Dec 11th, 2012 2:00 PM UTC
By Guest Blogger
Guest blog post from University of Calgary campus leader Ryan Lukic:
University of Calgary ONE members came out and showed their support for the Beginning of the End of AIDS on Friday, November 30th.
More than 100 plus took a stand and joined ONE as they signed to push world leaders to keep up the fight on HIV/AIDS.
ONE members From left to right: Ryan Lukic, Ariel Pevzner, Guido Van Marle, Rob Poole, Emanuel Mostofi, Morgan Braun
At our World AIDS Day event, we had the pleasure to hear from Rob Poole from AIDS Calgary and Dr. Guido Van Marle of the University of Calgary. Rob has over 18 years of experience working across Canada with the HIV/AIDS community and was able to talk about AIDS as both an international and local issue that affects different people, and to different degrees, based on where they live. Meanwhile, Dr. Van Marle, who is the Director of the Biomedical Sciences program on campus and a researcher in HIV resistance, commented on the difficulties in Africa with testing and treatment. He illuminated the issue of simply throwing money at a problem but not addressing the surrounding concerns of infrastructure and political follow through on these improvements.
Both speakers encouraged a lively and important discussion on how we continue to move toward an AIDS free generation. The message was clear: the science of HIV/AIDS can only take us so far. We need to continue to focus on how we can prevent new cases, continue to develop community based action plans both abroad and right here at home to remove the stigma surrounding the disease and ensure that governments stay committed and don’t just provide lip-service on the issue.
We also talked about how important programs like PEPFAR and the efforts of (RED) and the Global Fund have been to reducing the number of new HIV cases and increasing the number of those on treatment. More importantly, we all agreed that programs that save lives and treat HIV/AIDS patients, work on prevention and community involvement are ones we do not want to see cut from budgets in the upcoming year. We all agreed that this is our time to stand up for these programs and ensure that our leaders know we are in this to end it!
Nov 21st, 2012 5:20 PM UTC
By Sarah Stone
Last month ONE went on the road with Canadian Christian contemporary band and longtime ONE members, Starfield on their “We Are the Kingdom” tour. ONE volunteers were able to sign up hundreds of new ONE members and spread the word about preventable diseases, global childhood nutrition and raise awareness about the wonder vegetable – the sweet potato!
Each band member proudly wore their white ONE armbands each night and encouraged the audience to sign up to become ONE members. We even got the Starfield crew talking to people about ONE!
The message of ONE was reinforced each night with stories and video of the band and their recent trip to Kenya with World Vision where they met a remarkable woman named Anastasia who is the primary caregiver for her 9 orphaned grandchildren. This sobering video was a tangible reminder of the real lives and real risk facing the people of Africa.
The band are passionate about the fight against extreme poverty and regularly incorporate awareness and advocacy into their concerts.
Tim Neufeld, lead singer of Starfield had this to say about partnering with ONE:
“We LOVED working with the crew from ONE on the “We are the Kingdom Tour”. Their enthusiasm and ONE’s ability to rise above the partisan politics that seem to rule the age is refreshing and inspiring.
We wish ONE God’s blessing in their continued fight to end poverty and suffering around the world.”
The response and enthusiasm to ONE was another great example of the passion that Canadians have for global issues. Without fail at each tour stop people were excited about engaging and using their voices to make a difference for the world’s most poor and vulnerable.
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.
Sep 27th, 2012 5:26 PM UTC
By Sarah Stone
ONE is joining Juno award nominated band Starfield on their “We Are the Kingdom” tour across Canada this October!
Starfield have been long time ONE members and have travelled to Africa numerous times for their work with Food for the Hungry and World Vision. The band has a heart for global issues and regularly incorporates awareness and education about global poverty into their concerts.
“Starfield are so honoured to be partnering with the ONE Campaign on the ‘we are the kingdom’ tour! As long time members personally, it’s about time that we worked officially to ‘wave the flag’ for the countless ways in which ONE is campaigning to battle poverty and injustice around the globe.” ~ Tim Neufeld, lead singer, Starfield
ONE is looking forward to meeting and signing up many new members on the tour!
ONE supporters Tim Neufeld and Jon Neufeld of Starfield on a recent trip to Ethiopia.
Sep 24th, 2012 3:58 PM UTC
By Guest Blogger
This is a guest blog from Claire Woodside, Director, Publish What You Pay-Canada.
Recent years have seen dramatic global improvement to transparency in the extractive sector. Last month the Securities and Exchange Commission in the US issued rules requiring extractive companies to publish the money they pay to governments and Europe is set to do the same in the fall. While the US and the EU demonstrate global leadership in the transparency movement, one critical country has yet to follow suit – Canada.
Although Canada is a supporter of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), compared to its OECD colleagues it has made little effort to improve transparency at home. This stands in contrast to the efforts in the EU to increase the transparency of European companies and those in the US where the government has not only committed to implement the EITI (not just support it) but has also passed new regulations that will improve the transparency of a plethora of mining, oil, and gas companies. In an effort to see Canada join the international efforts to improve disclosure, on September 6th, 2012 Publish What You Pay (PWYP)-Canada, the Revenue Watch Institute, the Mining Association of Canada and the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada announced the launch of the Resource Revenue Transparency Working Group.
The four parties to this collaboration have committed to develop a joint framework on mandatory disclosure of extractive company payments to governments. Upon completion the Working Group will present the framework to the Canadian Government, provincial governments and/or securities regulators for implementation.
Resource rich developing countries around the world continue to suffer from the ‘resource curse,’ where resource revenues fuel corruption and conflict rather than sustainable economic development. More than 1.5 billion people live on less than $2 dollars/day in countries considered to be ‘rich’ in natural resources. Improving revenue disclosure is an important step towards avoiding the ‘resource curse.’ Resource revenue transparency equips citizens with the information needed to combat corruption and hold their governments accountable for responsible resource management.
Improving transparency in Canada is of global importance. Canada is home to about 60% of the world’s publicly listed mining companies and over a third of the world’s oil and gas companies. Moreover, over the last five years 80% of the world’s global mining transactions have taken place on Canadian exchanges. With operations spanning the globe (1000 Canadian exploration companies are active in over 100 countries), improving disclosure in Canada will have a large impact both at home and abroad.
Through collaboration between civil society and industry, the newly established Working Group hopes to capitalize on the international momentum supporting stronger disclosure requirements to develop a framework that would mandate country-by-country and project-by–project disclosure in the extractive sector in Canada. With the hopes of producing a draft framework by December 2012 and examining opportunities to integrate the framework into legislation or regulation throughout 2013, PWYP-Canada hopes to see Canada join counterparts in the global movement to improve extractive sector transparency.
Sep 24th, 2012 1:13 PM UTC
By Guest Blogger
Star volunteer Ryan Lukic has been leading a ONE campus group at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. Read about what he and his fellow ONE members have been up to in order to raise awareness about global extreme poverty and preventable diseases on campus:
After a successful first year at the University of Calgary, ONE continues to grow on campus with over 150 members on campus. During fall orientation, we signed up 70 new members and are excited to have them on board in the fight against extreme poverty. All hands (and claws) were on deck for ONE at U of C this month as we continue to gain membership and support. With an appearance from Rex, our mascot, we succeeded in finding more enthusiastic members to work with for the upcoming year, and with a diverse mix of students from every faculty on campus this year promises to be even more successful than last.
ONE members at the University of Calgary
Last year, we were able to gather hundreds of signatures for campaigns like “Hungry No More” and our defense of Canadian Aid Budgeting and off that success we were able to hold the first annual ONE film fest at U of C. We showed films such as the Lazarus Effect and Bono’s 2005 TED talk about the ONE Campaign to show the roots of the movement we all have become dedicated to.
Hoping to build off our success of campaigns like “The Beginning of the End of AIDS” and “Hungry No More,” we plan to be bigger and better this year. Starting off with the THRIVE push, leading up to World Food Day on October 16th, we will continue to recruit new ONE members and making sure that U of C is well represented in the fight against extreme poverty. We are also working to reach more students this year by recruiting some of our members to speak in front of their lectures about upcoming events and campaigns that ONE is having.
With the upcoming THRIVE campaign, we will be working to have students join us in ensuring that food security and nutrition stay on the menu of world leaders so that we can guarantee that the world’s poorest can feed themselves and that we work to eliminate the potential that children go to bed hungry. Our advocates on campus are already generating buzz for the upcoming campaign and are going to launch a social media promotion on Facebook and Twitter to get people motivated to come out and support ONE in this fight.
Lastly, if you have friends or family in Calgary or even attending U of C, tell them to join ONE on campus because we are here and ready to welcome everyone to help us continue gaining more campaigners against extreme poverty.
May 15th, 2012 3:46 PM UTC
By Guest Blogger
When Ben Leo, Director of Global Policy and Sara Messer, Policy Manager from ONE in Washington DC recently traveled to Ottawa, it seemed like a great chance to have a meet up with some of our ONE members in the Ottawa area. The event drew about 25 local members, many of whom were also members of our partner organization Engineers Without Borders Canada (EWB). Ben Leo shared about the exciting campaigns ONE is currently running – The Beginning of the End of AIDS and THRIVE including the online petition to the members of the G8 to keep the world’s most poor and vulnerable at the top of the agenda at the upcoming G8 Summit.
From left to right, Mark Entwhistle, Sara Messer, Peter Braid, MP for Kitchener-Waterloo, Sarah Stone, Ben Leo
You can sign the petition here:
We were very pleased to have Peter Braid MP for Kitchener-Waterloo attend and share with us the role that Canada plays in development programs all over the world as well as to reiterate Canada’s commitment to the issues that we care about at ONE such as global hunger and maternal and infant health. Mr. Braid also told us about his own travels to Africa and how he has seen first hand that Canadian aid works. He affirmed the work that ONE is doing and encouraged us to continue to advocate on behalf of the world’s most poor and vulnerable.
It was a great evening connecting with some of our awesome ONE members in Canada. Head over to the new ONE Canada Facebook page and “like us” and follow us on twitter @ONE_in_Canada for the latest from ONE members in Canada!
Sarah Stone, ONE Member Waterloo, Ontario
Mar 8th, 2012 2:00 PM UTC
By David Cole
A great guest post from ONE member Sarah Stone in Waterloo, Ontario:
I recently had the privilege to travel to Ottawa with ONE and represent the thousands of Canadians who lent their voice to the petition calling on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to honour his commitments to the world’s poor and protect Canadian foreign aid in the coming budget.
I, along with Engineers Without Borders (EWB) representatives Robyn Chatwin-Davies and Christopher Weller had the opportunity to meet with MP Lois Brown, Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of International Cooperation Bev Oda, to present the petition and discuss the work of EWB and ONE.
ONE member Sarah Stone (right) presents the petition to MP Lois Brown, along with Robyn Chatwin-Davies and Christopher Weller, volunteers of Engineers without Borders.
I shared with her how I became involved with ONE and that as a Canadian, I felt that it was a moral imperative that we continue to fund and support development programs in the world’s poorest nations.
Our message was well received and we left the petition (signed by 20,626 people!) with MP Brown, which serves as a tangible example that Canadians are globally minded and that they value and support Canada’s involvement in funding development programs around the world.
I along with other Canadian ONE members will now be waiting for the impending budget announcement from the Minister of Finance on March 29.
Thank you to everyone who signed the petition. Thanks to your efforts we are being heard!
ONE member, Waterloo, Ontario
Feb 14th, 2012 4:44 PM UTC
By Sarah Stone
I joined ONE because I believe that my most important asset – my voice – can help to bring about change in the lives of the world’s most poor and vulnerable. An accident of geography should not determine whether a person lives or dies, and yet for many people in the world, where they live can and does determine their very existence. But we have the power to help change this fact.
As a Canadian ONE member, I’m proud that our government has been a strong supporter of the fight against extreme poverty. Canadian aid saves lives, helps put children through school, and creates the opportunities needed for millions of people to lift themselves out of poverty. But this is now at risk.
Please join me in calling on our Prime Minister to honour his commitment to the world’s poor and most vulnerable and not make any cuts to these important programs:
Since we launched our campaign we’ve had an incredible response with more than 14,000 ONE members across Canada taking action.
But time is running out. The government will be making its decision soon so your signature really does count.
Later this month I and other ONE members will be handing over our petition in Ottawa. Please help us reach our goal of 15,000 signers.
Thanks for your support,
ONE member, Waterloo, Ontario
Feb 6th, 2012 4:18 PM UTC
By David Cole
As we continue our campaign to protect critical Canadian international development funding, ONE member Sarah Stone, from Waterloo, Ontario, reports back from meeting her local Member of Parliament.
As a constituent and on behalf of ONE I had the opportunity recently to meet with Peter Braid, Conservative Member of Parliament for Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario.
Mr. Braid had recently returned from a trip to South Sudan as part of his role as the Vice Chair of the Canada-Africa Parliamentary Association whose main purpose is to discuss trade, aid and strengthen ties with African parliamentarians. During this trip, and on previous trips to Africa, Mr. Braid has seen first hand the benefits of Canadian foreign aid. We discussed my involvement in the Griot Project, and my recent trip to Washington this past December to participate in #ONErocksDC – the lobby day on Capitol Hill and the White House Leadership Series briefing day.
I provided Mr. Braid with a Living Proof brochure and ONE armband and shared some of the issues that ONE is very passionate about including encouraging the governments of both Canada and the US to NOT make any cuts to their foreign aid budgets, the benefits of childhood vaccinations and ensuring that no child is born with HIV/AIDS by 2015. I directed him to the recent petition on the ONE website in which Canadians are encouraged to ask Prime Minister Harper to protect the Canadian foreign aid budget – you can sign the petition here.
I expressed my pride as a Canadian that my own government has been supportive of these issues as evidenced by the $1.1 billion in funding for the Muskoka Initiative on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, in addition to pledging to maintain current funding levels of $1.75 billion over five years for similar initiatives. I expressed my concern for any threat to the foreign aid budget and my desire that Prime Minister Harper would honour his commitment to the world’s poor and most vulnerable and not make any cuts to these important programs. Mr. Braid was appreciative of the work of the ONE Campaign and expressed his support of our endeavours.
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.
The content of each post and each comment represents the views of that author and does not necessarily reflect the views of ONE. ONE does not support or oppose any candidate for elected office, and any post expressing support or opposition for a candidate is not endorsed by ONE.