Earth Day Network & Earth Day Canada: Making Earth Day Every Day

I want you to act out.

I promise you won’t get in trouble. I can also promise you won’t be the only one. In fact you will be joining hundreds of millions of people in 184 countries around the world.

I’m talking about a global movement known simply as Earth Day.

It was created in 1970 by a U.S. Senator, after he witnessed the devastation of the 1969 California oil spill. He wanted to leverage the emerging awareness of air and water pollution and combine it with the social energy created by the anti-war movement to force environmental protection onto the national political agenda. And so on the 22nd of April, 1970, 20 million Americans participated in massive coast-to-coast rallies to bring attention to conversation and force political leaders to listen to their concerns.

And it worked.

The first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Read more…

Acumen Fund: Investments not Grants, Building Business Models to Solve the World’s Problems

This story begins with Jacqueline Novogratz’s favourite blue sweater…

Jacqueline Novogratz: Founder of Acumen Fund

And so this amazing tale inspired Jacqueline’s ambitious venture into social good with her creation of Acumen Fund: an organization dedicated to investing in social entrepreneurs and enterprises focused on providing critical goods to the world’s poor.

Investing Patient Capital in Social Entrepreneurs

By using the idea of patient capital (where investors are willing to make a financial investment in a business with no expectation of turning a quick profit) and investing this into people trying to solve vital problems for the poor in their region, this essentially creates a system that combines both businesses (whose bottom line is profit) and philanthropy (a focus on creating a positive impact on society), ultimately breaking the cycle of poverty.

Since a social entrepreneur’s model is based on not one but three bottom lines – People (society), Planet (the environment) & Profit Read more…

Pixel Project: Stopping Violence Against Women. Together.

When Regina Yau received two SOS mails from the Malaysia Women’s Aid Foundation in the same week, she knew something wasn’t right. She realized that the foundation was and still is at a great loss of funds. There seemed to be lack of donors and decrease in pledges. Regina noted such state of affairs and decided to do something about it. Her eagerness and drive to help the community of women suffered due to domestic violence led her to brainstorm variety of ideas.

The Pixel Project: Piecing it Together

Coming from a conservative family background herself, and witnessing the hardships of her grandmother, she decided it is time to put an end to abuse towards women in all its forms. She created Pixel Project in hopes to aid the Women’s Aid Foundation for the desired betterment. Malaysia Women’s Aid foundation shares its funds with the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), which Read more…

Better Choices for a Better World: Me to We by Free the Children

A South Asian boy name Iqbal was living a life of slavery by the age of four.  Then he spoke out internationally about children’s rights.

A single article in the Toronto Star about Iqbal grabbed the attention of 12-year old Craig Kielbuger. He learned that even a child’s single voice can have an incredible strength behind it.

On that day in 1995, Free the Children was born.

Children’s Networking

Today, Free the Children is the world’s largest network of children helping children through education.  It encompasses one million adolescent across 45 countries.

But this is just the beginning.

Craig and his brother, Marc, have traveled the world countless times.  Each trip has given them more memories, ideas and inspirations.  On a certain trip to Ecuador, citizens came to their aid after walking many hours and knowing they would not receive anything in return.  This experience both puzzled and amazed the Kielburger brothers.

“A movement of people who Read more…

ONE: We’re not asking for your money, we’re asking for your voice

In a world where nearly everything costs something, it’s nice to take comfort in the fact that we all have a valuable resource to offer that doesn’t come with a price tag – our voices.

That’s the objective of ONE, a grassroots anti-poverty advocacy organization that works to increase public awareness of poverty and places pressure on political leaders to work towards poverty alleviation.

They’re not soliciting funds, they’re soliciting support.

In the beginning

ONE is an organization that has been in the making since 2002.

The concept itself began when Bono [front man for world renowned band U2], along with Bob Geldof, Bobby Shriver, Jamie Drummond and Lucy Matthew got together and decided to start up advocacy organization DATA (debt, AIDS, trade, Africa).

Shortly after, ONE was born as a means of creating a broader campaign to mobilize public support to fight against poverty and raise global health awareness. By 2008, it was concluded Read more…

The Girl Effect: The Most Powerful Force for Change

“Invest in a girl, and she will do the rest, but to do that, she needs your help now.”

The Girl Effect is ‘a movement driven by girl champions around the globe.’

When a girl living in poverty turns 12, her life reaches a crossroads.

One path has her marrying – one in seven marry at the age of 14 in developing parts of the world – becoming pregnant by 15, possibly contracting HIV, and possibly forced to sell her body in order to survive.

The other path is much brighter – receive an education, stay healthy, marry when she chooses and raise a healthy family.

How it all began

The Girl Effect is the brainchild of Maria Eitel , the founding president of the Nike Foundation and Jennifer Buffet, president and co-chair of the NoVo Foundation. NoVo and the Nike Foundation joined forces in 2008 and committed $90 million to The Girl Effect.

In a 2010 Read more…

They Die like Children: Romeo Dallaire’s Zero Force

There isn’t a day that goes by without hearing a child crying or laughing.  It’s just one of those common and expected details.

However, in some countries, this goes beyond normal.

March of the Kid Soldiers

Children are used in acts of war more frequently than any of us want to acknowledge. Thousands of children have been abducted in Uganda alone to fight in the Lord’s Resistance Army [LRA]. It is common in their society to hear the screams of children as they are being abducted and their villages destroyed.

In the 25 years of war in Uganda between 30,000 and 66,000 children have been kidnapped.  Close to 90% of the LRA are children.  The LRA forces the children to return to their villages and terrorize their family, relatives and other community members.

This crisis has now moved beyond the boundaries of Uganda and is going viral in Africa. Children in the neighbouring countries Read more…

The Nature Conservancy: Earth’s biggest fan

What inspires you?

I spent the last week investigating The Nature Conservancy’s website for my next TSCB article and I have to say I am truly inspired by the work of this organization.

The Nature Conservancy has an impressive legacy as the leading conservation organization that protects ecologically significant land and water for nature and people. It’s their mission to preserve the plants, animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive.

They work in all 50 States and in more than 30 countries protecting habitats and addressing threats to conservation involving climate change, fresh water and conservation. They have protected more than 119 million acres of land, 5000 miles of rivers and operate more than 100 marine conservation projects worldwide.

Check out their latest video highlighting some of their work last year:

Founded in 1951, The Conservancy can trace its history Read more…