Tag Archives: social change

Aiding Tanzania’s most vulnerable by investing in their advocate.

unicef-tanzania

Photo credit: UNICEF

Argue with your husband, burn his food, neglect his children, say “no” to sex, or leave the house without his permission: 50 percent of Tanzania’s adolescent and young adult male population (13-24 years) believe that it is appropriate for a man to beat his wife under these circumstances. Even worse, of the female population in the same age range – the victims themselves – it’s 60 percent who believe this. Continue reading

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Alzheimer’s Society

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William Utermohlen – Self Portrait
1967

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William Utermohlen – Self Portrait
2000

Alzheimer’s society is a membership organisation made up of over 20,000 members. They are working to improve the quality of life of people that are affected by dementia in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Many of their members have personal experience of dementia, either as carers, people with dementia themselves and health professionals. This allows for a wide spectrum of insight and expertise that is channelled into making progress in all aspects of improving the lives of people that are affected by this degenerative disease, as well as supporting the families along through the various stages.

The word dementia refers to a set of symptoms that include memory loss and difficulties thinking, problem solving or language. Dementia is caused by certain diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease or occasionally a series of strokes. Alzheimer’s society staff provide local services including day care and home care for people suffering from dementia in the community. The support that the family members and partners receive is invaluable in order for them to cope with the increasing demands of becoming a carer.

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Promotig Social Change: Solutions

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The Q Drum is a “Solution” that was come up by P. J. and J. P. S. Hendrikse to  help villagers who do not have easy access to a water source. Its ame is easy to understand since it looks like an O but with the lace around it acquires a Q form. This solution is a cylindrical container with a big enough capacity to satisfy the villagers demand of potable water. It is an interesting, creative and above all simple invention that works which makes it a great solution. The problem to solve was the difficulty people living in rural areas not so close to drinkable water had in providing themselves with the latter. Moreover, the hard part in fulfilling such task was that carrying the containers they used to use were usually heavy and uncomfortable to carry for long miles. Thanks to the Q Drum, doing so becomes easier and funnier. It is used in African countries where such problems are persistent. Its form allows to make it roll from one place to the other . The fun aspect of this drum is that it remembers a tire which is one of the favorite “natural” toy for children in those countries. Continue reading

WASSUP!

fancy toilets

WASSUP; The Water, Amenities, and Sanitation Services Upgrade Project is all about revamping the slums of  Africa, focusing mainly on a community called Diepsloot. Bringing the unity to community the W ASSUP initiative focuses on environmental upgrades, public health, and safety measures. After several visits and interactions with the locals based in this settlement Global Studio (a think tank of like minded individuals) discovered a major problems that hindered positive growth. Which founded two major aspects of their project; providing the area with new and working toilet systems and sewer network, and instillation to warm the freezing homes of the people living in Diepsloot. With the community they created a new, simple, and low cost solution of creating a bucket drain system that allowed for excess water to be used for agriculture growth rather than leaking and causing an unhealthy environment. Reeling in support from all over the world, individuals from the University of Sydney, Columbia University, University of Rome, and over 500 participates from 66 different universities collaborate in generating ideas for more equitable cities.  Through their work, I see the positive social change taking place. As a member of community service abroad programs, the impact begins the moment positive individuals step into the community. The change begins almost immediately. After watching the video posted, I recognize the smiles, and the positive changing spirit that washes over the community and its artsy toiletspeople, just from these interactions. Even now is 2015 WAASIP continues to repair and maintain over 122 toilet systems in Diepsloot, eliminating the gray waste one step at a time! As an added bonus WASSUP has now partnered with the Diepsloot Arts & Culture Network, presenting “edutainment,” which involves street performance, and artistic decoration of toilets with the resident children. Personally I would participate in this program, creating better living environments through very simple methods that allow for a brighter and better life for others.

*all images stolen from http://www.stickysituations.org/wassup-diepsloot/ *

The Climate Change Denial Machine

index  “The Koch Brothers & Their Amazing Climate Change Denial Machine” is short, three-and-a-half minute-long film made by the Australian filmmaker Taki Oldham. The footage used is part of his longer, 55 minute long documentary “The Billionaires’ Tea Party” (2011).
A good example of visually effective use of animation techniques, this short film details the effort of Charles and David Koch, oil barons that spent millions to influence American public opinion, undermining the belief in global warming and trying to prevent any legislation targeting climate change that could result in a threat to their profits.
By financing bogus scientific studies and funding complacent Think Tanks and Front Groups (including but not limited to Women groups and Senior Groups), the public is lead to believe that global warming and the threats it entails are only a theory and not a fact. The truth is that those that argue against climate change are a small minority, but their coordination and funding are such that they have been able to influence opinion and legislation, thus safeguarding the interests of influential but largely anonymous energy oligarchs.
Produced by Larrikin films, the director’s own Production Company, whose name refers to irreverence toward authority and disregard for the norms of propriety”, the film was mainly distributed through the web.
In my opinion, this documentary does a very effective job of portraying the dangerous sides of corporate takeover of democracy, as well as warning the public against the content of mainstream, often interest-group-funded, media.
Some useful links to watch the film and learn more:

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In 2004, a documentary “Super Size Me” was released and changed the food world for the better. The star, Morgan Spurlock, suffers this thirty-day challenge of constant McDonald’s consumption. He must eat everything McDonald’s for thirty straight days for breakfast, … Continue reading

Here’s How We’re Going To End Factory Farming (Anna Cheffy)

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In just two minutes and ten seconds a story, a message, and a solution can be powerfully received. “Here’s How We’re Going to End Factory Farming” is an animated short film devoted to ending animal cruelty involved in factory farming. Animals Australia’s initiative, Make It Possible, strives to create a kinder world. In order to do so, they must educate. Knowledge is the greatest threat to factory farming. By exposing the harsh realities and truth, people will hopefully decrease their demand for meat. This solution is dependent upon us. By refusing to eat factory farmed meats, eating fewer animal products, or becoming entirely meat free, ending factory farming can be achieved.
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“Affluenza”: The True “Common Cold” Among the World’s Most Affluent (Samantha Lucci)

Affluenza articles

In the 1997 PBS documentary film Affluenza, producer John de Graaf comments on the current state of the United States’ consumer culture, focusing on shopping malls as the center of society’s materialism. From the film’s perspective, our communities’ excessive rates of consumption signify a growing epidemic–a contagious and inflammatory disease called “affluenza.” The film approaches the discussion of the epidemic using both comedy and drama to emphasize the absurd nature of our current consumer habits. It points out that Americans alone account for nearly half of the world’s hazardous waste while using up almost a third of its resources, alone. Americans make up only about five percent of the world population.  Continue reading

The Hungry Tide (Haley Hughes)

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This documentary is about the Central Pacific nation of Karibati, which is expected to be one of the first countries to disappear due to climate change. The issue is the sea levels are dangerously rising and will eventually, sweep out the entire country. A technique the documentary uses is focusing on one individual by the name of Maria Tiimon. She is an advocate for the rights of pacific islanders and plays a predominate role in helping her people. There are about 105,000 residents in the area who’s homes and lives are at risk because of the climate. The documentary stresses the idea that these people can not afford to go anywhere else, and are not sure of their fate.

Although the documentary does not explain how it is funded, I feel that it does a successful job getting the point across because it frequently shows children, without clothing, in the water. They also show how the majority of the island is under water, which makes it impossible for one to survive for long.

Broken On All Sides (Betty Mattei)

Broken On All Sides is a sixty-eight minute long documentary directed and produced by Michele Pillischer, released in 2012. This documentary began as a profile on the overcrowded Philadelphia County jail, but grew to encompass a much larger audience and impact when Pillischer realized it was not a problem specific to Philadelphia, but all urban areas.

Broken_On_All_Sides_3dcase_388X657_grande Broken On All Sides recounts  the current mass incarceration of African-Americans in the USA; with only 5% of the world’s population, the USA makes up 25% of all the worlds prisoners. Continue reading