A teenager from Pembrokeshire is thought to have become the first European female to perform a backflip in a wheelchair. Lily Rice, 13, accomplished the feat in Cardiff after six hours ofpracticing. Lily, from Tenby, has a condition called hereditary spastic paraplegia, which causes rigidity and tightness in the muscles of the lower body. She now hopes to take part in the Wheelchair Motocross Championship in California this year. Former Welsh Paralympic swimmer Lily is a WCMX athlete, performing tricks on specially adapted ramps usually used by BMX riders and skateboarders. While Lily is thought to be the first European woman to complete a WCMX backflip, she is the second worldwide. "I'd seen lots of people do it and it didn't look too hard, so I wanted to try it out," she said. "So we found a foam pit and I just practiced it and practiced it and eventually got it in the foam pit. "Then, I tried it onto [the] ramp and I landed it there." She was given her first WCMX chair in February by the sport's current champion Aaron "Wheelz" Fotheringham, and had only been practicing for the last seven months before managing this amazing feat in September!
11-year-old Gitanjali Rao has been named this year's America’s Top Young Scientist for her invention of a lead detection device inspired by the Flint water crisis! Theseventh grader from Lone Tree, Colorado wowed the judges in the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge for her device which allows for nearly instantaneous testing for lead in water, with the results sent directly to your smartphone. Gitanjali hopes that her lead contamination detector, which she named Tethys after the Greek goddess of fresh water, can be made widely available -- and expanded to test for contaminants in the future. “Clean water always tastes good,” she says. “The tool allows easy testing at home or by agencies for quick detection and remedial actions... I hope this helps in a small way to detect and prevent long-term health effects of lead contamination for many of us.” Along with the title of America’s Top Young Scientist, Gitanjali also received a $25,000 prize. She’s planning on saving some of her prize money for college, while investing the rest in making Tethys commercially viable. Ultimately, Gitanjali, who aspires to become a geneticist or epidemiologist one day, wants to make such testing affordable and widely available. As she asserts, “I feel, every individual has a right to know if their drinking water is safe.”
The “Voices of the Women of Wangki Tangni” project established the first radio station to focus on women’s rights in the North Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua. Through this radio station and “community listener groups” organized by comunicadoras—women’s rights defenders—from Wangki Tangni are providing consistent information and a safe space for learning to women and girls, as well as men and boys, on women’s rights, human rights and indigenous concepts of peaceful living. It is the region’s only radio station that airs programmes in the local Miskito language. Mildred Garcia, UN Trust Fund Portfolio Manager for the project, who recently visited the communities feels that the initiative has given voice to those who were voiceless: "Women affected by war, with difficult living conditions and in hard to reach areas, can now tell their own stories, through radio. Through the radio programmes, women are now informed about their rights and how to access justice.” Since the project began in 2016, MADRE has provided more than 350 solar radios to 115 communities to expand the reach of the programme. Building local capacity, it has also trained 30 comunicadoras on effective interviewing and broadcasting techniques, and provided instruction to all that received a radio on how to use the equipment.
Have a positive week,
Love Neon Moon x
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