Opening Doors in 2009


Francis Kahembwe and Sarah Boyack at the start of the Opening Doors shadowing programme which ends with three more days in Holyrood.

Francis Kahembwe returns to the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday to finish the shadowing programme he started last year. But¬† Opening Doors will not be closing. During the coming year we hope to continue¬† the interesting new direction Francis has helped us to take. And that is where you could come in… Continue reading “Opening Doors in 2009”

Opening Doors to action on climate change


“Africa is changing,” says Francis Kahembwe, “and there is hope. But the progress needs to be nurtured into life.” [Picture by Yvonne Baginsky ]

How can we help African countries adapt to climate change? Is it right that the world’s poorest countries should suffer the worst consequences of pollution from the richest nations? These were some of the tough questions Francis Kahembwe put to the audience in his talk on Africa and Climate Change at the Friends of the Earth Edinburgh meeting on Thursday 30 October. Continue reading “Opening Doors to action on climate change”

Opening Doors: an autumn of hot debate

News just in from Francis Kahembwe, our Opening Doors participant, who is beginning a two month placement with Scottish Environment Link. That means (apart from climbing a lot of stairs to the office in the wonderful tower building on the Royal Mile) a fascinating glimpse of what it is like to be an environmental lobbyist. As Francis explains in his email, the first week started with the hottest issue of the moment, Climate Change… Continue reading “Opening Doors: an autumn of hot debate”

Opening Doors to environmental action

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Francis Kahembwe meets Sarah Boyack MSP at the Scottish Parliament for the first of two days observing her work in environmental issues.

Welcome to Francis Kahembwe, the first person to take part in Opening Doors 2008, the Leith Open Space political ‘shadowing’ scheme. As Francis, a forestry expert from Uganda, is particularly interested in the politics of conservation and environmental management we began by introducing him to Sarah Boyack, Labour spokesman on the Environment and Rural Affairs in the Scottish Parliament. As luck had it we arrived the day of the Climate Change debate! Continue reading “Opening Doors to environmental action”

Opening Doors Again

Question: What was the best thing about the scheme?

Answer: “The scheme opens politics to ordinary people who would never otherwise come close to it. ” Opening Doors feedback form, 2007.

That was just one response. Altogether, feedback was so positive we are planning to run a second phase of the Opening Doors shadow scheme starting in May this year and we would love to hear what you want to learn about politics. Continue reading “Opening Doors Again”