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World Tourism Day; 27 September

September 10, 2013 / by / 0 Comment

This years theme for World Tourism Day is one that not only links to the 2013 theme of Water Cooperation but is also something that is important to Geneva as a city. World Tourism Day is going to be held on the 27th of September. This year the theme is: “Tourism and Water: Protecting our Common Future”. With an ever expanding population there is an increasing demand on water resources around the world, in particular a demand for clean safe drinking water. It is estimated that 1/3 of the millennium development goals for 2015 depend on the management of water. In fact UNESCO has estimated that globally, 27% of poverty and 36% of hunger is directly related to water shortage issues. Tourism is becoming a big part of that, with cheap airline fares becoming the norm and an estimated 1 billion people leaving their homes for holidays in 2012 to seek new and exciting places as part of the trillion-dollar industry. While in some ways this is an incredibly positive thing, a way to spread wealth and gain new perspective and experiences, it also means that it has now become necessary to see a more sustainable way of being a […]

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International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition.

August 02, 2013 / by / 0 Comment

This month the UN observance on the 23rd is the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and of its Abolition. It has been on this date since 1791 when an uprising in Santo Domingo (the island which is shared by the Dominican Republic and Hati) that led to the start of the abolition of the Atlantic slave trade in 1807. This day is set up by UNESCO to commemorate those who died, and celebrate the end of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.  It is also a chance to learn more about what happened. To read about the trans-Atlantic slave trade in more depth, click here. This slave trade took place from the 16th though to the 19th century and was mostly used to take slaves from Africa to the New World. The conditions on the trip were so appalling that it is estimated that 10 – 20% of people died on the ships due to poor condition and mistreatment. But this ordeal was only the start of the horrors of the slave trade in the late 1700s. At its peak it is estimated that around 80,000 Africans, mainly from the west coast, were forcibly taken each year. Although […]

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The Fengarion Platform

July 01, 2013 / by / 0 Comment

It’s really hard nowadays to know where to give money. There has been all the press recently about the fact that much of the hard earned cash that is given to charities doesn’t in fact reach the destination that it is meant to. What can we all do to really help? Knowing where your money is going is one of the ideas behind the Fengarion Platform. Founded in 2009, it is a 100% not for profit organisation, staffed by 21 volunteers that allows you not only to choose the project that you want your money to go to, but also to follow up and see exactly what your money has been spent on. You can donate as an individual or even organise funding events, the proceeds of which will be given to the project of your choice. There are over 70 projects on the website, 40 of which are currently active. Unlike other websites, which connect donors with non-profit projects, Fengarion does not take a commission on your donation; it all goes straight to the project. By making a profile it is possible to donate, whether publicly or anonymously to any of the selected (and thoroughly screened) projects. By logging […]

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World Refugee Day 2013

June 08, 2013 / by / 0 Comment

Every year since 2001, the United Nations has held World Refugee Day on the 20th of June. Each year NGOs partner with the UN to try and raise awareness and support for the millions of people worldwide who have been forced to leave their homes due to conflicts, famine and war. Today there are over 43.7 million refugees. That’s men, women and children, with no home and often lacking the basic facilities that we take for granted.  This year, actress Angelina Jolie spoke out in a video by UNHCR, the topic of which is “no one chooses to be a refugee”. UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) is able to provide support for 34 million refugees, 80% of which are women and children. This means that almost 10 million refugees still go without aid, and the problem is only getting bigger. Every minute there are 8 new people who are forced to leave their homes. That’s 11,520 people per day, which means just over 4.2 million a year. To raise awareness this year UNHCR is sharing stories of different people from different places around the world, the aim of which is not only to show the desperate situation of refugees, […]

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A Table for Solidarity: 4th June!

June 02, 2013 / by / 0 Comment

It’s a new month and hopefully a new weather pattern. This month is the sixth month, we’re now officially half way through the year. I’ll give you all a minute to process that and feel bad about that gym you never joined… Now if you would like to start your second half of the year with something worthwhile, then why not participate in the 7th edition of A Table for Solidarity? This event is taking place here in Geneva on Tuesday June 4th, and it is hosted by Groupe SIDA Geneve; the main local Swiss HIV and AIDS charity. A Table for Solidarity started in 2006. Each year different restaurants in Geneva participate. This year there are over 20 (for a full list click here). Restaurants include Restaurant Parc des Bastions, Grutli and Le Gout des Autres amongst others. You can call the restaurants directly, to make sure that you get a table. Just make sure to mention that you want to take part in the Table for Solidarity event. Each restaurant that participates promises to give 25% of their profit from the evening to help fight AIDS. As an added bonus, according to WRS (World Radio Switzerland) you might […]

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World Freedom of the Press Day; May 3

April 28, 2013 / by / 0 Comment

Freedom of the Press has become an international sign of freedom; countries pride themselves on their free press, and the suppression of the free press especially by the government is seen as a violation of human rights. Yet free media is still not internationally available, and journalists can still not write with 100% impunity. For this reason, on the 3rd of May the United Nations holds World Freedom of the Press Day. It is the 20th annual day, and has been held on this day since 1993 after a recommendation by UNESCO at their general conference. This date was originally chosen to celebrate the anniversary of the 3rd of May 1991. On this day, 22 years ago the declaration of Windhoek was signed in Windhoek Namibia. It was significant because it was compiled by African journalists. The Windhoek declaration aims to “Promote an Independent and Pluralistic African Press” 1. The theme for this year’s day is Safe to Speak: Securing Freedom of Expression in All Media. This includes the need to ensure the safety of the journalists that report on governments and in war zones. In the last 10 years more than 600 journalists and media workers have been killed on the job. The […]

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To infinity and beyond…

March 30, 2013 / by / 0 Comment

The world holds its collective breath, it’s one of those moments that will go down in common memory. Everyone who was alive remembers exactly where they were when it happened. A flashbulb capsule of the past perfectly preserved, the 12th of April 1961, the first human space flight. We didn’t quite make it down to the surface of the moon until June the 20th 1969 but it was the first step to get there. If you think about it, the first ever human space flight really is one of those moments that defined mankind’s history. That is why every year to celebrate this achievement the United Nations observes the International day of Human Space Flight. It is important not just for the technological and scientific advances that it represents but also as a symbol of what humanity can achieve. UN General sectary Ban Ki-moon said that he was “confident that the International Day of Human Space Flight would remind us of our common humanity and our need to work together to conquer shared challenges.”1 According to Young-Gil Kim the president of Handong Global University in the republic of Korea, this means using technological advancements to discover a sustainable global environment […]

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International Women’s Day

March 03, 2013 / by / 0 Comment

It’s March, the snow is melting and we’re all really beginning to hope that Spring is on the way…and with the coming of spring flowers every year is another day that has been around since 1908…International Women’s Day. It has become a day supported the world over, from big business like Skype, Cosmopolitan and even Google to NGOs like Oxfam and Save the Children. International Women’s Day now has events all around the world including right here in Switzerland. It is now an official holiday in over 20 countries, inducing Afghanistan and China. It has a long and rich history of victories and triumphs, but women around the world still have a long way to go before they achieve equality. It began in New York at the turn of the last century when 15,000 women took to the streets to demand change, and the vote. In 1910 there was a conference of working women in Copenhagen with over 100 women from 17 different countries. They decided that it was important to hold a International Women’s Day each year to help promote women’s rights and raise awareness of the problems and issues facing women everywhere. By 1911 International Women’s Day became […]

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World Day of Social Justice

February 17, 2013 / by / 0 Comment

Social justice? Any self-respecting citizen will tell you that it’s a good thing. But what does it really mean and why have a day of social justice? Every year since 2009 on the 20th of February the United Nations has observed the World Day of Social Justice, it is a day which is meant to help people and governments from around the world to look at how social justices affect the eradication of poverty, employment and other everyday social interactions. The day was first discussed in 2007 when the United Nations invited member states to adhere to the ideas put forth at the World Summit for Social Development in Copenhagen, the idea of which was to put people at the “centre of social development.” But social justice is an ever evolving concept. As the world economy changes and the population increases, how we can reach global social justice also changes. However, the meaning and the principles behind it never change, the need for solidarity, harmony and equality are overreaching. To achieve social justice world leaders have agreed that the main focus of the World Day for Social Justice should be to create a ‘society for all’ which involves the equitable […]

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World Radio Day – will you tune in?

February 10, 2013 / by / 0 Comment

Radio is a dying media… right? Living in a world with flat screen TV, the internet and Ipads you may only listen to the radio when you’re stuck in traffic. But radio remains the means of communication which reaches the greatest number of people across the world, and for many hundreds of thousands is still the main way of accessing information. In the developed world too, radio is making a come back, as people listen via the Internet and it becomes increasingly a two way medium. Globally there are 2.6 Billion radio receivers in 480 million households worldwide there are 4 Billion radios, in 1.43 Billion households, which means that radio reaches around 4.2 Billion people globally. The World association for Christian Communication (WACC) are calling for communication to become a basic human right, and for this idea to be realised, radio has to play a key part. It is for this reason the United Nations, led by UNESCO, are holding World Radio Day on Wednesday the 13th of February. Started just last year, World Radio Day was proposed by the representatives from the Spanish Radio Academy in 2010. The date was set as the 13th of February because it is […]

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