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February 10th, 2018

Help protecting the wolves in Germany!

type:Donation, Education, NGO
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

Wolves had been eradicated in Germany for a long time. For about 150 years, they did not exist. Since only a few years have they returned to their traditional habitat. But they could quickly disappear again, for there are more and more voices calling for shooting down wolves in order to limit or even reduce their numbers.

Wolves are part of the native wildlife in Germany, as are deers and stags. They help preserve the regional biodiversity and play an important role in the ecosystem.

The successful return of the wolves to Germany began in 2000, when a she-wolf in Saxony raised her offspring. Today most wolves live in Brandenburg, Saxony, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Lower Saxony. Educational work is of fundamental importance so that the animals can return to their natural habitat in the long term.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) Germany helps shepherds and other grazing animal owners to protect their animals from wolf attacks. The organization clarifies how conflicts between grazing animals and wolves can be avoided. This includes targeted information, on-site consultations, the provision of suitable fence material, the support of shepherds in keeping work and the work with herd protection dogs.

The IFAW is ready to do their utmost to protect both these rare wild animals as well as the grazing animals. If you want to help and ensure that the wolf gets a second chance in his old, new habitat in Eastern Germany, feel encouraged to donate and spread this appeal through your preferred channels.
Bitty and Beaus Coffee
February 07th, 2018
type:Donation, NGO
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

Amy and Ben Wright are the parents of four children – the two youngest, Bitty & Beau, having Down syndrome. As advocates for the value, inclusion and acceptance of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), the Wrights have dedicated their lives to making the world a better place for their children and others living with IDD. The couple's vision for changing the 80% national unemployment rate for people with IDD, led them to founding Bitty & Beau’s Coffee.

The Wrights developed the first business model for employing people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the financial services sector and later formed the non-profit ABLE to Work USA. The shop as well as the headcquarters of Bitty & Beau’s Coffee is located in Wilmington/North Carolina and currently employs 40 people with IDD.

If you consider Amy and Ben Wright's idea of labour possibilities for people with IDD worthy, you're invited to donate via their webpage to the project or simply grab a cup of coffee at Bitty & Beau's Coffee to support them!
January 31st, 2018
type:Petition, Protest
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

The Shalom Organization of the Jews in Bulgaria is campaigning against the holding of the annual “Lukov March” in Sofia in February 2018, calling for an effective ban on an event that honours the pro-Nazi general Hristo Lukov. During WWII Lukov was the leader of the Union of Bulgarian National Legions, a pro-Nazi organisation that held considerable influence over the government of Bulgaria during the Second World War, when the country was allied to Nazi Germany.

The Lukov March has been held for the past 14 years in Sofia, without municipal permission, but with a substantial police escort.

This year Bulgaria will hold the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union. The global Jewish community, together with Shalom Organization argue on behalf of the common values of the European Union in their petition adressed to Prime Minister of Bulgaria Boyko Borissov:

"In this position, the nation of Bulgaria will be looked to for leadership and to uphold the shared values of the European Union, including those of tolerance and the rejection of extremism and anti-Semitism. It would be anomalous for the country at the helm of the EU to permit a parade of torchlight-wielding, dark-clad supporters of a man and an ideology that epitomised the darkest period of 20th century."

Support the global Jewish community and demand the Bulgarian authorities to ban the anti-semitic Lukov-March in Sofia by signing their petition and sharing it via your preferred channels!

InitiativesofChange_Hope in the cities
January 25th, 2018
type:Donation, Education, NGO
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

Initiatives of Change, USA is part of a diverse global network with an 80-year track record of peacebuilding, conflict transformation and forging partnerships across divides of race, class, religion and politics. It grew out of the work of Frank Buchman (1878-1961), an American Lutheran minister. Buchman affirmed that there is a divine purpose for the world and everyone in it, and demonstrated the connection between faith and change in society. Over the years his work expanded to include people of different religions and none.

Initiaves of Change's mission lies in the equipment of leaders to build trust in diverse communities through a process of personal change, inclusive dialogue, healing historical conflict and teambuilding. They connect core values with personal and public action with a focus on racial reconciliation, economic inclusion and interfaith understanding.

"Hope in the Cities" is a special training program of Initiatives of Change offering workshops on dialogue facilitation and design, acknowledgment of painful history, trustbuilding, and building and sustaining diverse teams in communities divided by race, ethnicity, class, or religion. In the past 20 years this program helped transform the city of Richmond/Virginia - known as the second capital of the Confederate States of America  during the Civil War - from a symbol of racial division to a model for reconciliation.

Support Initiatives of Change and spread their contents through your preferred channels, like and share their contents in Social Media or simply donate to maintain their important work against all types of social division.
January 19th, 2018
type:NGO, Petition, Protest
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

Tibetan writer Druklo, known by his penname “Shokjang”, was sentenced to three years in prison on February 17, 2016 due to his essay Is Nationalism a Good Thing? in which Shokjang wrote:

“You may say that you do not want self-determination but you must know that it’s no different from saying you want to be a slave or a serf.”

On March 19, 2015, Shokjang was arrested and taken to Menyuan prison and held without being charged. He was not granted family visitation rights. In the days leading up to his arrest, he wrote a blog post about the deployment of Chinese security forces in Tibet. He has responded to authorities and rejected their sentence and maintains his innocence.

Shokjang was born in Sangchu County, Tibet (ch. Xiahe County, Gansu Province) and was previously detained for one month in 2010 for his involvement in student protests during the 2008 Uprising in Tibet.

Students for a free Tibet created a petition webpage for Shokjang and other Tibetan activists. In order to support their initiative, spread Shokjang's case and make it more public. Demand the Chinese government for his immediate release and his right for a regular and unrestricted access to his family and a lawyer of his choice.

January 16th, 2018
type:Education, Petition
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

Education is a universal human right — but around the world, the mayority girls are being denied their right to learn, simply because of their gender. This is not only completely unjust, but also has drastic consequences on their health, wealth, and happiness.

The UK has the power to help these girls thrive by renewing its commitment to the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) , a fund ensuring that all children are given their right to learn.

The U.S. based community platform Global Citizen is calling on the UK government to help 1.6 million more children — including 783,000 girls — go to school by committing vital UK aid to this fund. A full pledge of £380 million would also help to train about 141,000 teachers, build some 2000 classrooms, and distribute around 17 million textbooks.

The UK’s previous contributions to GPE have had a huge impact on girls’ lives; in just two years it helped an extra 670,000 girls go to school. It could continue to play a leading role in the fight for girls’ education by renewing its support for this vital fund, which could encourage other countries to follow suit. But time is running out. In less than one month, world leaders will meet at the GPE Financing Conference in Senegal to announce commitments to support education in developing countries.

Act fast to get the ball rolling for girls’ education: send a tweet calling on the UK to help children go to school by committing UK aid to GPE.
December 27th, 2017
type:Donation, Education, NGO, Petition
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

Plastics are choking marine life, our waterways, and our bodies. The latest study shows that since large-scale plastic production began in the 1950s, 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic have been produced. Plastics take hundreds of years to biodegrade, and only a small percentage is recycled. 

Each year more than 8 million metric tons of plastic end up in our oceans, and microplastics -- including microbeads and microfibers -- present the biggest challenge. There are 51 trillion microplastic particles suspended in our seas. That's 500 times more than the number of stars in our galaxy. If current trends continue, researchers predict over 13 billion tons of plastic will be discarded in landfills or in the environment by 2050. In fact, by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean. We’ve seen pictures of marine life suffocating from plastic—100,000 marine mammals and one million seabirds are killed from plastic in the ocean every year.

The only way to stop global plastic ocean pollution is at the source. The online movement "Story of Stuff", founded by the Executive Director of Greenpeace USA Annie Leonard, demands that companies take back the waste they make. They push for a strong regulation of fossil-fueled plastics production.

Support the "Story of Stuff" movement and sign their petition to stop the global plastic pollution!
December 19th, 2017
type:Donation, Education, NGO
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

It may have occured on your channels recently: A series of incredible portraits of a group of men who dedicate their lives to the most trafficked mammal in the world - the pangolin. The impressive portraits by photojournalist and filmmaker Adrian Steirn showing the pangolins and their caretakers have been released this week as part of a campaign to raise awareness and funds for the protection of the species.

The pangolin is a solitary, primarily nocturnal animal, easily recognized by their full armour of large, plate-like scales. The type of pangolin found in Zimbabwe is the Ground Pangolin, these can weigh up to 20kg. It is an endangered species being poached for its scales which are believed to be useful for medicinal purposes. Globally all eight pangolin species are increasingly threatened with extinction. Burgeoning illegal international trade, increased local trade, habitat loss and a lack of awareness have been found to be the main threats facing pangolins at present.

Committed volunteers from the The Tikki Hywood Trust in Zimbabwe work hard to protect the species with a one-on-one care programme. The charity workers are assigned with one pangolin each, where they spend 24 hours a day rehabilitating and walking the majestic mammals so that they can forage naturally.

The Tikki Hywood Trust undertakes public awareness, train law enforcement and judiciary personnel, conduct research, and rehabilitate pangolins that have been confiscated from the illegal trade. The charity also engages with other organisations and governments throughout Africa to highlight the plight of pangolins, raise awareness of their conservation status and educate them as to the need for conserving pangolins, as well as implementing conservation actions. Many of their activities are not covered by research grants so that the continuation of their work relies on sponsors and donations. Donations are used to train law enforcement and judiciary personnel, rehabilitate confiscated pangolins, raise public awareness and further engage with African role-players to increase the conservation status of pangolins across Africa.

Feel encouraged to support the Tikki Hywood Trust and the "Pangolin Men" by donating or spreading their contents through your preferred channels!

Credits: Adrian Steirn
December 14th, 2017
type:Petition, Protest
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

Meşale Tolu is in custody for almost 230 days. It hurts the young German journalist and translator that she can not be with her little son Serkan (3). He whitnessed the special police unit storm the apartment and arrest his mother. Tolu wrote him a letter from prison, which was published in the German press. She writes: "When I decided to bring you to the world, I dreamed of better times."

Tolu's moving letter motivated a former teacher of hers to start a petition campaign with a message to the German foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel : Help the young woman and demand her immediate release!

Meşale Tolu was arrested in April this year while working as a translator for a human rights organisation in Turkey which was - so far - not on the black list of the Turkish authorities. She's accused for being part of a terror organization. A clear political reason behind the arrest see Tolu's friends, family and supporters since the young woman had worked for a left-wing news agency. And thus became another target of the anti-democrat government of the Turkish President Erdoğan.

In her petition text Angelika Lanninger, Tolu's teacher at the Anna-Essinger-Gymnasium in Ulm, appeals: "We teachers appreciated her as a thoughtful and dedicated student and are very concerned about her detention. " Over 50 colleagues have signed.

In less then a week the campaign gained the signature of more than 90.000 supporters (!). Let's support this important petition and send a clear sign of care and consideration to the opressive Turkish government: #FreeMeşaleTolu
December 11th, 2017
type:Petition, Protest
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

On her homepage, Kristina Hänel, a general practitioner from Gießen in Germany, enables interested people to receive information about a legal abortion via a link. She informs about the legal requirements, as well as the methods and risks of an abortion. In addition, she offers a personal consultation for interested parties. This neutral providing of information is interpreted as "advertisement" by anti-abortionists. In the past ten years Kristina Hänel has been reiterated by anti-abortionists for advertising abortion which is illegal by law §219a of the German Penal Code- a criminal law paragraph from 1933, which was originally created to i.a. criminalize Jewish doctors during the course of the establishment of the Nazi-regime and its jurisdictions. Ultimately in 1943 the criminal law standard was restructured according to eugenic and population-political aspects. In the course of the legislative changes on abortion, §219a was changed only slightly.

The anti-abortionists use regularly §219a to inform, harass and intimidate doctors. On their websites, the movement lists doctors and clinics that carry out abortions and list out the innumerable criminal charges that have been filed so far.

There are detailed legal regulations in Germany on doctor's rights for advertisement as well as the right for abortion and obtaining information about it. Kristina Hänel considers the §219a which claims that advertising abortion is a legal crime against life as outdated and superfluous. In her opinion, it hinders the right of women for medical information about a legal abortion. That way, counseling centers decide where women can go to carry out an abortion, since many doctors are intimidated and removed their informations on legal abortion from their websites out of fear of prosecution. Kristina Hänel thinks  that women must have a free choice of doctors and be able to inform themselves medically and properly. On her petition page, she writes:

"I am in favor of the women's right to get access to information about abortion and the medical services of doctors. Information law is a human right. §219a hinders this right."

If you consider the right to information as a human right and the right to access information about legal abortions as a women's right, then you may support Kristina Hänels petition on The petition will be delivered by December 12th to the Germany Bundestag.