Equality Wellbeing

How UNFPA Supplies Is Working to Improve Women’s and Girls’ Reproductive Health

Family planning is a core component of achieving gender equality and plays an important role in reducing poverty — but 232 million women around the world still lack access to contraceptive methods, according to the United Nations.

“It is very important to assert and reassert that the ability to plan and prevent pregnancy is vital,” Dr. Natalia Kanem, executive director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), told Global Citizen.

According to the UN agency, “few things have a greater impact on the life of a woman than the number and spacing of her children.”

What Is UNFPA Supplies?

UNFPA Supplies, established in 2007, is a program under the United Nations Population Fund dedicated to expanding access to family planning commodities.

It supports countries with the greatest needs by helping them strengthen their supply chains, thereby increasing women’s and adolescent girls’ ability to access contraceptives and maternal health medicines.

UNFPA Supplies also integrates reproductive health supplies into national policies, strengthens governments’ capacity to manage supply chains and reproductive health services, and secures reproductive health supplies with an aim to increase the quality and reduce the prices of these commodities.

Kanem explained why this is essential.

“Young people have not had the power to control their own destiny — and part of that is because of reproductive health,” she said. “Family planning is a crucial aspect that gives women and girls the power to control their economic future.”

The program’s work has not been without criticism. At the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD25) held in Nairobi, Kenya this past November, protesters demonstrated against the event and circulated online petitions, and some religious leaders denounced the summit altogether.

Kanem stressed the importance of conversations amidst the controversy.

“From my perspective we need to pull back the curtain and talk about anything that is considered taboo. FGM [female genital mutilation] was not even spoken about a few years back … same with menstrual health and period poverty — which punishes someone for something that is not in their control,” Kanem said.

How Does It Work?

UNFPA Supplies is committed to operating in some of the poorest countries with the highest needs of contraception supplies. Currently, they support 46 countries including Mali, Haiti, El Salvador, Iraq, and Yemen.

“Many of these countries are in humanitarian situations where [health] systems get disrupted, so our work is essential,” Dr. Gifty Addico, chief of commodity security branch in UNFPA’s technical division, told Global Citizen.

She says women’s issues, such as access to contraception, underpin a large part of the UN’s development agenda.

UNFPA Supplies works with governments to build their capacity to better manage systems so that women and adolescent girls can access a range of contraception choices, regardless of where they are located.

“Ultimately the responsibility is with government,” Addico said.

She explained that the fund has a sustainability strategy that “graduates countries” when they effectively manage contraception-related supply chains.

For example, UNFPA Supplies worked with the Nicaraguan government to build their capacity to increase access to family planning commodities until they deemed the government was sufficiently providing this service to its residents.

“It’s important we are there as development partners because women and girls can’t wait,” Addico said. “A women’s desire to decide when or whether she has a child must be fulfilled regardless of the political context.”

What Impact Has It Made?

UNFPA estimates that 1.3 million lives may have been saved since 2007 through the use of family planning methods provided by the program.

UNFPA Supplies helped governments procure $89 million worth of contraceptives and medicines for maternal health in 2018 alone. This had the potential to prevent an estimated 10 million unintended pregnancies, which in turn averted: 25,000 maternal deaths, over 150,000 child deaths, and 3.2 million unsafe abortions, according to the program.

By averting these pregnancies, UNFPA Supplies estimates it saved families and health systems $620 million in health care costs.

UNFPA Supplies also supports areas affected by humanitarian crises. In 2018, emergency reproductive health kits were distributed in 22 countries in crisis, providing contraceptives for 1.7 million women and adolescent girls.

What’s Next for UNFPA Supplies?

At ICPD25, political leaders and corporations pledged billions of dollars to support the UN agency’s work. However, the agency said they need an additional $222 billion to meet its 2030 goals of eliminating maternal deaths, ending gender-based violence and harmful practices, and achieving universal access for family planning.

UNFPA Supplies needs $192 million to continue its work in 2020.

“I’m not even sure it’s a cost. It’s an investment with 10 times [the] returns … that’s something I’d like to invest in,” Kanem said about the economic payoff from investing in women’s health.

Original article by Jacky Habib – Source Global Citizen

Photo by Boris Smokrovic on Unsplash

To find out more about the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and ways to get involved, go to their website.

Culture Planet

Green Climate Fund to Step Up Support for Projects That Tackle ‘Loss and Damage’

MADRID, Dec 12 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) — As pressure grows on rich countries to help vulnerable nations cope with worsening weather disasters and rising seas, the Green Climate Fund expects to expand its backing for projects that can tackle such “loss and damage,” said its executive director.

“We are, in a lot of regards, already helping countries to take steps in that direction,” Yannick Glemarec said in an interview on the sidelines of the United Nations climate talks in Madrid.

He said countries can apply to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) for finance to put in place early warning systems, weather insurance, or infrastructure resilient to climate stresses, for example — and funding of such projects would likely increase in the coming years.

The question of where the money will come from to cover the growing costs of economic and other losses linked to global warming is a hot topic at the UN Summit, with wealthy countries reluctant to agree to any new forms of funding for it.

The GCF, created at UN negotiations in 2010, is the biggest global climate fund, and has a mandate to help developing countries reduce their emissions and adapt to climate shifts — but dealing with loss and damage is not specified as part of its mission.

UN work on loss and damage only began in earnest after a mechanism to tackle it was set up in 2013.

But developing states and aid agencies have complained in Madrid that the mechanism has achieved little in terms of offering real help and will struggle to do so without dedicated finance.

Omar Figueroa, Belize’s minister of state for environment, said loss and damage from climate change was an “existential issue” for low-lying island nations hit by bigger, more frequent storms and rising seas.

Damage from those was costing decades of development gains, he said.

“It is time to make this [UN] mechanism deliver,” he told journalists at the talks.

Ideally, many developing states would like to see a new fund set up specifically to help them address loss and damage.

But with that looking politically impossible, a proposal was tabled in Madrid for the GCF to provide assistance with some aspects of the problem.

Those include longer-term pressures, such as rising seas, forcing coastal dwellers to relocate.

Glemarec said the GCF’s mandate could only be changed by UN negotiators, but he emphasised it had already begun work to help vulnerable nations deal with problems, such as land loss.

In the low-lying Pacific country of Tuvalu, for example, it is giving a $36 million grant to protect the atoll nation’s coastlines from intensifying cyclones and encroaching oceans through measures such as rebuilding beaches and putting in place sea walls and barriers to prevent erosion.

Glemarec, a former senior UN official, said he hoped the GCF could start its first regional program for the Pacific in mid-2020 to help island states make their infrastructure and economies better able to withstand climate change impacts.

“It is one of our greatest ambitions to make sure we can play a supportive role,” he added.

Prevention Lags

Another gripe of some of the poorest countries is that accessing money from the GCF is a lengthy and convoluted process — one that is often beyond the limited resources and skills of their government teams.

“We are hearing it a lot — and it’s fair,” said Glemarec.

The young fund — which has only been operating for about five years — will simplify and speed up its project submission and approval procedures next year, he added, and offer new tools, including a manual on how to prepare proposals.

However, even though the GCF plans to step up its activities to combat loss and damage, it has only a limited amount of money to spend — and that will not be enough, Glemarec warned.

In October, it raised $9.8 billion in fresh funds from rich countries for the next four years. Glemarec said that total would soon reach $10 billion with expected new contributions.

Mami Mizutori, head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, said international funding to help countries cope with rising climate risks was sorely lacking. She encouraged the GCF to step in as its mandate and resources allowed.

Data compiled by her agency, which tracks human and economic losses from disasters, showed that, as of October, only eight wealthy countries had reported using foreign aid to help poorer nations cut disaster risks, to the tune of $1 billion in total.

In comparison, “We know that hundreds of billions of dollars worth of loss and damage is happening,” Mizutori told the Thomson Reuters Foundation at the Madrid talks.

As the gap between what is needed to recover from disasters and what is being pledged widens, she urged governments to invest far more in preventing extreme weather from hitting people hard.

“The politicians and decision-makers have to have a longer vision of things, not only thinking about the next election cycle,” she said.

Original article by Megan Rowling from Thomson Reuters Foundation – Source Global Citizen

Photo by Li An Lim on Unsplash

To find out more about the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and ways to get involved, go to their website.


Derian House

For three-year-old Bobby, it was the chance to dig in the sand on the pirate playground that made his holiday.

Bobby has a terminal heart condition, and had spent most of the previous year either in hospital or inside at home, to prevent him catching any infections or illnesses which could have proven fatal.

But thanks to the holiday lodge provided to him and his family by children’s hospice Derian House, Bobby and his family got to have time away together where he could enjoy the playground and sandpit like any other little boy.

Bobby’s mum Emma Doherty said: “We don’t know how long we’ve got with Bobby and something like this was a massive deal for us. It was a chance to have a good time and just forget about reality for a little while.

“The lodge itself is amazing. It’s fully adapted and has everything you need and more. There are no words for what this has meant to us. It was just wonderful.”

Derian House are based in Chorley, Lancs, and provide support and care for families with children and young people who have life-limiting conditions across the North West.

The charity own two specially adapted lodges at Ribby Hall holiday park in Lancashire, which give more than 90 families a year the chance of a much-needed break.

For 16-month-old Thomas and his family, going on holiday to one of the lodges meant he had his first go on a swing.

Thomas has a rare kidney condition and also a significant brain injury, and for his mum Jamieleigh Robinson the holiday was really important for the whole family.

She said: “It gave us time away from the constant appointments, time to just be a family and forget about everything.”

The lodges were the brainchild of Derian House chief executive David Robinson. He explained: “Many of our families simply couldn’t have a holiday before now because there was nowhere that catered for their needs. When they arrive they’re overwhelmed. We see tears and laughter and it’s actually overwhelming for us all too.

“We don’t know of any other hospices in the UK that can offer this service, and it’s only down to the generous donations of our supporters that we can do so.”

Each holiday provided by the charity is free for the family, but costs £1,000. It further costs £4m a year to keep the hospice going, and more than 90% of that comes from fundraising. If you can help with a financial donation or fundraising event see

By Jenna Sloan


A South African Maths and Science Teacher Was Just Named Teacher of the Year

A South African educator has been named the teacher of the year by the Global Education Awards, which were held in Dubai over the weekend.

The teacher, Khangelani Sibiya, beat contenders from 79 countries to win the prestigious award.

Sibiya is a maths and science teacher from Newcastle in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). The Global Education awards are given to educators who use innovation and creativity in the teaching and learning methods.

Sibiya fits the bill. He uses traditional music and indigenous languages to help teach his students maths and science.

The languages he uses to teach are Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, siSwati, Tshivenda, Xitsonga, Afrikaans, English, isiNdebele, isiXhosa and isiZulu.

In general, only English and Afrikaans are universal in schools in South Africa — while indigenous languages are often only taught as subjects, instead of being the medium of instruction.

Meanwhile, a study by the University of South Africa states that using a child’s mother tongue is one of the most effective ways of teaching them to perform well cognitively.

Sibiya’s day job is at Siphumelele Secondary School in King Cetshwayo district. On weekends, he also offers lessons and other academic support to several schools in the area through his non governmental organisation, KWV Tutoring.

Sibiya founded KWV Tutoring in 2008 as a way to reach as many pupils as possible with his vibrant approach to teaching maths and science — and he says he has already reached more than 25,000 learners.

“Mr. Khangelani Sibiya is changing the face of mathematics and science from subjects most hated, avoided, and failed, into subjects that are loved, passed, and mastered by pupils,” said the department of education in KZN in a press statement.

The statement also praised his use of social trends like dance, sports, and popular songs in his teaching.

“It promotes global education that brings about change through creativity, participation, and innovation,” the department added.


Original article by Lerato Mogoatlhe – Source Global Citizen

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

To find out more about KWV Tutoring and ways to get involved, go to their website.



Wilderness Project

Transporting troubled young people from Essex to the side of a Scottish mountain to help them address their difficulties may seem like a radical approach.

But it’s one that Jo Roberts, the CEO of the Wilderness Foundation, finds to be both extremely rewarding and effective.

Jo leads the charity’s TurnAround project, where vulnerable young people who have gone through issues including bereavement, domestic violence, abuse and trauma take part in a year long adventure, mentoring and wellbeing programme.

The group start with a week long expedition to the Scottish Highlands, where, led by trained guides, they camp out, cook their own meals, trek across stunning countryside and go wild swimming in lakes.

The aim is for the young people in the group to develop skills like confidence, teamwork, problem solving and to work on emotional and personal issues with plenty of adult support.

Jo said: “I think the wild is magic.The wilderness areas we work in are so beautiful, they bring awe and wonder, but they also bring silence and space.

“And for many people their lives are grey and drab. We put young people on the side of a mountain where you can see forever, and it’s just awesome.”

After returning from Scotland the young people on the programme have access to 12 months of weekly mentoring sessions along with email and phone support, and monthly workshops which focus on things like getting into work or training and changing negative behaviour.

There are also opportunities for volunteering in their local community and work experience placements.

The project has been running for 10 years, and research from the University of Essex has shown that 90 percent of young people who have taken part say their emotional wellbeing has improved, and 83 percent have gone on to further education, training or work.

Jo said: “The essence of people really comes out in wild places. You stop worrying about things that don’t matter anymore. That’s what nature does for us.”

It costs the charity around £35,000 per year to run this project for 25 young people, and they need donations to help it to continue.

See for more information.

By Jenna Sloan


Sierra Leone ordered to revoke ban on pregnant schoolgirls

Pregnant schoolgirls in Sierra Leone will no longer be banned from attending class or sitting exams, after a regional court ordered the immediate overturn of a “discriminatory” policy that has denied tens of thousands the right to finish their education.

In a ruling handed down in Nigeria on Thursday, a top regional court found that a 2015 directive barring pregnant girls from attending school amounted to discrimination and a violation of human rights.

The Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) court ordered Sierra Leone to establish nationwide programmes to help pregnant girls return to school.

“This victory belongs to the girls in Sierra Leone who have been degraded and dehumanised because of their status since 2014,” said Hannah Yambasu, executive director of Women Against Violence and Exploitation in Society (Waves), one of a number of organisations that filed the case against Sierra Leone in May 2018.

“Now our government in Sierra Leone has no option but to comply with their obligations as declared by the court.”

Teen pregnancy is a huge issue in Sierra Leone, where 30% of girls fall pregnant and 40% are married by the age of 18. The west African country’s deadly 2014 Ebola outbreak left thousands of girls vulnerable and forced to fend for themselves, resulting in a spike in pregnancies – many of which were the result of sexual assault.

When schools reopened after the virus was contained, the government banned girls who had fallen pregnant from attending class, in order to protect “innocent girls”.

Although parallel schools for pregnant girls had been established by the government, Ecowas ruled that they amounted to another form of discrimination as attendees were only taught four subjects for three days a week. The court ordered their immediate abolition.

“The [parallel] schools were sub-optimal and completely limiting for the girls,” said Judy Gitau, Africa regional coordinator at Equality Now, one of the other organisations that took Sierra Leone to court.

“We know they felt worthless [having been banned from normal education] and to have a regional court make a declaration that the government of Sierra Leone breached its obligations to provide [basic human rights] to the girls makes them feel valued again. This ruling has given them a new lease on life.”

Former pupil Patience, who was 17 when she fell pregnant and found herself banned from attending school, welcomed the court’s decision.

“I am very happy because I did not have the opportunity to stay in school myself,” she told the Guardian.

“If I had been able to stay in education, I would be in my last year at uni now, or maybe I would have graduated already. I would have liked to have studied nursing. Instead, my name was taken off the school register and I was offered vocational training. Yet my daughter’s father was never banned from school, and he was able to continue to do everything he wanted to do.”

Sexual violence is highly prevalent in Sierra Leone, where 8,505 rape cases – among them 2,579 involving minors – were reported to police in 2018. Yet activists believe this number is likely to be far higher, as stigma and shame prevent many survivors from coming forward.

In its ruling, Ecowas ordered the government to integrate sexual education classes into the nationwide curriculum to combat teen pregnancies and promote awareness around contraceptives.

Human rights lawyer Sabrina Mahtani, who wrote the 2015 Amnesty International report on the ban, said the ruling presented an opportunity for Sierra Leone’s government to prove itself.

“President [Julius Maada] Bio was elected on a platform of ‘new direction’. He and his dynamic new education minister, David Sengeh, have an opportunity now to reverse a ban instigated by the former government and to recognise the bravery of girls in Sierra Leone by overturning this ban and respecting the right to education and non-discrimination of all girls who are the future of the country.”

Activist Chernor Bah, who co-founded the feminist movement-building hub Purposeful, said the ruling proved that Sierra Leone was “moving in the right direction”, but warned that groundwork was still necessary to establish girls as “equals” in the nation’s male-dominated culture.

“Girls now have a right to go to school and they cannot be turned away, that’s the most exciting news for us,” said Bah.

“But this does not address the underlying issue that we still live in a highly patriarchal society where girls’ bodies are demanded, trampled upon and violated in exchange for basically everything they need in life: food, water, transport and education. We must change the underlying reality of the overall powerlessness of girls in Sierra Leone, and we will continue to fight for that.”

Marta Colomer, Amnesty International’s west and central Africa acting deputy director of campaigns, said the ruling provided a “glimmer of hope” for girls in Sierra Leone and beyond.

“Today’s ruling is a landmark moment for the thousands of girls who have been excluded from school, and whose right to access education without discrimination has been violated for the past four years because of this inherently discriminatory ban,” said Colomer.

“This delivers a clear message to other African governments who have similar bans, such as Tanzania and Equatorial Guinea, or may be contemplating them, that they should follow this groundbreaking ruling and take steps to allow pregnant girls access to education in line with their own human rights obligations.”


Original article by Kate Hodal – Source The Guardian

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

To find out more about Women Against Violence and Exploitation in Society (Waves) and ways to get involved, go to their website.

To find out more about Equality Now and ways to get involved, go to their website.

To find out more about Purposeful and ways to get involved, go to their website.

To find out more about Amnesty International and ways to get involved, go to their website.



Indigenous Communities and Green Groups Unite to Protect Forests in Latin America

MADRID, Dec 13 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) — Central American countries are teaming up to conserve the region’s five great forests as part of a regional climate action plan released at United Nations climate talks in Madrid this week, the alliance behind the effort said.

The coalition of governments, Indigenous people, green groups, and others announced a plan to protect 10 million hectares of forests and degraded land inside those forests — an area roughly the size of Guatemala — by 2030.

In the last 15 years, three of the forests have been reduced by almost one-quarter in size, with illegal cattle ranching responsible for more than 90% of recent deforestation, it said.

Measures planned to safeguard the forests include bolstering agencies that look after protected areas, tracing beef to verify it has been legally produced, cracking down on cross-border cattle trafficking, helping ranchers find other ways to earn a living, and reforesting land where trees have been cut down.

Jeremy Radachowsky, regional director for the Wildlife Conservation Society, a partner in the project, said financing would come from multiple sources, including Central American countries, donor governments, and a dedicated fund that will be created for Indigenous and community forests.

The five forests, spanning from Mexico to Colombia, are key to curbing climate change as they sequester carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels that would otherwise heat up the planet.

“Nearly 50% of the carbon in Mesoamerica is stored in the five great forests,” said Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, Costa Rica’s environment minister, adding he hoped they would not be fragmented by deforestation.

The forests also provide habitat for wildlife, such as the jaguar and scarlet macaw, the alliance said. The initiative aims to ensure no species go extinct.

The forests include the Maya Forest in Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize; the Moskitia in Nicaragua and Honduras; the Indio Maíz-Tortuguero in Nicaragua and Costa Rica; the Talamanca region in Costa Rica and Panama; and the Darien in Panama and Colombia.

They provide water, clean air, food security, and other natural resources to 5 million people, the alliance said, noting that Indigenous and local communities manage nearly half of the forest area.

Cándido Mezúa of the Mesoamerican Alliance of Peoples and Forests, said it was sad to see the forests of the Amazon burning — and the impact that was having on Indigenous people.

“In Mesoamerica, we have our five forests. They still exist. We can still protect them, and even expand them,” she said in a statement.

Amazon Summit

Amazon Indigenous leaders, meanwhile, said this week they would host a world summit in Ecuador next August aimed at protecting the Amazon rainforest and other ecosystems in “response to the environmental crisis in the basin and abroad.”

Leaders representing 20 Indigenous groups from Ecuador and Peru also called for global support to stop oil drilling and mining in the Amazon “Sacred Headwaters” region, an ecosystem rich in biodiversity that spans 30 million hectares in the two countries.

Deforestation in Brazil’s huge tract of Amazon rainforest rose to its highest level in over a decade this year, government data showed in November.

The data confirmed a sharp increase in deforestation under right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro’s government, which is considering permitting commercial agriculture and mining on native reserves.

Risks to Brazil’s forests drew global concern in August when fires raged through the Amazon.

Scientists link the fires to deforestation, with people and companies cutting down the forest for timber and then setting fire to the remains to clear the land for ranching or farming.

Gregorio Mirabal, general coordinator of COICA, the biggest Indigenous federation in the Amazon, said new ways were needed of dealing with threats to the Amazon, including the “devastating effects” of climate change.

At the UN climate conference, states “are making decisions for companies and not for the people,” he said.

“The inability of our governments to solve this [climate] crisis is calling us to do this ourselves, hand in hand with the youth and any others in goodwill who want to join,” he added.

Many Indigenous groups are opposed to credits for forest protection being included in carbon trading markets, arguing it would damage their sacred lands and livelihoods, as governments haggle over new rules for those markets at the Madrid talks.

“We do not allow the commodification of nature or that it has a price. For us nature is of value as itself. It is our Mother Earth,” Mirabal said.

According to the Washington-based Rights and Resources Initiative, which works on forest issues, up to 65% of the world’s land is communally held by Indigenous peoples and local communities and contains 80% of the world’s biodiversity.

But only 10% of those groups’ land rights have been legally recognized, it said.

“The local cultures and indigenous peoples are the ones that have best preserved nature, and we do not believe that solutions can exist without us,” said Mirabal.

Indigenous groups — officially represented at the UN conference for the first time — have pushed for language on protecting their rights to be included in the text on carbon market rules that is under negotiation in Madrid.

But it is not in the latest draft as the talks near an end.

Indonesian Indigenous activist Ghazali Ohorella said the rules should ensure safeguards for forest people’s land and rights, as well as a complaints mechanism and opportunities for them to participate in decisions on carbon offsetting schemes.

“If not, it will create so much trouble further down the line,” he told journalists at the talks.


Original article by Megan Rowling – Source Global Citizen

Photo by Stiven Gaviria on Unsplash

To find out more about the Wildlife Conservation Society and ways to get involved, go to their website.

To find out more about COICA – Coordinadora de las Organizaciones Indígenas de la Cuenca Amazónica and ways to get involved, go to their website.



‘Breathe With Me’ Art Installation Reaches Millions to Inspire Action for the Global Goals

For Danish artist Jeppe Hein, breathing is more than just an involuntary activity required to live — it’s a way to find balance in both his body and mind. That philosophy, and its global implications, can be found in his latest work, Breathe With Me.

Developed by Hein and ART 2030, a nonprofit working with art as “the key to achieve the UN Global Goals” and inspire action, Breathe With Me is an interactive art installation that highlights the impacts of climate change on the environment. And according to a new report released on Dec. 2 by ART 2030, the installation and its symbolic message have so far reached up to an estimated 93 million people around the world.

The installation first launched in September inside the UN headquarters and in Central Park during the UN Climate Action Summit and UN General Assembly Week, which attracted thousands of visitors.

Activists, world leaders, passersby, and children “painted their breath” in long, blue brushstrokes, turning each breath into one collective body to demonstrate that “the air we breathe is our connected world and climate.”

Breathe With Me are breathing watercolors painted by the public that visualize the invisible — our breath and the resultant relation between us — reminding us to cooperate if we want to share this world together today and in the future,” Hein said in the report.

At the installation, audiences were able to participate in a guided breathing exercise, and they later listened to speeches by Hein, UN Chief of Communications Campaigns Nannette Braun, and ART 2030 Founder and Director Luise Faurschou.

Since then, Breathe With Me installations have spread across the world. One installation in Denmark received recognition during the C40 Mayors Summit in Copenhagen in October, where the world’s mayors, students, and more took part in the project.

Breathe With Me connects the most fundamental thing we all know — our breath — with the biggest and most complicated issues — as climate change,” Faurschou said.

In addition to the interactive art project, which ART 2030 said reached 69 million people through international media attention and an estimated digital reach of 14 million, Breathe With Me has an accompanying social media campaign called “First Breathers.” Described as an educational community workshop toolkit, it aims to encourage worldwide participation in Breathe With Me across various platforms, reaching more than 10 million people so far.

Hein and ART 2030 want to ignite a global movement by collaborating with international partners to facilitate Breathe With Me workshops and events across the world. The goal is to widen their reach and continue to raise awareness of the climate crisis and the Global Goals on a global scale.

“Life begins with an inhale, and ends with an exhale,” Hein noted. “In between, we all breathe and live different lives. And yet each breath keeps us all together, connected, sharing the same air.”

Original article by Catherine Caruso Source Global Citizen

Photo on Unsplash

To find out more about Breathe With Me – First Breathers and ways to get involved, go to their website.

To find out more about UN Global Goals and ways to get involved, go to their website.


Blythe House Hospice

It may not sound like a lot, but making the beds, a trip to a cafe or simply having a chat can make a huge difference.

And simple tasks like these, which most of us perform every day, form the basis of the community volunteering team at Blythe House Hospice, in High Peak, Derbyshire.

Their team of community volunteers visit people with life limiting illnesses – like cancer, heart failure or Parkinson’s – who are living at home but who would benefit greatly from some practical or emotional support.

Rachel Dennett joined the community volunteer scheme in February 2019, and has found it has improved her own wellbeing as well as those she helps.

She was inspired to join after seeing how helpful her local hospice at home team were when her father died. She explained: “I’ve been involved with one patient and their carer so far.

“I support them in a number of practical ways such as ironing, changing beds, shopping, cooking meals, along with being someone to talk to. It is a really satisfying and interesting role and I’d thoroughly recommend it.”

Volunteer Karan Bradley has also seen the benefits of spending a few hours a month as a volunteer for the hospice in her local community. She said: ‘I think the wonderful thing about volunteering is that you’re just giving your time; you’re not doing anything particularly special. “You’re listening, talking, making time and making a difference to people’s lives. Anyone can volunteer; you don’t have to have lots of experience or qualifications, you just have to be a compassionate person and be able to give a little or a lot of your time.”

The hospice is situated in the Peak District, where the hilly, rural terrain means people often have to travel some distance for care and support. The community volunteering programme means that Blythe House Hospice can ensure that care is close to home and that people in the High Peak area can continue to live in and enjoy their own towns, villages and communities.

For more information see

By Jenna Sloan


Jane Goodall On the Power of “Reaching People’s Hearts” as Climate Activism

Jane Goodall is a legend in the science community thanks to decades of her groundbreaking work with chimpanzees. But in recent years, the famous primatologist has shifted her focus to environmental activism. And in her time advocating for the planet, she discovered a pretty powerful yet simple technique for reaching people’s hearts and making real progress.

“I’m traveling around the world now, no longer studying chimpanzees, and trying to tell people what’s happening in the world, the mess that we’ve made and the fact that unless we all get together to help the environment we all share, then it may be too late,” Goodall told author KK Ottesen in her new book Activist: Portraits of Courage, per an excerpt published by The Washington Post. “The window of time is closing. And it’s not enough just to wave placards and say, ‘Climate change!’ The point is to take actual action. To do your bit.”

She then shared an anecdote about a seven-year-old African boy she met when speaking at a school in Burundi. “He came up to me afterwards, and he said, ‘If I pick up a piece of litter every day, I’ll make a difference, won’t I?’ I said, ‘Yes. You’ll make a huge difference,'” she recalled. “And I said, ‘Well, suppose you persuade 10 of your friends to do the same?’ He said, ‘Wow. That would really make a difference.’ And I said, ‘Then each of your 10 friends could choose 10 friends.’ He said, ‘Hoo. We’d change everything.'”

Did that story tug at your heartstrings? It certainly tugged on mine — and that’s no accident. As Goodall let slip later in the interview, she has found that the trick to helping people understand that we can all make a difference is pretty simple: telling stories.

“Being angry and pointing fingers, you won’t get anywhere. You just have to reach people’s hearts. And the best way I know is to tell stories,” Goodall said. “My job now is to try and help people understand every one of us makes a difference. And cumulatively, wise choices in how we act each day can begin to change the world.”

Along with telling stories, Goodall has noticed that really listening to those who hold opposing opinions — and not just waiting for them to finish talking so you can make your point — is key to making progress.

“If you go out there being aggressive and pointing a finger, you don’t get anywhere. If you watch two people begin talking from opposing sides, and then one gets a little bit finger-pointy, you can then see the eyes of the other one turning in as he or she tries to refute what’s being said,” Goodall said. “And in the end, neither listens to the other. And they get more and more aggressive, and nothing’s accomplished at all. Except possibly to make it worse.”

Goodall then did what she does best: She told a short personal story to highlight that point. “I got lots of opposition from animal rights people for even talking to the people in the labs,” she said. “But if you don’t talk to people, how can you ever expect they’ll change?” A longtime opponent of experiments on animals, Goodall has become a leading activist in the anti-vivisection community.

There are certainly merits to challenging those with differing viewpoints — but for Jane Goodall, being patient, understanding, and attentive toward her opponents has brought her great success in making a difference in the world.


Original article by Sophie Hirsh – Source Green Matters

Photo by Rob Schreckhise on Unsplash

To find out more about Jane Goodall Institute and ways to get involved, go to their website.