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Labor rights activist murdered in Bangladesh

Hesperian is deeply saddened and outraged by the murder of Bangladeshi labor activist Aminul Islam.

Aminul was an organizer at the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity (BCWS) and a local leader for the Bangladesh Garment and Industrial Workers Federation (BGIWF). He fought tirelessly alongside workers, unions, and organizations from Bangladesh and around the world to raise poverty-level wages, improve safety in response to tragic factory fires, and promote fair and healthy work in Bangladesh.

We first connected with Aminul in 2003 while developing our book A Workers’ Guide to Health and Safety. BCWS field-tested and contributed to several sections on the hazards of garment work, sharing not only their own experience and knowledge as organizers but also the comments, feedback, ideas, and suggestions of their Bangladeshi coworkers.

Aminul’s murder comes at a time of great progress and success for the workers’ movement in Bangladesh. He was fatally silenced by those who want to continue profiting from the poverty and ill health of workers in Bangladesh, who want to instill fear among those fighting for their rights.  When our staff connected with Aminul after he had been released from being arrested on trumped-up charges and tortured a few years ago, they were struck by his impossibly-cheery, positive outlook and his incredible courage and strength. We have all lost an important colleague.

Hesperian joins the international community in demanding that Aminul’s death be promptly investigated and those responsible brought to justice. BCWS has asked us to urge the government of Bangladesh to take action by sending a letter to the Prime Minister.  Please take a moment to join this campaign

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Workers Guide to Health and Safety – A new book for May Day!

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Hesperian partner Jagruti delivers affordable medicine to poor in Dhaward, India

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Invitation: Join Peace Corps and Hesperian in DC on November 24th

You are cordially invited to two events in celebration of the MOU signing and new partnership between

The Peace Corps and Hesperian Health Guides

For over 40 years, Peace Corps Volunteers have used Hesperian 
resources like Where There Is No Doctor in their work and with their 
host communities. Now, Hesperian Health Guides and the Peace Corps
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August 26, 2014

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Until the Walls Come Down: Health Advocacy in Prison

August 15, 2014

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August 05, 2014

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Amazon Frown

June 18, 2014

You may have read recently about how, the company that hopes to sell everything to everyone, doesn’t treat its workers fairly. Or if you follow the publishing industry, you have been long aware of how it squeezes small publishers and independent bookstores out of business through predatory pricing, mandatory “co-op fees,” demanding increasingly higher discounts and complex and costly shipping terms. Even the front page and TV news has been focusing on how Amazon is abusing its power to grab the lion’s share of income away from authors and even the largest publishers.

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Pesticides are poison, but research and activism are the antidotes

Today is World Environment Day and Hesperian would like to recognize the work of one of our admirable local partners, the Center for Environmental Research & Children’s Health (CERCH). For the last ten years, CERCH has not only contributed to our knowledge of pesticides and their complex relationships with our lives and environment, but has also worked side-by-side with farm laborers in Salinas, CA to protect farm workers and their families from the hazards of pesticides.

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Supporting Senegalese Midwives and Birth Attendants – a lesson from the African Midwives Collective

May 05, 2014

When Kaya Skye moved to the northern Mboro region of Senegal in 1996 to research topics in medical anthropology, she found herself fascinated by the state of maternal health. She observed that healthcare workers were being pushed to adopt western birthing practices, but the government- sponsored training was not explaining the rationale for certain actions.

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Assembly Required: Take action this May Day

May 01, 2014

Today, May 1st, Hesperian's offices are closed to commemorate International Workers' Day. We're taking a well-deserved day off. We'll also participate in community events and marches around the Bay Area, in Oakland,San Francisco, and Santa Rosa, demanding labor and occupational health and safety rights for all workers, regardless of their legal status, and comprehensive immigration reform.

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Healthy (e)Readers: Students in Ghana use Kindles and Where There Is No Doctor to take control of their health

In May of 2013, Hesperian Health Guides teamed up with WorldReader, an e-reader based literacy-building program, to deliver Where There Is No Doctor on Kindle devices throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. Here are a few examples of what students in Ghana are learning from their copy of Where There Is No Doctor

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Safe Pregnancy and Birth App Field Tested by Health Workers in Chiapas

April 03, 2014

Hesperian is excited to have recently partnered with Compañeros en Salud (CES) to field-test our mobile app, "Safe Pregnancy and Birth". CES held two field-test sessions with community health workers, midwives, clinic staff, and community members to evaluate and solicit feedback on the content and usability of the app.

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Hesperian Goes Back to School: taking a lesson from California parents and caregivers to make the HealthWiki more mobile-friendly

Back in April of 2013, Hesperian Health Guides received a grant from The California Communications Access Foundation (CCAF) to provide free, online, multi-lingual early childhood development resources for California families of children who are deaf or hard of hearing. The grant enabled Hesperian to put Helping Children Who Are Deaf into the HealthWiki in four languages (EnglishSpanishChinese, and Vietnamese) and to make the Hesperian HealthWiki, our online database of searchable health information, more user-friendly to visitors using mobile devices like tablets and phones.

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Help 8 Hesperian translations that are ready to go to print!

All Hesperian books are published in English and Spanish, but all of our titles are available in multiple additional languages - over 80 so far!

How do these books get translated?

Hesperian works with amazing grassroots partners around the world, supporting them as they translate our books. Right now, Hesperian is helping 8 translation partners, located in Afghanistan, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mongolia, the Philippines, and Pakistan, to realize their vision of translating and distributing Hesperian books into Dari, Georgian, Tamil, Bahasa, Bunyore, Mongolian, Cebuano, and Urdu. These are only the projects that are close to completion—you can see more on Hesperian’s website.

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A different perspective this V-Day

February 13, 2014

This "V-Day," stand in support of the billion women around the world who are survivors of violence and rape. As you follow the One Billion Rising for Justice Campaign in the news tomorrow, we'd like to share a perspective from our Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities.

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3 Nepali women’s health titles released

Hesperian has just released not one, but three women's health titles in Nepali! These include Where Women Have No DoctorA Book for Midwives, and A Health Handbook for Women With Disabilities.

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Batting for their rights

The Society for Health Environmental and Rural Development Project (SHERDP) is a grassroots organization working in the rural district of Namakkal in Tamil Nadu, India. In 2004 SHERDP applied for a small grant from Hesperian's Creative Education Fund to support a project that showed women how to work together to stand up for their rights to get health services.  

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A new memoir from Dr. King’s physician

January 20, 2014

As we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King today, exactly 40 years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act and Dr. King’s Nobel Peace Prize, Hesperian is excited to announce the addition of Quentin Young’s memoir, Everybody In, Nobody Out, to our Health and Empowerment bookshelf

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Safe Pregnancy and Birth App lauded as top mHealth app

January 03, 2014

An unprecedented 6 billion people now have access to mobile phones worldwide. This has enormous potential to create well-informed individuals capable of participating in actions that improve their health, all through the touch of a button. Unsurprisingly, mobile Health (mHealth) projects have seen an explosion in popularity over the last few years, with thousands of mHealth pilot programs launching every year. But are all these mHealth projects truly empowering people?

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Thanks for your support this year- Happy New Year!

December 31, 2013

As we look back at 2013, we can hardly believe how much your support has enabled us to accomplish - and we were there! Hesperian's annual report summarizes all this progress - review it online with all our other freely accessible publications.

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New Health and Empowerment title! Changing Planet, Changing Health

December 13, 2013

“Climate change isn't just inconvenient-- it kills.
–Laurie Garrett, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and author of The Coming Plague.

In the midst of devastating typhoons, tornados, and “superstorms,” climate change is increasingly at the forefront of our minds and the daily news.  Paul Epstein and Dan Ferber dig deeper into the story to explore how climate change is altering health and disease patterns.

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The Right to Love is a Human Right

December 11, 2013

Our mailbox has been overflowing this week with moving statements supporting International Human Rights Day, December 10....So it is with great sadness and anger that we receive notice from the Indian human rights organization CREA that the Indian Supreme Court has overturned the Delhi High Court judgment of 2009 which decriminalized homosexuality in India.

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1 small gift improves health for 40 families!

December 03, 2013

Each year around the holidays, we reflect on the things that are most important to us. Our families, our friends, and our health – the material items we exchange pale in comparison.

What if one small gift you gave this holiday season could improve the health of 40 families?

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A letter from Sarah Shannon, Executive Director

November 15, 2013

Hesperian's 2012-2013 Annual Report is now available! Read the letter from our Executive Director, Sarah Shannon, below; and browse the entire annual report by clicking this link on this page. This link can be found on our Projects page

Thanks for supporting Hesperian!
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Emergency health materials for the Philippines

November 15, 2013

In the face of the devastating typhoon in the Philippines, we urge everyone to forward and distribute the following health materials to every relief worker, resident, and traveler already in or leaving for the Philippines. We offer our deepest condolences to those who have been affected by this tragedy.

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Chinese-language Environmental Health book now available

November 14, 2013

Hesperian’s translation partners often develop materials that go far beyond simple translation. An example is YHDRA, an NGO in southwest China that not only completed a translation of Hesperian’s  Community Guide to Environmental Health but also undertook an extensive field-testing process that allowed them to adapt the material and effectively address local environmental conditions, incorporating indigenous knowledge and healing methods. 

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Ina May Gaskin inducted into Women’s Hall of Fame

November 07, 2013

On October 12, Ina May Gaskin, author of Birth Matters, was the first midwife ever inducted into the Women’s Hall of Fame. A midwife who has attended more than 1,200 births, Ina May founded the Farm Midwifery Centerin rural Tennessee which has proven that home-birth midwives can learn to provide safe care for women without formal obstetric nursing education. Gaskin is a tireless advocate for humane care for women, and we congratulate her on this honor.

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Hesperian at the APHA

October 31, 2013

The American Public Health Association annual meeting is happening November 2-6  at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Hesperian will be there and we hope you will join us at some of the events, receptions, and presentations we have prepared. Visit us often; our booth is your booth!

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