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The Action Thread Part Two

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SEPT. 28, 2017

These Performers Rocked the Stage in Central Park at the Global Citizen Festival

Powerful snapshots of a stunning festival.

Phineas Rueckert

By Phineas Rueckert  and  Olivia Kestin


gcf17_andraday_marykangforglobalcitizen_022.jpgMary Kang for Global Citizen

This past Saturday, 60,000 Global Citizens from across the country and around the world made their way to New York City's Central Park for an action-packed ( literally ) festival that featured some of the best musicians in pop, rock, and rap right now. 

These performers spoke eloquently about the need to eliminate extreme poverty, promote inclusivity and understanding, and protect foreign aid. But, for most of their time on stage, they played high-energy musical sets that had Global Citizens on their feet and swaying to the tunes. 

Global Citizen caught these amazing performers — including Green Day, Stevie Wonder, Andra Day, Big Sean, and more — in action at the 2017 Global Citizen Festival.

GCF17_TheChainsmokers_DanielDorsaForGlobalCitizen336.jpgAndrew Taggart of the Chainsmokers busts a move on stage at the Global Citizen Festival 2017 in New York City's Central Park.
Image: Daniel Dorsa for Global Citizen

852766674.jpgBrandon Flowers of The Killers performs onstage.
Image: Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Global Citizen

GCF17_TheLumineers_DanielDorsaForGlobalCitizen265.jpgWesley Schultz of The Lumineers looks out at the crowd.
Image: Daniel Dorsa for Global Citizen

GCF17_BigSean_MaryKangForGlobalCitizen_026.jpgRapper Big Sean performs at the Global Citizen Festival.
Image: Mary Kang for Global Citizen

GCF17_AlessiaCara_MaryKangForGlobalCitizen_001.jpgAlessia Cara kicked off the Global Citizen Festival with a powerful set.
Image: Mary Kang for Global Citizen

GCF17_TheChainsmokers_MaryKangForGlobalCitizen_038.jpgAndrew Taggart of the Chainsmokers raises his hand to the sky as night falls over the Global Citizen Festival 2017.
Image: Mary Kang for Global Citizen

GCF17_AndraDay_MaryKangForGlobalCitizen_026.jpgSinger Andra Day lies on the floor during her emotional set at the 2017 Global Citizen Festival.
Image: Mary Kang for Global Citizen

GCF17_GreenDay_DanielDorsaForGlobalCitizen435.jpgGreen Day's Billie Joe Armstrong on stage at the Global Citizen Festival 2017.
Image: Daniel Dorsa for Global Citizen

GCF17_Crowd_DanielDorsaForGlobalCitizen221.jpgA member of The Lumineers walks in the crowd as they perform 'Stubborn Love.'
Image: Daniel Dorsa for Global Citizen


GCF17_AndraDay_MaryKangForGlobalCitizen_007.jpgAndra Day sings at the Global Citizen Festival 2017.
Image: Mary Kang for Global Citizen

GCF17_TheLumineers_DanielDorsaForGlobalCitizen253.jpgNeyla Pekarek, cellist for The Lumineers, plays at the Global Citizen Festival 2017.
Image: Daniel Dorsa for Global Citizen

GCF17_GreenDay_MaryKangForGlobalCitizen_003.jpgMike Dirnt, bassist for Green Day, at the Global Citizen Festival 2017.
Image: Mary Kang for Global Citizen

GCF17_TheLumineers_DanielDorsaForGlobalCitizen269.jpgThe Lumineers on stage at the Global Citizen Festival 2017.
Image: Daniel Dorsa for Global Citizen

GCF17_BigSean_MaryKangForGlobalCitizen_020.jpgRapper Big Sean engages the crowd at the Global Citizen Festival 2017.
Image: Mary Kang for Global Citizen

GCF17_AlessiaCara_DanielDorsaForGlobalCitizen133.jpgAlessia Cara sings at the Global Citizen Festival 2017.
Image: Daniel Dorsa for Global Citizen

GCF17_AndraDay_DanielDorsaForGlobalCitizen305.jpgAndra Day sings Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit" at the Global Citizen Festival 2017.
Image: Daniel Dorsa for Global Citizen

GCF17_GreenDay_MaryKangForGlobalCitizen_044.jpgGreen Day waves to the crowd at the Global Citizen Festival 2017.
Image: Mary Kang for Global Citizen

852767474.jpgPharrell Williams and Stevie Wonder perform 'Happy' together.
Image: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Global Citizen

GCF17_TheChainsmokers_MaryKangForGlobalCitizen_030Andrew Taggart of the Chainsmokers jumps on stage during the Global Citizen Festival 2017.
Image: Mary Kang for Global Citizen

GCF17_TheLumineers_MaryKangForGlobalCitizen_011.jpgWesley Schultz of the Lumineers plays the tambourine at the Global Citizen Festival 2017.
Image: Mary Kang for Global Citizen

GCF17_GreenDay_MaryKangForGlobalCitizen_038.jpgGreen Day's Billie Joe Armstrong on stage at the Global Citizen Festival 2017.
Image: Mary Kang for Global Citizen

GCF17_TheChainsmokers_DanielDorsaForGlobalCitizen357.jpgAndrew Taggart and Alex Pall of The Chainsmokers on stage at the Global Citizen Festival 2017.
Image: Daniel Dorsa for Global Citizen

852767590.jpgStevie Wonder plays piano at the Global Citizen Festival 2017.
Image: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Global Citizen

GCF17_TheChainsmokers_MaryKangForGlobalCitizen_034.jpgThe Chainsmokers on stage at the Global Citizen Festival 2017.
Image: Mary Kang for Global Citizen


Phineas Rueckert is a writer at Global Citizen. He graduated from Macalester College with a degree in Political Science and International Studies, and spent the past year teaching English in Toulouse, France. He is originally from Brooklyn, New York.

Olivia Kestin is a Photo Editor for Global Citizen. She studied Political Science and Journalism at George Washington University, with an emphasis on Photojournalism. Previously she covered domestic and international news as a Photo Editor with MSNBC.

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Meet moringa, the African superfood that will make you fall out of love with kale

March 13 2015 | By: GUEST BLOGGER


Join the fight against extreme poverty


This post by Josh Scherer originally appeared on TakePart.

kulikuliMAIN2Sixty thousand people descended on the Anaheim Convention Center on Friday, all looking for the next acai, the next coconut water, the next goji berry, the next chia seed, and the ever-elusive next quinoa. There were suit-and-tied buyers from multibillion-dollar retail chains deciding which flax meal would fly off shelves the fastest next to tie-dyed, crunchy, granola-type dudes who were there because, well, they just really dig granola. Welcome to the 29th annual Natural Products Expo West—the largest natural food convention in the world.

The main exhibit floor featured more than 2,500 natural product vendors, each one armed to the teeth with samples, informational packets, and branded souvenirs. Because of the complete stimulation overload, you’re forced to view the event in its gestalt—a whirlwind of anonymous products using similar language to claim more or less similar benefits.

But then you come across a product so unique that it wakes you from your cynical daydream; it makes you realize that each company’s impact is felt far beyond the effects of sample cups and toothpicks. For me, that was Kuli Kuli Foods.

The booth looked like any other—smiling people handing out little bits of oddly colored nutrition bars behind a semi–official-looking card table—but the main ingredient in the product was completely new to me: moringa, the leaf of a tree native to Africa and South AsiakulikuliINLINE3

Gram for gram, moringa has two times the protein of plain yogurt, four times the calcium of milk, 25 times the iron of spinach, four times the vitamin A of carrots, and seven times the vitamin C of oranges. Simply speaking, it’s the superfood of superfoods. Kuli Kuli founder and CEO Lisa Curtis ran me through the nutrition specs while I downed a sample cup of yogurt smoothie tinged pale green with moringa powder.

Last year at the expo, Kuli Kuli was the only company selling moringa, but this year four more competitors burst on the scene to try for a piece of that sweet superfood pie. The real thing that sets Kuli Kuli apart isn’t the product itself—though Curtis insists it has better quality control than anyone else in the game—but the story and mission behind it.

After graduating from college in 2010, Curtis entered the Peace Corps and found herself in Niger, one of Africa’s hottest countries. After just a few months, she fell ill from malnutrition, a condition that affects 18 million children across West Africa. One day, a friend dropped by the hospital and gave her a bag of kuli kuli—a popular African snack made from peanuts—and some moringa, and told her she’d feel better after getting some nutrients into her system. Not only did the remedy work, but she recovered more quickly than expected.

She was evacuated from Niger after a terrorist attack only seven months into her Peace Corps service, but that was more than enough time to realize that moringa could find a market in the superfood-obsessed United States. Curtis, along with her longtime best friend and a few old high school classmates, teamed up to start Kuli Kuli in 2013. They currently sell eight-ounce bottles of powdered moringa—great for mixing into both sweet and savory dishes—for $19.99, and nutrition bars that come in dark chocolate, black cherry, and crunchy almond flavors, which retail for $2.50 each.

“We found this nonprofit in northern Ghana called Air Harvest that works with women cooperatives to grow moringa, and they were just starting to sell it a bit online.” Curtis told me over the phone a few days after the expo. “We wanted to support the work they’re doing by providing them with a much, much bigger market.”

Not only did Kuli Kuli provide a bigger market for the nonprofit, but the company also kept with the original goal to source it in the most responsible, sustainable way possible. Rather than paying bottom-dollar for moringa from plantations, Kuli Kuli, along with its nonprofit partners, is providing capital for local women farmers in West Africa and have created more than 500 sustainable jobs.

“There’s a lot of research that shows when you invest in women—when you empower women economically—they’re more likely to spend that extra income sending their kids to school and uplifting the whole community,” Curtis said.

Kuli Kuli pays an extra 10 percent over wholesale value to make sure its farms operate within fair labor practices. It also takes 10 percent of its profits and invests the money in local nutrition programs—many of which involve teaching young children how to cook and eat moringa.

But this wonder plant’s utility goes far beyond its nutritional content and deliciousness in a bowl of Greek yogurt and honey. One shelled seed from the moringa tree can be used to purify a liter of drinking water, and energy companies have been harvesting the seed’s oil as a drought-resistant solution to creating sustainable biofuel.

Curtis said the hardest part about the business model, especially as new competitors emerge in the market, is getting the consumer to understand where their extra dollars are going and why it’s so worth it. But the company has been incredibly successful in conveying that message thus far: Kuli Kuli raised more than $50,000 in an Indiegogo campaign for its first production run and continues to believe in crowdsourcing both funds and ideas.

I know what you’re all wondering: How does it taste? Curtis, in true Kuli Kuli fashion, crowd sourced her answer: “Most people describe it as just tasting, well, green.”

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If education is in a state of emergency, where are the first responders?

September 20 2017 | By: ROXY PHILSON


Tell world leaders: ACT NOW for 130 million girls out of school


Upon visiting the country last month, Malala Yousafzai was painfully correct in calling an education emergency in Nigeria. But we can and should go further. The situation is extreme in Nigeria, but truthfully, there is a global girls’ education emergency.

Right now, it screams in silence. We need to give voice to it before this injustice destroys a generation’s future and sets back progress and peace on many fronts for us all.

Perhaps the biggest challenge for progress on the global education crisis is that while everyone understands its importance, the absence of it isn’t seen on our newsfeeds or reported from live from the scene. It is a slow, relatively quiet, but extreme loss of opportunity.


Students outside Nyange Secondary School, Kilombero Region, Tanzania. (Photo credit: Sam Vox/ONE)

As a campaigner, I’ve worked on killer diseases like HIV, malaria, pneumococcal disease, and rotavirus. While there is more to be done on these issues, their desperation is easier to convey to the public and politicians alike. Rubbish education systems don’t have a direct body count to compel urgent action.

But the facts should urge for a change: 130 million girls are out of school when they should be in, and half a billion women can’t read or write. Millions more are in school but learning either nothing or little of value, especially considering the realities of the future world of work — and the focus on STEM subjects, in particular.

If the facts don’t shout loud enough, the people and their stories do. One that recently shook me to the core was that of Amina, a 20-year-old woman in northern Nigeria. She is a mother of six who lost her husband to Boko Haram. The question that demands an answer from us all is, who will now educate Amina’s children? Will it be Amina, with the help of her government and an international system that recognises this emergency? Or will it be Boko Haram and their dystopic take on what education means?


(Photo credit: Sam Vox/ONE)

The population of Nigeria, like that of the rest of Africa, will double over the next generation, having just doubled over the last generation. This youth boom demands investment or a generation that could be powering global economic growth may be lost to anger, frustration, and mass displacement — fuelling conflict, not progress.

If all that seems too much to bear, the good news is that there are mechanisms in search of funding today that can help get these kids an education. The Global Partnership for Education and Education Cannot Wait are ready to scale up, with further funding possible from the World Bank and newly proposed International Financing Facility for Education.

Like too many sectors in development, there’s an acronym soup of initiatives that need stronger alignment and greater accountability through clear, open, real-time data — but it is getting there.


A student at Nyange Secondary School, Kilombero Region, Tanzania. (Photo credit: Sam Vox/ONE)

Of course, the most important leadership comes from African governments themselves and their ability to prove that taxes paid within a country go to provide decent education for their citizens. Decent education for the next generation is at the heart of every nation’s basic social contract, and at that of the global community. That’s why it was exciting to see President Sall of Senegal and President Macron of France announce today that they will co-host the replenishment for the Global Partnership for Education in Dakar on February 8, 2018. When domestic leadership aligns with international support and focuses on outcomes for Amina and her kids, all our futures improve.

This won’t happen with well-intentioned wishful thinking, nor slightly more money for some small fry fund, or even yet another pilot project. To act on a scale proportionate to the need, education has to take centre stage with innovative solutions scaled and some risks taken. Education must be seen as the pre-eminent issue for the globally agreed Sustainable Development Goals — for it is here that the battle for progress and peace for everyone on this planet will really take place. Please help sound the education emergency alarm.

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4 reasons to read this new report on the Global Goals

September 13 2017 | By: SAMANTHA URBAN


Join the fight against extreme poverty


This week, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is launching Goalkeepers, a global event dedicated to fast-tracking the progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals, or Global Goals. (Read all about those here.)


As part of the effort, they’re launching an annual report tracking progress on the Goals — highlighting what’s working and what’s not — to inspire bold leadership, spread best practices, and hold leaders accountable. It includes data projections to forecast good and bad future scenarios… with millions of lives hanging in the balance. Why read the report? Well, here are four pretty huge takeaways:


The world has been on an incredible path of progress: In our lifetimes, we have witnessed the biggest decrease in poverty, disease, and child deaths. Extreme poverty and child deaths have been cut in half, and HIV and maternal deaths have been reduced nearly by half.



But progress isn’t inevitable. The current political upheaval around the world threatens development budgets and puts at risk the phenomenal progress achieved to date. For example, a mere 10 percent cut in donor funding for HIV treatment could result in more than 5 million more deaths by 2030.


For the world to actually achieve the Global Goals, it’ll take commitment and perseverance, as well as continued investments and innovation. But most importantly, it will take leadership at every level.



193 governments signed up to the goals, which are essentially a clear plan that countries can implement against — as well as a commitment that citizens should hold their governments accountable to.

By sharing some stories and data behind the goals, Bill and Melinda Gates hope to inspire a new generation of leaders, or “goalkeepers,” who raise awareness of progress, hold their governments accountable, and drive action to achieve the goals! Read the report and discover what’s making a difference in the fight against poverty.

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How this program gave Constance the confidence to thrive in school and beyond

23 March 2017 11:06AM UTC | By: GUEST BLOGGER


All girls count.

130 million girls don’t have access to an education. So we’re asking the world to count them, one by one.


Story and photos by Rebecca Rwakabukoza

Constance Amusugut found out she was pregnant when she was about two months along. She was 15. The first person she called was her boyfriend — the father of the child — but after that initial conversation when she told him about the baby, he started avoiding her phone calls.

“Sometimes he would put the phone next to the radio,” she says. “When I got tired, I would just hang up the call.”

Her mother suspected Constance was pregnant because she was sick in the mornings and had stopped eating her favourite vegetables.

“I don’t know what your father is going to do for you,” her mother told her once she confirmed the pregnancy. At 15, Constance was about to change schools within her Ugandan town of Tororo, and her father had just given her tuition for the new school.

Afraid, but ready to face him, she approached him on a Sunday morning, handed the money back and said, “Daddy, here is your money. I have disappointed you; I am pregnant.”

He did not reply. For a whole year, he wouldn’t talk to her.

When the baby was six months old, Constance returned to school. Her mother paid her tuition because her father now said that paying school tuition for the young mother was “wasting money.”


Constance and her classmates at their school in Tororo, Uganda.

For many young girls in Uganda, motherhood almost always means dropping out of school. As Constance experienced, parents can get angry and refuse to pay tuition, and sometimes school becomes more difficult to navigate for teenage mothers and single parents.

Constance’s experience at school was no less forgiving. During her pregnancy, she had to leave the classroom often to go to the toilets. Without breast pads, Constance had to walk around the school campus with patches of breast milk on her shirt. This was not helped by the whispers among students about “the girl who delivered,” so she tried to go unnoticed as much as she possibly could.

“Even when we were in class and a teacher asked a question to which I knew the answer, I wouldn’t talk,” she says. “I couldn’t. I was so fearful and shy. I thought the moment I would raise up my hand, the other students would start to talk about me — about how I am and how I have a kid.”


Constance giving a speech in front of her classmates.

To combat her shyness, Constance joined MIFUMI’s Sure Startafterschool program for female students. Sure Start, which has been in more than 30 primary and secondary schools in Tororo, engages adolescent girls in leadership through sports and gender and rights awareness education. The program has three elements: karate, mentorship, and gender classes. Leah Eryenyu, the program manager, says the gender classes help the girls become self-aware and question the different expectations for men and women. Sure Start wants to challenge the oppression girls feel from subordination to gender norms, which can prevent them from exercising their full potential. The long term goal for MIFUMI is to create leaders.

“The program pushes them to be actively present in the spaces they occupy, as individuals and as a critical mass,” says Leah.

MIFUMI also teaches the girls in the program how to organise as a group, and how to mobilise and find platforms. One such platform was the presentation of a petition to the Parliament on menstrual hygiene management. Constance was one of two girls from her school chosen to represent other teenage girls.


Constance practices her speech to Parliament.

“That was the day my father finally talked to me,” she says. When Constance gave him the letter from MIFUMI asking for permission to let his daughter make the 125-mile trip from Tororo to Kampala, he initially doubted its authenticity. After several phone calls verifying the trip, he was the one who woke her up in the morning on the day she left. He went with her to the meeting point and gave her money in case she needed to eat anything.


Constance and her daughter in Tororo, Uganda.

He showed the same excitement when Constance was featured in one of Uganda’s two national daily newspapers. On the day her story was published, he purchased three copies of the paper: one for her, one for him, and the third for her grandparents.

When asked what she would tell her daughter about this period of her life, Constance says, “I’d tell her to put education first.”

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This beauty queen used Facebook to declare her HIV status. Her reason is incredible.

3 October 2016 3:56PM UTC | By: GUEST BLOGGER


Join the fight against extreme poverty


By Prudence Nyamishana

Robinah Babirye was just 10 years old when her mother told her she was HIV positive.

“My mother took my twin sister and I in her room and told us that we were HIV positive,” she says. “My heart was broken. I felt like my life had come to an end. I asked myself many questions that I never got answers to.”


Robinah speaking to the women of Kikubamutwe slum in Kampala during the Women’s Day 2016 celebrations.

As she got older, Robinah kept her HIV status a secret at school out of fear of rejection.

“Because I couldn’t trust anyone, I turned to my journal,” she says. “I wrote down things I couldn’t tell even my mother. I wrote my pain, my joys, and every time I finished writing, I felt better.”

Like many in her generation, Robinah turned to Facebook. One morning, she decided to send a message that she would not be beaten: It was time to tell the world about her status. She put on a t-shirt that read, “HIV Positive,” took a photo, posted it on her Facebook page, and waited in trepidation for the responses.

“People contacted me and encouraged me. Some were other young people living with HIV who were amazed at my audacity,” she says. “I got phone calls from friends that were feeling sorry for me and those that were mad at me for making such a joke.”

Robinah Distributing condoms to people in Kikubamutwe in Kampala, Uganda.

Robinah distributing condoms to people in Kikubamutwe in Kampala, Uganda.

That was the beginning of Robinah’s journey as an HIV/AIDS ambassador. Emboldened, a few months later, she joined a support group of young people living with HIV who would meet and share their stories. This was an opportunity for her to share her own, giving her the strength she needed to feel like she could move forward with her life.

“I now had purpose,” she says. “I was full of life and I was ready to conquer the world.”

In 2014, Robinah heard about a Miss Young Positive beauty contest organised by the Uganda Network of Young People Living with HIV. She knew that declaring her status on such a public forum could be either a blessing or a curse—but she went for it anyway.

“I decided to enter the contest for Miss YPLus 2015. The contestants were prettier than me and they had these amazing projects they were doing,” she says. “But I just presented myself as I was, and I won! This was the happiest day of my life.”


Robinah at the Miss Young Positive Beauty Peageant

Robinah, now 23, has been unstoppable ever since. She’s shared her story at countless conferences in Uganda, and traveled to Australia to speak to an audience of about 15,000 people during the 2014 AIDS conference. She was named Young Personality of the Year by the World Savers Network, and spoke at the ICASA AIDS conference in Zimbabwe. Many young Zimbabweans followed her after the conference to ask her how she manages to be that courageous.

“I told these young Zimbabweans that regardless of my HIV status, I have chosen to be happy,” she says.

She is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in community-based rehabilitation at Kyambogo University in Uganda. After college, Robinah says that she would like to reach out to young, HIV-positive mothers.

“My life’s mission is to fight stigma against people living with HIV,” says Robinah.

“I keep going because many young and old people have approached me to confide in me,” she says. “I get countless phone calls from strangers and this makes me feel like I am a change agent.”

Robinah at the ICASA Zimbababwe conference.

Robinah at the ICASA Zimbababwe conference.

Asked whether she had a message for people reading her story, Robinah said: “Life is not simply about living; it is about how you live it. Don’t dwell on the past; use the present to create a foundation for the future. It is entirely up to you to determine how firm your foundation will be.”

Everyone can appreciate those wise words from a determined woman who has already done so much to change her own life, and those of countless other people living with HIV.

Want to know what you can do to help girls and women like Robinah? Join ONE today to help end extreme poverty!



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The brilliant way these Nigerian schools are helping students overcome illiteracy

24 July 2017 10:00PM UTC | By: GUEST BLOGGER


Join the fight against extreme poverty


By Anne Smiley and Nurudeen Lawal, FHI 360

In Northern Nigeria, the vast majority of third-grade pupils cannot read a single word in any language. Teaching materials are few and far between, and most teachers receive little training or support. But in Katsina and Zamfara states, communities are excited to see kids starting to learn how to read in Hausa, a language that almost everyone can speak and understand. Learning to read is the first step to learning across all subjects, setting kids up for success in school.

The Reading and Numeracy Activity, also known as RANA, which means “sun” in Hausa, is working with primary schools, integrated Qur’anic schools, and local government institutions to deliver an evidence-based approach to early grade literacy and numeracy. The program is working: learning assessments show consistent gains across fundamental reading and numeracy skills for both girls and boys.


RANA came to Salahudeen’s school in 2016, and since then, this bright ten-year-old has become a self-proclaimed reading champion.

“I have always admired people when I see them reading,” he says. “When our teacher started teaching us RANA lessons, I paid attention so that I can also read.”

According to Salahudeen’s father, “The RANA lessons have made him more hardworking and love school. I will support his education to any level within my means. I am very grateful to RANA for giving school a new meaning.”


Here’s how RANA works:

  • Aims to break every barrier to education access and quality: By directly engaging communities and schools in the process of improving the quality of teaching and learning, and by teaching in Hausa, families are increasingly motivated to participate for the long term.
  • Invests in every teacher: Not only through ongoing training and coaching in the use of high-quality teaching and learning materials in Hausa, but also by equipping teachers with continuous assessment techniques and tools, so that they can directly see the impact on student learning.
  • Measures every outcome: Coaches routinely conduct classroom observations on teachers’ methods of instruction and fidelity to the program design, and learning data is collected as well: three times a year, coaches test a panel of pupils from each class in reading and numeracy fundamentals, allowing the program to study student learning gains over time. Finally,
  • Connects every classroom: Coaches use tablets for observations and monitoring of school and community activities, which rely on GPS time stamps for accountability; and a vibrant online Community of Practice has been created amongst teachers and trainers via Whatsapp, reducing isolation and increasing opportunities for peer learning and review.

RANA represents a holistic, clearly defined, locally-based and locally-owned approach to education reform, with children and their families at the centre. Scale-ups are already being planned, and in some cases implemented, in neighbouring areas. More readers, more books, more learning: sustainable, locally relevant education for all, in action.

RANA is funded by the U.K. Department of International Development (DFID) through the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and implemented by FHI 360 and its local partners. For more information about RANA, please contact Anne Smiley at globallearning@fhi360.org.To learn more about FHI 360’s work in global education, visit their website.

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SEPT. 15, 2017

Women in Tunisia Are Now Free to Marry Whomever They Want, Regardless of Religion

The country just overturned a law that restricted Muslim women to marrying other Muslims.

Daniele Selby

By Daniele Selby

Brought to you by: CHIME FOR CHANGE



Tunisia’s government will no longer decide whom a woman marries.

On Thursday, the Northern African nation overturned a law that prohibited Muslim women from marrying outside their faith.

The ban on interfaith marriages was established in 1973 and required non-Muslim men to convert to Islam if they wanted to marry Muslim Tunisian women, whereas, a Muslim Tunisian man has always been free to marry a woman of any religion, according to Al Jazeera.

Tunisia’s population is 99% Muslim, according to the BBC, though its current president, Beji Caid Essebsi, is the leader of a secular party. 

Read more: Tunisia Just Passed a Law to Protect Women Against Violence

The 90-year-old Essebsi has said that Tunisia needs to fight gender discrimination and modernize, the Associated Press reported.

In July, the Tunisian parliament abolished is “marry-the-rapist” law, which allowed rapists to evade punishment if they married their victims, according to the BBC.

Read more: Lebanon Closes Legal Loophole Allowing Rapists to Marry Victims

The following month, Essebsi proposed that laws be amended to allow women the same inheritance rights as men. Currently, in line with Shariah Law, daughters are entitled to just half the inheritance to which sons are entitled, Al Jazeera reports.


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In partnership with: CHIME FOR CHANGE


The president has argued that the inequality in inheritance laws is not consistent with the aim of Tunisia’s constitution to establish “total, actual equality between men and women citizens in a progressive way,” according to the Associated Press.

While Tunisian women may not see change in inheritance laws for some time still, they are finally free to marry whomever they choose — a major step toward gender equality in the country. 

Global Citizen campaigns to level the law for women and girls. You can take action to ensure that women and girls have equal rights and the freedom to choose if, whom, and when they marry here.

"Congratulations to the women of Tunisia for the enshrinement of the right to the freedom to choose one's spouse," a spokesperson for Tunisia’s president wrote on Facebook.

Daniele is an Editorial Coordinator at Global Citizen. She believes that education and the equal provision of human rights will empower change. She studied music and psychology at Vassar before earning her Masters of International Affairs at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. Daniele brings with her an unhealthy love of chili and chocolate, and a small, fluffy dog from the Little Red Dot (Singapore) to the Big Apple.

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Saturday Band Programme


Joining a band is one of the best ways to advance your skills as a musician.   To further develop our performance music education programmes, we created a band initiative in Sligo town, in association with Rumble Rehearsal Studios.   A two day camp took place over Easter in Rumble Rehearsal Studios, and continued with weekly sessions until June 2017.

This programme is starting on 30 September 2017 and is open to teenagers.  It takes place between 12-2pm, runs for 10 weeks up to December and costs €50.  It’s ideal for musicians who are comfortable with the basics of their instrument (guitar/bass/drums/keyboard/vocals) and want to take their musical skills to the next level.   Music Generation Sligo instructors, who have a wealth of experience in both music education and as professional performing musicians, are there to guide and mentor young people in all aspects of performing in a band.

It’s a great opportunity for teenagers to meet other musicians, and most of all enjoy hearing music come to life in a band setting.



MusicGenerationSligo@msletb.ie with the following details:


Date of Birth

Parent Name & Contact Number

What Instrument you play


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