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Librarians, Internet Improve Farmers’ Livelihoods in Romania

A relative handful of librarians have helped 100,000 farmers get $187 million in subsidies via new Internet and computer services in just two years.The Biblionet-affiliated librarians, peppered throughout 30 counties in Romania, helped farmers learn how to use the technology to access financial forms and submit them to the government. The efforts have meant a world of difference for farmers, saving them lengthy trips and expenses and allowing them to be more productive.

A relative handful of librarians have helped 100,000 farmers get $187 million in subsidies via new Internet and computer services in just two years.

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Librarians helped farmers in Romania receive $187 million in government subsidies in 2011 and 2012.

Homophobia & Transphobia: The Story in Malaysia

Despite Malaysia being a multi-ethnic, multi-religious society, discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons has reached “new levels of intensity” according to Human Rights Watch’s latest report on Malaysia. For this year’s International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, IREX spoke about the state of LGBT rights in Malaysia with Julian Sanjivan, a Community Solutions leader and a former manager at PT Foundation, the largest community based organization in Malaysia dealing with issues of gender, sexuality, and HIV.

Despite Malaysia being a multi-ethnic, multi-religious society, discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons has reached “new levels of intensity” according to Human Rights Watch’s latest report on MalaysiaFor this year’s

Alumnus Appointed Minister of Education in Azerbaijan

Muskie alumnus Mikayil Jabbarov of Azerbaijan was recently appointed Education Minister for the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Azerbaijan.  In his new position, Jabbarov leads the Ministry and its Deputy Ministers in forming and implementing national Education policies and initiatives.

Muskie alumnus Mikayil Jabbarov of Azerbaijan was recently appointed Education Minister for the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Azerbaijan.  In his new position, Jabbarov leads the Ministry and its Deputy Ministers in forming and implementing national Education policies and initiatives.  As Minister, Jabbarov also works with Azerbaijani educational institutions, bodies and organizations to dev

Award-Winning Film Explores Transgender Activism in Pakistan

The feature length documentary “Chuppan Chupai” (Hide & Seek) explores transgender activism and underground queer life in urban Pakistan by following the everyday lives of four individuals and their constant play of ‘hide and seek’ with mainstream Pakistan where LGBT rights have yet to be recognized. The film is co-directed by Saad, an alumnus of the Global UGRAD – Pakistan program, and produced by Madari Films in Denmark. The North American premiere of the film will be on May 11, 2013 as part of the 29th Annual Boston LGBT Film Festival

The feature length documentary “Chuppan Chupai” (Hide & Seek) explores transgender activism and underground queer life in urban Pakistan by following the everyday lives of four extraordinary individuals and their constant play of ‘hide and seek’ with mainstream Pakistan where LGBT rights have yet to be recognized.

Maryland High School Teacher Brings Together Middle Eastern, Muslim & Arabic Students

With growing Middle Eastern, Muslim, and Arabic populations at Arundel High School, Barbara Dziedzic supervised the development of a district-wide conference to explore issues of identity, culture, and faith. Planned in collaboration between the Muslim Student Association and the International Student Service Office, the project allowed students to investigate the world, recognize perspectives, communicate ideas, and take action through collaboration with teachers, parents, peers, and community members.

With growing Middle Eastern, Muslim, and Arabic populations at Arundel High School, Barbara Dziedzic supervised the development of a district-wide conference to explore issues of identity, culture, and faith. Planned in collaboration between the Muslim Student Association and the International Student Service Office, the project allowed students to investigate the world, recognize perspectives, communicate ideas, and take action through collaboration with teachers, parents, peers, and community members.

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Photo credit: Barbara Dziedzic

World Press Freedom Day 2013: Safe to Speak

IREX Supports the Digital and Physical Security of Journalists 

Every year dozens of journalists are killed for simply seeking to report the truth. Thousands face violence, threats, harassment, and retaliations against their families and employers. Most of these crimes against journalists go unsolved and unpunished. This year's World Press Freedom Day recognizes these challenges to both professional and citizen journalists by focusing on journalists' physical and digital security under the theme, Safe to Speak. IREX has a long commitment to supporting free media and protecting the safety of journalists.

IREX Supports the Digital and Physical Security of Journalists 

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World Press Freedom Day logo courtesy of UNESCO

Teacher Transformation in Pakistan

Dedicated teachers across Pakistan are striving to provide quality education for their students. Moshin Moosa is one such teacher from the rural region of Balochistan. Last summer, Moosa came to the United States for six weeks of professional development training through the Teaching Excellence and Achievement-Pakistan program. He arrived as an English teacher dedicated to his profession and returned home as something else, he said: a “teacher educator” poised to influence his school, his colleagues, and his community. 

Dedicated teachers across Pakistan are striving to provide quality education for their students. Moshin Moosa is one such teacher from the rural region of Balochistan. Last summer, Moosa came to the United States for six weeks of professional development training through the Teaching Excellence and Achievement-Pakistan program.

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TEA Pakistan Teacher Moshin Moosa

Moroccan Disability Organization Wins Government Grants

In Morocco, disability rights are not the highest priority issues for the government, but a local NGO, the Regional Union for Disability Associations, is changing that with the support of IREX and its partner, the World Institute for Disabilities (WID).  Regional Union recently won four  government grants to support people with disabilities. The largest of these grants could help build hundreds of RoughRider wheelchairs that are well-suited for Morocco’s varied terrain.

In Morocco, disability rights are not the highest priority issues for the government, but a local NGO, the Regional Union for Disability Associations, is changing that with the support of IREX and its partner, the World Institute for Disabilities (WID).  Regional Union recently won four  government grants to support people with disabilities. The largest of these grants could help build hundreds of RoughRider wheelchairs that are well-suited for Morocco’s varied terrain.

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WID volunteer, Salam Hassan, leads a training with Moroccan disability rights group Regional Union.

Prime Minister of Mozambique Visits IREX Office in Maputo

The Prime Minister of Mozambique, Alberto Vaquina, visited IREX’s Maputo office last week as part of a series of working visits to media organizations. During the visit, the Prime Minister learned about the Media Strengthening Program in Mozambique and also toured the facilities and media lab. While there, he heard about ongoing activities in the areas of capacity building, media business management, journalism education, community radio, and advocacy.

Alberto Vaquina, Prime Minister of Mozambique, visited IREX's office there.The Prime Minister of Mozambique, Alberto Vaquina, visited IREX’s Maputo office last week as part of a series of working visits to media organizations. During the visit, the Prime Minister learned about the Media Strengthening Program in Mozambique and also toured the facilities and media lab.

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Alberto Vaquina, Prime Minister of Mozambique, recently toured IREX's facilities and media lab in Maputo.

Pakistani Alumna Helps Prepare Students for College

Growing up in a small town in the mountainous region of Baltistan, Pakistan Aniqa has first-hand knowledge of the many barriers to higher education . “Many secondary and junior high students do not have any one to guide them regarding what to study. They are unaware of the opportunities available and how to avail the resources around them” says Aniqa.  In order to support students from low-income families in her hometown, Aniqa organized tuition-free classes at a local religious center and recruited tutors from Pakistan’s leading universities to teach critical subjects such as mathematics, science, and technology. 

Growing up in a small town in the mountainous region of Baltistan, Pakistan Aniqa has first-hand knowledge of the many barriers to higher education . “Many secondary and junior high students do not have any one to guide them regarding what to study. They are unaware of the opportunities available and how to avail the resources around them” says Aniqa.

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