A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
People are getting into the swing of GROW Week and turning it into a real festival. There’s a real vibrancy and creativity in how people are striking up conversations about serious issues.
From the myriad of stories that we’ve received over the past 24 hours, the efforts of our colleagues in the Philippines best illustrate this. The conference for rural women’s civil society groups that they’re holding would probably not normally draw in a national TV crew. However, open it up by getting everyone involved to do some Gangnam dancing and you’ve got yourself a national story – and some great pictures.
And this doesn’t detract from the substance, where women from across the country are coming together to discuss the serious situation that many of them face. The key message is that they’re vulnerable to having their land taken away from them by land grabs.
In Canada and Quebec people have been standing up and grabbing some stuff. In Ottawa student groups have been land grabbing their campus to raise some support as the university year opens. In Quebec, people have been standing up for food justice.
Over in Brazil they’re following up their brilliant launch of their Facebook page, over 14,000 members in a few months, by launching the GROW method. A great chance for them to talk with their new fans about the food that they eat and the system that makes it.
And to follow up on yesterday’s big story from Tanzania I’ve decided to run a competition. Yesterday was the climax of the Female Food Heroes TV programme and I bring you the picture (left), from their set. If any of you have eagle eyes and can spot the hidden camera then please leave a comment below. I’m told there is definitely one there.