Occasionally some of us might suffer from a feeling of maximal overload, overwhelmed by COVID-19 and the reign of Donald Trump. It can maybe be conceived as far too euro-centric to be concerned about the disastrous situation in the U.S., with media stuffed to the brim by news about Donald Trump while the global environmental crisis is steadily getting worse and war, injustices and famine continue to agonize people in places like Darfur, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Syria.
With over 90 million
confirmed cases and 1.9 million deaths globally, and a second wave sweeping into 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to hold the world hostage.
Between October and December 2020, something was different for people playing popular video games like Words with Friends, Angry Birds and Subway Surfers. Instead of a traditional 30-second ad, gamers across the world were invited to participate in a climate change survey. It was an unconventional way of polling that gave University of Oxford researchers an opportunity to tap into the 2.7 billion user-strong gaming market and produce the world’s largest climate change public opinion poll.
We begin this year with a heightened awareness of the importance of resilience. The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us that we cannot afford to ignore known risks.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
aim to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all ages. The main focus of the SDGs is to improve equity to meet the needs of women, children and disadvantaged populations in particular.
The United Nations has warned that the devastating socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will be felt for years to come unless smart investments in economic, societal and climate resilience ensure a robust and sustainable recovery of the global economy.
Climate warming is believed to have taken place at some of the fastest rates in the world in Mongolia, raising the country's average temperatures
by 2.24°C between 1940 and 2015, with the last decade being the warmest of the past 76 years.
Current development fads fetishize data, ostensibly for ‘evidence-based policy-making’: if not measured, it will not matter. So, forget about getting financial resources for your work, programmes and projects, no matter how beneficial, significant or desperately needed.
Ten years ago on this day, January 25, one of the biggest revolutions in the world took place in Egypt’s Tahrir Square, as protestors poured into the streets chanting slogans of “Bread, Freedom and Social Justice”, demanding one of the region's longest-serving and autocratic President Hosni Mubarak to step down. Three weeks later, on February 11th, Mubarak stepped down as president, leaving the Egyptian military in control of the country.
In 2019, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 24 January as International Day of Education, in celebration of the role of education for peace and development. The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 4 challenges all nations to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” by the year 2030. As we think about this in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the emerging post-COVID-19 environment, what does inclusive and equitable education look like and how do we ensure that lifelong learning opportunities are benefitted by all?
After the pioneer Global Technical Meeting on Volunteerism
last July, a recently-held on-line follow up
helped gathering new insights from experts and practitioners from the world on how to move forward with positioning volunteering at the center of development agenda.
Women and young girls are disproportionately affected by conflict and genocide, and that is why they should be a central part of conversations on the issue, according to Jacqueline Murekatete, a Rwandan survivor of genocide and founder and President of the Genocide Survivors Foundation (GSF).
“Survivors need to be invited to the table to share their testimonies,” Murekatete told IPS. “When people hear personal stories they’re more likely to want to get involved. It makes a huge difference to have their testimony.”
Looking back upon 2020, we all bear the scars of a devastating year; none so much as girls and boys around the world. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted education for over 1.6 billion children and youth globally and continues to do so. It has also deepened socio-economic inequities and heightened insecurities around the world, further impacting the lives of girls and boys everywhere. Ongoing, protracted conflicts, forced displacement and the worsening climate crisis were no less forgiving.
I wasn’t going to stop for the school bus stuck in the mud outside of Fort McMurray, Alberta in the heart of the Canada’s tar sands industry but my kids insisted. It had been raining most of the week and the grassy field was soaked and slick. We stopped and got out and looked at the 12,000 kilogram bus uselessly spinning its wheels, digging deeper into the mud. Someone got the driver to stop, essentially saying you’re making a bad problem worse
Located in Jonglei state, one of the most underdeveloped regions of South Sudan, Likuangole is a town badly hit by floods and often battered by conflict. Despite the lack of secondary schools and industry, its residents aspire to transform their lives. But real investment is needed to spur development.
Dealing with COVID-19-related city lockdowns has been exceptionally stressful, particularly for those parents who have had to balance work, personal life, children and elderly, providing home schooling or facilitating virtual learning, managing infection control within the home, and more, all while being disconnected from support services.
Education Cannot Wait (ECW) - the first global fund dedicated to education in emergencies and protracted crises – was on the ground in Burkina Faso last week with its Director, Yasmine Sherif, to launch a new multi-year programme that aims to provide an education to over 800,000 children and adolescents in crisis-affected areas.
Selimatha Salifu of Ghana is a former child labourer who has vowed to do her part to bring attention to the plight of the world’s over 150 million child labourers
. Raised in a fishing community, she recalls her days buying fish to sell, working from daybreak till nightfall to contribute to her family. She credits the General Agriculture Workers Union for rescuing her and ensuring she enrolled in school.
A deadly pandemic to control. An urgent nationwide vaccination programme to roll out. An economic crisis to navigate. Political divisions and distrust deep enough to spark mob violence and terrorism.
A war-mongering president, with his finger on the nuclear trigger--- and who threatened to attack North Korea and Iran-- was unceremoniously drummed out of office on January 20.