The Things They Carried Review

The NGC staff started the Documentary/Book Club to review resources we utilize in our programs and to find new ways to learn more about global issues. Feel free to email the reviewer (contact info below) if you have any follow-up questions!

Author: Tim O’Brien

“They carried all they could bear, and then some, including a silent awe for the terrible power of the things they carried.”

Who should read: High Schoolers

Why it’s important: Deals with Global Issue of Armed Conflict.

What Gabi thought : Tim O’Brien writes this book from his perspective from his experience being a soldier in the Vietnam War. It’s written in a really compelling way almost as if he was talking to someone and sharing his experiences and memories as they come. It works to convey the desperation of being a soldier, the constant struggle to not get sucked into the awfulness of war, the lifelong effects of having been a soldier. But most compelling of all towards the end of the book Tim O’Brien shares that while his book is based on his own experiences but part of it is also fictionalized to better convey certain feelings from his stores.

Gabi Jimenez, summer intern, reviewed The Things They Carried send her an email with any questions at gabriela@newglobalcitziens.org. 


Tags: NGC Doc/Book Club , reviewer’s name, global issue

No Woman No Cry Review

The NGC staff started the Documentary/Book Club to review resources we utilize in our programs and to find new ways to learn more about global issues. Feel free to email the reviewer (contact info below) if you have any follow-up questions!

Director: Christy Turlington Burns

“Pregnancy is a death sentence for more than half a million women every year, but their deaths would be preventable if they could obtain the health care they needed.”

Who should watch: 10th – 12th Graders

Why it’s important: Deals with Global Issues of Maternal Health and Child Mortality.

What Gabi thought : This film was really powerful because it shows the dangers women face from pregnancy all over the world including in the US. It works to equalize and prioritize the risks of pregnancy to women and babies because women everywhere even in the US face the same risks. The film shows that maternal health and mortality affects women in all parts of the world. It is especially poignant that a woman with so many resources as Christy Turlington had some of the same complications as women all over the world.It was those same resources however that saved her from dying like millions of women around the world.

Gabi Jimenez, summer intern, reviewed No Woman No Cry for any questions send her an email to gabriela@newglobalcitizens.org. 

Tags: NGC Doc/Book Club , reviewer’s name, global issue

The Yellow Birds Review

The NGC staff started the Documentary/Book Club to review resources we utilize in our programs and to find new ways to learn more about global issues. Feel free to email the reviewer (contact info below) if you have any follow-up questions!

Author: Kevin Powers

“There is a sharp distinction between what is remembered, what is told and what is true.” 

Who should read: 10th – 12th graders

Why it’s important: Deals with Global Issue of Armed Conflict

What Lisa thought : Kevin Powers provides a gripping narrative of a soldier in the 2004 Iraq conflict. This account is graphic, exact, and personal, incisively conveying the emotion involved in armed conflict and the aftermath of fighting in the lives of soldiers and those around them. Themes of PTSD, the emotional toll of conflict, and uncertainty of purpose are revisited throughout the novel. This novel can be a difficult read in terms of emotional content, but it leaves the reader with a greater understanding of the horrors of war and their long-lasting effects.

Lisa Glenn, Director of Programs, reviewed The Yellow Birds to learn more about her click here.

Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague Review

The NGC staff started the Documentary/Book Club to review resources we utilize in our programs and to find new ways to learn more about global issues. Feel free to email the reviewer (contact info below) if you have any follow-up questions!

Year of Wonders

Author: Geraldine Brooks

“Here we are, alive, and you and I will have to make it what we can.”

Who should read: Seniors in High School

Why it’s important: Deals with Global Issue of epidemics.

What Lisa thought : Year of Wonders chronicles the year 1665-1666 in an isolated English village where Plague has been spread through an infected bolt of cloth. Geraldine Brooks masterfully displays the personal trauma and precaution involved in the spread of an unknown epidemic. Parallels can easily be drawn between the infection of this small town and larger epidemics across the world in the present day, including the need for clarity on causes of infection, presence of false beliefs and superstitions, strained interpersonal relationships, and economic impact of the disease. I was struck by the very personal nature of the Plague and the overwhelming feelings of fear associated with transmission. In keeping with the period, much of the language is in archaic English, but is easily understandable using context clues. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to learn more about the spread of epidemics.

 

Lisa Glenn, Director of Programs, reviewed Year of Wonders to learn more about her click here

“Bang for Your Buck” Review

The NGC staff started the Documentary/Book Club to review resources we utilize in our programs and to find new ways to learn more about global issues. Feel free to email the reviewer (contact info below) if you have any follow-up questions! Directors: Seth Chase and Brice Blondel

“In the 4th poorest country in the world, one thing remains affordable to all: the grenade.”

Who should watch: High School students

Why it’s important: The documentary deals with Global Issue of Armed Conflict.

What Steven thought: This is a wonderful and short documentary that shows how weapons and violence are destructive to communities. The content is not visually graphic, but it does talk about deaths by grenades and other violent acts committed in Burundi. Talks about the negative consequences of having weapons easily available and the aftermath of an extensive civil war. Bang for Your Buck is the winner of Oxfam‘s “Shooting Poverty” film competition. Watch it here. To read more about where Seth Chase and Brice Blondel inspiration for their project click here.

Steven Rouk (steven@newglobalcitizens.org), NGC Intern, reviewed Bang for Your Buck.

Happy Earth Day from the New Global Citizen Team

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For the past 44 years, the world has celebrated the Earth. Today, there are more than a billion people across taking some sort of positive and “green” stride for our planet.

But did you know it all started with 20 million people across the U.S. in the ’70s who began to rally, advocate and community educate for the protection of the environment? (Read more here on Nat Geo about Earth Day got started and its impact!)

This year’s theme for Earth Day revolves around the idea of building green cities. What does this mean? It means that this year more than half the world lives in an cities, and with an ever-growing of “urban population” – people living in cities – our impact on the land, the ozone layer, the air we breathe, the rain and sunlight that hydrates our vegetation becomes critical, as it has become over the last decade. (You can read more here about this year’s theme on Earth Day Org!).

As a New Global Citizen, there are many things you can to today to alleviate your and your peers’ impact on our planet. From educating to advocating, whether at the local or global scale.

At the local level, you may raise awareness about littering on campus. Bring it up to the administrators and discuss the importance of a clean area, or encourage your friends to do better. Or, perhaps your city doesn’t have a recycling system…or perhaps your household doesn’t have a recycling system.

On the global level, you may raise awareness about NGC’s partners from A Ban Against Neglect (ABAN) in Accra, Ghana, where majority of our electronic waste ends up littering the streets. Women in Accra with ABAN are reversing the effect of poverty and waste in their lives by taking the trash and in turn turning it into marketable goods! That’s a plus for the Earth, the economy and women empowerment! Learn more here!

Or, on a more local level for those in Arizona or specifically in the Tuscon-area, you can partner up with Douglaprieta where community members are taught how to cultivate their vegetation and garden in order to alleviate the families’ dependency on government-assistance! Learn more here. 

Click here to learn more about sustainability-based global projects you may take a part in!

Written by Team Mentor Kamrie Yeung irv Irvington High School’s NGC team has been thriving for many years now, and this school year has been no different. Their success is stemmed from their meticulous time management and organized events. The team leaders had designated the first semester to be focused on fundraising for their global project of the year, The Greenhouse Project. Out of the two to three they had planned, they had already held a joint-restaurant fundraiser in November of 2013. The team has plans to expand beyond service for the Greenhouse Project and on to soup-kitchen volunteering. In this way, team members would get a chance to encounter poverty in their own community and to help their neighbors with it. Yet another side project, the team will also do a Coins for Change Project, a coin fundraiser held at three to four local elementary and middle schools. The CCP would fulfill the community education part of NGC’s fundraising, advocating, and community education (FACE) mission statement. Because this project is held at elementary and middle schools, it helps with grassroots education, which would eventually accumulate as the youth group matures.

GC Hangout: Huma Zafar

SOURCE: One World Children's Fund

SOURCE: One World Children’s Fund

This post was written by NGC Program Coordinator, Maggie Broderick.

After weeks of tech run-throughs, last week I successfully held our first Global Citizen Hangout on Skype with Huma Zafar, a Champion for NGC Global Project Mubarika Campus in Pakistan. Due to some unforeseen technology problems, our conversation was not recorded. Thankfully, Huma generously agreed to participate in another GC Hangout in a few weeks, which will soon thereafter be posted to NGC’s YouTube Channel. Stay tuned.

For now, I want to share some of what I learned with the NGC Community. Huma returned to her native Pakistan after a decade of attending university and working in the United States. Huma was drawn to Mubarika Campus’ work because of its innovative approach to universal education in her native country. Mubarika Campus is a sustainable, impactful organization that now educates 1400-1500 children in rural Pakistan every year.

The Mubarika Campus staff has proven successful because of their ability to identify and overcome barriers to education in this area. For example, students initially did not have access to water on Campus, which meant that they would have to either purchase water before school or go without water completely when temps exceeded 100° F. (Can you imagine focusing on a lesson in such conditions, with no air conditioning and without water?) After discovering this problem, staff raised funds and installed a water pump. The Mubarika Campus staff aims to have no reason that students could not excel at their schools.

Huma and her colleagues at Mubarika Campus believe that “poor children should get a rich [in quality] education”. All teachers at Mubarika Campus have at least a Bachelor’s education degree, which is different from other schools in Pakistan where anyone can hold a teaching position. By speaking with Huma for a short time, it was clear to me that Mubarika Campus will continue to educate thousands of youth for years to come. Mubarika Campus is a phenomenal example of locally-led solutions to some of the world’s greatest challenges.

To stay up to date on Mubarika Campus’ work, like their Facebook Page. If you are interested in watching Global Citizen Hangouts with experts from around the world, subscribe to NGC’s YouTube Channel.

World Water Day 2014

This post was written by New Global Citizens intern Linnea Bennett.
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Water is one of the world’s most precious and fascinating resources. It composes 71% of the Earth’s surface and is a vital resource for life on Earth.  It is also something that we in first-world countries take for granted every day. We use it without thinking; washing dishes, taking showers, watering our plants, sprinkling our lawns and golf courses, irrigating crops, even turning the faucet on to a drizzle to let our kittens take a drink.
Though we have the luxury of using water without any second-thoughts, much of the world fights to find and use this resource every day. In Africa alone, 345 million people lack access to clean water. Globally, that number climbs to 783 million people without access to clean water and 2.5 billion people without access to adequate sanitation. People, mostly women, walk miles a day to find water and carry it home to their villages and families. Many girls are taken out of school to complete this task. Furthermore, 3.4 million people die from water-related diseases every year. Can you imagine how many lives could be saved or improved if even half of those people had consistent access to clean water?
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There are other issues to consider on today’s World Water Day. Of all the water in the world, 96.5% is held in our world’s oceans. But our oceans are constantly in danger with the threat of oil spills, pollution, climate change, acidification, and dead zones forming from fertilizer runoff. We also can’t forget the effects of the 46,000 pieces of plastic that litter every square mile of the ocean.
These statistics are staggering — but with help from committed, empowered, Global Citizens like you, we can make a difference. NGC works with a number of grassroots organizations who help bring clean water into communities all around the world. We also support a number of organizations committed to environmental conservation and saving important ecosystems like our oceans, rivers, and streams. We encourage you to look into these organizations, get involved, educate your community, or fundraise for a group that especially speaks to you!
Happy World Water Day, from the NGC staff to you.

Expanding Worlds: Fostering Innovation in Youth

Currently circulating the NGC office is an amazing story about a Sierra Leone boy, Kelvin, who reversed engineered wires/tools to create an FM radio in his country. We definitely found ourselves with tears because Kelvin is one young student who epitomizes NGC’s vision: young people fostering their ability to be leaders. In this case, Kelvin fostered such an ability under conditions that many would have seen as impossible.

WATCH HERE:

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Through NGC, students in the US can help global peers in achieving their dreams, from helping women in Afghanistan achieve their education or help children orphaned by epidemics to have equal access to education, nutrition, and more. LEARN MORE on how you and your peers can be involved.