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The Action Thread Part Two

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AUG. 1, 2019

 

1
 
GIRLS & WOMEN

How One Transgender Woman Navigates Being Trans at Work in South Africa

As one woman from Soweto tells Global Citizen, discrimination is often worst in the workplace.


Why Global Citizens Should Care
Global Citizen campaigns on the UN’s Global Goals, which work to end extreme poverty by 2030. But members of the LGBTQ community are in danger of being left behind in that fight. Join the movement by taking action here to support LGBTQ communities. 

The year is 1992 in Soweto, south of Johannesburg, and Mahlatse* is born. 

Mahlatse’s parents were told by doctors that they were taking home a healthy baby boy.

But, as the now 27-year-old Mahlatse tells Global Citizen, the gender she was assigned at birth has never aligned with her identity. 

“My mother tells me the same story about me crying for a dress at Woolworths when I was 3 years old every time we discuss my gender. She has always known,” Mahlatse says.

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It's not been an easy journey for Mahlatse and her family.

But she admits that unlike many other queer people — who have found themselves ostracised by family members — she has been fortunate to still have a relationship with her mother.

“She really tries, but it’s clear that she doesn’t fully understand,” says Mahlatse, adding that the confusion from her family was expected simply because they weren’t educated on LGBTQ issues.

Related StoriesJuly 31, 2019Caster Semenya Won’t Be Allowed to Defend Her World Championship Title After Court Ruling

Even though the South African constitution (Act No.108 of 1996) is the first in the world to expressly forbid discrimination on grounds of gender or sexual orientation, including a guarantee of equality, it does not explicitly prohibit discrimination against people who are transgender.

And, as Mahlatse herself has experienced, that discrimination can often be most pronounced in the workplace.

Mahlatse’s experience of her working life now, as a transgender woman, is very different from when she first started working in 2014. 

“When I started working I was still identifying as a gay man, which is not that taboo in corporate spaces, so aside from my dysphoria, everything was OK,” she says.

Related StoriesJune 21, 2019Protests, Pride, and More: 16 Stunning Photos From Around the World

Before making the decision to transition in 2016, Mahlatse left her previous job because of the discomfort she felt in how to present her gender.

In her sabbatical, as she calls it, she had more freedom to be herself. 

“I didn’t have to go be a man at work or anywhere, I was just at home focusing on me,” she says.

After more than two decades of battling with her identity, Mahlatse is now in her third year living as the woman she has always known herself to be. But, despite the positives, this has come with a new, harsher reality.

Related StoriesJuly 31, 2019Thomson Reuters FoundationBacking Female Entrepreneurs Can Add Trillions to the Global Economy

According to Careers24’s article on “Transgender Troubles in the South African Workplace”, job seeking for people who are trans is often challenging, especially if they do not fall in with “employer’s expectations”.

After transitioning, Mahlatse started to look for employment again in 2017, as she grew more comfortable in her body. 

Being a graduate with a degree in Actuarial Science, she says that getting a job working in insurance wasn’t that difficult, but it took her longer than it would have pre-transition. 

The challenge became about her identity documents describing her as a man while she presents as a woman. 

“I would wear very androgenous clothes just to cover up and leave it to people to decide what they are comfortable with,” she says, on how she eventually found a compromise.

Related StoriesJuly 10, 2019Meet the Women Who Are Fighting Child Marriage One African Country at a Time

After the long search for employment, Mahlatse was hired at her current company in May 2018. 

She describes the experience as “quite a lot”, because the manager assumed that she is a gay man and so did her colleagues.

Mahlatse's experience of people's assumptions and misuse of pronouns is far from unusual, particularly in the workplace.

As well as direct transphobia — antagonistic attitudes and feelings towards people who are transgender — there are a number of other smaller forms of discrimination that can be just as damaging and upsetting. 

Misgendering, for example, is the use of the individual's previous gender pronouns rather than the pronouns they identify with.

Deadnaming is similar, but denies the individual their authentic identity by using their pre-transition name.

Related StoriesJuly 3, 2019Rape of 8-Month-Old Baby in Cape Town Sparks Outrage Across South Africa

While people who are trans are increasingly gaining a platform in popular culture and daily life, Human Rights Campaign says transgender people still face severe discrimination, stigma, and systemic inequality.

Mahlatse went through over a month of being addressed as male and had to use the men’s bathroom, until her physical appearance was too hard and uncomfortable to hide. 

“A male colleague expressed discomfort with sharing a bathroom with a woman”, she says, forcing her to then come out as trans to her employer. “I couldn’t continue using the men’s bathroom, it just didn’t make sense.”

After the involvement of management in addressing the issue, the “microaggressions” started.

“They went around asking all the women at the office if they are comfortable with me,” Mahlatse recalls. This, she says, caused her to isolate herself completely. 

Related StoriesJune 21, 2019South African Women Just Stopped One of the Biggest Music Stars in Africa From Performing

To this day, she uses the women’s bathroom on a different floor to avoid her colleagues. 

“The situation was dealt with well on paper, but the experience was still terrible for me. But I think it’s the best you can hope for, which is sad,” Mahlatse says with a fading smile.

While she hasn’t had the extent of family issues that many people who are LGBTQ have to contend with, Mahlatse says her journey has been made easier by support from friends.

“You have to find people who are affirming and there are organisations that are very helpful,” she adds.

One such organisation is Nalane For Reproductive Justice (NRJ). NRJ does policy analysis and advises different government departments, as well as linking people to transgender-friendly medical practitioners.

The founder of the organisation, Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng, says that because of stigma most people who are trans are ostracised in society. 

“There comes a layer of social well-being for people who are transitioning or even in the process of questioning because they are othered,” she tells Global Citizen.

Related StoriesJune 10, 2019Thomson Reuters Foundation'Future of Africa Depends on Women': Head of UN Women Calls to Double Gender Equal Cabinets

NRJ has found that although the process to change one’s gender description at the Home Affairs department is three to six months, it often takes much longer.

This, the organisation says, puts individuals in compromising situations when seeking work and navigating spaces around them, like making bookings at a restaurant or hotel, and getting through airport security.

The support from NRJ is also really important in terms of accessing trans-friendly practitioners, because access to health care is a fundamental challenge faced by many trans individuals. 

When it comes to public health care in South Africa, only Chris Hani Baragwaneth in Soweto, Steve Biko in Pretoria, Groote Schuur in Cape Town, and Helen Joseph in Johannesburg offer trans-specific health care services, according to Sowetan Live.

Meanwhile, the waiting list for gender reassignment surgery is 25 years at Groote Schuur hospital.

Related StoriesMay 15, 2019Thomson Reuters FoundationThese Trans Women Are Helping Rescue Trafficking Survivors in Brazil

This procedure to affirm one’s gender medically is very important to Mahlatse, however she says it comes second to the need to fix her documentation. 

Mahlatse says her gender expression causes a lot of anxiety for her both socially and where legalities are concerned.

She expressed her frustration with Home Affairs, saying that it is getting in the way of her living her life: “I applied for a new ID in November 2018, but I’m still waiting and my life is stuck now.” 

On becoming a safe space for employees who are trans, NRJ are of the opinion that companies have to be honest about how they treat trans individuals.

Related StoriesApril 16, 2019Thomson Reuters FoundationWorld's First Vagina Museum Tackles FGM, Sexual Health, and More

“Different companies will need different remedies,” says Dr. Mofokeng. “Some might find that they have dress code requirements that are not affirming and are infringing on people’s rights to present in a way that is comfortable for them.” 

She also added that it is important to review policies on parenting and leave.

“If you have a transgender couple, their reproductive needs and their maternity or paternity needs are different,” she says.

Aside from her community — another place where she has completely isolated herself — Mahlatse says the workplace is the most difficult experience for her because knowledge about her transness results in her getting antagonised.

"Once I’ve transitioned socially", she adds, "I will be more comfortable at a job where nobody knows about my genitals.” 

* This name has been changed 

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29 DE JULIO DE 2019

 

3
 
EDUCACIÓN

Cómo las mujeres de Costa de Marfil están convirtiendo desechos plásticos en hermosas aulas

Se construirán más de 500 aulas con plástico recuperado.

 

 

Por qué es importante para los Global Citizens
La gran mayoría de los desechos plásticos generados en el mundo no se reciclan y terminan contaminando los ambientes terrestres y marinos. Las Naciones Unidas hacen un llamamiento a los países para que reduzcan drásticamente la contaminación plástica, al tiempo que encuentran nuevas formas de reciclar los desechos existentes. Puedes unirte a nosotros para tomar medidas sobre temas relacionados aquí.

Los residuos plásticos que solían abarrotar las calles y los vertederos de Abidjan, Costa de Marfil, ahora se están utilizando para crear escuelas y empoderar a las mujeres, según informa el New York Times.

 

La empresa colombiana Conceptos Plásticos se asoció recientemente con el Fondo de las Naciones Unidas para la Infancia, UNICEF, para convertir los desechos plásticos en centros de aprendizaje.

 

Hasta el momento se han construido nueve aulas, y está planificada la construcción de 528. En un país que tiene escasez de edificios escolares de calidad, esta nueva iniciativa está ayudando a transformar la educación, al tiempo que crea un modelo para el desarrollo sostenible que puede replicarse en todo el mundo.

 

Según UNICEF, todo el proyecto depende del trabajo duro y la determinación de las mujeres que recogen los desechos plásticos a diario para venderlos a intermediarios de reciclaje. Abidjan genera alrededor de 300 toneladas de desechos plásticos por día y solo el 5% se recicla directamente. Durante años, cientos de mujeres madrugaron en Abidjan para recorrer las calles y los vertederos en busca de basura plástica que luego clasifican y venden en los mercados, ganando entre $8 y $ 17 por semana, señala el New York Times.

 

Ese ingreso está muy por debajo del salario mínimo nacional, $25 por semana, pero ayuda a las familias con gastos como el pago de los aranceles de educación.

UN0206939.jpgUNICEF / Dejongh

A través del proyecto de la edificación de escuelas de plástico, estas mujeres ahora están ganando más por sus esfuerzos.

 
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Los representantes de UNICEF se comunicaron con Conceptos Plásticos para abordar una serie de problemas: la desigualdad de género, el sistema escolar con fondos insuficientes y la contaminación plástica.

UN0275807.JPGUNICEF / Dejongh

 

Las primeras nueve escuelas se construyeron enviando desechos plásticos a una fábrica en Colombia, donde se crean los ladrillos y se envían de regreso a Costa de Marfil para construir escuelas que son más baratas de producir en comparación con los métodos tradicionales.

 

Las nuevas escuelas también son más resistentes y se adaptan al clima, según indica el Times. Los edificios escolares tradicionales hechos de ladrillos de barro y palos se desmoronan regularmente y requieren reparaciones después de las tormentas y el clima cálido, pero las escuelas fabricadas en base al plástico son impermeables, a prueba de fuego y resistentes al viento. También se mantienen más frescos que los edificios de barro y palos, lo que permite a los estudiantes y maestros permanecer más cómodos durante el día, y poder encontrar mejor soporte para las pizarras y ventanas.

 

“Uno de los principales desafíos que enfrentan los escolares marfileños es la falta de aulas. O no existen, o cuando lo hacen, están superpobladas, lo que hace que el aprendizaje sea una experiencia desafiante y desagradable", dijo el representante de UNICEF, el Dr. Aboubacar Kampo, en un comunicado de prensa. “En ciertas áreas, por primera vez, los niños de kindergarten de vecindarios pobres podrían asistir a las aulas con menos de otros 100 estudiantes. Los niños que nunca pensaron que habría un lugar para ellos en la escuela podrán aprender y desarrollarse en un aula nueva y limpia".

 

Conceptos Plásticos finalmente tiene la intención de construir 528 aulas para unos 26.400 estudiantes durante la primera fase de su contrato con UNICEF. El equipo también quiere construir letrinas, centros comunitarios e incluso casas utilizando ladrillos de plástico.

UN0206949.jpgUNICEF / Dejongh

La compañía está en el proceso de construir una fábrica en Abidjan, que empleará a 30 personas y comprará plástico a más de 1,000 mujeres por día.

 

En el futuro, la compañía planea construir escuelas en toda la región.

 

Empresarios, científicos y artistas han desarrollado formas inteligentes de reciclar y reutilizar los desechos plásticos. En Kenia, un barco hecho con sandalias de plástico reciclado zarpó recientemente. En la India, los desechos plásticos se convierten en asfalto y se utilizan para pavimentar carreteras. E incluso artistas han desarrollado impresionantes instalaciones con residuos plásticos.

 

Por ejemplo, el artista Benjamin Von Wong construyó una ola masiva de 168,000 sorbetes de plástico recuperadas.

 

En el caso de la iniciativa en Abidjan muestra a la perfección que una plaga comunitaria puede convertirse en un excelente recurso.

UN0309347.jpg© UNICEF / Dejongh

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AUG. 2, 2019

 

 
 
GIRLS & WOMEN

This 18-Year-Old Just Became the First Ever UK Jockey to Race Wearing a Hijab – and She Won

Khadijah Mellah won the Magnolia Cup at Goodwood, one of the world’s most famous racecourses.

Why Global Citizens Should Care
The UN’s Global Goal 10 calls for action to reduce inequalities experienced by people all over the world because of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, age, disability, or any other status. By taking part in a high profile event while wearing a hijab, role models like Khadijah Mellah help to challenge discrimination and blaze a trail forward. You can join us by taking action in support of the Global Goals here

 

An 18-year-old made history this week as the first jockey in Britain to race while wearing a hijab: and not only that, she won. 

Khadijah Mellah is from Peckham, in south London, and got into horse-riding in her early teens at Ebony Horse Club in Brixton. The club is a charity aiming to encourage more young people to take part in equestrian sports and enjoy horse-riding, as well as providing mentorship and life skills. 

A patron of the club and horse racing journalist, Oli Bell, arranged for Mellah to take part in a Goodwood race and she began intensive training just four months ago with mentorship from one of the UK’s most accomplished female jockeys, Hayley Turner.  

Related StoriesJune 7, 2017CHIME FOR CHANGE18 Badass Female Athletes Everyone Should Know

She was racing against seasoned riders in the all-female race, the Magnolia Cup, which is held to raise money for charity and sees celebrities and famous sportswomen take part. A highlight of the season, the race opens Ladies' Day at the international event. 

 

 

The history maker - WOW doesn't come close!
Khadijah Mellah, an 18 year old Peckham teenager from @EbonyHorseClub not only became the first Briton to race in a hijab, she also went on to WIN the #MagnoliaCup today at #GloriousGoodwood racing in support of @WellbeingofWmen 👏

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Mellah and her horse, Haverland, won a close victory — edging in front a few strides from the finish line and beating the likes of professional event rider Sophie van der Merwe and Olympic cycling champion Victoria Pendleton, who is now an amateur jockey.  

Horse-racing isn’t exactly known for its diversity, and the accompanying costs of training (and even being a spectator) make it a tough world to break in to. So Mellah’s win is being hailed as historic.

The Muslim Women's Sport Foundation told the BBC the number of female British Muslim jockeys, past and present, is still in "single digits".   

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Mellah told the Guardian in an interview in July that she had always had an interest in horses but living in the city meant it was too far and expensive for her parents to take her out the countryside to practice. 

When her Mum saw a leaflet in their local mosque advertising the Ebony Horse Club in Brixton she didn’t believe it at first. “I was like, yeah, Mum, sure. Absolutely no way… oh my God, there is!” 

Following her win on Aug. 1, Mellah, who is planning to study mechanical engineering at university in September, was overwhelmed. She told reporters: “When I passed the person next to me, it was like ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe this is happening, I’m doing it.”  

Related StoriesSept. 3, 2018This Law Student Beauty Queen Will Be the First to Compete in Miss England Finals Wearing a Hijab

“Then I saw all the friends and family and I just started crying uncontrollably," added Mellah, whose story has hit headlines all around the world. "It’s been amazing.”

Now Mellah says she wants to be an inspiration to anyone else there who wants to get involved.

“Ambitious women can make it," she said. "That’s all I want to represent: be ambitious and do it. I’ve had so much support, and I can’t wait to see other stories of other women getting into the industry and doing amazing.”

Mellah’s hoping to continue training at university and get her jockey’s licence. So it sounds likely we’re going to see her blazing a trail in competitions for years to come.

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Wishing this group from Music Generation Offaly Westmeath well as they begin their Norwegian adventure! Eight members of the Singfest Senior Choir, accompanied by two of their tutors, are currently visiting Bergen, Norway, to take part in a youth exchange with Ung i Kor. Here, they'll get to know other like-minded young musicians before welcoming their hosts to Ireland next summer.

Music Generation Offaly/Westmeath are charting the adventure on their blog - check it out here: https://bit.ly/2GRXbxn

Sing Ireland Léargas Erasmus+

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Down's Syndrome is way more than just a diagnosis or definition. ✍️ 
Each person is unique with their own dreams, interests and talents like anyone else. 👍 
Hear from Liam Bairstow about what having Down's syndrome means to him.👇

 

 

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In 2000,the Irish Examiner sent Kevin Barry, now longlisted for the Booker Prize for his novel Night Boat to Tangier, to Chernobyl. Here they reproduce what he reported 19 years ago.

Sadly, though there has been progress in many areas since that time, much of what Kevin Barry reports here still rings true for Chernobyl's victims, except there is now an additional generation of children who suffer as Misha did.

https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/views/analysis/kevin-barry-in-chernobyl-misha-is-an-example-of-what-happens-when-a-country-is-on-its-knees-941735.html?fbclid=IwAR2YSgicoIT8ul2F-bv2s-ZhCrMSd24FKyHCLesdGnyYXsp1aexPWV2kCBE

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AUG. 6, 2019

 

 
 
CITIZENSHIP

7 Powerful Quotes That Show Toni Morrison Was a Global Citizen

The celebrated author wrote 11 novels and prominently featured black female characters.


Why Global Citizens Should Care
Toni Morrison was the first black woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Her celebrated works focus on the lives of African-American women and address issues of slavery, poverty, and inequality. She will be remembered not just through her works, but for having inspired generations of writers who tell the stories of those who are overlooked. You can take action in support of a world free of inequality and discrimination here

“We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives,” author Toni Morrison said in 1993, accepting the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Morrison, who died on Monday at age 88 in New York City, will certainly be measured by and remembered for her words.

In her lifetime, Morrison wrote 11 novels, as well as five children’s books in collaboration with her son Slade. Her work has been taught in many classrooms around the world, inspiring the next generations of readers and writers.

Morrison sought to tell the stories of those who had been overlooked and whose voices were rarely prioritized in literature and media for so long: black women.

 
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Often addressing slavery and poverty through poignant prose, Morrison — born Chloe Ardella Wofford — is best known for works like Beloved and Song of Solomon. And, fittingly, she became the first black woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for her work, which prominently and predominantly features black female protagonists.

Toni-Morrsion-Global-Citizen-Obit-Full.jpgAuthor Toni Morrison poses for a portrait for her book entitled "Love" in Midtown Manhattan on Aug. 29, 2002 in New York City.
Image: Todd Plitt/Getty Images

Throughout her career and lifetime, Morrison spoke out against racial and gender discrimination, challenging deeply ingrained notions of inequality and sparking critical conversations through her writing.

These powerful quotes, from Morrison’s writing and interviews with the prolific author, reflect the many ways in which she championed equality and embodied what it means to be a global citizen.


What was driving me to write was the silence — so many stories untold and unexamined. There was a wide vacuum in the literature. I was inspired by the silence and absences in the literature.New Yorker interview, 2003.

"I tell my students, ‘When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else. This is not just a grab-bag candy game.’"
— O Magazine interview, 2003.

"If you find a book you really want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it."Speech before the Ohio Arts Council, 1981

"Look to yourself. You free. Nothing and nobody is obliged to save you but you. Seek your own land. You young and a woman and there's serious limitation in both, but you are a person too. Don't let ... some trifling boyfriend and certainly no devil doctor decide who you are. That's slavery. Somewhere inside you is that free person I'm talking about. Locate her and let her do some good in the world."

— Home

It's a bad word, ‘belong.’ Especially when you put it with somebody you love … You can't own a human being. You can't lose what you don't own.Song of Solomon

“It’s important, therefore, to know who the real enemy is, and to know the function, the very serious function of racism, which is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining over and over again, your reason for being. Somebody says you have no language and so you spend 20 years proving that you do. Somebody says your head isn’t shaped properly so you have scientists working on the fact that it is. Somebody says that you have no art so you dredge that up. Somebody says that you have no kingdoms and so you dredge that up.”

— Portland State University speech, 1975.

“I wanted to read that book that I did not think anybody had written. I read all the time, but I was never in those books. Or if I was, it was as a joke, or as some anecdote that explained something about the main character without the main character looking like me. So I decided that I would write the book that I really and truly wanted to read.”

— Stella Adler Studio of Acting Marlon Brando Award pre-ceremony panel discussion, 2016.


The author is being remembered and celebrated on social media by writers, politicians, former students, and — perhaps most importantly — the readers she touched.

 

She made me understand“writer” was a fine profession. I grew up wanting to be only her. Dinner with her was a night I will never forget. Rest, Queen. “Toni Morrison, seminal author who stirringly chronicled the Black American experience, dies” https://bit.ly/2OGlMLT?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=social-share-article 

 
 
 
 
 

My junior year at Yale 1976, I took a course on Black Women Writers taught by Toni Morrison. She often would read aloud to us from books we were reading and from her own works in progress. Whenever I read her words, to this day, I hear her reading them to me. 💔

 
 
 
 
 

Toni Morrison was a national treasure, as good a storyteller, as captivating, in person as she was on the page. Her writing was a beautiful, meaningful challenge to our conscience and our moral imagination. What a gift to breathe the same air as her, if only for a while.

View image on Twitter
 
 
 
 
 

In the passing of Toni Morrison, we lost one of our greatest voices & storytellers. Holding close those touched by her being & her gift. Her work gave us power, hope & freedom. While our world shines a little less bright today, we know "something that is loved is never lost."

 
 
 
 
 

“You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.”
Toni Morrison.

I cannot imagine growing up in a world without her words. I pray you rest In Peace and in Power.
We will celebrate you with endless gratitude and love. Always.

 
 
 
 
 

I went to an all-white high school in rural Indiana. My English teacher @marta_rose, new to the area, assigned us Toni Morrison. She got a ton of abuse for it (and other “controversial” assignments). I’m grateful she absorbed that anger for her class. We’re better people for it.

 
 
 
 
 

"If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it."- Toni Morrison

I’m so glad I took your advice, Toni. Rest in power. Yours was a life that changed the world.

View image on Twitter
 
 
 
 
 

"Literature has the power to transform us in ways that politics never can. And few writers have demonstrated that power more magically than Toni Morrison."

-Former Secretary-General @KofiAnnan with fellow Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison at UNHQ in 2002. https://www.un.org/press/en/2002/sgsm8284.doc.htm 

View image on Twitter
 
 
 
 

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🗞️🗞️🗞️BREAKING NEWS: Women around the world are facing a crisis. We need our leaders to stop talking and start doing.

Leaders at this month’s G7 Summit have the power to make real progress toward ending gender inequality. Let's change the endgame for gender equality!

 

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YOUTH AMBASSADORS

Meet our volunteers: Chidinma and Rita

27 June 2019 11:54AM UTC | By: JANE EAGLES

JOIN

Join the fight against extreme poverty

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Welcome to the second Meet Our Volunteers blog! In this series we’re introducing you to our ONE Volunteers around the world to shed light on the incredible work that our Youth Ambassadors, Champions and Campus members do.

This month, we were thrilled to sit down with Chidinma — a ONE Champion in Nigeria, and Rita — a ONE Youth Ambassador in the Netherlands.

Read on to learn more about these inspiring individuals and find out how you can get involved too.

Untitled-design.jpg

Rita, ONE Youth Ambassador in the Netherlands (left) and Chidinma, ONE Champion in Nigeria (centre).

How did you get involved with ONE?

Chidinma: The first time I heard about ONE was during the partnership with Big Brother Naija in 2017 to promote the #GirlsCount campaign. The winning contestant was promised the opportunity to speak at the United Nations General Assembly that year and it was fulfilled. At that point, I believed ONE was an organisation to be trusted. I am grateful to have had the opportunity of being a ONE Champion since 2018 and be a part of the global community of accountable members who are dedicated to fighting against extreme poverty. This has always been my passion.

Rita: The reason I decided to become a part of the ONE community is because of the injustice I see on a daily basis across the world. I think it’s very unfair that some people experience injustices. The opportunity to raise my voice against these injustices is a great way to help.

What’s been your proudest moment as a volunteer with ONE so far?

Chidinma: I would sincerely love to put on the record that ONE has given me so many life-changing, significant memories during my journey as a Champion. So far, my proudest moment as a volunteer would be when I was selected to represent ONE at the second Pan African Youth Forum at the African Union Commission HQ, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia this April. This opportunity is dear to my heart because I had the honour of meeting dynamic youths from different regions who are solely interested in making the world a better place for all.

Rita: By far my proudest moment as a Youth Ambassador for ONE is when I went to European Parliament in Brussels for meetings last year. I saw volunteers gather from all over the world. Being part of one group together, discussing the key issues around fighting for equal rights. Being surrounded by amazing and inspiring people gave me the best feeling in the world. I am profoundly grateful for that experience.

What’s the one thing you would advise other youth campaigners to do?

Chidinma: Youths are the future of any society but the future we desire may not be achieved if we do not chart the right course today. It is essential for youths to get involved in activism because if we accept the wrong things at present, the wrong seeds sown may be ours to reap when the older population gives way. Together with our vigour and numbers, we can use our voices to advocate for a world where justice and equality are the priority. If we are resilient, the world has no choice but to hear us. We are not just the future, we are the present!

Rita: I would advise other youth campaigners to dare to not be shy — think outside the box. If you think you have an amazing idea discuss it with people, with other volunteers, with friends and so on. Nothing is too crazy!

Want to get involved too? Sign up to become a ONE Member now!

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

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22 INSPIRING MALALA QUOTES ON HER 22ND BIRTHDAY

 

The youngest Nobel Prize laureate turns 22 today.

Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by a member of the Taliban while sitting on a school bus in 2012. She survived — and used her voice to champion women’s empowerment and ensure every girl, everywhere has access to an education.

Since then, Malala has spoken before the U.N., written an autobiography, and won both the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought and the Nobel Peace Prize. And she hasn't backed down on her relentless dedication to empowering women and girls around the world.

Malala is one of our absolute favorite activists, so we’re celebrating her 22nd birthday with 22 of her most inspirational quotes.

 
 

1. “ WE CANNOT SUCCEED WHEN HALF OF US ARE HELD BACK.”

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2. “WE CALL UPON OUR SISTERS AROUND THE WORLD TO BE BRAVE — TO EMBRACE THE STRENGTH WITHIN THEMSELVES AND REALIZE THEIR FULL POTENTIAL.”

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3. "LET US MAKE OUR FUTURE NOW, AND LET US MAKE OUR DREAMS TOMORROW'S REALITY."

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4. “IF PEOPLE WERE SILENT NOTHING WOULD CHANGE.”

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5. “WHEN THE WHOLE WORLD IS SILENT, EVEN ONE VOICE BECOMES POWERFUL.” 

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6. “I AM STRONGER THAN FEAR.”

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7. “I DON’T WANT TO BE THOUGHT OF AS THE “GIRL WHO WAS SHOT BY THE TALIBAN” BUT THE “GIRL WHO FOUGHT FOR EDUCATION.” 

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8. “IF YOU WANT TO END WAR, THEN INSTEAD OF SENDING GUNS, SEND BOOKS. INSTEAD OF SENDING TANKS, SEND PENS. INSTEAD OF SENDING SOLDIERS, SEND TEACHERS”

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9. “WE REALIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF OUR VOICES ONLY WHEN WE ARE SILENCED.”

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10. “IF ONE MAN CAN DESTROY EVERYTHING, WHY CAN'T ONE GIRL CHANGE IT?”

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11. "IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO KNOW WHO YOU ARE. TO MAKE DECISIONS. TO SHOW WHO YOU ARE."

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12. “EXTREMISTS HAVE SHOWN WHAT FRIGHTENS THEM MOST: A GIRL WITH A BOOK.” 

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13. "EDUCATION IS NEITHER EASTERN NOR WESTERN, IT IS HUMAN.” 

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14. “I DON’T COVER MY FACE BECAUSE I WANT TO SHOW MY IDENTITY.”

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15. "EVEN IF I AM A GIRL, EVEN IF PEOPLE THINK I CAN’T DO IT, I SHOULD NOT LOSE HOPE." 

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16. “WE WERE SCARED, BUT OUR FEAR WAS NOT AS STRONG AS OUR COURAGE.”

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17. “I SPEAK NOT FOR MYSELF, BUT FOR THOSE WITHOUT VOICE.”

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18. "LIFE ISN'T JUST ABOUT TAKING IN OXYGEN AND GIVING OUT CARBON DIOXIDE."

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19. "THERE ARE TWO POWERS IN THE WORLD; ONE IS THE SWORD AND THE OTHER IS THE PEN. THERE IS A THIRD POWER STRONGER THAN BOTH, THAT OF WOMEN."

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20. "I THINK EVERYONE MAKES A MISTAKE AT LEAST ONCE IN THEIR LIFE. THE IMPORTANT THING IS WHAT YOU LEARN FROM IT."

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21. "A GIRL'S VOICE IS POWERFUL AND IT CAN BRING CHANGE IN THE COMMUNITY." 

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22. “ONE CHILD, ONE TEACHER, ONE BOOK, ONE PEN CAN CHANGE THE WORLD.”

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#TeamMencap took to the roads of Surrey and London in the Prudential Ride London-Surrey 100 on Sunday 4 August.

Thank you to everyone who conquered the famous Surrey hills, you’re all amazing! Big thank you to our volunteer photographer Zachary Hampshire and Matthew Thompson.

Foto de Mencap.

Foto de Mencap.

Foto de Mencap.

Foto de Mencap.

Foto de Mencap.

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Down's Syndrome is way more than just a diagnosis or definition. ✍️ 
Each person is unique with their own dreams, interests and talents like anyone else. 👍 
Hear from Liam Bairstow about what having Down's syndrome means to him.👇

 

 

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Wise words from our Dublin CCI Outreach Group.

Best of luck and congratulations to all students who receive their Leaving Certificate results this morning.

Foto de Dublin CCI.

Best of luck to everyone getting their leaving cert results tomorrow. We hope you get everything you ever hoped and dreamed of. But most of all remember it is not the be all and end all. There are so many different ways to achieve your hopes and dreams!

#leavingcert #results #dreams
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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Volunteering is truly for everyone.💓

No matter if you're a dog 🐶 or human 😃. Whatever your interest 🎨 or skill 🏃. You can give the gift of your time  by volunteering ❤️.

Make a difference. Visit: 👋 https://bit.ly/2JfzcdY 👋

 

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Two heart surgeries= two lives saved = two lifetimes of hope and opportunity! ♥️♥️

A big 'spasiba' to Gordon Geraghty, whose mammoth cycling adventure has raised a whopping €2,000 so far, thus enabling two life-saving heart surgeries on our next Cardiac Mission this October.

Gordon is half-way through Gordo's Cycle for Chernobyl Children International. The Italian Job. and needs your continued support for the next 2 weeks. Follow his Facebook page for daily updates of his adventures through the blisteringly hot Italian Countryside.

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Foto de Gordo's Cycle for Chernobyl Children International. The Italian Job.

 

Foto de Gordo's Cycle for Chernobyl Children International. The Italian Job.

Foto de Gordo's Cycle for Chernobyl Children International. The Italian Job.

Foto de Gordo's Cycle for Chernobyl Children International. The Italian Job.

Foto de Gordo's Cycle for Chernobyl Children International. The Italian Job.

Foto de Gordo's Cycle for Chernobyl Children International. The Italian Job.

Foto de Gordo's Cycle for Chernobyl Children International. The Italian Job.

Foto de Gordo's Cycle for Chernobyl Children International. The Italian Job.

Foto de Gordo's Cycle for Chernobyl Children International. The Italian Job.

Foto de Gordo's Cycle for Chernobyl Children International. The Italian Job.

 

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CULTURE

10 books you need to read that will change your world view

7 September 2018 4:50PM UTC | By: ONE

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There’s no denying the value of a good book. From informational to entertaining, eye-opening to jaw-dropping, and everything in between, books have the power to change our perspective.

If you’re looking for the perfect read, here are some suggestions from ONE’s Global Policy Team. These suggestions cover a wide range of reading needs, from non-fiction that addresses tough global development challenges, to fiction that transports you through exceptional stories.

Africa Uprising: Popular Protest and Political Change by Adam Branch and Zachariah Cherian Mampilly

Africa Uprising offers an interesting and clearly written historical account of protest in Africa. The book situates current African protests within their broader historical context and argues that African protests are distinct from protests elsewhere.

Recommended by Joe Kraus, Policy Director, Transparency & Accountability

Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling, Ola Rosling, and Anna Rosling Rönnlund

It may seem difficult at times to see things in a positive light. Luckily, Factfulness is here to help! This book addresses 10 human “instincts” that push us to have a pessimistic view of the world, which may distort our reality.The authors challenge readers to try and see the world through a different lens.

Recommended by Serah Makka-Ugbabe, Nigeria Director

Fighting Corruption Is Dangerous by Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

NOI (as she’s often referred to), Nigeria’s first female finance minister, knows the dangers of fighting corruption. In 2012, her 83-year-old mother was kidnapped by people who objected to some of her policies. Her book draws on her experiences to provide lessons learned on transparency, accountability and good governance.

Recommended by Blessing Omakwu, Policy & Advocacy Manager, Nigeria

Natives – Exploring Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire by Akala

Natives speaks directly to British denial and squeamishness when it comes to confronting issues of race and class that are at the heart of the history of Britain’s racialised empire. The book covers the police, education, identity, politics, the far right, and much more from Britain’s history.

Recommended by Lorriann Robinson, Policy & Advocacy Manager, UK

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

This book details everything you never knew about the origin and evolution of our species, in clear and relatively brief (considering it covers over 2 million years worth of history) terms. It gives a newfound appreciation and understanding of basic human behaviors.

Recommended by Sara Harcourt, Senior Director, Poilcy

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Homegoing offers an unflinching view of the transatlantic slave trade, through interconnected stories of descendents of two West African women. Well-researched and complex, this book is a must-read.

Recommended by Fiona Robertson, Policy Officer, Development Finance

Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

What would you say if your friend asked you how to raise a feminist? Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was asked that very question, and wrote this letter – which is now published as a short book. Some of these suggestions may be easier to implement than others, but this quick read is thought-provoking and important nonetheless.

Recommended by Allison Wong, Project Manager, Global Policy

A Strangeness in My Mind by Orhan Pamuk

A Strangeness tells the story of a street cart vendor in Istanbul, his family, and his community. Their experiences shine light on the broader history of modernizing Turkey and the social and political upheavals that accompany the process. This book is beautifully written and approaches development from a unique perspective.

Recommended by Megan O’Donnell, Senior Policy Manager

Manuscripts found in Accra by Paulo Coehlo

Written by the author of The Alchemist, Manuscripts found in Accra is a book that teaches a series of life lessons. The book, set in Jerusalem during the Crusades, provides philosophies that all people can learn from. It’s exactly the type of book you might want to read during a low-key weekend.

Recommended by Jenny Ottenhoff, Policy Director, Global Health & Education & Anita Okemini, Policy Director, Agriculture and Inclusive Growth

Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi

Before fleeing the Islamic Republic of Iran, Nafisi formed a secret book club with seven of her female students. They analyzed western classics that were forbidden and controversial in Iran, while also discussing their daily lives. The books opens up deep philosophical questions about freedom, imagination, and the role of fiction, while also focusing on women’s empowerment and Iran’s history.

Recommended by Suzanne Seiller, Policy & Advocacy Assistant, France

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HEALTH

How this Nigerian entrepreneur went from small start-up to saving lives

11 January 2019 3:22PM UTC | By: STANLEY AZUAKOLA

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Since we first spoke with Temie Giwa-Tubosun in 2016, she’s been featured on Humans of New York and The Guardian’s Small Changes podcast to discuss her growing start-up company, LifeBank, which delivers lifesaving blood transfusions and oxygen.

Now, Temie’s channelling her expertise and transporting her ideas to the other side of Africa. She is on the advisory board for the Lake Victoria Challenge — a competition which uses innovative technology to transport health support and materials to some of the most remote parts of East Africa. Read on to find out more about how Temie got to where she is today. 


In 2009, Temie Giwa-Tubosun visited Nigeria, her homeland, for the first time since she was 10 years old. 13 years abroad had insulated her from some of the harsh realities in her home country, but back as a graduate school intern with the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID), she witnessed an incident which became a motivation for her life’s work.

A young woman had been in labour for three days and her family, unable to afford hospital bills, milled around her waiting for death to come. Temie and her colleagues showed up at the doorsteps of the petrified family hoping they would participate in a household survey. It was fortuitous timing – they lifted the woman into their truck and moved her to the hospital. She survived, but her baby sadly died.

“I had never seen anything like that. The family had resigned itself to losing her,” says Temie of the incident.

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Temie with one of the motorbikes used to transfer LifeBank blood across Nigeria. via Twitter.

Blood is a big deal

Temie spent just three months in Nigeria during that visit but she became obsessed from that moment with stopping maternal mortality.

Nigeria contributes the second largest share to maternal and child death rates in the world – hemorrhages kill more pregnant women every year than any other complication apart from pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure). Malaria patients (especially children), sickle cell patients, cancer patients, victims of terror attacks, and many others end up needing blood at different times as well. A pattern was emerging in Temie’s mind – blood is a big deal.

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In 2012, Temie returned to Nigeria and started the One Percent Project to “inspire a new generation of voluntary blood donors to solve the problem of blood shortages.”

The One Percent Project kept a database of willing prospective donors who could be reached at a moment’s notice to donate blood. At the time of writing, the project had received donations of 3500 pints of blood to date, enough to save over 10,000 lives. Her work earned her a 2014 nomination in the BBC’s 100 Women List.

But Temie wasn’t satisfied. The NGO model wasn’t working for her. It could not solve the problem in a “significant way,” she said and she worried about sustainability when the project rested on the whims of donors.

“Every year the funders decide what they care about,” she says. “I spent 70 per cent of the time looking for money.” Her response was to quit her day job with the Lagos government and launch a technology-powered social enterprise called LifeBank, “the biggest virtual based blood bank in Nigeria.”

At first glance, it seems like the only problem is one of supply not matching demand, but it is “actually an information and logistics problem.”

A blood bank in Ikeja, Lagos – for instance – may have the blood needed by a patient elsewhere in Lagos, but the patient and the hospital may be unaware. Stored blood has a shelf life and is discarded if it is not used within six weeks. This is waste which could be avoided if the hospital had access to the information.

The second challenge is transporting the blood from where it is available to where it is needed in safe and reliable condition.

LifeBank solves both of these problems. It uses technology to provide information to health providers about where to find the blood they need at any given time and then helps deploy it in quick time and in good condition to save lives.

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“We have an online database where health providers can search themselves for blood availability and pay for it. Or they could call us on our toll free numbers to help them find it,” she says.

Nigeria’s health systems largely remain basic and unreceptive to change – Nigerians spend up to $1 billion annually on medical tourism – so LifeBank is operating in almost virgin territory. Making a business case to investors for health technology in Nigeria, according to Temie, is challenging – especially for women.

“Investors tend to bet on people who look like them,” she says. A 30-year old mum navigating in the male-dominated tech sector of a notoriously sexist society like Nigeria looks nothing like the typical investor. “It is hard for them to trust the judgement, vision and ability of women to move the company they’re building forward,” Temie says, “but I don’t let it stop me.” Her advice to women? “Don’t wait till you think everything is certain. Women have to just start.”

This article originally appeared on ONE Africa in December 2016.

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