The Citizenship Engagement Program in Haiti, developed in the context of post-earthquake reconstruction, provides Haitian citizens with the toolkit and pedagogical tools "JE m'engage, ensemble NOUS bâtissons" (I commit, together WE build) to facilitate co-operation within communities, with the common goal of economic, social and cultural development based on human rights.
Gifts are often something we think of as meaningful, but mostly superfluous expressions of our love for each other. But in some cases, gifts can be blessings that change the course of people's lives for good. As Human Rights Day approaches, I've been reflecting on ways to offer hope for a better future to children in need overseas.
Since 2011, new infections in children have reduced by a massive 60 per cent -- this drop is responsible for most of the impressive decline in HIV infections globally. So why then is it hard for me to join in the spontaneous applause that tend to break out at events where statements such as "... and her baby was born HIV-free" or "... and my baby is healthy" are made?
Being afraid of needles is not a valid reason to avoid chipping in to save someone's life.
Internationally the formal commitment has been made to end AIDS by 2030. However, there is a chasm to be crossed between the formal signature of a country acknowledging that these targets ought to be met, and the day-to-day financial, political, and social effort that meeting these targets will require.
Few health workers with knowledge of sign language and a lack of written or visual information on HIV in sign language are further barriers for those with hearing impairments. Requiring a sign language interpreter also limits the level of privacy deaf people have when accessing health services. Additionally, much information can get lost in translation. Without comprehensive knowledge of HIV transmission, Lesotho's deaf population remains vulnerable to this virus.
Some of my most painful memories are of my friends and cousins crying as they were taken away to be married to men they didn't know, often much older. I grew up seeing young girls sheltered by my mother in our house from being forced into early marriage. Those were the fortunate few. There are many complex causes driving this violence against women and girls. But it is ultimately rooted in the reality that women and men are not treated equally.
Originally from Dara'a in Syria, the family have been in Za'atari since its beginning and are coming up to the five-year mark of living in the camp. Lina, the youngest, was born in the camp, and Adnan was only one month old when he arrived and says that he doesn't remember Syria.
Moving forward, it's clear we need to take a more strategic approach to maintaining and improving our urban forests at both the provincial and federal level in order to combat climate change and air pollution, urbanization and densification, invasive insects and disease, and the cost of green infrastructure maintenance.
Poor countries, including those in Africa, bear by far the most impact from climate change. Droughts and floods have devastating consequences on agriculture and staple food prices. According to a World Bank study, by 2030, climate change will likely have pushed an additional 100 million people below the poverty line.
The animations in the film depict all too common forms of violence that boys and girls endure in spaces where they should be safe -- their homes, schools, online and in their communities. Every five minutes, somewhere in the world, a child dies from violence. Millions more are in danger of physical, emotional and sexual abuse that could destroy their childhoods forever.
Imagine what could happen if, instead of frantically trying to find another place to go or another activity to do, more children and adults slowed down and started to enjoy simple, playful, age-appropriate learning activities and conversations?
current prevention strategies are not decreasing the rate of new HIV infections quickly enough to end the epidemic -- and women and girls are especially at risk. Given recent advances in HIV prevention science, we can, and must, do better.
Volunteering gives global citizens a tangible way to contribute to education, health, governance, sustainable livelihoods, security and peace, environment, gender equality and social inclusion. It provides opportunities for everyone to play an active and meaningful part in the international effort to reduce poverty and inequality.