New Internationalist

Ideas For Action

Issue 103

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WATER[image, unknown] Ideas for action

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IDEAS FOR ACTION

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Camrose One World Centre
4802-49 Avenue
Camrose
Alberta T4V OM7
Canada

AIMS
To promote education and involvement in international development by providing resources and materials.

To maintain a multi-media resource centre that is freely available to the public.

To stimulate a conserver lifestyle and respect for the environment.

To encourage the public to take on increasing leadership in these areas.

METHODS
The One World Centre concentrates on developing a diverse active grassroots organization. In order to stimulate interest we maintain liaison with schools, service clubs, churches and political organizations, offering appropriate programs to each. We publish regular columns in the local papers and have recently completed a television series on international development.

SUCCESSES
We have been able to attract public support for a variety of international issues like the literacy campaign in Nicaragua. One of our most interesting projects has been sending two students on a tour of rural Alberta fairs in the summer months in order to promote interest in international development. The public response to our ecology program has been tremendous and it is well on its way to becoming self-supporting.

FAILURES
We have failed to expand our funding base for projects other than ecological development.

We occasionally have difficulty retaining volunteers for extended periods. More experienced volunteers sometimes feel they have learned everything we have to offer them.

FUTURE PLANS
We intend to better serve the rural communities in east-central Alberta by extending our outreach programs.

We have already seen the formation of several spin-off groups and we intend to encourage more in the future.

We intend to develop a course component for community colleges on international affairs and development.

We intend to build a working 'bioshelter'.

HELP NEEDED
Since we are a small centre we would like to encourage as many organizations as possible to send us information they think pertinent; quite often we do not receive useful information until it is too late.
Personal involvement.

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International Contraception, Abortion & Sterilisation Campaign
374 Grays Inn Road
London WC1
England

AIMS
To campaign for safe, available contraception, safe legal abortion and protection from sterilisation abuse in every country in the world and for all women equally.

To develop links between existing campaigns and groups and to create an international solidarity network.

To support the building of campaigns in countries where they do not yet exist.

METHODS
International co-ordination meetings take place about every four months, each time in a different European country. We correspond with women all over the world and keep each other informed. When there is a threat in one country, we organise solidarity actions around the world. We called an International Day of Action in 1979 which was supported by people in over 25 countries.

Communication is via a newsletter. 'ICASC Information' and a regular co-ordination report. Special mailings are done when there is a request for solidarity. We co-ordinate with the International Feminist Network to spread information as widely as possible.

SUCCESSES
Solidarity action has succeeded in getting trials of people involved in abortions abandoned or postponed. For example, in Bilboa, Spain, in 1979. When free contraceptive services were removed from public hospitals in Peru in 1980, world-wide protests resulted in the new government almost totally restoring them.

FAILURES
We have not raised enough money to ensure that the newsletter continues and we still have to subsidise its distribution.

FUTURE PLANS
We hope to see new groups, and the revival of old groups, to strengthen our campaign. During 1981 the British group is doing the international co-ordinating.

HELP NEEDED
We want to establish regular contact with groups and individuals in every country in the world who support our aims. We need to raise more money to help establish a better financial base and increase the circulation of the newsletter.

 

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Action Aid
208 Upper Street
London N1 1 RZ
England

AIMS
To help young people living in remote areas of India and Africa to overcome the obstacles to the achievement of self-reliance.

METHODS
Action Aid assists young people to develop skills appropriate to their lifestyle and which will also contribute to the welfare of their families and communities. This development is achieved principally through the provision of education and training in schools situated in the local community.

The programmes are based on the provision of literacy, agricultural and vocational training. Action Aid works in India, Kenya, Burundi and the Gambia; in many instances schools have been built by the local people with financial assistance from Action Aid. Young adults who are judged suitable by the people are given a short intensive training and then return to the community school as teachers.

Action Aid funds its projects through sponsorship, a scheme which links an individual or group in the UK with a child overseas. Correspondence is exchanged, and this together with regular information mailings from Action Aid enables an understanding and knowledge to be gained by the sponsor. Development schemes are also funded by local groups of supporters and other interested organisations.

SUCCESSES
Action Aid has been in existence for about eight years, and so the first young people are now leaving school to take up employment or self-employment. Many have also gone on to further training. The organisation has also successfully recruited over 50,000 people to become sponsors.

FAILURES
In the early years we failed to provide sufficient information to enable sponsors to fully understand the development work being carried out by the organisation and its field staff.

FUTURE PLANS
Action Aid aims to build strong, integrated programmes of community development in the countries in which it works. This will be achieved by employing as many local staff as possible who will work closely with each participating community.

HELP NEEDED
People who can help as volunteers with general clerical tasks in our busy London office, or in our Gift Shops throughout the country, also local groups welcome assistance with the many events and functions which they organise on behalf of Action Aid. Please write to our London address for more details.

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