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Read, Debate: Engage.
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Villagers Evacuate During Forest Fires in Sumatra
November 03rd, 2015

Sign to save Indonesia’s forests!

by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

Demand for palm oil is growing – and fast. At the moment, most of it ends up in hundreds of food products – from margarine and chocolate to cream cheese and oven chips – although it’s also used in cosmetics and increasingly, for use in biodiesel.

But the cost to the environment and the global climate is devastating – to feed this demand, tropical rainforests and peatlands in South East Asia are being burned down annually to provide land for oil palm plantations. Every year tens of thousands die prematurely from respiratory illness. But this year it’s worse than ever! Children are being evacuated. Some have even died from the smoke caused by the fires.

These fires are a man-made crisis driven by decades of forest destruction by some of the biggest palm oil and paper companies in the world. Greed is winning over the survival of people and amazing wildlife like orangutans and tigers.

Don’t look away, act and sign the petition adressing President Joko Widodo and CEOs of palm oil producers, traders and buyers to stop this severe destruction of Indonesian forests and the suffering of all of its inhabitants!
ohrid lake
October 26th, 2015
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

Located in the Dinaric Alps on the border between the Republic of Macedonia and Albania, with estimated age of around 4 million years, Lake Ohrid is the oldest natural lake in Europe and one of the oldest lakes in the whole world. With over 200 endemic species harboured in its waters it is the most important lentic ecosystem on the European continent.

Now the Macedonian government plans to dry the (Studenchishte) Wetland which is crucial for the survival of the lake in order to build apartments complexes on the coastline and cut down the last remaining reed bed and covering a large area of the lake with concrete platforms “to grow” huge tourist resorts. A 50ha area of protected National Park area will be destroyed due to building a 14 km expressway and another 400ha will die for a ski complex which will include a huge hotel and a settlement with houses.  

Call on the Macedonian Prime Minister to stop the procedures for changes of the Galicia National Park Management Plan. Sign the petition against the the urban development plans of Ohrid and the Ohrid lake coastline!
Greece Migrants
October 12th, 2015
type:Crowd Funding, Donation, Volunteering
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

The situation on Lesvos island is still severe: On a daily basis, thousands of refugees arrive on the Greek island right in front of the Turkish north Aegean coast. Mytilene, the capital of Lesvos, houses many different tranistion camps for the numerous arriving refugees from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. These camps could not be maintained without the help of volunteers.

Volunteers are always welcomed and needed but the coordination of all helping hands can be an overwhelming task since many volunteers came to help but find no accommodation to stay for a longer time on the island. Hotel rooms start from 35 EUR per night and living expenses such as food and gasoline are overpriced on the else touristic island.

In an attempt of securing the stream of volunteers coming to Lesvos island, the team of Volunteer's Coordination Lesvos started a crowdfunding campaign in order to raise 6.000 Euros. The funding will be used for covering the costs of all volunteers who came to the island independently, without any supporting organization behind them.

Volunteering is a vital factor in crisis response. Support the coordinators on Lesvos island, chip in and help the helpers!
Ali Mohammed al-Nimr
October 02nd, 2015
type:Petition, Protest
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

Saudi Arabia is about to behead a 21-year-old man and then crucify him to display his body in public. A cynical fact: This same country was just chosen to head a U.N. Human Rights Council panel.

Ali Mohammed al-Nimr was arrested when he was only 17 for participating in demonstrations against the government, then he was convicted under torture. But his case is not an exception in the kingdom - Saudi Arabia has executed more than 100 people this year, that’s a rate of one every 2 days!

France has already requested that Saudis stop this execution, but the US, Germany, and the UK also maintain close relationships with the regime. The best way to get urgent action is to channel our outrage to these leaders who can persuade their Saudi allies.

Sign up now to save Ali, and then stop this human rights farce, his execution could happen anytime!
September 23rd, 2015
type:Donation, NGO, Volunteering
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

The Forum for Community Change and Development (FOFCOD) is an organization dedicated to the needs of Southern Sudanese young women and Girls.

Founded in 2009 by a group of innovative women, the organization has grown into a broader Youth (girl) movement that is committed to contributing to the national development through programs of Human rights, Democracy, Conflict resolution, health, Education Livelihoods and food security, Entrepreneurship, peace and justice in South Sudan. The organization focuses especially on women's rights since women in South Sudan have confronted manifold violations of their human rights including physical, sexual, psychological and economic abuse, cutting across boundaries of age, race, culture, wealth and geography.

Focusing on gender equality, FOFCOD believes development isn't fully attainable without women making decisions with men, as equals. Support this brilliant organization and their goals by donating or volunteering!
MTI_medical care
September 16th, 2015
type:Donation, NGO, Volunteering
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

Medical Team International is a global health organization, helping with disaster relief around the world. They deliver medical and dental care, humanitarian aid, and holistic development programs to all people in need, regardless of religion, nationality, sex, or race. They send teams of volunteer medical professionals and medical supplies to care for the sick and injured, and help establish long-term health promotion initiatives.

Medical Teams International’s programs are designed to provide a swift, coordinated disaster recovery plan in crisis situations. Collaborating with local government agencies, they evaluate the disaster impact and coordinate with a standby pool of trained and experienced disaster response volunteers to send aid within 48 hours.

Through partnerships with local health organizations, MTI provides transitional health and community programming for impacted communities, from disaster relief to development, saving lives and improving quality of care. They also enable self-sufficiency, preparing communities for future disasters by identifying the highest risks for disaster and how to mitigate these.

In times of the biggest refugee crisis after the 2nd World War, it is our turn to support professional organisations with focus on crisis response. Support Medical Teams International by volunteering, donating or simply praying.
September 12th, 2015
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

Global climate change and its consequences are a tangible threat to our societies. The global temperature rises continuously and climate is changing in front of our eyes. Almost all governments of the world agree that a warming of more than 2 ° C would be dangerous and could cause catastrophic consequences so that human life on our planet becomes impossible.

However, oil companies continue to exploit the existing ressources and spend billions of dollars in order to find more fossil fuels.

Now the time has come that public institutions, cities and local authorities end their support for the promotion and development of fossil fuels.
Our public money should be invested in a better future, not in an industry that aims on destruction of our planet.

The city of Münster has to stop its investments in the fossil or nuclear industry and join many other cities which actively reduce their dependence on fossil fuels. Münstler could be the first German city which attempts to boycott fossil and nuclear industry and could also serve as a model for following cities. Withdrawing the social legitimacy of fossil and nuclear industries' destructive practices is the first step to set an impulse for a total social transformation.

Sign the petition for Münster to become the first German city withdrawing investements into fossil industry!
September 09th, 2015
type:Crowd Funding, Donation, NGO, Project
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

The idea is as brilliant as it is simple: Why not offer the room your former housemate left to a displaced person urgently in need for a proper accomodation? Why should refugees live in mass accomodations, seperated and isolated from the society they should actually be part of? Mareike Geiling and Jonas Kakoschke from Berlin had this idea and started a revolutionary project of house- and flastharing called "Refugees welcome".

How does it work? If you have a free room in your flat or house for rent, sign up on the projects webpage. After signing up, a local partner organisation will get in touch with you in order to find a matching housemate. You meet your new future flatmate and if the sympathy is on both sides, you may welcome your new refugee housemates in their new rooms. The rent will be covered via micro- and crowdfundings. So far the project matched 138 refugees to shared flats, expanded to Austria with a fully established sister organisation and helps building up similar projects in about 20 other countries.

If you are unsatified with how refugees are treated in your country and if you have spare room, if you want to establishing a new way of welcoming refugees and have some funds left even for a small donation, then support, sign up, donate, share and like!

Photo: Olga Syrova/AP
September 04th, 2015
type:Crowd Funding, Donation
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

You know the Amazon? It provides 20% of the planet's oxygen, 10% of our biodiversity, our best defense against climate change and home to unique indigenous peoples.
They're cutting it down, at the rate of over 16 football fields.

How can this be stopped?

Here's the idea: the world's first, international, fully protected, incredibly massive, reserve park!

A million of supporters have already backed this idea - and the Colombian government supports it, too! Now Brazil needs to be winned over. President Dilma's popularity is in the toilet right now, and she needs a crowd pleaser - Brazilians love the Amazon, so insiders say she could go for it!

This park will be twice the size of *France*. It sounds like a dream, but Avaaz organisation is within striking distance of winning. But as soon as it gets close to a win, the ranching and mining lobbies will come hard at it with fistfuls of corrupt money. So a full bells and whistles publicity campaign is needed to get President Dilma behind this and quickly!

Chip in and help transforming the Amazon into the world's greatest protected reserve park!
August 31st, 2015
type:Crowd Funding
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

Yelitsa Jean-Charles is a children's illustrator from the Rhode Island School of Design. Growing up, she suffered from many insecurities about her skin color and hair texture. She was often told that in order to be beautiful one had to have long, flowing hair or fair skin. Not seeing many girls like her in the media didn't help these issues. Today, only 8% of children's books have main characters of color, but about 50% of children in the USA are of color.

These numbers don't add up.

That's why she created Healthy Roots to fill that void. Internalized racism and colorism stem from mainstream beauty standards that exclude women of color. The pressure that girls feel to appeal to mainstream beauty standards impacts their self esteem, leading them to use dangerous chemicals like perms and bleaching creams to become "beautiful".

Healthy Roots teaches girls of color self-love through education, diversity, and positive representation. If the toys we play with influence how we perceive ourselves, imagine the kind of impact we can have with a toy that aims to inspire and empower.

Support Yelitsa in her creative and critical attempt to change girls' perceptions of their appearance and abandon beauty-standards which do not represent real diversity!