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Posts tagged ‘Pakistan’

Honoring Umar Cheema

updatedforwebumarHonoring Umar Cheema

Umar Cheema has set a new standard for courage and quality journalism in Pakistan, a country where reporters are routinely attacked and murdered.

As a reporter for Pakistan’s largest English-language daily, The News, he has been a resolute force in investigative journalism for more than a decade.

In 2010, he was kidnapped and brutally tortured for writing critical stories about the government. Since then, undaunted, he has churned out a steady stream of hard-hitting reports. He documented how car smugglers rake in huge profits without paying taxes. He mined data to expose how top lawmakers spend little time in Parliament working on legislation.

Two years ago, Cheema founded the Center for Investigative Reporting in Pakistan. In its initial report, he analyzed the tax records of 446 lawmakers and ministers. He discovered that nearly 70 percent of legislators did not file income taxes in 2011, including President Asif Ali Zardari. After his story ran, the government instituted rules forcing candidates in contested elections to submit tax returns and charged tax shirkers a penalty for past evasions.

Cheema has received numerous awards for his courage and reporting, including the 2011 International Press Freedom Award from the Committee to Protect Journalists. In 2008, he won a Daniel Pearl Fellowship, becoming the first Pearl fellow to work at The New York Times.

He holds a Master’s Degree in Mass Communication from Punjab University in Lahore, Pakistan. He also attended the London School of Economics where he received a Master of Sciences Degree in Comparative Politics (Conflict Studies).

From Guess who came for lunch? A different kind of Mujahid of Pakistan in DC
Sayyid M. Syeed

Fighting For Education

From Malala Yousafzai
London, UK

On 15 June fourteen girls were murdered in Pakistan simply because they wanted an education. Many people know my story but there are stories every day of children fighting for an education. The basic right to education is under attack around the world.

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We need change now and I need your help to achieve it.

You can help me and girls and boys across the world. We are asking the United Nations General Assembly to fund new teachers, schools, books and recommit to getting every girl and boy in school by December 2015.

This July 12th is my 16th birthday and I am personally delivering this petition to the United Nations Secretary General Bank Ki Moon.

I became a victim of terrorism after I spoke out in favour of education of girls. These innocent girls killed in Pakistan have nothing to do with politics and only wanted to empower themselves through education.

If we want to bring change, if we want progress, if we want development, if we want the education of girls, we should be united. We should not wait. We should do it now.

Sign Malala’s petition HERE

Whatever It Takes

Dear Gabriel,

EOY-2012-COBIn the midst of violent conflict in Syria, food shortages in West Africa and terrible floods in Pakistan… there are children.

Thousands of innocent, helpless children who are in very real danger.

UNICEF is determined to save these children, so we’re announcing an ambitious goal of raising $1 million by December 31. Because without an immediate influx of additional relief, many of these children will not make it.

Please donate now – and help rush critical treatments, clean water and vaccinations to the world’s most vulnerable children. 100% of your gift is tax-deductible.

I believe every one of these children is a reason to support UNICEF’s far-reaching, lifesaving work – and I know you do, too. But in case you need a few more, here are my top six:

1. You can trust UNICEF. Founded in 1946, UNICEF has helped save more children than any other organization. UNICEF takes the best ideas from around the world and puts them to work for the world’s most vulnerable children.

2. Your money will be used wisely. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF spends 90.5 cents of every dollar we receive on programs for children. Only 6.6 cents goes to fundraising, and 2.9 cents to administration.

3. Your money will make a difference. Since 1990, UNICEF’s work has helped cut the number of preventable child deaths by one-third. How?

Immunizations – When you support UNICEF, you help provide immunizations for more than half of the world’s children. In 2011 alone, UNICEF procured 2.5 billion doses of vaccine for children in 103 countries.

Clean water – Since 1990, 1.8 billion people have gained access to safe drinking water thanks to UNICEF and its deliveries of water purification supplies.

Nutrition – When famine strikes, UNICEF is the No. 1 provider of ready-to-eat therapeutic food for children.

4. UNICEF goes to the ends of the earth to help children – literally. On the ground in 190 countries and territories, in the world’s most challenging situations, UNICEF is there helping children. Over the past 30 years, UNICEF has helped create the world’s farthest-reaching supply network, capable of delivering even temperature-sensitive vaccines to the most remote locations. UNICEF goes places that no other relief organization can reach.

5. UNICEF will do whatever it takes to save a child. The organization’s unparalleled access and expertise mean that THIS is the group that can get things done where no one else can. UNICEF has actually stopped wars so children could be vaccinated. UNICEF works with government leaders, civic figures, celebrities, corporations, campus groups, churches, teachers and people just like you – anyone willing to help advocate for the survival and well-being of every child.

6. It doesn’t take much to save a child. Some of the most important treatments for curing children of disease, suffering and death cost pennies. Millions of children die of diarrhea every year, and the oral rehydration salts that can save them cost just 8 cents a packet. Malnutrition contributes to half of ALL child deaths, and the fortified nut paste and micronutrients needed to save them cost less than a dollar a day.

Please don’t wait; the clock is ticking for the world’s most vulnerable children. Donate today to rush real, lifesaving relief. Your gift is 100% tax-deductible.

On behalf of the world’s children, thank you.

Caryl M. Stern
President & CEO
U.S. Fund for UNICEF

Keep Girls Strong

Dear Gabriel,

A baby girl comes into this world brimming with potential – ready to grow, live, and dream.

But too often, society will get in her way, stacking up a mountain of challenges in front of her.

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Sometimes it starts right away by robbing her of her health because of a lack of food or clean water. Sometimes it comes later – when her family cannot afford to send her to school or her local school refuses to allow girls to attend. Before she is twelve, she may even be forced to marry a man twice her age.

For over 60 years, CARE has been addressing the underlying causes of poverty and attacking the obstacles that stand between girls and their ability to realize their full potential.

With your help, we can meet a girl’s basic need for food, water, and a place to live. We can build schools and help communities realize that girls belong in the classroom, not at the altar.

Together, we can help women fulfill their entrepreneurial dreams and watch women lift up their families, and entire communities, out of poverty.

That’s what works… but only when people like you commit to pitching in. Every bit will help rush urgently-needed support to the girls and families who need it – and until December 31st, your gift will be matched. Make a gift now!

That’s right – when you donate before December 31st, your gift will be matched, dollar for dollar, up to $1 million. This amazing opportunity could not come at a better time.

In many parts of the world, educating and empowering girls is a deadly serious matter. A few months ago, just days before the first International Day of the Girl, 15-year-old Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head because of her outspoken advocacy for the rights of girls to go to school. Miraculously, she survived and from her recovery room refused to abandon the belief that girls deserve a fair chance in this world – the kind of chance they get when they go to school.

When girls are willing to show such amazing courage, we must step up to act as safeguards – we must stand strong in the fight to win girls’ right to dream, learn, and grow.

CARE has not only helped build schools for girls in the region Malala calls home – our field staff also partnered with local organizations to rebuild over 40 schools for girls in the country of Pakistan. CARE supports youth activities like sporting events and youth forums. Globally, our education work focuses on girls between the ages of 10 and 14, when they are making the critical transition from childhood to adulthood.

Around the world, we are fighting poverty in many different ways – through repairing community wells, creating village savings and loan associations to help poor communities start small businesses, managing crises, and so much more. When I think about the path to a brighter future, I firmly believe that working with girls is the key to our success.

Please help keep girls strong. Every gift matters – please give today and help us meet our goal of $1 million by December 31st. Every dollar will be matched.

Thank you for everything you do.

Sincerely,

Tolli Love
Vice President, CARE

Nobel Prize for Malala

Gabriel –

One month ago, 15-year-old Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman. Malala’s crime? She wanted to go to school, and ran a campaign in Pakistan to help girls gain access to education.

Malala has been an activist for years — when she was 11, she worked as an anonymous blogger for the BBC to expose information about her Taliban-ruled area of Pakistan. Now, even as she recovers from being shot in the head, Malala says, “All I want is an education. And I’m afraid of no one.”

In response to Malala’s extraordinary courage, people all over the world are calling for her to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Bonnie Lloyd, a professor of sociology in Rochester, New York, started a petition on Change.org asking Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice to nominate Malala for the Nobel Peace Prize. Click here to sign Bonnie’s petition.

The Nobel Peace Prize has been used for decades to bring global attention to important issues, from landmines to apartheid to the US civil rights movement. Bonnie believes the time is right to focus on girls being denied the right to go to school, and honoring Malala’s bravery is a great way to do that.

“The hopes and dreams of girls throughout the world are no longer hidden – yet there is much to do, as Malala’s wounds attest,” Bonnie says about her petition. “By nominating Malala Yousafzai, these global leaders will send a clear message: We stand with Malala and with girls everywhere in their fight for the right to equal opportunity through education.”

As two of the highest ranking women in the history of US government, a nomination for Malala from Secretaries Clinton and Rice would be a strong signal to the global community that Malala’s fight is important to people in the US.

Secretary Clinton has responded to petitions on Change.org before — last year, she publicly declared support for Saudi women’s right to drive for the first time and credited a Change.org petition. Bonnie believes that if enough people sign her petition, Secretaries Clinton and Rice will take a stand to support Malala and girls all over the world who just want to go to school.

Click here to sign Bonnie’s petition calling on Hillary Clinton and Condoleeza Rice to nominate Malala Yousafzai for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Thanks for being a change-maker,

– Rachel and the Change.org team

Make Malala’s Dream Reality

Dear Friends,

Malala has dedicated her childhood to championing education for girls like her in Pakistan. As she lies in a hospital bed, a tragic victim of Taliban gunmen, let’s help make her dream come true.

One part of Pakistan has already started a successful programme of paying families which send their girls to school regularly. But in Malala’s province the government is dragging its feet. Senior politicians have offered Malala help, and if we act now we can get them to commit to rolling this out nationwide.

Before the media spotlight moves on, let’s raise our voices to demand that the government announces funding for all Pakistani girls who attend school. In days the UN Education Envoy will meet Pakistan’s President Zardari and he says hand delivering 1 million signatures will strengthen his case. Sign and forward this email, and let’s help make Malala’s dream come true:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/malalahopenew/?bMPbqab&v=18774

North-west Pakistan has been in the grip of the Taliban since 2007 when they systematically started burning and destroying girls’ schools. The Taliban destroyed 401 schools in Swat between 2001 and 2009 — 70% of them were girls’ schools. Malala drew the world’s attention to the Taliban’s reign of terror, when she started writing a blog in Urdu for the BBC. Her writing is a crucial record of the devastating consequences of extremism on the lives of ordinary Pakistanis.

Pakistan’s constitution says girls should be educated alongside boys, and the government has the resources to make it happen. But politicians have ignored that for years, influenced by extremist religious groups, and now, only 29% of girls attend secondary school. Study after study has shown the positive impact on personal and national income when girls are educated.

Let’s turn this shock and horror at the Taliban’s attack on a young girl into a wave of international pressure that forces Pakistan to address girls’ education. Click below to stand with Malala and support a massive girls’ education campaign in Pakistan, backed by resources, security, and most importantly, the will to fight the extremists who tear down Pakistan:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/malalahopenew/?bMPbqab&v=18774

Let’s come together and stand in solidarity with a brave, young activist, who is showing the world how one little schoolgirl can stand up to armed and dangerous extremists.

With hope and determination,

Emma, Alaphia, Alex, Ricken, Ari, Michelle, Wissam, Rewan and the rest of the Avaaz team

Shot for Being a Girl

Dear Gabriel,

On Tuesday, the Taliban deliberately shot a 14-year-old Pakistani girl on her way home from school because she promoted education for girls.

Education is not just a human right – it’s also a crucial safeguard against violence and discrimination.

The bullets that struck Malala Yousufzai’s skull have left the young activist in critical condition. Taliban militants said that if she survives, they would target her again.

Living free from violence and discrimination is a human right, yet millions of women and girls like Malala suffer from gender-based violence in their homes, in their communities, even at the hands of the state.

Your contribution is needed to help Amnesty hold accountable both state and non-state actors and stop the cycle of violence against women.

Girls and women everywhere deserve a better future.

Today is the first ever International Day of the Girl – a day to shine a light on gender discrimination and advocate for girls’ rights everywhere.

One in three women has been affected by sexual violence. Women are beaten, raped, mutilated and killed with impunity.

Gender-based violence is a violation of the dignity and human rights of women and girls that also undermines the fabric of societies and stability of countries.

Can you donate to Amnesty International today, to make sure our human rights campaigners have the resources they need to fight for women and girls like Malala?

Together, we will press forward until no government, no community, no people permit or promote violence against girls and women.

Thank you for all you do to defend human rights.

Sincerely,

Cristina M. Finch
Program Director
Women’s Human Rights
Amnesty International USA

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