Earth Hour 2010…small but significant changes are possible

Earth Hour 2010…small but significant changes are possible

Environmental change hinges on environmental action which in turn must be linked to attitudinal change. Attitudinal change can be effected by small but significant actions which in turn will strengthen attitudinal change leading finally to full blown behavioural change. Earth hour not only raises awareness but is linked directly to action -switching off power for one hour. What is good about a coordinated approach to action is that it can catch the media’s attention and build a broader coalition for change.

Earth Hour is a global event organized by WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature, also known as World Wildlife Fund) and is held on the last Saturday of March annually, asking households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights and other electrical appliances for one hour to raise awareness towards the need to take action on climate change.

Earth Hour 2010 will take place on March 27, 2010 from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., local time.

Earth Hour 2010 is reportedly on track to become the largest Earth Hour yet, aiming to garner more than the one billion participant goal of 2009’s Earth Hour.[6] 121 countries have signed up for Earth Hour 2010.

A list of 812 icons and landmarks worldwide will turn off their lights for Earth Hour, including:

And from the Earth Hour Global Site:

  • Creatives celebrate in Colombia…

    Today we announce our first Earth Hour Online Supporter of the Day from South America – the self described “home of creative minds” – Concepto Diseño from Bogotá, Colombia. We have …

  • Before and After

    Inspired by Ecorazzi’s gallery post earlier this week, we wanted to share with you some fabulous before-and-after photos from last year’s Earth Hour that illustrate the dramatic affect th …

  • Earth Hour fever descends…

    With Earth Hour but a few days away, it’s time to catch up with the plethora of videos that have sprung up of late to support and promote Earth Hour around the globe. These videos run the gam …

  • A challenge for the future…

    Today we’d like to highlight Challenge:Future, a non-profit consortium, as our Earth Hour Online Supporter of the Day. Challenge:Future is an international youth competition that connects cor …

  • Three for one with five to go!

    There’s just under a week, in fact only five days, to go before Earth Hour 2010, and we’re still being inundated by entries for our Earth Hour Online Supporter of the Day award! Therefore we though …

  • The Smoke that Thunders

    One of the most inspiring stories to come out of the lead up to Earth Hour this year concerns the Victoria Falls, bordering the African nations of Zambia and Zimbabwe. From one man contacting …

  • Antorchas para el planeta Tierra

    Some stunning images have made their way to us of the recent Earth Hour lantern launching ceremony held in Lima, part of Peru’s Earth Hour 2010 celebrations.

  • .

CÉLÉBRATION: Journée internationale de la langue française

CÉLÉBRATION: Journée internationale de la langue française

20th March is French Language Day! French is an official language in 33 countries. INEE has once again been active in many countries and therefore many languages – listed below is a number  French-language Resources:

INEE Minimum Standards
The INEE Minimum Standards (available in French, English and 23 other languages) provide good practices and concrete guidance to governments and humanitarian workers for coordinated action to enhance the quality of educational preparedness and response, increase access to relevant learning opportunities, and ensure humanitarian accountability in providing these services.

Hardcopies of the French Handbooks are available. Please email if you would like to request copies. Click here to download a copy from INEE’s website.

INEE Guidance Notes on Teacher Compensation
This tool (available in English, French, Spanish and Arabic as well as a range of Users’ Guides are on the INEE website here) provide guidance on the policy, coordination, management and financial aspects of teacher compensation, as well as on issues related to teacher motivation, support and supervision. The Guidance Notes provide key points of consideration under each of these topics and provide examples of good practice, lessons learnt and illustrative strategies from a range of refugee, IDP, returnee and overall population contexts to assist the reader in identifying which approaches are likely to be effective in their particular context.

Hardcopies of both the French and English Guidance Notes on Teacher Compensation are available. Please email to request copies, stating how many and your address.

INEE Guidance Notes on Safer School Construction (Forthcoming)
This tool provides a framework to develop a context-specific plan for disaster resilient construction and retrofitting of school buildings, including a series of suggested steps that highlight key points that should be considered when planning a safer school construction and/or retrofitting initiative.

The French Language Community is currently reviewing the French translation of this tool, and it should be ready for download later in the month. For the meantime, you can download the Guidance Notes in English here. Download the User’s Guide here.

To pre-order hardcopies of the English Guidance Notes, please email stating how many and your address.

INEE Pocket Guide to Inclusive Education
This Pocket Guide offers practical actions that everyone involved in an emergency education response can take, from the start, to make sure that education in emergencies is accessible and inclusive for everyone, particularly those who have been traditionally excluded from education.

The Pocket Guide to Inclusive Education is available in French here and in English here. Hardcopies of both the English and French versions are also available, please email to request copies, stating how many and your address.

INEE Blog en Français

The INEE Blog now has some fantastic French-language posts where French and English-speaking members can interact, initiate discussions and debates about current and critical issues facing the field of education in emergencies. We have several posts waiting for your comments, all of which are available in both French and English:

Les ressources phares de l’INEE en langue française

Les Normes minimales de l’INEE
Les Normes minimales de l’INEE (document disponible en français, en anglais et en 23 autres langues) ont été conçues pour donner aux gouvernements et aux travailleurs humanitaires les outils et la guidance dont ils ont besoin pour améliorer la qualité de la préparation et de la réponse éducatives, accroître l’accès aux opportunités d’apprentissage adaptées, et assurer la responsabilité du corps humanitaire lorsqu’elle fournit ces services.
Les Normes sont disponibles en français en version papier. Si vous souhaitez commander une copie, veuillez envoyer un email à en précisant votre nom, adresse exacte et le nombre de copie souhaitée.
Les Notes d’orientation de l’INEE sur la rémunération des enseignants
Ces Notes sont disponibles en anglais, français, espagnol et arabe et s’accompagnent d’une série de guides pour les utilisateurs (ici). Elles fournissent une guidance sur la politique, la coordination, la gestion et les aspects financiers de la rémunération des enseignants, ainsi que sur les questions liées à la motivation, au soutien et à la supervision des enseignants. Chaque thème comporte un certain nombre de points que les agences (y compris les autorités éducatives) doivent prendre en compte quand elles élaborent et appliquent leurs interventions. Pour faciliter l’identification des approches qui conviennent le mieux à une situation donnée, ces points sont illustrés par des exemples de bonnes pratiques, d’enseignements tirés de l’expérience et de stratégies adoptées dans divers contextes (réfugiés, IDP, rapatriés et population générale) afin que le lecteur puisse identifier les approches qui sont susceptibles d’être les plus efficaces dans son contexte particulier.
Les Notes d’orientation sont disponibles en français en version papier. Si vous souhaitez commander une copie, veuillez envoyer un email à en précisant votre nom, adresse exacte et le nombre de copie souhaitée.
Les Notes d’orientation INEE sur la construction d’écoles plus sûres (à paraître)
Ces Notes fournissent un cadre de principes directeurs et de mesures générales pour  élaborer un plan spécifique destiné à la construction et au réaménagement de bâtiments scolaires afin qu’ils soient résilients aux catastrophes.  Les Notes présentent également une série d’étapes suggérées qui indiquent les principaux points devant être pris en compte lors de la planification de construction d’écoles plus sûres et/ou d’une initiative de réaménagement d’écoles.
La Communauté francophone est sur le point de compléter la révision de la traduction française de cet outil qui sera disponible pour téléchargement à la fin du mois de mars.  Dans l’immédiat, vous pouvez télécharger les Notes d’orientation en anglais ici. Le Guide de l’utilisateur en anglais peut aussi être téléchargé ici.
Si vous souhaitez pré-commander une copie en version papier des Notes d’orientation en français, veuillez envoyer un email à en précisant votre nom, adresse exacte et le nombre de copie souhaitée.
Le Guide de poche INEE sur l’éducation inclusive
Ce guide propose des actions concrètes que toute personne impliquée dans une intervention éducative d’urgence peut mener, dès le début, pour s’assurer que l’éducation en situations d’urgence est accessible et inclusive pour tous, en particulier pour ceux et celles qui ont été traditionnellement exclus de l’éducation.
Le Guide de poche sur l’éducation inclusive est disponible en français ici et en anglais ici. Les copies en version papier des deux éditions, anglaise et française, sont également disponibles.  Si vous désirez commander une copie, veuillez envoyer un email à en précisant votre nom, adresse exacte et le nombre de copie souhaitée.
Le Blog INEE en français

Le Blog INEE contient actuellement quelques billets intéressants en français au sujet desquels les membres INEE de langue française et anglaise peuvent interagir, entamer des discussions à propos de et débattre sur des questions critiques qui touchent au domaine de l’éducation en situations d’urgence. Nous avons plusieurs billets en attente de vos commentaires, tous étant disponibles en français et en anglais:

Children’s Rights – policy briefs from Save and also the International Children’s Peace Prize

Save the Children has released new advocacy materials that  can be utilized for a number of different purposes including presentations, meetings, etc.  The new materials include:
Children and Good Governance
Children constitute a third of the global population yet remain invisible in debates about how countries are governed. Save the Children is calling for a focus on children to build more effective states around the world.
Making Children’s Rights A Reality
This brief outlines:

  • What are children’s rights?
  • What progress has been made in the past 20 years?
  • Have we made children’s rights a reality?
  • Why have we not achieved more?
  • What Save the Children is calling for

Improving Accountability for Child Rights – The Need for a New International Mechanism
Twenty years on from the signing of the UNCRC, Save the Children is calling for an international procedure to enable children to directly challenge violations of their rights.
Children and economic growth
Save the Children is calling on governments to recognise the need for growth, equity and poverty reduction to ensure children fully benefit from a country’s economic growth.

And in the same vein, there is a call for nominations for the Children’s Peace Prize –

International Children’s Peace Prize
In February, the nomination round for the International Children’s Peace Prize 2010 officially started. Organizations and governments will be addressed to nominate a child between the age of 12-18 years old, who they think is performing extraordinary efforts to improve or implement children’s rights for themselves and children in their environment.

In still too many countries children’s rights are not at all or only partially recognized and implemented. The fact that there are children who will stand up for these rights and make sure that they are upheld is very important. The Children’s Peace Prize gives these children a platform to speak and is a recognition for their work. Therefore, KidsRights calls out to everyone worldwide to nominate a child who would deserve the International Children’s Peace Prize.

The deadline for sending in the nomination form is April 1, 2010.

For more information and access to the nomination form click here.

Update – Some Haitian schools in worst quake-hit areas to reopen by 31 March 2010

During emergencies it has been found that providing some ‘normalcy’ for children e.g. going to school , can reduce the psychological trauma that children are likely to suffer. News from Haiti provides evidence of the efforts being made to provide emergency education following the Haiti earthquake.

From the UN News Service
Despite only a handful of schools being open in the Haitian capital and outlying areas, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is working with the Haitian Government on a new deadline by which classes in the areas worst affected by last month’s earthquake will resume by the end of next month.

“Some of the schools in non-affected areas are now open, others in affected areas for sure will be open by then and we will do an accelerated learning programme so they do not lose the school year. This will be challenging in terms of coordination but everyone is on board and in support of the Ministry to meet this deadline,” Roshan Khadivi, UNICEF’s Spokesperson in Port-au-Prince told the UN News Centre.

According the UN, only 10 per cent of the schools in the capital, Port-au-Prince, were functional as of 1 February and about 40 per cent in the southern port city of Jacmel and other localities.

“We can’t afford to waste a school year. Even if our buildings are destroyed, we can set up tents so the children who are still alive can come back to school to learn,” Louis Montespoir, Director of the Daniel Fignole School, told UNIFEED.

Working with the Haitian Ministry of Education, UNICEF and other partners plan to set up tents for immediate use as classrooms until the rainy and hurricane seasons start in the spring. By then, UNICEF says it hopes to have temporary learning spaces which can be used for a year or two until the schools are rebuilt.

For access to the full article click here.

Advocacy Kit for Promoting Multilingual Education – Including the Excluded

Having worked in Vietnam for the last 4 years I realise the importance of providing governments enough hard information and research findings to base education policy which will first of all realise EFA and Millenium Development Goals but also provide meaningful learning experiences for all children.

From UNESCO as reported in the INEE newsletter:

In some countries in Asia, bi/multilingual education programmes, through non-formal education, are helping to prepare ethnic/linguistic minority learners for literacy in both mother tongue and national languages. However, there is a serious lack of recognition and understanding of the role that bi/multilingual education can play in increasing enrolment, retention and achievement in the formal school system. This kit advocates making education systems more responsive to cultural diversity. It provides important insights into the value of mother tongue-based multilingual education, which respects the rights of children and learners and encourages readers to think about the importance of language issues and to investigate them further. It builds on research findings and experiences gained over many years by many organizations and individuals working on mother tongue-based multilingual education.

This kit contains three main booklets. Each booklet has a designated audience: 1) policy makers, 2) education programme planners and practitioners and 3) community members.

This kit can be used in many different ways. For those who are already involved in MLE programmes, you might use these ideas to help you to promote mother tongue instruction and strengthen your programme.   Those who are not familiar with multilingual education but want to improve educational access for minority language students might use these booklets to identify specific points that they can investigate and discuss in their own contexts.

To access the complete toolkit click here.

And in the same vein:

On February 19th, the United Nations launched UN Language Days, a new initiative which seeks to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity as well as to promote equal use of all six of its official working languages throughout the Organization.

UN duty stations around the world will celebrate six new observances dedicated to a UN official language: French (20 March), English (23 April), Russian (6 June), Spanish (12 October), Arabic (18 December) and Chinese (to be determined).

The new initiative – which seeks to increase awareness and respect for the history, culture and achievements of each of the six working languages among the UN community – is part of this year’s observance of International Mother Language Day, observed annually on 21 February.

The observance of the Day will also feature a special screening of the Danish documentary In Languages We Live – Voices of the World at UN Headquarters in New York today. The film explores the world’s linguistic diversity, especially in light of the fact that half of the world’s approximately 6,500 languages will disappear by the end of the century – currently, at least one language is disappearing every 14 days.

In addition, a two-day symposium on translation and cultural mediation will open on 22 February at the Paris headquarters of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

This year, UNESCO is celebrating Mother Language Day as part of the 2010 International Year of Rapprochement of Cultures (2010), the agency’s Director-General Irina Bokova noted in her message for the Day.

For more information visit:

Global Campaign to End Violence in Schools – PLAN

Ever since the UN secretary general’s study on Violence against Children was published  organisations such as Plan International have been attempting to reduce the fear that many children have when they go to school.

Plan International has released a progress report for the Learn Without Fear Campaign.  Learn Without Fear, a global campaign to protect tens of millions of children from violence and bullying in schools, has made impressive progress in its first year. Plan’s Learn Without Fear campaign was set up to address the fact that cruel and humiliating forms of physical punishment, gender-based violence and bullying are a daily reality for millions of children. Each year, 150 million girls and 73 million boys across the world are subjected to sexual violence, and 20-65 per cent of schoolchildren report being verbally or physically bullied.  At present, almost 90 countries have not yet prohibited corporal punishment in schools.  Plan believes that every child has the right to a safe school environment and envisions a world where children can go to school in safety and learn without fear or threats of violence.

The report highlights a number developments:

  • Legal frameworks are starting to be changed through Plan’s efforts eg in Ecuador and Nicaragua, over 5.5million children are now better protected by law
  • Over 20,000 teachers and other public servants have been trained
  • Over 280,000 children have been involved in campaign activities
  • The governments of 30 countries have invited Plan to work with them to stop school violence
  • Plan has created partnerships with teachers, lawyers, police and others
  • Thousands of schools are benefitting from codes of conduct and improved school policies promoted by Plan
  • 60 countries are working actively on the campaign
  • Plan has contributed new understanding of the issues faced by children by producing 45 different sets of research across 35 countries.

For access to the full report click here.

Convention on the Rights of the Child – From Moral Imperatives to Legal Obligations

Although much progress has been made on implementing the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) there is much to be done in terms of aligning legal systems and the laws within them, with the CRC. The report below provides more hope for realising the rights for all children.

From Save the Children -reported in the INEE newsletter

Last year was the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. To mark this important milestone, Save the Children brought together 120 high profile attendees at a conference in Geneva with the objective of mobilising civil society into taking action on the use of the Convention on the Rights of the Child as a legal instrument.

The report conference report outlines summaries of key discussions with the objective to inspire creative legal strategies to realise children’s rights. Of particular interest to INEE members may be descriptions of a panel on Using Regional and International Human Rights Mechanisms to address violations of Child Rights which included a presentation on Bringing a case to a Regional Court – Case study of the Roma Children in Special Education Classes case in front of the European Court of Human Rights by Lilla Farkas, CFCF, Hungary. In addition, the report includes case studies on:

  • A strategic litigation strategy for the right to education in Ethiopia: This fictional case study was undertaken during the working group on designing a strategic litigation strategy.
  • A strategic litigation strategy on sexual violence against children in Kenyan Schools: Sexual violence in schools is an issue that has received a lot of public attention, particularly in light of schoolgirls who have become pregnant as a result of sexual abuse by teachers.

For access to the full report click here.