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The Action Thread Part Two

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

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


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

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

Find a cause.

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

Learn something new.

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

Start conversations.

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


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

Get out of your comfort zone.

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

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

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This Ethiopian entrepreneur is breaking tradition to empower women

24 October 2018 4:48PM UTC | By: ABLE


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

Semhal Guesh grew up in Ethiopia hearing a phrase many young girls her age did not: “You can do whatever you want.”

Now 27 years old, it’s no coincidence that Semhal has become a designer, architect, and entrepreneur. She now runs Kabana, a leather production company in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital and largest city, and through her company, she helps other women realise their full potential.

“Most of my life, my father told me I could accomplish any ideas that I had; that I had no limits,” said Semhal. “In Ethiopia, every family is male-dominated and sons are given more chances than daughters. But with my dad, that was not the case.”

Semhal recognizes that if she had grown up in rural Ethiopia or with parents less encouraging than her own, she might have been expected to stop her education at 12 years old and get married. Instead, Semhal dreamed of becoming an astronaut or an astrophysicist because she hadn’t seen a lot of women in those professions. But it was architecture that won over Semhal for the ability to create something both beautiful and functional.

ABLE_KABANA_SEP_2018_BY_ARON_SIMENEH-294While studying for her Bachelors in Architecture, she picked up a few leather samples at a local market and began designing with it. Suddenly, her dormitory transformed into a small workshop with a handful of women hand stitching products to sell at bazaars.

“By day, we’d go to lectures and we’d make leather products at night,” said Semhal. “It was more about the joy of designing and turning our work into an actual reality. It wasn’t to earn money. It was something we could do together.”

After graduation, Semhal began working in architecture full-time while still managing to grow her leather business. Her supervisor at the architecture firm saw her passion and encouraged her to spend more time focused on her growing leather company until she eventually made the decision to devote all her time to Kabana.

“It was a hectic time, but my motivation was seeing how the job and income were changing the life of my first employee,” said Semhal. “She came to me with minimum knowledge or experience, but I taught her how to cut and stitch leather and design development. In time, I saw her changing, knowing what to do, and unafraid to share her ideas because she had the freedom to speak out. I thought ‘I’m paying somebody who supports their family. I’m part of the generation that’s creating opportunities and income for her.’”
Today, Semhal and her staff of 31 are in high demand, thanks in part to her background in architecture, which gives her an eye for design and an understanding of technical specifications. Kababa creates handmade leather bags, wallets, folders, and custom products for clients in Ethiopia, the U.S., and Sweden.


On a mission to give other women the same support she has received, Semhal is focused on motivating the women she hires to expect more for themselves. She enrolls her employees in different training programs to help them realize their value and potential, invests in their new business ideas through loans, offers paid time away from work, mentorship, and coaching.

“Everyone is shy in Ethiopia, especially girls,” said Semhal. “I tell my employees about myself, how I got to where I am, and that not everything is easy. Then I push them to have a conversation with other women. I want them to know they don’t have to be closed off.”

ABLE_KABANA_SEP_2018_BY_ARON_SIMENEH-294Thankfully, Semhal believes her country’s view of women is changing, evidenced by recent changes such as the government’s decision to back women’s education and the creation of various leadership and professional associations.

As more doors open for women in Ethiopia, Semhal continues to raise the bar on women’s equality, safety, wages and benefits in the workplace. Through her company’s partnership with ABLE, Kabana has undergone the ACCOUNTABLE social impact audit and found opportunities to improve her wages, maternity leave policy, medical coverage, and employment practices.

ABLE_KABANA_SEP_2018_BY_ARON_SIMENEH-294“Ethiopia doesn’t have a set minimum wage policy,” said Semhal. “When ABLE introduced liveable wages to KABANA, it gave us a new benchmark.”

“I want to show that you can be an entrepreneur and be young and a woman,” said Semhal. “It takes a lot of convincing, but I’m not one to back away from a challenge. Breaking the tradition starts with hearing the stories about other women and their success.”

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

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

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DYK over half of people living with HIV are accessing the treatment they need to live long and healthy lives?

This is great news...but to end the AIDS epidemic, treatment needs to be accessible and affordable to ALL who need it. ⁠

Learn more here: http://bit.ly/2jRDGwE

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This South African pilot started a camp to inspire young girls

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


Poverty is Sexist: Join the movement

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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You need to know about the bold fund fighting HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria everywhere

5 February 2019 2:25PM UTC | By: ROBYN DETORO


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

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Fact: Every day, nearly 1,000 young women contract HIV.

Fact: Globally, there are 37 million people living with HIV — more than 15 million of whom can’t get life-saving treatment, which puts them at risk of developing AIDS-related symptoms — and another 1.8 million people contract HIV every year.

Fact: Over 2,500 people die from AIDS-related causes every day.

Fact: AIDS isn’t a disease of the past. It’s a modern-day crisis and it’s impacting people and communities around the world right now.

Enter, the Global Fund — a 21st-century partnership organisation designed to accelerate the end of AIDS, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria as epidemics.


A child being administered malaria screening with Global Fund supported medical supplies at the Nduo-Eduo community Health Centre in Nigeria.

Formed in 2002, they work in partnership with governments, civil society, the private sector and people affected by HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria to put an end to these epidemics by investing in and funding all kinds of health resources and interventions, like doctors, nurses, innovative technologies and education programs.

The Global Fund is one of the world’s most powerful tools in the fight against these diseases. In 2017 alone, regions and countries where the Global Fund invests treated 108 million cases of malaria and 5 million people for TB, plus 17.5 million people were on ARV therapy to treat HIV. In the same year, 197 million mosquito nets were distributed, over 79 million HIV tests were completed and HIV prevention services and programs reached 9.4 million people.


A team of mobile community health workers trained with Global Fund support on their way to rural Kenyan homes to provide health checks and care.

This is what progress looks like. But there’s still work to be done, particularly for young women and girls.

To make sure the Global Fund can continue with their critical work, they will be hosting their sixth replenishment conference in October. They’re asking world leaders and private investors to come together and help save 16 million lives over the next 3 years 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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This award-winning journalist is committed to fighting FGM

This award-winning journalist is committed to fighting FGM

25 June 2019 12:22PM UTC | By: SADOF ALEXANDER


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In 2017, a group of five Kenyan teenagers, known as “The Restorers,” began an innovative project: developing an app that would combat female genital mutilation (FGM). Their app, I-Cut, helps girls at risk of FGM find rescue centers, while also providing medical and legal advice to those already affected. Their story took the world by storm, getting picked up by news sources worldwide. But, what happened after the buzz, where are they now, and why did the world forget about them?

These are the kinds of questions the 2019 Michael Elliott Award winner, Dorcas Wangira, sought to answer. Her report “The App and the Cut” dives into the issue of FGM, and shows where The Restorers are now in developing I-Cut.

Making a Career in Stories

When Wangira thought of her future as a child, she knew that writing would be a key component. However, she did not always know what form that would take.

“I wanted to be a storyteller. I love to tell stories … I didn’t exactly think that I would ever be in a newsroom, but I knew I was going to tell stories.”

While in college, it clicked that she could make a career in journalism. She credits the start of her career to an award she won in 2014—also on FGM. The award led to an internship in a newsroom, which became a job one year later.

Telling stories about women and girls, and the issues they face, comes naturally to Wangira:

“When you tell stories about women and girls, they come from the heart. They come from your experience. They come from your life history, and you identify with the problems that women and girls face.”

She views journalism as a public service and takes that responsibility seriously. Her work reflects her devotion to sparking change and advocating on vital issues like FGM.

Completing The Restorers’ Story

When she first learned about their story, Wangira was in awe of The Restorers. Aside from her interest in the story, she personally wanted to connect with them.

“I was starstruck at first because they’re so young. I don’t know what I was thinking when I when I was sixteen, (but) I wasn’t thinking about global problems … I wanted to meet them personally, not just because of the story, but as people. We became friends.”

Starstruck feelings aside, Wangira felt that the story of The Restorers was not yet over. Though she was impressed by their story, she noticed that most of the reports that came out about them had the same basic information in them.

“If you looked at some of the reports, they were all similar. There wasn’t anything outside of ‘oh, they’re developing the app. They’re going to America.’ … Not many people actually got to meet them and sit down with them and look at what they had done. It was basically just feeding off of one big report.

“The story was not complete. There was still so much that people needed to know.”

Wangira wanted to fill the gaps left by other reporters. She saw that The Restorers were frustrated with the underreporting of their story. After they returned from America, news outlets had lost interest in keeping up with their work. For a time, they lost hope in finishing the app.

Her report helped to revitalize their determination and help them with development. Now, The Restorers are looking for new partners to help them continue progress on their app.

The Challenges of Combatting FGM

Although the work that The Restorers are doing is essential, it’s only one part of a much bigger issue. Wangira expresses that there is no silver bullet to ending FGM because it’s an ever-evolving issue.

“FGM is so complex. It’s like a Hydra—a monster that has seven heads. You’re trying to cut off one, you still have six more, and the one grows back.”

She’s hopeful that an end to FGM is possible, but it will be an uphill battle that will need many different approaches. She believes that awareness and strengthening legal systems are essential. She mentions the importance of approaching FGM as a health issue, involving men in the fight, creating global partnerships, and utilizing technology. Above all else, she stresses that there cannot be a single fix-all to ending the practice.

“It’s not a one-size-fits-all kind of solution. Different communities have different reasons for doing it, and different countries have different reasons for doing it … We need to have different approaches for different communities.”

Writing Ahead

Wangira views stories as a valuable and essential force in the world. She believes in the power stories have to influence, inform, and shape the world in positive ways.

“Stories are powerful because, first of all, stories humanize people … they help to shed light on what’s really happening by giving it a human face. Stories push people in power. Stories remind people of who they are … I think the most important thing (is) that stories give dignity to people.”

She’s not only working to create change through her own writing, but also empowering others in her community. Her weekly news segment “Your Story” features stories about extraordinary people doing inspiring work. She also works with the interns at her news station, offering them guidance and instilling a sense of direction. Through her work, she’s helping to move the future of storytelling forward.

When she’s not helping others shape their careers, she’s considering changing her own.

“I’d love to transition to a career in public service. We spend a lot of time telling stories to influence policy, but I would love the stories to be a launching pad to a bigger platform.”

The Michael Elliott Award for Excellence in African Storytelling is a prestigious award given to up-and-coming journalists in Africa. The award is given by the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) in partnership with ONE and the Elliott family.

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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.


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.


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.


“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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We are less than 3️⃣0️⃣ days away from one of the most important events in the fight to end HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria — The Global Fund Replenishment. A fully funded Global Fund has the power to save millions of lives around the world. We're breaking down everything you need to know about it in this video.


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4 Ways African youths want to transform agriculture

4 Ways African youths want to transform agriculture

5 September 2019 1:15PM UTC | By: ULRICH JANSE VAN VUUREN


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We asked ONE’s members across the continent to speak out on what needs to be done for African agriculture to deliver on its potential.

This call for greater investment in the sector highlights the fact that several African governments are yet to meet the Malabo commitments by allocating at least 10% of their national budgets to agriculture.

Nearly 500 young people responded comprising responses mostly from Nigeria, South Africa, Senegal, Mali and 190 from other African countries. The responses highlight youth’s expressed desire to see the sector rejuvenated across the continent.

These are the top 4 themes that emerged on how ONE youths want to improve agriculture in Africa:

1) Enhancing credit access for farmers


The top theme that emerged from ONE’s African members was:  Enhancing credit access for farmers, tax cuts, and general investment in agriculture (i.e. funding for new technologies and research) had the largest prospective of improving agriculture in Africa. Nearly 50% of the youth mentioned it.

2) Improvement of technology


Another largely mentioned theme was a need for improvement of technology – About 45% of youth mentioned a need for better technology in African agriculture. People had great ideas, but the most mentioned one was better allocation of land (i.e. repurpose abandoned lots) and expanding irrigation systems so that Africa no longer has to rely on rain-fed crop production. Youth suggest this will increase food production, allowing for year-round farming. Another highly mentioned solution was the need for tractors on every farm. Some people also brought up promoting modern farm techniques such as hydro-ponics, and better digital technologies for farmers to enhance information sharing on rainfall pattern, pest infestation or other issues that affect their production activities.

3) Increase logistical support for farmers


A third high category of responses was a need to increase logistical support for farmers. This includes everything from introducing high quality seeds, providing better food storage facilities, and offering improved access to market for farmers to sell their food. About a third of respondents mentioned that farmers needed better logistical support.

4) Better education for the farming community


The last large substantial category of responses was a mention of the need for better education for and amongst the farming community. This included a need for the youth to learn and be empowered by what technology is out there, how to be involved, and how to make a profit.

Other Smaller but Very Powerful solutions that emerged from youth:

  • Ensure environment is preserved
  • Better healthcare for farmers
  • Women empowerment in agriculture
  • Localized farming on agricultural settlements
  • Farmers need better roads to travel on
  • Resolving conflict between farmers and herdsmen in Nigeria
  • Stop exporting African commodities/food

Stay up-to-date with ONE’s work in Africa by following us on Facebook & Twitter!

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Q. Do you have a learning disability? 
Q. Are you over 18 years old? 

If you can say 'YES' to both of these questions, can you do a super quick survey to help us understand more about your social activities and the kind of nightlife you have?

Your help would be wonderful and help us better understand what support is needed to help people with a learning disability enjoy a positive social life.

Click on the short 3-4 minute survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Mencap-going-out

Foto de Mencap.

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Music Generation appoints a new Head of Quality, Support and Development

Music Generation appoints a new Head of Quality, Support and Development

Music Generation is delighted to announce that Paula Phelan has been appointed as Head of Quality, Support and Development (QSD) within the National Development Office. In this new senior role, Paula will drive the implementation of a new national Music Generation Quality Framework,  support the planned growth of the national network of Local Music Education Partnerships (LMEPs), and lead on professional development and learning programmes and initiatives for Music Generation over the coming years. 

Paula brings a breadth of experience to the role, spanning the worlds of arts and corporate management, music education leadership and practice. Most recently she held the position of LMEP Support Manager at the Music Generation National Development Office. From 2013-2018 she was Programme Director for Music Generation Carlow. In addition to her extensive work with Music Generation, she was previously General Manager of the Irish Baroque Orchestra, a Post-Primary Teacher, Freelance Musician Educator and General Manager of Belvedere Youth Service.

A native of Kildare, Paula completed her undergraduate BAmus degree in NUI Maynooth. She holds an MA Baroque Performance Practice from Queens University Belfast, an MA in Arts Administration and Cultural Policy from University College Dublin, a Postgraduate Diploma in Education from NUI Maynooth and a Postgraduate Diploma in Early Childhood Music from Birmingham City University.

Music Generation is Ireland’s National Music Education Programme, initiated by Music Network and co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships. ‘Phase 1’ of Music Generation established the programme in 11 areas of Ireland (Carlow, Clare, Cork City, Laois, Limerick City, Louth, Mayo, Offaly/Westmeath, Sligo, South Dublin and Wicklow) and in September 2017 a further nine areas were selected for participation as part of ‘Phase 2’ (Cavan/Monaghan, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, Galway City, Galway County, Kilkenny, Leitrim, Roscommon, Waterford and Wexford). In December 2017 Government announced its commitment to support expansion of the programme nationwide by 2022. This next phase was launched with the announcement of five additional areas in May 2019 (Kerry, Kildare, Longford, Meath, Tipperary). Currently Music Generation creates some 42,500 opportunities each year for children and young people to engage in high-quality, subsidised performance music education with more than 350 skilled musician educators, across a hugely diverse range of musical genres, styles and contexts.

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We need to do better to get children reading

6 September 2019 12:44PM UTC | By: NATASHA SOMJI


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Are you able to read this? It seems like a simple question, but there are 750 million illiterate adults around the world who cannot. Reading skills start in school, yet 617 million children globally cannot read, even though two-thirds of them are attending school.

It is clear that we have a global learning crisis on our hands. It is more urgent than ever that we step up our efforts to address this crisis.

How bad is the problem?

In sub-Saharan Africa, almost nine out of ten children are unable to read this sentence. The other 10% of children are much more likely to be from wealthier families. Even for these children, the vast majority have only basic reading skills and much lower fluency than children in wealthier countries.

What does it feel like to read the absolute basics? Turns out, it has a massive impact on someone’s day-to-day life with each sentence they read.

This could be an everyday reality for entire generations if nothing changes.

Why does the global learning crisis matter?

Literacy is not only a right, it is also a direct pathway to better livelihoods. Literacy has a strong impact on crucial things like health, gender equality, and economic growth.

Here are some shocking facts that show the seriousness of this crisis:

  • The economic and social cost of adult illiteracy in developing countries is estimated at more than $5 billion every year.
  • More than 20% of illiterate girls in sub-Saharan Africa are married by the age of 15, compared to only 4% of literate girls.
  • In Nigeria — the most populous country in Africa — 73% of literate young women knew where to get an HIV test, compared to 36% of illiterate women.

Ultimately, literacy is key to poverty reduction. Achieving universal primary and secondary education would help lift more than 420 million people out of poverty.

How can we do better?

We cannot fix what we can’t measure, so it is critical we are able to measure learning as it’s happening in the classroom. This will allow policymakers to target resources where they are most needed. Despite tremendous progress in ensuring more comparable and consistent data in measuring literacy, there are still issues with getting this data. As a result, education influencers and world leaders are considering no longer assessing basic levels of literacy in the classroom. ONE, alongside other CSOs, is advocating for better funding of education data and for learning in the classroom to continue to be measured. Achieving both of these things will be a tremendous victory that could lead to getting more kids learning.

We must also focus on the early years—the most critical years in a child’s development to get them on track with literacy. In grade 3, children should be switching from learning to read to reading to learn. Doing so sets them up for the rest of their lives, but many children cannot even read by this age.

Finally, we must ensure that financing leads to the outcomes we want. We must be able to better track how financing can get kids reading.

We are far off track from achieving global literacy. We must do better to step up our efforts and help every child learn the skills they need to succeed.

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28 DE AGOSTO DE 2019




UNICEF: 420 millones de niños que viven en crisis no tienen acceso al saneamiento básico

Otros 210 millones carecen de acceso al agua potable.



Por qué es importante para los Global Citizens
Sin acceso a agua potable y saneamiento, los niños son susceptibles a enfermedades mortales y pierden oportunidades de educación, especialmente cuando viven en áreas afectadas por conflictos o desastres naturales. Para ayudarlos a reconstruir sus comunidades y escapar de la pobreza, debemos decirles a nuestros líderes mundiales que prioricen el saneamiento y la higiene. Puedes unirte a nosotros y tomar medidas sobre este tema aquí.

Con el aumento de los conflictos y los desastres naturales, la falta de acceso al agua y al saneamiento se está convirtiendo en una amenaza creciente para el bienestar de los niños, según un informe reciente de UNICEF.


En todo el mundo, 420 millones de niños que viven en crisis no tienen saneamiento básico, y 210 millones carecen de acceso al agua potable, informó el martes la organización. El último informe de UNICEF, "Agua bajo fuego", busca garantizar los derechos de agua y saneamiento para todos mientras se avanza hacia el desarrollo sostenible y la paz. El informe describe cómo los servicios de agua, saneamiento e higiene se pueden planificar, financiar y ejecutar para proteger a los niños en las zonas afectadas por el conflicto.

UNICEF-Water-Sanitation-Around-The-World-Report-2019-004.jpgTwo young men bathe in Nayapara refugee camp, Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh in July 2018. The Boro Chara stream’s heavy brown sediment water is treated to remove sediment, and chlorine is added to make it safe to drink.
Image: © Patrick Brown/UN0231426/UNICEF

Firma ahora:
Pídele a los líderes mundiales que prioricen el saneamiento y la higiene

"Nunca ha habido un momento más urgente para garantizar el derecho al agua y al saneamiento para cada niño", dijo la directora asociada de UNICEF para el Agua, Saneamiento e Higiene, Kelly Ann Naylor, en un comunicado de prensa. Las crisis relacionadas con conflictos están aumentando, duran más y afectan a más personas, señaló Naylor.


Para las comunidades que viven en áreas afectadas por la crisis, la falta de agua potable y saneamiento debido a infraestructuras destruidas o desastres naturales se convierte en un obstáculo para lograr una buena salud. Los hospitales están cerrados, lo que aumenta la exposición a enfermedades prevenibles, según el informe. Las mujeres y las niñas corren un riesgo especial en estas situaciones porque a menudo son responsables de recolectar agua para sus familias, lo que aumenta sus posibilidades de ser acosados y faltar a la escuela o al trabajo. Sin instalaciones o recursos de saneamiento, las personas que menstrúan no pueden manejar sus períodos, recurren a quedarse en casa y pierden oportunidades para alcanzar su máximo potencial.

El informe mostró que el conflicto armado ha aumentado en todo el mundo durante la última década, desplazando a millones de personas y presentando un desafío para las comunidades de acogida que necesitan satisfacer las necesidades básicas, incluyendo agua y saneamiento, para las poblaciones en crecimiento. Pero el suministro limitado de agua podría ser tan mortal como las balas, según UNICEF. Los niños menores de 15 años tienen casi tres veces más probabilidades de morir a causa de enfermedades relacionadas con malas condiciones de saneamiento que por violencia.


El cambio climático también está jugando un papel importante en la creciente crisis del agua, haciendo que la disponibilidad de agua sea menos predecible. Esto está acelerando el hambre y las crisis de salud para poblaciones enteras en países devastados por la guerra, desde la región africana del Sahel hasta el Medio Oriente, según el informe.


UNICEF busca replicar iniciativas exitosas de agua y saneamiento en Bangladesh, Etiopía, Líbano, Nigeria, Somalia, Yemen y otros países. El informe tiene como objetivo utilizar estas soluciones como un modelo para marcos a mayor escala que puedan garantizar que los niños de todo el mundo tengan acceso al agua y al saneamiento.


A través de una educación mejorada en saneamiento en Sudán del Sur, por ejemplo, las familias han podido abordar la desnutrición y disminuir los actos de violencia de género. Y un esfuerzo por cerrar las brechas en el servicio de agua en Trípoli, Líbano, ha aliviado las tensiones entre los residentes y los refugiados sirios.


"La asistencia humanitaria por sí sola no resolverá estos problemas, pero a través de asociaciones intersectoriales podemos construir servicios sostenibles y resistentes de agua, saneamiento e higiene que puedan crear un futuro más estable y pacífico para los niños y sus familias", dijo Naylor.

UNICEF-Water-Sanitation-Around-The-World-Report-2019-005.jpgInternally displaced persons (IDPs) collect water as a sandstorm approaches in Abs IDP settlement, Hajjah Governorate, Yemen, in May 2017.
Image: © Giles Clarke for UNOCHA/UNICEF/

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Quiz: How does Canada measure up to other rich countries when it comes to foreign aid?

Quiz: How does Canada measure up to other rich countries when it comes to foreign aid?

12 September 2019 4:02AM UTC | By: JUSTIN MCAULEY


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This Canadian invention saves lives around the world…

50 years ago, Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson created the global “fair share” target for foreign aid.

That number is 0.7% of a country’s national income. Yes, less than one percent. Another way to look at it is that countries meeting this goal would still spend 99.3% of their national wealth on themselves.

So, how much do you think Canada gives today? Are we doing our fair share?

How do you think we’ve measured up to other rich countries over time?

Draw your guess on the chart here:


As Canadians, we’re proud of our leadership in the world! We see Canada as a unique peacekeeping nation that helps nations in crisis. We say that Canada should do its fair share to make the world a better place.

BUT, the numbers don’t back that up.

Since the 1990s, while other rich countries became more generous than Canada, and did their fair share, we fell behind. Our economy grew but our generosity didn’t. We still like to think that we “punch above our weight”, but for every $100 we make, our foreign aid only totals 28 cents.

Canada is below average.

Many people already know that countries like Sweden, Norway, and the Netherlands do a better job of meeting the fair share target but they aren’t alone. Countries like the UK, Germany, and France are also much more generous than Canada.

As it stands, we spend 99.72% of our money on ourselves and on “problems here at home”. If we did our fair share and reached the 0.7% target, we would still spend 99.3% of our income here in Canada. Reasonable, right?

If the stats in this blog surprise you, you aren’t alone! A recent poll revealed that 81% of Canadians agree that Canada should do its fair share in supporting developing countries. However only 21% are aware that Canada is falling behind.

So, do YOU want Canada to do its fair share?

Share this chart with your friends! See if they know how Canada measures up.

Want to know more?
Keep reading!

How much should rich countries like Canada spend on helping the world’s poorest countries?

This is a tricky question. Many people will say “charity begins at home”, that poverty exists here in Canada and this is what we should focus on first.

While this is true, many of the world’s problem do not stop at borders. Effective investments in foreign aid can really make a difference for Canada’s future.

Highly successful international initiatives, like the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and malaria (which helped save 27 million lives since 2002), or Gavi—the Vaccine Alliance (which provided life-saving immunization to 760 million children from the poorest countries), depend on the support of donor countries like Canada.

Preparing your 5-year-old daughter to start school, knowing it will give her the necessary foundation to succeed and become who she wants to be in life, is a ritual that parents in Canada may take for granted. But around the world, there are still over 130 million girls of primary and secondary school age who do not have access to school.

What is Foreign Aid?

Foreign aid, or Official Development Assistance (ODA), is financial support given by donor countries like Canada to promote the economic development and welfare of developing countries. Sometimes it means Canada supports humanitarian non-governmental organizations that work in countries where a disaster or a war has hit, like the Red Cross or Care. Other times, it goes through multilateral organizations like the Global Fund, Gavi, the UN, or the World Bank to help provide essential services like health or education in countries where too many people still can’t access them.

Around the world, Canadians support life-changing and life-saving projects with their contribution via the foreign aid budget.

So, how much should we give? It turns out that 50 years ago this month, in 1969, Canadian Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson came up with a recommendation that a country’s total ODA should be equal to 0.7% of their Gross National Income (GNI) — the statistical value representing the entire domestic economy. This is the accepted definition of a country’s ”fair share” in foreign aid.

The UN approved this “fair share” target in a UN resolution the following year. Since then, people around the world used it as a benchmark to monitor how well countries meet their “fair share” commitment.

But Canada has never reached the target set by our own Prime Minister.

In fact, in the most recent years, we have been moving away, and in 2018 spent only 0.28% of our GNI on ODA.

The last four Prime Ministers (Trudeau, Harper, Martin, and Chrétien) have struggled to reach even the halfway mark of Canada’s “fair share”.

The most we have ever given as a country was 0.54%, in 1975.

The UK reached the 0.7% target and even passed it as a law, which received cross-partisan support and was maintained in the government’s latest spending review.

France spends 0.43% and has committed to reach 0.55% by 2022—twice what Canada gives.

The average effort of the 35 rich countries providing data to the OECD is 0.38%.

Take Action!

Do you think Canada should do more to help? Tweet the leaders!

You can use your voice by tweeting Canada’s political leaders. Let them know that you think Canada should do its fair share.


Wow! I always thought that Canada punched above our weight globally. Do you know how Canada measures up on foreign aid? Draw your guess here: https://www.one.org/canada/blog/quiz-how-does-canada-measure-up-to-other-rich-countries-when-it-comes-to-foreign-aid @JustinTrudeau @Liberal_Party I care that Canada does its fair share to end global poverty. #cdnaid #cdnpoli


Wow! I always thought that Canada punched above our weight globally. Do you know how Canada measures up on foreign aid? Draw your guess here: https://www.one.org/canada/blog/quiz-how-does-canada-measure-up-to-other-rich-countries-when-it-comes-to-foreign-aid @AndrewScheer @CPC_HQ I care that Canada does its fair share to end global poverty. #cdnaid #cdnpoli


Wow! I always thought that Canada punched above our weight globally. Do you know how Canada measures up on foreign aid? Draw your guess here: https://www.one.org/canada/blog/quiz-how-does-canada-measure-up-to-other-rich-countries-when-it-comes-to-foreign-aid @ElizabethMay @CanadianGreens I care that Canada does its fair share to end global poverty. #cdnaid #cdnpoli


Wow! I always thought that Canada punched above our weight globally. Do you know how Canada measures up on foreign aid? Draw your guess here: https://www.one.org/canada/blog/quiz-how-does-canada-measure-up-to-other-rich-countries-when-it-comes-to-foreign-aid @theJagmeetSingh @NDP I care that Canada does its fair share to end global poverty. #cdnaid #cdnpoli

You can also send a postcard to the Prime Minister, saying ‘I Care’ about ending world poverty. It only takes a few seconds!

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This woman is solving water shortage with a little Majik

February 4 2019 | By: SADOF ALEXANDER


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Did you know that anywhere that air exists, water exists? At sea level, air contains roughly 1% of water vapor and, according to research scientists from Harvard University, even in the desert, a cubic area the size of a house can contain up to 16 litres of water!

Now, thanks to the advancement of science and technology, and the determination of people like Beth Koigi, we’re able to turn air in to water, literally. This a huge deal, and if it sounds a bit like magic, then that’s because it is. Well, kind of…

Beth, a technology and community development specialist from Kiambu County, felt compelled to found Majik Water after experiencing water scarcity first hand. Their name isn’t just a description of the remarkable work that they do their, it’s a nod to the company’s roots and comes from combining the Swahili word for water ‘maji’, with the first letter of the word for harvest ‘kuna’, because that’s exactly what Majik Water does – they harvest water.

A problem that hit home

Beth Koigi, CEO of Majik water, began tackling water scarcity in college. In only a few months, she developed and sold water filters to clean the dirty tap water in the college dormitories. In 2016, Koigi’s water supply shut off because of a drought.


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

Koigi traveled to Silicon Valley for a program at Singularity University. This global learning community uses technology to tackle the world’s biggest challenges. While there, she met Anastasia Kaschenko, an American environmental scientist, and Clare Sewell, a British economist. The three women formed and lead Majik Water.

“The three of us were connected by the need to see a world where everyone has access to adequate and clean drinking water,” says Koigi.


Their company certainly tackles a major world issue. 1.2 billion people – one fifth of the world’s population – currently faces water scarcity. By 2025, that number will expectedly grow to 1.8 billion. Sub-Saharan Africa has more water-stressed countries than any area in the world

There’s an estimated six times more water in the atmosphere than in all rivers combined. By tapping into this untouched resource, the most affected parts of the world can have water. The resulting water also helps prevent the spread of waterborne diseases, according to Koigi.

How the magic happens

The device they created uses silica gels, which are able to draw water from the air. The gel releases water when it heats up. As an added perk, the device uses solar panels, meaning it does not rely on electricity.


This process can currently generate 10 liters of water a day. The team is working to increase that to 100 liters per day, while being cheaper to produce. The device will also work as a “water ATM,” allowing people to buy the amount of water that they need.

The company is quickly gaining recognition for their game-changing invention. Majik Water won Africa’s first EDF Pulse Awards. They were also finalists for 2018’s UN Environment’s Young Champions of the Earth, and are shortlisted for the 2019 African Prize for Engineering Innovation.

There’s no doubt that access to water is a huge global problem. With innovative companies like Majik Water, the possibilities for solutions are sky-high.

All photos pulled from Beth Koigi’s video “Majik Water Situation & Product”.

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OCT. 18, 2018




Subway Commuters in Istanbul Can Now Recycle Bottles for Tickets

Turkey is the most wasteful country in Europe.

Why Global Citizens Should Care
The planet is awash in human-generated waste, with landfills, rivers, and oceans overflowing with garbage, and threatening the health of ecosystems. You can join us in taking action on this issue here.

With the worst recycling rate in Europe, Turkey is trying to incentivize sustainability in innovative ways.

Now commuters in Istanbul can get subway fare by recycling plastic bottles and aluminum cans, reports the New York Times. The city’s government is currently rolling out “reverse vending machines” in subway stations that will collect, shred, and sort recyclables on site.

“Most households do not automatically recycle because they are unaware of the benefits to the environment, and others are just lazy,” Elif Cengiz, a manager for the waste management project, called Zero Waste, told the Times. “These new machines give people a direct incentive to recycle while educating them about the benefits of recycling.”

Take Action: Take the Plastic Pledge: #UnplasticthePlanet


Brought to you by: Flow Alkaline Spring Water
Comprométete a eliminar el plástico del planeta


The system delivers money on a cumulative basis.

A 0.33-liter plastic bottle will add 2 Turkish cents to a subway card, a 0.5-liter bottle will add 3 cents, a 1.5-liter bottle brings in 6 cents, the Times reports. Since a single subway ride costs 260 Turkish cents, commuters will have to recycle dozens of bottles and cans to get from point A to point B.

Reverse vending machine in Istanbul subway stationImage: Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality

For some people, this could mean recycling individual items on a daily basis and earning a free ride every now and then, while others may seek out plastic bottles and aluminum cans improperly disposed to redeem in bulk at the subway stations.

Either way, the new measure likely comes as a relief for commuters in the city.

Read More: Here's What Happens When You Recycle Your Old Cellphone

Turkey’s currency has plummeted over the past year because of inflation and government mismanagement of the economy, according to the Times, and the relative cost of a subway ride has increased.

In recent years, Turkey has made efforts to improve its waste management in response to environmental concerns. The country was ranked the most wasteful in Europe, filling up twice as much landfill space per year as the second most wasteful country, Spain. It was also one of the only countries in the world to have gotten worse at recycling since between 2000 and 2012.

The government has been promoting the benefits of recycling and reported that more than 1.7 million tons of paper and cartons were recycled in 2017 and in the first three months of this year, the Times reports.

Read More: Does Recycling Your Clothes Actually Make a Difference?

“This means we saved 24.6 million trees from being cut in 2017, and another 5.4 million in the first quarter of this year,” Mustafa Ozturk, the under secretary for the Environment and Urban Planning Ministry, said in a statement. “The use of recycled material in production contributes to productivity and separate storage for paper waste also saves storage space and decreases waste collecting costs for local administrations.”

The new subway scheme resembles other incentive programs around the world and many of the top recycling countries similarly reward citizens for participating.

In countries like Norway and the US, people are paid when they recycle, and the UK just adopted this model. In Taiwan, people can track garbage trucks on phone apps and are encouraged to toss their recycled goods when the trucks pass their homes.

Read More: Tubby, the World’s Greatest Recycling Dog, Has Died at 13

In Haiti, meanwhile, a company called Plastic Bank sends kids to school or provides heating and cooking oil to people who recycle goods.

Germany, the world’s best recycler, painstakingly implemented smart-designed recycling containers to make its waste management more efficient.

For citizens of Istanbul, the new reverse vending will benefit the country’s environment, but their main appeal will likely be helping people get to work on time.

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"People are being unlawfully restrained. We hear stories of people being fed through hatches and kept in isolation for months." 💔

 245 children in modern day asylums – over double when programme began
🔒 2,255 people with a learning disability and/or autism remain locked away 😢.
⛓️ Over 10,000 reported uses of restrictive interventions in three months

Lives and families are being destroyed. The UK government can’t allow this to continue.

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