Archive for September, 2014

Results of the Happy Lifestyle schools drawing competition

Written by Marianne on . Posted in India, News, News & Updates

We are happy to announce the results of the Happy Lifestyle schools drawing competition that took place in August-September in Pune, India.

And the winners are:

  • 1st place: Miss Tanishqa Mandar Ketkar
  • 2nd place: Miss Swamini Manish Kulkarni
  • 3rd place: Miss Mrunmayee P Chitale

About 2500 children from Pune participated to the “Happy Lifestyle” drawing competition. The 15 best drawings, selected by a local jury, have been submitted to an online vote on our Facebook page to identify the 3 winners.

Congratulations to the winners and thanks a lot to all who participated offline and online to this event!

Here are the 3 winners’ drawings and a pictures of the children preparing their drawings.

Work in progress

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Online vote launch for the schools drawing competition in Pune, India

Written by Marianne on . Posted in India, News & Updates, Take Action, Upcoming Events

 

We are happy to announce that the online vote to select the winner of the current drawing competition in Pune, India, has been launched.

More than 2500 pupils from 10 elementary and secondary schools in Pune, India, participated in the drawing competition organized by Zest Youth Movement, together with Nektarina Non Profit, under the topic “Happy lifestyle: What does happiness means to you? How do you imagine a joyful and cheerful world and how could we envisage to reach it?

The 15 best drawings have been preselected to participate to a final online vote.

Have a look to the great drawings made by the children and contribute by simply ‘liking’ your favourite drawing on our Facebook page before the 25th of September.

Good luck to the participants!

 

Nature’s Fury is Inevitable

Written by Anam Gill on . Posted in Anam's blog: Global issues, E-Magazine, General Information, Green Economy, News, Publications, Take Action

Against the backdrop of the current political deadlock in Pakistan, many other important issues affecting thousands of people have been sidelined.

The media is all eyes and ears for the fiery speeches, debates and discussions in the power play, and the awareness definitely plays an important role in stabilising the situation.But what about the section of the populace greatly affected and displaced by the current war in north west Pakistan and the floods?PAKISTAN_-_0911_-_Alluvioni_e_Chiesa_(F)

Photo Source: www.asianews.it

At least 193 people have lost their lives and 164 injured across Pakistan during floods in the first week of September. The overflowing rivers are wreaking havoc on already frail infrastructure in many regions in Pakistan.

According to the National Disaster Management (NDMA) report, 28, 538 people have been affected in Punjab and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.The number of people displaced by floods at this moment is still unknown. Sadly, even catastrophes of this magnitude can’t bring our politicians together and prioritise these issues.

Just a glance at the record of floods from 2010 to 2014 shows how major a threat monsoon rains currently are. Surprisingly, in the 2010 floods, the number of individuals affected exceed the total of individuals affected by the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, Kashmir earthquake in 2005 and the Haiti earthquake in 2010.And the loss of lives is not limited to the figures or numbers reported every time in the media.How many more red flags do we need to realise that climate change is an issue which affects all of us?

It is sad to know that globally, the people most affected by climate change are the ones who are least responsible for it.Perhaps that’s why we’re so resistant to the climate change alarm, which sits comfortably amidst us as we go about our agendas with the ‘business as usual’ approach.There is near-universal agreement among activists that efforts to limit carbon emissions have failed miserably, and that failure doesn’t come because the movement has embraced the oxymoron of “sustainable growth” or because it needs to work more closely with the business community. Rather, it’s because climate change activism is not challenging the key invisible narratives that drive our civilisation.

Being part of the Rio+20 UN Earth Summit held in Brazil, I can say that the willingness to acknowledge the threat and act accordingly is lacking.Now with another UN Summit on climate crisis in September, it is hoped that meaningful action will be taken. We have had enough talks sitting comfortably in the past behind closed doors.Earlier talks have ended mostly without reaching any important conclusion or an action plan. It should be more than just about choosing an exotic destination, inviting world leaders and activists to talk. We have had enough talks and it is no rocket science that we are destroying the biodiversity which allows nature systems to work efficiently.

It is time to take action if we want the seven billion people living on this planet to live with finite resources. No amount of funds can save us if we keep on destroying and polluting the soil, water and air which keep us alive.

The People’s Climate March to be held on September 21 aims at gathering hundreds of thousands of people in the streets of Delhi, New York, London , Berlin, Rio de Janeiro and Jakarta; and pressure world leaders who will be gathered for the UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit to take action on global warming.This is the largest mobilisation in the history of climate change and it wants to send a strong message to the world leaders — it is time to take action.

“People from across the planet will be making sure that leaders gathered in New York know the demand for action comes from every corner. This is the first truly global problem, and it has spawned the first truly global movement,” says Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org.

In Pakistan, the issue of climate change is often sidelined and replaced with more “important issues”, without the acknowledgement that the social, economic and political issues are all intertwined.The earthquakes, the floods, the energy crisis, the rising temperatures, the unavailability of clean drinking water — are these not ‘important’ enough problems? Or is it just that we choose to stay aloof?

 Recently, most Pakistanis rejected the hypothetical UN Study based on a conjectural 9.0 magnitude earthquake in the Makran Trench (a meeting point for Arabian and Eurasian tectonic plates, off the coast of Pakistan). The study stated that Karachi, home to around 18 million people, could be wiped out by a tsunami if something like that happens.

Karachi experienced a tsunami in the past too. In 1945, around 4000 people lost their lives to it.Instead of being sceptic about it, it is time to take aggressive measures to counter climate change. We are already seeing and feeling its effects. Let’s not shut our eyes to it.

Republished from http://www.dawn.com/news/1132137/how-many-disasters-does-pakistan-need-to-focus-on-climate-change

Democratic Election in Fiji

Written by Claudia Caponi on . Posted in General Information, News

DEMOCRATIC ELECTION IN FIJI   After years of waiting for the possibility to vote, the next 17th of September, Fijians will finally have the opportunity to choose their president. This re-introduction to democracy comes after years of the military being in power, since the coup of 2006. The voting day has been declared national holiday in order to facilitate the whole process.   Since its independence in 1970, the Republic of Fiji has searched for an electoral system that would adequately serve its multi-ethnic society, which is predominantly indigenous Fijian or Indo-Fijian. There has been an incessant political struggle between the two main ethnic groups, leading to several coups in the past years, the first one in 1987 continuing until 2006. The first coup was a result of the opposition to recent election results. It was lead by indigenous Fijian nationalists. They were also against the level of government power held by Indo-Fijians, in 2000 Fiji had its first Indo-Fijian Prime Minister: Mahendra Chaudhry. After the coup of 2006 Fiji has been under the control of a military regime, led by Frank Bainimarama.   The military Bainimarama has stepped down of power a few months before the elections, in this way he has the possibility to be elected as a democratic president.   Several parties run in the election as candidates:  
  • Fiji First Party
  • One Fiji Party
  • Fiji Labour Party
  • Fiji United Freedom Party
  • National Federation Party
  • Peoples Democratic Party
  • Social Democratic Liberal Party
  However there is some concern regarding the results of this election, since, according to some the process hasn’t been facilitated for some part of the population. The document available to vote will have no party symbols, just numbers. The political parties are not happy with this system because they assure this will be confusing for voters, especially older and less educated people who would have to pick a number and wouldn’t see displayed the electoral party of their choice. Candidates may not advertise on a party, but they must do so on a number. For some parties this regulation will favour the party that is already in command and also has the benefit of taxpayers.   Already the country has more than half a million voters registered, in a population of nearly 900 thousand people.   Despite all the problems of the recent past and the present, Fiji currently has an excellent opportunity to design an electoral system that is thoughtful of the country’s unique ethnic and cultural mix, and which maximises the ability for parliament to be a true and accurate reflection of the wishes of the Fijian people.   While Fiji has previously experienced higher levels of women’s representation than its Melanesian neighbours, this is a poor comparison, as 11 percent representation, as occurred at the 2006 election, remains well below the generally accepted level of 25-30 percent where a critical mass of women is achieved to bring about positive change. It would be an opportunity lost if some measures were not taken to ensure a higher proportion of women in parliament. Such measures would not only be beneficial to Fiji, but would provide leadership on this issue for the other Melanesian countries.   Education is regarded in the country as the most important thing the community can provide for their children, since the change of power between the different ethnic groups, education is the one thing that offers security through financial independence. Although attendance was decreasing due to security problems and the high cost of transport, the Ministry in charge was concerned about all the aspects of education, efforts are being put in allocate educational resources available to everyone. Hopefully these efforts will be put especially in the primary enrolment and the subsequent continuing school and the accessibility to universities to everyone.   Our hope is that the new government will put all these intentions into action, looking into the future and giving the importance to sustainability that is urgently required.   Related links of interest and source of bibliography for this post:   http://pidp.eastwestcenter.org/pireport/PIBriefs/pib3_kelly.pdf   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiji   http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-26781618   http://www.sidsnet.org/   http://www.electionsfiji.gov.fj/

Education for Sustainability drawing competition launched in Cameroon!

Written by Marianne on . Posted in Cameroon, News, News & Updates, Upcoming Events

Nektarina Non Profit has recently expanded its activities as part of the Education for Sustainability project (E4S) in three new countries, including Ghana, Sierra Leone and Cameroon. This expansion arises at a moment when the urgent need to educate citizens in general and young people in particular on sustainability all over the world is crucial for achieving a more sustainable planet. The role of these local representatives, is therefore fundamental for a successful project.

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In Cameroon our local representative of the E4S project, Jean Paul Brice Affana, is presently implementing a Children and Youth Drawing Competition and Teachers’ Workshop on Education for Sustainable Development. The drawing competition was officially launched on Monday 25th of August in Yaoundé, the capital city of Cameroon. The event took place in the Bilingual Primary School of Nkolndongo with the presence of students from Bastos Educative Centre the second school targeted by the project. Organized under the theme ‘‘Make a Green Wish for the Planet’’, the competition is opened to children and young people aged 10 to 20 years, and who are students or not. They are called to produce very attractive and inspiring drawings that reflect their vision and wish for a better planet where sustainable energy is used, waste recycling and management is better organized, and where all citizens protect their planet. Participants will have to ensure their entries connect to the contest theme and also highly related to education for sustainability, in its social, economic and environmental aspects.

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The launch of the activity started at 10 am and was held during four hours length. The first item was a welcoming word by the head of the school, followed by the presentation of the E4S project by our local representative who also presented the drawing competition theme and the expectations from and by the participants. He highlighted the importance for youth and children to take part in the contest and share their views and expectations about it. He added that amazing prizes that are to be won. All participants will benefit from educative talks and a closer support provided by the project team. After our local representative intervention, Mr. Emmanuel Sonwa, a representative from the working team, who developed the WWF Education for Sustainability Youth Strategy, made a short word.

This was followed by a cultural animation, which enabled a group of students from the hosting school to perform their traditional music. It was an amazing moment! Ahead of and during the launching, the E4S project team has distributed flyers with information about the competition. The event ended with an open-microphone for participants and served as a free space for people to express themselves and share their opinions about their understanding of the competition and the value of education for sustainable. The launching was finally ended around 2pm with a lot of music.

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After this great launching event, the E4S project will continue in Cameroon, and mainly in Yaoundé city, with the organization of four educative talks, two in each of the targeted school (Bilingual Primary School of Nkolndongo and Bastos Educative Centre). The educative talks will be held from 1-8 September and will enable youth and children from the schools to benefit from knowledge and information about the theme of the competition so that they are able to understand what is expected from them in a better way and later propose very good entries while participating. The E4S project team in Cameroon will facilitate the talks and will be going around the schools during the whole week.

Following the closing date for participating scheduled for end of September, twenty (20) winners of the competition will be selected by a jury which will meet and decide about the best entries. The winners will include ten (10) children aged 10 to 15 years and ten (10) young people aged 16 to 20 years. All winners will receive certificates and amazing prizes supported by Nektarina Non Profit.

 

Written by: Jean Paul Brice Affana, E4S Project Manager for Cameroon

YOUTH EDUCATION AMBASSADORS – YEA

Written by Marianne on . Posted in News, News & Updates, Take Action

UNITED FOR EDUCATION AND SUSTAINABLE FUTURES – UESF – CONTRIBUTION TO SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

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YEA Logo2 “Let us acknowledge and celebrate what youth can do to build a safer, more just world. Let us strengthen our efforts to include young people in policies, programmes and decision-making processes that benefit their futures and ours.”

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

 

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The idea behind the YEA program: Fostering critical thinking & engagement in youngsters:

The approach of the Youth Educational Ambassadors – YEA Program is to support young people to understand and critically question the socio-political problems of our time, as well as to take meaningful actions. Education is the key, which opens new doors to great possibilities, ideas, innovations and achievements. It can be seen as empowerment, as an inner resource that no one can take away from us. Deeper knowledge and understanding of ourselves and the society we live in are the initial steps to create and make a change in the world. The young people of today will be the ones leading this world tomorrow; thus, we should build the future we want together with them.

YEA Mission:

  • To raise awareness among youth about challenges on global education and their interrelation.
  • To foster critical thinkers who will actively participate ineducation-related fields of their interest.
  • To provide participants with necessary tools and information in order to advance their engagement
  • To connect young people around the world with their peers in order to learn from and about each other.
  • Youth Education Ambassadors who transfer the gained knowledge to their peers, schools, and communities
Target group:

This program is directed at pupils between grade 5 and 8 (15-18 years old) with great interest in the field of education and international affairs. In addition, strong empathy, analytical thinking as well as good communication skills are highly preferable.

Methods:

Part 1: Through intensive two to four hours Labs (workshops) and diverse excursions, participants should acquire solid theoretical knowledge about current global and education relevant issues, such as environmental issues, human rights, global health, poverty and personal development.

Part 2: Participants will have the opportunity to put their knowledge into practice in one of our partner organisations, in Austria, abroad or in an individual project.

Duration:

6 months: from October until March; Graduation with a Youth Education Ambassador Certificate

Recent developments:

Currently the team is working on establishing partnerships with other organizations, initiatives and searching for participating schools. One of our recent partnerships is with the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth. Hereby we ensure that young people are actively participating in setting, implementing, and evaluating the new development agenda due to replace the MDGs in 2015. This partnership offers a unique platform for all stakeholders working on youth development to express their views, and help identify specific targets and indicators for youth empowerment, which could feature in the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Young people are crowd-sourcing their recommendations to policy makers. The online crowd-sourcing platform is being moderated by both UN agencies and youth organizations, and will allow for instant interaction between thousands of young people from around the world—complimented by a series of offline events. The expected outcome is a consolidated list of youth priorities to be shared with Member States for the intergovernmental deliberations at the ECOSOC.

Our vision:

We aspire to make this program accessible to as many interested young people and organizations as possible and to increase our capacities. By doing so, we believe that we can eventually have a big impact in contributing to a more sustainable world from an economic, social and ecological perspective.

For more information please visit our website our write us an email :

www.uesfi.org

yea@uesfi.org

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