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iraqueer
November 12th, 2018

Abolish discrimination and murder of LGBTQ Iraqis

type:Donation, Education, NGO
by:Yair Oded

Since the Western coalition’s invasion of Iraq in 2003, the lives of all Iraqis have been at risk. Yet, members of the LGBTQ community remain one of the most vulnerable in the country, as they are subject to relentless isolation, intimidation, and deadly violence.

Hateful campaigns against the LGBTQ community have become a cultural norm in Iraq- with the media, local leaders, militias, and government all clamouring for their demise. In 2017 alone, over 200 LGBTQ persons were murdered in Iraq due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. Seeing as the government does not recognise LGBTQ members as citizens, it does not grant them any protection from persecution, and in fact often part-takes in it. It has been reported that 41 percent of violence against LGBTQ people was committed by militia members (including ISIS), 27 percent by the people’s own family members, 22 percent by the government of Iraq, and 10 percent by other elements.

IraQueer is a non-for-profit NGO committed to supporting, strengthening, and aiding the LGBTQ community in Iraq and Kurdistan. Founded in 2015, IraQueer is currently the only active LGBTQ advocacy group operating in Iraq and Kurdistan.

One of the organisation’s main areas of focus is raising awareness of the plight of LGBTQ Iraqis both internationally and at home, by partnering with international organisations, publishing statements and information kits, and conducting trainings and information sessions about the challenges facing the community, as well as dispelling prevalent myths, misconceptions, and vendettas against them.

IraQueer also assist LGBTQ Iraqis who seek asylum in other countries by connecting them with lawyers and organisations in their destination countries, providing information regarding the asylum process in each country, and furnishing them with documents they will need to present in order to support their case.

Another important aspect of the organisation’s mission is to increase the visability of LGBTQ Iraqis and boost their confidence and morale by urging them to share their stories, experiences, thoughts, and artistic talents on their website.

If you are an LGBTQ person residing in Iraq and are interested in having your work shared by IraQueer, please contact them at blog@iraqueer.org. If you are interested in publishing your personal story, you may contact them at stories@iraqueer.org

If you are a journalist, professor, or a member of any type of organisation and are interested in getting training on the issue, please contact IraQueer at info@iraqueer.org

And, of course, you may also choose to donate to the organisation by following this link: https://www.iraqueer.org/home/donate/

For more information about the challenges faced by the LGBTQ community in Iraq, you may consult the 2018 study published by IraQueer titled Fighting for the Right to Live; the State of LGBT + Human Rights in Iraq, visit their media section, or watch the BBC documentary titled Gay Witch Hunt in Iraq.

Image: retrieved from Iraqueer website

iraqueer.org
subsahara
November 09th, 2018
Support efforts to end hunger in Sub Saharan Africa
type:Donation, NGO
by:Yair Oded

Despite the economic promises researchers predict for Sub-Saharan countries in the next couple of decades, a humanitarian crisis still rages in South Sudan, Somalia, and Nigeria.

A deadly combination of climate change-induced droughts and inconsistent weather patterns, political corruption, surging food prices, and deepening poverty has wreaked havoc upon populations in the above mentioned countries. In Somalia, for instance, 73 percent of the people live on less than $2 a day, and life-threatening malnutrition affects a growing number of men, women, and children.

The road to recovery is still long in those countries, and establishing mechanisms that will render such communities self-reliant and resilient would require ongoing efforts by both public and private elements.  

In the meantime, urgent global response and attention are needed to save the lives of the over 20 million Sub Saharans at risk, and support the recovery process of their communities.

Mercy Corps is a humanitarian aid organisation which is dedicating to providing first response to communities facing emergencies. They operate locally and directly with the communities at risk.

The organisation has launched a campaign calling attention to the famine raging in Sub-Saharan Africa (and Yemen) and collecting donations in order to provide relief on the ground, help those communities overcome their current emergency, and build a better life.

Please consider visiting their website and donating to their cause.

Image: Mercy Corps

mercycorps.org
hla
November 07th, 2018
Become a humanitarian and help make communities their own first responders
type:Education, NGO
by:Yair Oded

Communities around the world face varying types of humanitarian crises and emergencies. From natural disasters, such as droughts, storms, and floods, to famine and ongoing wars, disasters are, regrettably, rife. One of the main factors in determining a community’s ability to deal with and recover from different states of emergency is its degree of self-sufficiency.

Thus, while the role of international aid is important, it is crucial to equip local communities with the tools they need in order to be the first responders to the crisis they’re affected by.

The Humanitarian Leadership Academy (HLA) is a U.K. based organisation which operates in centers across the world (including in East Africa, the Middle East, the Philippines, and Europe) and grants local community the skill sets required to ensure that humanitarian needs are addressed at the point of impact.  

The HLA focuses on two main areas of influence: Learning and Partnerships. As part of its Learning initiative, the organisation facilitates access of local leaders and community members to knowledge and instructions on how to establish a first-response mechanism based on the specific challenges they face (be it war, earthquakes, tropical storms, etc.). The HLA employs advanced technology to promote learning on various platforms and tools that are easily accessible.

Collaborating with local and international partners is viewed as the HLA’s “cornerstone”. The organisation forges partnerships with both global institutions, such as Unilever and the International Rescue Committee, as well as  with governments, businesses, and numerous NGOs that operate locally, in order to produce self-reliant communities and thus alleviate the pressure from the international system and reduce the socio-economic impact of disasters. The HLA emphasise the importance of securing a mutual benefit for both the community and the partner operating to make it more self-reliant.

If you are part of an individual or an organisation looking to learn how to become a member or a humanitarian, visit HLA’s Kaya website and enroll in one of the many online courses they offer.If you are job hunting and are interested in becoming part of an organisation that promotes positive change around the world by strengthening local communities and rendering them more self-sufficient, consider checking out available job opportunities.

Image: Humanitarian Leadership Academy

humanitarianleadershipacademy.org
Ecological Farmers Supermarket in Lyon
November 05th, 2018
Ditch throwaway plastic packaging!
type:Petition
by:Murat Suner
org:GREENPEACE

According to Greenpeace, UK supermarkets currently generate 800,000 tonnes of plastic packaging every year. But our oceans and marine life can’t stomach any more plastic! Greenpeace claims. 

From turtles entangled in six pack rings to whales with stomachs full of plastic bags, the effects of plastic pollution are devastating.

The UK supermarket chain Iceland has announced its own-brand packaging is going plastic-free.

By ditching plastic packaging, supermarkets have the power to lead the way in dramatically reducing the amount of single-use plastic produced.

Add your name to Greenpeace's petition and tell UK supermarkets to follow Iceland’s lead and ditch throwaway plastic packaging.

secure.greenpeace.org.uk
children detention us border patrol
November 05th, 2018
Children don't belong in cages
type:Petition
by:Murat Suner
org:change.org

The Trump administration is holding on to its inhumane policy to indefinitely imprison immigrant families and children in cages.

If this ruthless practice of deterrence is successful, "we’re going to see babies celebrating birthday after birthday from behind a chain link fence – all because their families tried to escape unspeakable violence in their home countries" argues Kids in Need of Defense. 

Join Kids in Need of Defense's campaign on Change.org to end long-term, indefinite detention of immigrant children.

Photo: A government issued handout image of the US Border Patrol Central Processing Center in McAllen, Texas, on June 17, 2018. Credit: US Customs and Border Protection

change.org
indo
November 05th, 2018
Help save Indonesian earthquake survivors
type:Crowd Funding, Donation
by:Yair Oded

In the past three months, Indonesia has suffered a wave of catastrophic earthquakes, with a series of four hitting in late July and early August, killing hundreds of people and injuring thousands, and a deadly 7.5 earthquake and Tsunami hitting on September 28th, resulting in over 2,000 deaths.

Although news coverage of the battered country has waned, Indonesians still face a dire and urgent humanitarian crisis, with thousands injured, 1.5 million affected by the devastation, and more than 300,000 internally displaced and lacking shelter.

According to Worldvision.org, “The people affected by Indonesia’s 2018 earthquakes will need help for years as they rebuild their lives, homes, and communities.”

As the country grapples to deal with the crisis, hundreds of shocks continue to rattle the Indonesian islands, making the recovery process even harder.

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched by the Lombok Earthquake Relief Fund to gather donations for the victims of the earthquakes in Indonesia. Please consider helping this local organisation as it endeavors to save the lives of survivors and acquire supplies.

Image: IG @Roy_Sembalun (retrieved from GoFundMe website)

gofundme.com
googla
November 02nd, 2018
Learn about and become part of a sustainable off-the-grid energy market
type:NGO
by:Yair Oded

It is estimated that one sixth of people around the world live without access to electricity. This is particularly true in third world and poverty-stricken and developing countries. Such lack of access often exacerbates humanitarian crises of remote communities and hinders their ability to prosper.

Off-the-grid energy systems offer a solution to such problems. Yet, if not operated properly, such systems risk causing even further damage to the communities that utilise it and exacerbate pollution.

Gogla is a non-for-profit international group which facilitates the expansion of affordable, environmentally friendly off-the-grid electric systems, particularly in emerging and developing countries.

Gogla currently represents over 135 companies that deliver quality, affordable, and sustainable off the grid services to remote communities around the world, thereby improving their health, education, and employment opportunities. To date, Gogla members have transformed the lives of over 150 million people world-wide.

The organisation’s main methods of operation include connecting eligible member companies (which comply with the UN Sustainable Development Goal 7) with potential investors, doing advocacy work with local governments and influencers in order to promote policy that supports sustainable off-grid systems and foster an environment of awareness, as well as promoting “globally harmonized minimum quality standards” to ensure consumer protection and safety.

If either you or anyone you know takes an interest in becoming part of this socially and environmentally conscious energy movement, visit the Gogla website and learn about ways in which you can become part of this growing market.

Image: Gogla

gogla.org
khashoggi
October 25th, 2018
End Saudi Arabia’s violence against journalists
type:Petition
by:Yair Oded

Since his ascent to power in June 2017, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has presented himself as the kingdom’s ‘new face’ who will lead it into a bright future both economically and socially. Alas, over a year into his reign, it becomes clear that Saudi Arabia remains a hub of totalitarianism and oppression.

On October 2, Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, who was a Saudi national and a critic of the crown prince, was brutally murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

Following three weeks of silence, the crown prince has publicly announced today that he regards the murder as a ‘heinous’ crime and that he vows to hold the culprits accountable.

Yet, it has been confirmed by Turkish authorities that two of the men responsible for Khashoggi’s murder were members of bin Salman’s personal security detail.

The crown prince’s record of ‘purging’, jailing, and torturing dissidents, journalists, and anyone whom he perceives to be a threat makes clear the fact that he was personally involved in orchestrating Khashoggi’s murder, and that his current statements are but lies.

Presently, there are 28 journalists and bloggers under arrest in Saudi Arabia, including Raif Badawi, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes, Alaa Brinji, who was sentenced to seven years in prison, and Iman al Nafjan, a blogger and women’s rights activist.

Reporters Without Borders have launched a campaign calling on the crown prince to assume responsibility over Khashoggi’s murder and immediately release the jailed journalists and bloggers.

Please express your solidarity by signing their petition.

It is the responsibility of the international community to do all in its power to pressure bin Salman to end his reign of terror and allow freedom of speech and expression in the Kingdom. His tyranny can no longer be overlooked.  

rsf.org
salopek
October 19th, 2018
Help Paul Salopek record the story of the human race
type:Crowd Funding, NGO
by:Yair Oded

Out of Eden Walk is a decade-long, 21 thousand mile experiment in slow journalism launched by Paul Salopek. Starting off at the world’s oldest fossil site in Ethiopia in May 2013, Salopek began walking in the pathways of the first humans to migrate out of Africa and retracing their journey across the globe.

On the way, Salopek explores the major themes of our era, from climate change to mass migration, by giving a voice to those he meets along the journey who rarely make the news: villagers, nomads, traders, farmers, poets, artists, and soldiers. As he comes across locals in various countries, Salopek records their stories and testimonies in audio, video, and written form. By doing so, he provides us with a unique and unprecedented record of the global human experience- with all its challenges, character, and beauty- as we embark on a new millennium.

Five years, ten thousand miles, and 17 countries later, Salopek needs our support in order to complete the second half of his remarkable odyssey.

Please visit the website of the Out of Eden Walk nonprofit organization to either donate, volunteer, or otherwise support their effort to recreate our forefathers’ voyage and record the story of human society.

To learn more about and tune into Salopek journey, please visit The National Geographic’s Out of Eden Walk website, where you can witness the landscapes, see the faces, and listen to the voices he encounters.

Image: Out of Eden Walk Nonprofit 

outofedenwalknonprofit.org
polluted-by-single-use-plastics
October 17th, 2018
European Parliament: fix the plastic litter law!
type:Petition
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

Plastic packaging waste is a huge problem around the world. Despite efforts in some European countries, such as plastic bottle deposit schemes or having to pay for plastic bags in the supermarket, the average EU citizen creates 31kg of plastic waste per year. The situation is most severe in Ireland, where 61kg of packaging is thrown away by the average Irish person, which is 9kg more than in the second most 'prolific' country, Luxembourg. The least waste is produced in Bulgaria, where a more managable 14kg is disposed of over the year.

The EU Parliament Environment Committee just voted in favor of adopting a series of great steps to strengthen a law reducing plastic pollution - but in the same breath installed a dangerous loophole: a legal definition of “single-use plastic” that could allow polluters to simply market their throwaway polluting plastic products as "reusable".

MEPs can propose additional changes before they all vote on the EU Single-Use Plastics Directive on October 23. They must fix this massive mistake, and resist industry pressure to weaken the law.

Tell the European Parliament to fix the proposed plastics law, so corporations radically reduce their single-use plastic pollution, and sea life can breathe again!

Credits: statista.com, sumofus

actions.sumofus.org