Category Archives: Asia

3 Ways You Can Help On World Malaria Day

Today is World Malaria Day. This year’s theme: End Malaria for Good.

While 6.8 million malaria deaths were averted between 2000 – 2015, there are still 3.2 billion people who are susceptible to contracting the disease every day and a half million children die from malaria every year.  There is a long way to go to save more lives especially for children under the age of five in sub-Saharan African where most deaths occur.

How Can You Help?

  • Donate to Malaria No More to help them eradicate malaria by 2040.
  • Learn the facts about malaria below in the CDC’s latest infographic and see why it needs to be eradicated.
  • Read more about the world’s first malaria vaccine trials (announced yesterday) in Kenya, Ghana, and Malawi that are slated to begin in 2018.

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Photo: GAVI/Doune Porter/PATH/2012

2 Innovative Uses of PET Bottles in Low-Income Countries That Benefit Women

PET bottles, one of the most widely used materials in the world, are used to package foods and drinks from soda and juices to salad dressings and cooking oils. It is also completely recyclable. In the United States alone, 1.5 billion pounds of PET bottles are recycled annually.

Throughout my travels to low and middle-income countries I see PET bottles thrown haphazardly in fields and streams clogging waterways and dirtying sidewalks and walking paths. In countries such as Nepal (where I visited last year with Coca-Cola), there are concerted educational efforts by environmentally focused NGOs to change behaviors around discarding PET bottles. There are recycling centers in Nepal, but not enough to completely clean its streets and countryside. It seems to be a sisyphean battle to combat PET bottle waste, but there are some who are using the bottles in innovative ways.

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Day 3 Dispatch: In Nepal With Coca-Cola

I was in Nepal with Coca-Cola for a very short period of time earlier this month, but we did and saw a lot in the days we were there including:

  • (Day 1) How the local Coca-Cola bottling company is working with a Nepalese NGO that is rebuilding a community from scratch after the earthquake
  • (Day 2) How Coca-Cola is empowering businesswomen in their supply chain

On Day 3 we visited a PET (plastic) bottle recycling center run by the Himalayan Climate Initiative where we sat down with women waste workers who sort the bottles to be recycled. It was heartening to learn about the innovative ways HCI is providing benefits and dignity to the women waste workers who will remain in Nepal’s lowest caste for the rest of their lives.

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5 Ways This NGO is Helping Nepal’s Women Waste Workers

Nepal, while being a hotbed for adventure seekers, trekkers, tourists, and mountaineers, faces many economic struggles that heavily plague low-and-middle income countries. The vast majority of Nepal’s economy is based on remittances with 25 percent of its working population living outside of the country. Additionally, with an average population age of 23, Nepal has a dismal 50 percent unemployment rate. These systemic economic struggles, of course, disproportionately affect women and subsequently their children and families. Couple that with a stringent caste system and some Nepali women remain inherently stuck on the lowest rung of the class ladder and are subject to some of the basest forms of work available to them.

The Himalayan Climate Initiative (HCI), a youth-driven environmental NGO based in Kathmandu, is working with some of these women whose only other economically viable life option may be selling themselves sexually to the nearest customer, working in the illegal scrap waste trade, or going abroad to find work and then enduring whatever fate awaits them. HCI employs socially discriminated women waste workers at its PET Bottle Recollection Social Enterprise (Nagar Mitra) allowing them to create a livelihood beyond what might traditionally befall them.

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HCI’s PET Bottle Recollection Social Enterprise (Nagar Mitra)

Continue reading 5 Ways This NGO is Helping Nepal’s Women Waste Workers