Commonwealth Foundation staff blogs share knowledge, experiences and expertise.

  • Can stories create change? Commonwealth Conversations at Civil Society Week

    Can stories told through the medium of films, short stories and poetry, change the way people perceive social problems and challenge deep rooted social issues? High profile journalistic exposés can trigger change. But how can the stories of citizens sharing experiences of, for example, gender based violence influence public discussion around broader gender and power […]

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  • A new policy for civil society in Nigeria

    The recent debate in Nigeria on Bill HB585 provided an unexpected opportunity for The Nigeria Network of NGOs’ to advance its efforts to strengthen the regulatory framework surrounding the civil society sector. Last year, when The Nigerian House of Representatives considered Bill HB585, to regulate the activities of nonprofits in the country, many within the […]

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  • Telling the story of indigenous survival

    In October, I received an email from the Commonwealth Foundation. It contained an invitation to participate in the International Civil Society Week (ICSW) to be held in December in Fiji. The theme: Our Planet, Our Struggle, Our Future. My heart raced as I blinked at the phone. I only had to confirm my attendance. I told […]

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  • Pacific Shorts premiere at the Hawaiian International Film Festival

    There is something magical about sitting in a dark auditorium with 200 hundred strangers waiting to share the same experience. Sitting along the same row as me, the filmmakers from the ten short films about to be shown. The nervous energy, verging on fear is palpable, bubbling up in some cases into stress reducing tears. We […]

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  • Advocacy is not complaining: Jamaicans for Clean Air and Water

    Jamaican communities living near to mining and quarrying operations often experience adverse impacts to air and water and to their quality of life. At the same time, these commercial operations are also a source of jobs and economic development which restrains residents from taking action. The Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) has been working with mining […]

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  • Seasonal message from Vijay Krishnarayan Director-General of the Foundation

    On behalf of the Commonwealth Foundation I want to take a moment to extend good wishes to our supporters during this season of goodwill to all. It has been an important year for the Foundation – marking the successful conclusion of one Strategic Plan and the beginning of a new cycle. This is a time […]

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  • Just, peaceful and inclusive societies: CPF 2018 programme takes shape

    No matter how many international events I help organize, I always face the same challenge. How do I best capture and present the priorities, aspirations and dreams of the many thousands, hundreds of thousands, or in the case of the Commonwealth, the 2.4 billion people the event is about? In designing and delivering the biennial […]

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  • Johannesburg waste pickers organise to defend their livelihoods

    Four months ago, WIEGO’s project with the Commonwealth Foundation Waste integration South Africa (WISA) took an unplanned turn as Johannesburg’s waste-pickers were faced with a major challenge to their livelihood. The city’s official waste management service provider, Pikitup, signed contracts with private recycling companies to expand Pikitup’s Separation at Source programme.  Separation at Source diverts recyclable […]

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  • Mental Health Policy Reform: Time to Decolonise our Minds

    Mental health legislation in 20 per cent of Commonwealth countries was passed before 1960. The term “idiot” remains on the statutes of 10 Commonwealth countries. The law in many Commonwealth countries is in conflict with contemporary international human rights obligations towards people with mental illness. The roots of mental health legislation can often be traced […]

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  • Through a different lens

    Despite extensive planning, when Commonwealth Writers start work on a creative project, we don’t always know the exact course it will take or what unexpected results it will achieve. In 2012 we launched a capacity building scheme to give emerging writer-directors the opportunity to make a film on the theme of relationships. Five filmmakers – […]

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