region:southern asia

  • In San Francisco, Making a Living From Your Billionaire Neighbor’s Trash - The New York Times

    A military veteran who fell into homelessness and now lives in government subsidized housing, Mr. Orta is a full-time trash picker, part of an underground economy in San Francisco of people who work the sidewalks in front of multimillion-dollar homes, rummaging for things they can sell.

    Trash picking is a profession more often associated with shantytowns and favelas than a city at the doorstep of Silicon Valley. The Global Alliance of Waste Pickers, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization, counts more than 400 trash picking organizations across the globe, almost all of them in Latin America, Africa and southern Asia.

    But trash scavengers exist in many United States cities and, like the rampant homelessness in San Francisco, are a signpost of the extremes of American capitalism. A snapshot from 2019: One of the world’s richest men and a trash picker, living a few minutes’ walk from each other.

    Mr. Orta, 56, sees himself as more of a treasure hunter.

    “It just amazes me what people throw away,” he said one night, as he found a pair of gently used designer jeans, a new black cotton jacket, gray Nike running sneakers and a bicycle pump. “You never know what you will find.”

    Nick Marzano, an Australian photographer who publishes a glossy magazine, Mission Gold, which documents the world of trash pickers in San Francisco, estimates there are several hundred garbage scavengers in the city.

    “It’s a civic service as I see it,” Mr. Marzano said. “Rather than this stuff going to landfill the items are being reused.”

    Mr. Marzano says there is overlap among trash picking and homelessness and public drug use — the street conditions that have ranked at the top of residents’ concerns for several years. But he sees trash picking, and the spontaneous sidewalk markets that pop up in neighborhoods like the Mission and Tenderloin, as a form of entrepreneurship.

    “It’s the primary form of income for people who have no other income,” he said.

    #San_Francisco #Inégalités #Poubelles

  • #Wikipedia4Refugees

    Hanno tradotto voci di Wikipedia nella loro lingua d’origine. Protagonisti sono stati richiedenti asilo/rifugiati accolti in Trentino attivati grazie a un progetto partito “dal basso” e intitolato “Wikipedia4Refugees”. Alcuni fra i partecipanti alla prima esperienza (hanno ricevuto gli attestati nel dicembre 2017) parteciperanno il 14 aprile 2018 all’evento “#Wikilab” nell’ambito di Trento Smart City Week 2018, dando seguito all’ampliamento dell’enciclopedia libera:

    #wikipedia #réfugiés #langue_maternelle #traductions #Digital_literacy #langues

    Wikipedia : #Wikipedia_4_Refugees

    Wikipedia 4 Refugees è un progetto che vuole coinvolgere un piccolo gruppo di richiedenti asilo/rifugiati accolti in Trentino nel processo di traduzione di voci Wikipedia dall’italiano alle lingue dei partecipanti. Sono previste 10 lezioni tenute da volontari e con il supporto di alcuni mediatori linguistici. Il progetto è iniziato il 16 ottobre a Trento.

    • Wikipedia 4 Refugees – a digital experimental project for asylum seekers

      At the end of the summer in 2017, in Trento, a city in Northern Italy, a group of teachers, digital right activists and members of the local Wikipedia community came together to organize a course dedicated to teaching to recently arrived asylum seekers how to contribute to Wikipedia in their own languages. The initiative, called Wikipedia4Refugees, was born after a two years long experience in teaching digital literacy classes to groups of migrants, in which the teachers noticed the enthusiasm the students – mostly from western Africa and southern Asia and with no or little formal education – showed when they learned they could read the encyclopaedia not only in Italian, French of English, but also in their own native languages.

      Thanks to a small grant from the Wikimedia Foundation – an organization that supports grassroots initiatives in and around the community of Wikipedia contributors – and the logistic support of the local university, the course started in October 2017. The students were first shown the functioning of Wikipedia and of its system of open contributions, in which everybody, after creating an account, can modify an existing article or add one anew, provided that it respects the rules that the community gave itself. Then, they were guided in the process of selecting one article from the Italian version of the online encyclopaedia. Articles could be about refugees rights, the organization of Italian civic society, or local cultural heritage. After making sure these articles had no counterpart in the Wikipedia edition of the students’ native languages (Fula, Bambarà, Pashto, and Urdu), the translation work began. After a few weeks, the students were ready to publish their articles.

      The project was highly experimental, as it combined innovative teaching methods (based on the active participation of the students and on the use of activities offline to convey principles related to the online), an alternative use of the Internet (based on active, high-quality participation) and contamination between very different cultures for what concerns the way information is created, received, and interpreted (using Wikipedia as a reliable media source and working to improve it.) The objective was primarily to make the students aware of their power as creators of information and involve them in a collaborative effort of knowledge-building – one in which everyone has the same voice and there is no distinction between being a migrant or a local, speaking Italian or an African language. An added challenge was the degree of technical knowledge required to be able to contribute to Wikipedia: the students knew how to use a computer, but had to learn the special language in which Wikipedia pages are built.

      One of the most interesting moments of the course was to compare the different ways authority plays a role in the creation of information. During an in-class discussion on the way consensus is reached regarding what can and cannot live on Wikipedia – especially in case of controversial articles –, many students were surprised to learn that there is no central authority deciding on these matters, but that decisions are reached through the continuous interaction among the members of the community. After an expert Wikipedia user was struggling to describe the process to the class, one of the students stood up and asked, sincerely baffled: “All this is all good and right, but in the end: who has the Truth”? We, the teachers, had no answer. But it reminded us that it is the questions we keep on asking ourselves, beyond any cultural, political or territorial barrier that make us all fundamentally human.

  • Levels and Trends in Child Mortality 2017 - UNICEF DATA

    Of all society’s injustices, this is perhaps the greatest: Children in the poorest households are nearly twice as likely to die before the age of five than those from the richest. These deaths are also concentrated geographically, the majority taking place in just two regions: southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

    #mortalité_infantile #inégalités #pauvreté

  • Surging Chinese demand for rosewood is ruining forests across southern Asia

    Myanmar, one of the most important biodiversity hotspots in Asia, has also several species of rosewood highly prized by the Chinese furniture trade. Even though Myanmar’s forest and hardwood stocks have been diminishing for several decades already (less than 10% of the land is now forested, the rosewood logging and smuggling has increased to an unprecedented level in the last three years.

    In 2013 alone, Myanmar exported 237,000m3 of rosewood to China, triple the volume of the previous year. This amounts to one thirteenth of the estimated remaining rosewood stock of Myanmar – at current logging rates, Myanmar’s forests will have been stripped of rosewood in just 13 years.

    As Chinese hunger for the luxuriant, dark red timber grows and spreads across the greater Mekong region, rosewood species might face not only commercial extinction, but also final, biological extinction.

    #bois_de_rose #industrie_du_bois #industrie_du_luxe #déforestation #Birmanie #Chine