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The Action Thread Part Two

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05/09/2017

Young musicians from Music Generation Mayo explore electronic music production with The Core

Young musicians from Music Generation Mayo explore electronic music production with The Core

On 23 and 24 August 2017 young Mayo musicians gathered at Ballina Arts Centreto take part in an electronic music production summer camp, hosted by The Corein partnership with CreateSound.ie.

Participants had an opportunity to learn about creating electronic music, programme their own beats and produce their own tracks, under the guidance of expert musician-mentors from CreateSound.ie and Music Generation Mayo.

Music Generation Mayo presents The Core electronic music production summer camp in collaboration with CreateSound.ie

Their achievements in just two days were remarkable. Young musicians Simon and Vincent were among those who created an original work from scratch on the first day of camp! Hear their composition and reactions to the music in this short video –



Initiated by Music Generation Mayo, The Core is a creative space for young musicians housed within Ballina Arts Centre. At The Core, members are invited to express themselves, work on their music, and avail of rehearsal space with access to instruments and studio recording equipment. Open Mic nights are held on an ongoing basis, encouraging young musicians to hone their skills in performance or explore work in production and sound engineering. 

Throughout the year The Core is a hive of musical activity and always welcomes new members to collaborate, learn and have fun with their peers and fellow musicians. Check out some of the music-making captured on camera in recent months…



For further information about The Core at Music Generation Mayo contact:

Philip Cassidy, The Core (c/o Music Generation Mayo)
Ballina Arts Centre, Barrett Street, Carrowcushlaun West, Ballina, Co Mayo

t: 087 748 5954
e: PhilipCassidy@msletb.ie
thecoremayo.com

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La imagen puede contener: 6 personas, personas sonriendo, personas sentadas

Here are some wonderful highlights from August's Volunteer Medical trip to Vesnova.

CCI volunteers can travel to Vesnova Children’s Mental Asylum as a member of our Medical Care Teams which travel once a month. Vesnova is home to 174 children and young adults with various forms of physical and mental disabilities and is located in the Mogilev Region of Belarus. 

Volunteers assist in providing nursing and general care to the children of Vesnova Mental Institution; they also exchange experience and assist the Belarusian nursing team with the development and enhancing of their skills. It is a very rewarding experience for both the volunteers and the children who are very receptive to the love and attention they are bestowed.

If you are interested in volunteering your time with the children of Vesnova in Belarus you can contact us at info@chernobyl-ireland.com
 
Via Chernobyl Children International

 

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Creative Engagement 2017-18. Apply Now!

Creative Engagement 2017

 

Call out to Schools and Artists.

The Arts and Culture Committee of the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD) is once again launching its annual arts-in-education scheme. The Creative Engagement programme 2017-18 begins in October 2017.  Funding has been secured for the 2017-18 school year from both the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the Heritage Council. At the core of the Creative Engagement scheme is the collaboration between student, teacher and artist as set out in Artist-Schools (Arts Council 2006). It’s about tapping into the imagination of the young person while giving both an incentive and a framework for the work to thrive.

Application Forms and further information can be downloaded from www.creativeengagement.ie

What is our aim:

  • To encourage imagination, creativity, initiative and expression in student
  • Students must be at the centre of the creative process
  • To compliment curricular learning in the arts, culture and heritage

The selection criteria:

  • Student engagement in and ownership of the creative process
  • Evidence of partnership between the students, teacher and visiting artist.
  • Originality and viability of the proposal.
  • Clear plan of action.
  • The costing of the proposal.
  • The school leadership must be members of NAPD.

Financial considerations.

  • The availability of the grant funding for Creative Engagement and number of applicants will determine the amount of the grant per school.
  • Where possible schools will supply evidence of matching funding.
  • Artists are paid through the school, which will receive two cheques during the school year from NAPD, the final one following receipt of the Evaluation of the project.

Partnerships:

NAPD has established working partnerships with The Department of Education and Skills, The Department of Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Poetry Ireland, The Heritage Council, Poetry Ireland, The National Museum, The National Gallery, IMMA, Amnesty International, Local authority Arts Officers and Cavan Monaghan ETB local arts in education Partnership.

Deadline October 24th 2017

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Ebola’s furthest-reaching legacy: How to get kids back in school
115
EDUCATION

Ebola’s furthest-reaching legacy: How to get kids back in school

August 7 2017 | By: GUEST BLOGGER

 
   

This is a guest post from Imogen Calderwood at Street Child. *Names have been changed.

Sierra Leone may have been declared Ebola-free, but some of the epidemic’s most lasting legacies still haunt the country.

One of the greatest and most far-reaching of these legacies is a deepened poverty and its impact on education.

Families who were already struggling to get by before the epidemic now have to cope with the loss of their main breadwinners, meaning education has been pushed far down families’ lists of priorities.

Survivors of Ebola have to support the extra children of family members who died; they have to run businesses in the country’s devastated economy; and they have to face many more challenges as the country continues to fight the virus’ impact.

Research by the charity Street Child revealed that more than 12,000 children lost their main caregiver to Ebola, and 1,400 children in Sierra Leone have been identified as seriously-at-risk.

With no one to care for them, these children’s chances of finishing their education are next to nothing.

ST1-1024x684.jpg

Photo credit: Street Child

Fatu*, from Bo, is one of the mothers struggling to cope without the support of her relatives, killed by Ebola.

She was left to care for the whole family after the death of her sister, a nurse and the family’s breadwinner. Fatu now cares for seven children between the ages of two and 16, four of whom are her nieces and nephews.

“My sister Lucee* was a nurse,” said Fatu. “She was the main breadwinner for our family. She took care of all of us. When she died, she left behind four children, who I now care for alongside my own.”

“Sadly, just after losing my sister, my husband got sick and ran away. He never returned. We heard a rumour that he’s dead.”

Fatu received a grant from Street Child, as part of their Livelihoods Programme, and was able to set up a business selling fish. With the profits, she can send the children she cares for to school.

Amadu* is one of the nephews that now lives with Matu after the death of his mother.

“During Ebola I was isolated and stigmatised because of the quarantine,” he said. “It was really hard. My hope for the future is to finish my education and become a lawyer so that I can help my family out of poverty. Education has taught me to read and write and to develop my family. It will help them develop their lives too.”

Doris*, 40, Aminata*, 45, and Hope*, 35, from Bo, were also left struggling to cope.

Doris from Bo is one of the mothers struggling to cope without the support of her relatives, killed by Ebola.

Doris from Bo is one of the mothers struggling to cope without the support of her husband, killed by Ebola. (Photo credit: Street Child)

They are the three wives of Joseph*, who used to dispense medicines at the government hospital before he was killed by Ebola, and between them they now look after 26 children.

“Joseph set out one morning and then started feeling ill at work and so they admitted him right away,” said Doris. “He died two days later so he never came home. We weren’t even allowed to see the body and it was only later that they told us where the grave was.”

The family was quarantined for 21 days, with tape around the house and an armed police guard to make sure they didn’t leave. But while they were quarantined, their eldest son got ill and also died so the family were shut inside the house for a further 21 days. They relied on the food brought to them by the government, but it was never enough to feed them all.

“We were stigmatised, the whole community rejected us,” Doris said. “They looked at us like we were the virus. It was so sad. I would have preferred to be dead than live in that situation again.”

The three women have been able to set up a business selling groceries with support of Street Child and their Livelihoods Programme, which gives grants and training to help families get back on their feet. With their profits, the three women have been able to send their children back to school.

“The business is growing gradually but it’s still tough when you have this many children and you have no husband,” said Hope.

“Without this, we would have had to go back to gardening work alone, which doesn’t bring in enough to feed the family. Thankfully, all our children are now in school because our business pays for school fees. Education is their only hope for a better future.”

Fatu and her family. (Photo credit: Street Child)

Fatu and her family. (Photo credit: Street Child)

Street Child CEO Tom Dannatt said, “Ebola may be done, but its impacts will last a very long time. Poverty is the biggest barrier to children learning in Sierra Leone, so unless we help families out of poverty, their children remain out of school. It is likely that their life prospects will be bleak as a result.”

He added: “Unless programmes like our Livelihoods Scheme can deliver timely support, this still risks being one of Ebola’s worst legacies.”

Between 2015 and 2016, more than 12,000 grants were given by Street Child to families severely impacted by the Ebola crisis. These grants helped to ensure that more than 20,000 children were sustainably enrolled in school after the outbreak.

To find out more about Street Child’s work in Sierra Leone, as well as Liberia, Nigeria, and Nepal,  visit street-child.co.uk.

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AUTHOR

GUEST BLOGGER
August 7 2017

TOPICS

HEALTH

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How WeFarm is helping farmers in Kenya & Uganda share vital information over SMS
5987
TECHNOLOGY

How WeFarm is helping farmers in Kenya & Uganda share vital information over SMS

July 20 2016 | By: SAMANTHA URBAN

 
   

When you plant a summer garden, you likely source tips from your local garden center, friends with green thumbs, and of course, Google. But what if farming was your livelihood—making it imperative to have the information needed to succeed—and you didn’t have internet access?

That’s the situation a huge swath of the world’s smallholder farmers find themselves in—and it’s why WeFarm has stepped in to help. WeFarm is a peer-to-peer service that helps these farmers share information with each other via SMS. So they don’t need the internet—they don’t even need to leave their farm! The service is completely free and it allows farmers to ask questions and receive crowd-sourced answers from other farmers around the world!

We interviewed WeFarm CEO and co-founder Kenny Ewan on the origins of WeFarm and where it’s headed next:

Photo credit: WeFarm

Photo credit: WeFarm

So how did the idea for WeFarm come about?

The seeds for me were the many years I spent working in international development abroad. I spent seven years in Latin America based out of Peru, where I worked for an international NGO. While I was there I directed projects across Latin America and designed projects with indigenous communities. A lot of the communities were forming agricultural-based communities and I saw people creating innovative grassroots solutions for common challenges—but you go a couple of miles down the road and people have the same challenges but hadn’t heard of the same ideas or solutions. I started to think of ways of harnessing that.

Then, six years ago, I moved back to the UK and took a job with a new NGO based in London but working across 13 African and Latin America countries. I put my ideas together with a co-founder of the NGO, Claire, and together we designed the first version of WeFarm. I guess originally we saw it as an online platform but then very quickly we built in the idea of having people use it without any access to the internet. That was a key component of granting access to the populations that we wanted to.

WeFarm Mobile Devices

Photo credit: WeFarm

You’ve described WeFarm before as the internet for people with no internet. As the idea of universal internet access gains traction will the ideas of WeFarm change as more people gain access to the internet?

Obviously—we’re firstly looking at this in a very crowd-sourced, peer-to-peer, bottom-up way.  I think the idea of access to information as a key driver in lifting people out of poverty has been around for a long time, but unfortunately, everyone comes at that from a top-down perspective—this kind of “people just need to be told what to do” idea.  There are existing SMS platforms out there, so there are other services that have that starting point.  What we wanted to do was tap into people’s existing knowledge: These populations have generations worth of experience to share and we can do something that isn’t as paternalistic as some development and international projects.  

I think those core concepts translate whether it is on the internet or not. WeFarm is completely online, although 96 percent of our users only use it through SMS and offline. We’re already ready for people transitioning to the internet – our long-term plan is when people get their first smartphone and can access internet, we graduate them to a place they already trust. WeFarm will be a place with content that’s already been developed from their point of view.

Uganda Lady

Photo credit: WeFarm

You mentioned the crowd-sourced data and generations of knowledge. Could you expand more on that? Was that an idea in WeFarm’s foundation from the very start?

That was certainly one of the core fundamentals that really cut right from the start with WeFarm. The idea was to take the knowledge and ideas and innovations that people were generating on the farm or in life and give them a platform to share with people next door in their village.

To give you a quick example, I remember in rural Kenya I asked a group of farmers who were selling at a bank center to share things they thought of on a farm that might be innovative or different. This guy brought over a chicken feeder that he designed that he had made out of old buckets—containers he had on the farm. Basically, he said he had a problem at feeding time, where the bigger chicks were trampling the smaller chicks and there was a high mortality rate. So he designed this whole feeder to separate out the feed and he reduced his mortality rate by around 50 percent, which is awesome! I thought thousands of people could be having that problem, but his idea might not travel beyond potentially a couple of neighbors. The whole concept of WeFarm was to take knowledge like this from the ground and be able to share it worldwide.

Photo credit: WeFarm

Photo credit: WeFarm

Earlier this year, ONE campaigned on the idea that investments in nutrition programs can strengthen economies. What is WeFarm’s role in that?

We see our role in that area as strengthening supply chains from the bottom up in two key ways: One is providing information and knowledge to farmers to improve their farms; to battle disease and plant new crops; and be more effective on the farm. Ultimately, that benefits the entire supply chain right up to the multinationals buying these products.

The second thing WeFarm does is to analyze and aggregate the millions of interactions that are happening in the system to be able to provide potentially game-changing information on this whole piece. Obviously, there is a huge part of the world’s population that isn’t using the internet and we don’t have any of that live analytics or data. WeFarm is looking at all the interactions to track disease as it spreads across countries, to be able to isolate drought, or track any kind of trends. That can ultimately help the businesses of these farmers—and the NGO’s and governments that are working with them—to have a much better understanding of what is actually happening, what people’s challenges are, and ultimately to help the world’s supply chain be more robust.

Photo credit: WeFarm

Photo credit: WeFarm

What countries are you in now and where will WeFarm go next?

Currently, we are live in Kenya, which was our first country. More recently, we launched in Uganda and Peru. I think India is our next big target market for fairly obvious reasons: There are 110 million small farmers in India and many with very low internet access. We are also looking at Tanzania and a couple of other countries, but we don’t want to spread ourselves too thin too quickly.

What’s in the future for WeFarm?

We are hoping to be able to close our seed investment round very soon. That investment piece is key for us. We’ve had a very successful first year with more than 70,000 farmers using it now and our retention and usage metrics are through the roof, but we want to take this all to the next level. We want to have a million farmers using it in the next 12 months. We want to potentially launch in a couple of new countries, and really make it a successful venture on a kind of global scale. It’s really helping to improve farmers lives.

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SAMANTHA URBAN
July 20 2016

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Doctors with boats: How a Kenyan woman is keeping her people healthy
8573

Doctors with boats: How a Kenyan woman is keeping her people healthy

October 18 2016 | By: GLOBAL CITIZEN

 
   

This story by Luca Powell originally appeared on Global Citizen.

In 2010, after completing two degrees in the United States, Umra Omar returned to her homeland. And really, you couldn’t blame her: the coastal region of Kenya, where she was born, is pristine and beautiful. At its hub is Lamu, a 14th-century town of Swahili-heritage that looks out onto the Indian Ocean, its coastline peppered with the rocking white boats of fisherman and tourists.

Omar said she was compelled to come back because it was her town of origin, but also because she felt the desire to give back. She had pursued a bachelor’s in neuroscience and psychology before completing her master’s degree in social justice in intercultural relations.

umra_omar-png__1500x670_q85_crop_subsampling-2

“I was so fortunate, to be given the scholarships and the opportunity I’ve had, being a woman, being from Kenya. You know, when you’ve been given the world, you have to give the world back,” she told Global Citizen in a phone interview.

In Lamu, that meant addressing the unique challenge of the region — the difficult geography of its coastal, archipelago landscape that is both the regions joy and its pain. Its islands are untouchable hideaways, but where it concerns the indigenous communities and villages that inhabit them, they can be an expensive nightmare in terms of access.

A boat trip from Lamu to one of its surrounding islands doesn’t run cheap. In fact, it can cost as much as $300, or a week of salary. The price tag effectively restricts inhabitants of the region from realistic access to healthcare and other essentials.

It’s here that Omar’s efforts started. Driven by a vision of bringing medical access on the road, she began coordinating mobile healthcare visitations throughout the region. First, by motorbike, then by boat, and even by plane, Omar organized bi-monthly trips to bring doctors and nurses to the villages in Lamu’s orbit.

lamu_archipalego-png__492x703_q85_crop_subsampling-2_upscale

The region is a broad geographical space that, Omar says, the government understandably doesn’t have the capacity to comprehensively treat.

“[Lamu] is up in the northern coast, it’s an archipelago and it’s hard to reach. You have to take the bus through Mombasa, which makes it two days of travel to come out here,” she said.

“We also have the indigenous communities that live very sparsely from one another,” Omar said. These are traditionally hunter-gatherer communities that now live spread out in between large tracts of land. Then you add the component of the sea and it becomes much more costly.”

But geography isn’t the only complication to the mission. The area around Lamu, which is close to the Somalian border, has been pockmarked by conflict between the Kenyan military and Al-Shabaab, a militant group. Originating in 2006 as a guerilla response to then-U.S. backed warlords in Somalia, the group has since grown in the eastern African region.

Al-Shabaab’s expansion across Somalia’s southern border into Kenya has been extensive. The group, which is an Al Qaeda affiliate and has also been courted by the Islamic State, is active in Kenya. Since 2010, they’ve claimed responsibility for a number of notable attacks, including the 2010 Kampala bombing and the Garissa University massacre in 2014.

It was that same year Omar founded Safari Doctors, which has made it a focus to get health services to the Aweer and Bajuni groups that have suffered from the conflict.

“Communities are very much caught in between a rock and a hard place,” says Omar, adding that it is also an ethnic problem, because Al-Shabaab militants are harder to distinguish from civilians than their military counterparts in uniform. “The militants can be more targeted than the military, which makes it very complex.”

nurse_kalu_and_umra_at_the_immunization_table-jpg__1250x833_q85_crop_subsampling-2_upscale

Twice each month her team and her, a nurse, administrative coordinator, visiting medic, and boat crew leave for the villages. These outreaches can take up to four days at a time, depending upon the amount of funding they can raise beforehand. Their biggest priority? Immunizations, which are the key component to preventative health care.

Maternal care, too, is a sorely needed reality, she adds, half-jokingly noting that she should know, being currently 7 months pregnant now and with a bouncing toddler in her arms. She is married and enjoys what she calls a “village of a family,” but recognizes as well the demand for family planning and education where it isn’t available.

Beyond that, Safari Doctors does what it can to facilitate the treatments of diseases like cholera, which is prevalent in areas without clean water. For the cases Safari Doctors can’t treat in the field, Omar’s team gently coaxes their patients to make the trip to Lamu District Hospital.

“We’re at the baby stage,” says Omar. “Down the road we want to build educational groups, a volunteer exchange, and clinics.”

Her longer-term strategy is to build the infrastructure and capacity to provide more in-depth care, testing for things such as diabetes and hypertension. Ideally, she’d like to cover at least 10 villages over a weeklong outreach. In that scenario, Safari Doctors could treat up to 1,000 patients.

safari_doctors_2-png__694x521_q85_crop_subsampling-2_upscale

Currently, her project is funded by a variety of NGOs, such as the Anthony Robbins Foundation and Doctors of the World. Omar is interested in redesigning a more sustainable economic model for Safari Doctors. Her plan is to use a premium, privatized model to back-fund the public project, giving the initiative stability and longevity. She calls this, “flipping the game.”

But what she is also flipping is the conventional definition of the safari. A Swahili word meaning “to journey,” Omar says she’s owning the word for what it means, rather than the now-conventional association with animal viewing. To that end, she opens up her trips — safaris — to donors who want to see Lamu’s beautiful islands and engage with real people.

“They go out into communities, they do projects and help fund the villages, they know that their money is going toward something worthwhile.”

Join ONE today to help fight poverty and preventable disease.

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October 18 2016

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How Bernice and her bamboo bikes are changing a small Ghanaian community
7762
GIRLS AND WOMEN

How Bernice and her bamboo bikes are changing a small Ghanaian community

18 August 2016 3:24PM UTC | By: ROBYN DETORO

 
   

Meet Bernice Dapaah – a young entrepreneur from Ghana who decided to build eco-friendly bikes to not only help the environment, but to improve the lives of those living in her community!

Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 15.41.21

Bernice (on the left), the founder of the Ghana Bamboo Bike Initiative.

While studying for a degree in Business Administration, Bernice decided she wanted to take control of her future and build a business where she would be responsible for every element of the company. After graduating, Bernice’s journey to be her own boss took her back to her home town of Kumasi, where the Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative was born.

The initiative uses mainly natural resources – such as bamboo – to create a more sustainable mode of transport for people to be able to get to school or work. And the great part? For every bamboo plant Bernice’s team uses, they plant 10 more to replace it!

The Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative is definitely a success story; reducing local pollution, helping people living in rural areas get to work, providing jobs locally, and, in turn, helping to reduce poverty.

Here are 3 reasons why we can get behind Bernice and her bikes:

1. They’re eco-friendly.

Locally sourced bamboo

Locally sourced bamboo. Photo Credit: UN.

The Ghanaian company is able to take advantage of locally sourced resources by using bamboo to build the entire frame of the bike. Conscious that they would be consuming large amounts of local bamboo, Bernice plants 10 new bamboo plants for every 1 plant that is cut down! By building the bikes out of bamboo instead of steel or aluminium, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced making the bikes friendly for everyone, everywhere.

2. They’re helping children get to school.

Bamboo1

School children receiving bamboo bikes! Photo credit: Ghana Bamboo Bike Initiative.

A product of education, Bernice is using her eco-friendly bamboo bikes to enable children to go to school. Some children in the community walk long distances to get to school, meaning they are often late, reducing their time to learn. Bernice donates bikes to them so they are able to focus on their education and maximise their time in the classroom.

3. They’re empowering women.

Local women working in the bike shop

Local women learning how to make the bamboo bike. Photo Credit: UN.

Not only is she enabling children to make learning a priority, Bernice is responsible for boosting the community’s local economy by employing locals to harvest and plant bamboo, build the bikes, and sell them to markets around the world. Oh, and did we mention that Bernice also made sure women were hired to be a part of her team of 35 employees so ‘they can do something on their own, rather than being at home looking after their husband’?

Two thumbs up, Ghana Bamboo Bikes, two thumbs up.

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ROBYN DETORO
18 August 2016 3:24PM UTC

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2164
CULTURE

The Maasai brand is valuable — and it should belong to the Maasai people

28 July 2017 5:18PM UTC | By: GUEST BLOGGER

 
   

By Meg Brindle, Light Years IP

I was at a conference in Kenya when I first met a member of the Maasai, a group of people who live in East Africa. He had a question for me – and the answers could have the potential to dramatically impact poverty for millions of low-income farmers, producers and others.

You’d recognise the Maasai from photos. Many are tall, elegant and very distinctively dressed. Often, when a generic image is used of Africans in photos or advertising, it’s of Maasai. Their designs and style get used by others – but the Maasai don’t earn a penny.

That’s not right. It’s cultural appropriation – but it’s also bad business. Increasingly, the things that make products valuable aren’t the ingredients that go into them – it’s the intangible things, including the brands. And companies are careful to look out for their brands, spending millions to protect and defend them.

Think about Coca-Cola or Apple. Their products are more than sugar, fruit juice, and water, or metal and plastic, chips and screen. Their brand value is much greater than the value of the physical resources. That’s because of the ideas, imagination, and presentation that come together in great products: what business calls “intellectual property (IP).”

So what does this mean for a semi-nomadic tribe of nearly 2 million across Tanzania and Kenya?

We’d been working with Ethiopian Fine Coffee to help them own their own brands and license them. We’d helped return $101 million to coffee exporters.

That’s when I met the Maasai elder. He tapped me on the shoulder and said: “ We understand that IP works for coffee. The Maasai have a brand that is used by many western companies without our permission. Can you help us?”

Maasai_FB-1024x512.jpg

A group of Maasai people. (Photo credit: joxeankoret/Wikimedia Commons)

We engaged Maasai University students in researching the dozens of companies using the Maasai name, image and brand without their permission. Our friends at Comic Relief were kind enough to help fund the feasibility study. Brand expert David Cardwell who did the Star Wars licensing deal helped. Our goal was to let the Maasai run the process with some good advice from others. To them, respect and removal of culturally inappropriate images are as important as income.

For six years, we have been about helping the Maasai to organize and form MIPI -The Maasai IP Initiative. With outreach across Kenya and Tanzania and radio broadcasts, materials translated to Maa and Swahili, Light Years IP and the Maasai have reached 500,000 Maasai — a critical mass to own, control, license and where relevant, to create solutions with large companies that had used their brand name. One big car company, for example, returned the Maasai trademark and negotiations are underway with Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy.

In 2012, a Louis Vuitton fashion show featured Maasai scarves and shirts modelled and sold for upwards of 1,000 euros each. Of course, the LVMH brand is valued highly and IP and brand experts can help us to quantify what portion is due to cultural appropriation of the Maasai iconic values of bravery, strength, and warrior images.

The Maasai are a proud people — respectful and honourable. The Maasai leadership has been offended at the cultural misappropriation of their brand and name. They understand that it is valuable – and it’s theirs. Our analysis shows it is worth about $250 million.

Maasai elder, Isaac ole Tialalo, leader of MIPI has been to Capitol Hill and to Parliament in London with The African IP Trust, headed by Lord Paul Boating. It’s an honour for our support and advocacy group to help the Maasai achieve win-win situations with companies.

We think that the Maasai are an inspiration and model to other indigenous people who are about 6% of the world’s population and suffer both cultural appropriation and poverty. The Cherokee, Navajo, and Tourag, for example, add value to countless products and companies. It is not easy to regain control after cultural appropriation, but we think it is the right thing to do.

Find out more about the Maasai here.

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28 July 2017 5:18PM UTC

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Henriette: Looking after the oceans – and the people of Madagascar
2558
FOOD AND NUTRITION

Henriette: Looking after the oceans – and the people of Madagascar

21 May 2017 2:56PM UTC | By: CLEA GUY-ALLEN

 
   

In this small fishing village, located on the southwest coast of the island of Madagascar, Henriette receives around $18 a month from a British marine conservation charity to count shark and octopus catches.

Extra cash to pay for her children’s school fees was great, but she quickly came to see the value in understanding the species themselves: stocks were declining or endangered due to overfishing.

octopus huntingblogsz

“In the past, there were a lot of bad practices like poison fishing, breaking the reef to find octopus or sea cucumbers, and we’ve seen the resources decreasing”, she says.

It’s no longer just a job for Henriette, who feels she now plays an important role in helping educate the local Vezo people—master sailors who believe they came from the sea.

She can spend hours weighing the catches brought in by fishermen in wooden canoes, working out who caught what and when.

“Thanks to this, I know that there’s a seasonality for octopus and sharks, with some times of the year there being many, and some times very few”, she says.

HenrietteBlogsz

Interest in octopus has grown since the conservation charity first suggested 10 years ago that the community close certain marine areas for two months each year, allowing the species to breed, and the population to grow.

In a village where some struggle to eat once a day – even after a full day’s fishing – and where the sea provides the biggest source of income, closing the fishing area down was a big ask.

But when the community tried it, they witnessed incredible results. Catches doubled after the closures and earnings tripled compared to the previous years. Now, more than 20 villages have followed suit.

The area’s interest in octopus and other species has grown and people want to know more about other species and how to sustain stocks.

the next generationblogsz copy

Henriette is proud to have new skills that few others share, even if she is juggling her duties with other work to make ends meet.

“It’s tiring, but I manage to get it done,” she says, while smiling and tending to four large pots of food that her women’s association is making for a meeting.

“It’s important for me to be involved in the management of the fisheries, as it’s a resource that I want to be there for my children”, she says.

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21 May 2017 2:56PM UTC

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