The Philippines is the First Nation to Welcome Sea-Stranded Migrants

Nearly 8,000 refugees from Burma and Bangladesh will be taken in after struggling to survive on “floating coffins.”

The approximate location of the refugee boats, termed "floating coffins" by the UN. Image from the International Organization on Migration.

The government of Manila was the first to agree to take in 8,000 refugees, including Rohingya Muslims from Burma and displaced people from Bangladesh, who had been stranded on the seas on boats. The refugees, who are escaping persecution and poverty in their home countries, are presumed to be near the Andaman Sea on what the UN has termed “floating coffins.” Other countries in direct vicinity of the boats, like Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand, have rejected them, and they have been floating perilously on the waters for more than a week.

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Turning Rubbernecking in Bangladesh into a Lifesaving Moment

Without 9-1-1 or a reliable ambulance system, one med student and 100 volunteers launch a mobile-based emergency response system

Jennifer Farrell talking with a patient family in Bangladesh

When Jennifer Farrell, a Tulane University medical student working the trauma wards in Bangladeshi government hospitals, began tracking her patients’ outcomes, she found an odd thing. Her mortality rate was zero percent—in a country where road accident fatalities outpace those in the United States and United Kingdom at a rate as high as 160 to 1.

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Documenting a Drowning Culture

In 2007, a Bangladeshi photographer set out to meet his country’s fishermen and ended up on a sinking island.

Khaled Hasan just wanted to meet the people who make shutki, fish caught and dried by Bangladeshi tribal fishermen. But when he arrived at Ashar Chor, a small island in the Bay of Bengal, what the Dhaka-based documentary photographer actually found was far more poignant. As he writes in the project statement for Ashar Chor, a Vanishing Island, the island has become increasingly vulnerable to rising sea levels and the cyclones that plague the area, weather that Hasan and climate scientists attribute to global warming. The entire community relies on the shukti trade and doesn’t want to leave the only home—and way of life—they know. Yet dwindling access to fresh water and land (due to rising sea levels), and the devastating Cyclone Sidr, which decimated a third of Ashar Chor’s population, have left many islanders bereft. "We used to think of the sea as the thing that gave us our living. Now we are scared that another cyclone like the last one will mean we will be washed away completely," fisherman Sharif Uddin told Hasan. "I don't know what to do if this happens again." For his part, Hasan photographed this vanishing culture as a way to document it and also bring awareness to the impact of climate change. “Being a visual artist and a very small part of the society, I tried to bring out the hardship and hassles they face everyday in their life,” he wrote.


How to Solve Dhaka's Serious Water Crisis by Harvesting Rainwater

Dhaka, Bangladesh is running out of water, fast. So residents are turning to the sky for help.

The capital of Bangladesh, Dhaka, has a critical water problem. There isn't enough of it.

According to a study by the Institute of Water Modeling, based in Dhaka, the groundwater level is falling by three meters per year. The groundwater is now 60 meters down below the surface. That's compared to 10 meters in 1970. The situation is getting so bad that, last summer, the Government of Bangladesh deployed troops to manage water distribution.

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Attend a Special Screening of Microfinance Film to Support Muhammad Yunus Muhammad Yunus Movie, To Catch a Dollar, One-Night Only Screenings Thursday

To Catch a Dollar comes to your city for one night only to tell the story of microfinance in the U.S.A.


UPDATE: Grameen America tells GOOD they are holding a contest in association with this film. The winner will get a video/skype chat with Dr. Yunus. Not bad! See below for details.

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