Amid the increasing stray cattle menace in the State, the Shiromani Akali Dal has hit out at the Congress government, accusing it of failing to address the issue. SAD leader and former Minister Bikram Majithia on Saturday said the State government had failed to find a solution to stray animals, which are not just destroying crops but have also been the cause of several deaths in the State.‘Cow cess’“The government collects ‘cow cess’ and other taxes in the name of taking care of stray animals, but the problem continues to grow. All concrete steps taken by the previous SAD-BJP government to create and maintain gaushalas and cattle pounds have been withdrawn by this government,” he alleged.Mr. Majithia said that incidents of deaths due to stray animals were on the rise in the State in the last few months. ‘Farmers affected’ “Farmers are also at the receiving end with their fields being laid to waste across the State. Towns and cities are facing an acute crisis with the cattle roaming free and spoiling green belts, besides causing traffic hazards on the State highways,” he said.Asking the Congress government to wake up from its slumber, the Akali leader demanded development of stray cattle pounds, free power to gaushalas on the pattern of the previous SAD-BJP government and judicious use of ‘cow cess’ to tackle the problem.
The Enforcement Directorate on Friday questioned jailed former Commonwealth Games Organising Committee Chairman Suresh Kalmadi and two others in connection with the money laundering case registered by it in conduct of the sporting event last year.A preliminary statement of Kalmadi was recorded by the officials of the ED at Tihar prisons in Delhi under the provisions of the Prevention of the Money Laundering Act (PMLA).Statements of two other officials, OC Joint Director General (Sport) A S V Prasad and Deputy Director General (Procurement) Surjit Lal have also been recorded in Tihar, ED sources said.Friday’s questioning, however, was a brief one and further recording of statement will take place later. The ED has registered about five different cases of money laundering in the conduct of the Games that were organised here last year.According to sources, Kalmadi was asked for some basic information on Friday and a detailed statement of investments and transactions in both his personal and OC Chairman capacities will take place soon.The CBI, in its charge sheet against Kalmadi had described him as the “main accused” in a corruption case relating to irregularities in awarding the Time Scoring Results (TSR) contract to a Swiss firm.”Kalmadi is the main accused as he was the person with all supreme powers. He had the supreme over riding powers in the Organising Committee of the CWG, 2010,” the CBI charge sheet had said.Kalmadi and the two other officials were arrested by the CBI on April 25.- With PTI inputsadvertisement
The Oklahoma State secondary will have its hands full when the Cowboys take on the Red Raiders this Saturday. Texas Tech Quarterback Pat Mahomes II leads the nation’s No. 1 passing offense, and the junior is currently averaging 490 yards a game.The Red Raider offense is a downfield passing attack, but it doesn’t just consist of deep bombs and vertical routes.Yes, a typical Texas Tech game includes chunk plays like this.And this.But their offense as a whole isn’t driven by such plays. Rather, TTU accumulates most of their passing yardage on quick throws that get the ball into the hands of their talented receivers.Tech does have a quick passing game, but most of their short passes come on run-pass options like this one.Notice how the receiver runs a quick flat route as opposed to a bubble route. The flat route is quicker and it gets more immediate yardage. The cornerbacks on the blocking receivers have to respect them as vertical threats and therefore do not jam them at the line, allowing the receivers to properly set up their blocks.Here’s another example, this time with a crossbuck run play and out-go combination to the twins side. The receiver is left uncovered, and in a pass-happy offense filled with RPOs, this is practically giving free yardage to the Red Raiders.Not all route attachments stretch the defense horizontally; many of their RPOs feature quick-hitting routes downfield. Take this play, for example, that combines an inside zone with a slot skinny slant.Texas Tech uses these plays at least a handful on every drive. This is important because of how the OSU defense is structured. If you’ve watched the OSU defense closely this season, you might have noticed that they frequently align in their base nickel set with one or two receivers (depending on the formation) uncovered.Leaving slot receivers uncovered, in many cases, is (as mentioned before) practically giving away free yardage. Even if the linebackers in the box have zone responsibilities in that area, they still have run-first responsibility, and because they have to respect the run threat of the RPO, will often not be able to get to the slot receivers in time if they are thrown to.If that’s what defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer & Co. decide to do to stop the deep ball, so be it. But they still have to be wary of the potential danger of the short pass.How will the OSU defense fare against the Red Raiders? Leave your predictions below in the comments! While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
Drumayne Dayberg-Muir has starred for the SQBD Sharks in their grand final win over the Sydney Scorpions in the Men’s Open final at the 2009 X-Blades National Touch League in Port Macquarie.Muir had a hand in almost all of the Sharks tries as he guided them to their 5th NTL title in this division, with the final score being 10 touchdowns to 8. He was deservedly named Player of the Final, while Sharks were also named the Champion Permit of this year’s NTL.The Sharks were on the scoreboard after just 3 minutes, through Damian Moar, after the Scorpions dropped the ball 5 metres out from the Sharks line.Jonothan Palau leveled the score for the Scorpions in the fifth minute and an Adam Fahim touchdown, off a great Troy Malcolm long ball, giving them the lead for the first time in the game. Aaron Swan hit back for the Sharks, from another Dayberg-Muir pass, to level the score. Two more quick tries to the Sharks at the midway mark of the first half, to Kristopher McMurdy and Troy Skinner, gave the Sharks a 4-2 lead.In the 12th minute, Palau scored his second try for the Scorpions, which included some great acrobatics in the touchdown scoring process, to bring the Scorpions to within one touchdown of the Sharks.In the 13th minute, James Harrington scored next for the Sharks out on the wing, and Ryan Pollock crossed soon after, after another great pass from Dayberg-Muir. The Scorpions had two disallowed tries in the last five minutes of the first half, which cost them dearly. Ryan Shibashaki scored, through some great team work, to take the lead out four touchdowns.Nathan Wong and Troy Malcolm both scored for the Scorpions in the last three minutes of the first half, to bring the score to 7-5 at half time.The Sharks started the second half of the match with some good defence, and they soon turned this hard work in points, with McMurdy scoring his second touchdown off a scoot from dummy half from Dayberg-Muir .Scorpions’ Drew Davies got sent to the sin bin in the 6th minute, and Leon Skinner from the Sharks capitalised on this, scoring in the next set of six.Scorpions then scored three consecutive tries, to Sam Brisby, Harry Berryman and Davies, to get within one touchdown of the Sharks.Pollock made sure that the Sharks would take out the title with his second touchdown in the 17th minute, set up yet again by Dayberg-Muir, to take the final 10-8.
If your messaging isn’t getting through or your marketing campaign isn’t making a difference, it is probably for one (or all) of these three reasons. 1. Falsely assuming that information results in action. It’s tempting to assume that if people have information, they will act on it. But sadly, information doesn’t equal action. We know it’s healthy to exercise every day – but that doesn’t mean we’re going to do it. Inertia is a strong force. Good causes are forever in conflict with the status quo and business as usual. We can’t just lay out information. We need to create a compelling reason for taking action that beats doing nothing. In marketing terms, we need to improve our reward and lower our price.2. Forgetting that we’re not the audience. The messages that appeal to us aren’t the ones that necessarily resonate with others. Every assumption should be suspect until we understand our audiences’ mindsets. When we assume our audience thinks the way we do, we are at odds with the principles of marketing. We must think like the people we want to reach if we want to succeed.3. Treating marketing as an afterthought. Marketing and communications are often tacked on to a good causes’s efforts at the last minute. In treating marketing as an afterthought, we deprive ourselves of the great benefits that marketing can bring to all our work. A marketing mindset throughout every dimension of our cause can help us design more effective projects, better meet the needs of people we want to help, win us more resources and support, and motivate people to act.
Not sure how to include music in your videos without getting into copyright issues? Check out Music Bakery for royalty-free music. With a good story as the foundation for your video, your organization can use YouTube to spread your message and raise money online. Here are some tips for nonprofits venturing into the world of online video:No video camera? No problem. Videos created with still images, audio, and text can be just as powerful as moving images. Programs like Animoto can help you create a powerful video with no need to shoot footage. For a great example of video storytelling without moving images, check out Epic Change’s video featuring a thank you letter from a student in Tanzania. Don’t forget: Tell a story! Give people a reason to watch your video and suggest a clear, simple action they can take to respond to what they just watched.For more on the telling compelling story, check out our on-demand nonprofit storytelling webinar. Is your video missing a call to action? YouTube offers a way for nonprofits to add an overlay message to their video with a clear message. If your organization is struggling to develop video content, consider sharing short pieces (think 30 seconds) with simple storylines and clear call to actions before going all out and creating a 7-minute, year-end campaign video. charity: water uses a call to action overlay that pops up at the end of their YouTube videos.
Before Thanksgiving, before #GivingTuesday, and before December 31, there’s one critical day that you need to pay attention to as a nonprofit marketer or fundraiser.And that day is today: Be Your Donor Day!Yay!Of course, every day can and should be Be Your Donor Day, but today is the day we decree that you set aside some time today to look at your nonprofit’s marketing materials, fundraising experience, and online presence through the eyes of a donor.Ready to get this party started?Put on your donor hat and run through your organization’s website:Find (and test) your nonprofit’s contact information or contact formCall your phone numbers and test your phone tree (if applicable) and see if you reach a real person or hit a dead endMake sure you can locate your donation page and easily click to make a donationSubscribe to your email newsletter and find out what happens nextNext, hit your donation page and get ready to give:How many fields do you need to fill out to complete your gift? How long does it take?Is it easy to make a recurring gift?What happens once you submit your donation? Are you prompted to share and learn more?Do you immediately get a receipt? How long does it take to get a thank you for your donation?Now, whip out your smartphone and repeat all of the above—how does everything look and work?Apply this same treatment to any donor-facing asset, online or off.Be sure to run through these steps yourself, and then ask a few other staff members (or volunteers) do the same. Bonus points if you ask someone completely removed from your organization to help you celebrate Be Your Donor Day by bringing a totally objective and fresh eye to putting your processes to the test. You might be amazed at what you discover!For more Be Your Donor Day goodness, grab the checklist and then take the pledge to be your donor to get a copy of our three-in-one donor experience guide. Share your Be Your Donor Day celebration with us on Twitter and Instagram by using the hashtag #BeYourDonor.Want to take Be Your Donor Day one step further? Some of my favorite experts share how you can apply this donor-centric view to your communications approach:In your thank-you communications, mention when your donor will hear from you next. If you are putting them on a newsletter list, say so! If you plan to send invitations to events in the near future, say so! You want to build an expectation of ongoing communications and that this is the start of a beautiful long-term relationship. – Kivi Leroux Miller, Nonprofit Marketing GuideDon’t just guess at what your donor wants or thinks…ask her! Send a survey, pick up the phone, pose a question over small talk at your next event. Not sure what to ask? Start simple and explore why they give to you, who else they support, and how you can help them get more involved. – Farra Trompeter, Big DuckI tell people all the time to put themselves in their donor’s shoes and think about what’s interesting to the donor. Fundraisers have to stop talking about their organization, their programs, and their need to fund their budget, and instead talk about what donors care about: impact, outcomes, and how lives are being changed. Here’s an article that shows you how to do that in an appeal. — Sandy Rees, Get Fully FundedMake a gift to an organization that your donors also like to give to. Not only will this give a donor’s perspective, but it will also remind you of what it’s like to be a donor. – Vanessa Chase, The Storytelling Non-ProfitSuccessful appeals are NOT about how wonderful your organization is. Successful appeals ARE about how wonderful the donor is. Communications are a mirror held up to donors. They see themselves in what you say. — Tom Ahern, Ahern Donor CommunicationsCheck your communications. Read them aloud. Is it something you would read if you weren’t being paid to do so? When is the last time you read a communication like this where you weren’t writing it? Are you relying on a gimmick like underlining and PS or are you relying on good storytelling? – Lynne Wester, The Donor Relations GuruMy tip is to get to know your donors and prospects, inside and out, and surround yourself at your desk with personas who represent each type or segment. Here’s a how-to checklist for persona creation. There’s nothing like a face-to-face to get you focused, real and targeted. With your people staring you down, you just can’t miss! — Nancy Schwartz, Getting Attention
Posted on October 18, 2012March 31, 2017By: Payal Chandiramani, The Wilson CenterClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Obstetric fistula is “not just a medical issue, but a human issue,” said Dr. Luc de Bernis, senior maternal health advisor at UNFPA, during a September 27 panel discussion at the Wilson Center. Obstetric fistula, a hole in the birth canal that can develop between the vagina and the bladder and/or rectum during prolonged labor without proper medical intervention, is preventable and treatable but continues to affect more than two million women worldwide, mostly in developing countries where women lack access to cesarean services. Women stricken with it face severe pain and suffering, social stigmatization, and usually give birth to a stillborn child.Root Causes and EffectsFor Gillian Slinger, a nurse, midwife, and coordinator of UNFPA’s Campaign to End Fistula, the fact that there are 50,000 to 100,000 new cases of fistula every year is a sad reminder of the inequalities that exist between developing and developed countries.Although the women and girls affected by obstetric fistula may not die, the impact on their quality of life is awful, said Slinger. Many become social outcasts because of the “constant and humiliating” incontinence that often accompanies fistula, and in many traditional societies, the inability to give birth also unfortunately alienates these women from their husbands. In addition, fistula can also lead to other health issues, Slinger said, such as kidney disease, severe dehydration, and paralysis through a condition known as foot drop in which nerves in the limbs are damaged by prolonged labor.Childbirth for these women literally breaks their bodies, leaving them completely helpless. “In a world of unequals, the most unequal of unequals are the women and girls with obstetric fistula,” Slinger said.While UNFPA’s Campaign to End Fistula focuses on prevention, treatment, and reintegration into society, the Fistula Foundation’s primary function is to provide surgeries. Kate Grant, executive director of the foundation, stressed that the incidence of obstetric fistula is “a symptom of a system that either doesn’t exist or failed for women when they needed it most.” Malnourishment causes stunted pelvis growth in young girls, she said, which in turn increases the likelihood of obstetric fistula when they give birth later in life. The foundation was working exclusively in Ethiopia but is now funding projects in 19 countries.Synergizing Care or Splitting Resources?Dr. Lauri Romanzi, clinical associate professor at the New York University Langone Medical Center, suggested including uterine prolapse in the discussion with fistula. Romanzi sees patients that have experienced both, since fistula can often lead to prolapse. While there are several key differences between the two conditions, namely that obstetric fistula can be eradicated and uterine prolapse cannot, both produce comparable symptoms and require a related set of surgical skills.Celia Pett, a midwife and medical associate for fistula care at EngenderHealth, said there is a strong case to be made for integrating resources and advocacy efforts for obstetric fistula and uterine prolapse and believes it could be more cost-effective and sustainable in the long-run. But, she is skeptical about the short-term feasibility of such an approach, especially in already fragile health systems. Based on her experience in Nepal, where uterine prolapse is exceptionally high, she said practitioners found it difficult to translate the rhetoric of integration into reality.Pett said she is also concerned about competition between the two for limited resources and attention, and the demand for services outweighing the supply of medical practitioners who can actually deliver treatment.However, she remains optimistic about the role that midwives – “the specialists in childbirth” – can play to prevent and treat obstetric fistula and uterine prolapse in developing nations, where they are often the health professionals best placed to ensure continuing care for women’s health.Dealing with Challenges and Engendering SolutionsDespite the fact that obstetric fistulas are preventable, there are a great many challenges to their complete eradication.One is building infrastructure. Fistula is a traumatic injury which requires considerable medical expertise and facilities. Training surgeons from the countries in which fistula persists (mostly in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia) is the best solution for building up human capacity, said Grant. Investing in Western surgeons who would effectively be “medical tourists,” she says, is not the way to go. De Bernis echoed this sentiment by saying that the only way to solve the problem in a sustainable way is to train people to deal with the issues in their own communities instead of giving them temporary aid or assistance.Following along these lines, Romanzi spoke about an exciting development at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, Ghana, that she sees as the future for training in fistula and pelvic floor disorders in developing and middle-income nations. Without any external funding or assistance, Korle Bu recently launched a residency-level urogynecology program, based on the model of the American Urogynecologic Society and British Society of Urogynaecology’s fellowship programs. The International Urogynecological Association has since become involved, but only after being invited to participate by Korle Bu and after the program had already started. It is a three-year training program and that is exactly what is needed to learn the full range of skills, said Romanzi.Funding, however, is also an issue. It is difficult to raise money to address maternal morbidities in general, said Pett, since many resources are devoted to maternal mortality instead. There is usually a backlog of women who require treatment but are unable to receive it because of a lack of financial and human resources, said de Bernis. In places where the medical infrastructure is poor and funding lacking, Pett suggested focusing on strengthening midwives and nursing in the short term.The UNFPA’s strengthening midwifery program has done a lot to add fistula prevention strategies to midwife training, she said. In Nepal, for example, UNFPA has created specific modules on fistula and prolapse prevention for its midwifery training program. Similarly, EngenderHealth has collaborated with the East, Central, and Southern Africa Health Community to create a nursing curriculum that focuses on prevention, treatment, and care for fistula and prolapse.In addition to training and infrastructure building efforts, Slinger said that continued advocacy and awareness-raising is critical to helping to end fistula. A key strategy that works for mobilizing communities and raising awareness is working with grassroots community networks as well as using women and girls who have suffered from fistula to deliver the message of prevention.De Bernis agreed, stressing that ending obstetric fistula must be a global campaign undertaken through joint collaboration by small and big NGOs, governments, and others. When UNFPA began its Campaign to End Fistula in 2003, “it was very clear for all that piecemeal efforts will never achieve anything seriously,” he said. The diversity of the speakers on the panel showcased this type of coordinated effort and augurs well for continued collaboration around women’s health issues in the future.Event Resources:Photo GalleryVideoSources: Campaign to End Fistula, EngenderHealth, Fistula Foundation, USAID, UNFPA.Photo Credit: Sean Peoples/Wilson Center.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on August 30, 2013June 12, 2017By: Grace Lesser, Knowledge Manager, Jacaranda HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)This post originally appeared on the cross-posted from the Jacaranda Health blog. To learn more about Jacaranda’s work, visit their website. Human-centered design (HCD) has been part of Jacaranda’s approach to providing high-quality, affordable maternal health care since our inception. In the past year and a half we have consistently used design sessions to understand healthseeking behaviors and develop our model. During one of our HCD sessions, two participants role-played the typical interaction between a clinician and a patient, demonstrating a “good” and a “bad” nurse. The group then put themselves in the shoes of a patient to envision how they would like to be treated. During another exercise, Jacaranda staff generated strategies for increasing male involvement in maternity care. They talked to men on the street, in barbershops, and in bars to develop a deeper understanding of male views on maternity and how we can provide more inclusive services.We have always been driven by the pursuit of understanding those we serve, and hold the core belief that our clients hold the knowledge about how to best design an effective service delivery system.Most recently, Jacaranda’s engagement in HCD went even deeper. Two groups of clinical staff enrolled in a self-led, +Acumen/Ideo.org supported HCD for Social Innovation course, and for the past five weeks met on a weekly basis to look at ‘barriers to good nutrition’. The groups had readings and discussion sessions each week, where they used the principles of human centered design to consider the topic from the perspective of our clients. The discussion sessions had a rotating leader, and outside of class participants talked to players at every stage of the healthy eating chain: Farmers, pregnant women at our maternity hospital, community members, those responsible for food procurement and financial accounting. They distilled the information they had collected in brainstorm sessions with post-it notes, and came up with ideas and solutions – no matter how crazy or farfetched – to address the problem of poor nutrition. The ultimate goal was to create a tangible prototype that could be tested with Jacaranda maternity clients and ultimately improve healthy eating and nutrition.By the end of the HCD course, an interesting phenomenon occurred. Although both groups were looking at the same exact same target population – Jacaranda clients – each created their prototype based on a different premise. The first group determined that clients may not have basic knowledge about healthy eating do’s and don’ts, so began with education. They created a set of patient education materials, one to be published in a local newspaper and the other to be posted in the Jacaranda waiting room. In contrast, the second group assumed that pregnant women know what to eat; they just often do not have adequate resources. They created a burlap sack kitchen garden growing four sets of iron-rich greens that pregnant women can re-create in their home.This coming week, the groups will present their prototype and get feedback from the target communities. Next, they will reunite in the final session of the course to share their learnings with the rest of the team. In our own backyard, the HCD course has already affected the Jacaranda kitchen, as our cooks (also participants in the course!) have taken a deeper look at the nutrition we provide to clients. Clinical staff were so invigorated by their engagement in the course that they’ve expressed interest in participating in another online HCD course, with a new topic, in the next few months.Share this:
Posted on March 21, 2014November 7, 2016By: Ciro Franco, Senior Principal Technical Advisor for MNCHClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)In celebration of the one-year anniversary of the Manifesto for Maternal Health, Management Sciences for Health (MSH) congratulates our global community, including ministries of health, their partners, and the women we serve and work with, on the progress made toward creating a healthier world for mothers and their babies. The manifesto communicates both passion and rationale, the two main drivers needed for profound change around the approach to maternal health and to women’s health more generally. It forces us to attend not just to the maternal aspect of women’s health, but to think of women’s needs more broadly.For over 40 years, MSH has worked to improve health in countries throughout the developing world. Our maternal health projects strengthen all levels of the health system, including the community, providing care from pregnancy through the postpartum period. MSH supports the manifesto in its entirety, particularly its emphasis on integration and quality of care. However, we have found that aspects two and six of the manifesto—improving access to care for all women, especially those who are underserved due to political, geographic, or cultural barriers, and strengthening every level of the health system to support universal access to health care—are especially important when working in fragile states, where much of MSH’s work is focused.For instance, in Afghanistan recent USAID projects implemented by MSH have reached every level of the health system and have contributed to the country’s astounding improvements in maternal and child survival over the past decade.The USAID-funded Strengthening Pharmaceutical Systems (SPS) project works with the Afghan Ministry of Health to improve the rational use of medicine and better manage pharmaceutical services and products, including those necessary for healthy pregnancy, birth, and child health care. In collaboration with the ministry, SPS has helped establish a coordinated system to ensure necessary medicines and commodities are available at all points of service.To address the dearth of qualified female health workers, the Leadership, Management, and Governance (LMG) project helped catalyze the development of midwives in Afghanistan, who have played a role in the decrease of maternal mortality from 1,600 per 100,000 live births in 2002 to less than 400 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in 2010. As women are the best stewards of their own health, LMG focuses on moving more women into leadership and governance roles in the health sector. We believe that women in leadership roles will be more affective and assertive in guiding the “unseen women” of Afghanistan and other fragile states toward life-saving maternal and child health services.The Afghanistan Technical Support to the Central and Provincial Ministry of Public Health project, which was operational from 2006-2012, partnered with the ministry to expand the basic package of health services, improved access to family planning and reproductive health services, and increased the percentage of female community health workers and the number of facilities with at least one female health worker.These and other projects have worked in concert with families, communities, facilities, and the Ministry of Health to improve women’s access to quality health care in Afghanistan, with measurable, powerful results.But in Afghanistan, as in the rest of the world, there is still work to be done to ensure every woman has access to high quality, safe maternal health services. Let us think concretely about how to use this anniversary to push women’s health to the forefront of the global health dialog. At the country level, how can this manifesto become owned by civil society, professional organizations, nongovernmental organizations, and governments? It has the potential to serve as a rallying cry, as a strong advocacy piece at various levels of government, including with ministries of finance or national assemblies, as well as ministries of health.It is vital that this manifesto be transformed into something operational that people can use to mark their progress. It could be translated into a dashboard for each country that would show the gap in maternal health services to ministries and parliamentarians. Taking the manifesto to the next level, making it into something more operational, trackable, and with associated advocacy tools can help us all in our efforts to improve maternal and women’s health.The MHTF is currently celebrating the Manifesto for Maternal Health’s one year anniversary through a blog series. Would you like to contribute? Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook. Or send us an email.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
Every nonprofit fundraiser knows that the right plan is essential to obtaining your goals.A multichannel communications plan ensures your nonprofit can coordinate your messaging across channels during year-end. Synchronize the timing of your fundraising and marketing pieces to boost your messaging to donors and prospects.Explore our Roadmap to Success Syllabus for all your year-end fundraising needs, including:Campaign PlanningDonor SegmentationGiving Tuesday MessagingGoal TrackingBelow is our Roadmap to Success Syllabus (click on images to enlarge).
Building followers and converting them into donors doesn’t have to be a daunting task if you have a good social media strategy in place. How you interact with your followers and what you post—and when—can be the difference between receiving a donation or just a post like. Coordinating across your chosen social media channels allows you to bring a unified message to the public and build your brand’s awareness in the process.Beginning in 2017, Facebook has allowed users to create birthday fundraisers to encourage their friends to donate to their favorite charity or cause. In 2018, Facebook users donated over $300 million on birthday donations. That’s one of the many reasons your nonprofit should have a presence on this site. Your Facebook profile is typically the first thing people see when they search for you on social media. One of the ways to make it easy for people to find you on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram is to use the same name and profile picture for each site.For Facebook and Twitter, you’re allowed a profile picture and cover photo. The profile picture should be your nonprofit’s logo. With the cover photo you can get more creative and change it often to promote upcoming events, news about your organization, or to show pictures of recent success stories.As you create your Facebook page, it’s imperative that your ‘About’ section is up-to-date with the following information:• Your location and contact information• Your website address• Your company info and a brief bioBe sure to list any upcoming events for your organization on the ‘Events’ section.Now that you’ve created your Facebook page, it’s time to think about content. Focus on posts that will drive engagement and build awareness for your organization. Be personable, approachable, and fun. Posts with images, either video or photos, typically result in a stronger engagement level than text-only posts.Share the content below to turn your likes on Facebook into donations for your organizationFundraising CampaignsWhile your content shouldn’t focus solely on obtaining gifts from donors, it can be a driving force for your fundraising. When you add content for fundraising purposes, be sure to include links to your donation page, the event page, or wherever you’re trying to drive traffic and increase awareness.Press and AnnouncementsKeep your followers up-to-date on everything from grants and awards to press mentions and job postings.EventsLet your followers know about upcoming fundraising galas, community events, performances, panel discussions, town halls, etc. Take plenty of pictures at these events and post them afterward. Let your followers see what they’re missing!Thank YousTake the time to acknowledge major donors or fundraisers for your organization. Publicly acknowledging them with a photo and explanation of their gifts on your social media pages is a great way to take show your appreciation.Read more on The Nonprofit Blog
ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on January 11, 2016October 12, 2016By: Katrina Anderson, Senior Human Rights Counsel, Center for Reproductive Rights; Pilar Herrero, Human Rights Fellow, Center for Reproductive RightsClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)This post is part of “Inequities in Maternal Mortality in the U.S.,” a blog series hosted by the MHTF.The United States (U.S.) lags behind much of the world in terms of ensuring maternal health and survival. Despite spending more money on health care than any other high-income country, the U.S. maternal mortality rate is worse than 45 other countries, including the United Kingdom, Japan, and Libya.Moreover, while most countries are making progress toward better maternal survival rates, the situation in the U.S. is backsliding. Today, women in the U.S. are actually more likely to die as a result of pregnancy or childbirth complications than they were two decades ago, and Black women are nearly four times more likely to die than White women. These trends are a wake-up call that rising maternal mortality and morbidity is not only an issue for women outside our borders – it is a domestic human rights crisis.Over the past year, the international community has called for urgent action to address this crisis. In August 2014, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) raised concerns about the U.S. failure to eliminate disparities in sexual and reproductive health, including maternal mortality (available in other languages), and called on the government to improve data collection and accountability systems. In May 2015, the UN Human Rights Council facilitated a review of the U.S. and issued a recommendation from Finland calling on the U.S. to ensure equal access to quality maternal health services. And just this month, members of a UN Working Group concluded a visit to the U.S. with a recommendation that government authorities summon the political will to remedy pervasive racial disparities in maternal health.These international critiques help to raise awareness of maternal health problems in the U.S. by showing that other countries have done far more to reduce their maternal mortality rates, and with fewer resources. They also support a more expansive approach to the issues involved, urging a disruption of the professional silos that inhibit our ability to address a problem as complex as maternal mortality. Most importantly, human rights standards remind us that preventable maternal mortality violates a fundamental contract between government and its citizens, and that government ought to be held accountable when it breaks.Efforts at the local level are spurring this renewed attention from international human rights bodies by empowering Black women and elevating their voices. In 2014, SisterSong, a reproductive justice organization based in Atlanta, hosted story circles with Black women living in the South. The Center for Reproductive Rights partnered with SisterSong to document these stories, which were included in a report to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD). As ICERD reviewed U.S. efforts to eliminate racial discrimination, the stories summarized in the report provided crucial information about discrimination in health.Building on that momentum, we invited a group of experts to a multi-disciplinary convening at the SisterSong Mother House in June 2015. The “Black Mamas Matter” convening included academics, public health practitioners, doctors, midwives, doulas, community organizers, policy experts, funders, and advocates. Participants—many of whom are Black women from the South—shared information, identified current challenges, articulated visions for the future, and discussed strategies.One key theme that emerged was the need to openly discuss the impact of racial discrimination on maternal health outcomes. This requires looking at the experiences of Black women that go beyond the clinical encounter and begin well before they become pregnant. Participants identified the need to address structural inequalities that influence the social determinants of health, particularly for women of color. These include access to quality health care along the entire reproductive life course, safe, affordable housing, and paid parental leave. They noted the importance of confronting racial bias in health care settings, and called for better health surveillance systems and data collection methodologies that capture the lived experiences of Black women. In short, their collective vision is a holistic health care model that invests in Black women and their families.Since the Black Mamas Matter convening, participants have been cultivating a cross-sectoral network of individuals and organizations committed to addressing Black women’s maternal health in the South. CRR is also working closely with members of this network to develop a toolkit for state-based advocates interested in learning more about the problem and potential policy solutions.The policy solutions we propose are grounded in reproductive justice theory and human rights law. This approach is valuable because it recognizes the intersectionality of rights, issues and identities in ways that our domestic legal and policy framework does not. The human rights frame is also unique in that it emphasizes participation and transparency throughout decision-making processes. In the U.S. context, a human rights-based approach to maternal health policy cannot be implemented without the participation of Black women. Instead, it depends on recognizing Black women’s leadership, and scaling up the work that they are already doing in their communities.Share this:
ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on September 22, 2016October 4, 2016By: Sarah Hodin, Project Coordinator II, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Global Health: Science and Practice recently released a special issue highlighting a number of papers on long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) following the 2016 International Conference on Family Planning held in Indonesia. The theme of this year’s conference was “global commitments, local actions”, emphasizing the role of partnerships in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The papers examine the prevalence of LARC utilization, local perceptions of LARCs and the effectiveness of programming to promote LARCs in countries around the world.Papers from the 2016 International Conference on Family PlanningEffective LARC Providers: Moving Beyond TrainingRapid Contraceptive Uptake and Changing Method Mix With High Use of Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives in Crisis-Affected Populations in Chad and the Democratic Republic of the CongoApplying a Total Market Lens: Increased IUD Service Delivery Through Complementary Public- and Private-Sector Interventions in 4 CountriesMentoring, Task Sharing, and Community Outreach Through the TutoratPlus Approach: Increasing Use of Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives in SenegalThe Tupange Project in Kenya: A Multifaceted Approach to Increasing Use of Long-Acting Reversible ContraceptivesStrengthening Postabortion Family Planning Services in Ethiopia: Expanding Contraceptive Choice and Improving Access to Long-Acting Reversible ContraceptionUgandan Women’s View of the IUD: Generally Favorable but Many Have Misperceptions About Health RisksExpanding Access to a New, More Affordable Levonorgestrel Intrauterine System in Kenya: Service Delivery Costs Compared With Other Contraceptive Methods and Perspectives of Key Opinion LeadersVouchers in Fragile States: Reducing Barriers to Long-Acting Reversible Contraception in Yemen and PakistanIncreasing Uptake of Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives in Cambodia Through a Voucher Program: Evidence From a Difference-in-Differences AnalysisThe Mayer Hashi Large-Scale Program to Increase Use of Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives and Permanent Methods in Bangladesh: Explaining the Disappointing Results. An Outcome and Process EvaluationIncreasing Use of Postpartum Family Planning and the Postpartum IUD: Early Experiences in West and Central AfricaProviding women with access to family planning options such as LARCs is crucial for protecting women’s sexual and reproductive health rights, decreasing inequalities and improving maternal health outcomes.—Read key takeaways from the 2016 International Conference on Family Planning.Learn about the importance of integrating family planning into maternal health.Read about family planning on the MHTF blog.Are you working on a project on LARCs? We want to hear from you!Share this:
ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on July 19, 2017July 20, 2017By: Sarah Hodin, Project Coordinator II, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)In June 2017, the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and the United Nations Population Fund released the second edition of “Managing Complications in Pregnancy and Childbirth: A Guide for Midwives and Doctors.” The nearly 500-page document updated the clinical guidelines from the first edition published in 2000.The following sections of the manual were revised based on extensive consultation with maternal and child health experts:Clinical PrinciplesEmotional and psychological supportEmergenciesGeneral care principlesAntibiotic therapyOperative care principlesNormal labor and childbirthNewborn care principlesSymptomsVaginal bleeding in early pregnancyVaginal bleeding after childbirthElevated blood pressure, headache, blurred vision, convulsions or loss of consciousnessFever during pregnancy and laborFever after childbirthDifficulty in breathingPre-labor rupture of membranesImmediate newborn conditions or problemsProceduresInduction and augmentation of laborManual removal of placentaRepair of vaginal and perineal tears—Read “Managing Complications in Pregnancy and Childbirth: A Guide for Midwives and Doctors.”Access a summary brief from WHO and the Maternal Child Survival Program highlighting some of the revisions.What are your thoughts on these revised guidelines? We want to hear from you!Share this:
Posted on December 19, 2017December 20, 2017By: Kayla McGowan, Project Coordinator, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Securing a place for maternal health on the global agenda has entailed substantial effort—catalyzed to a great extent by the Safe Motherhood Initiative. Launched in 1987 at the Safe Motherhood Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, the Initiative aimed to reduce maternal mortality by 50% by 2000. The Initiative committed to three key strategies: strengthening community-based health care, building the capacity of referral-level facilities and developing an alarm and transport system to link community- and referral-level care.On 8 December, experts in reproductive and maternal health gathered at the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. as part of the Advancing Dialogue on Maternal Health Series for two panel discussions celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Safe Motherhood Initiative and reflecting on progress and future directions in the field. The panels were moderated by Petra ten Hoope-Bender, Technical Adviser Sexual and Reproductive Health at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and Rima Jolivet, Maternal Health Technical Director of the Maternal Health Task Force.The history, evolution and successes of the Safe Motherhood InitiativeBarbara Kwast, international consultant in safe motherhood and maternal health, opened the event by providing background and context. According to Kwast, “The genesis of safe motherhood was a birth process in itself,” following the United Nations Decade for Women from 1976-1985, the Alma-Ata Declaration in 1978 and the first-ever World Health Organization (WHO) Interregional Meeting on the Prevention Of Maternal Mortality in 1985.In 1987, half a million women died from pregnancy- or childbirth-related complications—but, as Kwast poignantly illustrated, behind this number are countless stories of women dying from maternal complications that remain etched in hearts and memories. Kwast further explored the human element behind the data by retelling the story of Mrs. X, a woman who died during childbirth after traveling along the “Road to Maternal Death” and facing key barriers to maternal health, such as poor socioeconomic status, excessive fertility, high-risk pregnancy and life-threatening complications. Kwast encouraged the audience to consider “whether the barriers Mrs. X faced have all been opened, whether they are still open, whether they have been partially closed again or were never opened for the most vulnerable poor women and their families.”Ann Starrs, President and CEO of the Guttmacher Institute, reflected that while maternal health may be “mainstream” now, it was “an invisible issue in the mid-1980s,” almost always subsumed under child health efforts. Maternal mortality–a neglected tragedy. Where is the M in MCH?, the seminal paper by Rosenfield and Maine published in The Lancet in 1985, called for increased—and distinct—attention to maternal health and helped chart the course for addressing maternal health in its own right. A decade-and-a-half later, the inclusion of maternal health within the Millennium Development Goals was “crucial for visibility and political attention,” said Starrs.The worldwide focus on maternal health continues: Betsy McCallon, CEO of the White Ribbon Alliance, explained the current global and national maternal mortality targets under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and highlighted the specific mandate to achieve equity for vulnerable populations. McCallon noted that WHO’s 2015 report, Strategies for Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality, provides critical guiding principles on access to and use of clinical services but also social, cultural and economic determinants of maternal health. McCallon pointed out that the community needs “a paradigm shift, one in which women have the knowledge and confidence to drive and make decisions about their own health and to demand the quality services that we all deserve.”Midwifery, advocacy and private sector involvement in safe motherhoodDuring the second panel, Address Malata, Vice Chancellor of Malawi University of Science and Technology, reiterated the importance of looking beyond access to services, emphasizing that it “…is not just about women coming in to facilities—do they get the quality of care they deserve?” Malata identified “game changers” for the landscape of safe motherhood, including political will and leadership; education and retention of midwives; collaboration with the private sector and civil society; investment in innovation; and increased evidence and advocacy for policy, practice and education.Echoing this, Dorothy Lazaro, Midwife Advisor of UNFPA, explained that increased training of midwives, anesthetists and health extension workers; expansion of emergency obstetric and newborn care and family planning services; and construction of health facilities as well as maternity waiting homes have helped improve maternal newborn health in Ethiopia—where less than 30% of all births are attended by a skilled birth attendant. However, deep inequities in utilization and quality of maternal health services persist among regions.Dr. Mary-Ann Etiebet, Executive Director of Merck for Mothers, continued the conversation about inequity, stating that, “We need to be cognizant of the disparities within countries” as well as the underlying determinants of health in low-, middle- and high-income nations. She called for innovations in safe motherhood that can be implemented, scaled and sustained even after partnerships disintegrate. Etiebet concluded, “We cannot just think about private sector at the global level; we need to think about private sector at the local level” given that about 40% of women worldwide seek care from local private providers.Finally, Mary Ellen Stanton, Senior Maternal Health Advisor at the U.S. Agency for International Development, discussed the significant work that remains to advance maternal health worldwide and noted the unintended consequences of some maternal health interventions. For example, she observed that the rise in major surgeries, including cesarean section, can pose serious health complications such as iatrogenic fistula. To ensure safe motherhood, the global community must provide all women with the appropriate level of quality care—neither too little, too late nor too much, too soon. As Kwast emphasized, “Safe motherhood is a work in progress.”—Missed the dialogue?Watch the webcasts and download the presentations>>Check out the conversation on social media>>Hear more from panelists on interventions for safe motherhood>>Learn more about the Safe Motherhood Initiative>>Photo Credits: Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Safe Motherhood Initiative at the Wilson Center, courtesy of the Maternal Health Initiative at the Wilson CenterShare this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves announced today that Ghanaian football legend Stephen Appiah will become the Alliance’s newest Ambassador.Appiah will join a distinguished group of current Ambassadors, including Academy Award-winning actor Julia Roberts, chef Jose Andres and musician Rocky Dawuni.The announcement comes at the conclusion of a successful Ghana National Clean Cookstoves and Fuels Conference, during which more than 100 government, business and NGO representatives gathered to continue progress toward the goal of 100 million households adopting clean cooking solutions by 2020. Stephen Appiah was able to join the Alliance for this important convening in Accra.In announcing Appiah as an Alliance Ambassador, Executive Director Radha Muthiah said, “Today, in this country that is so passionate about football – and in a World Cup year, no less – I couldn’t be more thrilled to announce that Ghanaian soccer legend Captain Stephen Appiah will become our newest Alliance Ambassador for clean cooking. Stephen represents the first athlete and sports star to take on the pressing issue of household air pollution. I have no doubt that he will be a strong advocate who will spur action in Ghana and around the world, and I look forward to working closely with him in the future.”Stephen Appiah is best known as the former captain of the Black Stars, the Ghanaian national football team. He led Ghana to its FIFA World Cup debut in 2006, and he also played for the team that won the Under-17 World Cup in 1995. Later in his career, he played for Ghana’s oldest football club, Hearts of Oak, and for well-known European clubs including Juventus and Fenerbahçe. He is respected worldwide for his inspirational leadership both on and off the field.Today in Ghana, Appiah is involved in a variety of charity work focused on giving back to society and inspiring young football players.“I am delighted to have the opportunity to fill the role of Ambassador for the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves,” said Appiah. “For me, it’s very simple – cooking should never be a hazard to the health and wellbeing of families. If cooking kills, then I don’t want to eat. I hope to be able to use my voice in this role to raise awareness about this important issue and encourage governments, businesses and other organizations to make clean cookstoves a priority.”The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is a public-private partnership hosted by the UN Foundation to save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women and protect the environment by creating a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions. The Alliance’s 100 by ’20 goal calls for 100 million households to adopt clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels by 2020. The Alliance is working with its public, private and non-profit partners to help overcome the market barriers that currently impede the production, deployment, and use of clean cookstoves in developing countries. Find out more here.
Coach Urban Meyer and members of OSU football team before a game against Virginia Tech on September 7 in Blacksburg, Virginia. OSU won 42-24. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead / Photo EditorAfter returning to campus at around 4:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning after beating Virginia Tech 42-24, Ohio State has the task of a very short turnaround to its next game.“It’s real difficult right now,” OSU coach Urban Meyer said. “Guys are still sore, banged up. That was a tough game.”Now with the Labor Day challenge against the Hokies in the win column, the Buckeyes (1-0) are set to welcome the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (1-0) for OSU’s home opener.Despite Saturday’s game marking the first-ever meeting between the two programs, Meyer said that the Hawaii game was not mentioned once until the Virginia Tech one came to a close. The coach described the preparation for Virginia Tech as a “Super Bowl-type atmosphere” and prepared for the game like there is “no tomorrow.”Potentially putting the Buckeyes at a further lack of preparation for Saturday’s game is the fact that Meyer and his coaching staff were not allowed to hold a practice until Wednesday, just three days before the game.“We appealed to the NCAA to let us meet with them yesterday and all that, and they said no, so those are all things probably before you schedule a Monday night game we should ask those questions because we’re way behind,” Meyer said.The coach further added that Wednesday’s practice was an abbreviated one because players were still tired from playing two nights before.However, Meyer said that he “feels great” about the team being fresh enough to play as well against the Rainbow Warriors as it did against the Hokies, crediting the depth that OSU has at just about every position as a reason for confidence.Previously for HawaiiDespite being outgained by 71 total yards, the Rainbow Warriors held off Colorado at Aloha Stadium 28-20 on Thursday night.Senior quarterback Max Wittek completed 19 of 38 passes with three touchdowns and two interceptions, while Columbus native Paul Harris led the way on the ground. The junior rushed for 68 yards on 17 attempts.The offensive highlight of the game for Hawaii came from a 79-yard connection from Wittek to junior receiver Marcus Kemp in the middle of the second quarter to put Hawaii up 15-7 at the time.Senior defensive lineman Luke Shawley starred on defense for Hawaii, racking up 14 tackles, including 1.5 sacks.Joining the partyWhen OSU topped Virginia Tech on Monday, it did so without the benefit of four major players. Those four will be back on the gridiron against the Rainbow Warriors on Saturday.Redshirt sophomore H-back Jalin Marshall, junior H-back Dontre Wilson, redshirt senior receiver Corey Smith and junior defensive end Joey Bosa were all suspended for the opener due to violations of athletic department policies.Marshall, Wilson and Smith are poised to bolster an offense that already crushed Virginia Tech to the tune of 572 total yards and a school-record 10.2 yards per play.Bosa, a 2014 unanimous Associated Press All-American, should force the opposing offensive line to return to its usual double-teaming of the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, native, which sophomore linebacker Raekwon McMillan said could enable the rest of the defense to run wild.“Joey is one of the best, if not the best, player in the nation,” McMillan said. “Having him back on the field with us, even though we had guys step up last week, having him back on the field will be fun.”Awards and recordsWith the Virginia Tech game approaching, there was plenty of doubt about how Braxton Miller, a former quarterback turned H-Back, could contribute turn right out of the gate.The redshirt senior quickly put those doubts to rest, putting up not only a strong game but an award-winning one.Miller, after catching two passes for 78 yards and rushing six times for 62 yards, with a touchdown doing both, was named the Big Ten offensive player of the week for the fourth time in his career.Additionally, the Huber Heights, Ohio, native’s 54-yard receiving touchdown early in the third quarter tied Art Schlichter’s school record for career touchdowns responsible for with 85, while his 53-yard run later in the quarter set the new mark.Up nextAfter the 3:30 p.m. game against Hawaii on Saturday, the Buckeyes are scheduled to continue their three-game non-conference homestand against Northern Illinois. Kickoff is again set for 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 19 at Ohio Stadium.
Share Johnson said that first, the staff at ABS West told her Evan was responsible because he was punching and hitting. But then she saw a video recorded inside the classroom. According to Johnson, the video showed the teacher threatening to punch her son in the face. “It brought tears to my eyes because Evan was crouching in the corner and the teacher was sitting in a chair in front of him and other people were standing up over him,” she said.Then, Johnson said, one staff member pulled the teacher away while others restrained Evan, slamming him against the wall several times and later pinning him to the floor. News 88.7 has not been able to view the video independently.Months later, just talking about the ordeal upsets Evan.“I’m nothing but a freak!” he exclaimed, as his mom tried to calm him down. “Evan, Evan, tell me how you really felt that day — Did it hurt? Yes. Did you cry? Yes. Did you want me? Yes.” X To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Johnson hoped that Evan would get to work with a board-certified behavior analyst — support that he needs to manage his autism. Evan also has a speech impediment and epilepsy.But on his second day at the campus last November, something went wrong. Johnson got multiples messages to come and get her son.“When I saw Evan, my heart sank into my stomach,” she said. “I had never seen him in such a state. His shirt was bloodied. His lips were split and bleeding. He was crying. He had abrasions all over his body.”What happened to Evan ended up triggering a state investigation, exposing what some call a loophole in how state administrators keep an eye on some special needs students in Harris County.Video Playerhttps://cdn.hpm.io/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/21152711/In-Depth-2018-08-21-at-3.25pm.mp400:0000:0000:13Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. Laura Isensee/Houston Public MediaMelissa Johnson is joined by her son Evan, 21, on the right, and her daughter Cherise and son D.J. on the left.Ever since Evan Johnson was 3 years old, he’s attended public schools in the Cy-Fair Independent School District, northwest of Houston.He’s a tall and lanky 21-year-old, with a creative streak and a passion for trains.That changed last fall, when Cy-Fair district administrators told his mother, Melissa Johnson, that he’d be better served somewhere else.“And it sounded like, ‘Oh my gosh! This beautiful place — Why haven’t they sent him here sooner?!” Johnson recounted.It’s called the Academic and Behavior Support School West. It’s one of two special ed schools run by the Harris County Department of Education, which has its own board and collects its own taxes. The agency technically isn’t a school district, but it still enrolls over 200 special needs students through contracts with dozens of school districts in Greater Houston. 00:00 /04:02 Johnson believes that Evan was illegally restrained — state law says it’s supposed to be only for emergencies — and complained to the Texas Education Agency about that and other alleged violations, including that the facility failed to give him proper behavior interventions or prescribed psychological services.What’s more, her attorneys argued the alternative schools with the Harris County Department of Education have so little state oversight that vulnerable students are at risk.“Sadly, I feel that they’re dumping grounds for children that districts don’t want to handle,” said Dustin Rynders, a supervising attorney at Disability Rights Texas.Rynders explained that state education administrators fail to oversee the Harris County Department of Education, because students are counted as if they’re still enrolled at their original campus.“But it is still completely inexcusable that you would have two specialized campuses that have been around for a long, long time with rampant allegations and complaints and that the Texas Education Agency has never directly monitored them in any way,” Rynders said. News 88.7 asked the superintendent of the Harris County Department of Education about these allegations.The superintendent, James Colbert, Jr., said that they did their own review of what happened to Evan.“And I think there has been over-characterization of that incident,” Colbert said. “There were some things certainly that one of our staff members didn’t do properly and we addressed that administratively.”Colbert added that he can’t talk about specific disciplinary action, but, overall, he defends the schools, especially since his own personal and professional background is in special education.“I would never let us do anything wrong to a child and try to detriment their growth. And anyone who characterizes that are either misinformed or are just completely wrong, in my opinion,” Colbert said.As for the state investigation into what happened to Evan Johnson, the Texas Education Agency has closed its case, with a mixed decision.It maintains that it can’t monitor the Harris County Department of Education directly because it’s not a traditional school district.But the state agency sent a stern message to the Cy-Fair Independent School District, which contracted with the county facility for Evan’s education.State officials told Cy-Fair administrators that they’re accountable for how he was treated at the alternative school.Meanwhile, Melissa Johnson still hopes Evan can get the services he needs back in Cy-Fair, where he is about to start his final year in public education. Listen
08Dec Rep. Price honors first woman, Native American in state House Categories: News LANSING – State Rep. Amanda Price honored the life of Cora Belle Reynolds Anderson, the first woman and Native American to serve in the state House of Representatives, during a portrait dedication ceremony today.Rep. Price, R-Park Township, highlighted Anderson’s education and professional background beyond her tenure in the state House in 1925-1926.“She was clearly a unique and special individual, so she deserves recognition,” said Rep. Price. “Besides being the first woman and Native American to serve in the state House, Cora Belle also continued to teach when she was married. We may not think that was unusual today, but it was at that time.”A L’Anse native, Anderson was elected by the “Iron District” of Baraga, Iron, Keweenaw and Ontonagon counties in 1924. During her tenure in Lansing, she continued a lifelong focus on education, agriculture and public health.Today’s event included speeches from House Speaker Kevin Cotter, R-Mount Pleasant, and Capitol Historian Valerie Marvin with Gary Randall, Clerk of the House of Representatives, serving as master of ceremonies. The new portrait will reside in the House Office Building, which was dedicated in Anderson’s name in 2000.