Active Citizens

Why we need to stand united against governments cracking down on dissent

Last month, after receiving threats for opposing a hydroelectric project, Berta Caceres, a Honduran indigenous and environmental rights campaigner, was murdered. A former winner of the Goldman Environmental Prize for her opposition to one of Central America’s biggest hydropower projects, Berta was shot dead in her own home.

Playing Ping Pong with Disability

Despite formally adopting progressive laws, such as Law Number 4, and ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disability, Palestinian authorities still struggle to get beyond rhetoric when it comes to supporting the 7 to 11 per cent of the population that is affected by disability.

Musicians Champion LGBT Rights

In a recently released music video by a Kenyan artist, a young gay and lesbian couple hold hands on separate dates at a park in Nairobi. The progress of their love from kisses to more graphic bedroom scenes are threaded with past images of anti-gay headlines and protests mainly from Uganda and Kenya.

Abortion Saga: Morality vs Choice

Malawi considers itself ‘a god fearing nation’ so much that any act ‘out of the ordinary’ is said to be either satanic, a sin or demonic. Even a drink or a walk could be satanic in the country if you are not careful!

Organised Civil Society Increasingly Hemmed In by Global Elites

Collusion, according to the dictionary, means “secret or illegal cooperation or conspiracy, especially in order to cheat or deceive others.” That is what the world’s political and economic elites engage in, according to Danny Sriskandarajah, secretary general of the international civil society alliance CIVICUS.

Harvesting Rainwater to Weather Drought in Northeast Argentina

In a semiarid region in the northeast Argentine province of Chaco, small farmers have adopted a simple technique to ensure a steady water supply during times of drought: they harvest the rain and store it in tanks, as part of a climate change adaptation project.

Ecosystem Conservation Gives Hope to a Vulnerable Community

42 year-old Saraswati Subedi still remembers the night she almost died in a flash flood. “I heard the cries of my neighbours and ran out of the room with my two children. There was water all around and I thought we were going to die, so I started to pray,” says the mother of the three in Karki Tahara – a village by the river Harpan Khola in Nepal’s Kaski district.

Female Engineers Defy the Odds

Nearly every aspect of modern life is a result of the work done by engineers; from running water to the internet, sky-scrapers to smartphone apps that people use for dating. Sadly, in Tanzania this profession attracts only a few women due to prevalent attitudes that it is a man’s job.

Saving Beira

Mozambique’s second largest city, Beira, is heading for climate change-induced disaster. Cyclones, floods, storm surges and the rising sea level are threatening to annihilate this important Indian Ocean coastal city; a city which is strategic for landlocked countries like Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Balancing Economic Potential of Marine and Social Life

When Africa’s oldest protected marine area, Tsitsikamma -- the largest in the world, incorporating 80 km of rocky coastline, bustling with marine life, much of it endangered -- was opened as a pilot for public fishing on December 15, 2015, there was a big outcry.

Women Benefit From Simple Economic Ventures

Angelina Chiziane starts her day by getting her husband ready for work in a small village in the southern province of Gaza, Mozambique, some 216 kilometers away from the capital, Maputo.

Heavy Rains Once Again Scatter the Poor in Asunción

Néstor Colman, 69, remembers the river overflowing its banks nine times in Bañado Sur, the poor neighourhood in the Paraguayan capital where he was born and has lived all his life. “A record,” he jokes.

Benefits of Backpack Biogas

Billions of dollars of aid has been pumped into Africa. Yet effective change too often remains an elusive outcome, leading to a vicious cycle: more needs, more aid but still little change. How to resolve this seemingly intractable dilemma?

Press Freedom in Peril

A single phone call from an irate security official is enough to shutdown a newspaper in Sudan. Security agents sometimes employ unorthodox methods: they storm the premises of a newspaper or a printing press and confiscate print runs in full view of employees. No reasons are provided. And there is no legal recourse.

Challenges of Polio Vaccination

Pakistan and Afghanistan, the two remaining polio-endemic countries, have joined forces to eradicate poliomyelitis by vaccinating their children in synchronised campaigns.

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