South Africa en The government has to invest in the future by Mathudi Mathaka <div class="field field-image-nid"> <div class="buildmode-embedded_image"> <div class="node node-type-image clear-block"> <div class="nd-region-middle-wrapper nd-no-sidebars" ><div class="nd-region-middle"><div class="field field-image-file"> <a href="/en/activista/2015/09/government-has-invest-future-mathudi-mathaka" class="imagecache imagecache-thumb_large imagecache-linked imagecache-thumb_large_linked"><img src="" alt="Muthudi Mathaka" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-thumb_large" width="140" height="140" /></a> </div> </div></div> </div> <!-- /node --> </div> <!-- /buildmode --> </div> <div class="field field-body"> <p class="MsoNormal"><span>The 18th of august, nine young people visited Nakskov to talk to the Danish people about poverty. Mathudi Mathaka from South Africa shared her story about the UN Sustainable Development Goal 1 - End poverty in all its forms everywhere - and her experience in Nakskov.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span></span></p><blockquote><p class="MsoNormal"><span>Today we were in Nakskov to learn about poverty in Denmark. We visited the job center. What I have seen there is sustainability, because the government doesn't use the people's tax to sustain themselves. It uses the money to benefit the society at large and also to invest in the future of their country.</span></p></blockquote><p class="MsoNormal"><span>&nbsp;</span><span>Even though it is not easy for young people to come to the job center, because they think society will judge them and they feel like failures, I think the young people who have, make it. In this, they must volunteer and be examples to other young people - to motivate them to take action to help themselves and the society.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span>The job center really encourages young people to take education seriously, because it is the only way to lead them and the country to success. The other thing I like about the welfare state is that it helps unemployed people to get a job to sustain themselves so they can assist other people like them in the country. And the job they get, pay them a good salary that will lead them to a better situation.</span></p><blockquote><p class="MsoNormal"><span>In South Africa the rate of unemployment is very high, because people don't have skills to use to market themselves, and those who have the skills - like me - don't get support from the government to get a job or to start our own businesses.</span></p></blockquote><p class="MsoNormal"><span> In the job centers in my country you have to pay and they don't help people to get better jobs, which can help them to live better lives. The job they get makes them poorer and poorer.</span></p><blockquote><p class="MsoNormal"><span>For example, I have worked with an organization where I was paid less money even though I was qualified for that job and the people I was working with had no qualification.</span></p></blockquote><p class="MsoNormal"><span>We also met the poorest man in Denmark by the name of Ib, who claim to be poor even though the level of his level of poverty compared to poverty in other countries is much better than in Africa. From my point of view, he doesn't experience any type of poverty - he has a shelter to sleep in, food to eat every day, safe water and sanitation. Actually his basic needs are covered so the minimum level for his physical health is met. Moreover I think he needs to enjoy the living standard that he has, because he isn't helping the state to provide with the social welfare, and the state is doing all it can to help him to have a better living standard.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span>For the state to end poverty, it must reduce tax a little bit to create more jobs. What we experience in Africa is, that it is difficult to get a job and the state doesn't give us social welfare. In Africa there are still people who go to bed with their stomach empty for days, we don't have enough water in the country, sanitation in schools and homes is a problem that affects our lives. In schools some kids don't even go to school, because of unhealthy toilets and poor infrastructure. Our living standard in Africa is very low because of minimum wage and tax.</span></p><blockquote><p class="MsoNormal"><span>Even though you work your whole life, you can't buy things for yourself. In my village last year we spent the December holidays without water.</span></p></blockquote><p class="MsoNormal"><span>In my opinion, poverty can be ended by providing the society with quality education, health facilities, equipment and enough medicines and vaccine. The state needs to use the tax paid by society in the right way. Lowering tax a little bit in Denmark can lead to the creation of more jobs. The state must support the people when they want to open their own business, because I believe that will create more jobs and as people we have different unique skills and ideas to make money. </span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span>Some people are born to be leaders - not followers - beca</span><span>use another thing that leads to poor performance in the state is that people work under pressure. They work to get money not to make profit for the organization or state because the job they do doesn't motivate them.</span></p><h2 class="MsoNormal"><span>Mathudi Mathaka is 25 years old; she works as a vegetable garden consultant and lives with her two daughters in Johannesburg in South Africa. In her volunteer work she is focused on supporting women in getting an education and a job.&nbsp;</span></h2> </div> News Africa Denmark South Africa Europe Super 17 Women and Youth YouthDiscuss inequality Youth Activista Mon, 14 Sep 2015 09:58:41 +0000 grace.atuhaire 629295 at COP17 - a travelling circus? <div class="field field-image-nid"> <div class="buildmode-embedded_image"> <div class="node node-type-image clear-block"> <div class="nd-region-middle-wrapper nd-no-sidebars" ><div class="nd-region-middle"><div class="field field-image-file"> <a href="/en/activista/2011/12/cop17-travelling-circus" class="imagecache imagecache-thumb_large imagecache-linked imagecache-thumb_large_linked"><img src="" alt="COP17logo" title="COP17logo" class="imagecache imagecache-thumb_large" width="140" height="140" /></a> </div> </div></div> </div> <!-- /node --> </div> <!-- /buildmode --> </div> <div class="field field-body"> <div><h2>I have to say from the onset that I am not an activist as such. In fact, I don’t have the grace, power and consistency to be one, but I am a social noisemaker. Social evils that affect the masses really bother me.</h2><p>So I am in Durban to attend this year’s COP 17 meeting and today marks the fifth day of the summit. There is no clear breakthrough in sight. So much despondency is hitting people that the majority of those I speak with are already pouring cold water on any possibility of a positive outcome, which some commentators say represents a critical moment in international negotiations about the future of our earth.</p><p>But where is the united voice? With no consolidated front from the developed and the developing countries, and the limited involvement space for the civil society during this COP meeting, how many of these COPs will we need before a decision can be made? People have already started talking about next year’s COP meeting, as if they are convinced that there will be no substantial conclusions this year.</p><blockquote><p>How many of these COPs will we need before a decision can be made?</p></blockquote><p>I am left with no other option but to wonder if these conferences have become a travelling circus. I wonder what the problem is. Are the national governments or even the prominent international bodies captive to corporate interests? Is this what’s making negotiations difficult? Is there a battle of supremacy between a few countries?</p><p>The conversations about climate change have been the same every day and we have heard the same words repeatedly during the past decade.&nbsp; My mind wants to scream out loud so that I am able to cut through the repetitive jargon and indifference.</p><p>It’s no longer about the 1.5 or 2 degree changes, it’s no longer about the percent of emissions reduction, it’s also no longer just about the Kyoto protocol and whether we have another period or not.</p><p>I think it’s about time we got angry about what this bloated negotiation is all about - nothing essentially - so let’s move on. I feel as if, even before these climate change talks began here in Durban, their epitaph was already written.</p><blockquote><p>As standoffs, mistrusts and differences in opinion continue to mar the climate summit, I am wondering if anyone of these officials is able to imagine the vivid images of people starving, their ears glued to perhaps the only radio in the village, tying their hopes for a breakthrough.</p></blockquote><p>I can imagine the sufferings. I don’t even need to close my eyes to imagine the pain and the suffering.&nbsp; I can see images of children clutching empty plates, and looking thin and emaciated. I can see sullen faces of mothers struggling to live to the next day listening to news hoping that there will be a solution to the hunger.</p><p>But here in Durban all that comes up every day is no clear breakthroughs but rich nations holding people to ransom by threatening to pull out of the only hope for them; the peoples-Kyoto protocol. They speak for the 1% without sparing a thought for the 99% of us.</p><p>Even with the vivid images before my eyes, I am not able to comprehend the grief the starving ones must be struck with, but a sharp pain engulfs me every day. I feel insulted, ridiculed and forgotten. And with them I weep.</p><p>The people responsible for slowing down the negotiations, the elite, sit at the International Conference center, completely removed from climate change realities and utterly removed from the grassroots people who face the realities of climate change each and every day. I wish the negotiators would listen to these people. I wish they were able to witness for themselves, what I have witnessed.</p><p>I wish they were able to witness the plight of the 33-year-old Patricia Kamogo, from Masulana village in Kenya. She wakes up at 5am every morning, to walk 20 kilometers to work on her farm and keep it fertile. The farm and her work on it is the only source of food for her four children.</p><p>Perhaps, Patricia’s struggle would soften their hearts. Out of the three rivers that used to surround Patricia’s land, two of them – Kagugu and Ntakisha have dried up. With four mouths to feed, hardly any food and no resources that she can sell, Patricia stares into uncertainty. With the climate so erratic, she is unsure if and when she will have her next meal. She has no option but to depend on begging for her survival.</p><blockquote><p>Even though I am not travelling to Durban, please tell the world leaders that we are suffering and climate change is real and it is here with us. It is the reality of our lives.</p></blockquote><p>Patricia left me with those words, binding her trust in me to portray the bitter realities of climate change to the decision makers; the living stories of devastation and the unheard voices of the victims of our collective responsibility.</p><p>There is need for an expression of solidarity by the delegations of the countries that are most affected by climate change, rather than going from one meeting to the next without getting responses on the issues that need to be dealt with.</p><p>Many of the developing nations, are rumored to be getting angry and some are planning to join the civil society in “Occupy COP 17’’ in response to a call by the former president of Costa Rica for all vulnerable countries to “Occupy Durban.”</p><p>Refusing to leave the talks until “substantial progress is made”, as the countries are threatening, may not accomplish what is needed, at least not immediately. But...</p><blockquote><p>... like the Occupy demonstrations all over the world, many of which are getting dismantled, success at this point lies in changing the frame of discussion.&nbsp;It’s a ridiculous fallacy to continue as we are. We have to push and fight for a serious alternative.&nbsp; The only way forward is a complete change of the norms. Otherwise, it’s just business as usual.</p></blockquote><p><a href="">Join our HungerFREE campaign!</a></p></div><p>&nbsp;</p> </div> Africa South Africa activista blogger swarm Climate Change COP17 PACJA The Youth UNFCCC Climate Change Food & land rights Governance HungerFREE Activista Fri, 02 Dec 2011 20:31:29 +0000 collins.odhiambo 143919 at Deadly climate change is happening right now and right here in Africa <div class="field field-image-nid"> <div class="buildmode-embedded_image"> <div class="node node-type-image clear-block"> <div class="nd-region-middle-wrapper nd-no-sidebars" ><div class="nd-region-middle"><div class="field field-image-file"> <a href="/en/activista/2011/12/deadly-climate-change-happening-right-now-and-right-here-africa" class="imagecache imagecache-thumb_large imagecache-linked imagecache-thumb_large_linked"><img src="" alt="Pokot woman, collect water from dried watering hole near Tangulbei, East Pokot, " title="Pokot woman, collect water from dried watering hole near Tangulbei, East Pokot, Kenya. They complained that the water tastes of cow urine." class="imagecache imagecache-thumb_large" width="140" height="140" /></a> </div> </div></div> </div> <!-- /node --> </div> <!-- /buildmode --> </div> <div class="field field-body"> <h2>Even with all the stand-offs, mistrust and sharp differences of opinion on how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that continue to mar this year’s climate summit in Durban, some of the people who are directly affected by climate changes are not losing hope.</h2> <p>They are the farmers and pastoralists who have been affected by the drought crisis in East Africa. They are telling their stories on how climate change has affected their livelihoods.</p> <p>Mark Diba (31) has lived all his life in Kargi village Marsabit district in the northern part of Kenya. A former successful pastoralist who had over 400 cattle, he is a witness to the challenges brought by changes in weather patterns across the district in recent years.</p> <blockquote><p>Before the long droughts in 2009 to 2011, I enjoyed social prestige because of the cattle in my livestock shed. The long dry spell attacked the grass, our water sources and later had a big impact on our only source of our livelihood: livestock</p></blockquote> <p>His words are echoed by another caravanite, 50 year-old Esther Gakogo. She is a widow eking out a living by running a small shop selling small foodstuffs. She is a victim of climate change impacts around the expansive semi-arid division of Makima in Mbeere district</p> <blockquote><p>When I got married, my husband and I had 500 cows and the soil on our 10 acres of farm was very fertile. However, the drying up of the reliable water sources and the eventual wilting of the once green grass in the area has eaten into my herd. As we speak, I am bitter to proclaim that I only have 5 cows left and my once fertile land has become dusty and rocky.</p></blockquote> <p>To feed the remaining herds, Mark Diba has to trek for about 40 kilometers every day to the nearest hill with green grass and a fresh water source.</p> <p>"The cattle have to be driven for about 40 kilometers every day to wells dug by a humanitarian organization near Chalbi Desert. The distance sucks the life out of our remaining herd", Mark Diba says</p> <p>But even there, it is not an easy life. There are constant wars between communities sharing the wells.</p> <p>Mark tells me that pastoralists have been able to cope with unpredictable weather patterns and regular drought over centuries. But lately his livelihood and livestock are threatened by the extreme climate changes.</p> <blockquote><p>I wish the decision makers would realize that the damage caused by climate change is not a distant concern in Africa. It’s right here with us – and it will continue to be with us if they don’t start taking action.</p></blockquote> <p>Marsabit in Northern Kenya, which was once a fertile place, has been reduced to a dry, dusty and rocky place with people relying entirely on relief food. This is a reality for all those who, like Mark Diba, have been forced to abandon their traditional lifestyles to diversify into other means of survival like planting of khat which in itself affects their food security.</p> <p>Mark Diba and Esther Gakogo are just two among millions of people in developing countries - and particularly in Africa - who bear the brunt of global warming right now. They represent people who most likely face a destiny of being wiped out by devastating changes in weather patterns (commonly referred to as global warming).</p> <p>They are a part of a generation faced with the elimination of their great grand fathers' way of life, a way of life that has sustained them for thousands of years.</p> <p>They are the victims of world climate change.</p> <p>As climate change activists, farmers, policy makers and government ministers are in Durban for this year’s COP17 meeting, Mark Diba and Esther Gakogo can only hope that this year’s meeting will not be a sham like the previous meetings.</p> <p>They hope that actions from their leaders will go beyond mere words.</p><p><a href="">Join our HungerFREE campaign!</a></p> </div> Africa Kenya South Africa Activista Blogger swarm COP17 PACJA The Youth Climate Change Emergencies & Conflict HungerFREE Activista Thu, 01 Dec 2011 12:06:06 +0000 collins.odhiambo 140277 at Water is my employer: without water there are no jobs and no money <div class="field field-image-nid"> <div class="buildmode-embedded_image"> <div class="node node-type-image clear-block"> <div class="nd-region-middle-wrapper nd-no-sidebars" ><div class="nd-region-middle"><div class="field field-image-file"> <a href="/en/activista/2011/12/water-my-employer-without-water-there-are-no-jobs-and-no-money" class="imagecache imagecache-thumb_large imagecache-linked imagecache-thumb_large_linked"><img src="" alt="Jane Chima, 51 collecting water from the well " title="Chivwanyama Village, Malawi, Rumphi District, 24 August 2009. Jane Chima is a smallholder farmer part of The Coalition of Women’s Farmers is part of the Women’s Forum – a project initiated by ActionAid. COWFA is funded by Irish Aid. She said she’s struggling to support the family still at home. “It’s very difficult – it’s always a struggle to find enough to eat.”" class="imagecache imagecache-thumb_large" width="140" height="140" /></a> </div> </div></div> </div> <!-- /node --> </div> <!-- /buildmode --> </div> <div class="field field-body"> <h2><strong>&nbsp;</strong>As world leaders meet for the next two weeks in Durban to discuss the fate of the many people affected by climate change, there is an alternative space that has been created at the University of Kwa Zulu Natal. It’s called ‘The People’s Space’, and here a number of people have had the chance to meet among themselves and share opinions.</h2><p>Today The Rural Women Farmers Assembly was launched. This is a platform for women to speak out for their rights and to train farmers in life skills to withstand the challenges in the changing world today. Here I had a chance to meet women from different parts of South Africa, Africa and the rest of the world.</p> <blockquote><p>Water to us has become a precious stone</p></blockquote> <p>- said Regina from Kweru District Midland Province in Zimbabwe.</p> <p>Regine and the other farmers from her area had expected rains in July only to receive them on the 22ndOctober. When their boreholes go dry in the extreme dry seasons, they have to walk 3 to 5kms to get water. Sometimes they would have to resort to unclean water, because the lack of water creates a struggle between the people, plants and animals each surviving at the cost of the other.</p> <p>These farmers from Zimbabwe shared with me how especially young children are prone to dehydration and water-borne disease. Therefore they have had to forget all about the plants and animals to concentrate on water for their domestic use.</p> <p>“Water has become our employer,” noted Jeche Benonia, another farmer from Zimbabwe. She emphasized that without water there are no jobs and no money.</p> <p>Dry spells and lack of water definitely adds to the increase in the poverty levels of many people, especially women.</p> <p>The women I met at the Rural Women’s Assembly are however not just sitting and doing nothing about their situation. They have changed their farming systems, like 'farming practice conservation', which is a farming method where they do not plough the whole land but only dig where the actual seed will be placed. They mulch to conserve the soil more so where there are very strong and destructive rains they do not find the land bare.</p> <blockquote><p>I am doing something to cope with the changes in the climate but this burden should not be left to me alone</p></blockquote> <p>- Lovu, a woman farmer told me</p><p>While Dominica Shunba said, "I thought these changes were natural and that no one could control them. But thanks to ActionAid I now know the polluters must pay." Jeche, Shunba, Regina, Trese, Makazagula - all of them women farmers from Zimbabwe - are here on behalf of the millions of smallholder women farmers who suffer from climate change. They are in Durban with the HOPE of being heard.</p><p><iframe src="" frameborder="0" height="399" width="545"></iframe></p> <p><a href="">Join the HungerFREE campaign</a></p> </div> Africa South Africa Zimbabwe Activista Blogger swarm COP17 The Youth Climate Change HungerFREE Activista Thu, 01 Dec 2011 11:24:33 +0000 chandia.kodili 140189 at We ask our governments not to sell us out, it's a planetary emergency <div class="field field-image-nid"> <div class="buildmode-embedded_image"> <div class="node node-type-image clear-block"> <div class="nd-region-middle-wrapper nd-no-sidebars" ><div class="nd-region-middle"><div class="field field-image-file"> <a href="/en/activista/2011/12/we-ask-our-governments-not-sell-us-out-its-planetary-emergency" class="imagecache imagecache-thumb_large imagecache-linked imagecache-thumb_large_linked"><img src="" alt="In Takaba, a cow becomes a victim of the drought" title="In Takaba, a cow becomes a victim of the drought that has scorched this area of Kenya" class="imagecache imagecache-thumb_large" width="140" height="140" /></a> </div> </div></div> </div> <!-- /node --> </div> <!-- /buildmode --> </div> <div class="field field-body"> <p>While gathering at the ‘speaker’s corner’ near the International Convention Centre, civil society organizations from different countries and regions made a plea not to be sold down the river by the delegates from developing countries who are attending the climate talks in Durban.</p><p>They demanded that the governments in the climate talks renew binding agreements for developed countries and commit to ambitious targets for deep and drastic greenhouse gas emissions cuts immediately.</p> <blockquote><p>Rich countries must meet deep emissions reductions that are science-based in order to prevent catastrophic losses of lives. We demand developed countries to domestically cut their levels of emissions between 40% to 50% by 2017 and 95% by 2050. This must be done through a renewed and continuous commitment to the internationally legally binding agreement. Renew the Kyoto protocol which is the only instrument that has internationally recognized rules and deals with compliance</p></blockquote><p>Said Michelle Mynard of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance.</p> <p>She pointed out that developed countries are trying to ignore their historical obligations and furthermore are trying to replace the Kyoto protocol with a very weak ‘pledge and review’ system.</p> <p>According to the United Nations, current pledges risk global warming of 2.5 to 5°c within this century. The IPCC estimates that Africa will warm 1 and ½ times the global level. This means that Africa stands to suffer as much as a 7°c increase in temperature</p> <p>Nnimmo Bassey, Chair of Friends of the Earth International said: "We are already in a planetary emergency, but the polluting rich industrialized countries are trying to break their existing legal obligations to cut their emissions. They are seeking to direct the talks towards a ‘new mandate’ and a ‘new treaty’. These are delaying tactics aimed at further preventing drastically needed actions on climate change and passing on the burden for climate action to developing countries"</p> <p>Willy D’Costa from Jubilee-South Asia/ Pacific Movement on Debt and Development said that the groups who came together for the action at the speaker’s corner were calling for a ‘stop to false solutions’.</p> <p>“The world’s elites want to continue their excessive emissions and are using Governments to promote solutions that do not address the roots of the climate crisis. Instead these false solutions pave the way for private profits to be made from the climate crisis and peoples sufferings,” said D Costa who also represents the Indian Social Action Forum.</p> <blockquote><p>We reject offsets, carbon trading, market-based approaches to forests, soil and water, large-scale-geo-engineering and techno-fixes, nuclear energy, agro-fuels and so called ‘clean coal’</p></blockquote> <p>The groups urged developing country governments to uphold the welfare and interests of their citizens.</p> <p>“We ask our Governments not to sell us out,” said Lidy Nacpil of Jubilee- South-Asia/Pacific movement on Debt and Development.</p> <p>All countries and people must contribute to the effort to reduce global green house gas emissions but those responsible for the crisis must bear the greater share, proportional to their historical and continuing responsibility for the climate crisis.</p> <blockquote><p>There is no time to lose. No more delays, no more deception, no more invasions, no more false solutions</p></blockquote><p><a href="">Join our HungerFREE campaign!</a></p> </div> Africa South Africa Activista Blogger swarm COP17 Kyoto PACJA The Youth Education HungerFREE Activista Thu, 01 Dec 2011 10:52:00 +0000 collins.odhiambo 140101 at Kyoto Protocol must not die in South Africa <div class="field field-origin-node"> <div class="buildmode-4"> <div class="node node-type-blog_post clear-block"> </div> <!-- /node --> </div> <!-- /buildmode --> </div> Africa South Africa COP17 PACJA Climate Change HungerFREE Activista Wed, 30 Nov 2011 10:19:10 +0000 chandia.kodili 139293 at Why my friends do not want to be farmers <div class="field field-image-nid"> <div class="buildmode-embedded_image"> <div class="node node-type-image clear-block"> <div class="nd-region-middle-wrapper nd-no-sidebars" ><div class="nd-region-middle"><div class="field field-image-file"> <a href="/en/activista/2011/07/why-my-friends-did-not-want-be-farmers" class="imagecache imagecache-thumb_large imagecache-linked imagecache-thumb_large_linked"><img src="" alt="Elly man" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-thumb_large" width="140" height="140" /></a> </div> </div></div> </div> <!-- /node --> </div> <!-- /buildmode --> </div> <div class="field field-body"> <p>Ten years ago back in my village life was nothing without farming activities and it could not make sense if a young person didn't have a plot of land to plant - if not maize and beans it would&nbsp; be green vegetables at least for family consumption, but&nbsp; life&nbsp; has changed recently and agriculture is now for old women and men whose power has no much contributions, the question is what&nbsp; are the reasons&nbsp; for this....?? And the first and simple&nbsp; answer is the world market&nbsp; economy, which does not care for the small scale farmers but always hopes to make profits through multinational corporations.</p><p>&nbsp;</p> </div> Africa South Africa blogger swarm Food & land rights HungerFREE South Africa Activista Tue, 19 Jul 2011 15:25:06 +0000 loyiso.zweni 44385 at