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Putting the Poorest Children First

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In light of my first paper, I’ve been thinking a lot about climate change and children… It’s a connection that in the international education and development field, we just don’t make enough. Why does education matter at all if not to employ a sense of agency over the issues that effect our individual and collective futures?

While climate change poses major threats to all human life, its effects are felt most severely by the world’s poorest people, especially children. They are also often the stewards of the climate’s stabilizing resources (biodiversity), like in Madagascar. The health and sustainability of environments and children today will greatly determine their wellbeing in the future. Madagascar is considered at the 3rd greatest risk, lending even more reason to educate children to actively bring about environmental care.

Please read:

Latest UNICEF Declaration on Climate Change

If you’d like to learn more about the relationship between climate change and children, please check out this wonderful and comprehensive report:

UNICEF- Innocenti Report on Children and Climate Change

Addressing world issues really involves collaboration across fields. The more deeply I go into my own studies, the stronger I feel that this must be intentional.

Thanks for reading!
Daniella

Thoughts on giving thanks.

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This is the first Thanksgiving that I’ve ever spent away from America. Strange to find, that for everyone else, it’s only another day. However, lucky for me, I’ll be joining other American Rotary scholars in London for a feast. Thanksgiving always reminds me that I have so much to be grateful for, especially this year. I have the most incredible opportunity and platform to contribute to a better world.

However, I can’t agree with Elizabeth Carter  to “remember, that not to be happy is not to be grateful.” Aside from the abundance of friends, family and feasts, I know my advantage isn’t reflective of all humanity. Oppression and sadness still exist, even when my abundance is great. Thanksgiving is the celebration of colonialist domination, oppression, and the dehumanization of indigineous peoples. Rather than be complacent, a little love for humanity can go along way…

However, I had the most lovely Thanksgiving in London with fellow Ambassadorial Scholar, Meganne Torkelson, who reminded me its true meaning. Sometimes you must put looming world problems on the back burner, and appreciate what’s right in front of your eyes. Making Thanksgiving for 25 guests really special wouldn’t have been possible for Meganne without that positive spirit.

Here are some of the night’s highlights:

Thank you to Rotary, to Meganne, to those brave enough to care about all life, those giving a voice to those less heard, and all the incredible people in my life who took a risk and supported me. I’m incredibly lucky.

Much love and gratitude,

Daniella

Academic Input

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Dear Readers,

I received a simple yet critical tip- to expand on why I’m really here: my studies. I’ll gladly share background, updates on projects, and relevant resources. To introduce my studies, within the International Education and Development field, I am primarily concerned with Madagascar: children’s formative experiences in “nature”,  the role of creativity, play and imagination in developing sustainable livelihoods, inclusion and equity within rainforest parks, and children’s involvement in conservation and sustainable development.

Thank you. I do appreciate the input– please keep it coming!

Daniella

Rotary Club of Tooting

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This London club received me as warmly as their invitation! Their assistant District Governor was visiting, and I found out the London District is much larger than ours in New York- with over 70 clubs. We toasted the queen and Larchmont.

I was graced with lovely gifts: a banner to present back home, an eco-friendly shopping bag, a refund for my train ticket, and a Speaker’s Certificate.

To Tooting: Good to meet you, thank you, and see you at the Christmas party!

Daniella