Greetings and thanks a lot for UNV. I feel Humble. Last five years I shared climate change, renewable energy, women and kids development, Sustainable development as well as peace. Thats why I selected for South Asian Environment and Durban Youth as well as Rio summit. This year with Bangladesh Youth Environment Initiative I participated go green program. I am involved with so many environment organizations such as Linkedin, GreenIT, Environment Defense fund, Diploclimate organization, International Youth Council where I shared climate change, its solution and Sustainable Energy for Sustainable planet. Peace, love and Best Regards.
My name is Shahida Akhter. I am a UNV from Bangladesh since 1991, worked with UN Peacekeeping Mission in Cambodia during 1992-93. Being a UNV, I have been working both individually and with the groups to help the people in natural disasters, in health sector, environment and promoting basic education to the under-privileged children, adolescent and adults associated with UNICEF, Save the Children, Habitat for Humanity International and other NGOs in Bangladesh. I was the Chairperson of UNV Advocacy Committee in 2009, our partners are UNMC, UNIC, UNAID, Habitat for Humanity International, VSO, JICA, KOICA and other voluntary organizations, who are closely working with the policy makers, NGOs, development agencies, civil society members and media personnel with the objectives of promoting voluntary activities to achieve MDGs and ensure recognition of the volunteers at national and social level. We have prepared a Draft of “National Volunteer Policy” and delivered it to the government.
Bangladesh is a country of natural disaster. Every year people have to face devastated cyclone and storms. As an individual volunteer, I helped many cyclone-affected people in the costal areas of Bangladesh. I raised fund to help cyclone Sidr-victims in 2007 and distributed relief personally to many people. Since then I took the responsibility of an injured boy of 14 years, who was about to die. I helped him getting treatment in the hospital, who had gone through surgery three times. He was from completely bed-ridden. He hailed from a very poor family. I supported him financially, and collected fund for his treatment. After three months physiotherapy in CRP Dhaka and Savar, he was able to seat on a wheel chair. Still I am trying to get him improved treatment so that he can walk and continue his study.
Moreover, I write education materials for disadvantaged children and mass people, these are being distributed by the UNICEF and the NGOs to the learners.
We have arranged a number of workshops on National Volunteer Policy involving the Ministry of Youth, Ministry of Natural disaster and the voluntary organizations. We celebrated IVD with the voluntary organizations through various activities, involving the youth groups, students and the volunteers of different sectors. The program includes: Cleaning campaign in the educational institutions, rally and campaign for better health and environment, Blood donation camp, Art competition for children, Tree plantation, Building Homes for Homeless and award giving to the best volunteers. At present, I am working on arsenic pollution and its harmfull affect on children and other people.
Shahida Akhter, UNV, Bangladesh
Environment is an essential part of us. We live around environment and without that we couldn't live in this world. We need an environment so its very important to take care of and be responsible to what we did to environment. But nowadays, lots of people haven't realize about how important to take care environment. So, I have a big passion, help world getting better, especially start from my small area to take an action first then persuade people not to throwing trash anywhere for example. Talking about take care an environment, not just we should moving, but also the society attitude which it can give a big impact later. Nothing much better than to see a beautiful environment that we can give a legacy to our kids in future.
Thank you for this privilege to share our work on Sustainable Development. to an Non Governmental Organisation called LEAD-AWA Nigeria, (www.lead-awa.org) a subsidiary of LEAD International(www.lead.org). Recently my Team started a project on "Energy for Sustainable Development". This project is targeted at involving all stakeholders in the Energy sector of Nigeria to foster a new policy on Energy. The policy will ensure that Energy is not only made available for Sustainable development but that it its provision ensure environmental sustainability too. We have started consultations and negotiations with Government agencies and Non Governmental agencies too. The Policy generated as a result of this project will be forwarded to the National Assembly for ratification and signing into law. We also have developed a book on Sustainable Development (With emphasis on energy conservation). We are working with the Ministry of Education to include Sustainable Development in the Primary and Secondary School Curriculum. We hope to achieve these objective before the end of 2013.
The Green Journey
Off from Abuja
It had been a long stretchy journey, wearisome indeed. In a white land-rover, we persistently traversed through vast land expanses, oftenly punctuated by countless military barricades. Huh! We were in Kaduna state. The heat was unrelentingly scorchy and cruel. Clad in a translucent collarless white t-shirt, I perspired terribly. The ambiencewas heavily dense and stuffy. Smoke billowed from oil refinery forming dark ugly clouds.Motorcycles commonly known as ‘Okadas’ hooted and scooted everywhere anywhere like ants on rampage. I was in Nigeria, the land of the brave. My placement
Hope for the Village Child Foundation (HVCF) was 6km away from the heartbeat of Kaduna. It was to be my placementstation for two years. Tick! tick!tick! the countdown had began. December 2011 was a nightmare. HVCF was in festival mood. I honestly did nothing, absolutely nothing. Poor me, I would have otherwise learnt the pidgin language. Nonetheless, I ate a lot. Infact, my potbelly developed during this generous month. I was a month old then acclimatizing superbly. Christmas was over. Budget for the new year had to be made. I scribbled down my placement objectives with activities to match them. Previously, in my squinty hawky eyes, I had solemnly noticed bare fields during ‘afterwork’ familiarization strolls. Treeswere indiscriminately cut; rivers drying, polythene bags scattered everywhere. Ignorance was painfully biting. A problem had been noted and strategies jotted to avert it. On 5th January 2012, the budget was ready to go awaiting its defense. Unexpectedly, the government announced removal offuel subsidy.It didn’t go well with the citizenry. Next day, the country was on strike. Due to notoriety ofKaduna people, 8 hour curfew was imposed. Like a parrot in a cage, I survived on carrots. The strike ended a fortnight later. Before we knew it, Boko Haram insurgents took the stage. Shoot outs, grenade attacks and bomb blasts were not uncommon. You could easily predict the evening news. VSO Nigeria had to evacuate all volunteers in Kaduna until June. Redeployment to CCDP
Plateau state is known for its conducive cool climate. It’s actually labeled the centre of tourism. Church of Christ in Nigeria (Coccin) Development Programme (CCDP) in Mangu local government was now my new foster organization. It was a new leaf again. With allegiance to HVCF, I have been remotely working with them via internet with occasional visits during farmer workshops and training. With a sense of humble pride, a proposal I send on behalf of HVCF on community volunteerism was funded. Recently I participated in a risk assessment exercise conducted by chief security officer from VSO international London, whatever the outcome I am home.At CCDP, 75% employees were computer illiterate. I marshaled support from CCDP management team to set a computer room with a library. It is a success. Up and running, I have enrolled 16 staff. We are soon opening doors for outsiders. Conspicuously, along the borders of 20 hectare CCDP land is River Lakopal. The River is silently dying. Its walls have caved in and water is fast receding. Soil erosion is the main challenge due to poor agricultural practices and sand harvesting.
If approved, a proposal send to Friends of Nigeria will sensitize communities on threats of climate change and promote community based natural resource management. With a target oftransplanting 10000 tree seedlings along the river banks, River Lakopal will be resuscitated. Tree planting campaign is slated for November 2012 at CCDP grounds, will you join me? In my quiet time, I scribbled down this few poetic lines…this was after having eaten a bowl of pepper soup with a mountain of pounded yam. Do you care to read? 1. Mourning Mornings, norm in the zone
Corn and lawn, torn across
Prawn and Bone, gone abroad
Green cleared, bereaved sphere 2. Darkened skies, Blackened eyes
Burdened soils, sodden spoils
Forest slashed, solace crushed
Green cleared, bereaved sphere 3. All bulls, gone soon
Gone wool, no food
Noon pool, nought cool
Green cleared, bereaved sphere 4. Redeem a dime, trees again
Begin to dine, little bargain
Pickin’ in mind, morrow for gain
Green spared, gleaned sphere Remember climate change is real. People don’t care what you know until they know that you care. I am counting on you, you and you there. By: Silvester N. Odundo (VSO Volunteer)
Cell Phone: +234 810 374 1715
Volunteer Title: Natural Resource Management Advisor
Original placement: Hope for the village Child Foundation-Kaduna
Present placement: Church of Christ in Nigeria-Plateua state
We recently had 400 people volunteer to test our new App VELObill. This will help zerofootprint build a better product for energy users to better understand their consumption habits and make smart choices to conserve. VELObill recently awarded the Grand Proze for the most popular App in the US Department of Energy's 'Apps For Energy' contest.
by The workshop: End the pollution in GABES Now!! (the UNYA of Tunisia in gabes and the OVC Foundation)
Environmental degradation is one of the most severe of human beings are suffering from. Many people do not have access to clean air and drinking water and experience health problems due to the increasing pollution. Yet, the existence of international environmental law is underrepresented in the international legal system. And the most sad is when we see industry and capitalism kill and exterminate old historic city, with natural characteristic and organisms from people and animals.
I m a citizen of this city who combined between oasis, companies, sea, and desert when you cannot have all those landscapes in one city its Gabes the ancient Tacapes.
Since 1972, Gabès is one of the biggest industrial cities in Tunisia. Most industries are chemically oriented, this is why the city offers one of the best chemistry degrees in Africa from the University of Gabès. The main industries are:
The fast growing numbers of factories has resulted in fairly serious pollution of the area and Gulf of Gabès.
That needs much working from the different associations of civil society mostly the environmental to concerted efforts to have a real solution to protect our environment and get back that paradise as before.
As a member of Young Jurists Club of the Tunisian League for Human Rights and a citizen in that city, I think that we cannot shut down all Factory and Companies polluting the environment but in less we can minimize their effect and that need of serious political will but the question is who can give the right solution for that, what is the role of state and who else can help to have clean environment?
I think we need to send a Monitoring Station Of Air Quality, with a real power supported from low and the state, who must discover pollution in the environment and the source from where it come than it make an project offer to the international companies specialized in finding solutions to environmental. After study the projects and choose the most effective they must send a copy to the offending of this pollution and a copy to the authorities who will ensures the work for real.
Role of the state:
It will be the most important because we cannot talk about clean environment in lack of interest from the government so they might:
Dispose real lows protect the environment.
Existing deterrent laws which should criminalize anyone who causes pollution.
Physically force him legally for compensation in the cost of reform.
Support the Monitoring Station Of Air Quality financially.
Exemption from Doan performances for all needed machines asked from the station and the healthy equipment.
Facility the bank loans for factory who don’t have enough money to repair what they did and exempt that loans from taxes.
Support the creation of green companies. Who else can help to have clean environment.
I think that all citizens from different associations and civil society will consider environment as the as the ultimo collective responsibility to control every single parts under rigid regulations and laws.
I am coordinating a team of 4 Brazilians Volunteers in El Salvador. We are implementing a Food Security and Disaster Risk Reduction project focusing on Environment Protection and Agroecology.
This is the Story of Sri Lankan Youth potential, Read
Till last February 2012 I was not an youth activist neither a volunteer for any cause but fortunately received an invitation by Sikandar Sabeer, National Road to Rio,Rio+20 Sri Lankan campaign organizer to become a part of global youth movement for a future we want. Exactly that was something which I ever wanted because seeing all these corruption and devastation on going around the globe really had made me retarded and truelly,madly,deeply wanted something bring back the sustainability back. By then I held the position as deputy head of Leadership and Training Wing,Emerging Young Leaders Association,Sri Lanka which is a combination of highly active youth members.
After a months time since the engagement with National campaign for Rio+20, we were invited by an United Nation official, Fadhil Bakeer Marker who was leading United Nations Volunteers programme invited us form a platform as nation Sri Lanka could produce something productive for Rio+20 conference and to make a Youth Position paper to produce at Earth Summit 2012 and produce it to Sri Lankan government and to amalgamate it with Sri Lankan policy.By then around Sri Lanka there were many movements working towards Rio+20. SLYCAN by Voshitha Wijenayake, Eco-V volunteers by Kanchana, Sri Lanka Model United Nations Maleen Jayasuriya, Weeramanthri International Center for Peace educationand research by Neshan Gunasekara to name few. Since the inception we had a great enthusiastic feedbacks from youth movements in Sri Lanka to get involved for this platform. At 3rd meeting of the platform we come to a conclusion to name the platform as Youth For Greener Sri Lanka(YGSL).
YGSL day by day by enriched and enforced by UN officials,Sri Lankan Government officials to support this great cause. Dr.Ananda Malawathanthri, Natal Donnaloia, Rashitha Delapola and Milinda Rajapake were involved on this cause and in meetings I got opportunity to engage with their discussions.
First Major Event Was Earth Walk 2012 on April 1st which we had as an awareness campaign to let public know what Rio+20 is and to get injected with their feedbacks for Future We want and it was a success. And Lots of youth volunteered without any hesitation and worked day and night and we ended up with a greater success along with participants from all over the country.
Second major task was to prepare Youth position paper which was really a tough endeavor it took more than a one and half month to prepare and we successfully launched the Youth policy paper on 08/06/2012 and submitted to Sri Lankan government officials and UN officials in Sri Lanka which indeed a memorable stepping stone for Youth For a Greener Sri Lanka platform.You can read or download Youth Position Paper from the following link
http://ygsl.lk/youthpaper_en.html By the time position paper been prepared,some of our platform members were ready to departure to Rio de Jeneiro for a Rio+20 side event to educate world youth as in what is the Sri Lankas future plans for youth and sustainable development.
Jayathma,Senel,Sikandar,Husni,Milinda who now at Rio de Jeneiro spreading the message by Sri Lankan youth. We are now preparing for a huge public event named "Colombo+20-Future We Want" under the governance of Varuna Ponnamperuma and Fadhil Bakeer Marker which will be held on 1st of July to disseminate the messages/decisions/ideas and what not made at Rio+20, Earth Summit 2012 to the public and take Sri Lanka into a sustainability loving and practicing nation and rise as a greater nation whom rejoice the peace after 30 years of war.
https://www.facebook.com/events/103605076448049/ Along with Colombo+20,we are paining two busses depicting Future We Want slogan and Rio+20 in Sri Lankan Sinhala and Tamil linguistic versions which is really innovative which we are hoping will draw the public attention more towards this cause. IT sub commitee is instrumental to take the work of YGSL to global viewers and kudos to Madhushala Senevirathne,Muradh Mohamed,Ahamed Nishad and Nishan Caseem for being brainchild's where I am also a part of. This is my story so far and the opportunities I got to get involved. I am hoping to write here every action we will be taking for sustainable development.YGSL is not only one persons effort but a collective effort made by potential youth in Sri Lanka which I would not prefer to give credibility only for one party. Pardon me for everyone whom I have not mentioned here.Even your single action caused us to come up with a great success though you didnt show off than the memorable ones. We will not stop from Earth Summit, We indeed move front despite all borders we Youth in Sri Lanka we raise a one voice for the Future We Want through Youth For a Greener Sri Lanka. Lets Unite for a better world tomorrow :) For latest updates you can reach us from
The University of the Philippines Lakay Kalikasan Mountaineers started in 1997 as a University – based student organization and is non-stock and non-profit in nature. Since then it has strived to promote environmental awareness and advocacy through education, teach environmentally sound mountaineering, produce guides who render VOLUNTARY services and engage in non-violent actions in addressing environmental issues. In promoting environmental awareness and advocacy, UP LKM has been affiliated with different Non-Government Organizations in addressing issues. These organizations include Greenpeace Southeast Asia, Kalikasan, Eco-Waste Coalition, TABAK, Task Force for Bases Clean – up and the Firefly Brigade, a biking group. Aside from the numerous mountains and summits that we have reached, we also had a lot of activities that were aimed to render service to the UP community and the communities we have visited near the mountains. Some of these include Medical and Dental Missions, Tree Planting, No Smoking Sticker Campaign, Book drive and donation, Clean- up Climbs and numerous symposia in UP Diliman.