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Seattle mapmaker protects local land

Ben Hughey makes maps. As a kid growing up in Alaska, he used a GPS to hike off-trail. Then, as a college junior, he combined his GPS skills with his mapmaking ability to help three indigenous communities in Ecuador create maps of their lands, which they’ll use to defend themselves against future land incursions.

Now, at age 25, Ben is using mapmaking to try to get people on board land conservation projects in Washington State, in the north-western United States.

Listen to the report by Eilís O’Neill in Seattle:

Ben Hughey stands next to the biggest map he’s ever made - a two-meter-tall, five-meter-wide map of the Mountains to Sound Greenway (Photo: E. O'Neill)

Ben Hughey stands next to the biggest map he’s ever made – a two-meter-tall, five-meter-wide map of the Mountains to Sound Greenway (Photo: E. O’Neill)

Ben's pictured here taking a GPS point with his smart phone (Photo: E. O'Neill)

Ben’s pictured here taking a GPS point with his smart phone (Photo: E. O’Neill)

Ben is showing reporter Eilís O'Neill that they're not lost (Photo: E. O'Neill)

Ben is showing reporter Eilís O’Neill that they’re not lost (Photo: E. O’Neill)

Ben is an avid bike rider - and his good sense of navigation comes in handy (Photo: E. O'Neill)

Ben is an avid bike rider – and his good sense of navigation comes in handy (Photo: E. O’Neill)

 

 

 

 

Date

Tuesday 18.02.2014 | 13:26

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Human rights in Rwanda and Bosnia: Call for applications from Global Youth Connect

Global Youth Connect is now accepting applications for its summer human rights programs in Rwanda and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Application Deadline:

Feb 15, 2014

Here’s more from the organization:

Dear Colleagues, Friends, and Future Participants:

We wanted to remind you that Global Youth Connect is now accepting applications for our Summer 2014 Human Rights Programs in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Rwanda.

Each program will bring visiting youth (from the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, and all around the world) together with youth in the host location to engage together in three key activities:

  • A cross cultural human rights workshop
  • Visits/meetings with policy makers, organizations, and to relevant sites
  • Volunteer service with grassroots NGOs on a variety of human rights issues including but not limited to: conflict resolution, education, health care, food/shelter, access to justice, human rights of children/youth, women, low-income populations, LGBTQ populations, indigenous populations, genocide survivors.

The deadline for applications is February 15, 2014.

Ages 18 – 30 (for Bosnia Programs) and 18 – 35 (for Rwanda Program).

Anyone can apply! From the US, Canada, and all over the world.

So please forward widely, share on Facebook, or help promote by putting up this GYC 2014 Summer Programs Poster.

Note: Program fees quoted are for visiting participants (not for local Rwandan or Bosnian participants). Some tuition reduction scholarship assistance is available for each program. See individual application documents for more information about tuition reduction scholarships.

To apply, click here.

For testimonials, click here.

For previous Rwanda reports, click here.

For previous Bosnia reports, click here.

GYC Blogs: gycvillage.org and the Open Society’s youthpolicy.org/interculturalblogging

Date

Wednesday 12.02.2014 | 13:18

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Former fashion designer saves Borneo reefs

The dream of fame and fortune is a familiar one for many young people – but giving it up in pursuit of activism is much less common.  Twenty-seven-year-old Felicity “Flik” Finlayson did just that – in one of the most extreme ways possible. She gave up her goal of becoming a fashion designer and moved to a remote island in Borneo to devote her life fulltime to marine conservation with the organization TRACC.

Listen to the report by Emily Richmond from Pom Pom Island in Malaysian Borneo:

Felicity Finlayson relaxing with local staff on Pom Pom Island, Malaysia

Flik went to Pom Pom Island on vacation – and stayed (Photo: F. Finlayson)

Felicity "Flik" Finlayson working underwater on a new artificial reef

Flik rebuilds portions of the reef, then replants the in the ocean (Photo: TRACC)

Coral plugs growing in underwater nursery on Pom Pom Island

These coral plugs are meant to enhance the existing reefs off of Pom Pom Island (Photo: TRACC)

"Flik" using walker during her recovery

Flik’s leg was nearly severed in a boat accident while working on the reefs – but she has fully recovered (Photo: F. Finlayson)

 

 

Date

Tuesday 11.02.2014 | 13:15

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Asking life’s tough questions, guerilla style

What do you live for? Fifteen-year-old Melis Omalar wants more people to think about that question. So she posts tiny written reminders – in the form of yellow post-its – all around town. It’s a guerilla movment – with a difference.

Listen to the report by Natalie Muller in Cologne:

Melis Omalar takes to the streets, armed with a pile of stickers (Photo: N. Muller)

Melis Omalar takes to the streets, armed with a pile of stickers (Photo: N. Muller)

"Is what you're doing good?" (Photo: N. Muller)

“Is what you’re doing good?” (Photo: N. Muller)

Melis orders her stickers online before she heads out (Photo: N. Muller)

Melis orders her stickers online before she heads out (Photo: N. Muller)

"When does your heart sing?" (Photo: N. Muller)

“When does your heart sing?” (Photo: N. Muller)

 

 

 

Date

Tuesday 04.02.2014 | 12:55

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Love first for Cameroonian charity founder

On a trip to South Africa a few years ago, Jesse Carlton Ndongo, 21-year-old student from Cameroon, was touched by the large number of children he met who’d been orphaned by HIV/AIDS. He saw first-hand the pain and anguish they  face, but also noticed that they seem to be neglected by the rest of society.  He felt that he had to do something about it. So three years ago, he founded the Carlton Smile Charity on Easter Sunday.

The charity is already active in five African countries – Cameroon, Nigeria, Gabon, South Africa and Zimbabwe – and has plans to expand even further. Carlton tries to stand out from other organizations in that he doesn’t focus first on giving the kids material goods. Instead, his first priority is to show them love.

Listen to the report by Ngala Killian Chimtom in Yaoundé, Cameroon:

Carlton says the kids he meets in orphanages are often closer to the things in life that really matter (Photo: N. Chimtom)

Carlton says the kids he meets in orphanages are often closer to the things in life that really matter (Photo: N. Chimtom)

Carlton has a team of volunteers who work in orphanages across five countries (Photo: N. Chimtom)

Carlton has a team of volunteers who work in orphanages across five countries (Photo: N. Chimtom)

 

 

 

 

Date

Tuesday 28.01.2014 | 14:22

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Ciao clichés: Showing Paris the real face of Romania

When Madalina moved from Bucharest to Paris, she fell in love with the city. But she was so disturbed by the stereotypes she encountered that she founded a project to introduce real Romanians to their Parisian neighbors.

The initiative, Je suis roumain (aussi) – I’m Romanian too – breaks down stereotypes by helping Parisians get to know who the local Romanian immigrants really are. One of them, artist Dan Perjovschi, recently joined the campagne with an installation the Immigration Museum.

Listen to the report by Fabien Jannic-Cherbonnel in Paris:

Madalina Alexe has lived in Paris since 2008 (Photo: F. Jannic-Charbonnel)

Madalina Alexe has lived in Paris since 2008 (Photo: F. Jannic-Charbonnel)

Artist Dan Perjovschi is well known in Romania and has shown his work in all major Paris musuems

Artist Dan Perjovschi is well known in Romania and has shown his work in all major Paris musuems (Photo: F. Jannic-Charbonnel)

 

 

Date

Tuesday 21.01.2014 | 13:03

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Young organic farmer fights for her land

We like buying “organic” food because it sounds like it must be better for our health and for the environment. Admit it – buying “organic” makes us feel good.

But in Germany, young organic farmers like Julia Bar-Tal don’t feel good about the rising price of the land they need to produce the local organic products their peers want to buy.

Julia and other young farmers blame multinational and German companies for buying up land for speculation purposes. This has led to price increases – especially in eastern Germany – of up to 300 percent.

Julia helps run an organic farm collective outside of Berlin with 14 other farmers. Her farm is successful, but she says she can’t expand because the land has simply become too expensive. So she and her group have decided to fight back. She is a leader in a movement that aims to enlist the help of customers who buy organic food to stop industrial giants from bidding up the price of land.

Listen to the report by Michael Scaturro in Berlin:

Julia Bar-Tal wants to raise awareness for the landgrabbing problem among the people who buy her food (Photo: Julia Bar-Tal)

Julia Bar-Tal wants to raise awareness for the landgrabbing problem among the people who buy her food (Photo: Julia Bar-Tal)

Hello up there! (Photo: Julia Bar-Tal)

Hello up there! (Photo: Julia Bar-Tal)

Julia's farm is not far from urban Berlin (Photo: Julia Bar-Tal)

Julia’s farm is not far from urban Berlin (Photo: Julia Bar-Tal)

 

Date

Tuesday 14.01.2014 | 13:31

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Express yourself with color

Graffiti has a bad name. It’s often associated with vandalism, out-of-control youth and illegal tags in seedy places.

But for 23-year-old Daria Andert, graffiti can also be an important way for young people to express themselves and connect with their “inner artist.”

The art student from Cologne volunteers with a graffiti project called MittwochsMaler (Wednesday Painters), which holds drawing workshops, and helps aspiring sprayers practice graffiti on a legal wall.

Daria is hoping to deter illegal tagging, and show society graffiti artists shouldn’t be painted with the same brush as vandals.

Listen to the report by Natalie Muller in Cologne:

Daria Andert see street art as a way to make a difference

Daria Andert see street art as a way to make a difference  (Photo: N. Muller)

Here, spraying is legal

Here, spraying is legal (Photo: N. Muller)

Daria is considering a career as a teacher (Photo: N. Muller)

Daria is considering a career as a teacher (Photo: N. Muller)

It's all about the freedom to express yourself (Photo: N. Muller)

It’s all about the freedom to express yourself (Photo: N. Muller)

Mittwochs Maler is a colorful break from Daria's art studies

Mittwochs Maler is a break from Daria’s art studies (Photo: N. Muller)

 

 

 

 

 

Date

Tuesday 07.01.2014 | 13:52

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Feeding forward in California

Every day, 263 million pounds of consumable food is thrown away in the United States – enough to fill a football stadium to the brim. At the same time, nearly one in six adults doesn’t know where their next meal will come from.

As president of Feeding Forward, a non-profit organization that fights food waste and hunger in the local San Francisco Bay Area, Chloe Tsang is working to change that.

The 20-year old student at UC Berkeley spends her spare time overseeing the website and app Feeding Forward created to make private food donations quick and easy.

Listen to the report by Anne-Sophie Brändlin in Berkeley, California:

Anyone who has more than 10 pounds of leftover food can snap a picture of it and post it to the website or the app. Feeding Forward then takes care of the rest. (Foto: Feeding Forward)

Anyone who has more than 10 pounds of leftover food can snap a picture of it and post it to the website or the app. Feeding Forward then takes care of the rest. (Photo: Feeding Forward)

Chloe Tsang convinced Samuel Hernandez, the supervisor of Golden Bear Café at the UC Berkeley campus, to donate leftover food through Feeding Forward’s website (Photo: Anne-Sophie Brändlin)

Chloe Tsang convinced Samuel Hernandez, the supervisor of Golden Bear Café at the UC Berkeley campus, to donate leftover food through Feeding Forward’s website (Photo: Anne-Sophie Brändlin)

 

 

Date

Friday 27.12.2013 | 10:32

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Young man stands up for women’s rights in Buenos Aires

In Buenos Aires, it’s not uncommon to see ads plastered on every street corner featuring scantily clad women in lascivious positions. The prostitutes for sale, however, are often there against their will. Human trafficking in the sex industry is a major problem.

Jerónimo Velez is working to change that, together with the organization Martes Rojos. He leads volunteers on walks through the city to remove the sex ads. Their aim? To raise awareness for the fact that many of the city’s prostitutes are victims of trafficking.

For some people in the community, it’s unusual that a man like Jerónimo would have the courage to take a stand on this sensitive issue.

Listen to the report by Maria Cruz from Buenos Aires:

Jerónimo Velez

Jerónimo emphasizes that Martes Rojos is non-political (Photo: M. Cruz)

Flyers advertising prostitutes are ubiquitous in Buenos Aires (Photo: M. Cruz)

Flyers advertising prostitutes are ubiquitous in Buenos Aires (Photo: M. Cruz)

Martes Rojos volunteers take to the streets regularly to remove sex ads (Photo: Martes Rojos)

Martes Rojos volunteers take to the streets regularly to remove sex ads (Photo: Martes Rojos)

Reporter Maria Cruz joined in on one of the Martes Rojos walks (Photo: Martes Rojos)

Reporter Maria Cruz joined in on one of the Martes Rojos walks (Photo: Martes Rojos)

 

Date

Wednesday 18.12.2013 | 07:55

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