Goal 13: Combating climate change and its impacts

By Sakshi Jain

Goal 13 of the Sustainable Development Goals was to ‘take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts’. Climate change encompassesGoal-13 within it global warming, which is mainly a surface temperature increase phenomenon, as well as the other changes that are caused by increasing greenhouse gases. The causes of climate change vary from solar irradiation to human activities.

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Islamic extremism in former Soviet Countries

Case of Abu Omar Al Shishani (Tarkhan Batirashvili) and ISIL threats to Vladimir Putin

Isis partisans

Source: http://flickr.com/islamicstate

Terrorist group ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), sometimes referred to as ISIS or simply IS, is now controlling a huge amount of land both in Iraq and Syria. Their influence is growing and their numbers are increasing on a daily basis. However, recruits of ISIL do not come only from the Middle East but also from Western nations. Many also come from former Soviet countries, mostly from Central Asia and the Caucasus region with huge numbers coming from the Russian North Caucasus, mainly Chechnya and Dagestan.

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Fundraising in the Times of Crisis for Youth-Led NGOs

hands tree-02(6).jpg

Source: Fotolia

Fundraising in the times of crisis is a sensitive issue. These crises may include, but are not limited to, natural disasters, civil unrest, political uprising, so on and so forth, whereby there are unprecedented economic, social and political impacts.Therefore, it takes a careful hand to fundraise in such times, where the crisis at hand may have adverse effects on organisations and their programmes.

The first thing to note about fundraising in such times is the sensitivities of the cause you are raising for and how you, as a potential fundraiser, will deal with them. As an already established youth-led non-governmental organisation, you should already have a network to whom you will approach for potential partnerships and donations. New supporters need to be cultivated, with existing ones hearing from you about your stand on the crisis.

Find out more about fundraising legalities and acceptable practices in the country you are raising for and from, if you are from another country. This will create a smoother road to fundraising success. There are usually helpful bodies and guidelines which can help you achieve your goal. There are also legal and accounting terms to consider, such as whether these funds are tax-deductible in your country and the country you are raising the funds for.

Create a goal, mission, vision, fundraising tactics and a timeline. Implement a contingency plan to prepare and mobilise your organisation to react and adjust to new economic conditions. In the face of many fundraising scandals, transparency is key. In an effort to encourage more transparency about the usage and allocation of the funds, the second thing is to create a public fundraising plan and timeline as to how you are going to use the funds raised for the cause. Updates should preferably continue in the weeks and months following the initial fundraising phase so as to increase transparency of what the funds are used for. This will ensure donors’ funds are used according to how they were planned for, helping to build trust in your organisation.

There are various fundraising methods, whether online or offline. Things to consider would be how you can do that whether you’re located in the country or raising funds for a cause in another country. Increase your organisation’s social capital: engage the board and discuss any strategic plans. Train all your staff and volunteers on the importance of continuous fundraising and utilise their various expertise to add value to your organisation.

Approaching potential corporate donors and sponsors could be a crucial part of your fundraising efforts; whereby support from such organisations would lend even more legitimacy to your organisation and perhaps even increase your reach. Diversify your donor base and expand your network: professional, alumni, school, so on and so forth. You would be surprised at how much support you can garner with a clear, concrete and viable mission, tactics and timeline.

At the end of the day, donors and sponsors should be thanked and kept updated. Progress on the beneficiaries and the cause should also be updated. This is for donors and partners to have a more active, personal attachment to the beneficiaries of the funds, cultivating a deeper, longer-term relationship. These donors are the key people with the means to give to your organisation now and in the future.

For more information on effective fundraising and building long-term relationships with your donors, sign up for our workshops in 23rd August 2014 at 15:00h GMT+2 and September 2014. We look forward to seeing you then!

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The Balkan Floods Aftermath: Have the Institutions Done Their Job? No, They Should Learn From This for the Future

Floods in Brcko, Bosnia

Photo: Floods in Brcko, Bosnia; theguardian.com

It has been over a month since the catastrophic floods that hit Bosnia, Serbia, and Croatia.

The water has receded but it left behind many problems, some of them classic for big floods – such as destroyed houses and farms, risks of sewer contamination, lack of drinking water; and some of them specific to the region – such as fields full of landmines still left from the Yugoslav civil war where the water has potentially moved the mines or removed warning signs thereby putting people at mine danger[1]. Some of the problems, however, seem to be purely institutional.

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Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, and Croatia hit by the worst floods in 120 years – millions displaced, billions in damages

Floods in Orasje, Bosnia

Photo: The Guardian

Zagreb, Croatia – Tuesday, May 20, 2014: Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Serbia, as well as parts of Croatia, have been hit by the worst floods in 120 years after more than 3 months’ worth of rain fell on the region in just a few days last week. This is the worst weather catastrophe to hit the region in over a century. The numbers are still changing hourly, but as of now, over a million people have been displaced, forced to flee their homes with little or no belongings, grasping to save their bare lives, and their children. On top of that, many of these people are farmers who live off of the land and have just lost their entire livelihoods in just a few days.

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