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  1. MARCH 8, 2018 19 GIRLS & WOMEN Afghan Women Will Only Be ‘Empowered’ When They Are Free From Violence Economic empowerment is the buzzword of the day, but violence still plagues women. By Ayesha Ahmad In Afghanistan, “economic empowerment” is a buzzword of the day, most frequently used by starry-eyed donors and development workers as they implement employment schemes, skill-development programs and community participation initiatives throughout the country, all in the name of gender equality. But what does “empowerment” mean for Afghan women? While international organizations are focusing on developing programs that help women gain education and employment skills, many local women are busy fighting against the taboo ofrevealing their own name. Take Action: Empower Girls and Women The Where is My Name? campaign has been gaining momentum since it was established by a small group of women in the city of Herat in 2017. It refers to an Afghan tradition that prevents women’s names from being used on official documents. In death, a woman’s identity is buried with her: Her husband’s or father’s name is used on her headstone. #WhereIsMyName is evidence of a fundamental battle against discrimination, and it reveals an uncomfortable truth about international efforts to “empower” Afghan women. Financially independent women, or those who ease the economic hardship within a family, may appear to tick the boxes of a functioning, gender-equal society. But the cultural ground that these women walk on still rejects the full weight of their existence. Read More: 17 Amazing Tweets from International Women’s Day And while campaigners are fighting for their own identity as Afghan women – women who have names as well as jobs – Western-run programs are focusing on narrow definitions of “empowerment” that fail to address such deep-seated, damaging norms. Does this mean Afghan women are not being heard by development organizations? Certainly, there are words missing from the dialogue. Living With Violence It is vital that economic development programs consider the meaning of power for an Afghan woman, which means freedom from violence. Afghanistan has extremely high rates of violence against women and girls, a situation perpetuated by a combination of impunity for offenders and the general acceptability of extreme unequal gender norms in the post-Taliban era. The poetry and stories of the Afghan Women’s Writing Project starkly illustrate the woven narrative of violence that follows from birth to death for women and girls. Read More: "I will never accept defeat" - the Afghan girl defying a community that says women cannot play music It’s true that tackling gender-based violence is strongly linked to improving the economic basis of women’s lives. While men commit violence against women of all backgrounds, poverty can increase the risk. Without economic independence, women can be bound to violent domestic settings amid serious wider security threats. But that does not meant that economic advancement programs will end gender-based violence on their own, nor should it mean that those programs should not try to address violence. A New Gender Infrastructure When Afghanistan was under the control of the Taliban, between 1996 and 2001, systematic, instrumental strategies were implemented to omit women from public life, and as a result, the country’s economic development. The Taliban is no longer in power, but serious challenges remain on both a societal and governmental level; with a recent analysis showing that the Taliban still threatens 70 percent of the country, its restrictions are far from a distant memory. Today, there is international pressure on the Afghan government to rebuild the rights of women. This requires the construction of an entire infrastructure in which women and girls can freely exist – where they are able to get an education, travel freely and eventually earn a living, free from danger. This is far from the case now. In November 2017, Kabul University veterinary student Zahra Khwarai killed herself by ingesting rat poison after her thesis was rejected for the eighth time by her supervisor. Her roommates had tried to take her to hospital, but they were not granted permission to leave the premises by the person in charge of the women’s dormitory, who claimed they did not have the required accreditation. Working Within the System The fundamental problem with “empowerment” programs is that they try to operate within restrictive gender norms, rather than helping to build a new infrastructure for women’s advancement. Various organizations and schemes continue to fund women-led businesses, programs to improve women’s livelihoods and increase women’s participation in decision-making. While these programs can generate economic growth within their community, the projects typically fund activities such as vegetable production, sewing clothes or handicrafts that conform to existing gender roles. There is little scope for women to carve out their own identities. More ambitious programs can also be fraught. In 2015, Promote, a U.S. aid scheme, invested $416 million into programs to strengthen women’s economic development in the form of mentorship, leadership programs and schemes to get more women into the civil service. But it has been questioned whether the 75,000 women it targets will benefit. Saley Ghaffar, who represents the Solidarity Party of Afghanistan, is a staunch critic of U.S. and NATO’s involvement in the county. She says women are used as “showpieces” by the government to provide the illusion of progress on gender equality. A telling example is that of Niloofar Rahmani, Afghanistan’s first post-Taliban female fixed-wing pilot. After undertaking training in the U.S. as part of efforts to increase women’s representation in Afghan security forces, she was impelled to apply for asylum due to a widespread backlash against her public role, resulting in threats not just from extremists, but also from her relatives. Unearthing the Roots of Violence Whilst economic development is most certainly one of the routes forward for Afghan women, such attempts will be futile unless the root of violence is unearthed. In a sense, focusing on women’s economic “empowerment” at all is a misnomer. Women are cut off from society, including the workplace, because of structural violence, not because of a lack of capability or inherent power. Afghan women are navigating their survival in one of the most hostile and dangerous places in the world. That is very powerful. Theviewsexpressedin this article belong to its author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Women’s Advancement Deeply. This article is part of “Beyond Empowerment,” a collection of pieces that interrogate the dominant narratives around women’s economic advancement and propose alternative ways of thinking about gender equality. Read more in the series: The Formal Economy as Patriarchy: Vandana Shiva’s Radical Vision The Foundation That Wants Women to Ditch Handicrafts and Get Political But as long as they live under the threat of personal and institutional violence, and as long as they are unable to use their own names, their potential will never be reached. This article originally appeared on Women's Advancement Deeply. You can find the original here. TOPICSwomen and girlsafghanistanwashinternational women's day#IWD2018
  2. Por Erica Sanchez y Sushmita Roy 11 DE JUNIO DE 2019 1 MEDIO AMBIENTE La 'zona muerta' en el Golfo de México pronto podría crecer más que el tamaño de Massachusetts "Todo es parte de cómo tratamos nuestro ecosistema". Por qué es importante para los Global Citizens La contaminación generada por actividades humanas como la urbanización y la agricultura a menudo terminan en los cuerpos de agua, donde perturban el ecosistema y pueden terminar con la vida marina. Los nutrientes químicos comúnmente utilizados en la agricultura pueden alterar los ecosistemas marinos hasta el punto de crear grandes "zonas muertas" donde ninguna vida puede desarrollarse. Puedes unirte a nuestro movimiento para proteger los océanos y la vida debajo del agua aquí. Según un nuevo informe, la "zona muerta" en el Golfo de México, donde el oxígeno es demasiado escaso para soportar la vida marina, podría convertirse en una de las áreas más grandes de la historia, según un informepublicado por la Administración Nacional Oceánica y Atmosférica (NOAA) el lunes. Las "zonas muertas" ocurren cíclicamente en el Golfo y son causadas por la contaminación excesiva de nutrientes que se abre paso desde los sitios agrícolas a los cuerpos de agua. Este año, se espera que crezca a aproximadamente 7,829 millas cuadradas, o aproximadamente del tamaño de Massachusetts, según informó la NOAA. Sin embargo, un estudio similar publicado por la Universidad Estatal de Louisiana (LSU) la semana pasada, predice que la zona será aún más grande que eso, alcanzando alrededor de 8,717 millas cuadradas, aproximadamente del mismo tamaño que Nueva Jersey. Ambas estimaciones ubican el tamaño de la "zona muerta" de este año apenas por detrás del récord de 8,766 millas cuadradas observadas en 2017. Sin embargo, las predicciones superan el promedio de cinco años de 5,770 millas cuadradas en una cantidad considerable. "Creemos que este será el segundo más grande", dijo a la CNN Nancy Rabalais, ecóloga marina y coautora del informe LSU. La NOAA culpa a las inusuales lluvias intensas de primavera y las enormes cantidades de contaminantes en la escorrentía del agua de lluvia por el alarmante pronóstico. Firma: Comprométete a eliminar el plástico del planeta PASA A LA ACCIÓN El agua de lluvia transporta el nitrógeno y el fósforo de los fertilizantes al Golfo de México, donde estimulan el crecimiento de cantidades excesivas de fitoplancton (algas microscópicas). Estos eventualmente mueren y se hunden hasta el fondo del Golfo, donde, a medida que se descomponen, consumen el suministro de oxígeno del agua. Los bajos niveles de oxígeno amenazan a todos los organismos vivos en el cuerpo de agua, creando una "zona muerta", que incluye peces, camarones y cangrejos, una importante fuente de alimentos e ingresos para las personas de la zona. El agua del 41% de los Estados Unidos desemboca en el río Mississippi, que eventualmente se une al Golfo de México. El Servicio Geológico de EE. UU. informó que la descarga promedio del río transportó 156,000 toneladas métricas de nitrato y 25,300 toneladas métricas de fósforo en el Golfo solo en mayo pasado, 67% más que el promedio a largo plazo de las últimas cuatro décadas. La Agencia de Protección Ambiental de los Estados Unidos ha empleado un grupo de trabajo para monitorear el problema y varios estados de los Estados Unidos también están trabajando para reducir la cantidad de nutrientes que llegan al Golfo. Si bien se puede hacer poco para reducir el tamaño esperado de la "zona muerta" y revertir el impacto de esta escorrentía de nutrientes en el Golfo este año, los agricultores pueden tomar medidas para evitar una destrucción similar en el futuro. Cambiar a fertilizantes ecológicos y naturales puede ayudar a reducir el riesgo de la cantidad de nitrógeno y fósforo que ingresa al Golfo. Los agricultores también pueden plantar más cultivos como, por ejemplo, el pasto de trigo que tiene raíces más largas y puede retener los nutrientes del suelo más fácilmente. "Todo es parte de cómo tratamos nuestro ecosistema y nuestra naturaleza consumista", dijo Rabalais. "Todo está relacionado con nuestra huella de carbono y el nitrógeno utilizado en la agricultura que se utiliza para alimentar a los animales que no necesitamos comer. Todo está relacionado con la economía mundial y ahora las tarifas y la forma en que se otorgan subsidios a la agricultura". TEMASEnvironmentPollutionmedio ambienteFarmingAgricultureMarine LifeagriculturaDead Zonevida marinazona muerta del golfo
  3. By Daniele Selby MARCH 5, 2018 GIRLS & WOMEN These Subway Cars Are Reserved for Women, But They’re Filled With Men At rush hour, “it’s basically all men trying to squeeze in,” one rider said. Ladies first. At least that was the idea behind the creation of women-only train cars in Guangzhou, China. But nearly nine months after Guangzhou’s subway operator designated women-only cars to help curb sexual harassment, it seems that men are still the ones rushing in, the New York Times reported. The Guangzhou Metro announced last June that it would begin reserving one car on every train during rush hours for women “to raise awareness about caring for and respecting women," an official said. The reserved cars were also intended to “stop any chance of women falling victim to harassment while riding the subway," Su Zhongyang, a political advisor to Guangzhou Metro, said. But it doesn’t seem to have worked. When the women-only cars were launched, officials anticipated that "couples, friends and families may want to stay together,” meaning that some men riding in the all-women cars were expected. However, riders told the New York Times that the designated cars are packed with passengers, many of whom are male. Take Action: Tell World Leaders to Redouble Their Efforts By Amending Laws to Prevent Sexual Violence Firma: Dile a los líderes mundiales que redoblen sus esfuerzos por leyes que eviten la violencia sexual PASA A LA ACCIÓN “It’s basically all the men trying to squeeze in,” Lu Lili, a 28-year-old woman, told the New York Times. Guangzhou is China’s second most populous city — with roughly the population of New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago combined — meaning that public transportation can get particularly packed making it easy for people to get away with inappropriate sexual contact. During rush hour, each car has about 310 passengers, Ye Zichuan, the head of the the publicity department for Guangzhou Metro, told the New York Times. View image on Twitter See CNS Photo's other Tweets Twitter Ads info and privacy Between 2015 and 2017, 74 incidents of sexual harassment on the Guangzhou Metro were reported, according to the Guangzhou police — though it’s likely that many more instances went unreported. One woman told the New York Times that she had been groped on the train. “But because there were so many people, you don’t know who did it, so it’s difficult to call anyone out,” she said. “You don’t dare to make a scene in the car,” she added. And while the cars are labeled “for women,” Ye said they cannot legally force men out of the designated cars. In Shenzhen, “women priority” cars launched around the same time as Guangzhou’s “women-only” cars are also packed with male passengers, according to the South China Morning Post. In fact, according to the Beijing Youth Daily, there were nearly twice as many men as women riding in “women priority” cars. Read more: A Video of a Woman Being Sexually Assaulted on a Moroccan Bus Has Sparked Fury While the state-run publication, China Daily, controversially said that sexual harassment is a Western problem that has not affected China, the US-based non profit, Stop Street Harassment, found that 70% of Chinese citizens surveyed in 2002 in Beijing said they had been sexually harassed. Nearly 60%said they were harassed on the bus. Polls taken before Shenzhen created “women priority” cars also showed that 81.9% of people believe sexual harassment occurs on the train. Though the all-female cars have been met with mixed response, there is still hope that, if enforced, the cars will have a positive impact on the frequency of sexual harassment. Global Citizen campaigns in support of women’s rights and gender equality. You can take action here to call on world leaders to amend gender discriminatory policies to prevent sexual violence against women. TOPICSGender EqualityWomen's RightsSexual ViolenceSexual HarassmentGender Based ViolenceChinaPublic TransportationGuangzhou
  4. APRIL 10, 2019 21 ENVIRONMENT NASA's Newest Mission Is Fighting Climate Change and Natural Disasters on Earth The agency hopes to use its data and analysis tools to help vulnerable people around the world. By Sonia Elks LONDON, April 9 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) — NASA is using its satellites to solve humanitarian challenges in some of the most fragile places on earth under a landmark partnership with aid agency Mercy Corps. The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration will use its wealth of data to help communities at risk from climate change and natural disaster predict the dangers and build their resilience. "There is nothing a NASA person likes better than answering a really good question," NASA's disasters program director David Green told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. "That is the excitement of working with Mercy Corps, because they are trying to bring solutions to bear anywhere in the world there is stress, and arguably we are looking at the entire world at any given time." Take Action: Ensure All Communities Can Withstand Climate Disaster Firma: Garanticemos que todas las comunidades puedan soportar desastres climáticos PASA A LA ACCIÓN NASA and Mercy Corps signed a three-year agreement on March 29 that will see them work closely to see how NASA's vast data and analysis resources could be applied to help vulnerable people around the world. They say the data can help them predict future events, from changes in grazing land to the likely path of flooding, meaning Mercy Corps can plan ahead to protect communities at risk. "In order to build resilience you have to understand the higher-level stresses on a system," said David Nicholson, senior director of environment, energy and climate at Mercy Corps. "We so often work in information-scarce environments, trying to make decisions on how best to deploy resources without the benefit of information." Much of the data that NASA holds is already publicly available, but may not be used because decision-makers are not aware of its existence or because it is not in a format that addresses their questions. In a pilot project, the teams looked at groundwater levels in Niger, where most people live off subsistence farming and droughts can destroy livelihoods. Read More: 13 Photos Taken From Space Show Destructive Power of Wildfires NASA was able to provide data on changes to underground water levels and find reserves using a satellite that senses them through tiny changes in gravity. The information helped to show where could support more farming and where was at high drought risk. They are working to share NASA data with local decision-makers around the world, from national governments to local farmers. "If you can empower people with the right information they can make the smart decision," said Nicholson. The two organisations could also collaborate during large-scale disasters such as the recent floods in Mozambique and Zimbabwe to help target immediate relief. "It's still very much in the experimental phase, there's just such a deep well of possibility," said Nicholson. "I think there is an endless opportunity here." (Reporting by Sonia Elks @soniaelks; Editing by Claire Cozens. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's and LGBT+ rights, human trafficking, property rights, and climate change. Visit http://news.trust.org) TOPICSEnvironmentcambio climaticomedio ambientedesastres naturalesClimate ChangeResilienceNASADataMercy CorpsDisaster Preventionresilienciaprevencion de desastres COMMENTS
  5. These teenage activists are fighting to change this → "More than a third of girls in Nigeria end up in child marriages, and with 22 million married before the age of 18, the nation has among the highest number of child brides in Africa." h/t CNN Africa https://edition.cnn.com/2019/05/25/africa/nigerian-girls-child-marriage-campaign-intl/index.html?fbclid=IwAR2MYepOQ7E6xlQRZLdLUHhKFt_IdzuJz_UXxB9j6gHN3JRrEktCRD7Lioc
  6. 0 YOUTH AMBASSADORS Lobby Day Diary: ONE Youth Ambassador Abigail takes on UK Parliament 5 June 2019 10:10AM UTC | By: ONE YOUTH AMBASSADORS ADD YOUR NAME Sign now: we demand more action in the fight against AIDS EmailSign Share on Facebook Save on Facebook Share on Twitter Share by Email This year, we’re advocating to make sure world leaders step up the fight against AIDS, TB and malaria by supporting The Global Fund’s sixth replenishment in October. To make sure we meet our goal, we brought our UK Youth Ambassadors (YAs) to London to meet directly with their local Members of Parliament (MPs). UK YA, Abigail, recaps her day and shares what she learnt along the way. Abigail’s dog. He’s always more than happy to stay in bed that little bit longer. 08:00 am I always wake up late and it doesn’t help that I have the cutest dog in the world jump on my bed insisting on a cuddle every morning. Today is no exception, but I still have to grab a coffee before leaving the house, unless I want to be a zombie for the whole day. I pop on a light top with a pair of flowy, comfortable blue trousers, and pack my black ONE t-shirt in my bag (not to be worn until needed). 10:00 am My dog wasn’t happy to be left at home, but I’m excited to be on the train and on my way to the UK ONE Headquarters in a bustling area of London called Covent Garden. I’m feeling really nervous about meeting my local MP. I was told to research him beforehand and did. It doesn’t seem like he’d be interested in promoting our cause, and I was surprised he’d agreed to come. The stakes are high as Britain’s contributions to The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria help save thousands of lives. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed he’s on the same team in championing effective global aid to countries that need it the most. At the London office 11:00 am I arrive at the ONE office located on the 8th floor of the building. The panoramic windows contribute to some stunning city views and some sort of greenhouse effect that can make it quite hot! In the main meeting room, a sea of friendly faces are waiting for me. For some Youth Ambassadors, it was our first time meeting and others the second or third depending on attendances of previous events. That didn’t make the slightest difference in familiarities, as we know we’re all part of one big family here. I spend some time catching up with the other girls and listen in awe of all the other amazing campaigns work they dedicate their time to. The day kicks off with a reminder of what we’re asking for today and why from ONE’s UK Policy and Advocacy Manager, Lis Wallace. We’re asking our local MPs to champion the UK’s contribution to the Global Fund. Lis and Nasim Salad, ONE’s UK Policy & Advocacy Assistant show us a role play of how a good meeting could go. After that, we hear from Dr. Patricia Nkansah-Asamoah, a ONE and (RED) Ambassador. Her presence is powerful, and you can feel that as she turns to face us. Dr. Patricia was previously the director of the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) Clinic at Tema Hospital in Ghana. It was here where she delivered the clinic’s first HIV-negative baby from an HIV-positive mother thanks to ARV medications! She tells her story of training to be a doctor, specialising in OB/GYN and speaks of some of the difficulties that hindered their ability to stem the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in some communities. Stigma around being HIV positive was — and still is — a pressing issue. Very few individuals would offer to be tested for HIV in her community, so Dr. Patricia began with pregnant women, a community that has engaged in unprotected sexual intercourse and therefore could potentially be exposed to HIV. She was able to treat the women who tested positive, but became worried about the lack of aftercare. There was still so much stigma around the disease, a woman could be kicked out of her house for being found HIV positive, and there was a high suicide rate amongst patients. Patricia decided she had to do something and opened an opportunistic infections clinic funded in part by the Global Fund. Protests outside of Houses of Parliament. 12:00 pm We grab our lunch bags from the kitchen and get ready to walk to the Houses of Parliament. London’s thriving at this time, with all the 9-5ers taking their lunch breaks, and there’s always something to see in Westminster. For the past three years, it has become quite common to witness Brexit protests, with both Remainers and Brexiteers setting up shop outside Parliament with huge posters and banners. We clear security and enter the Houses of Parliament. It’s an old building and always feels a little cold from the stone interior. It’s under construction at the moment, so most parts are covered in scaffolding. We’re led to a room just off the main entrance where we’ll be based for the day, so time to make ourselves at home and fuel up with sandwiches. Gillian Keegan, MP during her talk with ONE Youth Ambassadors. 2:00 pm After lunch we sit down with Gillian Keegan, MP for Chichester and Chair of the Sustainable Development Goals All-Party Parliamentary Group for a talk and Q&A session. She tells us a little bit about her background of growing up in working-class Liverpool and gaining her degree level apprenticeship there. For years before becoming an MP, she worked for international businesses that took her from Madrid to Tokyo. This is where she began to fully realise the importance of a global economy — every country’s decisions and individual economies impacted one another’s. As she is from the Conservative party — a right-wing political group in the UK — I grabbed the opportunity to ask her for some tips on how to approach the argument for global aid at an economic level. This was useful for me, as it’s not the first thing I think of. She suggested presenting it from this angle: global aid can work as an investment. The world is too globalised to bury our heads in the sand and pretend that issues in other countries are isolated and won’t ever affect us. 3:00 pm We’re left waiting for a while. Some YAs excitedly hurry off to their MP’s office for appointments. Others nervously wait to leave for their scheduled meetings, or for their MP to “drop-in”, which was what mine planned to do. I didn’t like the idea of this. It made me feel more anxious to think that I’d be speaking in front of so many other people. Abigail (left) with Labour MP Dawn Butler (right). 3:30 pm My MP walks into the room. We shake hands, introduce ourselves, and sit down to begin. Unfortunately, my MP was not supportive. The conversation quickly escalated and it wasn’t a situation I wanted to be in. It was my first interaction with an MP. It was also my first time speaking in the Houses of Parliament — I’m sure anyone can imagine how nerve-racking it was — which wasn’t helping the situation. We fundamentally disagreed at all levels. The second my MP left the room, a fellow YA, Andrea, literally scooped me into her arms for the biggest, warmest hug, which I was so grateful for. “You were amazing,” she said, “you did everything you could.” I didn’t feel like I did. The conversation must’ve lasted a good twenty minutes, but in that moment, I couldn’t remember any of it. It was all just a huge adrenaline-rushed-blur. All I could see was failure. I was very fortunate to be surrounded by the ONE family in that moment. There wasn’t a second they left me alone to feel bad about myself. They were all around me, absolutely and unconditionally loving and supportive. ONE’s UK Campaigns Assistant, Jasmine Wakeel, took me to the nearest coffee shop for a time-out. We went over the conversation and she reassured me I’d done all I could. I remembered something on the way back to our meeting room: “Brave, Not Perfect.” It was the title of a book I read last month, which placed emphasis on the act of trying and failing, as opposed to not doing something for fear of not getting it perfect. I walked into that situation predicting that I’d be unsuccessful because I’d known my MP’s views. Regardless, I’d tried. I’d have felt far worse for not trying, so in that there is some success. Jasmine suggested I tag on to a group meeting with Labour MP Dawn Butler so that I could have a positive experience with interacting with an MP, and it was a much more positive experience. Luckily, I was the only YA out of the 30+ of us that were there to have an unsuccessful meeting. Many MPs said they were happy to act as champions to providing generous global aid, and others who weren’t sure took our provided information back to their office to research further. A plaque to commemorate the place where Nelson Mandela addressed Parliament. 5:00 pm There was still some time before the evening’s Health Heroes event, so I went along with three other girls from the YA team to watch Parliament sit from the viewing boxes. I had a strange unsettled feeling in my stomach while watching, and turned out some of the other girls did, too. It felt like there were people in this room – arguably the most important people in the most important room of the country – talking about an issue we were all familiar with, but what was being done? Some parliamentarians were complaining, while others took notes, but there were no conclusions or calls for action. I worried for the present, but I didn’t worry for the future, because here I was surrounded by YAs who were taking positive action for what they cared about. 6:00 pm Time for our Health Heroes event. Stephen Twigg, MP for Liverpool West Derby, welcomed us to the event. Jonathan Lord, MP for Woking, introduced his constituent Dr. Alexa Vardy, a British OB/GYN who volunteered at a hospital in Ethiopia in 2016, helping to train midwives and delivering over 1,000 babies herself. Vreni Oleram was then introduced by Dominic Raab, MP for Esher and Walton. Vreni is a trustee of of the Esher College Africa Trust, and worked with schools in Zimbabwe to help pay the school fees for children whose parents have died of HIV/AIDS-related illnesses. We also heard from Dr. Andrew Murrison, MP for South West Wiltshire and Minister of State at the Foreign and commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development; Paul Turner, founder of ‘Focus on Africa’, a charity which supplies mosquito nets, bedding, play equipment and educational books; and Michael Deriaz, who was a part of Friends of Kipkelion, which works to improve living conditions in the Kipkelion District of Kenya and other marginalised communities in East Africa, primarily through the provision of clean water, sanitary facilities and basic healthcare and health education. Our last speaker was Horcelie Sinda Wa Mbongo, who was crowned ‘Miss Congo UK’ in 2017 at the age of 22, whilst being HIV positive. She also campaigns around ending the stigma of HIV/AIDS, and is hoping to start her own non-profit later this year. ONE Youth Ambassadors with Y7 and Y20 Youth Delegates Jennifer and Alistair. 7:30 pm Jasmine asked the few of us that were available to wait around to meet with Y7 and Y20 delegates — youth versions of the G7 and G20 leadership summits respectively — that were waiting to clear Parliament security. Delegates Jennifer Okolo and Alistair Lobo came to introduce themselves, and we discussed ONE’s goals and recommendations for G7 leaders and how to engage more young people in politics, act best as youth representatives, and how to not just get our voices heard, but get actions to be made. Finally, the end of a long day was upon us, and we all agreed that there was no better way to end the day than with Chinese food. Chinatown, London. 9:00 pm Jasmine leads us to a traditionally-styled restaurant called Wong Kei. I was super impressed, as I lived in Hong Kong for two years previous. I’d missed this style of dining. The kind where there’s just a load of food on the table, not enough space between the chairs, so you’re constantly reaching over and passing people things, and everyone’s digging in to dishes everywhere. It was messy, but it felt like family. 11:30 pm I’m always grateful beyond words for what ONE’s events give me. They teach me how to use my voice to make an impact, and how to create a chain of actions that can lead to positive change. Although I hadn’t achieved what I’d set out to do, I felt a distinct change in myself: there was so much to be learnt from the situation. First: I could count on my voice being heard, but I couldn’t count on it being listened to. Beyond asking for what you want, you have to make actions towards what you want, because all too often it’s not given, it’s taken. Second: There will always be people in the world to fundamentally disagree with you. It’s important to have the difficult conversations with these people, but ultimately, don’t focus on them. Address the issues they present, but their minds won’t be changed if they don’t want to be. Find the people with common goals and work together with them for maximised impact. Then, educate. Third: I think I knew this one already but what is morally right is not always popular. That does not make you wrong. Lastly: Drive for change, and never stop. If anything, despite failing, I feel more determined than ever to push for the future I envision for the world. Abigail is a 2019 UK Youth Ambassador with ONE Campaign. She joined ONE as a commitment to ending global poverty and inequality (because that stuff keeps her awake at night). When she’s not campaigning for justice, Abigail can be found mentoring young people from across the globe, writing articles, acting as a Women’s Equality Officer for her local political party and – when she needs a break – walking her dog. Join Abigail and tell your leader to take action and back the Global Fund this year. ONE welcomes the contributions of guest bloggers but does not necessarily endorse the views, programs, or organisations highlighted.
  7. Por Erica Sanchez, Julie Ngalle y Joe McCarthy 12 DE FEBRERO DE 2019 22 MEDIO AMBIENTE Esta botella de agua se disuelve si entra en contacto con el océano Una solución especial para aquellos lugares donde aún no se recicla. Por qué es importante para los Global Citizens Las empresas están compitiendo para encontrar alternativas sostenibles al plástico para reducir los niveles de contaminación global, el número 12 de los Objetivos Globales de las Naciones Unidas. Puedes unirte a nosotros para tomar medidas sobre este tema aquí. Cerca de la mitad de mil millones de botellas plásticas de agua se compran y consumen cada año, y menos del 7% se reciclan como botellas de agua nuevas. Esto significa que cientos de miles de millones de botellas de agua se desvían como desechos hacia los flujos de agua anualmente, y un porcentaje de este total finalmente ingresa a los océanos del mundo, donde representa una amenaza existencial para la vida marina. Ahora, una nueva empresa llamada Cove quiere que este escenario sea mucho menos perjudicial para el medio ambiente. Cove ha patentado una botella de agua compostable que se disuelve si alguna vez entra en contacto con un cuerpo de agua o llega a un vertedero. “Realmente no tenemos tiempo. Probablemente tenemos menos de 30 años, o tendremos un océano lleno de más plástico que peces. Si bien los esfuerzos de limpieza son realmente importantes, también necesitamos detener la cantidad de plástico que entra en nuestro entorno, especialmente el plástico de un solo uso", dijo Alex Totterman, fundador de Cove, a Fast Company. La botella de agua Cove está hecha de un biopolímero llamado PHA que proviene de una bacteria fermentadora. Una vez que se ha conformado como producto final, el material de PHA actúa como una botella de agua de plástico normal, pero una vez que interactúa con las bacterias naturales ubicadas en ambientes silvestres, comienza a descomponerse. “El PHA es el único polímero que es totalmente biodegradable en todas las condiciones", dijo. "Por lo tanto, es como eludir la necesidad del sistema de reciclaje que tenemos". Totterman dijo a Fast Company que ideó esta alternativa porque la gente ha crecido confiando en la conveniencia de las botellas de plástico. Aunque muchos consumidores han optado por botellas reutilizables, la cantidad de botellas de agua de un solo uso vendidas aumenta cada año, lo que sugiere que la conveniencia a menudo prevalece sobre las consideraciones de sostenibilidad. La botella de Cove puede satisfacer el hábito en el camino de recoger rápidamente algo para beber en una tienda, al tiempo que elimina el riesgo ambiental de la contaminación plástica. El sistema de reciclaje global ha sido objeto de un intenso escrutinio en los últimos años por su incapacidad para manejar el volumen de residuos que se producen cada año. En lugar de mejorar estos sistemas, el producto de Cove podría ayudar a muchos países a ir más allá de lo que se percibe como un modelo roto. Cove Las primeras botellas de agua de Cove llegarán al mercado de Los Ángeles el 28 de febrero y la compañía planea expandirse en los próximos meses y años. También planea abastecerse de agua de manera sostenible y ética. Otras alternativas plásticas han surgido en los últimos años. Firma ahora: ¡Previene la polución plástica en nuestros océanos! PASA A LA ACCIÓN Por ejemplo, una marca de cerveza reemplazó los anillos de plástico de seis paquetes con pegamento reciclable, también se creó una alternativa de envoltura de plástico con conchas y plantas, y los científicos inventaron una bolsa de comestibles que los animales pueden comer. Actualmente, una de las principales marcas de bienes de consumo está en marcha para encontrar alternativas sostenibles al plástico. Por ejemplo, compañías como Procter & Gamble, Nestlé, Unilever y PepsiCo Inc. anunciaron recientemente que pilotearán un programa de contenedores reutilizables para varios productos que se recolectarán y reutilizarán regularmente. Otras empresas se están deshaciendo del plástico por completo. Las compañías hoteleras, aerolíneas, restaurantes, tiendas de artículos para el hogar, supermercados y marcas de ropa han anunciado planes para eliminar los plásticos de un solo uso. Mientras tanto, más de 60 países han restringido la producción de plástico de alguna manera, y lugares como la Unión Europea buscan eliminar completamente los microplásticos. Por su parte, Cove no está tratando de acaparar el mercado y ocultar sus innovaciones. En cambio, Totterman dijo que espera que las compañías busquen asociaciones. "Estamos construyendo con la plena intención de ver la transición de estas grandes empresas para trabajar con nosotros o con la PHA", dice Totterman. "Y tenemos que trabajar con ellas. No somos el enemigo". "Estamos tratando de equipar a las personas con las herramientas para superar este problema", agregó. TEMASCurrent eventsPlastic pollutionPlasticSustainabilityPlastic wasteFinance & innovationplasticosustentabilidadCompostBiodegradableBiodegradable packaingCompostablebotella plastico biodegradable
  8. By Jackie Marchildon JUNE 11, 2019 FOOD & HUNGER This Farming Project Is Helping Yazidi Refugees Resettle in Canada The project is part of an initiative called Operation Ezra. Why Global Citizens Should Care About 1,200 Yazidis have come to Canada since the ISIS attacks began, but they face many obstacles as they start their lives in a different country. Initiatives like this farming project helps combat food insecurity and can improve refugees’ mental health. Join Global Citizen and take action now. A group of Yazidi refugees is using farming not only to get settled in Canada, but to provide for themselves and their community, thanks to an initiative called Operation Ezra. Operation Ezra — which means “help” in Hebrew — was launched in Winnipeg in 2015 to raise awareness about the persecution of the Yazidi people and to raise $35,000 to sponsor a Yazidi refugee family. Michel Aziza, chair of Operation Ezra, said that the initiative began after a small group from a Jewish community met Nafiya Naso, a former refugee herself, as she was trying to raise awareness and support for the Yazidi people. Tweet Now: End Root Cause of Migration Crisis: Reunite Families and Support International Aid 1.289 / 2.500 acciones realizadas PASA A LA ACCIÓN “We knew nothing about this, it’s not right, and we want people to know more,” Aziza told Global Citizen. “We felt we could help raise a little bit of money and sponsor a family.” Within months, the initiative had raised much more than the $35,000 they had set out to collect, and had garnered support from many organizations, including synagogues, churches, schools, and businesses, eventually leading to a coalition of 42 Winnipeg-based multi-faith organizations. In August 2014, ISIS began attacking the Yazidi people in northern Iraq. About 5,000 people were killed, abou 6,500 women were sold to ISIS fighters as sex slaves, and thousands more remain displaced. Related StoriesOct. 29, 2018Thomson Reuters FoundationAfter Meeting With Nobel Winner Nadia Murad, France Says It Will Help Yazidi Survivors “The more people we spoke to, the more money we were able to raise, and the more entities wanted to get involved with the project,” he said. Operation Ezra sponsored 10 families between 2017 and 2018. They expect two more families to arrive from successful sponsorships in 2018, and another two to arrive in 2019. Refugee families adjust to life in Winnipeg, through school and study programs, but Aziza said Operation Ezra noticed they were lacking in food, which is what sparked the idea to launch the farming initiative. Related StoriesFeb. 22, 2017Canada Is Giving a Home to 1,200 Yazidi Refugees On top of the private sponsored families, the initiative works with 54 government-sponsored refugee families, which accounts for more than 250 people. Aziza said they arrived in Winnipeg very traumatized — many are single moms and many were struggling with resettlement. “One of the issues was financial, which then became a food issue for them, for many families that were not able to provide for themselves because the financial support at the time was not adequate,” he said, noting issues with the child benefit payments being delayed. Related StoriesSept. 19, 2016CHIME FOR CHANGEAmal Clooney on Nadia Murad, Yazidi Case: ‘I Can’t Walk Away From This’ Initially, Operation Ezra ran a food assistance program, but one day a volunteer with a background in farming suggested they start a potato farm, and the idea took off. Land for the farm was donated by the volunteer’s father in 2018, and the Yazidi families ended up loving it. “We realized then how successful it was and how much they — the Yazidi families — appreciated not only farming, but also… being able to provide for themselves,” Aziza said. Related StoriesSept. 7, 2017The Clooneys Casually Reveal They Have Taken a Yazidi Refugee Into Their Home For 2019, they went bigger. Bo Wohlers, president of Shelmerdine Nurseries, donated this year's land, along with the seeds, and equipment, after reading an article about the farming project in 2018. About a dozen families are now taking care of the farm, which sits on about 8 acres of land in St. François Xavier. They expect to harvest about 5,400 kilograms of potatoes, as well more than 30 different fruits and vegetables. With this, they expect to feed more than 50 families — about 250 people — for months, and they will sell the leftovers at farmers markets to make money for next year. Related StoriesOct. 26, 2018A Canadian Farmer Just Donated 22,000 Pounds of Vegetables to Local Food Banks Refugees face many obstacles when they resettle in new countries. Government assistance is only provided for a year, so money and food security are pressing issues, but they also face barriers when it comes to language, culture, and health. This farming initiative not only tackles food insecurity, but it also tackles mental health and community, as many of the Yazidis refugees settling in Winnipeg were farmers in their native land. The participants said it made them happy to be farming and brought them good memories from their pasts. TOPICSCitizenshipFood & HungerYazidi GenocideCanadafarmingYazidiYazidi refugeesWinnipeg
  9. Who's excited? 🤩 It is just two weeks until our beloved Summer Rest and Recuperation children arrive into Shannon Airport on 25 June! A highlight of the year for many, this marks the culmination of many months fundraising by all of our wonderful Outreach Groups and volunteers. Here's a look at some of the moments from last year's Summer arrivals 🙂
  10. Amy Barrett is a singer, songwriter, musician and past participant of Music Generation Wicklow. Armed with her guitar, Amy spent an afternoon with us discussing what music means to her and how Music Generation Wicklow helped her along her musical journey. Check out Amy's website: http://www.amybarrettmusic.com
  11. We're bringing MORE HEAT🌶 to the AIDS fight with the brand new (TRUFF)RED Hotter Sauce. Proceeds from the hot sauce will raise enough to provide 125,000 days of life-saving HIV medication. JOIN US & Truff Hot Sauce on Wednesday, June 19 on NTWRK as the first 500 bottles will be released live.
  12. Learning Disability Week is next week and there are plenty of ways to get involved. You can: 🏈 Hold your own event 🎳 Get posting on social media 🏓 Find an event local to you Visit our website and find out more:https://bit.ly/2F2enz6 ⬅️ #HereIAm #LDWeek19
  13. 44 982 Asturias is near from where I work. Actually we have students from Asturias because they live near the border.
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