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May 05th, 2016

Support the Maasai protect their lands!

type:Crowd Funding, Donation, NGO, Petition
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

The iconic Maasai of Kenya and Tanzania have been fighting for decades to survive and defend their environment. Lately, they’re losing the battle: besieged by shady poachers, billionaires who want to buy up their traditional lands for safari lodges, and sketchy government officials.

For decades the Maasai have struggled to hang on to their ancestral lands as profit-hungry tourism companies and government officials evict, sell off, and repurpose the countryside that has sustained them for generations. Tourism brings billions into the Kenyan economy but the Maasai – the land’s rightful owners – barely see a drop!

Now a Maasai community in Kenya has had an idea to fight back and reclaim their own land by forming a new kind of reserve, run by themselves. This will not only ensure their habitat and the customs of their ancestors but also a new wildlife passage will be created.
For this project, lead by community members and local NGOs, the tribe needs funds fast to get the reserve up and running, take down fences, train young people, and pay them to be wildlife patrollers.

Support the Maasai with a donation and help them reclaiming their lands!
April 23rd, 2016
type:Donation, NGO, Project
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

The death of refugees and migrants at sea could already be a matter of the past if the border- and visa-regimes were dissolved. It’s a fact that without a radical change the recent tragedies in the Mediterranean Sea will be followed by many more deaths to come in our future. This is why the Watch The Med Alarm Phone was started in October 2014 by activist networks and civil society actors in Europe and Northern Africa. The project set up a self-organized hotline for refugees in distress in the Mediterranean Sea.

It offers the affected boat-people a second option to make their SOS noticeable. The alarm phone documents and mobilises in real-time. In this way, pressure to rescue is built-up, wherever possible and push- backs and other forms of human rights violations of refugees and migrants at sea can be opposed. Thus, the Alarm Phone is not a rescue number, but an alarm number to support rescue operations.

In this respect, the responsible coast guards are informed of the launch of the project. The critique of the deadly border regime is directed first and foremost to the politically responsible actors of the EU. If coast guards do not act promptly, it will be sought, on the one hand, to enforce rescue operations through public pressure. On the other hand, attempts will be made to alert cargo ships and commercial vessels in vicinity to the vessel in distress.

The number of the Alarm Phone will be disseminated mainly through direct contacts with migrant and refugee communities in the important transit countries of Northern Africa and in Turkey. The NGO is also distributing leaflets that inform about the risks of crossing the Mediterranean Sea. Besides notes on how to reduce the risks, the Alarm Phone number is provided.

The project is actively involved in all three regions through which migrants and refugees attempt to reach the countries of the EU: The Aegean Sea (between Greece and Turkey). the Central Mediterranean Sea (between Libya/Tunisia and Italy) and the Western Mediterranean Sea (between Morocco and Spain).

Support this necessary and useful project and help them maintaining and extending their strucutures and services for refugees in distress!
April 01st, 2016
type:Crowd Funding, Donation, NGO, Project
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

Jadal is an open space in Amman, the capital of Jordan, where cultural activities and knowledge sharing fuse to evoke and spread new societal values. The not-for-profit project aims at encouraging creativity, innovation and collective activities that benefit the community. It creates a space for self-exploration, questioning, sharing skills and experiences, critical discussions, reflection and artistic expression.

Jadal is situated in one of the old houses on al-Kalha stairs, connecting Downtown, the busy old heart of the city and Jabal L’Weibdeh, a neighbourhood bursting with ambitious start-ups and creative initiatives. During the 3 years of its existence, Jadal has become a safe space for local groups such as students, urban refugees, expatriates, artists, thinkers and activists.

The cornerstone of the project is seeking to build a horizontal management model and to assure financial independence. The space has been run by a diverse community which believes that these features might contribute positively to questioning the current hierarchical world system and creating an alternative way of functioning.

Support Jadal and contribute to the sustainability of a space that is comitted to assure that as many people as possible exercise their rights to culture, arts, education, as well as critical and free thought.
March 19th, 2016
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

Today at 8.30 p.m. local time worldwide, 178 countries and territories are expected to take part in this year's Earth Hour: a global environmental action for each inhabitant of this planet to participate in by simply switching off the light for an hour.

The event is organized by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) with the goal to not only encourage individuals, but also companies, organizations and governments to switch off their lights for one hour. The idea behind is to motivate people to take action for climate change, environmental protection and to raise awareness for the ability of each one to take part in creating a more sustainable future. So far more than 360 landmarks, including iconic sites such as the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Empire State Building in New York, the Sydney Opera House, the Roman Colosseum and many more, are confirmed to join the global switch off.

In times of darkness, humans have always been more creative and innovative. So are the actions all around the world which are held during Earth Hour. On the WWF webpage you may find a local event close to you to take part in. But if you feel like staying at home: Don't forget to turn off the light!

Photo: Derek Key
March 08th, 2016
type:Donation, NGO
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

One Heart World-Wide is a nonprofit organization with a mission to decrease maternal and neonatal mortality in remote, rural areas. The organisation developed over the last decade an effective, replicable and sustainable model to reduce preventable deaths related to pregnancy and delivery among vulnerable rural populations. So called Female Community Health Volunteers get trained in order to be the first point of contact for pregnant women in rural Nepal. The volunteers are taught the basics of safe motherhood, with special focus on how to recognize, stabilize and evacuate maternal and neonatal emergencies.

The NGO was founded in 1997 by Arlene Samen as One H-E.A.R.T. (Health Education and Research in Tibet), which focused on training community members, health care professionals, and new mothers in lifesaving skills and safe birthing practices in Tibetian rural areas. During One H.E.A.R.T’s ten years in Tibet a model of service delivery was developed and refined into the effective and sustainable “Network of Safety”, a culturally appropriate network of local partners around endangered mothers and infants. This network provides workshops and trainings to raise awareness, teaching good practices, and distributing essential supplies to ensure that mothers and infants survive delivery and the first months of life.

The model was taken to a global scale as One Heart World-Wide, providing on-the-ground training in maternal and neonatal health in Nepal and Mexico. Since One Heart World-Wide’s arrival, there have been drastic declines in maternal and neonatal mortality rates in those regions. Today the NGO is wholly focused on Nepal, a country that critically needs access to safe deliveries, concerning the fact that it boasts a population of 31 million with only one physician per 5,000 people.

Support One Heart World-Wide by donating or sharing their contents and help them to raise awareness for maternal and neonatal mortality and safe motherhood!
February 25th, 2016
type:Donation, NGO
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

ASAP stands for A Self-Help Assistance Programme and is, according to the webpage of the NGO, "a lobour of love". Two former Peace Corps volunteers, Tom and Elizabeth Arsenault, met in Swaziland while working as teachers there, got married and co-founded ASAP in 1992 with the vision to end poverty through self-help assitance.

In Zimbabwe and Malawi ASAP established sustainable local organizations that implement Savings Group micro-finance projects; helping thousands of families in rural areas improve their household income each year.

In partnership with The Salesian Missions Don Bosco Training Centers, ASAP collects new and used donated tools, which are refurbished as needed and made into specific kits for various artisans such as auto mechanics, carpentry, bricklaying, building, plumbing, electrical and building. Access to an ASAP's Tools For Empowerment kit can mean the difference between perpetual poverty and productivity, as graduates become active members of their community.

Support this sustainably working and locally active NGO by donating, liking them on Facebook and sharing their contents!


Photo: ASAP
February 18th, 2016
type:Donation, Project, Protest
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

The suicide of Iranian refugee Mohammad Rahsepar in 2012 in Würzburg/Germany due to the unimaginably insufficient and isolating conditions, refugees in German collective shelters have to endure until the present day, was the primal motivation for the formation of the first international Refugee Movement: a protest movement which came from the inside of refugee camps, shelters and collective houses out on the streets, showing up the desolate living conditions and the injust legal situation of refugees in Germany and criticizing the profound lack of general public and political interest on the topic.

The now four year long protest "from within" expanded on all mayor cities of the whole Federal Republic and far beyond its borders, bringing an absolute necessary publicity and focus to the misery of European migration policies and far more: making the borders of the EU and its politics visible by making themselves visible and heard as those who passed through them, by naming the ones who died at trying to cross them and who suffer by being inside these borders as "non-citizens", als "ilegals", as people "without status", pushed to the margins of society and made invisible - this protest meant a revealing and a critique of the essential dynamics of isolation.

In order to break this isolation which is caracterized by standstill and silence, the Refugee Protest Movement - now having their long fought, permanent squatted space in a former school building at the so called "O-Platz" in Berlin - is speaking to the public through their first self-published medium, a magazine called "Movement". This great attempt to not only give a voice to the voiceless through self-made media, but also to speak up for themselves instead of being other-defined and "covered" by national and international mass media - which operates in the same institutional realms as the policy and the law which discriminates, isolates and thus sileneces them - is also a true act of emancipatory media-making in its best sense.

The magazine's first issue is available online in a work version but also purchasable as a final print version on the webpage. The makers of "Movement" pursue an anti-capitalist policy which includes that none of the contributors and participants receive money. Only the printing costs will be covered with the sale of the magazine and donations. Feel free to contribute and donate for this amazing project from and for people on the move!

Photo: Oliver Feldhaus
February 15th, 2016
type:Donation, NGO, Project, Protest, Volunteering
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

Female Genital Mutilation/ Cutting (FGM/C) is the non-medical, ritual removal of some or all of the external female genitalia with no known health benefits. In contrary: The procedure often leads to severe physical problems, psychological traumas and very often even death caused by fatal bleeding or infections. This institutionalized and socially accepted practice is wide spread in many communities in Africa and the Middle East. According a report published by UNICEF, at least 130 million girls in 29 countries have been cut. FGM/C is a clear violation of girls’ and women’s human rights.

The majority of sensitisation work on the problem is carried out by women and there is a lack of male involvement in tackling the practice. FGM/C became a "women's affair". Sadly male members of FGM/C practicing communities and men in general hardly interfere on the issue and are badly informed about what this practice really is.

That is why Forward UK, GAMS Belgium, HIMILO Foundation and The Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp came together and started the "Men speak out" Project. The project's goal is to engage men in the process of ending FGM/C, raise general male awareness on the topic and sensitize men deriving from communities in which FGM/C is traditionally practiced. The project thus contributes, on a larger scale, to the stabilization of women's rights and promotes gender equality through a human rights approach.

If you want to engage in this project and become a "man who speaks out" against FGM/C or if you simply want to donate to one of the above mentioned organisations you may do so via the project's webpage.
February 04th, 2016
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

Saudi Arabia is waging a horrific war in Yemen - bombing schools, hospitals, even wedding parties. Many of the weapons used to kill innocent civilians come from EU countries, and tomorrow The European Parliament could vote to stop these deadly arms sales.

The EU is feeling the pressure - a new UN report on Yemen documents over 100 violations of humanitarian law, in direct violation of the EU's own rules on weapons exports. As long as European companies continue to sell arms to Saudi Arabia, we are complicit in the breachings of humanitarian law and horrific attacks on civilians that the UN has documented.

Tomorrow's vote on an EU-wide arms embargo to Saudi Arabia is going down to the wire. Some Memebers of the European Parliament are secretly planning to block the vote and Saudi Arabian lobbyists are trying hard to keep the arms flowing. Now time has come to higher public pressure on the EU-Parliament and tip the balance to ensure Europe is no longer complicit in these horrific war crimes.

Send an urgent message to key MEPs now, then contact them via social media. It is in all our hands to stop war and violence in Yemen. Make it happen!
February 01st, 2016
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been waging a methodical crackdown on the media in Turkey for years. Erdogan is persecuting journalists of all colours in an increasingly ferocious manner in the name of combatting terrorism and defending state security. Such as Can Dündar, the editor­ in ­chief of the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet, and his Ankara bureau chief, Erdem Gül. Both journalists have been held since the evening of 26 November 2015. They are charged with spying and terrorism because they published evidence of arms deliveries by the Turkish intelligence services to Islamist groups in Syria in May 2015.

The arrest of these two journalists is the latest extreme to which political use of the Turkish judicial system has been taken. Many journalists have been detained on spurious charges of terrorist propaganda and insulting President Erdogan. The regime has also been using economic levers to put growing pressure on the media, while draconian laws have been passed. Turkey is ranked 149th out of 180 countries in the Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.

Sign the petition and appeal to the Turkish authorities to free Can Dündar and Erdem Gül without delay​, to drop all charges against them, and to free all other journalists who are currently detained in connection with their journalism or the opinions they have expressed!