This artist is showcasing a new form of graffiti to shed light on deforestation.

When Philippe Echaroux, a French street artist, heard about how deforestation is affecting the Surui tribe in the Brazilian Amazon, he decided to throw a massive spotlight on it — literally.

One of several portraits of Surui tribe members. Photo by Philippe Echaroux, used with permission.

He did this by creating portraits of Surui tribe members, then projecting them in light, using the Amazon as his canvas. He calls this method of painting trees with light Street Art 2.0 because it goes beyond spray-painting a wall; it allows him to put a powerful message anywhere without doing any damage and take it down as quickly as he put it up.


In this case, the project's message is as simple and powerful as the portraits themselves. As Echaroux explains: "When you cut down a tree, it's like putting down a man."

He chose members of the Surui tribe as the focus of the project because the tribe is being directly affected by deforestation.

Photo by Philippe Echaroux, used with permission.

How bad is deforestation in Brazil? Here's what parts of the Brazilian Amazon look like today:

Northern Brazil. Photo by Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images.

For the Surui tribe, whose reserve is about the size of Rhode Island, the fight for land is often unfair — going back to 1969, when the Brazilian government lured them out of their rainforest home, according to the Washington Post. That infringement on the Surui's land caused disease to spread, food supplies to dwindle, and homes to be destroyed, all of which resulted in a population drop from 5,000 to just above 250.

The tribe has been fighting to preserve what little of their rainforest habitat it has left ever since. Today, that means trying to stop illegal logging — one of the main causes of deforestation in Brazil, according to Scientific American.

In 2007, the current Surui chief, Almir Narayamoga Surui, launched an innovative and high-tech plan to curtail illegal logging.

Photo by Philippe Echaroux, used with permission.

The tribe, whose population has rebounded to 1,350, uses Google Earth to monitor such illegal activity and report it to the authorities, ABC News reported. But 1,500 square miles of rainforest is rather expansive for one small tribe to keep tabs on, so, despite their best efforts, deforestation continues to eat away at their land.

That's why, Echaroux says, Chief Almir called on him to bring Street Art 2.0 to the Amazon, where his art "could help them be known, and make their difficulties known too."

The message Echaroux is illuminating on the Amazon is meant to make the world realize deforestation is an epidemic, and that the Surui are some of its human victims.

Photo by Philippe Echaroux, used with permission.

We lose 46,000-58,000 square miles of forest each year.

That's about 48 football fields every minute, according to the World Wildlife Fund. In that way, there couldn't be a more perfect medium for this artistic call to action.

Photo by Philippe Echaroux, used with permission.

This is the first time Echaroux has used his work to elevate an environmental issue, and he hopes the message inspires people to constructively help curtail deforestation efforts.

Photo by Philippe Echaroux, used with permission.

There are a lot of ways you can do this in your daily life, whether it's making a concerted effort to eat and use more local and sustainable foods (here's a handy guide for how to find them) or reducing your wood consumption as much as possible (and when you do have to buy paper, buying the kind with the highest recyclable content).

If you want to help the Surui directly, you can go to their website and sign a petition to stop illegal logging in the Brazilian Amazon. Or if you want to learn how to help the other indigenous tribes affected by deforestation in the Amazon, Survival International is a great resource. The fight to preserve the rainforests is an ongoing battle for many indigenous tribes, and it's one that shows no signs of slowing. They need all the help they can get to protect their resources and homes.

The Surui may be one small tribe, but their conservation struggle is emblematic of cultures the world over. Hopefully these brightly lit creations will help make that abundantly clear.

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Some 75 years ago, in bombed-out Frankfurt, Germany, a little girl named Marlene Mahta received a sign of hope in the midst of squalor, homelessness and starvation. A CARE Package containing soap, milk powder, flour, blankets and other necessities provided a lifeline through the contributions of average American families. There were even luxuries like chocolate bars.

World War II may have ended, but its devastation lingered. Between 35 and 60 million people died. Whole cities had been destroyed, the countryside was charred and burned, and at least 60 million European civilians had been made homeless. Hunger remained an issue for many families for years to come. In the face of this devastation, 22 American organizations decided to come together and do something about it: creating CARE Packages for survivors.

"What affected me… was hearing that these were gifts from average American people," remembers Mahta, who, in those desperate days, found herself picking through garbage cans to find leftover field rations and MREs to eat. Inspired by the unexpected kindness, Mahta eventually learned English and emigrated to the U.S.

"I wanted to be like those wonderful, generous people," she says.

The postwar Marshall Plan era was a time of "great moral clarity," says Michelle Nunn, CEO of CARE, the global anti-poverty organization that emerged from those simple beginnings. "The CARE Package itself – in its simplicity and directness – continues to guide CARE's operational faith in the enduring power of local leadership – of simply giving people the opportunity to support their families and then their communities."

Each CARE Package contained rations that had once been reserved for soldiers, but were now being redirected to civilians who had suffered as a result of the conflict. The packages cost $10 to send, and they were guaranteed to arrive at their destination within four months.

Thousands of Americans, including President Harry S. Truman, got involved, and on May 11, 1946, the first 15,000 packages were sent to Le Havre in France, a port badly battered during the war.

Thousands of additional CARE Packages soon followed. At first packages were sent to specific recipients, but over time donations came in for anyone in need. When war rations ran out American companies began donating food. Later, carpentry tools, blankets, clothes, books, school supplies, and medicine were included.

Before long, the CARE Packages were going to other communities in need around the world, including Asia and Latin America. Ultimately, CARE delivered packages to 100 million families around the world.

The original CARE Packages were phased out in the late 1960s, though they were revived when specific needs arose, such as when former Soviet Union republics needed relief, or after the Bosnian War. Meanwhile, CARE transformed. Now, instead of physical boxes, it invests in programs for sustainable change, such as setting up nutrition centers, Village Savings and Loan Associations, educational programs, agroforestry initiatives, and much more.

But, with a pandemic ravaging populations around the world, CARE is bringing back its original CARE packages to support the critical basic needs of our global neighbors. And for the first time, they're also delivering CARE packages here at home in the United States to communities in need.

Community leaders like Janice Dixon are on the front lines of that effort. Dixon, president and CEO of Community Outreach in Action in Jonesboro, Ga., now sends up to 80 CARE packages each week to those in need due to COVID-19. Food pantries have been available, she notes, but they've been difficult to access for those without cars, and public transportation is spotty in suburban Atlanta.

"My phone has been ringing off the hook," says Dixon. For example, one of those calls was from a senior diabetic, she remembers, who faced an impossible choice, but was able to purchase medicine because food was being provided by CARE.

Today, CARE is sending new packages with financial support and messages of hope to frontline medical workers, caregivers, essential workers, and individuals in need in more than 60 countries, including the U.S. Anyone can now go to carepackage.org to send targeted help around the world. Packages focus on helping vaccines reach people more quickly, tackling food insecurity, educational disparities, global poverty, and domestic violence, as well as providing hygiene kits to those in need.

From the very beginning, CARE received the support of presidents, with Hollywood luminaries like Rita Hayworth and Ingrid Bergman also adding their voices. At An Evening With CARE, happening this Tuesday, May 11, notable names will turn out again as the organization celebrates the 75th Anniversary of the CARE Package and the exciting, meaningful work that lies ahead. The event will be hosted by Whoopi Goldberg and attended by former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter, as well as Angela Merkel, Iman, Jewel, Michelle Williams, Katherine McPhee-Foster, Betty Who and others. Please RSVP now for this can't-miss opportunity.

When the "Me Too" movement exploded a few years ago, the ubiquitousness of women's sexual harassment and assault experiences became painfully clear. What hasn't always been as clear is role that less overt, more subtle creepiness plays in making women feel uncomfortable or unsafe as they move through the world, often starting from a young age.

Thankfully—and unfortunately—a viral video from a teen TikToker illustrates exactly what that looks like in real-time when a man came and sat down with her while she was doing a live video. He asked if the chair at her table was taken, and she said no, thinking he wanted to take it to another table. Instead, he sat down and started talking to her. You can see in her face and in her responses that she's weirded out, though she's trying not to appear rude or paranoid.

The teen said in a separate TikTok video that the man appeared to be in his 30s. Definitely too old to be pulling up a chair with someone so young who is sitting by herself, and definitely old enough to recognize that she was uncomfortable with the situation.

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Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
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The global eradication of smallpox in 1980 is one of international public health's greatest successes. But in 1966, seven years after the World Health Organization announced a plan to rid the world of the disease, smallpox was still widespread. The culprits? A lack of funds, personnel and vaccine supply.

Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

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