This English Region Is Planning a World-First

The North of Tyne region in northern England is apparently one to keep an eye on when it comes to driving forward the fight against climate change.

The combined authority has announced plans to make it the first place in the world to have a UN-accredited teacher for climate change in every state primary and secondary school.

“This is our opportunity to be the first region in the world to meet the UN sustainable development goal,” said Jamie Driscoll, new mayor of the North of Tyne combined authority, who declared a climate emergency on his first day of taking office in May.

“It’s also a manifest commitment to give every child a world-class environmental education, and to make such progress so soon is fantastic,” he added in a statement published on Tuesday.

Kids will get lessons of global warning and the climate crisis, their impact, and strategies for mitigating and adapting to the impact.

The project is being led by Dr. Meryl Batchelder, a teacher a Corbridge Middle School in Northumberland, who said that educating children is the best way to promote understanding of the environmental problems facing the world.

“The Industrial Revolution started in the North of Tyne and now the Green Revolution begins in the North of Tyne,” said Batchelder, who’s also a UN Sustainable Development Goals ambassador.

“Education on climate change is essential for everyone in the north-east to understand the seriousness of the situation,” she said, adding that it would mean “that all schoolchildren will be given accurate, relevant information on the causes and effects of global heating.”

“Pupils also need to be aware of possible climate change mitigation strategies and adaptation measures,” she said.

She said that students would become more climate conscious with the help of the teachers — and could be the drivers of the green solutions of the future.

The combined authority has teamed up with a UN teacher training scheme called EduCCate Global, which approached them to ask for support for a regional launch of the Climate Change Teacher Course, according to the authority’s statement.

The eventual aim of the initiative is to have a UN-accredited climate change teacher in every school across the UK.

They’re trained up with an online course that takes about 15 to 20 hours, and covers areas like climate change science, adaptation planning, health, forests, climate change finance, and international negotiations.

The first 80 UK teachers have already completed the course, according to education specialist Melanie Harwood, while a further 1,973 UK teachers are working towards it — and up to 50 teachers a day are reportedly signing up.

“Young children are far more vulnerable to climate-related disasters and associated health risks than any other social group,” Harwood added. “We need to give them the tools to understand the effects of a changing climate so that they can take well informed and effective action in the future.”

“In these days of a climate emergency, now more than ever, teachers all need the knowledge… to ensure to deliver clear climate literacy to all their pupils,” she said.

The move comes after more than two-thirds of teachers in the UK polled this year reportedly said they wanted to see more teaching on climate change in British schools.



Original article by Imogen Calderwood – Source Global Citizen

Photo by Bob Blob on Unsplash


Equality Wellbeing

UK Parents Raise Over £500,000 to Fund Pregnancy Support Groups in Kenya

In February, a tiny British charity launched its first public appeal hoping to raise funds to create pregnancy support groups in rural Kenya.

The Team Mum appeal set an original target of raising £150,000 — and £300,000 in total once the funds were matched by the UK government’s aid match scheme.

The idea of aid match is basically to help make sure that UK aid money is being spent where the British public want it to be spent, by matching pound-for-pound what the British public donates from the UK aid budget.

But according to Ellie Dawes, communications manager at, the charity “could scarcely have imagined the way that the UK parenting community have thrown themselves behind this appeal.”

If you’re not a parent yourself, you might not know quite how extensive the online parenting scene is. It’s a vibrant, growing industry — complete with significant high-level influencers — but, according to Adweek, it was essentially built out of a desire for community.

And over the course of three months, that community went above and beyond to help bring support, community, education, and health support to new mothers and their babies in Meru, in Kenya.

Spearheaded by grassroots efforts from the online parenting community, the appeal saw a collaboration of 120 brands, influencers, and parents teaming up with

One influencer, Mum Muddling Through, called on her audience to sell one thing and donate the money to the appeal; maternity-friendly clothes brand Clary & Peg launched a limited edition range in Kenyan prints; and comedy duo Scummy Mummies held a live podcast event at Vault Festival; while published a blog post about “Why this dad is in Team Mum”; among many other efforts from UK parents.

Meanwhile, a group of bold mums joined TV presenter Cat Cubie to cycle across Kenya in support of the appeal. They arrived on Tuesday, and announced that the whole appeal had managed to smash its target — raising a total of £502,952 from donations, Gift Aid, and matched funding from the UK government.

The funds raised by the appeal will now go to setting up the series of support groups for pregnant and new mums in Meru, which will launch in Kenya over the next year.

In Kenya, one in 26 babies will die before they reach their first birthday, according to the charity, partly due to problems with education about childbirth and newborn health, and partly because of mums being isolated and unconnected to local health services.

But by arming parents with vital health information and providing a solid support network, the experience of new mums and babies can be transformed.

As part of the programmes, each new mum will get some essentials to support her and her baby — including a weighing bag to help monitor the health of their baby.

They’ll learn about breastfeeding, safe sleeping, and what to expect during the birth and when they take the baby home, according to And they’ll learn the warning signs to look out for — so they’ll know when to get medical assistance at every stage of pregnancy and early motherhood.

The projects will also provides a support system for young new mums, and a place to ask questions and talk about problems in safe, friendly environment.

“It seems it’s something we can all agree on — all mums, wherever they are, deserve access to the necessary information to keep themselves and their babies safe,” continued Dawes. “Anyone who can imagine giving birth in a remove rural environment with no internet access, no NCT classes, and no baby books to turn to can understand why this programme is so important.”

Thomas Muirhead, CEO of, added that smashing the target for fundraising would “give our small charity’s mother and baby programming a fantastic boost, and enable us to reach more mums and babies right when they most need our support.”

Original article by Imogen Calderwood – Source Global Citizen

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Culture Wellbeing

How 2,000 NHS Medics Have Trained Over 93,000 Health Workers Around the World

Today, the world is short of about 7.2 million health care workers. By 2035, according to the World Health Organisation, this figure is likely to have risen to 13 million. If these statistics remain unchanged, a billion people will never see a qualified health worker in their lives.

It’s for this reason that, back in 2011, the UK-based Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET) joined with the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID) to launch a Health Partnership Scheme (HPS).

Essentially, the idea is to form partnerships between UK health institutions and their counterparts in low- and middle-income countries around the world — to share learnings, to train peers, and to bring mutual benefits to both the UK and the partner countries.

And it’s proved to be a “catalyst for unprecedented levels of engagement” both for UK medics and their counterparts in Africa and Asia, according to THET in a new progress report published on Friday.

In fact, over the past eight years, over 2,000 NHS staff have now volunteered with the scheme and helped train 93,112 health workers — including over 46,600 female health workers — across 30 countries.

Medics have spent more than 103,000 days volunteering; 210 projects have been delivered; and 499,568 patients are now using improved services as a result, according to THET’s report.

A few projects supported by the initiative include working towards reducing maternal deaths in Uganda; to improve the quality of hospital care for seriously sick and injured children and newborns in Myanmar; and to strengthen surgical and anaesthesia capacity in eastern and southern Africa

UK volunteers were also in Nepal before the earthquake struck and played “an exemplary role in assisting the country in its recovery,” according to THET.

Before its launch, funding for this kind of activity at this scale had reportedly never before been provided in the UK.

The focus for the scheme has been led by DfID’s health priorities — and include reproductive, maternal, and newborn health, as well as malaria prevention. Meanwhile, there is a strong focus on rural areas where health infrastructure is often at its weakest.

What’s more, DfID commissioned an independent evaluation of the initiative back in 2016, which reportedly found “overwhelming evidence” of the effectiveness of the partnership model in “strengthening the capacities of health workers and the institutions in which they work.”

It also noted that the scheme “represented good value for money compared to other approaches.”

According to Louise McGrath, head of programmes at THET, where health partnerships can really add value is through “enabling the sharing of learning and experience between health systems and teams, to identify where improvements in the quality of care can be made, and finding ways of working together to do this.”

Original article by Imogen Calderwood – Source Global Citizen

Photo by JC Gellidon on Unsplash


18,000 Girls Rescued by Nepal’s ‘Mother Teresa’

Inspired by Mother Teresa, Anuradha Koirala always knew she was destined to serve people. So she became a teacher, educating young children in Kathmandu, Nepal. But after two decades, she decided to pursue an even greater calling : protecting women and girls from abuse, trafficking, and exploitation.

On her morning walks past the Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu in the early 1990s, Koirala would regularly encounter women begging on the street. She was drawn to them and began to engage the women in conversation — they all told her that they had been victims of some type of gender-based violence, she recalled in her 2015 TEDx Talk.

Koirala was far too familiar with their pain, having suffered extreme physical abuse at the hands of her ex-husband.

“Every day, there was battering. And then I had three miscarriages that I think [were] from the beating. It was very difficult because I didn’t know in those days where to go and report [it], who to…talk to,” she told CNN in 2010.

Her decision to change careers was triggered by her traumatic personal experience.

Koirala began educating the women about gender-based violence and the empowerment of women. She offered to help them support themselves if they stopped begging on the streets.

At first, just eight women took her up on her offer, and she gave them 1,000 rupees each from her meager earnings to start small street shops. Through a portion of their profit — the two rupees that Koirala would collect from each of them daily — she was then able to provide security and economic opportunity to other women in need.

Soon after, she took her mission a step further, founding the nonprofit Maiti Nepal in 1993, through which she has served exploited women and children for the last 26 years. Throughout her career as a humanitarian and activist, she has specifically focused on tackling sex trafficking, a rampant industry that forces young girls from underprivileged communities across the India-Nepal border to be sold into sex slavery.

“These are poor regions with high illiteracy rates. If a relative or friend turns up offering someone a job, it is often the girls’ parents themselves who encourage them to go, without realizing what is really happening,”she told the Guardian. “It is the perfect breeding ground for traffickers.”

Maiti Nepal, which now caters to over 1,000 children, has grown to include three prevention homes through which at-risk girls are identified and educated on the dangers of trafficking. The organization also runs 11 transit homes that operate as immediate shelters for rescued girls, two hospices that treat women and children infected with HIV/AIDS, and a formal school.

Today, Koirala is 70 years old and, touted as Nepal’s own “Mother Teresa,” continues to fight against sex trafficking through her organization, which hosts a series of initiatives, including awareness campaigns, female empowerment programs, and skills training sessions for children and women.

Maiti Nepal, in collaboration with local law enforcement, regularly conducts rescue operations and patrols 26 points on the India-Nepal border in an effort to stop trafficking. The organization has saved over 18,000 girls since the founding of Maiti Nepal, Koirala said at the Global Peace Leadership Conference in 2012.

“When I see their pain — their mental pain as well as physical pain — it is so troubling that I cannot turn myself away. This gives me strength to fight and root this crime out,” she said in a phone interview with the Borgen Project.

Maiti Nepal also assists in the apprehension of trafficking criminals and has aided in the prosecution of over 700 traffickers.

Koirala has been widely recognized for her work and has been awarded numerous local and international awards, including the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian award. She was also named the CNN Hero of the Year in 2010, for which she won $125,000 to further her work.

Original article by Gabrielle Deonath – Source Global Citizen

Photo by Rohan Reddy on Unsplash


Activist Is Empowering Girls and Women in Kenya Through Education

As a young girl in Marsabit County in northern Kenya, Qabale Duba quickly learned about the hardships of being female in a culture where gender equality has not yet been achieved.

At age 12, she was forced to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM), and just two years later, she was engaged to be married — against her will. But her passion for education made her determined to finish school.

From an early age, Duba became aware that educating boys was deemed more important than educating girls in Kenyan society. Still, her mother pushed for her to attend school, against her father’s wishes. Duba said that her father held a traditional mindset, believing that a woman’s role was solely to become a wife and a mother, to tend to the house and raise children.

“I was still voiceless, and my only weapon was working hard in school so that my dad would not have an excuse to take me away from school to be married,” she told Global Citizen.

Duba also experienced firsthand how the stigma around menstruation and lack of access to sanitary supplies can hinder girls’ education.

When Duba got her period for the first time, she was unprepared and in a classroom full of her peers. She said she was overcome with shame and was unable to return to school for a week. And without pads or other types of period products and a basic knowledge of menstrual hygiene, Duba said that many girls in Kenya miss a week of school every month or put their bodies in danger.

“The adolescent girls miss classes when on their menses to tend to their biological demands at home to avoid the shame of soiling themselves in schools. Some use unhygienic materials to substitute for the proper sanitary towels that they could not afford due to poverty,” she said.

Despite these obstacles, Duba was the first girl in her village to become a university graduate and committed herself to becoming a “voice for the voiceless.” In order to gain a wider platform for her message of gender equality, she entered a beauty contest in Kenya in 2013 and was awarded a county and two national titles. She then established the Qabale Duba Foundation (QDF), which aims to empower girls and women in rural areas through education like Duba’s mother did for her.

As a prominent leader in addressing the issues facing girls and women in countries like Kenya, Duba is now adding another accolade to her long list of accomplishments: 2019 Waislitz Global Citizens’ Choice Award winner.

Presented by the Waislitz Foundation and Global Citizen, the Waislitz Global Citizen Awards program aims to support changemakers helping to eradicate global poverty and amplify their work. As a semi-finalist, Duba will receive a $50,000 cash prize to further her organization’s goals of providing education to girls and women.

“At QDF, we believe education is the key to success and it’s the best gift that parents should give their children,” Duba said.

Duba returned to her village to found the Torbi Pioneer Academy, whose motto is: Daring to Dream.

“No matter where they come from, we want our children to dream big and work towards achieving their life goals,” she explained. “On the other hand, educating the women empowers them economically. After knowing how to read and write, many of them have started their own business and getting personal incomes.”

QDF works to address lack of menstrual health awareness and access to sanitary products by providing menstrual health education, locally producing reusable period underwear, and donating sanitary pads and underwear to rural school girls. The organization continues to bring attention to women’s issues by advocating for maternal health and work to reduce the number of high-risk births, as well as fighting against harmful cultural practices such as FGM.

Duba also aims to motivate schoolgirls to achieve their dreams by offering mentorship and career guidance in schools and running a community literacy program through QDF. Going forward, Duba plans to help to end poverty in her community by employing more people, which the growing school will demand.

Original article by Gabrielle Deonath – Source Global Citizen

Photo by Doug Linstedt on Unsplash


Hospital Boats Bring Free Health Care to Bangladesh’s Remote Islands

DHAKA, May 22 (Thomson Reuters Foundation)

Living on a secluded island in northern Bangladesh, several hours from the nearest hospital, Abdul Jalil believed he was destined to die blind. That changed earlier this month when the 67-year-old underwent free cataract surgery on a ship moored next to his home.

“I can’t wait for my eye bandage to come off,” Jalil told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “It’s been so long since I last saw my son properly. I think I have forgotten how he looks.”

Jalil lives on an island formed about two decades ago on the Jamuna River from sand and silt deposits. These islands — known as chars in Bangladesh — are constantly changing shape as they erode and reform, a process that is quickening as a result of more extreme rainfall associated with climate change.

The erosion makes survival difficult for their residents — mostly poor farmers — and discourages building of permanent hospitals, researchers say. But floating hospital ships, run by a non-governmental organization and equipped with medical facilities and doctors, now provide free treatment in the chars — a system that might be a model for other nations hit by worsening climate threats.

The NGO currently runs two ships and is in the process of building five more floating hospitals with the help of the King Abdullah Foundation, an organization started by the former Saudi monarch.

‘Life and Death’

Low-lying Bangladesh is extremely vulnerable to climate change and researchers say people living on the chars, far away from the mainland, are at the forefront of experiencing climate impacts, from flooding and storms to worsening erosion.

According to government records, at least 466 families living on chars in Gaibandha in northern Bangladesh lost their homes due to river erosion last year and 67 were forced to move. In all, about 10 million people live on chars in Bangladesh according to the National Char Alliance, an advocacy group.

“It’s a matter of life and death. A farmer invests all his money in a land so that he can get crops. Climate change takes that away from him. Everything he has saved goes away in a second,” said Runa Khan, who founded Friendship in 2002.

In the last two decades, she said, her organization has noticed diseases occurring outside the seasons they were once restricted to. To tackle these issues, Khan developed a three-tier system that, as well as bringing patients to the ships, sends medical teams to the chars for check-ups and trains women from the islands to spread awareness and prescribe medicines.

“We realized that you cannot have a healthcare system which is the same in the cities and these unreachable areas. You have to change the system with the available resources and socio-economic capability of the people,” said Khan.

It is a model that has been lauded both by the government and climate change experts.

“The concept and practice of providing health facilities to remote communities through a hospital ship was a welcome development,” said climate scientist Saleemul Huq, who also praised the plan for the government to take over the project.

Simple Operations

It has been almost two decades since Khan managed to convert a first donated oil tanker into a full-fledged floating hospital, but she recalls how almost everyone around her initially thought the idea would fail.

“Everywhere I went, people said this was impossible. I was told to build a normal hospital in the nearest town. But I had seen the poverty in the chars and I knew that that wouldn’t help them,” said Khan.

Today, the floating hospitals dock at the better known, permanent chars and stay for two months before moving on to another island. The ships are equipped to provide services ranging from primary check-ups to complicated surgeries that address burn wounds or disfigurement.

They can also test for cervical cancer, the second most common type of cancer in the country, according to the United Nations. The organization also brings medical teams from Europe and the leading hospitals in Bangladesh to perform surgeries. Nonetheless, Friendship says a lack of awareness in the chars hampers what they can do.

“We have seen old men socially sidelined because of cataracts. We have seen children get isolated because of fractures or burn wounds. What many of them don’t know is that there are simple operations that can help them,” said Rasul.

When 8-year-old Shariful fell off a tree, fracturing a hand, his father was initially reluctant to send him to the ship, fearing doctors might amputate the arm. It took days to persuade him, but now Shaju Mia is a convert.

“I am glad I came here,” he said of the ship. “I realized that whatever the doctors were saying made sense. My son had the surgery and thankfully, he is a lot better today.”

(Reporting by Naimul Karim @Naimonthefield; editing by Laurie Goering and Claire Cozens. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s and LGBT+ rights, human trafficking, property rights, and climate change. Visit

Original article by Naimul Karim – Source Global Citizen

Photo by Ahmed Mansoor on Unsplash


Meet the Hero Who Travels by Bicycle to Collect Medicine for 2,000 People in Cape Town

Everyone seems to know Sizwe Nzima. He’s the local hero who travels daily by bicycle to collect chronic medication on behalf of over 2,000 people in Khayelitsha, in Cape Town.

Some can’t afford the expense of travelling to collect their monthly dosage. Others are too sick or old to endure the long queues at overcrowded public clinics. For them, Nzima’s services are crucial. But the first time he arrived with multiple scripts, the clinic called the police.

They thought he had stolen them to make recreational drugs. The incident turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Nzima.

“I managed to explain what I’m trying to do and how this would help the clinic in terms of decongesting the number of people,” Nzima says.

That was in 2013, when he was collecting medication for his grandparents and their neighbours and friends. Word soon spread. Nzima couldn’t ignore the demand. He grew his initiative into Iyeza Express, a fully-fledged business that’s creating jobs and saving lives.

Nzima keeps a detailed record of patients and their medication needs while employing couriers from the community who collect prepackaged parcels from clinics.

“Many youth struggle to find employment,” Nzima says. “By spotting a need and working towards solving it, we can create opportunities for ourselves.”

Nzima received cash prizes from the Raymond Ackerman Academy of Entrepreneurial Development, as well as the SAB Foundation Social Innovation Awards which enabled him to develop the business. In order to handle medication, Nzima had to acquire a pharmaceutical licence. As a result, he now owns his own pharmacy and has expanded his services to include the distribution of self-testing HIV kits.

“First I helped my grandparents. Now I serve my entire community,” Nzima says. He was named one of Africa’s Best Young Entrepreneurs of 2013 in the Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list.

But to locals, he’s more than just a businessman. As Nzima pedals through the streets to make his deliveries, he leaves a trail of greetings and smiles. “Where there’s a need, South Africans will always make a plan to help one another,” Nzima says..


As Nzima pedals through the streets to make his deliveries, he leaves a trail of greetings and smiles. “Where there’s a need, South Africans will always make a plan to help one another,” Nzima says.

Original article by Carissa Drury – Source Global Citizen 

Photo by Rachel Martin on Unsplash


Giving access to books, one tuk-tuk ride at a time

Reading is the foundation of learning. It also gives readers, especially children, a connection with their world that few experiences provide. Despite the benefits, however, not every child has access to books.

That’s why Sinothando Menzi, Julia Makganye, Ziyanda Xaso, and Masiza Hlekwayo are working to change this story with mobile libraries that deliver books right to readers’ doorsteps. The women each have a tuk-tuk filled with books for everyone from children to adults that they transport around the township.

Each tuk-tuk can carry up to 650 books, and the librarians work from Mondays to Thursdays in Khayelitsha in Western Cape, Mdantsane in Eastern Cape, and Soweto in Gauteng. The mobile libraries are part of the work of an organisation called Nal’ibali, which promotes children reading for pleasure.

The Cape Town-based organisation has several programmes that turn reading into a family and community activity.

“Children need to be taught that reading is enjoyable,” Ben Rycroft, the head of communications at Nal’ibali, tells Global Citizen over email. “Reading to children builds a child’s vocabulary, it develops the bond between a parent and child.”

“Reading stimulates a child’s imagination, and shows them how adults read and how books work,” he adds. “This acquired knowledge makes it easier for them to learn to read themselves later on.”

South Africa has just over 11,000 public libraries, and not every community has a library or a well-resourced one. In a country that’s struggling to establish a reading culture, these tuk-tuks are a creative way of encouraging reading.

This, says Xaso from Mdantsane, makes the mobile libraries a valuable resource for the community they serve.

“People welcome us because they recognise that their kids are struggling when it comes to reading with understanding,” she told Times Live. “They’re always asking when we’re coming to their village.”

Books tend to be expensive in South Africa, because of various factors, according to a publishing director at Jonathan Ball Publishers, Jeremy Boraine. He told Women24 that this is because a lot of the books sold in South Africa are imported from the United Kingdom and the United States, which have stronger currencies against the rand.

Another challenge is the low number of books sales. A book that sells 2,000 copies is a best-seller, “which means publishers have to print fewer copies to avoid getting stuck with unsold stock, which in turn drives up the unit cost of each book.”

The outcome is that books are priced out of reach for many people in a country where around half of the 58 million citizens live on less that R992 per month.

Hlekwayo says this is why the mobile libraries are a welcome addition to community life in places they go to.

“People are very excited, especially the adults. They’re normally the ones complaining about the high prices of books,” she told Times Live. “Having new ones to read really can feel like Christmas.”

Original by Lerato Mogoatlhe – Source Global Citizen

Photo by Laëtitia Buscaylet on Unsplash


California condor births mark soaring comeback after numbers dwindled to 22

Nestled among the red-rock cliffs of Zion national park and the Grand Canyon, California condor chicks No 1,000 and 1,001 blinked into this world. Their birth signalled success for a decades-long program to bring North America’s largest bird back from the brink of extinction.

As a result of hunting, diminishing food and dwindling territory, the number of birds in the wild numbered just 22 in the early 1980s. Lead poisoning was also a major killer, caused by inadvertently ingesting bullets that hunters left inside dead animals that the enormous birds, which have a wingspan of 9.5ft and weigh up to 25lb, scavenged for food.

Facing imminent extinction, the few remaining wild birds were placed into a captive breeding program in 1987 and slowly released back into the wild starting in the early 1990s. Biologists estimate that the 1,000th and 1,001st chicks hatched in May this year, but they were only able to confirm their existence over the past several days, because the raptors build their nests inside caves carved into steep, sometimes inaccessible cliffs. “You know, condors can be secretive,” said Janice Stroud-Settles, a wildlife biologist at Zion National Park in Utah.

After noticing that one condor couple seemed to be taking shifts scavenging for food, “we suspected that they’d hatched a new chick”, Stroud-Settles said. Field researchers eventually captured a photo of the 1,000th chick after rappelling off a cliff across from the birds’ nest cave. “When we confirmed it … it was just this feeling of overwhelming joy,” she said.

The 1,000th hatchling’s parents were both born in captivity, and the mother has already lost two chicks. Her firstborn probably died – as many baby condors do – in an initial, unsuccessful attempt to fledge (AKA fly) the nest, park officials say. She found herself unable to properly care for her second chick after her mate died of lead poisoning.

“Now that she’s re-coupled with a new mate, we’re hoping this chick will successfully fledge once it’s old enough to fly – sometime in the fall,” Stroud-Settles said, noting that the nesting site she chose has a large “porch” area where the growing chick can practice flapping before taking its perilous first flight.

The species is still classified as critically endangered by the IUCN and faces multiple threats, including the ongoing menace of lead poisoning.

A law that went into effect this month has made it illegal to use lead ammunition to hunt any game in California. In Utah and Arizona, however, conservationists have taken a different approach. Because a straight ban could alienate hunters, conservationists are encouraging locals to reduce their use of lead bullets through a voluntary program.

The total living population of California condors now numbers more than 500, with more than half in the wild. The oldest bird being tracked in the condor restoration program is 24, but researchers estimate that California condors can live up to 70 years.

Original article by Maanvi Singh – Source The Guardian

Photo by Loïc Mermilliod on Unsplash


Roots manoeuvres

When he began training for marathons, Carl Adams turned to his friend Steve, a fitness expert who persuaded him to swap the gym for the forest. It had quite a transformative effect.

“I came alive,” says Carl. “I was 40, and had never felt better in my life. I wanted as many people as possible to feel like I did.”

Having worked with social enterprises that helped the homeless, ex-offenders and drug addicts in recovery, Carl saw the potential for creating a business that used woodlands-based exercise to empower people seeking to make changes in their lives. Both he and Steve were well placed to draw upon personal experience.

“When it comes to addiction, we’ve both been there,” Carl says. “I used running for my own recovery. We discussed how the types of people I had been working with would really benefit from holistic personal training, but couldn’t afford it. Setting up this business was our calling.”

Based upon the restorative powers of fitness and nature, Primal Roots runs outdoor programmes that focus on both internal and external strength. For everyone from homeless individuals to the general public to corporate groups, the sessions consist of natural movement workouts, along with tailored coaching in health education, personal development and leadership skills. All delivered in the beautiful, ancient woodlands of Kent.

“It’s nature’s gym,” says Carl. “I used to go the gym, but hated it. The fluorescent lights, the bad music… We offer a very healthy alternative.”

There are plans for the business to develop a partnership with the Forestry Commission to provide corporate team-building days, but Primal Roots will continue to cater for everyone – which includes the recruitment of those experiencing mental and social challenges.

“There’s only two of us at the moment, so we need people to help us, particularly with the corporate team-building. If you have a history of addiction or homelessness, then we’ll consider you first for employment.

“We don’t preach,” Carl concludes. “We haven’t got all the answers, but we can show you a few tricks to make yourself feel better.”

For more information on sessions or to hire Primal Roots, go to

By Theo Hooper

Photo by David Marcu on Unsplash