MICROKOZMOS - A Little Change From Here

"Try to find solutions to a global society at your own level from your own neighborhood -- and in your own microcosmos." - Manu Chao

This is where I keep a track of my inspirations to remind myself of the different colors in the world. Just for me to brainstorm and keep writing.

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Posts I Like

A documentary program about the founder and CEO of Motherhouse, a Japanese handbag brand whose aim is to produce high-quality products in Bangladesh. She started the company at the age of 24. Her life story is remarkably inspiring! 

A remarkable speech made by Severn Suzuki at a UN conference in which she addressed the global environment. She has become a well-known environmental activist. 

Severn Cullis Suzuki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Severn_Cullis-Suzuki

[Transcription]

"Hello, I’m Severn Suzuki speaking for E.C.O. - The Environmental Children’s organization.

We are a group of twelve and thirteen-year-olds from Canada trying to make a difference: Vanessa Suttie, Morgan Geisler, Michelle Quigg and me. We raised all the money ourselves to come six thousand miles to tell you adults you must change your ways. Coming here today, I have no hidden agenda. I am fighting for my future.Losing my future is not like losing an election or a few points on the stock market. I am here to speak for all generations to come.

I am here to speak on behalf of the starving children around the world whose cries go unheard. I am here to speak for the countless animals dying across this planet because they have nowhere left to go. We cannot afford to be not heard.I am afraid to go out in the sun now because of the holes in the ozone. I am afraid to breathe the air because I don’t know what chemicals are in it.

I used to go fishing in Vancouver with my dad until just a few years ago we found the fish full of cancers. And now we hear about animals and plants going extinct every day - vanishing forever.In my life, I have dreamt of seeing the great herds of wild animals, jungles and rainforests full of birds and butterflies, but now I wonder if they will even exist for my children to see.

Did you have to worry about these little things when you were my age? All this is happening before our eyes and yet we act as if we have all the time we want and all the solutions.I’m only a child and I don’t have all the solutions, but I want you to realize, neither do you!

You don’t know how to fix the holes in our ozone layer. You don’t know how to bring salmon back up a dead stream. You don’t know how to bring back an animal now extinct. And you can’t bring back forests that once grew where there is now desert. If you don’t know how to fix it, please stop breaking it!Here, you may be delegates of your governments, business people, organizers, reporters or politicians - but really you are mothers and fathers, brothers and sister, aunts and uncles - and all of you are somebody’s child.

I’m only a child yet I know we are all part of a family, five billion strong, in fact, 30 million species strong and we all share the same air, water and soil - borders and governments will never change that.I’m only a child yet I know we are all in this together and should act as one single world towards one single goal. In my anger, I am not blind, and in my fear, I am not afraid to tell the world how I feel.

In my country, we make so much waste, we buy and throw away, buy and throw away, and yet northern countries will not share with the needy. Even when we have more than enough, we are afraid to lose some of our wealth, afraid to share.In Canada, we live the privileged life, with plenty of food, water and shelter - we have watches, bicycles, computers and television sets.

Two days ago here in Brazil, we were shocked when we spent some time with some children living on the streets. And this is what one child told us: “I wish I was rich and if I were, I would give all the street children food, clothes, medicine, shelter and love and affection.”

If a child on the street who has nothing, is willing to share, why are we who have everything still so greedy? I can’t stop thinking that these children are my age, that it makes a tremendous difference where you are born, that I could be one of those children living in the Favellas of Rio; I could be a child starving in Somalia; a victim of war in the Middle East or a beggar in India.I’m only a child yet I know if all the money spent on war was spent on ending poverty and finding environmental answers, what a wonderful place this earth would be!

At school, even in kindergarten, you teach us to behave in the world. You teach us:

not to fight with others,to work things out,to respect others,to clean up our mess,not to hurt other creaturesto share - not be greedyThen why do you go out and do the things you tell us not to do?

Do not forget why you’re attending these conferences, who you’re doing this for - we are your own children.

You are deciding what kind of world we will grow up in. Parents should be able to comfort their children by saying “everything’s going to be alright’, “we’re doing the best we can” and “it’s not the end of the world”.But I don’t think you can say that to us anymore. Are we even on your list of priorities? My father always says “You are what you do, not what you say.”

Well, what you do makes me cry at night. you grown ups say you love us. I challenge you, please make your actions reflect your words. Thank you for listening.”

A website to spread the information and raising the awareness of extremely drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) with photos of James Nachtwey.

Hesperian Health Guides are easy, free, and useful resource book on health of women and children in the world. You can either buy or download PDF for free. It has been recommended to me by Japan International Corporation Agency’s language training teacher. Such a worthwhile book for those who works in the development field.

"Africa’s Daughters" (Uganda 2008) 

In a country where a high school education is generally reserved for boys, Hoctavia is one of 31 children, most of whom dropped out of school.  Ruth lives in a tiny apartment in one of Kampala’s poorest neighborhoods with her mother and three siblings.  Graduating from high school is the only way they can lift themselves and their families out of poverty.

Like millions of girls in Africa who will never move beyond primary school, their challenges are not unique.  Their journey is.

William Kamkwamba: How I harnessed the wind
- via TED.com 

globalvoices:

In Lost and Found, four refugees tell their stories of escape and loss, and what it is like for them to go on with their lives not knowing about their loved ones, not even if they are alive or dead. Although different NGOs have done efforts in the past to reunite refugee families, handwritten papers and photographs aren’t easily shared by multiple organizations and across international borders.

With the ability to have an online repository that different organizations and individuals can join and search through, the possibility to unite families is increased.

Find out more

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Fractions Curriculum Strikes Right Note In California

Teachers at a public school in California are trying to teach Math integrated into Music lessons, and the curriculum is getting a remarkable results. The program is called Academic Music and the students learn the basics of reading notes. The curriculum was designed by a former third grade teacher who now is a researcher at San Francisco State University.

What’s most important here is that students who are low performers or English-language learners are often encouraged to actively engaged in the learning, so that it is helping them to gain self-esteem in the classroom.

"Just to have her (a student) get up and present in front of a class is a really big deal, and she raised her hand and wanted to, so I’m seeing a lot of these kids open up and want to try it, instead of hiding behind the desk and saying, ‘Please don’t call on me.’ "

David Damberger: What happens when an NGO admits failure 


"Once the donors started to read the failures, they understood the power of those lessons learned and realized that it is injustice not to be sharing these." 

"How does your organization treat a failure?" 

- David Damberger

"The New Public" - A film by Jyillian Gunther

An exciting documentary about a new public high school in Brooklyn, New York. The new teachers are uncommon and engaging to inspire students who are to serve the community. 

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Do children always make a good decision in governing when they take control? Do they always know what’s best for them? Is it better to give them authority in decision making for their own learning environment?

To explore such questions, this episode presents different stories : Middle-schoolers participate in an educational workshop at Reagan Library to experience firsthand responsibilities as a decision maker in politics; a skeptic high-schooler talks with an expert and attempt to get a convincing explanation in climate change; students at the Brooklyn Free School decides everything on the rules and discipline in their school. 


"When she came into the school five years ago, Malia (a student, age 15) was scared to say what was on her mind. Over the years, she’s learned to speak up, and she’s seen that lead to change. She admits the meetings can be boring and frustrating, but she takes the authority she’s given by the school very seriously. All the kids do.Malia feels bad for adults, she said, because they can’t just call a meeting and take a vote at their jobs, or wherever, to fix something that bothers them. I get that. Once you’re grown up, democracy is not so pure.”

- Jyllian Gunther, on Act Three.
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This Week On Alt.Latino: Special Guest Manu Chao 

"Clandestino, is particularly journalistic, and that a musician is a human being who uses microphone to express and try to make a change act as an activist."

"The world is so terrible and seems often hopeless but the really important thing is that you protest - but protesting is often not enough so we need to try to find solutions. Finding  our own solutions to global society may be difficult, but we can try hard to find solutions at our own level from our neighborhood and in our own microcosmos. “

- Manu Chao, asked what is the position of music and a musician who writes such political songs.

Tinariwen - Iswegh Attay (Official Video)

The lion is intrepid and the frog is vulnerable
But the latter is better at finding the path to water.

- This is one of the most beautiful videos I’ve ever seen.