World Toilet Day was on November 19th – a day highlighting the fact that millions of people don’t have access to a toilet where they live, and something we may take for granted in our everyday lives. Toilets prevent disease, but did you know that they’re also a good economic investment? WHO research reveals that just one dollar spent on toilet facilities has a return of US$5.50. For more toilet facts, click the link below.
Internet is a Modern Human Right, Just Like Food or Water
Technology has changed the world, and the power and necessity of the internet has never appeared more crucial to humanity. With much of the world’s schools, government buildings, workplaces and hives of entertainment closed due to the pandemic, stable internet connection at home and technological literacy are a crucial part of keeping society afloat and expanding into the future.
In Zimbabwe, the Information Communication Technology (ICT) minister, Jenfan Muswere, determined that, “broadband connectivity is no longer a luxury but a right”. Low or no access to broadband connection, faulty devices or minimal skills and experience with technology exacerbates the current world crisis for people of all ages. Whether that means children cannot continue learning from home, adults cannot continue making money to survive or simply the lost connection from being isolated in lockdown, it is clear that the internet today is more than a tool – it is a lifeline for many and an integral resource.
Muswere says that, “Everyone everywhere must have access to affordable ICTs. This includes disadvantaged groups, such as people with disabilities, women, youths, and those residing in underserved localities”. Reinforcing the ICT sector from all fronts is a major step in boosting local economies, sharing information and uniting communities. Displaced regions of Myanmar have endured the “longest internet shutdown” in human history and as a result, lives have been endangered without access to health and safety information, nor means to learn or make a livelihood online.
How are you with computers? Tech savvy or tech weary, can you imagine what new difficulties you might face if your access to the internet was revoked? For more on this, head to the link below.
Scotland has become the first country to end period poverty by making pads and tampons free for all females. Period poverty occurs when someone doesn’t have the funds to purchase feminine hygiene products, a social problem which affects approximately one in four people according to a recent survey. This Bill means that local authorities will have a legal obligation to make sure all people that need access to period products will be able to at no cost. Scotland is already providing free period products in educational institutions like schools and universities. But if this Bill goes through, it’ll be safeguarded. England also introduced free products in every primary and secondary school in January. Will we see other countries follow suit?
You know what else is vital and now free? Kindergarten in Victoria. 100,000 Australian families will benefit from free kindergarten in the state of Victoria. While kindergartens across Australia were forced to close over winter this year, in 2021, eligible children aged three-to-four-years will return to the classroom and receive free or subsidised education. This change will benefit parents too, particularly mothers, by assisting them to return to the workplace as Victoria opens up again after strict lockdown measures. Women have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic. In the state, females accounted for most job losses and research shows the longer they are unengaged, the harder it can be for them to step back into employment. Access to high-quality, early childhood education will prepare the children for the world of tomorrow and also bring new opportunities for parents… and less stress! To learn more, go to the link below.
The National Shea Park Regeneration Campaign in Mali is about to plant over 8,000 shea seedlings. This project is aiming to stop the desert from taking hold while also empowering rural women who live and work in southern Mali. These plants, affectionately known as ‘the tree of 1,000 virtues’ or ‘women’s gold’ are essential to protecting the Malian environment and bolstering the rural economy. In addition to being a food source, when fully grown, these trees boast medicinal qualities and for disadvantaged rural women, selling shea butter and soaps can lift them out of poverty. Since 2018, the Malian Government has launched similar regeneration schemes using shea trees which aim to strengthen climate resistance by providing shade, protecting soil and crops, and providing food and wood, among other benefits. To learn more, head to the link below.
Many famous figures and philosophers throughout history have touched on the subject of change. In a year with so much global change, it can be comforting to read some age-old wisdom like how ‘good things take time’. To read more quotes like this one that make you reflect, go to the link below.
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