Culture

Forced marriage is still an issue that affects more than 700 million women globally – a third of them are less than 18. In order to raise awareness of this issue, the UNICEF partnered with major African artists to write a song against child marriage.

In Central and Western Africa, 41% of the girls above 18 are married (illustrative photo, source: UNICEF)
In Central and Western Africa, 41% of the girls above 18 are married (illustrative photo, source: UNICEF)

In Central and Western Africa, 41% of the girls above 18 are married – in countries like Benin, one in ten girls is married under the age of 15. More than depicting a social issue, these statistics are alarming from a health care standpoint as many of these girls are not able-bodied for childbearing and could face permanent physical and psychological damage.

As part of the Zero Tolerance Campaign against child marriage that the government launched last June, nine artists from Benin committed themselves to breaking the silence around child marriage. UNICEF’s Goodwill Ambassadors Angélique Kidjo and Zeynab Abib, supported by Danialou Sagbohan, Kalamoulaï, Don Métok, Sessimè, Dibi Dobo, Norberka and Olga Vigouroux, gathered to craft a deeply moving song and a video that call the population to act.

“A little girl is still a child. She cannot be a mother or a bride. Let her grow up to live a fulfilling life. Say NO to child marriage!”; so goes the song, co-written by Angelique Kidjo and Zeynab Abib.

The artists sing in a variety of languages, including Fon, Mina, Mahi, Sahouè, Yoruba, Goun, Bariba and French in order for the message to spread throughout the country and neighbouring countries.

Artists from Benin are engaged in the cause
Artists from Benin are engaged in the cause

“The impact on these girls is terrible. Once married, they no longer go to school, they are raped, they get pregnant, which puts their health and that of their baby in danger. We artists are saying NO to all these injustices! Girls are not the property of anyone; they have the right to choose their own destinies”, says Beninese pop star Zeynab Abib, who was able to mobilise Benin’s greatest artists around this cause.

Early marriage prevents girls from getting proper education and leads them to poverty, while enforcing the prevalence of traditions and belief systems that are tied to the continued practice of child marriage.

“We need all the strength and weapons we can muster to fight the scourge of child marriage. Art, especially music, is a powerful weapon. As Nelson Mandela said, ‘politics can be strengthened by music, but music has a potency that defies politics’. This power must be harnessed!” says Dr Claudes Kamenga, UNICEF Representative in Benin.

Watch the video [English subtitles] [SAY NO TO CHILD MARRIAGE]1 Watch the video [French subtitles] [DISONS NON AU MARIAGE DES ENFANTS]2

Horyou is the Social Network for Social Good, which connects, supports and promotes social initiatives, entrepreneurs, and citizens who help the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals to build a more harmonious and inclusive world. We invite you to Be the Change, Be Horyou!

Fundada em 1985, a Casa Pequeno Davi é uma organização incansável no compromisso com crianças e adolescentes em vulnerabilidade social e em situação de rua. Desde os anos 1990, o trabalho social realizado na capital da Paraíba, João Pessoa, vem se ampliando para atender ao entorno familiar de crianças e adolescentes, atuando também em escolas do bairro do Roger, onde funcionava o lixão metropolitano, e também no estado do Ceará. Hoje, a Casa Pequeno Davi é uma organização que atua nos espaços de formulação de políticas públicas (conselhos, fóruns e redes), conquistando parcerias ao longo do tempo e conquistando a credibilidade da comunidade e da sociedade em geral. Leia mais sobre esse membro ativo da nossa plataforma Horyou!

A Casa Pequeno Davi promove atividades de apoio a crianças e adolescentes na Paraíba e no Ceará
A Casa Pequeno Davi promove atividades de apoio a crianças e adolescentes na Paraíba e no Ceará

Quais são as principais inspirações para o trabalho da Casa Pequeno Davi?

A defesa dos direitos, o respeito à pessoa humana, a ética, a responsabilidade, a transparência, participação, a igualdade e a democracia plena.

Que tipo de impacto a organização deseja causar no mundo?

Uma sociedade justa e responsável, onde os direitos humanos, sobretudo de crianças e adolescentes, sejam respeitados e efetivados.

De que forma as redes sociais e a tecnologia influenciam no dia a dia da organização?

Maior visibilidade da organização por parte da sociedade em geral, possibilitando novas parcerias. Ainda com a possibilidade de inserção do público (crianças, adolescentes e familiares) na chamada inclusão digital por meio dos cursos, oficinas oferecidos pela instituição por meio das parcerias.

Quais foram as principais evoluções da atuação da organização em relação à comunicação e as novas tecnologias?

Visando ampliar sua visibilidade, a organização investiu na comunicação, utilizando todos os meios de comunicação possíveis (site, blog, redes sociais, campanhas e materiais impressos). Hoje, a Casa Pequeno Davi é uma organização de referência na área defesa dos direitos humanos, em especial de crianças e adolescentes no Estado da Paraíba.

A organização faz parcerias para promover atividades variadas com as crianças
A organização faz parcerias para promover atividades variadas com as crianças

Qual a importância de participar de uma rede social do bem social como a Horyou?

No mundo globalizado, a participação em uma rede social com a amplitude da Horyou, é de fundamental importância para ampliar a escala da visibilidade institucional. A conexão com outras organizações, o compartilhamento dos objetivos e das ações fortalece a metodologia do trabalho para o alcance da missão.

Vivemos em uma era de constante transformação. Quais são as mudanças positivas que você deseja para a sua comunidade e para as gerações futuras?

Acreditamos que, em primeiro lugar, precisamos de uma consciência ambiental globalizada porque as gerações futuras dependem do nosso comportamento atual. Não é mais possível conviver com o desrespeito em todos os níveis, seja entre as pessoas, seja com o ambiente em que vivemos.

Estamos contribuindo para a formação cidadã de crianças e adolescentes que são prioridade absoluta, de acordo com o Estatuto da Criança e do Adolescente. Esse público precisa ter seus direitos efetivados na prática para que possam ter melhoria na qualidade de vida e um amanhã diferente.

A Horyou é a rede social do bem social. Conectamos e apoiamos iniciativas sociais, empreendedores e cidadãos que promovem a implementação dos Objetivos de Desenvolvimento Sustentável da ONU, para que possamos construir um mundo mais harmonioso e inclusivo. Seja a mudança, seja Horyou!

What do alternative sources of energy, cooking workshops and a virtual reality device to make people feel like refugees have in common? Cultural innovation and the will to change positively the world we live in. Last month, the Center for Contemporary Culture in Barcelona hosted a round of conferences and a prize for social innovation, gathering specialists in such topics as sustainable cultural management and climate change in a two-day row of interesting debates about the challenges of our times.

Cultural Innovation International Prize
Cultural Innovation International Prize

The pannels started with Laura Pando, an experienced cultural manager who strives to help the cultural sector to adopt more sustainable practices. In the last 10 years, Laura helped museums, music festivals and governments to opt for clean energy solutions, calculate their carbon footprint and develop leadership in the industry. «In a recent poll, we discovered that 50% of people don’t remember ever having a conversation about climate change. Art and culture have a great responsibility on promoting this debate. If we don’t talk about it, it won’t exist in people’s minds», she said.

The following conference was presented by Laura Faye Tenembaum, science senior editor for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab. In a passionate talk, she engaged the audience on the idea that climate change is a «fascinating challenge». «You can’t see countries’ political divisions or boundaries from the space. We’re all facing the climate change and have to work together», she said. Laura warned that the effects of carbon pollution might be invisible on earth but are becoming more visible from space. Climate change, she says, is not a topic of the future. It’s already been happening for decades now and affecting our daily lives. «We need to transform how we live. Society is resistent to change, and has a negative feeling about it. I dare you to face the challenges as exciting”, she concluded.

Laura Faye Tenembaum
Laura Faye Tenembaum

Laura Tenembaum was also a member of the jury for the Cultural Innovation International Prize. In its second edition, the competition gathered 228 projects from 59 countries, mainly developed by young researchers, artists and entrepreneurs. The 10 finalists presented their projects in Barcelona and the winner was The Newton Machine, a battery prototype that stores renewable energy using gravity. The prize also gave an audience award to Neighbourhood Upcycling, a locally based project for plastic recycling that can be replicated to promote circular economy worldwide.

The jury gave a special mention for the project Ode for the Future, which used art, installation, and performances to show the effects of climate change in six geographic spots from Catalonia, Spain. All the projects, though, had the opportunity to be presented to a broader audience and to create an impact – the finalists received feedback from the jury, as well as ideas to put into practice.

The projects were exposed at the Centre of Contemporary Culture in Barcelona
The projects were exposed at the Centre of Contemporary Culture in Barcelona

Click here to read more about the 10 finalists and the Cultural Innovation International Prize. (in Spanish)

Horyou is the Social Network for Social Good, which connects, supports and promotes social initiatives, entrepreneurs, and citizens who help the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals to build a more harmonious and inclusive world. We invite you to Be the Change, Be Horyou!

O fotógrafo Tomás Cajueiro tem um projeto ousado – percorrer o Brasil mostrando as diferentes faces do país a seu próprio povo. O projeto Retratos Brasileiros, que faz uma edição especial pelo estado de São Paulo, é resultado de um trabalho de diferentes fotógrafos que viajaram pelo Brasil e pelo exterior desde 2014 em busca de brasileiros. Além das imagens, o projeto também conta com relatos sobre cada personagem retratado, exposições e palestras sobre fotografia. O Horyou blog entrevistou Tomás Cajueiro, que conta sobre a história do projeto e sua inspiração nas causas sociais.

Foto: Tomás Cajueiro
Foto: Tomás Cajueiro

Como surgiu a ideia do projeto Retratos Brasileiros?

Nasce como uma maneira de colocar um pouco em prática, diversas das reflexões teóricas que eu tive nos meus anos de estudo, sobretudo no mestrado, onde estudei muito identidade nacional e a função do jornalismo e do fotojornalismo como instrumentos de formação de identidade nacional. O brasileiro e o latinoamericano em geral tem uma identidade ainda muito fraca, ainda em construção. O Retratos surge como uma utopia de propiciar uma reflexão que faça o brasileiro pensar quem ele é, quem é o povo brasileiro.

Foto; Tomás Cajueiro
Foto; Tomás Cajueiro

O projeto está em fase de curadoria. Quais são os próximos passos e o plano de divulgação?

A edição 2017 do projeto, que é viabilizado com recursos do ProAC (Programa de Ação Cultural – Estado de São Paulo) está na fase final de curadoria para seleção das imagens que irão compor a exposição e seu catálogo. Serão escolhidas 100 imagens. Os próximos passos serão as exposições em si que devem acontecer em Sorocaba, Araçatuba e Santos. A divulgação acontece pelas redes sociais e assessoria de imprensa.

Como continuidade do projeto, o próximo passo é inscrevê-lo na Lei Rouanet, para que aconteça em nível nacional. Nosso objetivo é voltar o Retratos, a partir do ano que vem, para o Brasil todo, que foi como começarmos. Esperamos fazer isso agora com o financiamento da Lei Rouanet. O objetivo é termos um livro publicado com as próximas imagens, até 2019.

Foto: Érica Dezonne
Foto: Érica Dezonne

Você se sente engajado com questões sociais e de meio ambiente?

A fotografia é uma consequência desse engajamento. Meu engajamento se manifestou através de uma série de trabalhos voluntários que eu sempre fiz. A fotografia, na verdade, nos últimos anos tem se transformado num instrumento que dá voz a esse engajamento social, ela é a consequência. E a maneira através da qual eu acredito que eu consigo dar voz a pessoas que são forçadamente mudas. Sobretudo nesse sistema midiático que a gente vive hoje, bastante mercadológico, muita gente que não vende pauta (jornal) não tem voz.

Com quais causas sociais você se sente mais conectado?

Pessoalmente eu me interesso muito por desigualdade social e inclusão social. São duas causas que me interessam bastante. Gosto muito de trabalhar com pessoas marginais à grande massa da sociedade. Eu acho que o que a gente chama de minoria na verdade é a maioria, são pessoas que não estão no centro do debate sócio-político.

Foto; Daniel Arroyo
Foto; Daniel Arroyo

Na sua opinião, como a arte pode colaborar para construir uma sociedade mais justa?

Acredito que a arte empodera as pessoas, pois gera uma visão crítica, a partir do momento que as tira da zona de conforto. Mexe com um lado do cérebro que não é racional. Acho que faz com que a pessoa tenha a capacidade de pensar mais no abstrato, e a pessoa acaba tendo uma visão de mundo diferente, que não teria se ela ficasse vivendo aquele mundo muito cartesiano que a sociedade põe de frente pra gente. Vivemos em uma sociedade muito pragmática. Acho que a arte é uma maneira de acabar com esse pragmatismo. Assim, as pessoas se tornam mais críticas e fazemos com que a sociedade seja mais justa.

We never think about eating as a political act, even though our choices are directly linked to social and environmental issues. Fair production and trade, water consumption of each product we buy at the market and carbon footprint of food transportation are only a few of the concerns we should take into consideration before giving the first bite in an apparently innocent snack. The organization Slow Food International does a great work raising awareness into the civil society and promoting fair, healthy, harmonic initiatives that both respect the environment and communities. Here are highlights of their interview!

Wheat farmer in Australia
Wheat farmer in Australia

1. What is Slow Food International’s purpose?

Slow Food is committed to restoring the value of food and to grant the due respect to those who produce it in harmony with the environment and ecosystems, thanks to their traditional knowledge. Since 1996 Slow Food has started to work directly with small-scale producers in order to help them safeguard agro biodiversity and traditional knowledge through projects like the Ark of Taste, that collects small-scale quality productions that belong to the cultures, history and traditions of the entire planet and today have almost 4,500 products on board. Or Presidia, that sustain quality production at risk of extinction, protect unique regions and ecosystems, recover traditional processing methods, safeguard native breeds and local plant varieties. One of the projects Slow Food is most proud of is “10.000 Gardens in Africa”, launched in 2010. The Gardens are created by local communities who plant traditional vegetables, fruits, culinary and medicinal herbs using sustainable techniques, involving young people and drawing on the knowledge of the elderly. The aim is to promote biodiversity, value African gastronomic cultures and raise awareness about big issues like GMOs, land grabbing and sustainable fishing. Around a third of the gardens are in schools, serving as open-air classrooms with an important educational function and often supplying healthy, fresh vegetables for school meals. This, in turn, is training a network of leaders aware of the value of their land and their culture. The other gardens are run by communities, and the produce is used primarily to improve the nutritional value of the community members’ everyday diet, while any surplus is sold to generate supplementary income.

In 2004, Slow Food launched the Terra Madre network, which brings together food producers, fishers, breeders, chefs, academics, young people, NGOs and representatives of local communities from 160 countries. In a world dominated by industrial production, Terra Madre, which means Mother Earth, actively supports the small-scale farmers, breeders, fishers and food artisans around the world whose approach to food production protects the environment and communities.

2. What is your mission and vision of the world?

Slow Food was founded to counter the rise of fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and to encourage people to be aware about the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world. Slow Food envisions a world in which all people can access and enjoy food that is good, clean and fair. Good, because it is healthy in addition to tasting good; clean because it is produced with low environmental impact and with animal welfare in mind; and fair because it respects the work of those who produce, process and distribute it. For this reason Slow Food works to defend biodiversity and to promote a sustainable and environmentally friendly food production and consumption system; to spread sensory education and responsible consumption; and to connect producers of quality foods with co-producers (conscious consumers) through events and initiatives.

Farmer's market
Farmer’s market

3. The Slow Food movement has gained more momentum in the last years. What would you consider as the main reasons behind the increased global awareness of the way we consume food?

We think that today, due to the increasing level of illnesses related to our daily food, people are starting to realize that their actions and daily choices have a repercussion on their health. People are starting to be more accurate in their food choices, on where they buy their food, on what’s inside what they eat. Also the concerns about the environmental challenges, like climate change, has increased the attention consumers are paying to how their choices can mitigate them. The industrial food system of production and consumption is in fact the first cause of pollution, CO2 production, loss of biodiversity. Today, Slow Food involves over a million activists, chefs, experts, youth, farmers, fishers and academics in over 160 countries. Among them, a network of around 100,000 Slow Food members are linked to 1,500 local chapters worldwide.

4. Are you committed to the Sustainable Development Goals or do you address some of the SDGs with your projects?

Some of the Sustainable Development Goals share our philosophy and our aim. Our philology, good, clean and fair tackles several SDGs, naming good health and wellbeing, responsible production and consumption, decent work and economic growth. We are working to address the huge problem of food waste, by organizing events like Disco Soup through our Young network, where people cook only food that would have been thrown away. That means that we are trying to help reach the zero hunger goal and that we vision sustainable cities and communities that would weigh as less as possible on the environment. Industrial animal production (linked to high levels of meat consumption) is responsible for 14% of greenhouse gas emissions, if we take into account the whole chain from food production to final consumption. Similarly, aquaculture consumes immense quantities of fishmeal, pollutes the water and, in many parts of the world, is responsible for the destruction of wide swathes of mangrove forest. On 2015 Slow Food launched an appeal called “Let’s not eat up our planet! Fight Climate Change” which aimed to sensitize the public on how much the agriculture weights on the climate change issue. Also for the “life on land and below water”, we are really sensitive about animal wellbeing, and we organize every two year an event called Slow Fish completely dedicated to sustainable fisheries and marine ecosystems.

Slow Food International has built a network with chefs worldwide
Slow Food International has built a network with chefs worldwide

5. Do you think food industries are getting more committed to producing food with less environmental, health and social impact? What are your main challenges to get them on board?

We have recently seen an increase of attention regarding these aspects. If industries are interested in finding more sustainable solutions for the environment and the health (in a serious way and not for marketing reasons) we are ready to facilitate the process and give advice.

6. Horyou is the social network for social good. What’s the importance of internet and social media to spread the message of movements like Slow Food and other positive initiatives?

We think that internet is a fundamental tool that can be used to share ideas, visions and experiences all over the world. For example people, especially youngsters and producers, could share their experiences to see how a same problem is tackled in different areas of the globe. Conversely, we don’t think it’s a useful tool if it takes place of human interactions and communications.

Horyou is the Social Network for Social Good, which connects, supports and promotes social initiatives, entrepreneurs, and citizens who help the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals to build a more harmonious and inclusive world. We invite you to Be the Change, Be Horyou!

On the 20th of June, the World Refugee Day, we remember the most vulnerable group of refugees worldwide: girls and women whose basic humanitarian rights are denied. Alongside the UN motto for the Sustainable Development Goals which is to «leave no one behind», the Horyou blog stands for women empowerment and protection.

Woman in refugee camp in Democratic Republic of Congo
Woman in refugee camp in Democratic Republic of Congo

We live in a world with unprecedented numbers of refugees. The statistics of the UNHCR released this week show that, last year, the number of displaced people has reached a record 65,5 million, the vast majority living in challenging conditions in developing countries. More than a third of these refugees are women and girls in their childbearing years, being considered amongst the most vulnerable.

UN Women reminds us that women and girls face many humanitarian violations such as forced marriages and that, while many families believe they are protecting their girls through arranged husbands, many of them end up even more exposed to domestic violence and early pregnancies. Besides having their childhood shortened, they tend to drop out of school and to have their sexual and reproductive rights denied.

Woman prepares meals in a refugee camp in Cameroon
Woman prepares meals in a refugee camp in Cameroon

«On World Refugee Day, we acknowledge the unique vulnerabilities of women and girl refugees, and the need for us all to do better to serve them. We also celebrate their strength. From crisis to crisis, it is the resilience and persistence of women and girls that carries their families, their communities and their societies through hardship to durable solution», said UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka in a statement.

Phumzile stresses the strenght of women and girls who call tirelessly for effective services such as health and education, and who develop creative and efficient approaches to support livelihoods. «When in camps, they are rapid adopters of opportunities through new technologies, like education via mobile devices, or cash-for-work programmes that develop skills for a life outside the camp. They are the experts on safe sanitary facilities, female-friendly camp design and other aspects critical for reducing women’s risk of physical and sexual violence and increasing their capacity to live independent and fulfilled lives. We must listen to their insights and amplify them», added the UN Women Director.

Woman learns the French alphabet in a refugee camp in Cameroon
Woman learns the French alphabet in a refugee camp in Cameroon

The opportunities for these women lie in education programs, health care and open opportunities for small businesses, especially in camp areas which suffer from the lack of funds and international support. «The international community must recommit itself to placing women and girls equally with men and boys at the heart of humanitarian action for the world’s refugees. We, and they, cannot afford anything less», concluded Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.

Horyou is the Social Network for Social Good, which connects, supports and promotes social initiatives, entrepreneurs, and citizens who help the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals to build a more harmonious and inclusive world. We invite you to Be the Change, Be Horyou!

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