Dec 5th, 2012 1:07 PM UTC
By Malaka Gharib
Positive-Generation, a Cameroon-based advocacy organization that fights for health rights for HIV-positive people, received the $100,000 prize for the 2012 ONE Africa Award today at the GAVI Alliance Partners Forum in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
The annual award is given to the African organisation that shows the most promise in helping to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.
Dr. Sipho Moyo, ONE’s Africa Director said, ” I continue to be awed by how much Africa contributes towards it’s own progress and that of mankind. Africa is rising against all odds, led by its own innovative indigenous solutions. We gather today to celebrate the contribution of an organization that is one among many, that are a leading light on this journey of socio-economic transformation and empowerment in Africa. It’s our great privilege to offer the 2012 ONE Africa Award to Positive-Generation”.
A crowd of guests from the GAVI Partners Forum, Tanzanian journalists, local ONE volunteers, ONE staffers from Johannesburg, DC and London, attended the Africa Award ceremony. The Honorable Zitto Kabwe and GAVI Alliance Chair Dagfinn Hoybraten gave remarks on ONE’s work on the continent.
The effectiveness of advocacy was the recurring theme of the event. Positive-Generation (PG) Executive Director Fogué Foguitoexplained that “advocacy allows [HIV-positive] people to participate in the decision-making process in their lives,” both empowering them, creating a sense of community and ensuring their rights to HIV treatment.
“We dedicate this prize to all those who struggle for freedom, social justice and particularly to the young Africans who are engaged daily to improve the living conditions of their fellow citizens,” he said.
ONE was praised for our advocacy work by both Mr. Kabwe and Mr. Hoybraten. Mr. Kabwe said that our through policy intervention on the continent is the reason why he’s been “supporting ONE all the way” and signing our petitions.
Mr. Hoybraten discussed the critical need for advocacy in global health development. “The fact that this year’s winner focuses on innovative advocacy for health makes this an even more special occasion,” he said. “Innovation is what GAVI is all about – from technological innovations in vaccines and vaccine delivery, to GAVI’s public-private business model. And good health, particularly through immunization, is key to economic development and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.”
He also reflected on ONE’s work in calling on world leaders to fund GAVI last year, and thanked ONE members for advocating for vaccines.
To find out what Positive-Generation plans to do with the prize money, read our interview with Fogué. For specific updates, photos and quotes from today’s events, read live blog of the Africa Award ceremony here.
Join us in congratulating Positive-Generation by leaving a comment and liking their Facebook page.
Dec 4th, 2012 3:43 PM UTC
By Guest Blogger
The following is a guest blog from Dr. Allan Mayi who is a Senior Technical Advisor (ART) with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) and coordinates the EGPAF – Tunaweza Project based in Lodwar, Turkana County (Kenya).
I have been working with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) for the last five years. Before that, I was with the Kenyan Ministry of Health for another five years. During these 10 years of working in the general health field and in HIV/AIDS programs in various capacities, I have witnessed a lot of growth and changes – from the days of monotherapy with Zidovudine, to days when there were no public HIV programs, to the advent of adult HIV programs and later pediatric HIV programs. As we mark World AIDS Day 2012, I feel that there is a lot to be proud of, but I also have the somber realization that a lot still needs to be done. Here in Kenya, there has been significant progress towards combating the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and a lot of credit is due to the Kenyan government and donor governments and funding agencies, along with the various implementing partners. But so much still needs to be done, especially in hard-to-reach areas, like where I work in Turkana County.
Turkana County is one of the largest counties in Kenya and covers an area of 77,000 square kms. It borders three countries—Uganda, South Sudan, and Ethiopia. It is an arid/semi-arid region whose main economic activity is nomadic pastoralism. This has accompanying challenges of insecurity, including conflicts with neighbouring nomadic pastoralist tribes over pastures and water. The migratory lifestyles and generalized poverty adversely affects the provision of health services in the county, and HIV/AIDS programs are not exempt. The distances to health facilities are long – about 50 km – and the public transport system is poorly developed, as only the big town centers have public transport systems. Therefore, rates of defaulting from treatment are high in Turkana. Nutrition is also a major challenge – patients commonly remark that they have the medicines but have to take them on an empty stomach, which can be very painful.
Photo: A healthcare worker supported by EGPAF provides HIV counseling and testing to a family outside their manyatta in Turkana. (A manyatta is a simple traditional house built of twigs and grass by nomadic pastoralists)
Turkana is a difficult place to work in, and more often than not, the staff is called upon to go beyond the normal call of duty.
Photo: Staff from EGPAF and the Ministry of Health sleep on the verandah of Kalemnyang dispensary after a support supervision visit. There was no accommodation in the nearby town, and Lodwar town was 180 km away on rough roads by night. The only option was to sleep at the facility and continue with work the next day. Local residents often sleep “outside,” but for the uninitiated like me, it was a unique experience.
Turkana area is also prone to flash floods, and in the normal course of duty, we have been marooned by flood waters on several occasions, forcing us to sit out for several hours waiting for the waters to subside.
Photo: This river bed was dry when we crossed on the way to visit our site, but on the return journey it was completely flooded, forcing us to sit out for about four hours before we could safely cross the bridge. Another agency’s vehicle was swept away attempting to cross the bridge.
In spite of these challenges posed by the burden of the HIV disease itself, generalized poverty, and the harsh environment in which we work, the EGPAF staff continue to do their best to combat HIV in Turkana County and hope that by World AIDS Day 2013, we will be able to say that there have been major improvements in people’s lives and health in our region.
Dec 3rd, 2012 10:41 AM UTC
By ONE Partners
The following is a guest blog from the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) Board Chair Dagfinn Hoybraten
As I was writing my new book, my granddaughter of 6 asked me what I was up to. I am writing my book, I said. What is it on? She asked. On what grandpa thinks is most important. Do you know what grandpa thinks is most important? That the children may live, she replayed with a big smile.
She is so right, and that is also the common goal behind the efforts of the partners working together in the GAVI Alliance: That the children may live.
What would it take to protect a child against five diseases with a single vaccine in a country like Haiti, which is still rebuilding after the devastating 2010 earthquake? Or to bring vaccines against pneumonia and diarrhoea, two of the biggest killers of children in developing countries, to places such as Pakistan and Yemen? Or to target Africa’s meningitis belt by reaching 100 million people less than two years into a mass vaccination campaign?
It takes partnership, and the belief that by working together those of us who are passionate about saving lives and improving health can accomplish much more than we could on our own. Since 2000, GAVI has been able to save more than 5 million lives and will work to save an additional 4 million by 2015. This is possible by working as an alliance whose partners include UNICEF, WHO, the World Bank, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, governments and pharmaceutical companies in the developed and developing worlds, research institutes, and civil society and advocacy organisations such as ONE and many others.
Later this week, more than 600 global health leaders will come together in Dar es Salaam for the GAVI Alliance Partners’ Forum. The United Republic of Tanzania is the perfect place for this three-day event, which will include a dual introduction of pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccines and discussions aimed at advancing access to vaccines and immunisation. In 2010 pneumonia accounted for 15% of child mortality in Tanzania, according to the International Vaccine Access Center at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. And yet, according to 2011 estimates from WHO and UNICEF, Tanzania’s vaccine coverage rate against key causes of child pneumonia meet or exceed targets that if adopted worldwide could prevent two-thirds of child pneumonia deaths.
GAVI’s mission underscores the themes of the Partners’ Forum, which are Results, Innovation, Sustainability and Equity (RISE). Those who are unable to join us in Tanzania can follow the conversation on the GAVI website, where we’ll be streaming some of the sessions, and on Twitter at #GAVIpartners.
The results of our work lie not only in the number of lives saved or lives we hope to save but in the fact that an additional 370 million children in the world’s poorest countries now have an opportunity to grow up healthy and contribute to their communities. Innovation is at the heart of what makes vaccines one of the most cost-effective ways to save lives. GAVI uses several funding mechanisms to raise funds in international capital markets and stimulate the development and supply of vaccines to make them affordable for developing countries. By using these tools to shape vaccine markets and lower costs, countries are able to sustain their commitment to providing immunisation after they graduate from GAVI support. Even the world’s poorest countries take pride in contributing to the cost of their vaccines. This reinforces the fact that they are equal partners in this effort. Equity drives a central goal of our work to dramatically reduce the amount of time it takes for vaccines to reach poorer countries after they’re introduced in wealthier countries. Just 20 years ago, this would not have seemed possible.
I’m excited to leave Tanzania after several days of discussion and debate further inspired by what can be achieved when we come together in partnership.
Submit your questions on vaccine distribution, financing and more by leaving a comment in the Facebook event.
Nov 19th, 2012 12:48 PM UTC
By Guest Blogger
The following is a guest blog from Fleur Anderson, Head of Campaigns at Water Aid in support of World Toilet Day 2012.
World Toilet Day is on 19th November and sounds a bit of a joke, but this is half the problem. Sanitation is a word we don’t often use, and toilets are something not talked about enough, but action around globe on World Toilet Day hopes to start to overcome this. It is an incredible fact that 1 in 3 women and girls – that’s 1.25 billion – lack safe and adequate sanitation and of those 526 million don’t have a toilet at all.
Imagine arriving at your workplace and finding there was no toilet and none anywhere nearby. Imagine the state of your neighbourhood if no-one had a toilet. Now imagine having to pick your way through the streets and parks trying to find somewhere to go, which would be especially frightening at night. This is the daily reality for 1 in 3 women worldwide, and a new short film hopes to bring this home – do have a look at www.wateraid.org/1in3.
Photo: Katherine Mulemba, 60, has to rely on neighbours and bars to find a latrine to use. “I have no other option. I feel bad. I feel embarrassed, but what can I do? My landlord tried to have a latrine built but the guy who was employed to do it ran away with the money.”
Lack of sanitation affects men and women, of course, but women are particularly at risk of shame, fear and even violence from having to walk from their homes to find a place to go to the toilet. WaterAid knows this from speaking with many of the women we work with, but it is an aspect of the global sanitation crisis rarely highlighted.
This World Toilet Day WaterAid commissioned a poll of women living across five slums in Lagos, Nigeria. The results show that one in five had first or second hand experience of verbal harassment and intimidation, or had been threatened or physically assaulted in the last year when going to the toilet. Anecdotal evidence from communities suggests that the scale of the problem may be much larger than this.
Other studies from Uganda, Kenya, India and the Solomon Islands show that such experiences of fear, indignity and violence are common place wherever women lack access to safe and adequate sanitation.
Sanitation remains a very neglected area of government attention around the world, and this is why its important to show how crucial toilets are to achieving women’s rights and development. Lack of toilets also affects productivity, livelihoods and health, and government investment in sanitation is proven to tackle extreme poverty and preventable diseases. For every £1 invested in water and sanitation, an average of £4 is returned in increased productivity.
Check out the new film at www.wateraid.org/1in3 and take the pledge, and you can add your voice to thousands of people around the world who are pushing their governments to keep the promises already made but not delivered on, and to ramp up their funding and delivery of sanitation services – especially to the poorest communities. It is also the first WaterAid film I know of to feature china figurines and fluffy pink slippers, so have a look and see what you think!
Nov 13th, 2012 4:00 PM UTC
By Tom Wallace
Many things in our modern lives make us angry: long queues at the supermarket, missing the last bus, traffic jams, difficult to open packaging. Sometimes though, it’s worth taking stock and considering something we should be really angry about – energy poverty.
Sadly this picture isn’t improving – if anything it’s getting worse.
According to the World Energy Outlook 2012, by 2030 the total number of people without access to modern energy sources will decrease in every region EXCEPT Sub-Saharan Africa. Under current policies by 2030 there will be 655 million people without access to electricity in Sub-Saharan Africa as oppose to the 589 million currently without access. The total number of people without access to clean cooking is also increasing.
This is ridiculous. Sub-Saharan Africa’s renewable energy potential is huge.
As of 2010: only 0.6% of its geothermal energy had been exploited; less than 2% of its wind energy had been exploited; only 7% of its hydropower potential had been exploited; and Africa has hardly even scratched the surface of its solar. Additionally even if not all of this energy access was provided from renewable energy sources the International Energy Agency predicts global CO2 emissions would increase by only 0.6%.
Access to modern energy sources is crucial for human development and job creation. It is unrealistic to think that Africans will be able to fulfil their human or developmental potential when the majority of them are excluded from modern energy access.
Chief Economist at the International Energy Agency, Fatih Birol, agrees. When asked about the lack of modern energy access in Sub-Saharan Africa he stated:
“We believe this is economically, socially and morally unacceptable.”
and he is right… luckily there is some good news:
25 African countries have now signed up in support of Sustainable Energy for All initiative. An initiative set up last year to spur action to: achieve universal modern energy access; double the share of renewables in the global mix; and double the rate of improvement in energy efficiency; all by 2030. African Energy Ministers are meeting in Ethiopia this week at the Second AU Conference of Energy Ministers of Africa (CEMA) to look at how to mobilise domestic resources and prioritise energy in their economic development strategies. The European Commission, the African Development Bank, the World Bank and German and French Development Ministries have all said they will be funding more projects to increase energy access.
What we need to do now is build on this good intention. We need to put leaders under pressure to turn this interest into actual KiloWatt Hours of energy delivered to those who need it.
With your help – we’ll be able to turn anger about energy poverty into action. With your support, we at ONE will be working with leaders and government to do this – so that soon access to modern energy isn’t the exception in Sub-Saharan Africa but the norm.
Nov 9th, 2012 12:39 PM UTC
By Catherine Blampied
Strong economic growth in Africa is no longer a new or unexpected story. Between 2000 and 2010, Africa was home to six of the world’s ten fastest-growing economies. Last year, growth across sub-Saharan Africa was almost 5% and total GDP was $1.27 trillion. What’s more, these trends are set to continue, with regional growth predicted to average 5.4% per year in 2012 and 2013, outpacing almost everywhere else in the world. With many rich countries struggling to escape recession, this impressive fact is not lost on investors.
Edwina Assan, owner of EdTek Batiks in Accra, Ghana
However, while national growth figures are important, they are not the whole picture. They don’t tell us whether that growth has translated into improved living standards and rising real consumption among ordinary families. However, the data that could tell us is often dubious or missing entirely, especially for Africa. For example, one widely-used estimate of purchasing power parity – the Penn World Tables – does not provide benchmark studies for 24 African countries. Instead, expatriate allowance indices were used to extrapolate price studies to the missing countries (now supplemented using a worldwide study of prices from 2005). When Mozambique conducted its first ever national survey of the informal sector in 2004, this led to a doubling of previous estimates of household consumer spending, revealing just how wide the margins of error can be in such estimates.
An innovative new study—The African Growth Miracle – by Professor Alwyn Young draws on information not normally used in this type of analysis. These findings reveal that growth of real household consumption in sub-Saharan Africa since 1990 could be as much as 3.7% per year – four times previous estimates. What this study does differently is to use direct, simple and obvious measures of real consumption at a household level – ownership of goods such as televisions, refrigerators, cars and bicycles; as well as the quality of housing, education of young people, health and mortality of children, and allocation of women’s time in the family – rather than estimating total nominal consumption and setting it against price indices. It draws on two decades’ worth of data from the international Demographic and Health Survey, focusing on 29 sub-Saharan African countries and 27 other developing countries, covering a total of 1.6 million households. Even accounting for big variations in different countries, the study uncovered a pattern of surprisingly high growth across sub-Saharan Africa.
The overall health and mortality of children is improving, school attendance is rising, and family consumption of a variety of material goods is growing at a rapid rate. According to the study’s author, these achievements should be seen as a hidden growth miracle. Nevertheless, heartening as these trends are, the study also showed that consumption levels in Africa fall far below those in other developing countries. Continuing high levels of poverty and inequality remind us not to be complacent about Africa’s ‘miraculous’ growth.
Nov 8th, 2012 5:57 PM UTC
By Guest Blogger
Close your eyes and picture Africa. What do you see? Starving children? Drought? Conflict?
If so, it’s not your fault. Quite often, it’s the only image painted by the media. Keep track of most mainstream news source’s coverage of Africa and you’ll rarely find anything other than stories of the impoverished and victimized. You would be even luckier if that same news section was updated more than once a week.
But the real problem is that the image just does not add up anymore. At the moment, six of the world’s ten fastest-growing economies are African countries. Investment in the continent is at an all-time high. Childhood deaths have been slashed in half in the past two decades.
There is no question that Africa is on the rise, and while there is still plenty of work to do, images of people with empty, outstretched hands begging for food still saturates the media. When will we begin to see a more accurate image of Africa’s growth?
However, we’re at a tipping point — and it’s beginning at The Globe and Mail.
Canada’s largest-circulation newspaper recently published a six-part series focused entirely on the future of Africa, complete with the economic and developmental successes the continent continues to collect, and the pitfalls and challenges that lie ahead.
Africa correspondent Geoffrey York spent months investigating Africa’s economic boom, traveling throughout the continent, from “Congo and Burkina Faso to Liberia and Botswana, talking to everyone from miners and farmers to factory owners and chief executives.”
York has compiled one of the most complete and balanced views of Africa that the Western media has ever seen.
Only a few lines into part-one of his series “Africa Next,” we realize how much the tone has really changed, learning that “for the first time in generations, Africa is receiving more investment than foreign aid.”
York paints a picture of the economic triumphs the region is making, telling the stories of the locals who benefit from the jobs and opportunities foreign investment has provided, as well as those caught in the crossfire of development by the inequalities a lack of accountability can cause.
This is not the first time the publication has devoted itself to in-depth coverage on the continent of Africa.
Back in 2010, The Globe and Mail handed over the reins to ONE’s own Bono and singer-activist Bob Geldof as guest editors for a day to focus the issue entirely on the unseen side of Africa.
But now, the paper is setting a new precedent, by honoring the African people with a clearer view of the continent, from poverty to promise, allowing the true stories and voices of the unheard to speak for themselves.
The Globe and Mail has taken the first steps in what we can only hope is a media revolution, complete with comprehensive coverage on the world’s poorest, in transition.
Africa is catching up, and it’s about time the media did too.
Nov 2nd, 2012 1:00 PM UTC
By Adrian Lovett
A world in which 870 million people are chronically undernourished is not best served by small thinking. That’s why it is entirely fitting that in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, David Cameron sets out a vision to make this the generation that eradicates absolute poverty. What seemed a few decades ago to be an idle pipedream is now tantalisingly possible, with a surge of political will and resources in the coming years. The fact that Cameron has articulated this goal, when economic austerity and cynicism with politics makes some view such ambition with scepticism, is a very good sign. He knows such a goal is achievable and appears ready to play his part to make it happen.
But Cameron has done more than set a lofty goal. He has articulated a distinct approach to poverty reduction – the ‘golden thread’ – which argues if societies are to move from poverty to prosperity, they need to have the right institutions and governance arrangements in place, with people empowered to face the challenges and seize the opportunities that they face in their daily lives.
So far, so good. The notion may be open to misinterpretation by some, but the ‘golden thread’ combines conviction and common-sense. So if genius, as Thomas Edison remarked, is one per cent inspiration and 99 per cent perspiration, the Prime Minister can probably tick off the first half of the formula. But to realise the potential of the smart approach he champions in pursuit of the big vision he has described, he and his team now need to break a sweat.
The leadership challenge is to flesh out the ‘golden thread’ with ambitious policy changes and a diplomatic plan to sell them on the world stage. Neither of these challenges is straightforward but Britain is in a unique position to deliver on them in 2013, thanks to a series of leadership moments where extreme poverty will be centre stage. Each of them will require a carefully constructed alliance of leaders from across the world, from governments, multilateral institutions and civil society. If Cameron can meet five tests in 2013, he will have a justified claim to a place in the history of the fight against poverty.
The first test is to maintain the UK’s commitment to meet the internationally agreed spending target of 0.7% of gross national income on aid. Well-spent British aid transforms lives around the world. Reaching 0.7% means that by 2015 British taxpayers will have supported 16 million children to go to school and paid for vaccinations that will save 1.4 million lives. The UK government should ensure that investment in agriculture is a priority, building on recent commitments to reverse the decades of underfunding for a sector that is the primary occupation of the majority of people living in poverty.
Second, Cameron should use his role as co-chair of the United Nations panel on what will follow the Millennium Development Goals to set an ambitious new set of global poverty targets. The first set of goals from 2000 agreed that extreme poverty should be halved by 2015. World leaders must now set a course to eradicate extreme poverty entirely – and plot the clear steps towards that destination.
Third, the G8 in June must be a moment of clear policy delivery on the ‘golden thread’. The last UK hosted G8 secured important increases in aid and debt cancellation to help directly fund the fight against poverty. In 2013 aid remains an important part of the picture, but as more and more countries attract investment, exploit their natural resources and expand their tax base, Africa’s development prospects increasingly rest on its ability to harness domestic resources for the benefit of all.
There are several ways the G8 can uniquely support this process, advancing transparency in order to empower citizens to take charge of their own destiny. They must act on natural resources, which have too often been a wasted opportunity for developing countries. Cameron’s call for Europe to at least match US legislation requiring extractive companies to publish what they pay governments, broken down to individual projects, is welcome.
The UK should also go a step further by signing up to the voluntary Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative and ending the double standard of asking developing countries to sign on without being members themselves. But the G8 should also agree a package of measures to ensure that newly liberated data about financial transactions between companies and governments is effectively used. Civil society and anti-corruption bodies need to be supported – financially if needs be, through a G8 ‘Follow the Money’ Fund – and government revenue authorities beefed up. The same institutions will benefit from progress on budget transparency, which the G8 should support by endorsing fiscal transparency principles and public procurement efficiency measures. Transparency around other issues including large scale land deals and tax should also be increased, with rules that enable politicians and companies to hide their ill-gotten gains behind a wall of secrecy re-written too. Only then will the illicit financial flows that drain Africa of precious government revenue begin to slow down.
The fourth test is galvanising momentum for world leaders to follow through on bold commitments that will ensure there is enough food for everyone. Cameron has multiple opportunities to lead in 2013 and make sure these promises are kept. As well as the G8, meeting, he announced yesterday that the UK will host a summit next year to focus global attention on agriculture and nutrition.
The New Alliance launched at this year’s G8 to lift 50 million out of poverty through agricultural investment should be expanded to more countries and backed by funding pledges that run until at least 2015. It should also include an accountable partnership on nutrition between developed and developing country governments and the private sector. The Maputo commitment made by African governments to ring-fence at least 10% of national budgets for agriculture will reach its tenth anniversary in 2013 – the summit can also be part of an accountability moment on that promise. Backing African leadership with investment in fully vetted, costed country-owned agriculture and nutrition plans will truly help the continent not merely to survive but to thrive. This must be a core component of a ‘golden thread’ that gives people the opportunity to pull themselves out of poverty.
The final test, which underpins all of the first four, is whether the British government will devote the necessary time and resources to make all of this a success. The ideas and vision are in place but good intentions alone cannot deliver. Have the Cabinet and embassies around the world been drilled into action, with a common determination across all offices of state to pursue an ambitious agenda with drive and discipline? What is the plan for hitting the phones, getting on the road, twisting arms and offering deals to get a result next year? How exactly will Downing Street use each of the thirty-odd weeks between now and the British G8? What plans are being made to leverage British aid at a string of vital multilateral replenishment moments, ranging from the Global Fund to the African Development Bank? These are the questions that will ultimately decide if the ‘golden thread’ fulfils its potential as a means to tackle the causes of poverty.
Citizens and civil society have a big part to play. There needs to be a concerted effort to engage and enlist the public in the next stage – perhaps the decisive one – of the journey towards the end of extreme poverty. That campaigning energy must push the British government, and others, to go the extra mile and make the most of this impressive roster of opportunities in 2013. No one can afford to look back in a year’s time with regret. Least of all David Cameron.
Nov 1st, 2012 3:31 PM UTC
By Nealon DeVore
After reviewing over 250 applications , visiting 5 countries in 12 days, and drinking more African coffee than any doctor would recommend as healthy, we’re excited to announce the five finalists for the 2012 ONE Africa Award. In its fifth year, the ONE Africa Award aims to reward those African organizations, groups and individuals that are engaged in life-changing, innovative efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in their local communities, regions and countries. These groups are usually involved in providing some direct services to their communities and tying those efforts to direct advocacy in order that lasting change may take place.
For this year, we received applications from all corners of the continent. There were completed applications in English, French, Portuguese and even a few with Arabic attachments. We surely discovered the diversity of this beautiful continent as we read the stories of the organizations and the problems they are addressing in their villages, cities and nations. It is truly impossible to choose the top five, for each application deserves recognition, but we had a job to do. The 2012 ONE Africa Award Finalists are the following:
Friends of the Global Fund Africa (Friends Africa) – Working from Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, Friends Africa focuses on raising African support for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Working with partners, they have secured tens of millions of dollars of commitments for the Fund from African governments and businesses.
Muliru Farmers Conservation Group (MFCG) – MFCG’s members live in the towering shadows of Kenya’s last remaining rainforest, Kakamega Forest. Faced with its impending destruction, MFCG mobilized in the late 1990s to advocate for its conservation and in the meantime, found a way to tie local farmers’ economic interests to the health and vitality of Kakamega Forest.
Positive-Generation (PG) – Headquartered in Yaoundé, Cameroon’s capital, PG fights for the Cameroonian government to maintain its commitments to spend 15% of the nation’s budget on healthcare. PG started at a university as a social club to fight the stigmatization of HIV+ people and advocated for the government to provide free antiretroviral drugs after implementing a successful monitoring program of government health clinics and hospitals.
Rural Health Advocacy Project (RHAP) – While its offices may be in downtown Johannesburg, RHAP works for the rights of South African’s rural citizens to access affordable, quality healthcare in their home districts. In its short existence, RHAP has become the de facto source for the most innovative policies and practices to improve rural healthcare and while at it, has given a voice to rural health workers that they never had before.
Supporting Orphans & Vulnerable for Better Health, Education & Nutrition (SOVHEN) – SOVHEN is a community development organization working in four of Uganda’s rural districts. It started as a student group to give new opportunities to their citizens and took on the challenge of keeping girls in school by finding an incredibly innovative, affordable method to manufacture sanitary pads.
We at ONE are truly honored to be able to have the privilege of learning about these organizations and telling their stories. Over the next few weeks, we hope you will join us as we share their stories in words, photos and videos.
The 2012 ONE Africa Award winner will be announced on December 5 in Dar es Salaam. Stay tuned and enjoy learning about their amazing work!
Oct 31st, 2012 4:15 PM UTC
By Guest Blogger
KickStart Ghana is a UK-registered charity that aims to ensure that the people of the Volta Region, Ghana, can fulfill their potential and have every opportunity to succeed. We focus on the promotion of education and physical activity to do this. We use a mixture of grants and volunteers to achieve these aims.
At KickStart Ghana we have many, many photos of the work that our volunteers do, finished projects, the beautiful beaches of Ghana and loads of other shots. What we felt like we were missing was an insight on how our beneficiaries, the young people of Ho, saw their home town. Also one of our strategic aims is to increase the levels of understanding in the UK about what life in Ghana is really like and we hope this project helps with this.
We decided to give eight local school children disposable cameras and a week to take photos of whatever they wanted. We gave instructions on how to use the cameras, but very little other guidance.
When the photos were developed we were delighted with the results. Not only were the majority of the photos of a good quality, they also gave a fantastic perspective to Ghanaian life from a young person’s point of view. Please see our Facebook Page for the full album.
We hope you enjoy.
Agbogey Evans is 12 years old and plays for local football team, Dynamo FC. He has an older brother and sister, Agbodey Vincent, 18 and Agbodey Belinda, 23. When he grows up he wants to be a footballer. He plays every day and feels that there is nothing he would rather do. He likes reading books in his spare time but wishes that the hospital facilities in Ghana were better as they are not sufficient.
The photos show a different side of Ghana rarely seen on charities or tourism websites. Pounding yam in the heat isn’t easy!
Gadzanku Cynthia is 13 and goes to a local school in Ho. She has one sister who is 25, Gadzanku Suzzy, a younger sister called Krakani Divina who is 4 and an older brother, Krakina Gilchrist who is 17. When she grows up she wants to be a lawyer and her favourite thing about living in Ghana is all the football that is played. If she were to change something about Ghana it would be that she would ensure that all Ghanaians are treated equally with no favor shown to one particular group.
Ghana is a country that is on the rise economically and a result of this can be seen in the many infrastructure projects that are taking place all over the country.
Dzokota Mark is 16 years old and attends a local school in Ho. He has an older brother called Azokoto Prince who is 18. He wants to be a footballer when he grows up and plays all the time. He loves playing sports and other games with friends and his favorite thing about Ghana is going to church on Sundays. He thinks the biggest improvement that could be made in Ghana would to be to build more hospitals and homes for families.
Adaklu Mountain dominates the sky line around Ho, but great views are on offer from the top.
Time is made to spend with friends, play and listen to music; exactly like young people do in the Western world.
Kotoka Vera is 16 years old and has lived in Ho all her life. She has an older brother called Kotoka John who is 21. When she grows up she wants to go to university and become a lawyer so that she can help people. Her favorite thing about living in Ghana is all the different sports that are played. She strongly believes that Ghana would benefit if more orphanage homes were built for the children that need them.
Did you enjoy these photos? Let us know and leave KickStart Ghana a nice comment below.
The International ONE Blog is a daily log of the anti-poverty movement. The site is operated by ONE staff, with guest contributions from ONE volunteers, members and allies.
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