New Internationalist

Ideas For Action

Issue 102

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NUCLEAR POWER [image, unknown] Ideas for action

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IDEAS FOR ACTION

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Women and Life on Earth
82 Lady Margaret Road
London N19 5ES

 

AIMS
To bring together all women concerned for the future and quality of life on earth: environmentalists, anti-militarists, feminists, political activists, healers, women of every race and class.

To promote a common understanding, by analysing and sharing the connections between our experiences and the problems that concern us. In particular the relationship between the threat of war, the threat to the environment and the threat to ourselves as women.

To develop a joint strategy for achieving a healthier more integrated way of life.

METHODS
At present an adhoc group of women from a wide variety of backgrounds meet regularly. We are attempting through mass mailing, wide publicity and personal contact to expand into a genuine network, to exchange ideas, share experiences and promote joint initiatives.

SUCCESSES
Similar initiatives in the USA last year resulted in a gathering of over 600 women in Amherst, Mass. to explore the themes described above. This resulted in the formation of a broad coalition of women's groups whose first joint action was a demonstration of 2000 women against the Arms Race at the Pentagon in November. Together with the 'Unity Statement', a document expressing their fears for the present and hopes for the future, this action received worldwide publicity. The coalition continues to grow and work throughout the USA.

FAILURES
So far not succeeded in finding an approach that will appeal to women from very different cultural and class backgrounds to ourselves.

FUTURE PLANS
First project: A conference at the end of September to explore the connections between militarism, the nuclear threat, ecology, healing, and feminist perspectives through a wide variety of workshops and playshops.

We shall develop a strategy for action which will further women's involvement in the issues concerning us.

We also plan to join forces with Women and Life on Earth in America some time in the future to hold an international conference to share our perspectives with women from many parts of the world.

HELP NEEDED
We are still at the formative stage and welcome ideas, initiatives, people to coordinate, communicate, fund raise, do office work, and be generally supportive. Please join us.

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Assistance for Blind Children International
Room A-3118, Box 20
Grand Central Post Office New York
New York 10017
Telephone:(212) 754-8124.

AIMS
To fund sight-restoration operations for blind children in developing countries (usually the removal of congenital cataracts).

To develop vocational projects for blind children in their village or slum environment. To assist programmes of integrated education (blind children studying in regular schools) by constructing hostels, helping with teacher training and providing stipends.

To give equipment and supplies to blind children, both in institutions and outside, in developing countries.

METHODS
An international Advisory Board helps in the establishment of national ABC Committees and coordinates fund-raising. A quarterly bulletin keeps supporters informed of activities. National committees organize local fund-raising and projects, including seminars on blind children (95% of whom, in developing countries, are receiving no special assistance) and stress that childhood blindness is usually due to chronic eye infections, injuries and malnutrition. Regular progress reports on projects are required and on-the-spot reviews are made.

SUCCESSES
Since the first ABC Committee in Dacca in 1978, other groups have appeared in Bombay, Colombo, Karachi and Kuala Lumpur. In three years, 375 children (one-third girls) have regained their sight; six residential hostels have been built; 125 children are regularly receiving educational and residential stipends; equipment has been given to 14 schools for the blind, and the first community rehabilitation project for young blind village children in South East Asia has started.

FAILURES
The development of rural projects has been slow. We wish to extend beyond South Asia but only now are the initial contacts being made elsewhere (in Zimbabwe).

FUTURE PLANS
Gradual expansion of our activities in Africa and Asia - because the blind child, in developing countries, is often the most vulnerable, the most neglected and the most deprived of all children.

HELP NEEDED
More contacts needed in Europe, Middle East and North America to promote our activities to help national ABC committees in developing countries.

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World Information Service on Energy WISE - UK
34 Cowley Road
Oxford
WISE - International and Editorial, Blasiusstraat 90
1091 CW Amsterdam
Amsterdam, N L.

AIMS
To serve the world-wide safe energy, anti-nuclear and nuclear disarmament movements. To provide material for use in the many decentralised movement newsletters and other publications.

To ensure the inter-flow of news and information that is relevant to action.

METHODS
WISE-Amsterdam prepares three publications which are available through an international network of nine regional offices.

In our magazine WISE Bulletin we print reports from local action groups along with international news on energy developments, resource listings and a nuclear accidents' calendar.

Many campaigning publications and other media subscribe to our News Communique service which weekly provides concise stories of international actions and events.

Thirdly, we publish a network newsletter, called Keep It In The Ground, serving indigenous peoples and development groups fighting uranium mining projects.

SUCCESSES
Our news service is increasingly used by newspapers and television as well as campaigning publications. In this way overseas stories on energy reach a much wider readership. We hope to become a sort of Safe Energy Reuters. We now have members in every continent. With the support of the Smiling Sun Foundation, which receives a small royalty on every smiling sun badge sold, we have opened WISE regional offices in Tokyo, Canberra City and Washington DC, as well as in Europe.

FAILURES
We still do not adequately serve the Third World countries, where the struggle for development is linked with the fight against Western energy corporations - the oil companies and nuclear reactor exporters. Nor do we write enough about the exciting low-key soft energy developments - but we are trying.

FUTURE PLANS
We hope to improve our News Communique service to existing publications.

Early next year the Amsterdam team plans to publish a special report on Nuclear Energy and the Third World. We would like to strengthen contacts outside Europe and generally devolve more of the editorial work to the WISE regional offices.

HELP WANTED
Please inform WISE of your local energy activities and publications. Put WISE on your organisation's Media Contact File and support WISE as a member.

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