Two Minute Activism

Want to fight against climate change? Then do something small!

Don't underestimate the power of little acts done on coffee breaks, commutes and the two minutes before bed. There are millions of us who want to fight climate change but aren't sure what to do. So let's remember that small multiplied by millions isn't small any more.

Here are a few ideas for two minute activism. 

Finding Hope on iBooks or Ourboox to remind ourselves of the very real human impact of climate change and also the strength of humanity when all seems lost.
How to Talk about Climate Change so People will Listen (This is a longer article, so you'll probably need a few two minute chunks to finish it).


Campaign or Donate

Be Inspired

Just talk about climate change. I tend to find it really hard to get away from small talk, but I’m going to make a concerted effort to talk to friends, family and colleagues about climate change and ways we can fight it. Will you join me?

Share this post and blog.
Share your ideas on two minute activism in the comments section.

More than two minutes?

I love climate change marches. If it's like the last couple we went on, it will be a great afternoon out with like minded, creative people. The banners, fancy dress and walking sculptures should be amazing!

Wild by Jay Griffiths. This book taught be so much about indigenous cultures and all that we have to learn from them about appreciating and respecting the natural world

Thank you!

Finding Hope now on iBooks and Ourboox!

Finding Hope now has two new homes that make reading it easier than ever!

With just one click, you can read it in a great online format on Ourboox.

Finding Hope follows one girl’s struggle to find her sister amid the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.…

Also, you can now find Finding Hope and Buscando Esperanza for free on iBooks. This shows the ebook in the format it was developed for, particularly on iPads.

And if you enjoy Finding Hope on either of these formats, any hearts or good ratings are greatly appreciated! Thank you!

Read a free sample or buy Finding Hope by Suzanne Albers. You can read this book with iBooks on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac.

New JustGiving Page and Exciting Fundraising Goal!

The photos used in Finding Hope were taken by Plan International staff in the Philippines in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan. These help us see the devastation caused by such a storm why 14 months later there's still such a need to fundraise for Plan International's Typhoon Haiyan Appeal.

To help those of you donating from the UK, I've now set up a JustGiving page. It's a long story why this wasn't originally done, but I hope it makes donating an easier process for some of you.

Also, Plan UK has come back with info for us to form a clear goal for our fundraising. £1,500 will fund the equipment for an entire day care centre including all furniture and learning materials. This is our chance to make a huge difference for children and families in this area, which is really exciting!

Finding Hope now in Spanish!

Or I should say Finding Hope is now also Buscando Esperanza! You can download the Spanish e-book and PDF here.

A huge thank you to my wonderful colleague Camen Muñoz from our Barcelona office, who has translated Finding Hope to Spanish. Thanks to her hard work we will hopefully reach more people with this story about both the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan and how local and international people have come together to help its victims.

We also hope the Spanish version will help hope more people learn about Plan International's impressive work in the areas affected by Haiyan. The charity provided important disaster relief right after the typhoon, including feeding 1.5 million people and continues to do great work, including helping children return to school: 44,000 so far through back-to-school kits, 2,226 'School in a Box' and Teacher Kits supplied to schools, 63 disaster-resilient classrooms built (with another 137 planned) and 86 damaged classrooms repaired (with another 214 planned).

Carmen is from the Philippines and she is also hoping to translate Finding Hope to Tagalog, which is a major language in the Philippines. Plus, another of my fabulous colleagues is hoping to translate Finding Hope to Chinese, so watch this space!

How I made Finding Hope with Two Fantastic iPad Apps

I'd like to tell you about two tools for creating e-picture books that I have fallen head over heels in love with. Yes, love may sound like a strong word but I can't think of a better one to show how amazing and powerful I think these tools are. 

They are the Book Creator and iDraw apps, which I have used on the iPad but they may work on other tablets, too. Book Creator has a free intro version and then costs £2.99 ($4.99) and the iDraw app costs £5.99 ($8.99).

First off, I would like to say that these are no replacement for an illustrator. Illustrators bring to a project a whole arsenal of skills and add new dimensions to picture books. 

However, you may have a project, such as for your family or a charitable cause, for which you don't have a budget for an illustrator. And if that's the case, these two apps plus a tablet and lots of practice will allow you to make something that even the most artistically challenged should be proud of. 

I also had another great resource in the form of photos from the charity Plan International, which were taken by the charity’s staff in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan. These were therefore directly in the setting of my book. I also bought and used some inexpensive stock photos. 

So with these four tools - an iPad, the Book Creator and iDraw apps and photos, it was actually much easier than expected to make the Finding Hope ebook and video. 

The Book Creator app was the more straightforward, but no less powerful app for me. It has a relatively short FAQ section but every time I had a question, the FAQ section covered it well.

Also, I think a lot students and classes use it, which is why there is great support for sharing your ebook in video and pdf format, since some of your end users may not have a tablet or smartphone. 

Most of the illustrations I made on iDraw but a couple I made directly in Book Creator, in order to add hyperlinks directly to a photo or words. The hyperlinks then worked in both the iBook and pdf versions of it. You can also add drawings and photos directly in this app with text added on top.

Finally, I added an audio clip to each page, which I then hid behind the illustration. I exported the book as a video with my reading of the story, which I then shared on Youtube. 

All of the other illustrations were made in iDraw.  In iDraw, I saved the illustrations as images, which were then used in the Book Creator App. iDraw describes itself in as

a full-featured graphic design and illustration application for iPad. True desktop-class editing and illustration tools on the go. iDraw is a full-featured graphic design and illustration application for iPad. True desktop-class editing and illustration tools on the go.

I take this to mean that it’s much more powerful than what I needed it for, but even for my purposes, I found it great and continued to learn new features of it throughout the process of making the ebook. 

It’s not immediately intuitive just from opening it, but I found this great youtube tutorial that got me started on it. There are more tutorials on its website.

I then spent some time just playing around with it in order to make cartoon versions of my daughter and me to make a picture book based on some of my daughter’s wonderful stories. Here’s the cartoon me.

iDraw has some user-friendly features, which I knew I would use in my illustrations. It is very easy to work with and use different layers. Changing the transparency of layers and colours was also very useful. I was able to trace various photos that Plan International provided in order to get a combination of a photo and cartoon to fit the storyline. Finally, iDraw allows you to form a single object from different parts and then select it as a whole to be moved or have its size/angle/etc changed. For example, here I am getting into my moon rocket.

I started out making my cartoons with shapes but then got more comfortable creating illustrations by tracing photos and then combining tracing and freehand drawings. I used the undo button A LOT, but with practice got better at using its many features and improving my illustrations.

I hope you have the chance to use these tools to make your own e-picture book! Please let me know if I can help you do this.

Video of Finding Hope e-book

One year ago, Typhoon Haiyan stopped being just another terrible news story for me when I spoke to a friend whose village was devastated by it. I started to think a lot about how overwhelming an experience it must have been, especially for children.

That was where the idea for Finding Hope came from. It's an e-picture book from the perspective of a child after the typhoon.

One year on the victims of Typhoon Haiyan continue to need support to build back better and stronger, so I hope you'll consider making a huge difference to them through a donation to Plan International's Typhoon Haiyan Appeal.

Plan International is a global children's charity, which has done amazing work for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan including helping 44,000 children to resume their education and providing chid-friendly spaces for 21,000 children, emergency food distributions to 1,500,000 people and temporary shelter or support to rebuild homes to 195,000 people.

Find out what it's like to search for hope after losing everything in this video or from our free ebook.