From corporate partnerships to wage inequality: The ethics of NGO funding

Accumulate, accumulate!

A remarkable sea change has taken place in the world of activism. What were once grassroots movements have blossomed into huge transnational institutions, concerned with professionalism, branding and most of all: money. As a result, the likes of Save the Children and Amnesty International now have more in common with corporations like Apple and Coca-Cola than they may care to admit.

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The value of volunteering at home

With instantaneous access to pictures and news reports, the outpouring of support that comes in the immediate aftermath of disasters is natural. The gathering of support for Nepal since the terrible earthquake on 25 April shows the global desire to assist the affected areas. In such times, the real question becomes how to help. While frustrating for people who want to rush to the frontline, oftentimes the most useful thing is to donate funds to reliable organisations. Rushing into a disaster zone without pertinent skills and experience puts additional strain on already stretched resources.

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How slow fashion can avoid the mistakes of fair trade

Slow fashion is the new kid on the block, a yet-to-be-recognised offspring of the fair trade movement, a righteous sibling of fast fashion. No matter how you look at it, though, it’s clear that slow fashion leaders need to take a stand together in order to turn the industry into a power to be reckoned with.

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Want to help in Nepal (or any crisis)? Here’s how.

If you’ve so much as logged on to the Internet in the past few days, you’ve almost certainly heard about the earthquake that rocked Nepal on Saturday. The initial 7.9 quake and some 35 aftershocks have already killed over 4,000 (a figure that’s guaranteed to keep rising) and injured and displaced many, many more, with an unknown number of people still missing. Suffice it to say, the humanitarian toll of the earthquake is tremendous, and it came at a time when the international system is already strained by ongoing crises in Gaza, Iraq, South Sudan, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere.

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Will refugees be protected from climate change?

This post follows up on episode 5 of the MissionCreep podcast.

You may remember hearing about a family of four from Tuvalu who fled their country, moved to New Zealand and applied for protected status or residency last year. They claimed that if they were returned to Tuvalu, their life would be endangered and they’d be subject to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. The family stated that they had no land or relatives in Tuvalu, that the father could not find a job there and that they had a lack of access to drinking water. The difference between this and many other asylum cases is that the main perpetrator wasn’t other people or groups; it was climate change and the resulting sea level rise.

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Why WASH is sexy as sh*t

By Yolande Robertson

(More puns to follow. You’re welcome, in advance.)

I get a real kick out of saying that my job involves talking shit all day. It’s one of those dad jokes that never gets old (for me, anyway). I’ve become impervious to the eye rolls.

No, I’m not in politics or sales. I’m just a simple public health nerd who spends her days thinking about shit, writing about shit and asking questions about how shit impacts people who don’t enjoy the luxury of modern sanitation like we do here in Australia. Some of you might be confused as to how this fits in with public health, and I wouldn’t blame you. The WASH sector hasn’t been great in promoting how much value it can add on a vast number of health issues.

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React every which way

This post originally appeared on Rachel Kurzyp’s blog, and is re-printed here with permission. [I wrote this post after I had been living in Dhaka, Bangladesh for eight months. After a man tried to grope me while I was going for a run, I was pretty upset so I asked my female colleagues (local Bangladeshi women) about what I should do. They told me about their own very confronting sexual harassment experiences and that there was no ‘right’ way to react, and they believe the issue must first be addressed in the home. This piece is my attempt to discuss the everyday realities of sexual harassment for a white Australian female living overseas.]

I see their eyes look me up and down. Lingering first on my face and then my chest. Sometimes they turn and watch me as I walk past them. They make no attempt to hide their intense, unblinking stare. As they probe me with their eyes I shiver and I’m filled with the deepest disgust. Some men nudge their friends to join in and others try to start a conversation with me, ‘you want it sexy’ they say with conviction – lines they must have heard in movies.

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“Give one”: What happens after you buy a pair of TOMS?

One for One. You buy shoes; we’ll give a pair away in a developing country. Makes you feel warm and fuzzy all over, doesn’t it? Knowing you’re helping a barefoot child in need?

TOMS Shoes aren’t big in Australia, so I’d never bought any. But after being in Kenya for five months, I was swamped with them. 27,000 pairs, to be precise. I worked with a branch of the Kenya Red Cross, one of TOMS’ 100+ partner organisations, and I was asked to head up the distribution of free shoes. The Kenya Red Cross is primarily volunteer-run, and it took around 40 volunteers to do the distribution.

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Why health is an education issue

By Sandrine Bohan-Jacquot

Inclusive education is often misunderstood as a way to integrate children with disabilities into “regular” classes. But in fact, it’s a broader strategy that not only covers children with disabilities, but attempts to remove barriers that prevent any child from participating meaningfully in education. Continue reading Why health is an education issue

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