In the past few years, sexual violence has been a very highlighted subject in our society. In the past, men and women were often shamed if they spoke out about their experiences. But now that awareness is being brought to the subject. We are finding out, that there is a shocking number of people have dealt with this issue. It is important that we continue to foster an environment where victims of sexual violence can speak out without the fear of criticism or judgment. The “Me Too” Movement is doing exactly that. It is creating a space where victims can tell their stories feel supported, but they aren’t forced into telling every detail—which is often why it so difficult for victims to speak out.
This year the goal of Operation Day’s Work was to Support “Friends of the Earth Norway” and their youth organizations educational projects in the midst of the world’s largest oil disaster in Nigeria. We used “International day” to learn about the topic.
My task on “International day” was to pick two different subjects and study them, so I would be able to host a room where fellow students could gain information about my theme.
I choose the subject rooms; Social studies, where you had to compare your own situation with someone who grew up in Nigeria, and refugees in the crisis and the room where police officer Joachim Olsvik had a lecture about his service aboard the Siem Pilot, where he rescued refugees in the Mediterranean. Both these topics are interesting, and do show that pollution “half a world away”, can have ripple effects all the way to us here in Europe.
I started international day with reading up on my tasks, gaining information, and thereafter, I hosted my rooms for two hours each.
Outside the rooms, we had made informative posters, which made it easy for other students, and teachers to gain information about our subject.
In our social study room we decided to talk about human rights in Nigeria, and compare them to human rights in Norway. Both countries have large natural resources, Nigeria is about two and a half the size of Norway, but have a population of 178 million people, that is a big difference from Norway’s five million. We can turn on the kitchen fosset when we want and get a glass of water, we can fish in the many thousand lakes and rivers, and we do know, if any company, oil or other business, pollute, they will be held responsible for cleaning it up.
In Nigeria that is not the case, numerous large oil companies have had thousands of accidents over the years, a landmass, the size of Denmark is so polluted that it is not habituated anymore. Fish are dead in the lakes, ground water is so polluted it cannot be consumed by people, animals or plants, and nobody is taking responsibility.
Because the oil spillage impact on the ecosystem, one consequence is people leaving the affected areas, many of them poor, will seek fortune other places, some will even make it all the way to Europe. These people are environmental refugees, and according too many environment organizations worldwide, we are only seeing the beginning of these refugees. If steps are not being taken in Nigeria now, the country can loose as much as 40 % of the habitable landmass, imagine a hundred million environmental refugees from Nigeria only.
The whole day was really well organized, we all got our room numbers and schedules. We spent two busy hours in each room, and had many interested fellows students and teachers.
After finishing the two shifts we got some time to explore the other rooms, where we got information about the other themes.
I cannot say that there was one I did not like. All the different subjects was very interesting, and the effects of what happens in one part of the world can make an impact far away is really something to think about. Operation Day’s Work 2017 went to an important case!
Next year I think there should be made information flyers that could be posted online in advance of International Day so we can read up, and be even better prepared, because in my opinion, many of the students looked really lost. As of my own evaluation, I would say I did pretty good, I loved it, and I am already looking forward for next year!
“One girl with courage is a revolution”
“Girl Rising” (2013) by Richard E. Robbins is documentary that follows nine different girls from Haiti to Nepal. They all fought for a chance to be able to go to school in spite of the heartbreaking injustices such as natural disasters, extreme poverty, and even forced labor. Through education these nine girls are able to break barriers, make change and offer inspiration and hope.
Surprisingly I actually really liked the documentary. I am usually not that big of a fan of documentaries, but this one was different. Girl Rising definitely deserves points for doing something different than relying on the bone-dry, academic approach usually employed for such informational ventures. It was a mixture of live action, animation and narration, of reenactments and reimagining as well as real life footage. It is stunningly made with a wonderful cinematography, writing and a unique approach to all of the different stories. The movie is also very fair; it gives all of the girls a voice. Which sadly has a lot to say about the abuse and being subordinated by the men in the stories, but it does make an effort to show the positive male figures, like nurturing fathers and protective brothers. People who are not already familiar with these issues will be flabbergasted. They will forever be thankful for not being in one of the nine girl’s positions.
Out of all the stories, I think the story of Wadley from Haiti made the greatest impression on me. She was just 7 years old when her world came crashing down around her. Haiti’s catastrophic earthquake destroyed her home and school, but something it did not break was her irrepressible spirit or her extinguishable thirst to learn. Her family could not afford to send her to school, but she still returned, even after being sent home day after day.
“One girl with courage is a revolution” is the movie’s quote. I do not think I would change it. Not only because I personally think it is such an empowering quote, but also because it fits the movie so perfectly. The phrase simply implies that any girl with courage can make a change, exactly what the movie is trying to show in the nine different stories.
Even through the storytelling, I do not think I could relate to their lives in any way to be able to fully empathize. I could try, but I will never be able to know what forced labor, having an arranged marriage or even having no education feels like. If the world was turned upside down, I think most of us would feel like victims, something the girls of Girl Rising don’t, and that is what makes them so important.
I would recommend this movie to pretty much everybody above the age of 15, simply because I think this is such an important topic. Since you already have the opportunity to read this film review, I would jump to the conclusions that you are healthy, you have had several years of schooling and last but not least, a safe place to live. It is important not to take these simple, but so important things for granted.
I would highly recommend you to visit Girl Rising’s website and reading more about their organisation.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), or also known as Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a set of 17 “Global Goals”. These are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
Out of these 17 goals, i find number 4 to be one of the most important. As Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. It takes no genius to figure out that education is the key to eliminating gender inequality, reducing poverty, creating a sustainable planet, preventing needless deaths and illness, and fostering peace.
Evidence also shows that:
- One additional school year can increase a woman’s earnings by 10% to 20%.
- Providing all children with quality basic education could boost annual economic growth by 2% in low-income countries.
- 12% of people could be lifted out of poverty if all students in poor countries had basic reading skills.
- Education empowers women to make healthy decisions about their lives. For example, women in Mali with a secondary level education or higher have an average of 3 children, while those with no education have an average of 7.
Education is an investment, and one of the most critical investments we can make.
To read more about the other SDGs
We have all heard that history repeats itself. I’v never given it much thought before today. Reading Brennan Gilmore’s story makes me feel like we are back in the middle ages with witch hunts.
It’s amazing how easily people are persuaded. Within days of his online post, he is getting death threats, just because some conspiracy enthusiasts are putting their heads together, one firing up the next. It shows how fast an online post can get out of hand.
I wanted to find out more about fake news. Historically, it’s not a new phenomenon, there is just a whole lot of new players and they are getting more surreptitious, and more dangerous. It really shows the importance of critical thinking.
Gilmore is right when he talks about how we need to stop reading and believing imaginary plots, and continue to speak out and act against racism, and the culture of conspiracy. The question is, how many of us are able to spot the difference.
Read the article: How I Became Fake News