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August 18, 2017

Friday, August 18, 2017

Sierra Leone may experience more mudslides with rainy forecast

They struck before dawn. On Monday, following a night of heavy rains, thousands of homes across Freetown, Sierra Leone, were destroyed in mudslides and floods. More than 400 deaths have been confirmed and thousands of people are missing. Mass burials were held as rescue teams continued to recover bodies from beneath rubble and mud.

ActionAid has launched an immediate humanitarian response in Sierra Leone. Local staff are distributing food, water, lamps, cooking utensils, blankets, and hygiene kits, including in the worst-hit area of Regent. To support ActionAid’s response, visit

Brazil court favors indigenous communities in land dispute

Whose land is it? Indigenous communities in Brazil are celebrating Wednesday’s Supreme Court ruling against a state that wanted to buy their lands from the government.

The case against Mato Grosso state concludes on the heels of last month’s recommendation by President Michael Temer to rescind indigenous people’s right to their lands if they hadn’t been living there by 1988. Indigenous activists are opposing the proposal as many native peoples were violently forced off their land prior to that date.

Land is highly disputed across Brazil as the country is a major producer of food-based biofuels, such as sugarcane ethanol. ActionAid works with a group of farmers in Mato Grosso coping with pollution and land grabbing by sugarcane plantations.

Refugee families and traveling performers meet to play

We all could use more smiles these days. A team of circus performers, magicians, and musicians is doing just that, traveling across Europe to share laughter and silliness with child refugees. Working with local organizations, they perform for free and run arts and crafts workshops so that communities can have the option to keep enjoying the activities after the performers leave.

Comedy is also being employed as therapy for refugee children in other parts of the Middle East, including a circus school in Turkey and a comedy troupe in Lebanon made up entirely of Syrians.