A positive Ripple effect from a few Aussies

Ripple (verb) – to cause small waves.

A ripple effect is often used to describe a situation where an effect from an initial state can be followed outwards incrementally. These effects can be either negative or positive and occur quite frequently in society and yes, the Internet. But let’s switch it up for a few seconds – We use search engines (like Google) to look for things on the web (news, entertainment, products, information, etc.).

Alright, so imagine combining the two and creating a search engine that creates a positive and socially conscious ripple effect.

Well on May 4th 2007, 4 friends from Australia (Jehan Ratnatunga, Simon Griffiths, Matt Tilleard and Mack Nevill) did just that.

Together they decided to use Google’s built in search engine (Google Co-op) to build a non-profit website that harnesses the power of the Internet, leverages affiliate advertising to generate revenue, and use that money to help people, instead of Read more…

SODIS: Solar Water Disinfection

3 litres of water per day.

According to the Water Encyclopedia, that’s how much the average human needs per day for survival.  This amount increases with physical activity and with temperature.  Aside from replacing our body’s water we need water for a number of purposes including agriculture, cooking sanitation and hygiene.  This amounts to 50 liters required to meet human needs.

Treatment and delivery of water costs a lot of money.  The water needs to be pumped from a source like a lake, river or well to a water treatment plant.  Depending on requirements the water can be treated in different ways.

Commonly it is filtered and then disinfected with a chemical such as chlorine.  However, the equipment to do this costs thousands of dollars.  Plants also need a building to be situated in, sensors to monitor the process, and an operator to run and maintain the system.

Costs for this are often Read more…

Inside the pages of Equal Treatment

South Africa has the largest HIV population in the world, with more than 5.6 million people living with HIV/AIDS. Because of its widespread prevalence and increasing acceptance, HIV has become a part of the everyday fabric of society.

South Africa’s AIDs history is marred by poor decisions by denialist leadership, resulting in unnecessary lost lives. Fortunately, Treatment Action Campaign, born out of system frustration, was founded in 1998.  TAC held the South African government accountable in up keeping basic tenants of the constitution, and is largely responsible for the implementation of antiretroviral treatment and mother-to-child transmission prevention programmes in South Africa. TAC is a member-based organization that advocates for increased access to treatment, care and support services for people living with HIV. For a detailed history of TAC, read the recently published Fighting for Our Lives. TAC’s vibrant history is also chronicled in the documentary TAC: Taking HAART.

Equal Treatment is the Read more…

UNESCO: Something for Everyone

In today’s time and age, there are countless social organizations that all tug at our heartstrings – how can we choose only a handful of charities when we’re pumped up and ready to save the world? It’s like going to a restaurant and choosing only one entree out of hundreds of other equally delectable dishes.

Well, fear not, those who are hungry for positive change: UNESCO (United Nations Educational and Scientific and Cultural Organization) is more like a buffet where you’re can find plenty of everything.

UNESCO is undoubtedly one of the largest charitable groups in the world, and no matter what your passion is, whether it’s marine preservation, sustainable education, or poverty eradication, this international mega-organization has it covered!

What Is UNESCO?

UNESCO is a specialized agency of the United Nations and has been active in perusing its missions since it was founded in 1945.

It covers five major fields of focus:

Read more…

Support for International Change: The Tuko Pamoja Bag Sponsorship Program

There seem to be many organizations out there working towards a sustainable solution to the deadly HIV/AIDS virus that has continued to wreck havoc within our social circles. Indeed we seem to get lost in the wide array of choices to follow. I guess we can look at it as a good thing, since the more people working towards a remedy to this epidemic the better.

However, Support for International Change has a few things that set it apart from the rest.

Reclamation Project

Support For International Change (SIC) is an organization dedicated to limiting the impact of HIV/AIDS in under-served communities.

Working on a mantra of imperatively acting on the opportunity to learn, SIC envisions a world where HIV/AIDS no longer limits the social and economic development of a community. Using the age old ‘knowledge is power’, SIC seeks to empower youth to learn the skills to address the health issues of following 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…

All you need is Love (and the basic necessities of life) : The Akshaya Trust

“I saw a very old man, literally eating his own human waste out of hunger. I went to the nearby hotel and asked them what was available. They had idli, which I bought and gave to the old man. Believe me, I had never seen a person eating so fast, ever. As he ate the food, his eyes were filled with tears. Those were the tears of happiness.”

February is the time of the year where loved ones are showered with unconditional love and compassion. It’s the time of the year when you can truly make your loved ones feel special and truly loved. However, we can all agree that every month of every year is one for affection.

Love is the buzzword.

Unfortunately, society has created a vacuum wherein not all humans in this country (India, and applies to the world in general) are treated well enough to be in a position Read more…

The search for a cure – Arthritis Research UK

I respect science.

Scientists are skilled innovators, inventors, and passionate people, who are sometimes eccentric, but always looking to solve the ordinary and on the occasion, the extraordinary.

If someone asked me, in this moment of time, what disease would I want science to cure?  I would selfishly reply, arthritis.

Why Arthritis?

Well for starters, there is no cure.

Secondly, both my grand-mum and my mum have osteoarthritis (a degenerative joint disease).

Thirdly, as someone who’s suffered six broken bones over the years, I know how agonizing it can be to live with that constant ‘bone’ pain.

What is Arthritis?

Without going into detail, I will brief you on the two most common types:

Rheumatoid Arthritis: A persistent and progressive disease in which the immune system attacks the joints. It is characterized by pain, inflammation and swelling of the joints, stiffness and  loss of mobility.

Osteoarthritis: Chronic breakdown of cartilage in the joints and the most common form of arthritis Read more…