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The Action Thread Part Two

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In the Chernobyl affected regions contamination of the land remains the biggest health threat. Thirty years on caesium-137 is the principal source of radiation in the zone around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant also known as ‘Death Valley’ or the ‘Exclusion Zone’. Caesium 137 is one of the radioactive isotopes that was distributed by the reactor explosion and it causes the greatest risk to the health of the people in the Chernobyl affected regions. It finds its way via the food chain into the human body. There is no safe dose of caesium 137 and according to Professor Yuri Bandashevsky “Any dose is an over dose of caesium 137- there should be no question about acceptable levels in the body.” But even now in 2016 levels in milk cattle meat and non-wood forest products continue to exceed the permissible content of caesium-137. The Chernobyl disaster will leave measurable radioactive contamination in a 15,000 square mile area for 300 years.

The below graph illustrates the chain reaction of radioactive particles in the environment. It demonstrates how food and land contamination can have far reaching affects it can have on the human population of contaminated areas.




Via Chernobyl Children International

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TECHNOLOGY How Internet access could help lift women and girls out of poverty


November 8 2016  | By: BENJAMIN JOURDAN
JOIN Join the fight against Extreme Poverty

By Benjamin Jourdan, Policy Officer for Development Finance in ONE’s Johannesburg office

I followed my normal routine this morning:

8:40AM – Woke up after hitting snooze three times

8:41AM – Browsed Facebook for about 5 minutes

8:46AM – Sent an email to my boss

8:47AM – Mozied to the shower and gave an extraordinary lip-sync performance of my favorite jam

8:53AM – Dried off and Snap-chatted some rainbow-pukey face pics to my mates

8:56AM – Checked the weather

8:57AM – Downloaded the next Game of Thrones episode (It’s going to be a wild Friday night!)

8:58AM – Realized it was 8:58AM, threw on clothes, and raced to work

As I sped down the streets of Johannesburg on my trusty scooter, I reflected on how reliant I am on technology and the Internet – and how much easier it has made my life. Yes, it brings its vices, but without the Internet, I wouldn’t be able to video chat with family in the U.S., I wouldn’t have been able to apply to my current job, I wouldn’t be able to post this blog!

Where the Internet has truly been most revolutionary, however, is within the world’s poorest and most vulnerable populations.

These groups now have access to information and networks that help them communicate, set up businesses, and access services, allowing them and their families to lead healthier, safer and more prosperous lives.

But more than half of the world is still unconnected to the internet and where someone lives makes a huge difference. Almost 75% of Africa’s population is offline compared with 19% of people in developed countries. To put it in perspective, the amount of data I use in my normal daily routine (checking apps, streaming music, posting photos, downloading video) is more data than the average citizen living in the poorest regions of the world uses in one month.


Hit harder by this lack of connectivity are women and girls. Women living in the poorest countries are a third less likely than their male counterparts to be connected and the gap is increasing; if trends continue, in 2020 over 75% will be unconnected.

Without connecting these women and girls to the internet, barriers for women to access education, lifesaving health information, and job opportunities will continue to perpetuate dire gender inequalities in these regions.

In the Making the Connection report, ONE calls for an action plan to connect 350 million women and girls in the poorest countries by 2020, resulting in spin off benefits for everyone.

So Snap, Instagram, Facebook, Tweet, YouTube, and Pinterest your support to #PovertyIsSexist and sign our petition today!



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Klaudya and Adam Voranyets stand in a field near their home in Yut village near Dobrush, Belarus. Thirty years ago the couple were working as teachers in a village 20km north of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. When reactor number four exploded on 26 April 1986 the couple say they were told nothing about it. They remember that the rainwater they had collected for washing their children had an unusual yellow colour. At an outdoor sports event children began collapsing, many with nosebleeds. In the months afterwards Adam and Klaudya participated in efforts to decontaminate buildings in their village and assist in the evacuation, which finally occurred four months after the accident. Authorities moved the residents to Yut, 150km from Chernobyl, though in the following years it became clear that Yut and the surrounding region were contaminated with radioactive fallout as well.

Both of their children suffer from weak immune systems and their daughter also has high blood pressure, poor memory and underwent surgery for ovarian cancer. Their granddaughter has high blood pressure and arthritis in one leg.

30 years on from the world’s worst nuclear disaster we ask you to take a moment to remember those who continue to be affected by its deadly legacy.

Photo/ Sean Gallup. Getty Images




Via Chernobyl Children International

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HIV/AIDS Empowering women AND improving HIV/AIDS care: How Vuyiseka is getting it done


25 November 2016 1:44PM UTC  | By: GUEST BLOGGER
JOIN Join the fight against Extreme Poverty


By Koketso Moeti

Vuyiseka Dubula is an avid runner and is currently completing her PhD. She’s also become synonymous with courage, passion, and fierce determination in the South African civil society landscape.

It hasn’t been an easy journey, particularly as a woman born into poverty in the small town of Dutywa in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. Vuyiseka grew up living apart from her biological parents and had to take care of her younger sibling. She wanted to change how she and her sister were living and dreamed of a better life.

At 22, she was diagnosed with HIV. It felt like a shattering of her dreams, especially as treatment would be difficult for her to obtain. But shortly after her diagnosis, she was introduced to the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), which campaigns for access to HIV treatment.

After a long bout of depression following her diagnosis, she volunteered with TAC for months and eventually opened an office in her home.


“The HIV struggle chose me; I didn’t choose it,” she says. “TAC was the only movement that I felt was radical in its approaches to challenge the status quo on issues of access to HIV treatment.”

What started off as a group of about ten members has grown to 8,000 people in seven of South Africa’s nine provinces. Each member gets information on the science of HIV, TB, and other conditions, as well as their rights in the public health system.

Vuyiseka’s highlights during her time with TAC are the court victories, including the 2002 ruling in which the South African government was ordered to provide anti-retroviral drugs to prevent transmission of HIV from mothers to their babies during birth.

During those early years, “we worked non-stop for 14 years with no time to relax,” she says. Vuyiseka was forced to leave her child with her mother-in-law when her workload got particularly heavy after she became the Secretary General of TAC—a position she held for six years after being elected twice. Her visionary leadership helped one of the largest HIV programs in the world come into its own.

But it was difficult to watch hundred of her comrades succumb to AIDS in the early years of the organisation. With support from family and other TAC members, she was always able to pick up her spear and soldier on.


“I don’t usually get despondent because I know that I can do something about it,” she says. “With our gains in HIV, we can only draw wisdom and strength to know that no matter how long it will take for us to win, it will happen.”

She also attributes her determination to her children, a 9-year-old daughter and a 3-year-old son. “They are more than a motivation,” she says. “They are a firm reminder of my duty to hand over a better country to the future generation.”

TAC still works to expose health-related corruption and health governance issues, and even challenge the private healthcare sector. The organisation, where Vuyiseka remains a board member, continues to be at the forefront of exposing poor management of HIV/AIDS services at local levels through intense monitoring.


Before stepping down from her position as the Secretary General, Vuyiseka founded an Activist Education and Development Centre that facilitates and supports unemployed HIV+ activists’ access to higher education. The organisation also provides a space in which activists can reflect, write, and relax, because there is very little self-care support for activists in South Africa.

To date, the centre along with their partners, TAC and the Africa Centre for HIV/AIDS Management at Stellenbosch University, have ensured that more than 30 HIV-positive activists have completed some form of higher education.

Vuyiseka says her next step is expanding the centre’s activities to reach more provinces of the country. “It is women who make social movements,” she says. “But with limited educational support, they are often discarded by movements, left unemployable and with no means to support themselves.”

Vuyiseka’s vision is one in which female activists can move beyond their often unrecognised roles within movements to actually leading civil society organisations, which remain male-dominated, even in 2016. An ambitious goal, but not unreachable for a woman who has already pushed so many boundaries.

Young women are disproportionately impacted by the AIDS epidemic. Read more about this and other issues in the fight to end AIDS in our 2016 AIDS Report.

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**A reminder about the Music Generation Phase 2 General Information Sessions!**



Tuesday 24 January 2017, 12 noon – 2pm

National Concert Hall, Dublin


Thursday 26 January 2017, 12 noon – 2pm

Athlone Springs Hotel, Athlone



These sessions are free to attend and open to all who have an interest in Phase 2 of Music Generation.

Registration for the sessions is open now. Please note that capacity is limited and places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

For further information about Phase 2 of Music Generation please visit: www.musicgeneration.ie/apply


Via Music Generation

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GIRLS & WOMEN A cafe run by acid attack survivors attracts visitors from around the world


Dec. 11, 2015

Brought to you by: TakePart


acid-attack-cafe-main.jpg__700x468_q85_cRitu Saini, Chanchal Kumari, Neetu Mahor, Gita Mahor, and Rupa at the café.
Image: Sheroes’ Hangout


The Taj Mahal may be one of the world’s top architectural wonders, but just a half mile away, a new destination is gaining attention: Sheroes’ Hangout.

“I was exhilarated the first time a group of Indian tourists who visited the café told me how much they appreciate my courage,” says Rupa (who goes by one name), a 22-year-old survivor of acid violence who, along with four other women, runs the café Sheroes’ Hangout. “Since then, we have had regular customers who come here not only to enjoy a cup of joe but also to talk to us.” 

Visitors to Sheroes’ Hangout always leave with a sense of fulfillment. It’s not only because of the cutting-edge coffee and delicious snacks the café serves.

Opened in December 2014 in Agra, a city in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, Sheroes’ Hangout started as a crowdfunding project by Stop Acid Attacks, a group committed to ending acts of violence against women. Its “pay as you wish” contributions go toward the rehabilitation of survivors of acid violence in India.

“Our visitors are mostly people from around the world who hear about us in the news,” says 20-year-old Chanchal Kumari, another survivor who helps operate the café. A man whose marriage proposal she refused attacked Kumari in 2012. “They come here to see how acid attack survivors like us are coping with our lives.”


acid-attack-cafe-inline1.jpg__700x538_q8Image: Sheroes’ Hangout


Kumari, who is recovering from her fifth reconstructive surgery, works alongside Rupa, Ritu Saini, Gita Mahor, and Neetu Mahor, all of whom lived a secluded life in their homes for several years, dealing with the pain of a charred face and a scarred soul. Then they discovered "Stop Acid Attacks," a Facebook campaign that was started on International Women’s Day in 2013. Based in New Delhi, SAA works with acid attack survivors in India, assisting them with legal and medical issues and helping them deal with the trauma of the attack. Sheroes’ Hangout is one of its several initiatives.

Acid attacks are a gruesome reality in India. The National Crime Records Bureau, a government organization that recently began recording acid violence, estimates that more than 1,000 such crimes are committed around the country every year, though the majority of attacks go unreported because of the shame the girl and her family feel and the fear of being attacked again.

SAA has been collecting data through its volunteers across the country and has information on 430 survivors, 350 of whom were attacked in the last two years. It is in touch with, and has assisted, more than 70 of them. According to the data collected, about 70 percent of victims are women, more than 50 percent of whom are attacked by spurned lovers. One of the biggest reasons behind the high rate of acid attacks is the lack of laws against the free sale of acid in India—a liter can be purchased for just 50 cents.

RELATED:  Acid Attack Survivor’s Makeup Tutorials Offer More Than Beauty Tips

SAA wanted to do something for Gita Mahor, 42, and her daughter Neetu, 26, who were attacked with acid 23 years ago by Mahor’s husband, Neetu’s father. Both were left with mutilated faces and limited vision. Neetu’s one-year-old sister was sleeping next to her during the attack and succumbed to the injuries the acid caused to her. With no one else to support them, mother and daughter were forced to continue living with their assailant. To relieve them from their everyday distress and further domestic violence, SAA found it important to provide them an avenue of earning a livelihood so they could gradually move away from their home and lead a happier life.

“Acid attack survivors’ lives become even more traumatic when they start facing rejection from society due to their disfigured faces. They need someone to hold their hand and restore their self-confidence,” says SAA founder Alok Dixit.

Today, Mahor and Neetu dress up every morning and go to the café to serve coffee and treats—and share their stories with customers.


One of the objectives of SAA at Sheroes’ Hangout was to provide skills training in the subject that each survivor was interested in learning. With SAA’s help, Mahor took a baking course at a hotel in Agra and will soon be serving cookies and cupcakes to customers. Neetu, who is almost blind, is taking singing lessons from an SAA volunteer. “I love to welcome the guests at the café cheerfully, so that they know we are coping well,” she says.


acid-attack-cafe-inline2.jpg__700x466_q8Image: Sheroes’ Hangout


Saini, 19, played volleyball for India before suffering an acid attack by a male cousin in 2012 over a family property dispute, resulting in the loss of her left eye. She is unable to compete in the sport anymore, and she now handles accounts at the café. “My life changed ever since I joined SAA,” she says. “With the emotional support I received, I regained the confidence to go out with my face uncovered. Now I don’t care what people think of my disfigured face.”

Rupa—whose stepmother attacked her with acid when she was just 12—is a skilled tailor and an amateur apparel designer. The outfits she designs are exhibited and sold at the café. “Sheroes’ Hangout is not only giving us a chance to move our lives forward; it is also getting our stories out,” she says.

“True that,” says customer Shikha Singh, 20, a student of fashion design who finds herself in the café at least once a week. “I would never have known about the reality behind acid attack survivors had I not met these women. It is amazing the way they are working to fulfill their dreams despite the hurdles. I now prefer to spend on Sheroes’ Hangout rather than a McDonald’s or KFC. At least I’m sure the money will be used for a good cause.”

This article was written by Priti Salian of TakePart. She is a Bangalore-based journalist whose work has appeared in The Christian Science Monitor, Prevention, The National, and many other publications.




Via Global Citizen

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NEWS: 25 Nov 2016


25 Nov 2016


On October 25th, CCI appealed for help on behalf of Sasha Senkevich who is on our Community Care Programme and suffers from Fahr’s disease.

Sasha, 18, lived in pain everyday due to uncontrollable spasms. Sasha urgently needed a neuro-transmitter, which would not only control his spasms but also save his life. Without this surgery, Sasha would have little chance of survival and the remainder of his life would be in uncontrollable pain.


Thanks to the generosity of the Irish people, Sasha was recently able to undergo this life-saving surgery in Moscow. Since his surgery, Sasha has returned home and is now preparing for physiotherapy and massage therapy once he is strong enough. These therapies will aid Sasha in living a pain-free life, but also help him regain his speech and ability to walk, which his condition had stolen from him.

On her recent visit to Ukraine and Belarus, CCI’s voluntary CEO, Adi Roche, visited Sasha and his family. Speaking about Sasha, Adi said;
” I am so relieved to visit Sasha and to see how well he is recovering. He has a fighter’s spirit, which he definitely inherited from his grandmother who advocated for Sasha when he needed it most. Sasha has a long road to recovery, however he would have never had a chance of recovery if it wasn’t for this surgery”


Via Chernobyl Children International

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Saturday 4th February is World Cancer Day, and that weekend The Caroline Foundation is calling on choirs, singers, friends, families, work colleagues and communities to #GiveUsASong, to raise money for cancer research.

Interested in getting involved in this fantastic initiative? Watch this launch video with Áine Lawlor for more, or visit the website athttp://thecarolinefoundation.com/give-us-a-song/…





Via Music Generation

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TECHNOLOGY These tablets bring information and empowerment to women in rural Kenya


7 November 2016 6:12PM UTC  | By: GUEST BLOGGER
JOIN Join the fight against Extreme Poverty

By Katie G. Nelson

Wearing brightly coloured clothes wrapped around their waists and rings of yellow and red necklaces around their necks, the semi-nomadic women of Samburu, Kenya, live much the same way their ancestors did: raising children, caring for livestock, and tending to the home.
ELimu-2.jpgBut in Samburu, one of the poorest and most isolated regions in Kenya, life is changing for the better, thanks in part to a few yellow tablets, some determination, and a little African-grown ingenuity.

The extreme heat, whipping dust storms, and parched land makes Samburu one of the most inhospitable regions in Kenya. The region known for game reserves and traditional Maasai culture is also known for lagging far behind the rest of Kenya’s education and literacy rates.

ELimu-5.jpgOnly 28.9 percent of Samburu’s residents can read and write, compared to the national average of 66.4 percent. The county also faces high dropout rates for female students due to early marriages and pregnancies.

Those geographically and educational obstacles might seem too big a challenge for many, but for the team at BRCK Education, Samburu was the ideal environment to catalyse change using technology.

ELimu-3.jpgPiggybacking off the mission of their parent technology company BRCK, which makes rugged Wi-Fi hotspot and router systems, BRCK Education aims to expand connectivity to students in remote areas using Kio Kits, a go-anywhere, do-anything digital classroom in a box.

Contained in watertight black suitcases, each Kio Kit contains a powerful Wi-Fi router, headphones, a charging system, and 40 yellow tablets. Each tablet is pre-loaded with digital content tailored to both local and international curriculum and can be used with or without internet. The kits are currently being used in 12 countries around the world.

Providing access to a wealth of information, no matter your location or income, is core to BRCK Education’s mission or expanding connectivity to isolated and off-the-grid communities around the globe, says Juliana Rotich, co-founder of BRCK.

“Access to information and access to education in general is a equaliser,” says Rotich. “We should be striving to more equality, and equality in those two areas.”

ELimu-1.jpgFor Nivi Sharma, BRCK Education President, the importance of the Kio Kit was even clearer after working in the village of Kiltamany in Samburu, Kenya.

Sharma first forged a relationship with a primary school in Kiltamany under her tech company eLimu, which cultivates and distributes an array of educational and learning content. Sharma was evaluating the impact of the Kio Kit on students and teachers at Kiltamany Primary School when she encountered a group of women from the nearby village who also wanted to learn using the Kio Kit tablets.

Despite the fact that only two of the women knew how to read or write, Sharma and her team decided to leave one tablet with the group; and the results were remarkable.

Upon returning to Samburu several months later, Sharma discovered the women had formed a school that met once a week after they finished fetching water.

“And they had learned to write their own names,” she says. 

Sharma continued following the Samburu women, many of whom learned basic math and later how to read and write, she says.

“The women were saying,  ‘I can’t believe I missed out on this. I now understand that my husband had four goats and he was selling them each at 4,000 shillings. He should’ve brought home 16,000 shillings, not 15,000 shillings.”BRCK-1024x576.jpg

“We realised that they understood immediately the educational and empowering possibilities of technology not just for their children, but for themselves as well,” Sharma writes.

 But the impact of the Kio Kit wasn’t limited to the classroom, Sharma explains.

“The really interesting thing was we spoke to the (primary school) head teacher and he said the enrolment of girls just shot up because the women are suddenly saying, ‘Oh my god, I don’t want my daughter to miss out on this.’”

ELimu-4.jpgFor girls and women, the opportunity to access any information anytime and anywhere is critical to expanding career opportunities—or even the possibilities—for a life beyond Samburu.

“When you think of the four walls of a classroom, if a girl is curious about something and all her curiosity is contained within those four walls—and the teacher and the textbooks in front of her—that’s really limiting,” says Sharma.

“What digital access means is that she’s able to express and explore her curiosity. To let her voice be heard in a way that traditionally isn’t.”

Call on leaders and innovators from all countries, industries and communities to make universal internet access a reality by adding your name now.



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How this village in Kenya is planning to survive the hunger season


10 August 2016 10:43AM UTC  | By: GUEST BLOGGER
JOIN Join the fight against Extreme Poverty

In partnership with One Acre Fund, ONE will follow a small community called Luucho in Western Kenya through the agricultural season.

About 250 miles northwest of Nairobi, Kenya, the sun rises over Luucho, a quiet village nestled between large granite boulders. At the centre of the village, there is an outdoor market where three orange, dusty roads intersect, bordered by thick and thorny vegetation.

In the morning, the market begins to stir as the first of the vendors arrive to unlock their booths and restock their shelves. Later in the day, the vendors will be busy counting change and wrapping items in recycled newspapers. Until then, they work quickly to prepare for their customers and try to stay out of the sun’s increasingly punishing heat.


Residents of Luucho gather at a water pump to collect water to take to their homes, most of which do not have running water.

On the outskirts of the market lives 66-year-old David Wanangeiye, one of the village elders responsible for solving minor disputes in the community. Also trying to escape the sun’s wrath, David takes refuge under a lone tree outside his mud-walled home.

“This has been an extraordinary year. I’ve never experienced a year as hot as this in my whole life,” David says, his eyes gazing up toward the sky. “But I can see signs of the coming rain everywhere now.”


A woman farms her rocky field in Luucho, Kenya.

Like many smallholder farmers in Luucho, David depends solely on the rain to water his crops. In an ordinary season, the rains start somewhere between late February and early March with most farmers planting seeds by mid-March. This year, the fields sit empty, waiting, while farmers anxiously await the return of the rains. It’s now late March.

“My grandfather taught me that if the rain pours heavily at night, then it’s time to start planting. Every night before bed I walk outside and look to the sky searching for dark clouds,” David says. “I pray the rains start soon because if not, then this whole village will lack food in a few months.”


Signs around Luucho village.

Ironically, lack of food is a common struggle for farmers in western Kenya. The majority of farmers run out of food three to four months after harvesting, leading to a period of food insecurity that lasts until the next year’s harvest is mature. This period is commonly referred to as wanjala in Bukusu, the local dialect; it means “hunger season.” During this time, farmers and their families will rely on a cup of tea or porridge in place of a meal.

Wanjala is still vivid in Shalene Simiyu’s mind. Shalene lives about 300 feet east of David’s home and could never grow enough food to make it through the entire year. Usually, Shalene managed to harvest just one bag of maize from her half-acre farm, and this single sack of food would only last her family of six for two months. For the rest of the year, her family would be limited to one meal a day.

“When we had no food in the evening, I would give my children a cup of water and then ask them to go to sleep. But they could not sleep because their stomachs were hungry, so I had to stay awake the whole night trying to calm them down,” Shalene says.


One Acre Fund field officer Salate Oteba hands out planting trainings to Shalene (far left) and her neighbors as part of a One Acre Fund crop training.

In 2009, Shalene bought seed and fertiliser from One Acre Fund, a nonprofit social enterprise that delivers farm inputs on credit to farmers in remote areas of East Africa and trains them on how to increase farm productivity and income.

Armed with new agricultural knowledge and supplies, Shalene increased her harvest that season to an astounding eight bags of maize. With this food, she was able to defeat the hunger season and feed her family for the full year. Since then, she has continued to improve her crop yields, and says she even has a surplus that she can share with her neighbours.


Shalene Simiyu and her daughter Lenise Nafulasit together in their house in Luucho.

“All I wanted was to give my children a good life. I’m now happy when I see them smiling and happy because I’m able to provide them with at least three meals in a day,” Shalene says. “I pray for rains so that I’m able to continue producing enough food for my family.”

At half past noon, a distant gong signals lunchtime at Luucho primary school. As her children arrive home, Shalene quickly moves to the kitchen and starts serving a meal of rice and beans. She is soon joined by Christine Nanjala, her immediate neighbour and friend. The two friends chat happily as they arrange the plates on the table.


Residents of Luucho travel primarily by foot or bicycle.

According to Christine, a meal of rice and beans is common for this time of year in many Luucho households. Since onset of the dry season three months ago, green vegetables have become scarce and expensive. Villagers now depend on other foods that can be dried and stored, and beans fit the bill.

“During the dry season, all the farms in this village are empty, so our options become limited. I’m looking forward to the start of the rains because then there will be plenty of fresh vegetables in the farm for us to choose from,” Christine says, Shalene nodding in agreement.


Shalene’s children (from left) Laban Wanyonyi, Mark Wekesa, and Getrine Nasimiyu eat a lunch of rice and beans at home in Luucho.

Shalene and Christine clear the table after the children finish lunch, and the two women prepare to head out in the heat to the market where Shalene sells clothes, fish, and mangoes.

Unlike the morning, the market is now abuzz with activity. Sellers and their customers bargain to get the best price. Music booms from several shops, and a growing line forms at the cereals mill, where parents wait their turn to grind grains into flour for porridge. Unexpectedly, a cool breeze sweeps through and the whole market pauses for a moment. Everyone looks to the sky, hoping—perhaps today will be the day when the rain finally returns.

Want to know if the rain finally falls over Luucho? Check back next month for part two of this year’s harvest series.

One Acre Fund supplies smallholder farmers with the financing and training they need to grow their way out of hunger and poverty. Instead of giving handouts, they invest in farmers to generate a permanent gain in farm income. One Acre Fund provides a complete service bundle of seeds and fertiliser, financing, training, and market facilitation—and delivers these services within walking distance of the 400,000 rural farmers they serve. They measure success in their ability to make farmers more prosperous and they always put Farmers First.



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6 things young people can do to change the world


27 May 2016 4:08PM UTC  | By: GUEST BLOGGER
JOIN Join the fight against Extreme Poverty

This is a guest blog post from our ONE Youth Ambassador, Dannee McGuire.

Young people aren’t just the leaders of tomorrow – they’re making huge changes to the world around them, right now. Whether it’s through social media or ‘hashtag’ activism, writing online or in their paper about a cause, or taking part in a protest, there are many ways that young people can ‘be the change’ and make a difference to the world.

1. Volunteer



Many young people volunteer in some way these days. It’s not just for adding experience to your CV – whether it’s a teaching or sports project, to animals and conservation work, to a hospice or a community centre, you can make a real difference!

Usually, the more local you can volunteer, or the more focused the action point, the better! Volunteering abroad can often be a great experience, and definitely life changing, but ‘voluntourism‘ projects aimed for young people aren’t always the best way to help communities. To start with, focus on how you can help your local area or a cause within your country.

2. Write to your political representative



A great way to start writing to your political representative is researching what some of your favourite charities are doing. Many charities, such as anti-poverty or environmental ones, will be running advocacy campaigns with petitions or with options to write to your representative regarding the issue. Through these, you can learn the best ways you can ask your representative to take action.

MPs want to hear from their constituents and what they’re interested in – that’s their job! However, they can’t tackle poverty or climate change singlehandedly – what they really want is to know what they can personally do about it. Write to them, or even ask for a meeting with them, and show them what you think they should be focusing on.

3. Use online platforms to reach others



There’s never been a greater time in history for reaching out to millions of people around the world. You’ve probably seen how a single Twitter hashtag can create massive social awareness, such as #BlackLivesMatter and #YesAllWomen. What hashtags can you contribute to, or even create?

If longer writing is more your thing, writing for an online portal like Huffington Post is a great place to start. You can write blogs and original content for HuffPo to reach new audiences, and if it’s featured then you could see your article reaching thousands of people.

4. Giving other young people a role



One of the best ways you can make a difference is to inspire others to join you. Not only are you teaching other young people about important issues, but you’re encouraging them to teach others too. That’s one reason why many charities and organisations have resources for young people who want to get involved as an ambassador for their cause. But you can do the same thing! Maybe you want to launch a campaign on raising awareness of a social issue, for example, but you need help to do everything. If you can create a team to join you, by giving everyone a role as an ambassador and a change agent, you’re helping them to put their own ideas into reality and make a much wider difference.

5. Think out of the box



Why do videos, campaigns, or pictures go viral? Normally a big reason behind this is because it’s something not many people will have seen before, which makes it ‘shareable’. By finding a way to make a difference in a completely unique way, you can find ways to reach entirely new audiences.

6. Join ONE

ONE is an international advocacy and campaigning organisation that fights extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa, by raising public awareness through campaigns such as Poverty is Sexist, and Stand with Eva.

Want to see how young people are changing the world right NOW? Follow #ONEYouth2016 to see what our Youth Ambassadors and ONE Champions are up to at the 2016 Annual ONE Summit!




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Me gusta esta página · 2 h · 
Discussion of Hashtag #BlackLivesMatter"If you want the world to be great, we can't do it separated."
Via Global Citizen

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