Next year, 2015, will be the European Year for Development.

01/11/2014 at 9:01 am Leave a comment

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Since the early 1980s, the European Union has been designating thematic European Years, to highlight specific issues of relevance. But few of these Years have lived up to their potential, as they have not been resourced and have focused unduly on high level conferences for specialists and policy makers.

2015 will be different. We intend to use the European Year for Development to encourage people in Ireland to take action, and to think of themselves as change makers.

Years of austerity in Ireland and sheer endless crises abroad have left the public in Ireland often feeling helpless. Yet there are hundreds of thousands of people who donate, volunteer and campaign for a better world, on a daily basis. We believe 2015 is the year to celebrate the power of ordinary people to make a real difference. This is not going to be a European Year of Conferences. It is going to be a Year of citizen action for a better world. A Year that honours and encourages people standing up for what is right.

The European Year for Development aims to change the way people in Ireland think about, talk about, and act on global issues.

We hope that, by the end of the Year, we have increased the number of people who feel that they do have a degree of influence on global issues. We hope to have encouraged people to recognise their potential as change makers, and to have dented the feelings of powerless that people experience when it comes to global issues.

EYD

Key Messages:

  • You can make a change.
    We are all global citizens. Our lives in Ireland are inextricably linked to those of everyone else on the planet. The choices we make on a daily basis have a direct impact on people around the world.
  • Every day, around the world, ordinary people are making an impact.
    They may not be making headlines, but citizens’ initiatives around the world are achieving remarkable successes. Let yourself be inspired by their examples. “People power” does work.
  • ‘Development’ is not just about overseas aid.
    It is not about “what we give” but about “how we live”. It is about creating a change in people’s lives, and there are many ways in which you can do this. The breadth of global issues is such that there is scope for myriads of initiatives. Together, we can shape “Our World, Our Dignity, Our Future”.
  • Global challenges need global answers. The world is facing big choices. Globalisation means that local problems often have global causes, and vice versa. International cooperation is not a luxury, it is a necessity.
  • 2015 a pivotal year, and you can help shape it.
    Ireland, and the world, are at a turning point. During the year, the UN is hosting a number of high level summit meetings, to formulate new approaches to how we live, work and interact with the planet. These events provide us with an opportunity to reflect and reshape our priorities, and to re-think our place in the world.


Feeling inspired?
Who or what inspires you to help make this world a better place?
Let us know, and we can add your voice to the growing group of people who are getting inspired to get up, stand up, and take action for a better world.

Eva from Stillorgan admires Malala. Have a listen (1 min.)
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Why Dóchas?

Dochas is a network. A meeting place of organisations committed to tackling poverty and inequality around the world. Dóchas has been chosen to coordinate the Irish action plan for the European Year of Development. As a membership organisation of over 60 Development NGOs, Dóchas is uniquely placed to mobilise people across Ireland, and provide inspirational examples of citizen action for a better world.

 

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Events marking the European Year for Development:

IRELAND:

  • Opening conference, with President Michael D. Higgins (22 Jan) – Dublin
  • Young Scientist Awards (Jan) – Dublin
  • Women’s Day events (March) – Dublin
  • Europe Day (May) – Dublin
  • Africa Day (May) – Dublin, Limerick, Cork, Galway
  • SARI Soccer Fest (Sept.) – Dublin
  • JFK Summer School (Sept.) – New Ross, Co. Wexford
  • World’s Best News action day (Sept.) – Dublin, Cork, Galway
  • One World Week (November) – nationwide
  • The Wheel’s Citizen’s Dialogue process – nationwide
  • The President of Ireland’s Ethics Initiative – nationwide

EU wide:

  • Opening conference (9 Jan) – Latvia
  • Gender and Development (2 March) – Latvia
  • European Development Days (10-11 June), Brussels
  • Kapuscinski Development Lectures – in 28 member states
  • Thematic conferences at the Info Point – Brussels
  • EU Expo (May) – Milan, Italy
  • Closing event (December) – Luxembourg
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The World's Best News - images

One of the most important graphs. Ever.

http://ourworldindata.org/data/health/maternal-mortality/ Today is World Food Day.

A day to celebrate that the days of truly enormous famines are over: http://blog.concern.net/global-hunger-index-2015-mapping-the-worlds-hunger Meet "Chocolate Mamas", producers of chocolate in #Tanzania, creating Tanzanian jobs. 
While #cocoa is grown in West Africa and Asia,
most #chocolate (the finished product) is made in Europe or the USA.

Meet Jaki Kweka, who is trying to change that. By creating protected areas and national parks and by limiting the spread of soy bean cultivation, Brazil has managed to drastically reduce the amount of rain forest being cleared.

http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/deforestation-in-the-amazon-has-plummeted-almost-90pt/ Costa Rica, #Afghanistan, China, #India and Albania are all embracing renewable energy sources.

http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2015/sep/15/five-developing-countries-ditching-fossil-fuels-china-india-costa-rica-afghanistan-albania?CMP=share_btn_tw Social change needs empowered citizens, and empowered citizens need occasional encouragement.

Great to hear that we're not the only ones who believe in the power of positive news! 50,000 rice farmers in #IvoryCoast are now working with better seeds, improving food security in the West African country.

As a result, harvests have increased.

Source: World Bank, photo: Jbdodane / CC BY Sub-Saharan Africa’s first light rail system starts operations. 
As Ethiopians celebrate their New Year, they also prepare to mark the beginning of operations of a tram system in the #Ethiopian capital #AddisAbaba. 
Read more: http://mgafrica.com/article/2015-09-20-sub-saharan-africas-first-light-rail-system-starts-operationsyou-guessed-it-in-ethiopia Going Mobile in #Malawi”. A mobile phone information service established last year to provide timely information to rural poor farmers in a southern African country, has been used nearly half a million times since its launch.

Established in Malawi by Gorta-Self Help Africa last year, the ‘321’ voice-activated service provides subscribers to the country’s largest mobile phone network with farm information and advice that they can access at the push of a button. And it’s all free. Read more at http://dochas.ie/sites/default/files/The-Worlds-Best-News-2015_0.pdf 10,000 copies of "The World's Best News" were distributed all over #ireland today!

See how The Irish Times described our newspaper, and click the link to read all the articles online!

http://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/people/inside-out/have-you-read-the-world-s-best-news-1.2355806

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President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins at the 2016 Irish Summit on the Sustainable Development Goals at Croke Park hosted by Dóchas

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