Advocacy

Acrobat instructor brings people with disabilities to new heights

IG: @pitublazquez

IG: @pitublazquez

At Pitu Blazquez’s acrobatics school in Argentina, students are hanging from trapezes, walking on balance beams and cooling down with a stretch. But the school is a little different from what you might expect: it offers free classes for people with disabilities.

“These people are doing something incredible, which is extremely difficult, being five meters high and giving their soul and their art,” Blazquez told AJ+.

People who live with disabilities are a marginalized community in Argentina; most do not have medical insurance and only one in 10 are employed.

“Nothing is built with disabled people in mind. They don’t think [about it],” one of Blasquez’s students said.

Through offering people with disabilities classes free of charge, Blazquez hopes to give them a chance to engage in an activity they otherwise wouldn’t have the chance to. Instead of specifically setting aside sessions for people with disabilities, he integrates them with other students in class to help everyone understand the challenges these people face.

“It teaches my other students to work with people who can’t walk, people who can’t see, but can do a lot of things,” said Blasquez.


“What I see inside them is a fight, is a courage that is an example for everyone. It’s very rewarding.”

 

Former refugee boats give cruisers a tour of Amsterdam through the eyes of migrants

Photo Credits: UNHCR

Once upon a time, ‘Meneer Vrijdag’ and ‘Klein Boot’ were boats that were previously used to smuggle asylum seekers across the Mediterranean in search for a better life.

Now, the vessels are traversing much calmer waters: they’ve been taken in by Lampedusa Cruises, a tour company in Amsterdam that invites residents and tourists alike to take in the city’s history, much of which has been shaped by refugees and migrants.

The skippers, from countries including Eritrea, Libya and Syria, all have one thing in common – they themselves were refugees who came to Amsterdam on a boat not unlike the vessel they now sit at the helm of.

“Our guides tell you the hidden history of Amsterdam through the eyes of its immigrants and outsiders, including their personal migration story,” the company’s website reads.

The company takes its name from the island of Lampedusa, which is a symbol of Europe’s migrant crisis due to it being a popular destination for refugees sailing from Africa. What the cruises hope to do is to provide an alternative, less traditional insight into Amsterdam that isn’t necessarily what first comes to mind when one thinks about the city.

“The beauty of this project is that while Amsterdam is so shiny, we dive into some issues that aren’t so clean,” said Sahand, a tour guide. “Most tour companies talk about the Golden Age of the Netherlands and point out the old buildings. We talk about the immigrants who built them.”

Penny & Roo: a story of an unlikely friendship between a rescued Chihuahua and Chicken

Who can resist these two cute balls of fur? Meet Penny, the chicken and Roo the Chihuahua  - defying any animal kingdom preconceptions us humans might have.

*

Abandoned in a ditch and previously rescued from a testing facility respectively, (flashbacks from Legally Blond 2 anyone?) these two have since become the best of friends. Not only do they enjoy each other’s company but a happy mother and new home.

*

This story was first highlighted by @DodoImpact, a place in their words, that exists "For animal people who want to make a difference.” For more incredible content on the beautiful animals we share this world with, check out @DodoImpact. Share their stories, enjoy their videos, and next time you see a dog and a chicken - have a second thought before separating them, they might be friends.

*

Any readers out there thinking of getting a pet, maybe consider adopting -you could be rewriting the stories of precious animals like Penny and Roo here. Any adopters out there who have stories to share - we’d love to hear them! Tag @givoglobal, PM us, or contact us at our website www.givo.global and we might just feature you.

*

Photo credits to @rooandpennychicken

Video credits to @DodoImpact 

Play Your Way to World Change

-Photo Credit: Rise Up Kickstarter Page

"Build your movement. Beat the system. A board game about people winning together—even when the cards are stacked against us.

"Rise Up", a board game created by the creators of Co-opoly: The Game of Cooperatives, is raising funds on Kickstarter. This game is winning the hearts of not only existing NGOs and activists, but the everyday geek simply allured by the idea of a beautifully-crafted game where you get to face the challenge of working against the odds. By the sheer numbers of supporters less than two months into the campaign, one can say for sure that a fair share of people do like a challenge.

"In each game of Rise Up, players take creative actions to fight for victory. Everyone wins or loses together. The game weaves a story about your movement, which can either be based in reality (like stopping an oil pipeline) or fictional (like fighting for dragon rights). But “the System” is hard at work too, manoeuvring to crush your movement through tactics like setting up surveillance, making arrests, or causing infighting.”

So, who’s up for a game? Support this kickstarter campaign here to get this to you activists-in-training! http://kck.st/2dpINMr