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The Action Thread Part Two

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We demanded Progress not Promises at the Gender Ministerial

We demanded Progress not Promises at the Gender Ministerial

17 May 2019 9:05AM UTC | By: SADOF ALEXANDER


Join the fight against extreme poverty

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On International Women’s Day, we told world leaders that we wanted progress, not promises, towards gender equality. Now, we’re working to make sure that they follow through.

The G7 Summit isn’t until August, but the journey to it has already begun. On May 10th, gender ministers from the G7 met up in Paris to talk about their priorities for gender equality. Here’s how we joined the conversation:

On the Web

Over 131,000 people around the world have signed our open letter so far. Many of these signers took to social media and sent messages to their gender ministers. The message was simple: Commit to progress for gender equality.

By the ministerial, thousands of people sent messages across Facebook and Twitter. Their messages got across in a big way. On May 9th, France’s Gender Minister, Marlene Schiappa, tweeted out our message of Progress not Promises!

On the Ground

In the offline world, ONE Youth Ambassadors gathered in front of the UNESCO building carrying bright signs. Each one conveyed a bold message taken from the open letter, bringing its message to the public. Hundreds of thousands of French citizens saw these statements throughout the day as they headed in for the Women 7 Summit.


Inside the building, Aya Chebbi joined a panel on feminist diplomacy. Aya is an African Union Youth Envoy, pan-African feminist from Tunisia, and a spokeswoman for the open letter. In other words, she’s an expert on gender equality!


"How can I not be a feminist when every day I am reminded of my gender, whether on the street or on a panel?" says @aya_chebbi #FeministsCount



She gave a powerful speech on why she’s a feminist, and how we can create an equal world for everyone. Her inspiring words covered how to achieve justice, make women decision-makers and put an end to violence. She also touched on her role as an open letter spokeswoman:

“I am one of 45 activists from 15 African countries who co-signed an open letter with ONE to ask political leaders to end the empty promises and act for women and girls living in the extreme poverty,” says Aya. “As activists, we work every day to improve the situation of women around us. But political leaders must also do their part because they are committed to achieving gender equality by 2030.”

The Results

At the end of the day, ONE Youth Ambassadors, Aya, and Belgian actress Deborah François delivered our open letter to gender ministers. They discussed why we need gender equality, and why G7 leaders should make it a priority.


YES! 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽
Our #ONEYouth19 Ambassadors, Tunisian activist @aya_chebbi, and actress @DeboFrancoisOff just gave @MarleneSchiappa and other gender ministers our open letter to demand genuine progress for gender equality! @G7 #ProgressNotPromises #G7France



The gender ministerial is only the first stop on the way towards the G7. We’ve still got a long way to go, from sherpa meetings in June to more ministerials in July, all leading up to the G7 Summit at the end of August. That means we have a lot of opportunities to tell world leaders what we want for gender equality!

Are you ready to join the fight for gender equality? Sign our open letter to world leaders!

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Why global health is good for everyone

4 April 2019 8:57PM UTC | By: KATIE RYAN


Sign now: we demand more action in the fight against AIDS

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What is global health?

It’s a big year for global health so ONE is going to be talking about it a lot. But before we jump into the nitty gritty statistics or the importance of getting funding for the world’s most innovative partnerships, let’s talk about what global health actually is!

Global health is about improving people’s health worldwide, reducing inequality and, protecting societies from global threats, such as preventable diseases, that don’t stop at national borders.

So why is it important?

We are at a tipping point. In 2017, nearly one million people died from AIDS-related causes globally and another 1.8 million contracted HIV. After 10 years of steady decline, malaria is back on the rise, especially among children under 5 years old, who account for two-thirds of all malaria deaths. Though more than 10 million people contract TB every year, nearly 40% of those are “missed” – that is almost 4 million people left undiagnosed, untreated, and therefore, contagious.

As a global community, we all benefit when our neighbours are healthy. Access to prevention and treatment should be a right, not a privilege. Yet, so many of our community members cannot enjoy this right because of prohibitive costs, distance, or stigma and discrimination.

If people can access affordable healthcare, they can invest in bettering their community: kids can attend school, adults can pursue careers, families can enjoy their time together, the list goes on. Quality of life skyrockets when prevention and treatment are affordable and accessible.

Human rights always come first. But it is important to realize that ensuring our global community is healthy, educated and empowered has another benefit: economic growth. Failing to protect health could quickly thwart this potential. The 2014 Ebola epidemic is a staggering illustration of the economic consequences of just one outbreak of disease: in 2015, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone lost US$2.2 billion in gross domestic product, threatening economic stability and private sector growth in the region.

We know that investments made in health today will pay dividends tomorrow.

  • Every US$1 invested in immunisation, for example, leads to a return of US$60.
  • Every US$1 invested in reducing malaria infections delivers a return of US$36.
  • Every US$1 invested in health spending for the world’s poorest leads to a return of US$13.

Simply put, health is a smart investment with big returns.

Where do we go from here?

Health has been one of the most recognised and celebrated success stories in global development since the turn of the 21st century. This progress has not happened by accident. It has been driven largely by new public-private collaborations, breakthrough commitments to increase investments in health alongside greater investment from national governments, and passionate citizen activism.

This is a proud legacy that should be celebrated as a benchmark for what is possible. But it stops well short of being an indicator for future gains. Progress will not continue, and could go into reverse, if our global community, including world leaders, do not commit to looking out for our neighbours.

The Global Fund is one of the best weapons we have to fight AIDS, TB and malaria. The Fund supports programs run by local experts in the countries and communities that need it most – helping to save 27 million lives so far. To help save another 16 million lives between 2021-2023, the Global Fund needs to raise at least US$14 billion by its Replenishment Conference this October.

We must not stall progress now. Are you up for the challenge?

Add your name to tell world leaders they must back this bold partnership. Then share the action with your family and friends.

Sign now: we demand more action in the fight against AIDS

Dear government and business leaders,
We're urging you to show ambition in ending AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. This is a fight we can win – but only if we all do our part. I’m in, are you? Please fully finance the Global Fund to help save another 16 million lives and bring us closer to eliminating these diseases for good.

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Follow the Money win big at SDG Action Awards

24 May 2019 3:47PM UTC | By: JANE EAGLES


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The talented and ambitious from every corner of the globe were recently in Bonn, Germany, for the annual UN SDG Action Awards. The awards are a celebration of the campaigners who have been taking real action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The UN SDG Action Awards recognises individuals, civil society organisations, subnational governments, foundations, networks, and private sector leaders from across the globe with the most innovative, impactful and transformative initiatives that are building a global movement of action for the SDGs.


via Twitter

Among this year’s winners were Follow the Money (partners of ONE!), a project spearheaded by Connected Development. Follow the Money picked up the Mobilizer Award for their impressive work on targeting corruption in aid-giving. They have already impacted over 2,000,000 rural lives through tracking over $10 million meant for social development across African communities.

The Nigerian-based organisation was born out of a desire to tackle the corruption that can have dire consequences on budget allocations or aid for health, education and WASH. Frustrated by the fact that people living in poverty were not receiving the designated resources, and a widening gap of inequality, they decided to take a stand.


via Twitter

Founded by Hamzat Lawal and Oludotun Babayemi, Follow the Money follows a social accountability model, where the team conduct data mining, and track budgets and appropriations to ensure aid funding is being spent accurately. Using technology, Follow the Money is able to get to the core of what’s happening with budgetary allocation.


via Twitter

Savvy Freedom of Information requests, empowering people to hold their elected officials accountable and conducting regular community outreach efforts, cemented the team’s win in the Mobilizer category.

Through their disruptive interventions, essential public projects have been completed. Their commitment to stopping corruption, ending poverty and furthering inclusive development shines through.

Congratulations to all of this year’s winners! Click here to find out who else won big at the SDG Action Awards.


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If you’ve been paying attention to the news lately, you’ve likely seen a few headlines about the AIDS fight—but unlike 30 years ago, it’s been mostly good news. Thanks to developments from doctors, scientists, and researchers, the world is inching closer and closer to finding a cure to HIV/AIDS. However, despite the incredible progress, the fight to end AIDS is still in jeopardy.

So, is there a cure? The answer isn’t a simple yes or no. Here’s what you need to know about the “cure” to HIV/AIDS:


Let’s be clear on what the latest cases of reported “cures” mean. Scientists are careful to describe the current “cure” as a case of “long term viral remission,” meaning that the HIV virus is suppressed, but still present in the body. The patients currently reported as “cured” are off treatment and not experiencing any symptoms.


Original Image Courtesy of USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism https://www.centerforhealthjournalism.org/resources/lessons/putting-face-search-aids-cure


Talk of the first known, sustained cure started with Timothy Brown, known as “the Berlin Patient.”

Brown was diagnosed with HIV in 1995 and in 2007, his HIV went into remission after undergoing a bone marrow stem cell transplant.

Prior to his transplant, Brown had been diagnosed with leukemia. His body wasn’t responding to aggressive chemotherapy, so his doctor came up with the novel idea to swap his vulnerable tissue with healthy stem cells from a donor carrying a rare CCR5 mutation called CCR5-delta 32. CCR5 is a protein receptor that HIV uses as an entry point to the immune system. If someone carries the CCR5-delta 32 mutation, this entry point is blocked off, making it essentially impossible for the carrier to be infected with HIV. Only a very small population of the world has this mutation.

After finding the right donor with this mutation, Brown received the transplant and then stopped taking his ARVs. Brown was observed to see if his HIV would resurge, and after a year, his doctor deemed him HIV-free. In February 2009, the final results were published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Today, Brown is still off HIV treatment and continues to show no signs of the virus.


Over the next decade, similar attempts to replicate Brown’s results failed—that was until “the London Patient” earlier this year.

While he has chosen to keep his identity anonymous, we know the London patient was diagnosed with HIV in 2003, and then with advanced Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2012. Like Brown, his body resisted chemotherapy, and as a result, his doctors recommended a stem cell transplant from a donor with the CCR5 mutation, which was conducted in 2016.

After observing him for 18 months, scientists declared the London Patient to be HIV-free. In March 2019, the final results were published in the science journal Nature and made front page news with headlines like “HIV is Reported Cured in a Second Patient.”

Original Image Courtesy of AP News  https://www.apnews.com/9e62d8e565dc41d1bdd09d8b4e9a25f1




A few weeks after word was out on the London Patient, the world received more hopeful news.

Nina Martinez became the world’s first living HIV-positive person to donate an organ to an HIV-positive recipient, giving the anonymous patient one of her kidneys. Until recently, the medical world considered it unsafe for someone with HIV to live with only one kidney, but thanks to antiretroviral treatment, those with HIV can be organ donors without the past fear of complications.



These results are incredibly hopeful and show that new approaches to HIV treatment are slowly becoming increasingly effective. That being said, it’s important to remember that these successes occurred under very special circumstances. The procedures were intended to treat cancer, and they came with a large price tag and an even larger risk. After the Berlin Patient, many of the attempts to replicate his treatment ended with the virus coming back, or with HIV+ patients dying from their cancer. Brown himself almost died because of the toll the procedure took on his immune system.

These discoveries also do not change the current situation for most of the 37 million people currently living with HIV, nearly two-thirds of whom are in sub-Saharan Africa. Given nearly half of all people living with HIV still need access to HIV medication, a rare, dangerous and costly procedure isn’t a realistic solution to the AIDS fight.

This is why the Global Fund, the organization that receives 100% of (RED) dollars, is so important. While the medical community continues to work on finding a safe, cost-effective cure for HIV/AIDS, Global Fund programs in over 100 countries are focused on scaling up access to antiretroviral treatment—the current, closest thing to a cure for people living with HIV. These programs also provide prevention services, care, treatment and education to the people most affected by HIV, which are crucial to limiting the spread of the virus.

We should applaud these discoveries, but we’re not at the finish line yet. AIDS is still a crisis but it doesn’t have to be. When you shop (RED) products on Amazon.com/red, you’re helping to change this.


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