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Music keeps California teens off the streets

Richmond, a small city in Northern California just outside of San Francisco, is known for two things: rap music and gang violence, which often leads to drive-by shootings and homicides.

But on Richmond’s southern edge, there’s a building called the RYSE Youth Center. The center was opened to give youth a safe haven from the realities of the streets.

Twenty-year-old Xavier Polk has taken full advantage of the opportunity and introduced a free music production class where he helps teenagers develop their musical talents – and stay off the streets and out of trouble.

Listen to the report by Anne Hofmann and Aaron Mendelson in Richmond, California:

Xavier Polk teaches a free beatmaking class at the RYSE Youth Center to inspire teenagers musically and help them to stay out of trouble (Photo: A. Mendelson)

Xavier Polk teaches a free beatmaking class at the RYSE Youth Center (Photo: A. Mendelson)

15-year-old Janelle Thomas is working on her own track in Xavier's class

Fiften-year-old Janelle Thomas is working on her own track in Xavier’s class (Photo: A. Mendelson)

Student Emandre Winston uses the keyboard connected to the music production software at RYSE to work on his own track (Photo: A. Mendelson)

Student Emandre Winston uses the keyboard connected to the music production software to work on his own track in Xavier’s class (Photo: A. Mendelson)

The mural on the outside of the RYSE Youth Center in Richmond, California (Photo: A. Mendelson)

The mural on the outside of the RYSE Youth Center in Richmond, California, where Xavier teaches his beatmaking class to give teenagers a safe haven (Photo: A. Mendelson)

 

Date

Wednesday 06.08.2014 | 08:59

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Dancing to keep women safe

Melisa Rodrigues, a 27-year-old from Lisbon, used to work for a big international company. At some point she realized, money wasn’t the key to happiness. So she quit her job, did a Master’s degree in globalization and development and went to India to work for an NGO.

It was in India that she learned about the One Billion Rising movement – an annual dance event demanding an end to violence against women and girls all over the world.

Melisa realized that violence – particularly domestic violence – was a big problem in her home country, Portugal. So she organized a One Billion Rising event in a train station in Lisbon to raise awareness and help women affected by violence know they’re not alone.

Listen to the report by Nádia Dinis in Lisbon:

 

Melisa Rodrigues is practicing her dance moves for the One Billion Rising event (Photo: Miguel Fascinado)

Melisa Rodrigues is practicing her dance moves for the One Billion Rising event (Photo: Miguel Fascinado)

The Lisbon event drew a strong crowd of mainly woman - and a few men (Photo: Miguel Fascinado)

The Lisbon event drew a strong crowd of mainly woman – and a few men (Photo: Miguel Fascinado)

Melisa (right) is pictured with Rita, another volunteer, at the Portuguese parliament just before the One Billion Rising event (Photo: Miguel Fascinado)

Melisa (right) is pictured with Rita, another volunteer, at the Portuguese parliament just before the One Billion Rising event (Photo: Miguel Fascinado)

A former Portuguese football player hosted the event (Photo: Miguel Fascinado)

A former Portuguese football player hosted the event (Photo: Miguel Fascinado)

 

 

Date

Tuesday 04.03.2014 | 15:48

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Committed to non-violence in East Timor

Life in Timor Leste – Asia’s newest nation – has been hard for many. But the decades of violence hit the children hardest. Twenty-three year old Juliao Amaral Dos Santos knows that as well as anyone -that’s why he’s already spent more than half of his young life devoted to creating a safe place for other kids, working with the organization MAC Children United.

Just barley out of university now, he’s already one of the nation’s brightest young leaders.

Listen to the report by Emily Richmond in Dili, Timor Leste:

Committed to non-violence in East Timor

Santos

Santos organizes a number of classes for youth, including singing, radio production, dance, music, and capoeira (Photo: E. Richmond)

MAC Children United

The participating children range from 3 years old to early 20s (Photo: E. Richmond)

Date

Tuesday 24.09.2013 | 13:34

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Keeping women safe in Cambodia

In Cambodia, violence against women is a troubling – and common – concern. Ou Ratanak, witnessed it first-hand when he was growing up. He says his uncle physically abused his aunt, but when he brought it up, he was told to mind his own business.

Now, however, he’s making women’s safety his business. And he’s hoping to tackle the problem for future generations, by heading an organization that works with young adults to change attitudes towards sexual violence.

Listen to the report by Irwin Loy in Phnom Penh, Cambodia:

Keeping women safe in Cambodia

 

Ou Ratanak looks on as a student makes a point during a mock debate held to encourage critical thinking on gender issues among Cambodian youth

Ou Ratanak looks on as a student makes a point during a mock debate held to encourage critical thinking on gender issues among Cambodian youth (Photo: I. Loy)

A student makes his case during a mock debate held to encourage critical thinking on gender issues among Cambodian youth

A student makes his case during a mock debate held to encourage critical thinking on gender issues among Cambodian youth (Photo: I. Loy)

Students discuss gender issues during a mock debate held to encourage critical thinking issues among Cambodian youth

Raising awareness is Ou Ratanak’s first priority (Photo: I. Loy)

Date

Tuesday 13.08.2013 | 11:55

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Brazilian hiphop artist promotes respect for women

Six out of 10 Brazilians know a woman who’s experienced domestic violence, according to a recent survey. Hiphop artist André Luis Machados in Rio de Janeiro uses his music to get people to rethink violence against women.

Listen to the report by Naomi Conrad in Rio de Janeiro:

Brazilian hiphop artist promotes respect for women

 

André Luis Machados, aka MC André Zovao

Date

Friday 21.12.2012 | 08:38

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Bringing peace to Papua New Guinea

It was a single act of violence that changed 28-year-old John Wamelik’s life forever. At home in a country with one of the world’s most diverse populations, John is now on a mission to make Papua New Guinea a more peaceful place.

Emily Richmond has the story from Rabaul, PNG:

Bringing peace to Papua New Guinea

John Wamelik

John Wamelik is committed to making his country a more peaceful place

Date

Tuesday 16.10.2012 | 12:59

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Srebrenican youth tries to save her town

Milena Nikolic was born in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica, a place once known for its mineral springs and silver mines. Today the place is notorious as the scene of a massacre of 8,000 Bosnian Muslims by Serbian paramilitaries.

After leaving school, Milena became a social worker. Today she runs a youth club in her home town and tries to persuade young people not to leave. She believes the economic independence of Srebrenica can best be achieved through green tourism and organic farming. She also wants to revive the old mineral springs, but she faces resistance from the political elite.

Watch this DW video to find out more about how this young woman is trying to bring back life to a change in a town ruined by violence.

Date

Wednesday 06.06.2012 | 15:01

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