Month: August 2016

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The Role of Youth: Reflections from #AIDS2016

“We need to give young people a seat at the table” was a phrase I heard frequently at the 2016 International AIDS Conference  in Durban last month. It’s a frequently heard phrase at other conferences too, and in meetings or discussions which include youth participation. The strange thing is, the more often I hear it, or read it in an article or see it in a Tweet, the less I feel sure of what the person using it is actually talking about. What does it really mean, to give young people a seat at the table? And are we doing it well? Are increasing numbers of young people well-positioned to engage and participate in issues that affect their lives or the lives of their peers? During #AIDS2016 I spoke with many young people – attending the conference in a whole range of capacities and from all over the world – about youth participation in the fight against HIV/AIDS. None of them mentioned seats at tables. What they talked about were concrete examples of how, when and why young people could and should contribute to the global …

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Solo Sister will Ski to the South Pole

Written by Johanna Davidsson, Nurse and Adventurer In November 2016, I will ski to the South Pole and I aim to be the first Swedish woman to attempt this solo skiing expedition. Join my adventure! This year in November, I will start to ski solo to the South Pole. Starting from the coastline and onwards to the South Pole, heading 90 degrees south. You can’t get further south than that. This journey will take me approximately two months. Chances of meeting other people are extremely small, therefore I prepare to be fully self-supported. I will bring everything from the start, which means i will be unassisted during the whole expedition. Solo Sister The name comes from a combination of past experiences and my profession. Last time I did a longer expedition was together with my sister. We crossed Greenland from south to north with kites. This time I will go solo. Sister also stands for my profession as a nurse. As a nurse you sometimes need to have courage and focus, which I also need for this expedition. I wish to raise …

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Climbing Bravely Above Expectations

We were above the clouds, pushing through the most technical part of the climb (appropriately named Disappointment Cleaver) up Washington’s Mt. Rainier. The rope running out from my own harness was linked to one in front and one behind. Together, my rope team of three scrambled through rock and ice. In front of me was my guide, Pasang Sherpa, who moved with the ease of being at home in the mountains. I did my best to emulate her effortless movements up through feet of fresh snow, following her lead as professional climber and mountaineering guide. P asang is Sherpa, a particular people group of the Himalayas of Nepal so well known for their climbing abilities that people often associate the word “Sherpa” with a porter who carries gear up peaks for foreign climbers. But not all Sherpa people are climbers. Rather, for many Sherpa women, the expectation is not to live up to the same expectation as for Sherpa men to be incredible high altitude climbers. In Pasang’s Sherpa community, like much of Nepal where …

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What Happens to Community Projects after Organizations Leave?

Post Written By Annemijn Sondaal “It’s not a drug, it’s not a vaccine, it’s not a device. It’s women, working together, solving problems, saving lives” -Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of the Lancet, May 2013 Participatory women’s groups all over the world have created spaces for women to engage in dialogue, exchange their ideas and experiences and spur them to take action to improve their community’s health. The Institute of Global Health, University College London and its’ partners including Women and Children First, have shown that participatory women’s groups can, with participation of at least a third of pregnant women, cut maternal deaths in half and newborn deaths by over a third. Women’s groups are run and attended by local women (and sometimes men), mobilising local resources to address local problems. This type of capacity-building and community-mobilising intervention is perhaps the most likely to sustain after the supporting organisation leaves, but organisations rarely investigate the long-term effect of interventions or their sustainability. This means that little is known about optimal times and methods to withdraw support, the capacities needed, and support mechanisms necessary …