Gemma Hume

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Recommended reading: http://www.practicalaction.org.uk

Posts by Gemma

  • Blog Action Day: energy inequality

    October 16th, 2014

    Today is Blog Action Day, where thousands of bloggers from around the world use their voice to advocate change. This year’s topic is inequality and if you’ve read my blog you know that I write passionately about my belief that all people should have access to energy (I even went for a week without energy to raise awareness).

    I want to start by asking you how many of these you used yesterday:

    energy appliance collage

    …and how many of these you could cope without…for good?

    Now imagine a life without energy, which we rely on to power all this technology.

    Energy inequality

    More than a century after Edison introduced the first commercially viable incandescent light bulb, 1.3 billion people are still living in darkness, with no access to electricity, and 3 billion still cook over open fires, exposing themselves to toxic smoke that could kill them (it actually kills 4 million people a year – more than HIV/AIDS and malaria combined).

    Access to technology, particularly energy, is an inequality that denies millions of people the opportunity to make a better life for themselves.

    Energy transforms lives

    Electricity enables lighting, radio and TVs, healthier cooking and a clean, reliable water supply. Small businesses flourish because shops can open for longer and families can work in the evening. There are improvements in education and health (refrigeration for vaccines and sterilised equipment) and in food processing and manufacturing. Access to energy can lift people out of poverty.

    how energy could be used collage

    Energy access is crucial for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and shifting to renewable energy sources is also crucial for tackling climate change, which threatens the Sustainable Development Goals’ success.

    When the UN announced its target ‘Energy for All by 2030′, we thought the opportunity for billions of rural people in isolated areas had arrived.

    However, progress has been slow and governments and institutions are failing to invest in clean energy access. Meanwhile, mining companies are trying to convince G20 leaders meeting in Brisbane next month that access to coal-fired power is crucial for “empowering” developing countries.

    It’s also disappointing that the proposed Sustainable Development Goal for ‘modern energy for all’ is really vague and doesn’t include a sufficiently ambitious or specific target.

    It’s time that we called on world leaders need to make a real commitment to tackle poverty and climate change and give everyone access to renewable energy sources.

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  • Engineers changing people’s lives

    October 6th, 2014

    Do you believe that you’re changing people’s lives?

    It’s a question Group Captain Mark Hunt (pictured below), President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), asked during an inspirational speech he made at the institution’s ‘Vision Awards‘ recently.

    score stove, electricity, smoke, soundwaves

    A Score Stove being tested by a family in Kenya

    “You have the ability to make a unique contribution, so believe in yourselves to do so. My challenge to every engineer is to ask yourself what you have done today to improve society and tell someone about it – be proud of your engineering achievements!”

    Visionaries can change the world – IMechE Vision Awards

    IMechE’s vision is to improve the world through engineering and the Vision Awards recognise those achieving amazing feats of engineering. It was a fantastic event to be a part of and I was inspired by the stories of the award winners who have gone the extra mile to benefit society and the wider engineering profession.

    Mark Hunt, imecheSiddartha Khastgir, for example, was honoured with the ‘Young Member Visionary Award’ for his passion and commitment to improving engineering standards in India. He said:

    “Applying engineering to produce innovative solutions to real-life challenges in developing countries fascinates me. Sometimes the best thing is not the most technologically advanced product, but rather an affordable product that fulfils a need. I was charmed by the ‘gravity light’, a novel product based on one of the most basic engineering principles, which improved the lives of millions in the developing world.”

    This is precisely what Practical Action aims to achieve – helping the world’s poorest communities to use simple, sustainable technology to find lasting solutions to poverty.

    Recognising engineers who are helping to tackle poverty

    Next year, Practical Action will be sponsoring a new IMechE Vision Award. It will recognise those people demonstrating the potential to help alleviate poverty in the developing world through engineering solutions. It is with great anticipation that I look forward to receiving applications for this award and seeing how people have been using their engineering skills to make a difference to people’s lives.

    The solutions provided by the skills and expertise of engineers have been crucial to many Practical Action initiatives and will continue to play a vital role.

    Ground-breaking cooker

    One recent example is a ground-breaking cooker that Practical Action engineers have been testing with the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at The University of Nottingham. The Score Stove combines fuel efficiency with state-of-the-art technology to change sound waves into electricity – giving people reliable access to light, heat, education and healthcare for the first time in their lives.

    It has developed from our work to reduce the 4 million deaths a year resulting from breathing in smoke caused by cooking on open fires in the home.  It has the potential to drastically change the lives of people living in poverty around the world.

    Solar powered water pumps

    children enjoying clean water in Turkana, Kenya

    In drought-affected areas of Kenya, women must walk miles to find water, risking violence or animal attack, in order to sustain their families and animals. They do this with the knowledge that the dirty water they have collected may well make their children very ill.

    Working with community members, Practical Action engineers developed a solar powered water pump that can pump up to 30,000 litres of clean water per day.

    Using the overabundance of sunshine, the solar pump draws water from a 100-metre-deep well, providing families with the water that they desperately need and rendering cases of water-related diseases a thing of the past.

    Let us know what you’re doing

    Are you an engineer changing people’s lives? Let us know what you’re doing in the comments below.

    You could also share your thoughts with us on improving the world through engineering.

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  • Take the Live Below the Line 2014 challenge!

    March 7th, 2014

    Could you get by on just £1 a day for five days for ALL your food and drink? That’s the challenge we’re setting you from Monday 28 April to Friday 2 May 2014 as part of the Live Below the Line challenge.

    Live Below the Line

    What is Live Below the Line?

    Live Below the Line is a campaign that gives people the chance to gain a small insight into the challenges and choices faced by those living in extreme poverty, by living on £1 a day for food and drink for five days, whilst raising vital funds for charity.

    1.2 billion people worldwide live on £1 a day for ALL their needs – food, clean water, shelter, education, health.

    This is not about replicating poverty or pretending that changing your eating habits for five days will  give you an understanding of what poverty is truly like, but the intention is to start conversations, raise awareness and raise funds.

    The Live Below the Line rules

    1. You must spend no more than £1 a day, for the 5 days, for all your food and drink
    2. You can’t buy an item, such as a bag of pasta, and then only include part of the cost in your budget because you don’t use it all. You have to include the cost of the whole packet, even if you don’t eat it all. However, for items such as salt, pepper, herbs and spices, simply work out the cost of each item per portion and budget your shopping accordingly.
    3. You can share the cost of your food and drink with a partner or team e.g. between two of you, you have £10 for the 5 days to share the costs of ingredients (this makes it easier!) but no participant is allowed to spend more than £1 a day of their total £5 budget.
    4. You can’t grab a cheeky snack from the cupboard unless you include the cost of buying the item new in your budget.
    5. You can use food you’ve grown yourself as long as you account for production costs.
    6. No combination of any meals on any given day can exceed the £1 spending limit.
    7. You cannot accept free food and drink – you must ask for a donation instead
    8. You are allowed to drink tap water. It is recommended that you drink between 6 and 8 glasses a day.

    Think you can do it? Then take Practical Action against hunger and join Team Practical Action for the Live Below the Line challenge – you could make a real impact by raising vital funds for our life-saving work!

    Practical Action helps children and families to escape life threatening hunger, disease and poverty by using simple technology and sustainable long-term solutions.

    We’ll make the challenge easier for you, with a whole host of recipe suggestions and fundraising tips. We’ll be doing plenty of blogging and tweeting and we’ll be on hand to answer any questions and give advice. Just email us at belowtheline@practicalaction.org.uk

    So what are you waiting for? Sign up for Live Below the Line now!

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  • What is social justice and how can we achieve it?

    February 20th, 2014

    It’s World Day of Social Justice; I’d like to tell you more about it and how it translates to our work.

    “The gap between the poorest and the wealthiest around the world is wide and growing. … We must do more to empower individuals through decent work, support people through social protection, and ensure the voices of the poor and marginalised are heard.”

    Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

    Set up by the United Nations, the aim of World Day of Social Justice is to focus attention on efforts to eradicate poverty and make the world a fairer place.

    Did you know that the wealth of the top 1% of the global population equals that of the poorest 3.5 billion people?! 

    So what is social justice?

    It’s quite hard to define social justice. The wikipedia social justice definition is ‘the ability people have to realize their potential in the society where they live’In essence, it is concerned with equal justice, not just in the courts, but in all aspects of society. This concept demands that people have equal rights and opportunities; everyone, from the poorest person on the margins of society to the wealthiest deserves an even playing field.

    It’s such a wide ranging concept and the immediate question that springs to mind is how can we achieve social justice? 

    The answer lies in achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

    These goals are to:

    millennium development goals

    I read a fantastic document recently by Naila Kabeer from the Institute of Development Studies: Can the MDGS provide a pathway to social justice? The challenge of intersecting inequalities which details what needs to be prioritised to accelerate progress in achieving social justice.

    Here’s an example of how Practical Action is working for social justice:

    In Kathmandu, Nepal, dire poverty forces thousands of men, women and children to make a living from picking through rubbish. These waste pickers sell materials such as plastic, metal, cloth and paper that they’ve collected from rubbish dumps, bins and from along roadsides. Despite their contribution to society by removing and recycling large quantities of waste, waste pickers in Nepal are seen as the lowest of the low, treated like rubbish because they work with rubbish. They’re exploited socially and economically. They are shouted at in the street, they are not allowed on public transport, they don’t have access to healthcare, education, clean water, sanitation or decent housing.

    Dilmaya wastepicking 3

    With your help, Practical Action has: 

    • launched media campaigns to raise awareness of the role of waste workers, changed people’s attitudes and gained their respect and recognition for the work they do.
    • set up social protection schemes to provide income security, saving and credit schemes to help waste workers become self-sufficient. Waste workers are also receiving support to set up their own businesses, including training and having access to the technology needed to make their businesses work.
    • provided first aid boxes and training on how to use them; provided water and sanitation; trained people on handwashing and handling hazardous waste; provided safety equipment like boots, gloves, masks, coats, trousers and hats and set up health care schemes in collaboration with community hospitals.
    • helped waste picker children get access to education and provided them with school uniforms, bags, books and stationery that their parents can’t afford. We’ve also helped adults get access to education so they can get better jobs or set up their own businesses.

    Within the scope of the MDGs, we’re addressing extreme poverty in the area, ensuring environmental sustainability by providing clean water and sanitation, giving children access to education and helping empower women by giving them the skills and tools to set up their own businesses.

    Find out more about our work with urban waste pickers in Nepal.

    In all the work we do, partnerships are crucial.  It’s absolutely vital we include all members of the community, regardless of age or gender. If we didn’t then any project would, in time, simply collapse. We also work with a range of organisations worldwide. We share information at all levels, from people at the very grassroots of society to government institutions.

    How can I work for social justice?

    Each of us can play our role in contributing to the creation of a more just world.

    • Share what you have learned about social justice with your social groups and networks – raise awareness of development issues and inspire others to take action
    • Support organisations that support social justice
    • Engage in and help influence political and policy decisions

    Why not sign up to our newsletter to find out more about our work and join our community?

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  • The chain of not good

    January 27th, 2014

    Got a minute?

    Check out what happens if we at Practical Action don’t get to carry on our great work.

    (Warning: this film contains naked Peruvians, scary football-playing alpacas and a big explosion)

    This brilliant video was created by legendary filmmaker Max Joseph for Innocent who support our work. And yes, we can reveal that it is indeed voiced by actor and funnyman Simon Pegg. See them both pictured below:

    Max Joseph and Simon Pegg they made for innocent featuring Practical Action's work in Peru

    Max Joseph and Simon Pegg promoting the #chainofgood video

    We hope you like it. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

    Find out more about our work in Peru and the people featured in the video.

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  • Most read blogs of 2013

    January 27th, 2014

    I’m easing back into the New Year with some blogging because there are so many exciting things to talk about! To inform my writing, I’ve been looking back at our most popular blogs of 2013.

    Gosh, it was a good year – so much great stuff going on. If you’re new to Practical Action, read our top ten blogs of 2013 below – they are a good way of finding out about all the fantastic work we’re doing to help around a million people out of poverty each year.

    And if you like what we’re doing, why not subscribe to our blog RSS feed so you can receive the latest news and insights from Practical Action?!

    In 2013 we had 42,882 visits to our blog site – these are all the different people who read the blog during the year, whether they click just once or visit every day. Of these, 33,541 were unique visitors to our blog site (the number of unduplicated (counted only once) visitors). This is calculated through IP addresses.

    They mainly came from the UK and the US and the countries we work in.

    This graph below shows the daily traffic to our blog site (the dips are at the weekends).

    blog graph

    In case you’re wondering, the spike on 19 November (World Toilet Day) was for my blog on ‘the shittiest job in the world‘ about a man we met in Kenya who empties toilets for a living.

    The top Practical Action posts of 2013 (calculated by the number of unique visits to that post)

    1. London Underground Flooded – This is about an alternative tube map we created to show the possible effects of climate change on the London underground in 2100 if we don’t tackle climate change. The map went viral, so it’s not surprising that the blog did quite well too!
    2. Building bridges between Britain and Bangladesh – Beautifully written article during some of the worst September storms in decades. It’s a comparison between flooding in the UK and Bangladesh.
    3. Solar powered water pump installed in Kenya – A heartfelt account of 12-year-old Meshack who has suffered greatly because of a lack of clean water.
    4. Flooding in Bangladesh – practical solutions – This features a really innovative video that shows in just two minutes the work that we’re doing to help flooding victims in Bangladesh.
    5. What’s happened to global warming? – In the summer, when we were wondering why we weren’t wearing shorts and t-shirts, our Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Advisor Colin McQuistan explained why we can’t be sceptical about climate change.
    6. First ‘healthy community’ declared in Nepal –  10,500 children die each year in Nepal from diarrhoeal disease and so this blog by Binaya Shrestha, our Water and Sanitation Project Officer in Nepal, represents a real achievement in our work there.
    7. Dying for a drink in Turkana, Kenya – our Head of Fundraising Matt Wenham went out to Turkana to film our TV advert on solar powered water pumps. What he saw made him think what ‘dying for a drink’ really means.
    8. The need to focus on women and technology – this was written on International Women’s Day and is a fascinating insight into women’s use of technology.
    9. Only nine meals away from anarchy – Written by our CEO Simon Trace, this blog looks at our current global food production system.
    10. The shittiest job in the world –  If you think your job is bad, just read this interview that landed on my desk from our team in Kenya.

    Lessons for writing blogs 2014 are to write from the heart, shock, share your knowledge, chuck in the odd list, infographic, video, audio file and don’t be afraid to try new things! We’re open to suggestions for good topics – please let us know in the comments section under this blog.

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  • How to keep your New Year’s resolutions

    January 9th, 2014

     

    Cyclists taking part in the Nightrider 100km cycle challenge around London at night

    The 100km Nightrider charity cycle challenge in London helped me achieve my 2013 New Year’s resolution of losing weight, keeping fit and doing something for charity.

    I’m dreading going back to the gym today because I’ve got a cat in hell’s chance of getting on a treadmill or cross-trainer. With New Year’s resolutions in full swing, the gym is going to be packed.

    Fortunately, it doesn’t last long. The gym usually returns to normal by mid-February when people fall off the wagon.

    I was shocked to read that only 8% of people are successful in achieving their resolution, according to The University of Scranton’s Journal of Clinical Psychology, which has published some statistics on New Year’s resolutions for 2014.

    So are resolutions a waste of time? Or, if we choose the right ones – and stick to them – could we be successful in 2014?

    There’s been some interesting research by Quirkology on New Year’s resolutions, which says you are more likely to succeed if you:

    1) Make only one resolution – Many often people make the mistake of trying to achieve too much.

    2) Avoid previous resolutions – it just sets you up for frustration and disappointment. Choose something new, or approach an old problem in a new way. For example, instead of trying to lose 2 stone in weight, try exercising more.

    3) Be specific – Think through exactly what you are going to do, where you are going to do it, and at what time. Vague plans fail. So instead of saying that you will go running two days of the week, tell yourself that you’ll run on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6pm.Cyclist wearing a helmet and high-vis top

    This last point helped me achieve my resolution last year (to feel better about myself by losing a stone in weight and raising at least £500 for charity at the same time). I made it more specific by committing to take part in the Live Below the Line challenge and the 100km Nightrider cycling challenge for Practical Action. I created bite-sized, measurable goals. For my Nightrider cycling challenge this was things like buying a helmet and high-vis vest, raising £20 a week, completing three bike rides each week and increasing the mileage every week until I hit 60 miles.

    Women are more successful when they tell their friends and family about their resolution to keep them on the straight and narrow and get their support. I went a step further and broadcasted it to the entire nation! I wrote a blog and did radio and TV interviews, so I could hardly back out of it!

    Was one of your New Year’s resolutions to ‘do something for charity’?

    little girl in Nepal with her mum in her school uniform

    8-year-old Dilmaya doesn’t have to work on a rubbish dump. Thanks to our supporters, her parents can earn enough money to be able to send her to school.

    Charitable New Year’s resolutions can help you reach your goals. Not only will you be a better person, but will help others too!

    You may have already made New Year resolutions – so why not tie them in with our charity?

    You could do a sponsored run, walk, bike ride or slim if you vowed to get fit and healthy for 2014. Or if you decided that you would learn a new skill such as baking, sewing or painting, why not sell the fruits of your labour and donate the profits to Practical Action?

    There are lots of exciting ways you and your friends can get involved to raise money and awareness for our life changing work.

    1) Take a challenge – How about a challenge for 2014?? Cycling was very popular with Practical Action supporters in 2013…perhaps the 100km Nightrider challenge around London or the London to Paris bike ride? Hurry and book your event soon as places are limited and often run out quickly!

    2) Hold a fundraising event – Perhaps this will be a golf day, a coffee morning or a ball. If you would like some inspiration, why not download our fundraising ideas guide.  Don’t forget to let us know if you are planning an event to help raise funds or awareness for Practical Action by emailing events@practicalaction.org.uk or calling 01926 634537.

    3) Spread the wordJoin one of our social networks and share our updates so we can let more people know about our life changing work.

    I wish you the best of luck with whatever New Year’s resolution you take on.

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  • A look back at 2013

    January 8th, 2014

    2013 was an incredible year, and we couldn’t have done it without you. Here are my top 10 best bits:

    1. We’ve expanded our work in India, Bolivia, Malawi and Rwanda and we’ve just opened a new office in Senegal in West Africa.

    mother and daughter with their cow in Bolivia

    Reducing food vulnerability of families in Bolivia

    2. We told Martha’s story in our first ever TV advert and installed solar powered water pumps in her region of Kenya.

    child drinking safe clean water in Kenya

    Communities in Turkana, Kenya, get access to clean, safe water for the first time!

    3. We turned orange on the bluest day of the year by launching OrangeAid – our annual fundraising day (it takes place on 21 January 2014 if you fancy joining in the fun)!

    People dressed in orange for orangeaid

    Practical Action’s Annual Fundraising Day when everyone dresses in orange and does orangey things!

    4. We helped 220,000 people get access to energy and some of our supporters went to speak to the Prime Minister about why this is so crucial to help people out of poverty.

    UK Prime Minister David Cameron meeting Practical Action supporters

    UK Prime Minister David Cameron meeting Practical Action supporters

    5. In June, heavy rain caused flooding in the villages of Bardiya, Nepal, but your support ensured that 2,620 households were safely evacuated with no loss of life. In 2013 we helped reduce the risk of disasters for over 100,000 people!

    People escape flooded villages in Nepal in life rafts

    People escape flooded villages in Nepal in life rafts

    6. 75 cyclists took to the streets of London for our 100km Nightrider cycle challenge and raised over £21,000. It was so much fun! If you fancy a challenge, join the 2014 team for the ride of your life!

    Nightrider 2014 cycling challenge, cycling around London at night

    Nightrider – a 100km bike ride around London at night; a chance to see London in a different light

    7. We helped 80 women in Mandera in northern Kenya build a business selling camels’ milk and turning it into yoghurt and sweets. In total we’ve been able to help 558,000 improve their food security and livelihoods.

    A lady in Kenya makes products from camel milk

    A lady in Kenya makes products from camel milk

    8. BBC Radio 4 presenter Charlotte Green voiced our appeal to help waste picker children in Nepal off the rubbish dumps and into school.

    BBC Radio 4 presenter Charlotte Green

    BBC Radio 4 presenter Charlotte Green is the voice behind Practical Action’s successful waste picker appeal

    9. Work got underway on one of our biggest ever water and sanitation projects in Nakuru, Kenya, where we are providing safe toilets and hand washing facilities for 190,000 people.

    children washing their hands in Kenya

    Children learning how to wash their hands using the new facilities in Nakuru

    10. The UK Government supported our Safer Cities appeal and we launched an innovative stunt to raise awareness of the issue of urban poverty in developing countries which received a lot of media coverage.

    Buckingham Palace in the middle of a slum

    One of a series of photos to demonstrate what UK landmarks such as Buckingham Palace would look like if urbanisation had the same impact here as it does in Bangladesh or Nepal.

    Thank you for your support and making all of this possible. This last Safer Cities appeal is still running – it’s not too late to make a donation if you would like to support us in 2014! You could really tranform the lives of people living in slums in Nepal and Bangladesh.

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  • Human rights for the voiceless in urban slums

    December 10th, 2013
    Today is Human Rights Day – the 65th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In Britain it seems we take our human rights for granted – that they will be protected, respected and we’ll be treated with dignity.

    But in our line of work, we come across so many people whose rights are not protected at all.

    I’ve spent the past couple of months working on a campaign that will improve the lives of people living in urban slums in Nepal and Bangladesh.

    This is a photo of a slum in Nepal that my colleague took:

    urban slum in nepal

    Most people living here are from the Harijan, or Dalit caste who experience a staggering number of human rights violations.

    Crammed into makeshift shacks, they live without adequate access to water, healthcare, schools and other essential public services. They are not only deprived of their basic resources, but also face insecurity, exclusion from services and processes, and are ignored by those in power.

    Unable to get jobs, they are forced to live off rubbish dumps – searching amongst mountains of filth to find anything they can sell.

    They are seen by society as the lowest of the low. They are known as ‘untouchables’ and face rape, abuse and discrimination with no opportunities for escaping their situation. Their children are subjected bullying and struggle to get an education.[1]

    As we celebrate Human Rights Day, it is important to reflect on these and other abuses, and remember why charities like ours care about our human rights laws.

    Practical Action is working with Dalit and Harijan women’s organisations so that they can have a voice in society, and bring basic services into the slums such as clean water, toilets and modern energy. The work will also give the poorest women and children in Nepal and Bangladesh education, skills and training to enable them to form small businesses, access jobs and run self-help and safety groups.

    You can find out more information about this campaign called Safer Cities here. It is being backed by the UK government who will match fund donations pound for pound, helping us to do more vital work to improve the lives of poor and vulnerable people living in slum communities.  This means that if you can give us £20 the Government will also give us £20, making your donation go even further!


    [1] Information and statistics about the Dalit caste from the International Dalit Solidarity Network http://idsn.org/front-page/

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  • Tell us what you think – you could win an Acer tablet!

    December 3rd, 2013

    When a fancy new tech toy comes out, we have to have it. Ok, we may resist for a while – telling ourselves that the tech we have is enough. But we inevitably give in.

    This year, the hottest tech gadgets on our Christmas wish lists include eReaders, smartphones, games consoles and tablets (you could win a tablet in a Practical Action prize draw…keep reading for details).

    win a tablet, win an Acer tablet, Acer Iconia W3, gadgets, technology in the third world

    But what about the technologies we use every day without giving them a second thought? How many times have you turned on a light and said, “Wow! Electricity is amazing!” Probably never, because we take it for granted. What about watches, phones, aeroplanes, credit cards, the internet or television? How would you fare without them?

    While we have access to all this incredible technology that provides us with many of life’s luxuries, people in the developing world don’t have access to technology to meet their most basic needs.

    1.6 billion people have no access to electricity, 1.3 billion no access to safe water, 2.6 billion have no adequate sanitation and 1 billion people are undernourished.

    Helen lives in Nakuru and shares a toilet with 12 other families, lack of sanitation in Kenya, improved sanitation, improved toilets, slums

    “When it rains, the waste flows all over the place. My children step in the filthy water and bring it back into our home.” Helen, Nakuru

    Helen and her four children live in a slum in Nakuru where they share two pit toilets with 12 other families. When it rains heavily, the toilets flood and the filth in them floats up. It covers the streets and runs right up to their doorstep.

    “It offends me that my children have to come into contact with this. It makes them very ill. They have bowel problems, diarrhoea and they vomit and cough a lot.”

    Technology justice

    We think it’s an injustice that innovation is aimed at meeting consumer wants instead of humanity’s needs. We think it’s wrong that more money is spent on finding a cure for male baldness than tackling some of the world’s biggest killers like hunger related diseases, diarrhoeal diseases caused by poor sanitation and unsafe water and respiratory diseases caused by the toxic smoke from indoor fires.

    Practical Action wants to change this. We’re a charity that uses technology to help some of the world’s poorest people out of poverty. We want technology justice for people like Helen.

    Does it make you think?

    So to help spread the word, we launched an innovativevote for your favourite video campaign based on crowdsourcing – asking videographers to create a short video exposing the gap between access to technology in rich countries and the developing world.

    We were inundated by entries and after making a short list of six videos we’re now asking the public to vote for their favourite.

    Why? Because we want to know what people find compelling – what really ‘makes people think’.

    With a better understanding of what people care about, and how they want to hear about it, we can communicate Practical Action’s issues in a better, sharper way.

    Win an Acer Iconia W3 tablet

    To thank people for giving us their feedback, we’re giving them the chance to win some ‘high tech’ in the form of an Acer Iconia W3, the world’s first 8-inch Windows tablet donated to the charity by Acer and some video editing software donated by Corel. These will make Christmas presents for some lucky winners!

    We hope the videos will make you think…or even better, make you do more than think – make you act. How? By sharing the campaign and donating so we can help more people fight poverty with technology.

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