Global Voices The Blog of American Jewish World Service

The AJWS community has a lot to say about what's happening in the world. Read our insights about the struggle for justice and human rights around the globe.

Doña Argentina (center) with leaders of AJWS grantee FPR

“You have guns. We have our voices.”: Reflections from Guatemala

Peten is Guatemala’s Wild West. Throughout its history, this department—similar to a state—was known for its large fincas (plantations) and populated by landless laborers and small farmers, including indigenous people. Many migrants were often encouraged to move to Peten by the government. Despite its bucolic appearance, Peten has been roiled by several volatile conflicts: the drug trade, the battle over the damming of the region’s rivers, and the country’s long civil war.

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The Youth Voices of a Community Radio: Reflections from Guatemala

The Union of Peasant Organizations of the Vera Paz (UVOC) is a movement of indigenous small farmers—mainly of the Q’eqchi’ and Poqomchi’ ethnic groups—that organizes Mayan communities in north-central Guatemala to advocate for their rights to land and traditional territories. Supported by AJWS, UVOC runs a community radio station in Chamtaca, Alta Vera Paz. Gilberto, a young man with a slight frame and a deep baritone, is the station’s voice, a UVOC youth leader and the president of a Mesoamerican regional network of community radios.

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Tek and Thuli outside makeshift shelter

On the Ground in Nepal, Six Months Later: Part I

I recently returned from a three-week trip to Nepal, which was struck by two devastating earthquakes less than six months ago. Since the earthquake, AJWS has raised $2.5 million for Nepal. We funneled this support to grassroots organizations that were poised to respond in the hardest-hit, most vulnerable communities. Our grantees have worked to save lives and rebuild communities despite grave challenges.

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AJWS’s Vice President for Programs Shari Turitz introduced the “Child Marriage: Emerging Trends in the Media” event on October 7, 2015.

Child Marriage: Emerging Trends in News Media

Last week, I had the privilege of speaking at “Child Marriage: Emerging Trends in the Media,” an event that brought together diverse experts to discuss how news media currently covers child marriage—a phenomenon that drastically limits the lives and choices of about 15 million girls across the globe every year. AJWS was thrilled to contribute to this event, which introduced a rich variety of perspectives, stories and research findings to a packed room of nonprofit professionals at Washington D.C.’s National Press Club. I left inspired, and I wanted to share just a few of the highlights from the program with you.

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#FaithInWomen who hold up more than half the sky and pave the way to justice

As the President of American Jewish World Service (AJWS) – the Jewish voice for the rights of women worldwide – I am inspired by the Chinese proverb that says, “Women hold up half the sky.” Yet, while we women certainly hold up more than half the sky in 2015, both justice and dignity elude our grasp everywhere. That is why as we women of faith pursue justice – as our ancient prophets commanded – we must extend our hands to women worldwide.

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