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The Action Thread Part Two

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Someone with a learning disability is more likely to have sight loss and less likely to get the help and support they need.

This #WorldSightDay make sure your loved one is getting the right support to look after their sight. Check out SeeAbility's website for lots of information and Easy Read rescources https://www.seeability.org/

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For anyone looking to put on their own public music shows, this article in The Irish Times gives a good idea of the problems that arise and how to avoid them.

https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/music/subject-to-licence-what-it-means-and-how-to-avoid-a-public-gig-fiasco-1.3242774

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130 Million Girls Don't Go to School, and It's a Global Crisis

 

Danai Gurira on how you can help with the education gender gap around the world.

 
 
OCT 10, 2017
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VESNA ASANOVIC
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"He was a good man. He sent all his daughters to school, too." I used to hear this every now and then, from my mom and other relatives, when I was growing up in Harare, Zimbabwe. They would usually be talking about an older uncle who had passed, the fact that he had made sure all his children were educated, not just the boys.

My own grandfather, the father of one son and six daughters, was among those highly-spoken-of men; he not only made sure his girls received a high-school education but also helped them get into universities. That was no small feat in colonial Africa in the '50s and '60s. It was considered something exceptional to send girls to school back then. Unfortunately, it still is exceptional.

How is it possible that we are still in a world where 130 million girls don't go to school simply because they are girls? If the girls out of school globally formed a country, it would be the tenth largest in the world. What an absolute waste of potential and possibility.

This is something American women may take for granted, but in the developing world, where I grew up, to be a girl comes with so much liability, gaining an education is still considered a privilege, not a right. In some instances, even if girls are sent to school, they're not allowed to learn math or science or subjects that are relevant to the world they inhabit. It's literally crippling their future and perpetuating oppression.

I wrote a play, Eclipsed, and focused on what I learned when I interviewed girls and women who had survived Liberia's vicious civil war. So many of these amazing women and girls had not received much education; so many had received none at all. This was the effect of a twenty-year war, painfully revealed. But they were hungry to learn. I would always ask them — each and every woman I interviewed — what they wanted. Some told me no one had ever asked them that. Ever. But they all, literally all, wanted the same thing: access to schooling. Access to an education that would allow them to truly explore what they were capable of. What society had denied them.

Liberia remains on the list of the countries where girls are least likely to be educated. Nearly two-thirds of primary-school-aged girls in Liberia are out of school. I see that, and I see their faces, those girls and women. And I feel helpless.

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But I could not sit idly by and let this global crisis continue without taking action. During the time Eclipsed was on Broadway, I collaborated with an astounding man, Emmanuel Ogebe, a Nigerian human-rights attorney who founded an organization called Education Must Continue (EMC). His work is particularly focused on the conflict in Northern Nigeria, where the girls at a boarding school in Chibok were abducted in the middle of the night by the terrorist group Boko Haram. On that night in April 2014, 272 girls were taken from their school and loaded into trucks, to be transported God knows where. Fifty-odd girls jumped out of the trucks. Some of the ones who escaped were brought to the United States by EMC, to continue their schooling without fear of re-abduction. The movement known as #bringbackourgirls is the result of this.

We dedicated each Eclipsed performance to the girls still in captivity, speaking their names aloud. We had our Broadway audiences speak them, too. Boko Haram is an example of the attack we are under. Their name literally translates to "Western education is sin." They told those girls they had no business being in school as they abducted them into a life of captivity and systematic assault. These girls were assigned as "wives" to the men of this group. Many of them are still living this hell.

 

The hopeful part of it all is that educated girls do incredible things.

 

The girls I met here in the United States have graduated from high school and are on their way to pursuing a bright future. But the struggle is still real for many of their peers. The ONE campaign, which advocates for people living in poverty around the world, uses the phrase "Poverty Is Sexist," and it is. You can see this clearly in the fact that the poorest countries in the world have the largest gender gap around access and education. According to the ONE campaign, "If every girl completed a primary education in sub-Saharan Africa, maternal mortality could fall by a dramatic 70 percent — in part because women with more education tend to have fewer children."

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So what do we do? I grew up bicultural. Born in middle America, I was raised by Zimbabwean parents in Zimbabwe, and I returned to the United States as an adult for university and beyond. It's a bit of a mind warp, feeling intimately close to these two deeply disparate places to the same degree.

The most painful part of this cultural duality is when my Western peers don't see the plights and issues in the developing world beyond a sad and distant story to scroll past on their Twitter feeds. When they don't see the shared humanity and equality they have with those on the other side of the world who suffer so much simply because of geography. It's the very reason I write African female-led narratives in the West.

Until we get rid of that level of apathy and passing fancy interest, we will continue to see our sisters across the globe suffer and the issues worsen. To become a part of the solution, we have to start with ourselves. We are, by virtue of being from the United States, some of the most powerful females on the planet. We may not feel powerful, but by comparison, there is no question.

I don't have the perfect answer to how to fix this massive global education gap, and it's something I grapple with all the time. But I do know we have to start by giving a darn. We have to start by recognizing the true connection we have to women everywhere. Then we have to hold ourselves accountable to consistently garner awareness, and we have to work together with shared strategy and goals.

Because the hopeful part of it all, and I grew up witnessing this, is that educated girls do incredible things. They lift their families out of poverty, and they combat the issues of their communities with innovation and courage. Girls who are educated are more likely to wait until adulthood to get married, and they raise the GDP in their nations once they are able to participate in the economy. Often, when education is introduced to girls, even in poor nations, those countries outperform wealthier nations.

I saw this hopefulness in the eyes of the girls I met from Chibok, who were willing to be away from their families and friends in this strange land at such a young age just to get a chance to explore what they were capable of without fear.

October 11 is the International Day of the Girl. Remember the girl in Ethiopia working in a field instead of going to school, the girl in Mali who watches her brother going to class every day while she has to stay at home, the girl in Northern Nigeria who started her day in April 2014 thinking about her math quiz and ended it as the forced "wife" of a rebel-army officer. They need you on the battlefield, at least trying to figure out how to effectively participate.

Joining ONE's Poverty Is Sexist campaign is a good place to start: You can call attention to the education crisis by using the most powerful tool at your disposal — your voice. Take action right now with #girlscount, a bold campaign that brings this problem to life by inviting us to count from one to 130 million — one number for every girl out of school. All you have to do is pick a number, then upload and share your counting video. ONE is compiling each and every count into the world's longest video to show both the scale of the problem and the enormous amount of global support that exists for addressing it. ONE will be using this film to petition your leaders to take urgent action to get these girls in school. The organization will make sure your voice gets heard.

Get your activism on. It is a journey, and you choose where the path leads. We are all a lot more powerful than we think. Now is the time, and the Day of the Girl is the day that we figure out just how much we can use our power for the future of a sister across the world.

Danai Gurira is an actress, Tony Award-nominated playwright, and activist. She is also the founder of LOGPledge.org.

 

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63
EDUCATION

ONE + YouTube: Join us in saying ALL #GirlsCount

October 11 2017 | By: GUEST BLOGGER

 
   

This is a joint post from ONE CEO, Gayle Smith, and YouTube Vice President of Marketing, Danielle Tiedt.

One hundred and thirty million girls will not go to school today. These girls will be denied the joy of reading a great book, the triumph of finally figuring out an equation, and the opportunity to determine their own future.

But it is not just these girls who suffer. The entire world is missing out on a huge opportunity.  The next world-changing breakthrough might be built in a garage in Silicon Valley—but if all girls had access to an education, it could also stem from the imagination of someone in South Sudan.

Closing the gender gap in education could generate an additional $112-152 billion a year for the economies of developing countries. And 130 million more educated girls would lead to 130 million more empowered women in the world.

Neither of us could be where we are today if we had been denied this right. Everything we have achieved in our careers was made possible by the quality education that shaped our lives. A seat at the table, whether in Silicon Valley, Washington, D.C., or Addis Ababa starts with a seat in the classroom. Equality anywhere won’t be possible until girls everywhere get the education they deserve and it is our belief in this world-changing idea that brings us together today to raise our voices for #GirlsCount.

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YouTube Creators for Change and ONE are united in the belief that there is power in every voice and that every girl counts. That’s why YouTube and its incredible community of creators have joined with ONE to bring attention to the 130 million girls who don’t yet have access to an education. Our goal is simple: Create the longest video in history by counting every single girl out of school. Visit girlscount.one.org to choose your number and submit your contribution.

Top YouTubers like TheSorryGirls, Whitney White of Naptural85, and Maddu Magalhães are all coming together to say #GirlsCount and demanding that our leaders listen. Aboubakar Idriss has generations of female relatives, including his sister, that are unable to read or write due to being kept out of school and hopes this can shine a light on stories like theirs.

Ensuring that every girl gets the education she deserves is going to take a global effort. Policy-makers and pop stars, CEOs and storytellers, and millions of voices in every country must speak out and urge leaders to act. 130 million girls deserve no less.

Join us as we stand together to say #GirlsCount.

Take action today.

130 million girls are out of school. So we’re asking the world to count them and urge our leaders to act.

JOIN THE COUNT

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October 11 2017

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370
EDUCATION

READ: The 10 Toughest Places for a Girl to Get an Education

10 October 2017 9:42PM UTC | By: CLEA GUY-ALLEN

 
   

Educating girls can change the world.

Girls who get a complete, quality education are more likely to be healthier and better prepared to enter and succeed in the workforce. Education can give girls more opportunities to advocate for their own rights, contribute to their families and communities, and grow local and global economies.

But over 130 million girls didn’t go to school today. Millions more braved long distances, often in dangerous conditions, to get there. Other girls arrived at school to sit in a classroom where a teacher never arrived, or where there were no textbooks or other materials that help students learn. Because of this, in 2017, nearly half a billion women worldwide still cannot read.
To make sure every girl has the chance to get a good education, we need to understand where girls are being left behind. That’s why we’ve created the Toughest Places for a Girl to Get an Education index.

We created the Index by choosing 11 factors that reflect girls’ access to and completion of school, the quality of education within a country, and the broader enabling environment. Below are some of the most worrying stats from the 10 toughest countries for a girl to get an education:

1. South Sudan

SouthSudanFlag.jpg
73% of girls in South Sudan do not go to primary school. And South Sudan’s government spends just 2.6% of its total budget on education.

2. Central African Republic

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In the Central African Republic, there is 1 teacher for every 80 students (as opposed to 1 teacher for every 12 students in the Netherlands and for every 15 students in the United States).

3. Niger

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Only 17% of girls and women (ages 15-24) in Niger are literate.

4. Afghanistan

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As of 2014, Afghanistan had the highest level of gender disparity in primary education, with only 71 girls in primary school for every 100 boys.

5. Chad

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Chad is ranked as one of the 5 worst-performing countries in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report, indicating that women and girls in Chad face a broader range of legal, social and economic barriers.

6. Mali

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In Mali, less than half (38%) of girls have completed primary school.

7. Guinea

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In Guinea, women (ages 25 and above) have on average attended school for less than 1 year.

8. Burkina Faso

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Just 1% of girls in Burkina Faso complete secondary school.

9. Liberia

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Nearly two-thirds of primary school-aged girls in Liberia are out of school.

10. Ethiopia

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In Ethiopia, 2 in every 5 girls are married before their 18th birthday, and nearly 1 in 5 marries before age 15.

There are dire consequences to not educating girls. In many countries, girls out of school will be more likely to become child brides, more vulnerable to diseases like HIV, and more likely to die young. For example, if current trends in education continue, by 2050, this is the future we’re looking at: Low-income countries alone will lose $1.8 trillion; the number of lives lost each year because of a failure to provide adequate access to quality education will equal those lost today to HIV and AIDS and malaria, some of the most deadly global diseases; and almost 950 million women will have been married as children, up from more than 700 million today.

This is a global crisis, and we need to make sure world leaders are paying attention.

That’s why we want you to add your voice to the chorus of those calling for funding for girls’ education.

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

Dear World Leaders, 130 million girls are out of school - this is a crisis and we need to act. Please fully finance the Global Partnership for Education as part of the solution so it can help millions of girls in the poorest countries get the education they deserve.

ADD YOUR NAME

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Country         Select country Afghanistan Åland Albania Algeria American Samoa Andorra Angola Anguilla Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory British Virgin Islands Brunei Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos Islands Colombia Comoros Cook Islands Costa Rica Côte d'Ivoire Country of Sint Maarten Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Democratic Republic of the Congo Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guam Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Honduras Hong Kong Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Kosovo Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Laos Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macau Macedonia Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Marshall Islands Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Micronesia Moldova Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands Netherlands Antilles New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island North Korea Northern Mariana Islands Norway Oman Pakistan Palau Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Puerto Rico Qatar Republic of the Congo Reunion Romania Russia Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino São Tomé and Príncipe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Korea South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syria Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu U.S. Virgin Islands Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Vatican City Venezuela Vietnam Wallis and Futuna Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe       

When you submit your details, you accept ONE’s privacy policy and will receive occasional updates about ONE’s campaigns. You can unsubscribe at any time.

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CLEA GUY-ALLEN
10 October 2017 9:42PM UTC

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Social Good

YouTube uses its massive platform to help every girl get an education

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YouTube is bringing its community of creators to an important campaign advocating for girls' education.
YouTube is bringing its community of creators to an important campaign advocating for girls' education.
IMAGE: THE ONE CAMPAIGN 
BY REBECCA RUIZ21 HOURS AGO

There's something staggering about the fact that 130 million girls around the world don't receive an education. 

It's enough to make some people feel skeptical or cynical about efforts to solve the problem. But The ONE Campaign, an international advocacy campaign dedicated to ending poverty around the world, sees a glimmer of hope in social media and digital technology. 

That's why ONE launched #GirlsCount earlier this year. The initiative invites anyone to choose an unclaimed number between 1 and 130,000,000 and record themselves in support of girls' education in what's effectively a user-generated public service announcement. 

The idea is for 130 million people to submit clips to the campaign, raising raising awareness about the problem and inspiring people to act along the way. If 130 million people do indeed participate, the final video will be the longest in the world and take five years to watch, according to ONE. 

Now, on International Day of the Girl, the campaign is putting more muscle behind #GirlsCount with a new YouTube partnership that draws on the voices — and audiences — of more than 50 YouTube creators who reach more than 32 million viewers. 

 

"I think we’ve got to be affirmative and hopeful but with a little edge of fierce," said Gayle Smith, president and CEO of ONE. "I think the video messages make a huge difference."

ONE has already received nearly 17,000 #GirlsCount submissions, which adds up to more than 30 hours of video. 

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki shared her own video Wednesday, choosing the number 117,000 to represent the fact that it costs $1.17 to educate a girl for a day in some countries. 

 

"The next world-changing breakthrough might be built in a garage in Silicon Valley, but it could also stem from the imagination of a girl in Senegal, South Sudan or Nigeria," said Danielle Tiedt, YouTube’s vice president of marketing, in a blog post

Top YouTube creators participating in #GirlsCount include like TheSorryGirls, Whitney White of Naptural85, and Maddu Magalhães. Some of the messages are deeply personal. Education vlogger Aboubakar Idriss joined the campaign because his sister couldn't attend school. 

The YouTube creators join numerous celebrities and activists who have already backed the initiative, including Malala Yousafzai, Charlize Theron, Connie Britton, Elizabeth Banks, and Gisele and Tom Brady. 

 

Smith said that people inspired to do something more than create a clip can consider lobbying their elected officials on supporting a federal budget that maintains or increases funding for global development aid. The Trump administration's proposed budget dramatically slashes such spending, which Smith said would negatively affect efforts to ensure that girls around the world get an education. 

"It's a smart investment," Smith said, pointing to research showing that education for girls can reduce local poverty and lead to national economic gains. "It's short-sighted not to educate girls." 

Smith is counting on YouTube creators and their audiences to spread that message in ways that policymakers and traditional media can't. 

"We can do it," she said. "[We'll] reward political courage, but we won’t let up the pressure."  

TOPICS: ACTIVISM, CELEBRITIES, CONNIE BRITTON, EDUCATION, GENDER EQUALITY, GIRLS, GLOBAL-DEVELOPMENT, INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE GIRL, SOCIAL GOOD, VIDEO, VIDEOS, YOUTUBE
 
 
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SolarTube International developed light tubes that can harness the light of the sun and illuminate window-less rooms, bringing natural light to otherwise dim indoor areas. 

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1
EDUCATION

130 million girls out of school is a crisis. You can help solve it.

1 October 2017 4:47PM UTC | By: SAMANTHA URBAN

 
   

Nowhere on earth do women have as many opportunities as men. Nowhere. But for girls and women in the poorest countries, that inequality is amplified. Right now, there are over 130 million girls around the world being denied an education — and thus the chance to reach their full potential.

IMG_4906-1024x683.jpgEducate a girl in one of the world’s poorest countries, and it boosts her health, wealth, and ability to take control of her life. She’s less likely to become a child bride, experience violence or contract HIV. But it doesn’t stop there. She’ll have healthier, better educated children. And she could help lift her family — and her entire country — out of poverty. (In fact, educating girls to the same level as boys could benefit developing countries to the tune of at least $112 billion a year. Interested? Read our March report on girls’ education here.)

These 130 million girls are 130 million potential engineers, entrepreneurs, and political leaders that the world is missing out on.

In the next few weeks, we’ve got an incredible opportunity to change this. Global leaders are being asked to crowdfund one of the biggest education funders — the Global Partnership for Education — in the world’s poorest countries. (Learn more about the GPE here.)

IMG_49131-1024x683.jpgIf donor countries all chip in enough, it would mean that millions more girls will have the chance to complete a full 12 years of school. That’s a LOT more educated girls who could go on to change the world.

On International Day of the Girl, we’re calling on world leaders to make sure every girl gets the education she deserves.

Here’s how YOU can help: Tell world leaders to fund education and make sure all girls count.

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

Dear World Leaders, 130 million girls are out of school - this is a crisis and we need to act. Please fully finance the Global Partnership for Education as part of the solution so it can help millions of girls in the poorest countries get the education they deserve.

ADD YOUR NAME

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AUTHOR

SAMANTHA URBAN
1 October 2017 4:47PM UTC

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