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Cleaning up Latvia’s coastline

The Baltic is one of the most polluted seas in the world. There’s litter strewn along many of the beaches on Latvia’s Baltic coast, and waste from industry and agriculture seep into the water.

But despite the pollution problem, local environmentalist Uldis Mors is determined to remind people of the beauty of the 500 kilometer shore. The 25-year-old has organized a special group expedition along the stretch of coast as part of a campaign called “Mana jūra,” or “My Sea” in English.

He’s hoping the trek will raise awareness about the fragile ecosystem, and persuade participants the shore is worth protecting.

Listen to the report by Gederts Gelzis in Riga, Latvia:

Uldis wants to show people the beauty of the Baltic Sea coast (Photo: G. Gelzis)

Uldis wants to show people the beauty of the Baltic Sea coast (Photo: G. Gelzis)

Date

Wednesday 13.08.2014 | 07:41

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Saving Germany’s midwives

Going into labor can be an anxious time, especially for first time mothers. In Germany, it’s often the midwife who provides support and helps young women get through the ordeal.

Bianca Kasting, 32, knows this well enough. Last year, when she gave birth to her first child, a midwife was there to hold her hand.

In Germany there are around 21,000 midwives. And although the work they do is vital, they are often underpaid, and have to pay high insurance premiums. The situation has become so bad, that many midwives have joined protests around the country, or left the profession entirely.

Bianca wanted to do something to help, so she launched an online petition, and even cycled around Germany – her baby in tow – to raise awareness about the plight of midwives.

Listen to the report from Michael Hartlep, Germany:

Bianca Kasting has launched an online petition to rescue midwives. (Photo: Jennifer Fraczek)

Bianca Kasting has launched an online campaign to rescue midwives. (Photo: Jennifer Fraczek)

Date

Tuesday 20.05.2014 | 13:49

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Young women volunteers provide companionship for Russia’s elderly

Letter writing, entertainment and friendship – no job is too small for Liza Oleskina and Marina Kochevalova when it comes to taking care of the elderly in Russia. They are members of Starost v radost, or “It’s nice to be old.” Founded in 2006, its young women volunteers provide much needed companionship for the older generation from the Urals to Siberia.

Listen to the report by Geert Groot Koerkamp in Moscow:

GCRussia

 

Every weekend, Marina Kochevalova travels to the Russian countryside to visit the elderly

 

Date

Tuesday 26.02.2013 | 16:17

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Comedian and actress tackles racism with humor in NYC

Forget the “Shit Girls Say” Youtube meme. American comedian and actress Francesca Ramsay a.k.a. Chescaleigh’s parody spanning a mere two minutes got over nine million hits. Infusing humor into the serious issue of race relations in America, she’s encouraging others to speak out.

Listen to Rachael Bongiorno’s report:

Listen to Rachael Bongiorno’s report:

Franchesca Ramsay a.k.a. Chescaleigh on the streets of NYC

Date

Wednesday 06.02.2013 | 14:42

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Young German voice for Syria

When Philip von der Wippel, a 16-year-old German exchange student in the UK, met Ibrahim, a fellow high-school student originally from Syria, neither ever guessed their friendship would lead them to Nr 10 Downing Street, the iconic office of Britain’s Prime Minister. Now, the campaign they started – to raise awareness about the atrocities taking place in Syria as the country slips slides towards civil war – is going global, thanks in part to the support of Prime Minister Cameron.

Listen to the report by Anja Küppers-McKinnon in London:

Young German voice for Syria

Philipp von der Wippel

Philipp and friends in front of Nr 10 Downing Street

Philipp von der Wippel and MP David Morris

Philipp with British MP David Morris

Here is the Facebook page for Philip’s organization, Together We Can for Syria.

Date

Tuesday 21.08.2012 | 12:15

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Turning trash into treasure

It’s a dirty but lucrative business. Solomon Tetteh works in the waste processing sector in Accra. He holds a university degree, but Solomon was not able to find a job. At first, his friends were not really supportive when he dreamed about building up his own business. Now, a year later, he is not only self-employed, he has also managed to create jobs for several garbage men, giving them the opportunity to support their families. Solomon also promotes environmental awareness in Ghana by distributing free garbage cans in schools. He wants young people to learn early how to separate garbage and leave the land clean.

Turning trash into treasure with a new business initiative

Solomen Tetteh has a knack of turning trash into treasure

Vist onmedia.dw-akademie.com/english to see Richard Ocloo, Janehin Stephen and Bazuaye Darryl’s video report about Solomon.

Date

Tuesday 15.11.2011 | 19:57

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Dutchman revives social activism among his peers

Jeremy in Utrecht is bringing activism back to life in The Netherlands. He’s mobilizing Dutch students with debates and movie nights in the city of Utrecht.

Dutchman revives social activism among his peers

Basta Debat

Check out the website of Jeremy’s organization, Basta Debat.

From DW reporter Laura Potsma:

There is a little sticker that I have noticed in a couple of cities in the Netherlands. It has a black and white image of the Dutch right-wing politician Geert Wilders and it is crossed with a thick, red cross. I have no idea who is behind these stickers, but I had always seen it as a form of silent activism. Physical protests have become rare in this country, but I hadn’t even realized that until I met Jeremy.

Jeremy reminded me that the Netherlands has always been a country with a rich activist movement. Other countries took us as an example, like the Germans did in the 1980s. And when I thought about it, it seemed to make sense that a liberal, open-minded country like the Netherlands would have lively groups of activists.

Why this has changed in the last two decades, I don’t really know. But Jeremy has shown me that even though the Dutch streets seem empty of demonstrators, activism is not dead in the Netherlands. His determination to fight for justice, for causes he strongly believes in, was a great learning experience for me. He wants his voice to be heard, even if there is sometimes only one person listening. And that is the opposite of silent activism.

Basta Debat

Date

Tuesday 04.10.2011 | 13:54

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