5 ways to help this week (25 October 2020)

Updated: Dec 13, 2020

Each week the WCWD team adds new content to the site – we keep it relevant to make sure you’re informed on the latest!

But because we also know it can be overwhelming with so much information flying around, we’ve collated 5 new things for you to get involved in this week – whether you do one or all five, you can make a difference.

1. Demand justice for protesters in Nigeria

This week the peaceful protesters in Lagos were shot and killed by the Nigerian army and police.

This comes amid further violent repression of peaceful protests across Nigeria. Starting in early October, these protests have called for the dissolution of the notorious police unit Special Anti-Robbery Squad (Sars). Despite the fact Sars has been disbanded, this week’s events show that police brutality remains.

Protesters in Nigeria chant and put their hands in the air to tackle police brutality
From The Guardian. Protesters chant and sing solidarity songs as they barricade the Lagos-Ibadan expressway. Photograph: Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images

To help support the protests, donate and bring awareness to the work of the Feminist Coalition, which has been helping organisations at the grassroot level.

Sign the petitions!

This petition calls for Nigeria’s president President Buhari to be charged before the ICC for crimes against humanity and this petition calls for UK sanctions against those individuals within the Nigerian government and police who have violated human rights.

You might also like: Black Lives Matter: how to support the BAME community through COVID-19

Feminist Coalition logo, a black fist in a yellow background
Feminist Coalition logo, from https://feministcoalition2020.com/

2. Support Stamma’s “Find the Right Words” campaign

To celebrate this year’s International Stammering Awareness day (22nd November) support the charity Stammas latest campaign “Find the Right Words”.

Around 1% of the world’s population have a stammer and in the UK, more than 150,000 young people stammer.

Despite this, stammering is often stereotyped in popular culture and without a supportive community can lead to individual’s feeling isolated.

The “Find the Right Words” campaign aims to change the language and perceptions surrounding stammering. Check out their campaigns page to learn about appropriate language use and how to initiate conversations about stammering.

3. Up your activist game with a free “Make Change Happen” online course

Created by Oxfam in partnership with the Open University, get a free eight week masterclass that will equip you with all the skills needed to become a change making superhero (minus the cape).

Hosted by the online learning platform FutureLearn, through videos, articles and self-reflection tasks you can learn about types of change, systems of power and the perfect strategies and tactics to challenge them.

To learn more about the course and sign up click here.

4. Donate to your local food bank

By donating to your local food bank, you will join the thousands of councils, businesses and individuals who have been inspired by Marcus Rashford’s free school meal campaign.

This week's calls for free school meals to be extended during half terms and winter holidays were rejected by the government. This is despite the fact free school meals were supplied to 1.3 million children during the summer holiday (video).

Marcus Rashford and his mum Melanie Maynard volunteer at a Manchester food bank
From The Guardian. Rashford at FareShare, Greater Manchester, with his mother. The charity network is naming a new warehouse in her honour. Photograph: FareShare/Mark Waugh/PA

In Scotland and Wales, the governments have extended free meals until Easter 2021 and in Northern Ireland children will be provided for during this month’s half-term.

To make sure that the children in your community are supported, ensure that your local food banks are fully stocked up!

Whether it be money or food donations, anything you can give helps struggling families during this challenging time.

Find your local Trussell Trust food bank, and Google other independent food banks near you to support them. Follow them on social media to keep up to date with the items that they need most.

You can also check out this map to find out venues across the UK which are providing free meals for children during the holidays.

Read more about Marcus Rashford’s campaign and the grass root movement that is supporting him on the BBC.

You might also like: Hunger in the UK: did you know? and our Voices of Change interviews with Feast! and The Hunger Project.

5. Sustainable Swap - TreeCard

Ever thought you could pay for the “go on, it’s a Sunday” treat with a tree?

Well today is the day!

The ever-popular ethical search engine Ecosia has partnered with Mastercard to create TreeCard, a free top-up debit card made from sustainably sourced FSC cherry wood (think Monzo but wood).

Ecosia TreeCard being used in a cafe
Source: Ecosia blog

It not only stops your use of single-use plastic credit cards, but for each coffee, brunch, cross stitch, plant and book you buy, you help reforest the planet as 80% of profits go straight into Ecosia’s reforestation funding.

Find out more and get your card - but be quick as you only have until the 1st of December to register!

As always share, share, share with family and friends and let's start a green banking revolution!

You might also like: Spotlight on Sustainability

Two cups of positivi-tea today!

This week we're highlighting two amazing changes brought about by community activism:

Book publisher Penguin has joined forces with the UK's leading independent race equality thinktank the Runnymede Trust to boost diversity in reading lists in schools, in a partnership called Lit in Colour.

It follows a recent report by Teach First which found that pupils could leave school in England without studying a novel or play by a black or minority ethnic author.

Penguin hopes to create a more representative experience of English literature within the school environment.

Lit in Colour fact
Source: https://www.penguin.co.uk/campaigns/lit-in-colour.html

And finally to fill you with a warm fuzzy feeling, marriage equality has finally been achieved in Northern Ireland as this week sees Westminister legalise the conversion of same-sex civil partnerships into marriages.

Love Equality coalition northern ireland
Source: https://www.amnesty.org.uk/press-releases/northern-ireland-marriage-equality-fully-achieved-civil-partnership-conversion

Whilst there is a lot of negative news, it's important to take in the good news that also exists! Keep up the good work team, we’ve got this!

Come back again next week for more ideas about how you can get involved and make a difference. In the meantime, if you know of any initiatives in your community that you think we should promote get in touch.

Have some more time to give? Find us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and at our website for more inspiration.

Do you want to be our next guest blogger for our Voices of Change blog series or want to write for our Spotlight series? Then please get in touch.

Contributor for this blog: Laura Toms

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