the Rio Grande River near the international bridge in Matamoros, Mexico, on April 30, 2019. President Donald Trump has proposed charging asylum seekers a fee to process their applications, as he continues to try to crack down on the surge of Central American migrants seeking to cross into the US. Migrants fleeing Central America's Northern Triangle region — comprising Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala — routinely cite poverty and rampant gang violence as their motivations for leaving.


Venezuela-Political-Crisis-May-Day.jpgImage: Ariana Cubillos/AP


7. Political Crisis in Venezuela: An anti-government protester dressed as Lady Liberty, wearing the colors of Venezuela's flag, hugs a fellow protester during a demonstration near La Carlota airbase in Caracas, Venezuela, on May 1, 2019. Opposition leader Juan Guaidó is called for Venezuelans to fill streets around the country to demand President Nicolás Maduro's ouster. Maduro also called for his supporters to rally. Amid this geopolitical turmoil, the country’s humanitarian crisis, which began nearly a decade ago, continues to deteriorate. The crisis in Venezuela has steadily grown over the past few years, following the collapse of the country’s economy, widespread food insecurity, a faltering health care system, and violence. 

8. South Africa Elections: A street scene shows a woman and child crossing a road flanked by South African political party posters in the run up to elections on April 28, 2019, in Johannesburg. The elections, due to take place on May 8, will mark the 25th anniversary of democratic rule in the country.

9. May Day in Hong Kong: Workers carry placards and banners as they march on the street during the Labor Day rally on May 1, 2019, in Hong Kong, China. Hundreds gathered in Hong Kong on Labor Day to demand better workers' rights.


India-Elections-Democracy.jpgImage: Rajanish Kakade/AP


10. Election in India: An Indian Muslim woman enjoys a swing outside a polling booth after casting her vote in Mumbai, India, on April 29, 2019. Indians voted on Monday in the fourth phase of a staggered national election. The election, the world's largest democratic exercise, is seen as a referendum on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party. The scale of the general elections in India is the largest in the world, with more than 1 million polling booths being set up all over the country, according to Vox. The process ends on May 19.

11. Sudan: A Sudanese protester raises a placard during a sit-in outside the army headquarters in the capital, Khartoum, on April 29, 2019. Sudan's army rulers and protest leaders have offered different visions for a joint council, a military spokesman said today, expressing hope that a final structure for the body would be decided soon.

12. Conservation in Indonesia: An Indonesian elephant receives a bath in the conservation area of the Ulu Masen ecosystem in Aceh province, Indonesia, on April 27, 2019. Sumatran elephants are a critically endangered species and face threats from poaching and rampant deforestation.

13. Protests Against Thermal Coal Mine in Australia: Reinhard of the Wangan and Jagalingou people prepares to perform with other traditional land owners during an anti-Adani rally at Clermont Showground on April 28, 2019, in Clermont, Australia. The proposed Adani Carmichael Mine, if approved, will be constructed in the North Galilee Basin, 160 kilometers northwest of the town of Clermont. Its first stage is estimated to produce 27.5 million tonnes of coal per annum and will be transported via rail to Abbot Point which is situated 25 kilometers north of Bowen. Former Greens leader and conservationist Bob Brown has been leading a convoy of environmental activists through the Southern States toward Central Queensland as part of the #StopAdani movement.

14. Cylone Kenneth: Parents Maria Mendosa and Assan Madal, with their children, cook a meal next to their totally destroyed home in the village of Nacate, south of Macomia, on April 27, 2019, after Cyclone Kenneth hit the area. Heavy rains from a powerful cyclone lashed northern Mozambique on April 27, 2019, sparking fears of flooding as aid workers arrived to assess the damage, just weeks after the country suffered one of the worst storms in its history.

15. Elections in India: An Indian Muslim woman displays her ink-marked finger after casting her vote during the fourth phase of general elections at a polling station in Kendrapada district of Odisha state on April 29, 2019. Voting began for the fourth phase of India's general parliamentary elections as Indians exercise their franchise in the country's marathon election, which started on April 11 and runs through to May 19 with the results to be declared on May 23.

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APRIL 10, 2018



This Whale Died From 64 Pounds of Plastic in Its Stomach

Globally, more than 8 million tons of plastic enter the world’s oceans every year.

Oil canisters, ropes, nets, and plastic bags — these were some of the pieces of plastic retrieved from the stomach of a dead sperm whale that recently washed up on a beach at Cabo de Palos in Murcia, Spain, according to a report.

A team of marine scientists from El Valle Wildlife Recovery Center performed an autopsy on the 30-foot animal and found 65 pounds of plastic in its gut, the Independent reported.

They determined that the plastic caused a blockage in the whale’s digestive system, which led to a fatal infection called peritonitis.  


Cachalote varadobasura encontrada en su aparato digestivo

#MedioAmbiente lanza una #campaña para concienciar sobre el peligro de las #basurasmarinas para la #Fauna Ejemplo: La necropsia de un #Cachalote varado 🐋 detectó en su aparato digestivo 29 kg de basura 😢#StopBasurasMarinas #Concienciación ♻️+inf: https://bit.ly/2q6wBIg 


Take Action: Pledge to Invest in Reusable Items


The grisly discovery is the latest sign that plastic is harming marine life and it spurred Spain’s regional ministry of culture, tourism and environment to launch a campaign to mitigate plastic pollution, according to the Daily Mail.

“The presence of plastics in seas and oceans is one of the greatest threats to the conservation of wildlife throughout the world, since many animals are trapped in the trash or ingest large amounts of plastics that end up causing their death,” Consuelo Rosauro, director-general of the natural environment in the Murcian government, told the Independent.

“The region of Murcia is no stranger to this problem, which we must tackle through clean-up actions and, above all, citizen awareness,” he added.

Read More: The ‘Pepsi Lobster’ Isn’t Alone. These 5 Other Animals Were Harmed by Plastic

Globally, more than 8 million tons of plastic enter the world’s oceans every year, the equivalent of a garbage truck full of plastic being unloaded every minute.

All of this waste affects marine life in various ways.

Like the sperm whale, animals are prone to swallowing pieces of plastic floating in the water because they mistake it for food. Once ingested, plastic is nearly impossible to digest and can cause animals to get infections or starve to death.

lobster-claw.jpgImage: Karissa Lindstrand

The more than 51 trillion microplastics in the world’s oceans, meanwhile, are ingested in large volumes by animals up and down the food chain and leach toxic chemicals.

Plastic can get painfully stuck in animal orifices and can also entangle limbs, constricting movement or causing deformities.

Read More: Fishing Companies Are Trying to Hide How Penguins Are Showing Up Dead in Their Nets

It’s estimated that up to 300,000 small whales, dolphins, and porpoises get entangled and killed by predominantly plastic fishing materials each year. The single biggest threat to sea turtles, according to the World Wildlife Fund, is bycatch, when an animal is accidentally caught by massive fishing nets.

Sea turtle caught in gill netImage: WWF/Michael Gunther

Plastic has also been shown to destroy marine ecosystems such as coral reefs by blanketing, piercing, and otherwise damaging plant life.

As shocking examples of plastic waste appear throughout the world, countries, cities, and companies are beginning to take action.

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

Countries including Taiwan, Scotland, and Kenya have enacted some version of a plastic ban in recent years, and cities such as Vancouver and New Delhihave drafted their own bans.

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Should countries ban plastic?


Even more sweeping proposals are underway.

The UN recently proposed a global ban on plastic pollution entering the oceans and Canada is planning to introduce a similar proposal at the G7 gathering later this year.

Some of these measures are beginning to pay off.

In the UK, a ban on plastic bags led to a decline in their prevalence on seafloors. And a massive beach clean-up campaign in Mumbai revitalized the local ecosystem.  

None of these efforts were enough to save the sperm whale in Murcia, but they could save other whales from meeting a similar fate.

Global Citizen campaigns to reduce plastic waste around the world and you can take action on this issue here.

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

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


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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.


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.


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.


“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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5 African innovators to watch in 2019 and beyond

3 May 2019 3:38PM UTC | By: JANE EAGLES


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The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation have announced their shortlist, and we’re paying close attention to five of the impressive nominees! Talented, ambitious and committed to technological excellence, we’re sure they’ll be making waves over the next year and beyond.

Here’s a look at some of the stand-out individuals and inventions that made the shortlist:

Muzalema Mwanza, Zambia


Muzalema Mwanza’s creation of a Baby Delivery Kit is making waves. The kit includes the tools that expectant mothers in Zambia are often asked to bring to hospital themselves — including a hygienic sheet, scalpel and sanitary pads.

It will be particularly useful for midwives participating in home births and for midwives working in under-resourced clinics. The Baby Delivery Kit demonstrates how innovation can empower communities.

Mwanza is already leading a team that produces thousands of kits a month. Her commitment to reducing the amount of infections in newborns, coupled with a desire to empower mothers-to-be, show how well-deserved Mwanza’s place on the shortlist for this year’s Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation really is.

Collince Oluoch, Kenya


Using your own life experiences to create systems that can improve the lives of others is a skill Collince Oluoch knows well. Through his own experiences as a vaccination volunteer, he was driven to innovate and create a model that would address the shortcomings that he witnessed.

He created Chanjoplus — an impressive online system that helps parents and healthcare workers maintain records and keep children up to date with lifesaving vaccinations. Chanjopolus is even built into Kenya’s national healthcare system, meaning Olouch’s creation is already helping to yield far-reaching, life-saving results.

Although currently in a pilot phase, volunteers are steadily receiving the training that will see Chanjopolus go through its second trial and continue to grow.

Beth Koigi, Kenya


Beth Koigi created Majik Water in Kenya — a stellar illustration of innovation. Majik Water harvests water from the air to provide water which is affordable, clean and safe for drinking. This is then held in “Water ATM’s” which enable people to ‘withdraw’ the amount of water they need.

Water ATMs are already popular in Kenya, but Magik Water breaks the mould by actively seeking ways to supplement this technology with something affordable. This marks a sharp contrast from the other water ATM suppliers, and reaffirms Beth Koigi’s position on this shortlist.

Anne K. Rweyora, Uganda

Driven by a desire to empower Ugandan women in a sustainable way, Anne K. Rweyora created Smart Haven Technologies. This awesome innovation is centered around the creation of smart, sustainable homes which are built from appropriate yet equally affordable technologies.

Using designs that reduce temperatures indoors, solar water, and locally designed bricks are just a few examples of how Anne and her team are committing to building an environmentally conscious enterprise.

Rweyora’s passion for increasing home ownership among women was born out of her work as a social worker. To increase opportunities for those in areas where they’re building, the team intentionally train more artisans than needed during construction to provide local men and women with free training sessions.

Safiatou Nana, Burkina Faso


Safiatou Nana is the mind behind SolarKoodo, an impressive moveable solar water pumping system. Her innovation has the potential to change farming completely! Through her mobile pump technology, users are able to pull water from boreholes in off-grid regions where water tables drop very low. SolarKoodo can also be used to electrify homes!

During the dry months in the Sahel region arming can become a near impossible task due to lack of water. Nana’s commitment to improving access to water in these more difficult areas is reflected in SolarKoodo’s design.

Read more about the other innovators on the shortlist, and keep up with developments on the prize here!

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This is everything you never knew about HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria

5 February 2019 2:23PM UTC | By: KATIE RYAN


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

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HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), and malaria don’t just cause illness and deaths around the world, they decrease productivity and increase the risk of poverty in the communities and countries affected. Loss of income and the cost of healthcare have dramatic effects on the individual, as well as their family and community.

Here’s what you need to know about these three diseases:



Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) attacks and destroys the body’s immune cells making it difficult for the body to fight off infections and other diseases. If left untreated, HIV can develop into acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). AIDS is the most serious stage of HIV infection. Rather than a single illness, it presents as a cluster of symptoms when a person’s CD4 cell count drops too low, dramatically shortening their life expectancy. The term HIV/AIDS is used to describe the virus and the resulting symptoms and illnesses.

HIV spreads from person to person through contact with certain bodily fluids, usually through sex or needle use. Although there is no cure for HIV, it can be controlled with antiretroviral therapy (ART). If taken correctly every day, ART can significantly increase that person’s lifespan and decrease the chance of infecting others.

Condoms, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and voluntary male medical circumcision are highly effective methods that can be used to reduce the risk of acquiring HIV. Interventions, like scaling up sexual reproductive health education and needle exchange programs, can lead to behavioural change that can also reduce the spread of HIV.

Preventing the spread of HIV is crucial: 1.8 million people contracted HIV last year alone. And due to a lack of treatment 940,000 people died from AIDS-related causes.


Malaria is a tropical disease caused by parasites and transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. While global malaria death rates have dropped 60% since 2000, malaria is back on the rise: there were 3.5 million more cases in 2017 than the year before. Children under the age of 5 account for two-thirds of all malaria deaths.

Control measures such as insecticide sprays, insecticide-treated bed nets and antimalarial drugs have successfully reduced malaria cases and deaths. But insecticide and drug resistance is a growing threat as these interventions continue to be scaled up.


TB is the number one infectious disease killer in the world. TB — which killed 1.6 million people in 2017, including 300,000 people with HIV — is spread from one person to another through the air. When someone with TB coughs or sneezes, for example, the bacteria can be spread to another person and infect their lungs.

Over 10 million people are infected with TB every year, but the disease can be difficult to detect, which results in a large number of people — around 36% of those with active TB — undiagnosed, untreated, and therefore, contagious.

On top of all this, antibiotic resistance is making a deadly enemy, even more dangerous. Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) remains a public health crisis and a health security threat. Last year, there were 558,000 new cases with resistance to the most effective first-line drug. As a result, only 55% of MDR-TB patients are successfully treated.

But here’s the good news: most cases of TB are curable if patients follow and complete a 6-9 month drug regimen. It is crucial this regimen is followed precisely and is fully completed to avoid drug resistance and reinfection.


The Global Fund is an innovative partnership between governments, businesses, and health organisations, designed to accelerate the end of the three diseases. They make targeted investments around the world related to promoting treatment and prevention of AIDS, TB and malaria. With the support and investment of the Global Fund, the number of people dying from these diseases has been slashed by one-third since its creation in 2002.

In October, the Global Fund will host their sixth replenishment. They’re asking world leaders and private investors to come together and help save 16 million lives between 2021 and 2023 by meeting their replenishment goal of US$14 billion.

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

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

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Is ‘sexist’ data holding women back?



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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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5 podcast episodes every activist needs

April 30 2019 | By: SADOF ALEXANDER


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Chances are, you know someone who’s obsessed with podcasts. You might even be that person. Podcasts have exploded into popularity in recent years. In fact, there’s over 500,000 on Apple Podcasts alone!

Whether you’re a long-time listener, or looking for a place to start, we’ve got a great list of podcast episodes for you. What makes it so great? Each one of these episodes covers an important issue, so you can learn something new while you listen!

Sooo Many White Guys
Phoebe, Javier Muñoz, and Gayle Smith Fight the Good Fight!

In case it wasn’t clear, we love Phoebe Robinson. The best-selling author, podcast queen, and ONE and (RED) ambassador uses her influence to talk about important issues, always mixing in a few laughs.

She began her podcast Sooo Many White Guys as a way to push back against the predominance of white men in comedy. Her podcast often features guests who are women and/or people of color talking about race, feminism, and social issues.

Her most recent episode features none other than our own CEO, Gayle Smith, and actor Javier Munoz, who’s also a (RED) ambassador! They discuss how Gayle and Javier got to where they are today, and give some important insights into the HIV/AIDS crisis.

African Tech RoundUp
Wajenzi’s Alain Nkurukiye on Galvanising Diasporans to Back Economic Growth in Africa

African Tech RoundUp covers everything digital, technological, and innovative coming out of Africa. This organization, based in Johannesburg, produces podcasts, op-eds, media projects, and more. Their podcasts dive deep into the growing tech scene with guests who are working in the industry.

This episode features guest Alain Nkurukiye, the founder of tech startup Wajenzi. When he worked in the Netherlands, he wanted to give back to his home in Burundi. Now, his mission is to give the African diaspora a way to invest in entrepreneurs in their home nations.

Sincerely, Hueman
2018 Year End Special (Part 2)

Sincerely, Hueman tells stories about everyday people who are changing communities. Each episode features leaders that spark social good through local and global movements. They share a diverse array of stories, showing that everyone has the ability to create positive change for people worldwide.

The second part of their 2018 end-of-year special features Ashaba Faridah. Ashaba, one of the few female pilots in Uganda, is the founder of Bambino Life Foundation. Her organization encourages girls to get an education, creates awareness for children living with disability, and donates needed items to orphanages.

The Guilty Feminist 
Period Poverty with Gemma Cairney, Amika George, Grace Campbell

The Guilty Feminist is a comedy podcast that balances hilarious wit with smart discussion. Hosts Deborah Frances-White and Sofie Hagen invite guests to go in-depth on all things feminism.

This episode is about period poverty. Their guests are activists who tackle period taboos and work to make sanitary products accessible. The discussion highlights the global issue of period poverty and how we can stop it. Of course, some tongue-in-cheek comedy about menstruation is also in the mix.

Pod Save the World 
The Worst Humanitarian Crisis since WWII

There’s tons of political podcasts out there, but few can break down big issues like Pod Save the World does. This foreign policy podcast makes global issues relatable and easy to understand. They also focus on how people can get involved.

This episode dives deep into the current refugee crisis, how it happened, and how it affects us all. The guest, David Miliband, highlights how the circumstances for displacement are often man-made. But, there is a silver lining – everyone, particularly young people, can help solve this crisis.

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